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“A Day at the Races”

(lets out a barely audible snort)

Remember these tiny light bulb bugs devouring this paper wasp’s wing that I posted about some time ago?

Well I came across some more of these shy insects at the base of my cut back Mexican fire bush of all places and courtesy of http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2011/02/08/heteropteran-nymphs-resemble-red-light-bulbs/

who successfully identified them, I can now safely say they are:

Heteropteran Nymphs


(full-on snort) Largus species or Bordered Plant Bug.

Many phyophagous Heteropterans or “True Bugs” apparently scavenge dead insects in their immature stages. I struggled to get a good shot of them as you can see…very shy creatures!

Here is what the adult versions of them look like:

These bugs are the only ones I regularly see in my garden at this time of year, they are everywhere!

Moving on…

This week the ice melted and some intermittent warmer weather returned.

My fish remained very still in the deep dark icy waters of my stock tank, seemingly skeptical of the temporary warm reprieve.

Its warm, its freezing, its warm, its freezing…the three consecutive days of freezing temperatures this past week has taken it’s toll in the ESPatch :

Casualties have collapsed everywhere…aloes, agaves, (particularly agave americana),  and star gazer lilies, all look decidedly ill , some plants have even ruptured!

“Ach ESP Ye had tae say it, didn’t ye”?

Err, sorry William?







Yes I said ruptured.

This wounded agave was apparently trying to heal itself with the most amazing amber sap.

MEDIC!

The same agave (different leaf) had buckled so far over a split had developed in it’s flesh,

leaving it bleeding and bubbling from an open wound.

CLEAR!

I swabbed,  sprinkled on sulfa powder and swabbed some more but could not stop the bubbles.

In the end I had to give up, leaving the dying agave bleeding in the leaves that I should have picked up already, ruthless I know.

The prize for the most remarkable sight from the frost though, has to go once again to…

my Mexican lime tree.

The frost bitten foliage of this tree now shimmers like dragon scales.

A mammoth leaf drop is pending, a pity, as I rather like the way it currently looks.

Finally:

The fireworks exploding on this China berry,

and the massing plastic crowd, signified that today was

an impromptu race day.

“They’re under starter’s orders…

and they are off”…watch out for that notch in the plank, I mean hole in the road!

Co-pilots plotted their course,





the cars sped past some sad foxtail ferns and screamed around a massive celosia trunk.

The winner of the race was reportedly a local gal…

who celebrated her victory in her favorite Austin Tex-Mex restaurant with a lemonade and a cheese quesadilla.


Stay Tuned for:

Tickling Leopards”


All material © 2010 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late  (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.



4 comments…
  • Cheryl February 10, 2011, 8:56 am

    I ‘m sure you aren’t reading this; you are out there with your glue-gun making sure the Mexican lime remains “leafed”! Loved the Benny Hill music with the Darwin Award races and I think that was a very clever addition of the little creature in the corner of the fish pond. You are just too clever Philip! LOL

    Reply
  • ESP February 10, 2011, 10:17 am

    Hi Cheryl … you know me too well (hides glue gun behind back, tries to not look guilty) :-)

    I couldn’t resist the rally Darwin awards, some amazing escapes in there, especially the older gent at the end!

    I wasn’t sure if anyone would notice the Grindylow lurking in the murky waters, it blends in quite well.

    I apologize for the anti-spam, non-existent password issue, I am currently looking at other solutions to handle my spam and not erase my ham :-)

    ESP.

    Reply
  • jenny February 11, 2011, 6:53 am

    I’ll take a bet that those bordered plant bugs are not good. I saw a hatching of little black beetles the the day. I think they moved too early. Sorry about your plants. This year has been a stinker.

    Reply
  • ESP February 11, 2011, 10:13 am

    I’ll bet your right “Jenny the ultimate squisher of bad bugs” :-)
    This year has been a stinker alright. Out of all those hundreds of pups I planted from my agave vilmoriniana stalk I think I now have about 10 left! Many of the ones in the ground turned to mush, oh well. I was also surprised how bad the weather hit my oleanders, they will pull through but only just!
    Ready for the Spring now!
    ESP.

    Reply

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