“Jurassic Patch”

Remember a few posts back that I had been seeing a few small caves around the Patch?

Well today we noticed this particularly deep hole, a hole that was not there yesterday…I dropped a piece of decomposed granite into it, there was a delay, then I heard a splash as the rock hit water! I immediately backed away from the pot-hole. This warranted further investigation. The eldest hobbit was straight onto this.


She hunkered down to the sink-hole with a flashlight, then remembered that she had a better tool for the job…

…a tiny flashlight.

“We’re going in!”

We harnessed up and propelled ourselves into the dark pit, switching on our flashlights as we descended.

After landing in some shallow water at the base of the cavern, we turned around and our flashlights illuminated what had to be an ancient Naboo temple at the far end of the cavern.

“Fascinating ESP, it looks exactly like giant timber bamboo roots”.

Thanks for that Spock!

The organ-pipe architecture was staggering and housed small openings which I surmised were openings into the Naboo living quarters, a sort of cliff dwelling existence?

We also noticed a lot of snail shells scattered along the dank edge of the cave, perhaps the tribe is partial to escargot ?

I was pondering this ridiculous culinary possibility, when a horrendous piercing scream filled the cavern, we heard the crunching of large footsteps on snails… and they were drawing closer.

We glanced at each other then started to run.  We ran through some ancient reeds,

…past sharp, man-eating plants,

that would close in on themselves as we ran by.

We finally made it back to where our ropes were hanging from the cave entrance. Naturally my flashlight was dropped in typical Jurassic Patch fashion, just to build up some really irritating fake tension.  Half way up my rope I shone the beam back onto the cave floor…

and was shocked to see a fifty foot anole staring back up at me, it let out one final deafening scream, it’s tongue trying to latch onto my ankle.

“Oh, like you have problems ESP?”

We scrambled out of the cave entrance, and pulled up our ropes…top-side at last.  I placed a Texas holey rock over the cave entrance and continued with my weeding, hoping to bump into the Naboo to ask them about the temple.

Moving a little more sanely on:

Oil on Canvas?

Brushfoots and Swallowtails have started to appear in the Patch this past week.

Vanessa cardui

(Painted Lady) …I think.

All of them made an immediate bee line for the mountain laurel blooms that have now started to decline.

Vanessa atalanta

Red Admiral

This Swallowtail was attracted to the verbena…

which has got enormous in my middle cactus and succulent bed.

My purple leaf sand cherry

“Prunus Cistena!”

just keeps on developing more and more fragrant flowers, the pale pink blooms with burgundy centers that pick up the foliage color is a knock-out this time of year, and it creates a great contrast with the emerging green plants, like inland sea oats.  A great drought tolerant shrub for Texas color.

“I like it, I like it”…and yes that is compost at the side of his mouth, he got into a bag when I was planting some more bamboo muhly in my hell strip.  I hate to think what he did with it.

My other hobbit patiently held her three beans (magic beans) in a plastic egg while I constructed a grow teepee for them out of bamboo.  A bean was planted at the base of each pole. She administered the beans into the troweled-out holes like a pharmacist.  Now the painful wait for the beanstalk to grow.

She got her beans at the East Austin Garden Fair: “A Passion for Plants.” Unfortunately the weather made things feel like the event was being held in the Scottish Highlands rather then Central Texas, but we all had a great time.  I will be putting this event on our calender for future years.

“Ach! ye canny say that, its no like the highlands at a’, I canna believe ye would say such a….”

Oh shut your cake-hole William!

We walked away from the event with a bunch of freebies, frozen mouths and some great planting information.  I even got to watch a live south American cockroach crawl up it’s handlers sleeve to escape the cold…Brrrr in more ways then one! (Neck twinge only, for some odd reason).

One of my Texas Sages has suddenly acquired a lot of these nasty olive chappies.

Luckily there were also a whole load of ladybugs chomping (I hope on them) as fast as they could.  May your jaws ache with the feast, my dotted allies.

Other Springing things in the Patch this week.

Glossy foliage is emerging on my holly fern, all it needs is some sushi served on it’s leaves.

The first water lily of the year has surfaced.

This daisy never gets on my four nerves.

“Oh Ha ha ha ha ha! Hey Joe? We got a wise-guy blogging over here.”

The first amaranth is rising out of the decomposed granite…

as is the Hoja Santa, returning from the dead.

Ice plant wasting no time throwing in some shiny spring color.

Feather Grass and an illuminated loquat manuscript providing some textural contrast.

Another sinkhole, this one was full of aptly named…stonecrop.

Is that a baby grasshopper on this dwarf conifer?  What IS that?.  Talking of dwarf conifers how about this:

Adrian Bloom’s garden, Foggy Bottom, Bressingham, Norfolk, England, 1987-89

“I have never seen anything like it, so many conifers in one garden”.


“I cannot believe you did not include me anywhere in this Jurassic post ESP?”

Sorry Jeff, …no flies!

Stay Tuned for:

“Bread Rock”

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

  • Bob Pool March 26, 2010, 9:55 pm

    Chills were running down my neck while reading through your cave detecting exploits. In that dim light the Naboo couldn’t have seen the diferrence in you and an enemy. I could only picture you climbing the rope out with a porcupine arse full of darts.Uuuhhh,eeee, there’s that chill again. Your really packing a pair Phillip.

    I think your baby grasshopper may br a leaf hopper. His head looks a little pointed like theirs are.

    Look on my blog as I think the Hobbits will want to see the pictures I posted. I didn’t get East Side close but I got pretty close.

    Are you going tomorrow?

  • ESP March 26, 2010, 10:16 pm

    Hi Bob.

    “Chills, they’re multiplyin’!” (Grease)

    The pot-hole was a terrifying experience, lets just say I will not be abseiling down into another one anytime soon! luckily all of my Aloe vera made it through the winter, it came in really useful for all the posterior darts that my wife had to painfully extract…oh yes, she really was happy about my latest Patch adventure…not! …I am not one to complain:-)

    Wow, how about that Coral snake! I will be sure to let the hobbits see your post tomorrow…and what amazing color! They will get a kick seeing those images.

    Yes I will be there tomorrow, hopefully my trusty steed will make it, it has been leaking transmission fluid as of late! I think a stray Naboo dart may have punctured it, just a theory.


  • Les March 27, 2010, 4:35 am

    You and yours seem to have amazing adventures in the garden. Will the source of the sink holes remain a mystery for the ages?

    I love that daisy picture, great color, perspective and light.

  • ESP March 27, 2010, 8:43 am

    Hi Les.

    Yes quite the adventure indeed. I keep getting pestered to go on an expedition to the center of the pampas grass, who only knows what is lurking in there! The sink holes are happening because this granite was shoveled on top of a whole bunch of flagstone and rocks, either that, or it is the Naboo re-emerging from their caves after the winter?

    Thanks on the daisy picture.


  • katina March 27, 2010, 6:43 pm

    I second the awesomeness of the four nerve daisy picture. And the ultra closeup of the butterfly wing.

  • ESP March 27, 2010, 6:59 pm

    Thanks Katina.
    My two favorites too! Glad you liked the images. You will probably see some more of the four nerve daisy next week, it is just about to erupt into bloom…and I intend to be ready!

  • Jenny March 28, 2010, 5:22 pm

    No need for us to go and see Alice in Wonderland! Just pop over to the patch and follow you guys down the hole. Tell those plants to hold their horses until October.
    Glad you made the go go yesterday and I certainly left impressed with your design skills as though I didn’t know about them already. It was just a joke Philip- the chair this is. I won’t be having one at my house.

  • ESP March 28, 2010, 7:48 pm

    Hi Jenny.

    I am looking forward to seeing the new Alice in Wonderland…I think it will be an interesting movie visually, can’t wait! I just hope my garden will be as visually interesting come October as well, please let us have a humane, okay, I will settle for a semi-humane summer this year!
    I had a really fun day at the go go, great to see you and everyone again. I envisage your “chair” being planted up with swaths of ghost plant? No? :-)
    I look forward to our next get together, and thanks on the design front.


  • kathy April 4, 2010, 4:59 pm

    Dear ESP,
    I have missed you terribly. I don’t even remember when you went away, but suddenly noticed one day that you weren’t on LiveJournal anymore. I just posted something in the Succulent Community, and found the link to where you are. Boy O boy, I have alot of catching up to do, but I’m so glad I found you.

  • ESP April 4, 2010, 7:18 pm

    Hi Kathy. And Yea!!!!
    Yes I made the jump to being a Word Press self-hosted site some time ago, I am much happier controlling my own blogging destiny. So happy you have found me once again! Yes there would be quite a lot of posts to catch up on since we last wrote, I try and post once a week as a rule. I seem to struggle to comment on as many blogs as I would like to though, time is tight!

    I am so glad you reconnected with me and the Patch! So nice to hear from an old LJ friend.



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