Tribulus terrestris, Puncturevine, Goatheads, blankety blank blanks – grotesque by any name


I get up here and it’s beautiful weather.  Between the two tornadoes and the thunderstorm.  Actually no tornadoes have been close.  There have been a couple of warnings but every time I hear the warning it’s bright and sunny here.

I get a slow start this week.  I didn’t wake up until 8:00.  I should have done 3 things by now.  No use wasting a slow start so I sit on the deck with a cup of coffee and record bird sounds with my digital recorder.  It sounds like I’m in an aviary.

I’m trying to use my computer and it is really screwed up.  I try restoring it and it still doesn’t help.  I’ve got those stupid ads popping up all over and double lined words that open ads.   I HATE THIS!!  I do some research and find an ugly file hiding on my computer.  I get rid of it and voila computer is well again.  That only took me two hours.  It seems to happen when I’m on my Verizon Hotspot.  It should be secure but it makes me wonder.

I head outside because I have a couple of iris I need to stick in the ground.  Oh dear, I’m getting sunburned.  I guess I found a lot more out here to do than plant an iris.  I made a whole flower bed.  I run inside and put on some sunscreen like I should have done before I went out there.

While I’m out I run into the dreaded Tribulis Terrestris, puncturevine, ,goathead, blankety blank blank thorns plant.  It’s starting to come up and bloom.  It’s time to nip that crap in the bud (pun intended).  It’s awful.  It produces the goathead thorns that are the bane of every bicyclist this side of the Mississippi.  It’s that God awful thorn that stick to your tires, the bottom of your shoes, and if you dare try to pull it out with bare hands you’re cursing.  If you every see this crap rip it out immediately.  It’s awful and disgusting.  It’s on the (Ob)noxious weed list so no fear of anyone yelling at you for pulling plants along or trail or wherever.  Seriously, do everyone a favor!!

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I am on puncturevine control and I walk out into the corral.  The weeds are getting taller here dag nabbit.  I tromp through them looking for the puncturevine and I swish my boot back and forth looking for them hiding under the weeds and I feel that something has just come out of the weeds.  I can tell it’s not a snake so I’m not doing the screaming snake dance so I look around and see a big cute toad.  He’s a handsome fella.  He stops and lets me take a picture of him.  I need to put a toad house out there by the potting shed.

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I am seeing all kinds of bugs this weekend.  I decide I need to document all of these bugs to see what’s in my yard so I get out my camera.  There are some kind of orange bug everywhere.  Not like I’ve ever seen.  There is one on the clothesline pole and it’s a caterpillar.  I look a few minutes later and it’s turning yellow.  What the heck?  Now I’m fascinated as I watch this thing pulsing.  I can see the skin of caterpillar (or whatever) and there’s something coming out of it.  After an exciting day of taking bug pictures I get out my Whitney Cranshaw (just saw him on TV talking about bugs) book for children (Hey, the pictures are great and I can find what I’m looking for) and figure out it is a ladybug pupa making a ladybug.  Not like any ladybug I’ve seen but Cool!!

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I see a beautiful yellow bloom.  I’m not sure if it’s a weed or not.  I’m wondering if it’s like the Prairie Rose and is a good weed.  I see more but there’s hardly anything left of them.  There’s an orange bug decimating them.  They are really going to town on these weeds.  Maybe they could eat the whole yard for me.  And here you thought this was a DIY blog.  You didn’t know this one was going to be science 101 did you?

I find what used to be a flower bed (or something) alongside the small shed beyond the deck.  I’m pulling weeds and find some brick that is making a border.  I clear that out and decide that would be a great place to put more iris, hyacinths, and tulips (?).  At each end I scatter some Inoxia Datura seeds.  I have great luck with these and they’re huge and beautiful so I’m hoping they’ll grow well up here.  I think I had tulip bulbs but when I started planting I found and old hyacinth head in the bag.  These beauties came from Rob Proctor’s yard so maybe when the apprentices bagged them they got mixed up.  It will be fun to see what pops up next Spring.  Either that or I can’t tell the difference between a tulip bulb or a hyacinth.  Ahoy mateys, weeds are attacking from the east.  Man your shovel and hoe.

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I go inside and the cuckoo clock doorbell rings, cuckoo, cuckoo (I’m not kidding).  I go to the door and there is a cute little boy standing there.  His Dad is hiding off to the side so I say hello to the little boy.  He stares at me so his father steps in and says he understands I need someone to mow.  Indeed I do!!  I introduce myself to Scott and Braden (my neighbors catty corner to the north).  Braden is shy so his father says “Hey buddy, she wants to shake hands, get that hand out there.”  So cute.  What grass I have is starting to seed again so I agree for him to cut everything out front outside the white fence and inside the white fence.  We haggle on a price and I finally come down to their level.  Hey, I’m from the city.  Stuff costs more there.  And, using a hand mower is a big job up here.  Just sayin.

I realize there is no chocolate in the house so I decide to wander down to the little market in town and see if she stocks chocolate.  I’m figuring she does because that little store is for  campers.  I’m in luck.  She has Hershey bars.  Better than no chocolate I say!!  On the way back I see Sandy and she runs out and tells me she just got a Treagor.  Now, I have had that conversation with her about how I’m in lust with the Treagor Smokers.  Now, she has the one I want and she is proudly showing it off to me.   .Arrrrggg, I really really need to get one.  She invites me in and entices me with cupcakes.  I have no willpower and suck down a cupcake.

We wander back outside and we hear a lawn mower.  I think Braden is getting busy on my lawn.  Oh, what?  He is on a riding mower.  That little devil.  And all this time I thought he was too little for that and was going to use a hand mower.  He has borrowed his aunty’s, or granny’s, or neighbors (most of the town is related – except me) riding mower and is doing outside the fence.  I go inside so he doesn’t think I’m checking up on him and so I won’t make him nervous and I hear the mower go, then quit, then go, then quit.  I walk outside and that cute little kid is cleaning up the pile of old broken cement blocks the previous owner threw in the corner.  Now, I really think they should have accepted my first offer of payment.  I go out and tell him he really doesn’t have to do that.  He was told he needed to do a complete job before he got paid and he’s really living up to it.  Scott, his dad, walks over and he sees what’s going on and he’s proud his son is doing a bang up job.  He asks if I want to get rid of the old broken blocks and I’m so excited and say, YES.  I can’t tell you how much that means to have someone help me with all this crap that is lying around this place (and remember the trash situation – see February blog!! – I still don’t have trash pickup).  Braden runs off to borrow his grandpa’s wheel barrow and we all pitch in and load up the blocks and Scott hauls them off to throw away.  YAY!!  Oh, gosh, thunder and lightning and a thunderstorm.  Time to run for cover.  There is another tornado warning but I don’t see anything threatening looking.

While talking to Sandy I find out that the Historical Building should be open tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to that.  Supposedly there is a picture of the house in there when it was first built and I would love to see it.

Well, that was a piddly amount of rain.  Not enough for me so I decide to put Murphy’s law into effect by getting out the hose and dragging it around a half acre and water.  Sure enough as soon as I get finished it really starts to rain.  YAY

I’m taping more of the dining room panels when the cuckoo, cuckoo rings.  It’s Sandy and she has a big huge rib from her Treagor Smoker.  She brings me a rib, some pasta salad, and some apple crisp (also cooked on the Treagor).  I give Sandy a tour of what I’ve done with the house so far.  She says it’s been years since she was inside.  Hopefully I am living up to the expectations of the town.  We go outside to find the kitties.  Mine have still not returned but she has reported seeing them in the alley.  I don’t see them anywhere but there are a lot of other cute ones.

Yummmm.  Thanks neighbor!!  The apple crisp done on the Treagor is really good.

Full day, time for bed.

The next morning I get up and am excited to see inside the Historical Society building.  I can see the building from my side yard (I can almost see the whole town from my yard).  I keep peeking over there and see no action.  It’s supposed to open around 12:30pm.  I sling my camera over my shoulder and take a walk.  I walk up there and try the door and no one is there.  I go back home and decide to walk around by the school, maybe they are holding it there.  Next to the 4H building there are a bunch of cars.  I see a couple with a little girl and ask them if this is the “Old Timers” thing.  The guy just looks at me and the lady says ” we were told it’s a community picnic, that’s all I know”.  I peek inside and a bunch of people aren’t doing much of anything so I stroll back home.

Since nothing is going on in this Podunk town and the sky is getting dark I guess it’s time to head home.


Braden should be finishing the lawn today since the rain pre-empted yesterday.  Hmmm, he hasn’t been back yet.  I hear some pounding and I look catty corner north and I see Scott hammering on a lawn mower.  Oh, that could be why he hasn’t been back.  I load up the car and stop at their house on the way out of town to pay them.  The lawnmower handle broke so they are trying to fix it.  I like his style, if it doesn’t work, hit it with a hammer.  I have half the money in one hand and all the money in the other.  Scott is trying to decide whether to teach Braden you don’t take money before the job is done or if it’s ok.  I say, “you can have half now and I’ll give you half next weekend” or “you can have it all because I trust you and I won’t be back until this weekend”.  I finally say I trust that it will get finished and give them the whole amount.  I’m feeling good about this lawn mowing thing.  I don’t have to buy a mower yet and a young man learns about life.

Off I go and wonder what fun I will have next weekend.











About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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One Response to Tribulus terrestris, Puncturevine, Goatheads, blankety blank blanks – grotesque by any name

  1. Kathy McLaughlin says:

    I love your toad and hope he raises a large family with huge appetites!

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