Friday, April 1, 2011

Not quite loving ALL nature...

I quite often describe myself as a 'nature nerd'. I have in the past claimed to love all nature and embraced all manner of not-so-cute-and-cuddly creatures including eels, giant weta and tuatara.  It's time to confess. I really don't love all creatures great and small. In fact, it's some of the small ones that drive me the craziest.

Flies. I am really annoyed by flies. All kinds of flies, the little, moronic ones that just zzzzz around in circles in the middle of the room, the flies that have some kind of mad penchant for anything electrical, so they repeatedly land on my laptop or the corner of the television.  No matter how many times I shoo them away, they just fly in a lazy figure eight, and return to their favourite spot.  Which they then throw up on. Those 'fly spots' that you see on your walls, roof and lightbulbs, are not poo, they are in fact where the fly has regurgitated some spit in order to liquefy more solid food items, which it then mops up with its tongue, like a sponge. Blegh.

The problem with flies is if you don't like them, how do you get rid of them? you can swat them, but that's energetically demanding (I'm nothing if not consistently lazy!). Swatting also leaves gross fly remains on your walls, coffee tables etc. Some genius inventor has come up with an electric fly swat, that looks like a cross between a tazer and a tennis racket.  You can spray them, but it's not nice to pack your house full of chemicals, because you're annoyed at a couple of flies dithering around the lounge.  My Nana always had some of that sticky paper hanging in the kitchen... which I found rather macabre, with it's trail of sticky black corpses, trapped forever in glue. 

I have another solution. A venus fly trap. I've got one on our kitchen windowsill, and lo and behold it has been doing it's job.
Two in one go!

 Venus fly traps, are carnivorous plants. That in itself is pretty cool. They work by the tiny hairs found on the inside of the 'trap' part. When an insect walks over these trigger-hairs, the leaves swing shut, trapping the insect inside. The insect struggles away, the leaves seal around it, creating a kind of 'stomach' where digestion occurs, and then after the juice has all been sucked out, they open again, with just the exoskeleton of the insect remaining. amazing! 

I hope my venus fly-trap doesn't get as big as Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors!
So, what nature do YOU not like? got any pet peeves, or animals that just gross you out? Why?


  1. Hi Nic

    My son discovered the wonders of the Venus Fly Trap around the age of 8-9. Through him I too was amazed.

    This year he's off to Uni. for his first year, and it's all about biology and genetics.

    So thanks... your great post really reminds me of the special things he introduced me to!



  2. Yeah i have to say this little Venus fly trap is probably the most vigorous of the ones i have tried to grow.

    My Dad used to tell us a story when we were kids that when he was a kid, his brother had a venus fly trap that he fed bits of belgium (that's luncheon meat to you Northerners) to and it grew so big, he stopped feeding it for fear he might end up on the menu. I loved that story! Turns out, when i asked Dad recently about that story he said it just died 'cos they fed the belgium to all the 'mouths'. I liked the story he told us though!

    Thanks for the feedback, and I completely understand about little things like that inspiring you - that's how i ended up in my job (i studied zoology at varsity, loved every minute).
    Cheers yourself,

  3. Hi Nic

    Gosh I'd forgotten all about Belgium! Ahh the memories...

    You see my dad [now long gone] was a butcher specialising in smallgoods.

    I grew up on his handiwork, and back then the word "organic" was meaningless in the context of the day when all processed goods contained the real thing!

    Great to see you embracing blogging. Always seems to me it's place of substance and freedom, as opposed to FB which is a very controlled business model that can and does change overnight at the whim of a dollar [and privacy sell-outs]



  4. Hey Piwakawaka (Nic) - We have one of these mini-triffids :-) on our window-sill and it's (she's) thriving! We're leaving it to nature/chance to feed her and so far the balance has been just right, though she's thrown up a proportionally extreme flower stalk. I'm a person who likes flies alot! Most of them any way, bar the annoying ones that come inside the house to torment me. They and I have an agreement. They annoy, I exterminate.