Sunday, April 24, 2011

Problem Plants and Peaceful Puppies Entertain this Easter Sunday

How could anything this charming be a declared weed in South Africa?
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Asclepias physocarpa, or milkweed, originally introduced into South Africa from Australia, as so many of our invasive aliens were.

Each tiny flower is constructed so perfectly!

The fruit is toxic if eaten by animals, but this is rarely a problem as they are unpalatable.

Hard to believe that something so pretty is regarded as so undesirable!

Do not be fooled by the next picture...they are only this peaceful when they are sound asleep, which is a lot less than 50% of the time.  Mostly it's like having two mini-tornadoes tearing through the house. We have them strictly confined to the tiled section of the house during the day, which is where our office-cum-study is, so they are with us all the time and have easy outdoor access into the garden. This helps avoid indoor 'accidents' although today, they both felt it preferable to piddle on the tiles than to brave the wet outside. It's a fulltime job being puppy minder, but I reassure myself this phase will pass soon enough. For now, I accept that my life is no longer my own...I know it's important to give up personal time to invest in the future of these puppies, so they grow into well-balanced adult dogs and, in the case of these two, especially, since they are rescue pups, the amount of input required is even more we have quite a lot of 'catching up' to do in terms of their development.

Milo and Coco have become the best of friends in the week they've been with us.

Needless to say, we have had a busy, but quiet weekend at home taking care of the two puppies.

It invariably rains over Easter which is traditionally the start of our winter rainfall season. We generally have a few days of cold, when our warm tops are hurriedly dug out and pulled on, but then in May the weather often does an about turn and we have some glorious warm, summery days with cool mornings and evenings until the colder weather really arrives in June.  Until then, we frequently enjoy perfect Camelot weather!

After two beautiful days on Friday and Saturday, we awoke to overcast, blustery weather this morning. The wind has died down completely now and it's been raining gently for much of the afternoon.

Coco and Milo haven't experienced rain before and they aren't sure they like it. Getting them to piddle outdoors is demanding quite some persuasion and entails our having to go out there with them and get wet, too!  Brrr!

"How can you possibly expect me to get my feet wet?"
We're all naturally still feeling exceedingly sad about Romeo, especially Linda! She has really been struggling to come to terms with his tragic death and misses him dreadfully. I'm hoping her fundraising effort is going to be a huge success, but it has gone very quiet with everyone away for Easter. I will repost Romeo's Wish after the weekend, but really felt I wanted to upload something a little different for in the meantime.

My husband picked the milkweed flowers and fruit when he took Bonny, Toby and Heathcliff for their walk through the vineyard this morning. We are no longer going to take them to the field where we always used to walk them, as the memories are too painful there.


  1. I agree! That is a beautiful plant. We have something here called morning glory weeds and they are so breathtaking but destroy everything in there paths! Thank you for coming to my blog today. It makes my day to see your comments!

  2. Desiree I had no idea your seasons are the same as Australia. You learn something new all the time. It is amazing how something beautiful can be categorized as a weed. some of my favorite flowers are the wild variety. Those pups sure look adorable. Enjoy whats left of the holiday weekend.
    Odie :)

  3. Happy Easter, Desiree! We have that plant here too, but I don't think it's considered a noxious weed (yet). We certainly have plenty of others that are!

    What a cute picture of the two puppies asleep. My sister just got a new puppy yesterday, I have only seen pictures of him, but he is adorable!

    It's so sad that Romeo's death has tainted a place that you used to get such joy from.

    So your rainy season has started! Your May weather sounds a bit like what we call Indian summer here in the U.S.

  4. You have some adorable puppy pics - I can see they are going to take up a lot of your time and attention.

  5. Love, love, LOVE the baby pictures!! Can't wait to come visit again this week and to spend more time with the little pups. xxx

  6. Here we have a weed called "Baby's Breath" that is also very beautiful, with a glorious perfume. Glad you got your rain! Happy Easter!

  7. Happy Easter Desiree!! You're right of course, that little flower is far to pretty to be called a weed. Your two little puppies are adorable and what amazing photographs of them. Of course Linda is going to still be very upset about poor little Romeo. I really do hope that her fund raising efforts go well. It will give her something to focus on. Little Alfred (the French Bulldog) who has been staying with us for the past 12 days was SO good when he was here. He was one year old on Good Friday, so I suppose you can't call him a puppy anymore! I know that, in the winter, they had to literally drag him outside when it was raining!!

  8. Happy Easter again!

    I love the photos and your "weed" is very pretty. I guess people call it a weed simply because it just pops up without being planted. I see there are some good uses for it too.

    The tangle of puppies is absolutely adorable! Coco reminds me a lot of Aschiuta as a pup. Yes they are a huge responsibility, but they will make us very proud when they grow up.

    I wouldn't worry about them not wanting to get wet much... They might end up big mudbath fans eventually and it will be hard to keep them clean and dry.


    Thank you so much for your encouraging comments regarding the pups.


    I am already waiting in 'dread' for that day to it is, we're washing and drying towels all day!

  10. Your pups are so cute! Two at once is a lot to take on, especially when the weather is turning. It sounds like you're enjoying them. I'm so glad.

    It's amazing isn't it, what gets considered a weed? Here it's the butterfly bush, one of the most beautiful and fragrant flowers around.

    Happy Easter to all of you.

  11. It is funny what plants are considered weeds. People go a little nuts about dandelions on their lawn, but I love looking at the pretty yellow pops of color and what kid doesn't love them when they change to the white fluffy balls. The puppies are cute and I can certainly sympathize with getting soaked in the rain waiting for them to do their business. The puppy rescue puppy we have is terrified of open spaces and doesn't want to be outside in the first place, so it is usually a long wait for him to settle down and just pee already! Love the pictures, as usual.

  12. Lovely plant! It is so intricate up close.

    Those puppies are just adorable, but I know that they are a lot of work!!!

  13. Coco and Milo are so so sweet puppies !! love them......beautiful plant you show us....!! haapy day

  14. I love the photos of the puppies, like all young things they are so adorable......what type of dogs are they?

    Isn't it funny that some weeds look so pretty.......

    I just realise I have the tv Little Leo has wonder off outside to annoy I mean help papa.....

    Now I have my daughter telling me I am the best mum ever.......I wonder what she wants most likely food.............Although she will sometimes just tell me she loves me and I am the best for no reason just wants to let me know how much she appreciated me.........

  15. This is just a late night wandering because I cannot sleep.
    I loved seeing the photo's of the puppies tusseling with one another. A cool misty Easter for us...we are all rather in a sort of "suspended in time" state in our family.
    I hope your Easter was nice...ours was very quiet.

  16. i can still feel the sadness in your words but the little puppies are hilarious to watch. Hope they learn to piddle outside soon. You certainly have a full-time job training them.

  17. What beautiful photos of the "furbabies". They are so adorable and fortunately they were found by your family who will treasure them.

    The milkweed flower is very,very, different than any flower I have seen. I like it!
    Have a wonderful day.
    Your photos are outstanding!

  18. What a bitter sweet post...the pictures are so cute-such adorable pups! I remember the puppy training days--but we got through! Tucker still does not like to go outside in the rain...unless there's a squirrel out there- then it's not a problem at all. They're just like kids, aren't they? LOL

    It takes a long time to grieve for a pet and know that I am thinking of y'all every day and sending comforting vibes your way.

  19. Aren't puppies just the perfect way to soften the pain of a loss!

    At 6 months Toby is going through a phase comparable to a human's terrible two's. He is bright, happy, and absolutely bounding with energy. In a week or so he will start his first training school. This should be interesting as he is already trained to do so many things, but, he CHOOSES not to do things like "come" or "leave it" or "drop it" when he decides to disobeying is more to his liking................kt PS love the weed!

  20. Hallo, you have a nice blog.

    By the way, you can see on my blog the titan arum, it is a flowering plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. And of course a lot of other picture.

    Greetings from Switzerland.

  21. I love the photos and they make me miss my little weasel too.(a doxie)
    The fourth one from the bottom is my favorite!

  22. It was exactly what I needed to see these sweeties, this morning. It's rainy, here, as well, but it's a warmish spring rain.

    We have milkweed here, too, but it is a different and less interesting variety. Since we basically live in the middle of a field, there are many "weeds" around the outside of our yard. The definition of a weed, in my opinion, is something which is unwanted, therefore I don't think you need to call your flowers weeds - so long as they are not invading the other plants!

  23. That is a very beautiful weed. I agree with Shen, a plant is a weed, only if it's not wanted. The puppies are adorable.

  24. So, do you have monarch butterflies there? I'm assuming not, since they are always talking about the migrations between Mexico and the upper U.S. That is a pretty bloom on that milkweed.

    I'm glad the puppies are getting along well with each other. Our Heidi loves to get wet in a lake, but if it's raining, she doesn't like to go outside.

  25. Hahaha! I can imagine those two kept you quite busy. Stop or Go.

    The "weed" is most beautiful.

  26. Sue:

    Yes, indeed, we do get the African monarch butterfly here and they feed on milkweed.

    I am going to need to consult a botanist, as I have two conficting opinions on the milkweed plant featured here. One source states its origins as Australia. The other claims it is indigenous (native) to SA.

  27. Milo and Coco look like a real bundle of fun and energy. I'm sure they will reward you richly for all of your love, attention and getting wet!

  28. So glad you enjoyed me almost peeing my pants with horror! lol Thanks for the compliment by the way. It means alot!

  29. Dear Desiree,

    Here in Barcelona we are in the middle of spring season and going for a walk in the nearby countryside is a pleasure for the senses with all the different flowers, plants and...some weeds too :)

    Coco and Milo are two lucky furry cuties!!!


  30. A friend posted some news about contaminated dog food in South Africa: Hi-Pro, Buddies and Legend. I wanted to pass the information on, in case you haven't heard of it. Take care!

  31. What a shame that pretty plant is a weed!
    Milo and Coco are so happy together. Your photos are so beautiful - the puppies are posing perfectly for them!
    Milo has beautiful Kelpie markings.

  32. WONDERFUL easter doggie pictures!!!!

    ...sometimes those weeds...invasive or not...are the most beautiful!
    i have some...and just keep my eye on them so they don't 'take over'!

    GREAT close up shots!! :]

  33. I thought the housetraining stage would never end,...found myself totally consumed with this small dog's digestive system! It gets better before you know it. I don't know about the running through the house and getting along with siblings, tho.

    Pretty Milkweed, indeed!


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