Monday, May 31, 2010

One Week Later...

A week has passed since I inhumed my carnivorous plants. The pitcher plant shows some signs of life. It appears to be growing a small green fingernail and I can only hope that a hand follows. I’m come to terms with the possibility that the Venus flytrap may be dead. I trimmed the dry, blackened leaves from the stem this morning with a pair of kid scissors, hoping that the pale green stem underneath might contain a spark of life. The prospects are grim, since it didn’t have roots in the first place. I’ll give her another week.

To distract myself from the foreboding abode that my carnivorous terrarium has become, I photographed some of the other plant life occupying my kingdom.

I recently planted my mother’s QVC strawberry plant. It came complete with a bag of pre-grown dormant strawberry plants which I revived with water and the kiss of life. The kit came with Wonder Dirt or Magic Soil, or some sort of synthesized and patented soil which boasted organic components and water-retaining polymers for instant germination and optimum development. I felt skeptical about the soil and researched it extensively on the internet looking for some carcinogenic properties or frog imploding properties. Instead I just found this video for soil wafers. Click.
If anything, this just made me more doubtful. I never found any information besmirching the product, so I planted the industrial strawberries in the plastic soil anyway. I’m sure the plant will produce many lovely strawberries of identical circumference, each with six leaves and fifty-two little yellow seeds. At night, a gnome will come and inject each one with a syringe of Red 40.

When you were little, did you think that food dye was a natural component of fruits and vegetables?
We also got some bleeding hearts. They are my favorite. The name sounds like a song that Dashboard Confessional would write and they kind of look like cocoons full of metamorphosizing Barbie shoes at the moment, but later my devotion to them will make more sense.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Adventures in Carnivorous Planting

Over the past few months something in me has been craving the companionship of a carnivorous plant. Following this powerful and probably fleeting whim I purchased a Bug Biting® Plant Terrarium Set. The set included one dormant Venus Flytrap, one dormant pitcher plant, a bag of soil, a bag of moss, a smaller bag of soil, and a terrarium.

A Venus Flytrap is a leafy green mouth with sharp pointy teeth that lures insects in with a sweet fragrance and promises of sexual favors. Sometimes they sing songs that are so irresistible to a fly’s discerning tympanic membrane that the fly willingly submits to its own consumption. When the delicious insect rustles the sensitive hairs inside the mouth, the jaws snap shut like a bear trap. The fly is chewed, swallowed, and digested to produce second and third heads for this hydra-like creature.

The pitcher plant is a photosynthesizing pelican of death. It looks innocent on the outside. A passing insect cannot help but imagine it going to church and sitting in a pew full of calla lilies and daffodils (except for cobra lilies, which look something like the Loch Ness monster rearing her head from your garden.) Insects are attracted to its succulent puckering lips. Once a fly enters the mouth, the trapdoor closes and the fly whizzes down a waterslide into a pool of quicksand from which they can never escape.

The terrarium provides the plants with enough humidity to replicate the swampy conditions they have come to love, while simultaneously preventing the consumption of nearby houseplants.

Now that I had learned a bit about the plants, I felt ready to fill my terrarium with carnivorous flora. Step one of the planting process brought with it many confusion questions like Where are the plants? and Which side of the terrarium do I plant into? The directions indicated that the carnivorous plants were hibernating in the smaller bag of soil. In the smaller bag I found two clumps of dirt. Upon closer inspection, one clump of dirt had leaves and the other had roots. I could not tell which one was the pitcher and which one was the flytrap, but if I patiently wait long enough I suppose one will grow teeth. The plants looked nothing like the diagrams, nor did they resemble the familiar images provided by Crash Bandicoot.

I woke up my mother with a dormant carnivorous plant in either hand asking her which side was up. Thanks to the deterioration of her visual capacities, I was forced to make an educated guess. After filling what I thought was the base of the terrarium with a layer of soil and a layer of moss, I inserted the dormant beasts into the moss.

See the two dark clumps in the moss? Aren't they adorable?

After a long day of 90 degree weather and fierce sunshine there is little to indicate if I planted my babies upside-down.

Friday, May 21, 2010

For those who would inquire about my health.

Every muscle in my body has ached for days on end in inconvenient spurts. My hands are prematurely arthritic. My legs cannot support my frame for another minute. The pressure in my temples is unbearable. My nose has been running. First the right nostril, then the left nostril, then the right again. I, with my tissue, can never keep up. My ears have a curious itching sensation. I can barely hear over the incessant rumbling. The swelling of the throat is the worst. Breathing is difficult; swallowing, impossible. My voice is a mere whisper. My lips are cracked and peeling. The cramps in my stomach cripple me to the floor several times an hour. Insomnia, pain, and the stench of my cat’s gas have kept my eyes open through the wee hours of the morning. The doctor prescribed me Tylenol and a nasal rinse, but nothing helps. Otherwise, I can’t complain.