This week in the Patch has been alive with the rather flatulent sounding flying antics of these large bumbling beetles. Loads of them. The short journey to my garden shed has had me ducking, hopping, and occasionally screaming like a young girl as these beasts of burden try to desperately control their flight paths, occasionally dive bombing me like blundering wildebeests on the wing. When navigational and flying skills were handed out, these Figeater beetles (also known as the green fruit beetle or fig beetle)…
…apparently missed the entire meeting, they probably just got “turned around” and then distracted by a fig or peach tree on the way. I witnessed one hit into my back porch with such velocity, I swear I could hear the wind get knocked out of it…it audibly wheezed, gathered itself, before going on it’s random way in a kind of stunned, sideways flying fashion…“I’m alright, I’m alright…meant to do that…doing okay now.”
They have turned up this week in plague-like proportions. Figeater beetles are oftenconfused with the green June beetle ,their appearance is quite similar, but the green June beetle is smaller and as the name suggests they are generally witnessed earlier on in the year. To make identification even harder, the only possible geographical crossover of both species occurs right here in the state of Texas. It is a member of the scarab beetle family.
I rather like these blundering iridescent beetles, as do my kids who have been running around catching them in their butterfly net…and those legs and front pincer feet (top image, brr) are as formidable looking as this science fiction splitting datura seed pod…
I have a tray strategically situated under this “ready to hurl” spiny seed pod. What an amazing sight, there must be hundreds of seeds here ready to go “Blah” on my decomposed granite pathway. It is ridiculous that I now consult my wife…“do you think I have the tray positioned in the right place?’ We both look at the seed pod from various angles and position the tray accordingly…“left a bit, yes, right there”… until we agree. I have already planted out a lot of these seeds in my hellstrip.
“Aye, look at her, she is about tae have a core dump ESP, she’s gonna blow!”
“Ach, ah canna’ believe yer using Scotty’s fake Scottish accent and vulgarities, instead of mine now ESP!”
With the forecast of bad weather on the horizon I thought I should go ahead and get some plants in the ground for one of my clients. I pulled into a nursery, got a bunch of plants and as I approached my trusted steed to load up, I noticed that something was not as it should be…
I have no idea how or when this hole in my window appeared…as if my pick up wasn’t red-neck enough already. It now looks completely ridiculous with dwarf miscanthus grasses poking out the side and a huge Buddah’s belly protruding five feet beyond my tailgate (asomewhat disheveled turban naturally completing the scene). What made the situation even worse was that every time I went over a bump…well exactly.
So how do I try to start to summarizewhat has happened this past week in central Texas? We went from scorching dry conditions…
…to hurricane Hermine, and Hermine was not going to be satisfied until she had packed a punch with lots and lots and lots of rain. Oh, and did she deliver!
Some areas around Austin ended up at around the 8″ mark at the end of a night and day of sustained heavy rains. My pathways turned into running streams. I could hear the spirals of the hurricane hit my metal roof in waves whilst I was lying in my bed grinning like an insane Cheshire cat.
This midnight wandering is always followed by some predictable groaning…“No, no, no…Go back to bed, its late”…shortly before everyone immediately ends up in our bed…(the ESP / Walton’s ‘norm in a storm’ reaction)!
When this happens, my five year old daughter transforms immediately into a rugby union scrum-half, she proceeds to take full-advantage of her luxurious (I’m in my parents bed) position and for no apparent reason proceeds to repeatedly kick me in the kidneys until I am teetering on the edge of my side of the bed, bruised, battered and curled into a submissive fetal position. It does not matter how I react or try to anticipate her abusive nocturnal habits, over (subconscious) time, she always has me in a check mate position (the edge of the bed) by approximately 4am. (A number that is ironically comparable to the strategic chess / body moves it usually takes her to get me there).
She is a Russian Master!…Paige Nosleepnifcofv.
Naturally this is perfect timing on her part to totally ensure that I break all natural biorhythms, ensuring, once again, complete sleep deprivation. The ‘quacking-goose’ I-phone alarm goes off at precisely the moment that I fall back to sleep…6:00am – kindergarten…Ahhh.
Back to the Patch…
My Celosia on the other hand had buckled over onto the sidewalk in the soggy conditions. I placed a few large rocks at their bases to support them. I am hoping they will regain their composure as we dry up a little.
The returning and reflected sun hit this gazing ball perfectly, illuminating the underside of the leaves of my Mexican lime tree that has made a pretty decent return after I cut it back to the ground after last winter’s freezes.
This Mexican Petunia immediately responded to having its large underground container filled up with the wet stuff.
I will leave you all to contemplate this rather mysterious scene from my garden…
It looks like a bunch of tiny red light bulbs devouring some paper wasps wings?
Inspirational image of the week:
The balconies of the “Cactus House” apartment building in Rotterdam were designed to maximize outdoor gardening space for tenants. The splaying stack of slabs creates big terraces for gardening and the irregular shape allows sun to enter from multiple angles.
I have been meaning to do this for a while…
Stay Tuned for:
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