Category Archives: Environment

Waxy alien irradiated dog penis

This scared the pants off me this afternoon:

Moonflower1

I bent forward to look closer at it and actually said out loud, on my porch, “Oh my god. What the fuck is that?”

Morning glories are supposed to look like this (note the smallish, normal-looking pod):

MorningGlories1

When I saw the gigantic wrong-looking morning glory penis pod, I really did wonder what was wrong with my plants, and what could have got into them to suddenly make them start sprouting such disturbing-looking buds. It creeped me out. A lot.

I started inspecting the rest of that bunch, and then saw this:

Moonflower2

What a relief. I realized that the waxy alien irradiated dog penis thing was actually a moonflower bud. I had put some moonflower seeds in with the morning glories this year but they hadn’t bloomed until now. So far, these are the only ones I’ve seen, and since it’s late September, there probably won’t be any more this year.

I may not get to see either of them in full flower because that might be around 3 AM. But maybe one will still be in bloom tomorrow morning. If so, I’ll take a photo and add it to this post.

This led to a convoluted conversation with Nitram that started out with my telling him how the moonflower bud scared me and grossed me out and ended with talking about cold medicines from the ’70s and ’80s. In between was the corpse flower; skunk cabbage; how smells can send you back to a memory in an instant; the smell of orange-scented nitrous oxide at the dentist’s when I was a kid (mixed with the smell of the black rubber mask, ick); the taste, smell, and consistency of that glutinous orange-flavored Triaminic cold medicine in the ’70s; the uselessness of Sucrets (made your tongue and punching bag numb but did nothing for your sore tonsils); and the experience of having your mom fight with you to spray Chloraseptic down your throat.

Holy crap. I just looked up all three of those meds and they’re still making them. I’m going to have nightmares about those now instead of the alien flower pod penis.

UPDATE 9.27.14:

Friday afternoon, the moonflower that was trying to bloom gave it up and fell to the ground without fully opening.  Last night, the penile one bloomed:

Moonflower3wm

It’s still in bloom today, but will probably close up and die once the sun hits it directly:

Moonflower4wm

Utterly fascinating, I know.

Batfink

Free-tailed Bat, copyright 2011 Leonardo Ancillotto. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: This applies to North American New England bats; if anyone very knowledgeable about bats of the world would like to comment and add advice, please do.

If a bat gets into your house, here is what to do:

This almost always happens at night, so try to isolate the bat in one room by turning the lights off or low in that room, and turning the lights on or bright in other rooms. Bats are not attracted to light. To isolate the room, close the doors very slowly and very carefully. This can take some constant effort because the bat will usually be swooping and dive-bombing throughout the house. Be very careful not to slam doors or barriers — you do not want a squished little bat.

I tend to sort of crawl around on the floor while doing this, to avoid the bat’s flight path. No, they are not going to dive for your hair or face — but they do swoop and dive, and if your hair or face is in the way, oh well.

Once the bat is isolated in one room, open a window — make sure the screen is up and open, preferably as you are opening the window; you don’t want the bat crashing into the screen repeatedly.

If the bat doesn’t immediately fly right out the window, turn the lights off completely, and it should head right out.

Done.

Okay, so that’s what to do. Here is what not to do:

Scream and run around like a nutter, flapping your arms.

Grab a pillowcase or towel or other item to trap the bat in. Bad idea. Hurts the bat, may hurt you.

So there it is, that’s about it. Simple.

Bats are largely beneficial creatures and they want to be in your house even less than you want them to be there. Be good to the bats and ease them out. Remember, “Don’t panic.”

Also, please see Bat World Sanctuary‘s page on What to do if You’ve Found a Bat.

Recycle Your Politicians

There seem to be no green politicians round here. It’s pissing me off and driving me nuts. This is only two days’ worth, and there are duplicates and triplicates in the pile:

A couple people I’ll be voting for are in there. A couple people I’ve never even heard of. A few others I wish would disappear. Regardless, they’re all pissing me off.

Listen up, politicians:

I do my own political research. I read and listen to news, look you up online on your site and others, evaluate what you have to say against your track record. I do not need a flyer or two from you EVERY DAMN DAY.

You can talk all you want about how green you are and how you care about the environment, but your countless flyers are going out to others who are perhaps not like me: they won’t recycle them, they’ll just throw them away. I know people like this, and they don’t care about recycling. Half of them don’t even vote, and your polluting flyers are not going to change that. Your flyers aren’t going to change my mind, either — unless, of course, you send me so many that I decide not to vote for you because of your negative impact on the environment. And you can talk about how you’re providing jobs for Americans through the design, printing, and distribution of your flyers, but get this: if there is no America left after it’s been buried under trash, you personally contributed to that.

Damn, I’m pissed off.

A few weeks back I sent e-mails/sitemails to every politician and party that started filling up my mail box with this crap, telling them to stop. Never heard back, of course, and the pollution just keeps rolling in.

Arrrrrrrrgh!!