Yuccas Every Year

They threatened to take over parts of our bit of flat land here in the cleft of the east escarpment that drains Floyd County to the west and north into the Roanoke River.

Ann loathes yuccas for their tenaciousness on “her field” of a half-acre, still referred to as Yucca Flats. I rather admire them for their aesthetics, their coevolutionary biology and for their pluck–a dessert denizen determined to live in a much colder, wetter place than their roots, genealogically speaking.

Every creamy white six-petaled blossom houses one or more yucca moths. I’ve told that story here before, and will pass you along for other tellers of the tale:

The Yucca and its Moth at Nature.org

Previous Fragments about Yuccas, and of course, other such stuff:

Yard Art: Yucca


Beauty and the Beast

Boys and Behemoth Bubbles

We usually don’t drive the whole way to Columbia MO in one day anymore, so make a regular stop in Ferdinand, Indiana.

This year, at our favorite pub in “downtown” Ferdinand, we saw signs announcing HeimaFest that day, in a park a few blocks away.

Say what? Apparently, it’s a “home” festival in this German Catholic mid-western town.

It was a low-key Floyd kind of thing, with lots of kids, with free admission. We did not stay for the cornhole contest or the beer keg toss.

But this engagement pictured below, by even the kids typically a little too old to be cool blowing bubbles, shows them very much into SuperBubbles.

I don’t know any of the details other than what you can see here–five gallon buckets of thick “bubble-stuff” (maybe a bulk-volume dishwashing soap?) and dowels with a loop of light-weight chain. Dip the loop into the bucket, and swirl!

I thought this might be something that would work at Lineberry Park or the Harvest Festival later in the summer here. So share this with those who might be looking for a kid’s activity. Maybe this already happens, but I never saw it before. Did you?


Snakeless in Seattle

Or “Sixteen Feet of Elbow Room”

We have not lost another egg to a snake (that we know of) for a week, and have now transplanted three black rat snakes,  noosed in or around the garden shed/henhouse to an abandoned property a mile away. So far, into the snake bag, we’ve inserted two five footers and one six footer (today.)

Of note, not a one has offered to strike, or to musk (if you don’t know this, you’re fortunate) or act in any way except to want to move along. They have all escaped the noose of the snake-grabber because I don’t want to suffocate them or crush their ribs. If we didn’t have eggs to tempt them, I’d be delighted to have them around.

But it is a perfect Final Solution (except for causing the Goose Creek Herptile Team to completely do something other than the task they intended to do at unexpected times of any day of the week.) Here’s how it will work:

By the end of the summer, at this rate, we will have relocated maybe three dozen snakes to a common habitat–so many that the only thing to eat there by fall will be snakes. Snakes eating snakes.

The last one standing (er, slithering)–will be an eight foot long one foot diameter specimen. He will at last begin with his tail and, meal completed and snake consumed, we will be free of egg eaters on Goose Creek.

And we’ll be knee-deep in rats, mice, voles, chipmunks, squirrels and….