Carnivorous Plants, Air Plants, and Pythons!

I am one of those people who finds themselves periodically obsessed with certain things, usually “weird” things. I get really in to these things and I have to know everything there is to know and buy everything and set up something or collect something. My poor girlfriend, she knows how I am though and my bank account constantly reminds me that I cannot do everything I want to do. So between those two I actually haven’t gotten to go too crazy on anything but that doesn’t stop my mind from obsessing over things. When I get like this I just can’t think of anything else and all priorities go out the door.

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My newest obsession is Carnivorous plants. They are so amazing and beautiful! I just bought my very own Venus fly trap less than a month ago. At first I had named it Seymour but I thought about it the other day and I figured it made more sense to name it Audrey II after the plant in Little Shop of Horrors. I am doing my best with it and learning everything I can and even joining forums to ask questions. I want to know everything there is to know about these unique little plants.

When I got mine I don’t think it was in the best of health and I was ignorant. I left the plastic lid on and watered it with tap water. Then I found out I was doing it all wrong. I took the plastic lid off, potted it in a large plastic pot rather than the Terra cotta one I had originally bought. I planted it in a mixture of peat moss and perlite (I don’t think I used enough perlite though), I bought some distilled water, and I placed it outside every day. Unfortunately one day I left it outside and went to run some errands and when I came home the God damn squirrels had eaten three or four of the traps and partially dug it up out of the pot. It was already not in the best health and it had been trying to acclimate to it’s new environment and now it had been chewed on. I am babying it right now. Giving it as much sun as I can INSIDE the house and not feeding the traps. I had already feed one trap before the incident and it is still digesting that fly but I worry so much I might lose it. Right now that plant is my baby, one of my babies anyway. I am considering bringing it in to work and setting it outside here. We have less squirrels and if I put it up on a table or chair the rabbits won’t get to it either.
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When I get obsessed with thing I need to have more and more of them and if they come in different varieties I need those too. I found a store online (the previously mentioned forum is hosted there as well) that sells Venus fly traps and everything I need for decent prices. They have many cultivars of Venus Fly traps and I am hoping to set up a sort of collection. Maybe after this one goes dormant and comes back next spring. If I can prove to myself (and Chardonnay) that I can take care of these things and that I am seriously interested in them she will be open to letting me purchase a few more. I have a window in the living room that is sort of bare and I’d like to set up a little area for carnivorous plants. I’m also hoping for some Pitcher Plants and Sundews.
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Shortly before I got the Venus Fly Trap (maybe just a week before), I was out shopping at this awesome store here called Ironwood and I found a beautiful Tillandsia caput-medusae. It was just flowering and the cashier told my that it was a very big and beautiful specimen. I don’t know if that is true but I know to me it definitely looked like a big and beautiful specimen. It was love at first sight with this plant, and when I found out it was sometimes called an Octopus Plant, I loved it even more! The octopus being my favorite animal and all.

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I got it home and found and old white pot to set it in. Air plants are awesome in that they don’t actually need to be potted in anything. They get their water and nutrients from the air, hence the name. Hell mine doesn’t even have any roots! I find this fascinating. So far it is doing well. I have been bringing it in the shower with me and soaking it in a bucket of water weekly. I fertilize it with my moth orchid and it seems to appreciate it. It put out it’s last flower a few days ago and now that one is drying up. I am sad about that since they only flower once in their lifetime. The good news is after they flower they start growing a baby plant, a pup, off to the side. Mine started growing a pup before it was even done flowering and soon I will have TWO air plants!

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Now on to my baby, my sweet, yet often ornery, ball python, Delilah. I got her almost two years ago at a reptile expo in Denver. I had been trying to convince Chardonnay for almost a year that I needed a pet snake. As I always do when I am obsessed and completely consumed by a thing I did a ton of research. I convinced her to go to the reptile expo and just to “have a look around” secretly hoping to come home with a snake.

I walked around for a couple hours and saw many snakes and morphs I liked but they all had prices nicely out of my range. Finally we walked by a booth that had lots of “normals” and I asked to see the females. He had three and I chose the one with the lightest coloring. I asked the guy what he was charging. He said he normally charged $40 each but since he had new hatchlings on the way he needed to get rid of the ones he had. He said I could have her for $20. Chardonnay couldn’t argue with that! And so we brought our Delilah home and she has been a joy for me ever since.

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I’m sure Chardonnay had hoped that after that I would let the snake thing go. Ha! My obsession got worse! At first I wanted more ball pythons, but then I figured if you’ve have one ball python you’ve had them all, regardless of how pretty some of the morphs are. I decided I wanted to keep other species of pythons! And while I’m at it lets throw in a few boas! She has held me off so far but soon she will have to give in and let me get another snake. My options so far are a blood python, the size is right but the temperament might be more aggressive than I can handle, a red tail boa, the temperament is right but the size might be more than I can handle, or an Angolan python, which meets all of my requirements but is too rare and expensive. BUT if I get the Angolan python I will definitely get into breeding, which I’m sure Chardonnay will not be happy with.

Like I said before though, sadly my bank account reminds me I have to take things slow, there are other priorities and I cant go out and buy more and more of the things I get so obsessed with. Doesn’t mean I can have any of these things just means I have to slow down and look at them as more long-term hobbies. Patience!

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Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

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