Syrphid Fly? or Waspy, green, grass-hoppery weird bee thingy, summat or nothin’?
This adult Syrphid Fly (I hope I am right with this identification) is unlike any I have ever seen in the Patch…It is green! What manner of creature is he trying to mimic? Most Hoverflies mimic bees and wasps to protect themselves from predators, this one even had a “buzz” sound as it flew around, trying to be even more convincing…but green? I know it is a fly as it has only two wings, short antenna, and large compound eyes.
Like a multitude of insects in the garden this week, it was completely engrossed in my fragrant mist flowers that are now going at full tilt, stinking up a whole section of the garden…now am I the only one but is the term “fragrant” used extremely “loosely” to describe the overpowering fragrance of this plant? I may not care for the stench of it too much, but the insects, the moths, and brown nosers seem to love it.
Can someone ID this bug?
Here is the mist flower its all its cloudy glory.
The favorite past times of the week, have been moth catching and handling…
…a spot of entomology…
and some obligatory bubble fountain fondling, his face says it all!
A Great Purple Hairstreak,
this has to be one of our most beautiful southern butterflies. Although it is most commonly known as the great purple hairstreak, it has no purple on it. The brilliant iridescent scales on the upper surface of the wings from which it gets its name are blue not purple. This is also a new visitor in the patch, the “fragrance” is pulling them all in it seems!
Here is the fragrant mist flower earlier in the year, with Mexican petunia, a hint of Barbados, and a loquat as a backdrop. As I was sitting down in front of the mist flower today, taking bug pictures, I could hear the audible popping of the petunia seed pods as the sun heated them up… throwing their seeds as far as they can muster, what a great explosive technique!
Next stop for me: Gregg’s mistflower!
has also now made it to the ranks of full bloomer. The dark foliage really sets off the purple blooms on this very “classy” looking plant. I plan to get a bunch of these planted at the far end one end of one of my beds, the dark foliage backdrop and height will work well for some lower growing frontal “poppers”…something that does not bloom at the same time, Mmm?
The way the blooms weave their way through the yucca is an added visual bonus.
Here are mine with a line of Mexican feather grasses in the front, the embedded yucca and a few arching lemon grasses, and of course a few random amaranths thrown in for good measure. The sotol (far left) is in a different bed, but ohhh I can see the future so clearly now! I also have a young sotol planted in the middle of this bricked circular bed, (almost hidden in this picture). When mature it will almost fill the diameter of the brickwork, while still allowing all the smaller plants to fill-in around the edges… the taller “antler” plants will be moved.
Why do sotols have to take so long to grow anyway? It seems to take them forever to get going then, all of a sudden…
Oh yes… I have been flailing around the Patch like Tom Hanks in the hilarious “bee scene” in the movie “The Money Pit” of late, why? Because of these…
“Why you little…”
I am so tired of the mosquitoes this year, is it just me or has this been a “bumper” (ahem) year? To make matters worse they are also coming through the “Dude where’s my Car?” hole in the side of our house where the Tahoe came unexpectedly into our living-room for some very late afternoon tea some weeks back. An average movie-watching evening in the Patch now consists of everyone sporadically slapping themselves about their heads. To the outside world, we must look like lunatics through our windows. This endless slapping is always preceded by either a disappointed “Uurrgh”! Or “Got One”! At which point we all have a
“Walton’s moment”, all happy and supportive and such. Interestingly, and ironically, we used to have to slap our TV to get a clear, snow-free, reception, but since the collision (it happened directly behind our TV) it has miraculously fixed itself… amazing what a Chevy Tahoe impact can do for some temperamental consumer electronics.
We have even started to spray repellent on the hobbits at bedtime, it has got that bad – Frodo uses a whole bottle of spray at a time just to cover his rather large feet! The mosquitoes are eating us alive. Last night one particularly annoying mosquito became obsessed with the inside passages of my right ear, you know how you can hear them buzz when they get in there? This one kept it up for hours, almost asleep…bzzzzz, almost asleep…bzzzz… etc.etc. I can’t wait for a cold snap to kill them once and for all, can you tell?
Purple amaranth growing to great heights. The pine cone cactus provided some eerie Halloween atmosphere in my middle bed, with it’s slender ghostly fingers. The Jewels of Opar (bottom left), seem to make it into every post I write recently. I did learn today that it’s nickname is Old Lady Hat Pin, because the thin stalks and flower pods resemble the old fashioned long hat pins ladies used to use to hold their hats in place.
Ripening satsumas. Almost there, this little tree is buckling even more now as the fruit have swollen, mmm, maybe that is the reason to thin them out somewhat? Anyway it is going to be a great fall harvest, to be exact 94! Give or take one or two.
Finally I would like to give my sincerest thanks to Linda and the super friendly film-crew at CTG for entering bravely into the ESP last Monday. The Naboos finally allowed everyone right-of-passage, after all the paperwork was completed. A lot of mouth clicking later we were all guaranteed that no-one would get hit with a poisoned blow dart…something that I have feared for weeks. The morning of the shoot, before anyone arrived, I stealthily walked slowly to my shed. I calmly removed a roll of silver duct tape. Cutting a length from the roll, I walked slowly back up to where the Botox Lady was loudly “resting”. I knelt like a knight beside her stone head, my hands unwillingly approaching her rather large snoring mouth, my duct tape at the ready… you will not believe what happened to me next…She…
Stay Tuned for:
“Silence is Golden”
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