Saturday, May 31, 2008

On Carnivorous Plants and Mountain Man:

Mountain Man has a bit of the mad scientist about him. And he likes to experiment with ‘my’ carnivorous plants. He of course likes the Venus Flytrap the best. Instant gratification and all that. The leaf snapping shut on the offered bug. Mountain Man calls this renewable stomachs, I say disposable digestive system. But either way we like watching the processes.

Well the other day he went and fed the Venus Flytrap a slug. This was a bit too heavy for the plant and seeing the Venus Flytrap’s distress he propped it up with a few twigs. The plant dripped slug juice for a couple of days after that, then the leaf turned black. (Not to worry, the leaves are suppose to turn black after a couple of feedings.) And we cut the blackened leaf off like good Venus caretakers.

I am partial to the Butterwort myself. It looks all innocent with it’s little lavender colored flower luring in bugs. But the stem and leaves have a sticky coating that catches bugs and digests them. It is flowerless at the moment in the picture. I also like the cool pale green color of it’s leaves.

The other one we have in that terrarium that you can’t see well in the picture is a Sundew. It has paddle shaped leaves with little hairs on them that have a bead of sticky stuff at the end of each hair. Looking a bit like cactus needles with dew on the end of it’s needles. You know the rest. Bug, stick, digest, discard. Oh, and the white thing in there is the back of a thermometer, we like to keep an eye on their comfort.

Mountain Man is better at catching the bugs alive then I am. But freshly killed or live we feed them to our plants. This is in addition to the bugs that get caught on their own by the plants themselves.

It took me a while to talk Mountain Man into adding these plants to our household. And now Mountain Man doesn’t miss a chance to play with the little dears. It was my ‘house full of bugs’ cry that finally won him over. We heat with wood in a wood stove so bugs come into our house year round with the wood. Not that our house is full of bugs. But we do find them on occasion year round. And you can’t spray the wood for bugs and then burn it, toxins and all that.

Now I am having fun watching both the carnivorous plants and Mountain Man playing with them. I wonder what he will be feeding them next week?

No comments: