Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Venus in bloom

I replanted my Venus Flytrap this year.  It was a bit of risk - the last time I did so, over 10 years ago, my flytrap died a quick death within a month.  I felt better equipped this time.  I had repurposed a clear, plastic box many times larger than the circular cylinder as it's container.  It seemed to thrive in its moisture rich environment, so the container would need a lid, which was provided by a perfectly fitting Ferrero Rocher box.  I had also saved up some moss to add as a plant medium.  Now, about three months after its replanting, it has lost most of its original leaves, and the new ones growing back are much smaller (making it more difficult to feed).  I had used some outdoor potting soil which I had hoped would've had most of its nutrients leeched out, but that still might be too nutrient rich be burning the roots.  I'll try adding a layer of pine needles as some have had success with that.

I was cheered when a month ago, I saw three flower stalks coming up.  Two of them withered, but the strongest has produced a single flower.



I'm not sure whether it's pre-bloom, or post-bloom.  I've been checking on her every day, and she went from a bud on Sunday to this today.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Even birds sleep in on New Years

We arrived at 9am at Boundary Bay.  At -2 degrees C, we made sure to bundle up warmly before rolling out of the car.

The early morning light bathed the bay in a warm glow.  Even the birds seemed to need a bit of warming up, as we saw little action in the first hour.



We had come to see the birds of prey, and as the ground thawed, so did the wildlife activity.

Cooper's hawk

Juvenile bald eagle

Northern harrier

Hawk vs eagle


Northern harrier




Purple finch


Song sparrow


A non-mallard (mallard females will have a horizontal stripe on each side of the eye)


Baldie with captured prey

We didn't end up seeing any owls...could've been a combination of the time of year, and the early time of day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's owl season

I'm organizing a trip to check out the birds (hopefully a few owls) at Boundary Bay on New Year's Day (most likely AM). Leave a comment (or contact me) if interested. Search the blog for Boundary Bay to see what I've seen in the past.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Snowfall...and Christmas cactus in bloom

One has to wonder what evolutionary reason there is for a Christmas cactus to bloom during the coldest season of the year. They are native to Brazil, where there aren't really seasonal changes in light, yet the blooming is triggered by the changes in light. Last night, we had our first snowfall of the season, and last week, the Christmas cactus opened its first blooms.  According to Wikipedia, they are also known as Thanksgiving cactus, which seems more accurate for those who live in the United States.

 

About four blooms have already fallen off, but it looks like it is roughly on par with what he displayed last year (which shows a diminishing trend, as far as blooms go).

As with previous years, any bud that isn't an inch long by the time the others bloom will probably fall off in the next week or so.

Other observations:
- the timing for this year is the second earliest, compared with prior years of sitting in the same spot
- it is rarely the same branch that hosts a flower, year after year.
- a few leaves have dropped since last year, but they've been replaced by new ones.