“Men in Blackfoot daisies”

“Show yourself, we know who you really are, no point in pretending to be a daisy any longer”…

The Men in Blackfoot daisies turned up in the Patch shortly after my eldest snapped this shot in the sky, not being a conspiracy theorist or UFO advocate, I was initially skeptical of her proud “Its an alien, it’s an alien” claim…but then I decided to look at the picture in more detail, in fact, a lot more detail.

I downloaded a premium digital enhancement program online and zoomed into the pixels faster than Captain Picard could say…

“Pull my finger number one”.


I was shocked to see what the image revealed…



I zoomed in 1000 percent:

I zoomed in 2000 percent:

And at maximum magnification I was shocked to see this “Grey” staring back at me out of one of the UFO’s portholes.  He appeared to be scouring our planet with somewhat envious eyes.

“Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.”

Enough nonsense.

This week in the Patch my two strawberries ripened and were devoured immediately. I grew a single strawberry plant this year just for this moment.  The hobbits have been following this plants progression from flower to green fruit, to blush and finally to a ripe red…well almost ripe fruit.  They could not believe it when I said today “go ahead, pick them”, as I have been constantly telling them not to bruise them and touch them as they developed!  They both looked at me with a “is he serious” expression, as though they were getting away with something… then quickly knelt to pick the fruit, fearful that I might suddenly change my mind!

The strawberries were gone instantly…

…even though they were still a little sour apparently!

Sour they might have been but nothing tastes better then something you have waited and waited for.  My next vegetable experiment for them?  Eggplants…  more on this later.

Can you tell I like Mexican feather grass?

The slightest breeze in the patch makes you feel as though you are at sea. This grass adds so much animation and graceful movement to a landscape…

It lines my pathways…

it creates natural theatrical curtains, for who else, but a center stage sotol.

It contrasts great with spikey plants like this soft leafed yucca, but one of my favorite combinations…

has to be feather grass and Gaura

Gaura lindheimeri

I have the white and the pink cultivars. This plant moves around as much as the grasses hence one of its common names: “whirling butterflies”, and if you look real close you will see that the panicles on the feather grass pick up on the pink/purple coloration of the gaura blooms. (Adjusts nerdy glasses)

Oh yes I will be dotting many more gaura around these grasses for quite some time to come. Did I mention how tough this little plant is?

Another new combination I am itching to get going is…

Gulf Coast penstemon and artemesia.  I think this should make a great combination, the penstemon being the perfect height to rise out and above the silver artemesia.

Moving on…

The Prince of the inland sea-oats is straining to keep his pale head above them all.

A toadstool spore some how managed to develop high up on the wooden ladder into my post oak tree.  I am surprised that the ESP witches have not used it yet in one of their hideous spells.

The color on the leaves of this African Hosta

Drimiopsis maculata

is quite eye-catching right now.

The African Hosta is a native of Africa, but it is not technically a true hosta. The advantages of this plant over it’s more well-known namesake, is that it holds up to our hot, Texas climate. During cold snaps, it will freeze to the ground, but when things warm up in the Spring, the fresh new leaves will have a distinct mottled look like this one.  The leaves become more evenly colored as it matures.

I unearthed this colony of pill bugs today, I was about to ignore them when I happened to notice the intricate markings on their armor.

I was told by a Naboo elder that the story of the entire universe is written on the backs of pill bugs. He told me that each plate hieroglyph is unique and if you laid out all the pill bugs on the planet in exactly the right order, on the blank pages of a rather huge book, there would be a coded message that would liberate and save the entire human species.  Who am I to argue? And what better creature to carry the message through the ages than the ancient Armadillidium vulgare

Okay, perhaps her!

Stay Tuned for:

“One Too Many Beers”

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



  • Jenny April 21, 2010, 5:33 am

    That is some imagination brewing at the patch. UFOs indeed. Well you are just part of the US population who believe we have been visited by aliens! The French have the least number of believers. As to the pill bugs they just got an overdose of pollen in their diet this year. I even have these same marks on my body! You really do have some interesting plants. The African hosta- Is this a shade plant? I have a little shade that could do with a bit of brightening. The feather grass is really superb. I wonder how high it will grow?

    Hi Jenny, Interesting that the French are the unbelieving nation on the planet!
    The African hostas do tolerate shade…quite a small plant, so you would need quite a few to cover an area, but I like it, and it has been totally reliable over the years…dies to the ground but always re-emerges in the spring. I am sure the feather grass is at full flight right now, if it keeps growing to the size of a pampas, I will be concerned and contacting national gardening magazines :-)
    Cheers J.

  • Frankie April 21, 2010, 6:27 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your garden and your humor. Your blog makes me laugh and what’s could be more important in life — to have fun and a great garden. Thanks!

    Hi Frankie.
    Thank you for visiting the Patch, and happy you find the Patch amusing! I know I do..that last picture of Riker still makes me chuckle with his expression.

  • Amanda April 21, 2010, 9:13 am

    Loving the Mexican feather grass. Does it require full sun? I’m assuming it is a native. I have small, tiny, little patch of sun in my front yard that I was hoping to fill up with pretty, contrasting grasses. Right now we have a little blue stem. Siiiiiiigh.

    I love your photos too, I’m just beginning to learn about photography (I used the macro function for the 1rst time ever yesterday). Is there something special about your point’nshoot that you recommend to others?

    Hi Amanda.
    The feather grasses like most ornamental grasses do prefer full sun, it tends to get a little “floppy” in shady areas but I always push the boundaries. This grass also readily self-seeds, but I have not found this a real problem in Austin. I just pull-out the seedlings where I do not want them.

    There is nothing about my small point-and-click camera that is special other than the size, and the fact that it is ALWAYS in my jean pocket and on-hand when I see something. I know all of it’s settings like like the back of my hand at this point, (an important factor to get the best out of any camera).
    One day I may get a professional camera…perhaps.

  • Bob Pool April 23, 2010, 8:24 pm

    What a great post. The picture of Water Bug, errr, uuhh, I mean “the grey”, is just too much. The look on his face is strange, almost alien. I’d keep a close eye on him as he grows up.

    The pictures of the pill bugs are great. I have an extremely hard time with macros. It may be the camera or it might be me. I took pictures of a water boatman this morning and all the pictures were perfect. This evening I was taking pictures of a tarantula and none were perfect and only a couple were even good.

    The gaura/feather grass combo is great. I like rock rose blooms/artemesia combo. I get some good combos in the garden but it’s only by accident.

    Hi Bob. I agree, I will be keeping a close eye on the “grey” as he “matures”. I have a suspicion he is already utilizing some form of mind control! I look forward to seeing your water boatman pictures…wait,
    Leah has something to say…

    Hey, Bob,
    it’s Leah. When can you come to the patch?! Do we need to extend a formal invitation to you and your honey? How about a Sunday afternoon… we will feed and water you, and you can give us plant and “water-bug” advice. And, by the way, I might be ten pounds heavier by then. ( You know how the camera lies!) This Sunday, the next? You tell us.


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