Not once, in the entire history of this tree, has this first bloom failed to herald a killing frost – if not an epic ice storm that can bring metropolitan Houston to its knees. These bright red blossoms will shrivel and die, and the tree will repeat the whole process in a few weeks. It is more reliable than the Groundhog–that hapless creature who, once a year, is dragged from slumber, his peaceful groundhog dreams popped like soap bubbles by humans on a lark, his beady eyes and tiny ears assailed by the lightning flashs of the paparazzi’s whirring cameras–only to be treated like the ultimate bearer of bad news if he flinches at his own shadow. This tree gets the last laugh, luring the bees into believing. Woe to the unwary and uninvited solicitor–our bees are excellent guardbugs, especially when they’re made to work so hard. This tree doesn’t need its own day; it drags this nonsense on for a month. Fortune agrees with the tree.
I love this idiot tree.
Fairies in My Garden?
I have discovered where solar garden lights go to die.
Or perhaps, the live oak and the empty pots have grown attached to the defunct solar lamps, and refuse to part with them. Being used to that, in his wife, my husband indulges their quirks. It could be an experiment in preparation for a DIY solar panel installation on the roof – but somehow I doubt that. At any rate, come darkness, it is truly magical out there:
That pinprick of light, just above the one in the center? That’s a fairy. Or an orb. Or a dust bunny. They grow fangs and hunt at night. That’s why you need a little monster under the bed, like Trockle, to protect you.
A Bird’s-Eye View of the Garden
That little shrub of a pepper plant I maligned so cleverly back in 2013 has grown into a small tree; it is about 5′ tall, now. Turns out it’s not a deadly black jalapeño at all; it is a pequin pepper, or bird’s eye chile pepper. Even better (and at 40,000 to 60,000 on the Scoville scale, much hotter!) than a jalapeño or serrano pepper.
So, what do you think – are the trees and peppers, fairies and bees in for six more weeks of winter?
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