Delicious Bugs*

Fall is the season when pitcher plants can really shine. After the heat that has slowed growth goes away, many of them put out great collections of new pitchers.

Pitcher Plants in a container garden

These new traps catch a lot of insects trying to do collect food that might see them or their offspring through the winter, thus providing the same opportunity for the pitchers.

Fall Afternoon Pitcher Plants Fall Afternoon Pitcher Plants

Fall Afternoon Pitcher Plants Fall Afternoon Pitcher Plants

The pitchers on my back deck are currently filled with metallic green sweat bees (a native solitary bee, Agapostemon sp.), flies, and a bunch of the same white moth that I haven’t tried to identify. What’s fascinating and kind of gross is how long it takes the insects to succumb to exhaustion, drowning, or probably suffocation due to the insects on top of them. Jason told me I wasn’t allowed to take video and put it on the internet, so of course I took video and put it on the internet.

Another interesting thing is that should you try to rescue the victims, like I did for a honeybee, the traps are so attractive that they end up right back in there. It’s what makes them so successful.

Insects Trapped in a Pitcher Insects Trapped in a Pitcher

Insects Trapped in a Pitcher

Sorry that you’re delicious*, bugs.

*To a carnivorous plant.

Bristlenose Catfish Babies!

The catfish are breeding again. I came down to look at the Battlestar the other day and found a whole bunch of newly released ancistrus fry hiding in various places by the waterline.

These guys were hanging out around the filter return pipe clips.

Close-up of the underside of very small suckermouth catfish

Another set of them were clustered around the giant stump that’s currently growing watercress. These ones I decided to catch out and move to another tank where they were much less likely to be eaten. I moved seven fish but have only seen four at one time since.

Dorsal side of catfish fry, brown fish against a white background

The male is still in the catfish cave and guarding it pretty fiercely. May have to keep an eye out for more fry soon. I keep wondering if I had more caves in the tank if there would be more fry. I know I have at least 2 adult males in there. Not sure how many females, although unlike a lot of other species, these ladies pretty much just have to lay the eggs and they’re done. The males do all of the nest guarding. If I had more nests, I’d end up with more catfish though. I even still have three from the last batch that are currently at about an inch and a half long. Not a horrible thing, but I like a bit more variety. Nice thing is that they make good community fish for a lot of tanks and I could probably sell them easily in the future. But for now, they’re just adorable catfish babies.

New look!

Kept being frustrated by an aspect of the default theme I was using on this site so I finally found a different one that had what I was looking for and was relatively easy to customize. Apparently it is now also responsive so you can read it on small screens better. That’s pretty cool. Let me know what you think!

Welcome To Night Vale – Live Episode 49

At the time I write this post (ETA: which was on the 11th if you’re looking at the post date and going “bwah?”), episode 49 doesn’t have a name that I know of. However, it’s their second anniversary show that was taped at Town Hall in NYC. As this episode got split into two halves, I’m not going to say anything about the plot. If you don’t want to see the characters that show up, don’t click through to the rest of the set on Flickr. I’m just going to post a few of the main cast you’d expect.

Cecil, the Faceless Old Woman, and Hiram McDaniels

Carlos Lauren and Kevin

Cecil

Such a good show! On the camera tech side of things, still using my D10 which has an abysmal zoom but thanks to Cecil wearing a white suit and the floating cat in front of me before the show, I managed to get settings that didn’t blow out all of the whites on faces this time. The images are a bit fuzzy and noisy, but I think this may be the best I can do for those sort of conditions and what the camera is and isn’t intended for. I mean, my Florida pictures were great at the beach and it’s waterproof. Would love to hear if you have setting or editing suggestions for low light conditions such as these.

Thursday Pics

Pitcher Plant Bog, late spring This year's pitcher plants

This flower cannot be pollinated A gorgeous big pitcher

This year’s bog garden. I divided and moved a bunch of the bigger rhizomes so I’m not quite sure what all is coming up where. Not that I am ever sure. What are tags? We just don’t know [in my garden]. But I really can’t wait until it’s all full of pitchers. It’s going to look great! The cranberries are also filling in a lot of space and I’m seeing few of the bog violets that were poised to take over the bog last year.

My own Jeremiah Vanderkamp print

Jason sitting on the couch with the Jeremiah Vanderkamp print on the wall overhead

I think I tweeted about this but didn’t post anything on the blog. Jason got me a print of Jeremiah for my birthday, all framed and everything. He’s now on the wall of the living room and makes me very happy. I never did hear from the guy that got the original but eh. I probably won’t do random art for strangers again. Friends, yes. For myself, yes. For sale, probably, although I’ve got so much random shit in my closet right now that I’ll never get rid of. I was showing my mom my Florida photos the other night and she was all “Why don’t you sell these?” Because no one buys them. There’s just a glut online and all over these days. I don’t have the drive or need to spend my time attempting to flog them so I do it for me. Although I do need to do a companion piece to Jeremiah…