I read this from Tom Hume, but was too odd not to repost it here.
I know at least 3 people who would need it, if only I had known it a month ago, I would have had a much easier time with the Christmas presents.

Check out Botanicalls, the hardware and software to let you plants call you when they want to be watered!

Pillager and Prey

About 3 months ago I received an unexpected present that was REALLY welcome.
I received a Dionaea Muscipula, probably the most famouse carnivorous plant after Audrey II.

In two words, the plant usually lives in swamps and is used to very poor water so you not should give it “normal” water, but only distilled or rain water. The plant will take the rest from the animals that it captures.

Initially I was really curious to see how it would do. After about a week I was concerned that it was not catching enough insects and bees. Then it started catching something, a mosquito, an ant, really tiny animals and insects.
Now about 3 months have passed and obviously these were the months in which nature is most active in Italy.

Here are a couple of pictures of an incredible catch from the plant. Obviously the bee was just about to escape, but could not make it.

In this picture you can see the plant from “far”, you can see the leaves which are actually the traps and in the center the poor bee that could not make it.
As you can see, most of the traps are open. They always stay open and close when something activates the sensors in the center of the leave. At that time the trap snaps close and hopefully catches the prey.

This is a zoom on the bee. As you can see only half of it was actually caught, but it has been enough for it to be trapped.

When the animal is trapped the plant secretes an enzyme that slowly eats it. After a few days the leave will return open and the little animal or insect is generally somehow “dried”, often looking squished. Once the leave is back open, it is ready to eat more.

Here is the last picture that I’m publishing. It was one of the first “big” preis and I was pretty amazed, unfortunately I could not see it, so I took this picture.