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Posted June 1st 2008, 6:54pm
B wanted a puppy …

Ahh, Spring, even Summer is in the air. While many of you are planting your gardens with intentions to eat, we Ramons grow things that eat. While you are hoarding dry goods in your larder, we are adding more mouths to feed.

Meet Fred, the Venus Fly Trap:
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Fred resides on the window sill in a little terrarium to keep the humidity level high. He came planted in a witch’s brew looking kettle. He is watered with distilled water. He eats flightless fruit flies that we purchase at the local pet store. Here you can see the ass of one the flies hanging out of one of Fred’s mouths.
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I ordered a Venus Fly Trap from the back of a comic book when I was a kid. It took forever to arrive. I finally received a couple of seeds that never grew. A couple years later I got an actual plant with one intact head. I dutifully read and followed the instructions and took joy at stimulating the cilia around its mouth and watching it quickly close. I fed it the requisite raw hamburger and it promptly died.

No people food for Fred, insects only (sorry Cathy and others). After a head has eaten three of four times (or been stimulated too many times) it withers, blackens, and dies. New ones grow in its place. It is supposed to hibernate in the winter, much like myself.

It is interesting to note that while Venus is the Roman goddess of love, the scientific name for Fred is Dionaea (genus), the mother of Aphrodite. It is one of few plants that exhibit rapid movement.

I’d have thought the Venus Fly Trap evolved in the Amazon rain forest or at least Venus. Instead, it is a native of the Carolinas, specifically in nitrogen-poor bogs. The plant adapted to eat insects to deal with the nutrient deficient soil. While it is not endangered, it is classified as “vulnerable.” Still, it seems other-worldly to me, and makes a fine alien landscape.
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So, could a vegetarian eat Fred?

-ramon
Mad-town Chow Down

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