“Creatures of the Deep”

Today, while I was once again thinning out my
water lilies, (it is a weekly chore at this time of year),
this rolled up from my pond’s murky depths to
greet me. 


My first thought went to the Nananaboobo tribe…had they performed some horrible
lobotomy ritual under the glow of a tiki-light near my pond? I knew they were capable of it.
It was about the right-sized brain after-all, perhaps they had captured a tribal advisory?
My mind wandered.

“Brains, more brains”.
These water-lily tubers are just plain bizarre, very B-movie! 
I should dry one of them out and put it under a tiny glass dome.

Chain Propagation from a Tuber:
Plant one of these brains in a 3 or 4 inch pot, with some soil-and-fertilizer mixture. 
Pop it back into the pond with the rim just below the surface of the water. The tuber will
send up a shoot, and the shoot will quickly become a small, floating plant. At the point
where it rises from the soil in the pot, a spreading root system will have begun to develop.

To obtain your plant, push your fingers into the soil below the root system and pinch in two
the shoot which still connects the brain and new plant. The separated plant can then be potted.
In due time the pinched-off shoot will develop a new plant, and it can be pinched off, too,
as soon as it becomes big enough to pot.

My last lily shot….I promise!
With this treatment, an active tuber can produce
three, four, or even more plants right around this
time of the year! You could have your own
water lily nursery in no time!
I just wish I had more water to plant more brains! 

Mountain Laurel seed-pods.
One member of my “tribe” is getting very excited about these Mescal Bean seed-pods. They are now as big as they are going to get and as soon as they dry up and rattle, it will be out with the dremel drill and a necklace will be strung (and then quickly wrapped up and given away as a present).

Why quickly?
Well, the Mescal Bean seeds, if swallowed, cause cytisine poisoning, very unpleasant, includes nausea and seizures. Kids are naturally drawn to these seeds due to the bright red, jelly-bean look, but as little as one seed can be fatal. I pick all of mine and discard them before they get too crusty, open up, and start dropping their toxic M&M’s onto the ground. 

This herb has been used therapeutically since ancient Roman and Greek times, the Greek physician Claudius Galenus first recorded its use.

While I was taking this shot, I could hear deep in this horsetail forest the distant sound
of drums and the faint smell of meat cooking on an open fire…or perhaps it was stobili?

Stobili are highly
appreciated as a
spring delicacy
in Japan where
they are called tsukushi.

Here is the horsetail stobili             tsukushi…sprinkle on rice and enjoy!
(photo courtesy of wikipedia).

Another creature of the deep…

comes from this succulent,  Haworthia coarctata
The texture on the leaves looks and feels just like a starfish, it really does!
Even the form is similar.


Talking of mines, this whimsical
design caught my attention. About
time someone tackled the ubiquitous,
yet inane bath-plug.

This peacock also caught my attention recently at the Austin Zoo:

At the luxurious banquets of European kings and queens of the Renaissance,
there was an epicurean delight consisting of stuffed roast birds one inside the
other …think “Hudson’s on the Bend” on steroids. 
The outermost shell invariably was the glorious peacock.

When I was a kid, our neighbors “up the hill” (well it was Scotland) used to
keep and rear a whole assortment of fancy birds, it was almost a zoo, both
inside the house and out. As a child my stomach would sink with the news
that we were to have dinner next door. I used to dread the steep winding 
walk up the hill, as about half way up, without fail, their dogs (including a
massive, and I mean massive, St Bernard, and numerous black labs,
and a few others) would barrel down on us, using the slope and their
inherent slobber to their advantage. I felt like prey.

This used to turn into a twice daily nightmare
when my neighbors would go away on vacation leaving 
our family in charge of looking after all their birds,
and animals.

They had a large flock of guinea foul that as
a teenager I loathed…they would,
without fail, every morning…(way too early),
wander down the hill and as a flock stand right
outside of my bedroom window to start their
incessant screaming and chattering. They also had
the most aggressive bird I have witnessed to date…

the dreaded brown eared pheasants,
they really were pure evil, we all
hated entering that cage.

I relay this story as one day, just before my neighbors returned
from vacation, we went out for the day. On our return we pulled
into the driveway to witness a mass of eyed feathers scattered
all around our golden labrador’s kennel…we feared the worst.
The dog had grabbed the peacock by it’s tail feathers,
and I mean all of it’s feathers. Luckily for us the bird lived,
albeit minus it’s tail. Not being superstitious, we had peacock
feather arrangements all around our house for the next
thirty years.

It is believed the peacock feather has an evil eye at the end.
Argus, of Greek legend, says a hundred eyed monster was
turned into a peacock with all its eyes in it’s tail. In the West it
is generally believed feathers brought indoors for
decoration are unlucky.

Another flamboyant feather-er in the patch this week belongs to my…
Pride of barbados. I got a few e-mails asking what the blooms
looked like after my last post, so here it is.
(Absolutely the last POB pic of the year too!)

I have been cutting the new paddles off this cactus for quite a few years now, to force the base node to swell.  I must say this takes ages! The subtle undulations of form in these paddles create a tiny art installation.

A very animated scene.
So why try to swell a single paddle you ask?
Well to cut some tribal faces into them, naturally…

“My God Man,
you’re serious!”

After I had located and sterilized my surgical scalpel,
I put on my scrubs and made the first shaky incision…
The first eye teared into existence, then the second, and finally
the mouth, at this point I think the cactus had an allergic reaction
to the general anesthetic. There was a lot of “ewwwing” going on
at this point…totally ridiculous!
I found a large drill-bit actually worked best for carving the eyes,
(must remember this for future cacti facial constructions).
I am going to wait a while to see how the “wounds” heal before .
I resume my “procedures.”

A Hahahahahahahaha!

I wonder if you could graft one of those
tiny water lily “brains” to the top of one
of these carved enlarged paddles?
Perhaps the lily roots would get enough
moisture from inside the cactus to survive?
Now THAT would be twisted!…
A cactus with a crazy face carved into it,
with a tiny brain “living” on the outside of it,
adorning water lily blooms as a decorative
element for it’s bald, green scalp…

I have to try it, no rest for the wicked!
Now, where did I leave that scalpel?

Other things going down on the East-Side this week…
Fresh new growth on a Sago Palm.
The bi-coloration at this time of year looks really tropical.

The smell from this wisteria makes me hum old Bauhaus tunes,
and rake out my trusty old black Goth cape.

Even a lone anole, lodging in the underbelly of a canna lily,
came out to see what was the source of the aroma.

“Mmmust get over there”!
This decaying sunflower must also have an alluring aroma, at least for this nasty chap.
It was really funny watching this bug as it leaned and contemplated the jump,
accompanied by his little friend “ant”, who was egging him on.

Remember the bog cyprus that I cursed
a few postings back?…

Well I looked in on it closely today, I couldn’t believe my eyes,
fresh new growth had started to push out all of the brown!
I think my ten days of continuous IV “drip” treatment is working.
This poor little tree has been through fall and another spring
already and it is only June! I bet it can’t wait for the winter to
finally have a long, well-earned dormancy!

June is the time for these though. These sun-golds are producing reliably right now.
Onto another orange…

I have never noticed that on landing the two smaller front feety thingies,
retract sharply and tuck up around the neck. This dragon finally got
comfortable with me standing next to it’s favorite resting
spot on this canna lily.
Check out his goatee!

This This is a male Neon Skimmer.

(Libellula croceipennis)

The females are a light brown color.
I also caught a shot of one of their baby dragons,
this one really was tiny!

Note the two distinct stripes on it’s abdomen…What is this, anyone?
click to enlarge

Don’t be silly ESP, a dragon it may perhaps be, 
but this one only has two wings!

I am retiring from active service.

And finally, there is a new photographer taking over the ESP blog,
as you can see in the gazing ball…

All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Inspirational image of the week:
Designer: Diarmuid Gavin..a balloon sellers dream garden!


~ by eastsidepatch on May 30, 2009.

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