This tomatillo is looking very cell like…
…a prisoner in its own membrane? And an early sign that Autumn is around the corner.
As we begin to emerge on the far side of the Texas summer, there are some new blooms waiting to take center stage.
My pride of Barbados flowers have all but gone, being replaced with purple and then brown curling seedpods. My evergreen wisteria now only has a few small purple clusters on it to remind me of the once potent “Grandma’s closet” aroma (not that I spend much time in such places you understand).
It is the time for the sages to once again remind us that the year is drawing on with its first wisps of purple just now beginning to show. This area has bounced back remarkably well considering the “Tahoe / house” incident and the trampling the area took as our house got repainted, such is the resilience of Salvia leucantha. I cut these Mexican bush sages back earlier this year like I normally do, but then went in for a second, less aggressive snipping about a month ago, this has resulted in a much tighter habit than I usually achieve for this time of year. I was concerned that this might delay blooming, but it appears not.
Here are the long lasting flower heads last year. I have a lot of this fuzzy plant in the Patch, I have contrasted this softness in my new planting scheme with three agaves that, in a year or two, will rise up above this sea of purple, spears held high.
“Stand Still and Deliver!”
I tried to get a decent shot of this huge grasshopper, but obviously struggled. The war paint markings on this insect were amazing but unfortunately every time I got close to it, just as the shutter was about to release, off it would jump higher and higher into some Buddha’s belly bamboo, eventually becoming out of reach. This was the best shot I got of it, it was enough to identify it as an “Obscure Bird Grasshopper”, (named because of their ability to fly rapidly over great distances).
An Old World species in this genus,
is noted for its swarming and migratory behavior…it is the locust of biblical plagues. Lucky for us the New World species are much less prone to swarming! Judging by the size of this one I think is is a female (about 3 inches from head to wingtip) she likes to devour plants in the citrus family, such as wafer ash and lime trees. Bird Grasshoppers will however eat many different kinds of broad-leafed plants.
This dandy highwaylady also can deliver a mean bite with its powerful jaws, and If held by the back, they will readily kick like a mule with their muscular thighs, this is not good because these creatures adorn large spines on the underside of its legs, these will draw blood if they catch you. I had no intention of messing with this one, even if I got close enough, which I didn’t.
…endless amounts of hacking through a large stand of bamboo. I love wielding my machete, even though it never seems to really work very effectively? It is like being in an old black and white, deep jungle trekking Tarzan film…of course, as we know in these movies, it invariably ends up pretty bad for the greedy white man hunting and collecting elephant tusks, as it should. In the movie I found myself starring in, tusks were substituted for giant timber bamboo culms, but the outcome was destined to be the same…and I am not referring to my odd posture that I am adorning, (I have been scalped by this gate way too many times), or having an “accident” in my pants like this picture misleadingly portrays. (I knew I should have gone to the bother of tying an iced turban)!
Lets just say that what was once my favorite large bamboo of choice is most definitely not anymore. Oh no, after last winters prolonged freezes, all of my well-established timbers took a beating, I have left them until now to see if any of the culms would have any semblance of recovery, but alas…
So I did what came naturally…
You guessed it,
You can see the dead culms before the felling began in the background on the above shot, a complete ugly mess. Culms were chopped…
culms were trimmed…
…and ideas what to do with them were hatched.
Here are all the culms cut to length with a layer of weatherproofing sealant applied to make them last longer.
I strapped them all to this ugly metal fence that I plan on replacing…I need a few more culms to completely hide it, but you get the idea. From now on it is Buddha’s belly bamboo for me if I need the height and stature of giant timber bamboo, the bellies breezed through the cold snap. I do not want to go through this jungle hacking nonsense again anytime soon. My timbers have pushed up some new weak growth, but after this escapade, my relationship with this mammoth grass has officially waned.
This Arizona ‘blue ice’ cypress cools things down, offering the illusion of a rather large waterfall falling into this rather small stock tank…(must not look at the sticker, must not look at the sticker, must n…)
wavering aquatic leechy wormy things in my papyrus stock tank perform an agitated dance.
What are these anomalies? Can planarians survive in this environment?
I hope you can see them past the reflections! Oh, and he was right, the tadpoles did die.
On this rather disgusting note which I invariably seem to finish on, enjoy some very odd:
Inspirational images of the week:
“Domsai is a tamagotchi for your desk. It is produced with craftsmanship in Nove, in the neighborhood of Bassano del Grappa (VI). Each Domsai has its own personality, each cactus has its own dome, tailor made and blowed, that differentiates it from the others”.
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intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.