A Halloween Photo Essay

Part One: In Which Nature Assassin goes to some Interesting Parties.

Part Two: In Which I Stumble Home, Eat Candy, and Collect Seeds.

Happy Halloween Everybody!


Snack time

So, what's in the fridge?

Collected seeds* in the vegetable drawer... any vegetables whatsoever?

If you go hunting in the freezer, watch out for the container of flies. Sarracenias gotta eat too.

*Holler if you're interested in trading. 
I've got mainly annuals and perennials, some houseplant varieties. 


The Heat is On!

Crap, crap!!!

You know, I never worry too much about my outdoor plants getting cold damage in the fall. I'm conscientious enough to start bringing them in early, one by one, and lackadaisical enough that if a couple get left outside too long, I don't stress out.  Today... tomorrow... I'll make it happen.

The outdoor crowd, back from a poolside-summer. The chlorotic Datura will be overwintered, dormant, in my basement. The others are in for a long haul.

But my great fear... my redoubtable fear... is heat. My apartment has radiators, which are controlled my my landlord. He is a kind and benevolent overlord not to freeze our asses out, and also the heat is free, so I really can't complain. BUT, here I go. When I first heard that bubbly hiss of the radiators kicking on this morning, I went directly into amber-alert.


Just in time, my 30 gallon seedling incubator was re-appropriated to serve as a winter humidity chamber, so any fern or tender plant less than five inches wide and twenty inches high has a real shot at surviving this winter. The others had better evolve REAL fast.

Good luck, Maranta. You're gonna need it.

Meanwhile, I finally found a greenhouse that was willing to babysit my Philodendron ('Black Cardinal?') for the winter, or as they call it, the "semester." The price, while very reasonable, was still too steep for yours truly, and so the philodendron is staying home once again (Sorry, buddy, no semester abroad in a tropical spa for you).

photo credit to my Tweesy, taken with her i-phone. Holler from yer girl, Twees!

So folks in the Chicago area... get 'em inside. Get 'em quarantined and treated for pests.... then get ready for the humidity crisis. 


Congratulations, it's an Anarchist!

Well, I've added another minion to my crew. This fearsome beast is Remy LeBeau... six months, and five pounds, of pure destruction. Like any baby, he eats several times a day, wakes me up in the night crying, and constantly wants to be held. Unlike a baby, he is agile, lightning fast, and really sharp at the corners. He's a fanged, concealed-razor carrying ninja-baby, and my whole apartment is his dojo. The houseplants and stemware have sustained massive losses. Needless to say, I think it's cute.

You learn well, young grasshopper.

Felines, I have found, have a natural affinity to plant murder... or just murder in general, I guess. Also, being independent and low-maitenance means that they themselves are resistant to accidental assassination. You don't see any puppies or parakeets around here. Evil scientists don't have the necessary skills to keep most pets alive. Flying monkeys? Yes. Goldfish? No.

Meh, I guess I didn't need that Yucca anyway.

Speaking of lack of nurturance, my other henchman (henchwoman, actually) is less-than-thrilled with our new acquisition.

Now that she's laid the smackdown on him a few times, they're getting along really well. He understands... she's alpha minion, he's beta. She's Bellatrix Lestrange, he's... I don't know, Fenrir Greyback or somebody.

Anyway, look what he did to this Calliandra, and the Monstera beside it. I'll never put the vacuum away again. Not even in kindergarten, and he's already defoliating at a third-grade level! I'm so proud.