“Staring through Windows”

“M m must have water”!

The frosting on this window, at least viewed through
squinted eyes with a healthy imagination, offers the
fragile illusion that if you ventured outside, you would
a) survive and
b) be met with an icy blast of inclement weather.

Not to me though, I know exactly what life is like “OUT THERE”
and I refuse to go there anymore. The heat is only barely
tolerable inside the long-leaf pine log cabin,
that we call our house, and that is with the AC cranking
at full velocity!

Windows are for watching, little areas of transparency to
look through and let your mind wander, a place to day-dream
of frosty mornings, and not think about our umpteenth day
of hundred degree heat.

The vultures are circling around the ESP.

I often push an eye (if the glass isn’t too hot) against this little magnifying glass.
It is like peering through a badly prescribed monocle.
I cannot really see what is going on in the garden through this spy-glass 
but it does look like you are witnessing the world
through the mechanical eye of a Darlek!

That alone keeps me coming back for another peek.
(I have given up ever seeing rain through it after all).

My garden may look sort of green through the looking glass,
but a closer inspection, and a life threatening venture
outside reveals…

the stark condition of my side bed.
This strip of land had a foot of mulch on it at the
start of the year to regulate the soil temperature.

For squawking out loud, even the Grackles are gasping out for air.
This dark lord always lies in waiting for me to fill up the birdbaths
that evaporate in approximately 6.5 minutes, the birdshave to be fast.
The squirrels are so desperate right now that they 
practically jump on my back,
canteens at the ready.

“Hey cut it out ESP…not funny”

I will try to make this the last time I will moan
about the heat, at least for this year.
I am beginning to bore my feather spitting self! 
I am off to cool off in my redneck pool! Well perhaps one more little moan…
I had my fist pool leak / duct-tape incident this last week.
Well, It just wouldn’t be summer unless I was having a
heat related, near-death experience hunting for a tiny tear
in the plastic fabric of a rather large and
cumbersome object. I always seem to be
involved in these types of futile activities every
year during the hottest part of a Texas afternoon!


Remember this relaxing activity I performed about this time last year?
I was almost devoured alive, even before the heat-stroke got me.


De ja vous.

Looking out of the back window.
The large post oak really helps to regulate the temperatures for at least half
of my property, and it does help to slow evaporation in my pond down.

These cast iron plants, or Iron Plant, Barroom Plant,
Aspidistra elatior
do not look like they have such a tough demeanor
at the moment, post oak or no post oak shade protection.

These plants have a bit of a reputation around town:
But right now they are looking considerably more…

I have seen patches of this hard-case dropping all
around my neighborhood, completely erased to a
grilled heap of crispy bacon on the ground.

Aspidistra is Greek, meaning “small round shield”,
(The name actually describes the stigma of the plant).

Looking out of the front window.
All these drought show-offs (a lot of rosemary) have
fared really well, with the minimum of water 
through these troubled times.

Naturally it is still too cold for my opuntia!
I continue to keep hacking away at the base of this monster, to
get more of a vertical “tree-like” growth habit.
I still have a long way to go before I get to the
size and form of the specimen Germi found:

This succulent is faring the temperatures so well,
it is even developing pups…

Bryophyllum daigremontianum.
(Mother of Thousands) “Alligator”
I thought it worthy of a few more shots, just for it’s valor, in the face of hardship.

“Aye that it does, was it’s valor
 against the English by any chance?”
Don’t start William.

Little lines of small molars are painfully waiting to fall out of it’s gum-line,
ready to grow their own roots.

This plant originates from southwestern Madagascar, and it is prolific!
The mother of thousands is considered viviparous. This means it
grows plantlets along the leaf’s edges. When each plantlet can survive
on its own, it then falls off the main leaf to grow.

Look at how much “Bill and Ben, the holey rock
have grown!
It looks like they may have adopted some new children of their own.
This canna lily is still looking as hot as the weather in my front bed.


It has got huge this year due to the trickle water-feed I have
been administering to a bog cyprus I transplanted earlier
in the year. It looked like the cyprus was going to survive
its upheaval, then I made the fatal mistake of moving the
“dripping” to the stock tank that contains my golden bamboo.
Within two days the poor thing looked like this, once again!

The light brown areas are where the new growth used to be.
I have the drip feed back on it…but I am not holding my breath.

Moving On…
The highly toxic seeds in these mountain laurel seed pods
are almost ready to be cracked open and strung into fine,
albeit deadly, necklaces and bracelets.
I have it on the highest authority that the ESP witches have
condoned this activity, and want to offer “suggestions” as to
the specific individuals that should receive one for Christmas.
I am a little concerned.

What crazy gnarled hands and fingers these seed pods have.

I never cease to be amazed at the speed of growth from the culms on this Giant Timber
Bamboo. The monster culm, right, has for some reason developed an urge to head right…
who is going to argue!
On its current trajectory, it is expected to miss my neighbors roof by about three feet.
I cannot believe that it is already approaching six feet in height.

A couple more culms from the same clump, these are aiming
toward my house!

The relatively new succulent and cactus “middle bed” continues to thrive,
it is filling in quite nicely with only a few major casualties. Here it is in the
dappled shade of the post oak, late afternoon.

And ooohh for the cooling power of green!

An indoor grasshopper disrupted a couple nights of TV and had
us all ducking for cover on our lazy-boys. It was so fast you could
not see it.
I was just happy that it was a grasshopper!

Baby anoles are all over the place right now. This one was tiny.

I recently found a whole buch of these:
Okay I exaggerate, but they do look like impact craters nonetheless,
and there were lots of them.
As I got in close with my phone to take the picture, 
I thought about that really bad movie “Tremors.”

There was movement when I approached, in the very bottom
of one of the craters.
Brrrr (left knee twitch).
What is going on here?
Is this the work of some type of crater ant?
Spiders perhaps?

And I know it is not the Clangers!

Stay Tuned For:

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized  intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and punishable by  late  (and extremely unpleasant) 14th century planet Earth techniques.

Inspirational Image of the Week:

Rooftop Design: Christopher Bradley Hole.


~ by eastsidepatch on July 25, 2009.

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