Fun indoor activities

We’re having a bit of a bug problem – roaches, actually. Ugh. I’ve caught a couple around the kitchen sink in the mornings, a nice way to start the day. So, I decided to make the best of a bad situation, and squeeze some entertainment value out of it while waiting for the roach traps to work. I decided to catch one, and feed it to my Venus Flytrap.

At the earliest opportunity, I lightly squished one under a paper tower, and then picked it up to inspect for signs of life; the flytrap won’t close unless there’s at least a little squirming action. I saw several legs wave in the air. Holding the paper towel in one hand, I retrieved an old pair of tweezers from the bathroom, and as I passed through the living room, I said, “Laird! Come see me feed a bug to my plant”.

Intrigued, he put the movie on pause, and left his chair in front of the TV to follow me into the grow room. I picked up the flytrap and held it close, then I opened the paper towel and applied tweezer to bug. Bug moved. I jumped. Bug and tweezers flew. Laird snorted in disgust and returned to his seat in the living room, muttering
something unflattering about me and bugs.

I may be squeamish, but I’m not easily deterred. A little while later, while watering my plants, I discovered some aphids on the buds of my phal-type dendrobium. I never get excited about buds on that plant, they exist just to irritate me by drying up and falling off before they ever bloom. I digress. There were some sizeable specimens of aphids there, so I rooted around on the floor under the pots, and retrieved my tweezers. I tried to pick an aphid up with the tweezers, but it fell
off. So I lined up the flytrap under the bud, and used one of the tongs to try to knock one into the jaws of the waiting plant. I assume the aphids must have had some awareness of the fate waiting for them below, because every one I nudged leaped off in a different direction, but never straight down.

Finally, I got one in. A little one. I must have been heavy handed with the tweezer, ‘cause it was lifeless. The jaws stayed open. So I took the end of the tweezer, and tapped the pad a couple of times. It shut with a resounding clap. Well, it was soundless, really, but I’m sure it clapped. Applauding my efforts
maybe. I know I had no credibility with my audience in the living room.

It “hung from its stem like a stripper’s tassel”

“Passion flowers” – really? The Telegraph reporter Diana McAdam visits the Singapore Orchid Festival and she’s hot and bothered by more than the weather:

Orchids cascaded from tree branches and hung like bats or perched like birds of paradise. They flocked and squatted and twirled, some pouting lasciviously, others waving regally or reaching out curiously. Vandaenopsis ‘Nelson Mandela’ was bowing sedately to the starched white wimple of Dendrobium ‘Mother Theresa’ while, nearby, a lipstick-bright beauty overflowed like a barmaid’s cleavage and a locally found bulbophylum – so new it was unnamed – hung from its stem like a stripper’s tassel.

Read the article