Monday, September 15, 2008

First kill

Here's a really awesome video of a Venus fly trap growing. It's facinating!

My terrarium is doing really well. I was nervous about transplanting it into a new environment but it never even drooped. I've kept it nice and moist and had it sealed most of the time to keep out gnats. We have a fungus gnat problem in the apartment right now. It sound's gross but it's no worse than fruit flies, though they're a lot smaller and slower. I guess one of them got into the snifter (there's that word again) and now one of the traps closed and there's a tiny gnat shaped shadow in there. Ha ha! If you enlarge the first picture you can see the shadow. I wasn't going to feed it for a week but it took the initiative which makes sense with the new growth I spotted. It's growing, that means it's happy and that makes me happy.

I've been looking at this awesome book about terrariums and miniature gardens. It was published by Sunset books in the seventies. It has a lot of ideas and groovy 70's pictures. I got it from the Austin Public Library. Thank goodness they don't cull the stacks at the downtown branch. There are all kinds of nifty things hidden away.

I am convinced that stalking and killing the gnats is causing them to evolve into a super breed capable of dodging and evasive maneuvers. I have some spray with Rosemary oil that you're supposed to apply and then wait a week then reapply a few times to kill the larvae and disrupt the cycle. I've removed some of the plants that were harboring the enemy and I'm changing out the soil in several pots to start fresh. I don't want to drown the poor plants in essential oils.

A friend remarked that he thought it was strange that a vegetarian would want a Venus fly trap. I don't think it's strange at all, I'm on the plant's side. Who isn't fascinated by a plant that can fight back? After all, maybe Venus fly traps will evolve into something like Ents in Lord of the Rings.

I think it is human nature to seek human like traits in plants. As humans we understand trapping and killing, we're good at it. When we see a carnivorous plant in action we want to understand it on our terms. Culturally we cast carnivorous plants into roles like insatiable Audry Jr. in Little Shop of Horrors or on the Addams Family tv show, their African strangler plant is named Cleopatra it's more like a pet than a plant and even eats furniture. The Venus fly trap is a cultural icon it is mysterious, strange, and above all hungry. Ultimately it represents desire. It's no wonder a ladyboy band in Thailand decided to name themselves Venus Fly Trap.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

This is cool, Kat! Can we get together and make terrariums one day? I've been following them on Flickr forever but am intimidated by all the moss- where on earth do we get moss!?