Alien Grub, Cushaw Stretches Its Arms

Oh my gosh, what a great morning!  It’s about dang time, too.

The bus schedule has been reliable three days straight.  Kids are in the swing of it, getting themselves ready with minimal effort on my part.  It’s all about to change – the main road exiting our neighborhood will be closed temporarily for construction of a new toll road.  The “Houston cancer” has spread outward and is now directly upon us.  So much for moving “out to the sticks.”

Once the kids are on the bus, I go out to have a look at what’s ready to pick in the garden.  Still pulling bell pepper, though the plants are starting to wind down.  I walk over to the new garden beds. Remember?  The ones with the funky colored foam mats?

Well, guess who’s taken up residence already?

Good Mornin’, Sunshine!

Over the weekend, half of those mats came up, their temporary function to smother grass having been accomplished.  Time to put something more bio-degradable down in their place.  In usual fashion, I “dumpster-dived” a bunch of giant cardboard boxes from the recycle center, and hauled four wheelbarrows full of mulch to place on top of that – nearly all that’s left from the February chip pile.

It was hot, only one bed got done, the second of which I’ll save for the up-and-coming cooler weekend.  When temps are still in the mid-90’s, I tend to work in short bursts.  This weekend, we’re expecting a cool front – that means the 80’s.  Heck – we might have to bring out the tent for some backyard camping.

To recap, these veggie beds are made entirely from shrub clippings, turf lawn clippings, fallen leaves, twigs, cardboard, and compost.  I’m relocating my garden area so I can have some more elbow room and to escape a bermuda grass invasion.

Lasagna Beds – One Down, One to Go
Do you spot the little bit of green to the far right?
Click the picture, zoom in, and find it…CUSHAW!

Lasagna means no mixing, no tilling, just layering, and the good ole’ leg-and-shoulder workout. Satisfied that the grass underneath was sufficiently choked out, I finished it off with a 2-cu-ft bag of humus ($2, Lowe’s), and for grins, threw down a handful of cushaw seeds, and walked away.

Funny, those seeds?  They just know what to do.

Go away, Little Lady, they tell me, and take care of your family and stuff on the inside.  I got this, Babe.  I can git ‘r done.

That’s why I love plants.  And in a little less than three weeks, the new relocated garden beds are officially up and running.

A white ibis comes to check me out.  He wasn’t too happy when I put the camera on him.

Curious White Ibis

On the other side of the yard, in the old garden space where the tomatoes used to reside, six cantaloupe are setting up shop and trellising upward.  I dropped those seeds into the ground just a couple of weeks ago.  I’m crossing my fingers that the sisal twine will hold the weight of the fruits – I may have to improvise later if they get too heavy.

Climbing Cantaloupe
Bell Pepper Still Producing
It’s What’s For Breakfast!

Still no sign of the green beans.  Yet.  But the broccoli sprouts (seeds dropped last week) are doing their yoga stretches.

Broccoli Sprouts
What’s This I See? Another Volunteer?
What Will it Be? More Pumpkin?

The ruby-throat hummingbird migration is back in full swing on our back porch.  Remember how many of them were here this time last year?  Hundreds, I tell you.  It was amazing.  There was literally a queue of 30-40 hummers on a 10-seater.  If we have the same volume of them as we did last year, we’ll set up a “hand feed” station for the kids.  I’ll record the video of, of course, and share it.  ‘Cause that’s what I do.

Sitting on the swing, it’s not unusual for a couple of males to spar all the way down to the ground inches from my feet.  They’re viciously territorial.  In fact, it’s rare to see more than one on a feeder at a time – as soon as one perches to feed, two more swoop in to chase him off.

Hey Dudes!  I laugh and yell at them, like they’re my kids.  There’s three full feeders, a gallon of nectar, for crying out loud!  It’s like my kids with popsicles.  There are only so many pomegranate flavor.  The battle is on when there’s only one left and the loser always gets stuck with lime.  (That’s my favorite flavor, actually.)

Ah heck, I have to post the video here, again, because I’m sure most of you haven’t seen it yet. (Note to Email Users:  This is a video, not a picture.  View it at the blog.)

To top off the day (for me and the kids), I found the biggest ox beetle grub I have ever seen.  It’s quite possibly the biggest bug I have ever held.  Angie was super-excited to get to hold it, but all that ended when it pooped on her.

Everything is bigger in Texas.

Ox Beetle Grub

Especially the alien-looking grubs.  Dang that guy is big.

Lordy, is He Big!
That’s my hand for comparison, not Angie’s.

13 thoughts on “Alien Grub, Cushaw Stretches Its Arms

  1. The new bed looks luxuriant! Nicely done. What I wouldn’t give to have a grub like that to toss to the chickens. Their brains would explode. That thing’s monstrously huge!

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    1. We had one almost as big, but Moe (he’s the biggest with Larry and Curly being the smaller) is gigantic. We’re hoping he’ll pupate so we can observe the cycle – and watch an elephant / ox beetle emerge in our house! Or three.

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  2. What a giant grub! There’s a neigboring gardener in the community gardens who brings her little terrier with her when she comes. He loves to eat the grubs, so whenever you’re digging, you just call his name, he hobbles his grumpy self over to you and waits for you to throw it at him.

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    1. I know, right? We should start seeing more blues here in another month. Need to get that zoom!! And figure out how to process RAW. It’s on my list.

      Glad to see you here and that you’re well. Gave us quite a scare. 🙂

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