“Snail Harvesting”


Texas spineless prickly pear – Opuntia ficus-indica
On a vist to one of my Irish watering holes, I caught this prickly pear cactus
going completely bezerk. It is planted on a raised strip of wall which means
you have to look up through it making it even more looming. (Better it is up high
then stumbling wildly into it after a few dozen frothing ales).
What a specimen.

Talking of going berzerk…

 
This great botanist most definitely did.  I have been threatening my eldest that
I am going to grow out my facial hair, and fashion it like this picture, before I
saunter into her pre-school.
It always gets a reaction.

Another variety of prickly pear cactus is named after Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879)
who is often called the “Father of Texas Botany” because of his work as the first
permanent-resident plant collector in Texas. Lindheimer settled in New Braunfels
after fleeing a politically volatile Germany, he was granted land on the banks of
the Comal River, where he continued his frenzied plant collecting. He also attempted
to establish a botanical garden in the area.


The flowers are also coming out of the center of the paddles!

Lindheimer is credited with the discovery of several hundred
plant species. In addition his name is used to designate forty-eight
species and subspecies of plants, including the popular perennial,
Gaura lindheimeri.

 
Ferdinand Lindheimer died in New Braunfels                              Gaura lindheimeri.
in 1879 at the age of 78. His house, on Comal
Street in New Braunfels, is now a museum. 

On to some other historic events in the Patch this week, well,
at least for this little detective…

 
Guess what I watered again today?
I am telling you it never fails!
He didn’t even see me water it this time!
The first picture is when he first heard and realized…the constant dripping
was “magically” happening once again…the customary closer inspection was
a necessity.

 
My Brugmansia / Angel’s Trumpet situated under my Post Oak
has it’s first delicate bloom of the year.

 
The Brugmansia flower looks remarkably like human skin,          (Obligatory Lector noises).
right down to the fine hairs and blood capillaries!
(click on the image, then click again if you don’t believe me, it is uncanny)

“Ahem, err  Mr Hannibal?  you probably don’t want to consume any part of
this plant…you do know all parts of this plant contain dangerous levels of
poison, right ?
Why are you uncorking that nice Chianti and laying fine silverware?
No! oh no, please no! AARRGGghhhhhh_________”

“Sorry ESP, I couldn’t resist the Brugmansia’s flesh-like allure, I got peckish”.
(More obligatory Lector noises).

 
Urarina Shamen: “Far Out! I don’t remember my village huts looking remotely
as colorful as this, oh wait I had Brugmansia in goats milk for breakfast
at the ‘Mansia’ Cafe!  Now, if I can only make it to my mush’room’?”

Brugmansia consumption is an important aspect of shamanic practices
among many tribes of western Amazonia. It is a central component in
shamanic practices of the Urarina peoples of Loreto, Peru. 

Moving forth…
 
The twisted trunk of a wisteria vine curling its way
around its terrain, and itself, like a giant squid.  Okay,
perhaps not giant, but of a good size.

 
Orange Canna is in full bloom in my front yard, along with yet more
Gaura lindheimeri, and a particularly stubborn patch of, yes you
guessed it, Bermuda grass…The bane of my existence.

Staying in the front yard a little longer…
 
Which seed / weed will rule supreme?   “Weed will, Weed will, Weed will, flub a dub.”
Who asked you Bill and Ben?


Here is my battle-of-the-plants, Hell-Strip. I threw an all-out plethora of seeds
into this barren strip, just to see what would happen…wild flowers, amaranth,
hollyhocks you name it, if I had it, it went in here!
Look at this concoction!

Ah, Hahahahahahaaaaa!

 
There are numerous weeds in here as well, but do I care? Oh no,
not in here, this is chaos theory, survival of the mightiest, 
and I like it. The jungle continues to develop, and is
constantly full of surprises, more on this area as the
year moves on.

 

Now onto a few insects…

 
“Mmm my spots have got to be around here somewhere”!    
This was one really shiny lady!


“Once, twice, three times a lady”
(That was really bad, I know).
Now this song will resonate in your heads
as it did mine for 4.68hours..
You can thank me later. :-(


Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon istapa istapa (not a stutter)
Great detail accents on this bird. This particular Hairstreak has been in the wars.


“Aye, well, It better have been against the
English, ay lads?”

Oh be quiet William.


The Giant Swallowtails (Papilio cresphontes) are back,
busy laying their eggs on my mexican lime tree.

 
And I know nothing good can come from these huddling iridescent gents,
whomever they are!

Chores in the patch this last week were split up into:


 
Snail harvesting…of which there were many.


“Listen to him Ma. ESP thinks he knows about
chores! Talking about snail harvests and such!
Ha ha ha ha,
woof.

 
And naturally lots of  pruning…wait, not the palm! And surely not the sago, at least not there!

And to end…a couple of glazed flowers I shot on a trip to the Natural Gardener recently.


Pass the clotted cream please.

One last thing I need to do..
This one goes out to to “Side-Show-Bob”  
at Draco Gardens! :-)
http://dracogardens.blogspot.com/

 
Well I had to use your image Bob (left, hope you don’t mind).
And you did ask, after all! 



Stay Tuned For:
“Old Friends”
All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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~ by eastsidepatch on May 2, 2009.

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