Carnivorous Plants Part 1

Environmental science, botany, and ecology are becoming huge passions of mine, and I'm going to begin documenting my discoveries here. Ever since losing out on a summer job opportunity to learn and talk to the public about carnivorous plants, I've decided to pursue learning about them on my own. These are just some beautiful photographs and facts about specific types of carnivorous plants, which I acquired from National Geographic.

Drosera regia
 South African king sundew. Its leaves can reach 2 feet in length.

Drosera stolonifera
Bugs are drawn to what look like dew drops, but then find themselves entangled in sticky tentacles.

Nepenthes lowii
 A tropical pitcher plant attracts bugs with its sweet smell, but bugs find themselves slipping on the plants slippery surface and into its open maw.

Dionaea muscipula
 The Venus flytrap uses electricity to capture its prey. When one or more of its surface hairs are brushed twice, which is an energy-saving system used to detect prey from other stimuli, a electrical charge signals cells on the outside of the plant to expand, morphing the plant bodies shape from convex to concave and snapping the two lobes shut. The hair-like spikes on the end of the lobes are called cilia, and when the lobes close they mesh together inexactly, allowing small prey to escape so the plants energy isn't wasted digesting small prey that can't provide it with sufficient nutrients. 

Nepenthes alata
 Here the silhouettes of two bugs can be seen. The red color at the top of the plant has a waxy texture, preventing bugs from climbing out of the plant as enzymes at the bottom of the tube leach nutrients form the bugs.

Sarracenia flava
Plants require nitrogen in order to survive, but since most carnivorous plants live in bogs and nutrient poor areas, they rely on consuming bugs and insects to attain the nitrogen their environment doesn't possess.

Sarracenia hybrid
To avoid consuming pollinators, pitcher plants keep their flowers as far from their traps as possible via long stems.

Darlingtonia californica
 This California pitcher plant grows in mountainous parts of the West Coast and is an oddity among its kind. Unlike other pitcher plants, its leaves contain no digestive enzymes, and instead it relies on symbiotic bacteria to turn captured insects into usable nutrients.

Sarracenia hybrid
Carnivory is certainly not the most efficient way to acquire nutrients, but it is certainly an exotic adaptation.

Sarracenia flava
Some scientists believe that this stalks squiggly vertical vein is intended as a ladder to guide potential prey to the plants trap. Others argue that it's structural reinforcement. Nonetheless, this species can grow up to 3 feet tall, and often tips over when overfilled with rainwater or the husks of prey. 


Francesca Woodman

Pieces from my most recent journal.
I love to write.

Stanza 1:
I want to have a complex conversation with you, so slow down and hit the breaks for me. Just listen with all your senses so you can taste my flavor with your tongue.

Stanza 2:
There is some innate terror in making a decision, a comprehensible choice that cannot be altered.

Stanza 3:
I feel as though I am becoming more and more closed off from others as well as myself, like I am trapped behind a fence of my own insanity. I wonder if I am stifling my own ability to interact and communicate or if I am losing my ability to relate and communicate entirely, and I wonder whether or not I ever  had this ability to begin with.

Stanza 4:
I will lace my body with strings of snake scales and venom, standing nude in a shower behind a clear plastic curtain. Bowed legs and dry toes will grip tiled floor as I stick out my arm, palm to the camera and fingers spread apart like countries at war, refusing to surrender. 

Stanza 5:
I am an artist I need to be but I feel talentless and I have no vision I am a failure I feel unable to ever successfully create anything I am furious I want to destroy everything in front of me I am furious I have no talent no vision nothing I feel like nothing I am blank paper.

Stanza 6:
In this instant I feel like I am slowly dying. My art is killing me. I am not an artist. I am pitiful. I feel like I am Francesca Woodman. I wonder if one day my creation will kill me. I despise art because everything I createfails me. I cannot create. I love none of my work. It is fully and completely amateur. I want to be like Francesca Woodman. I want my art to be incredible.

Stanza 7:
Out of all the words I want to say
I've chosen the ones in front of me. 

Stanza 8:
It comes in waves that rock you
That rearrange the sand in your dunes.

Stanza 9:
It blankets you like tree bark,
gray,  black, and ashen
welds down the metal
as sparks fly.

A poem:
I am alive.
I am cold breath watered down
Into paste to pave sidewalks.
I am skin gripping bone with
Webbed toes that swim in ice.
I am paint smeared fingernails
Grasping glass window panes that
Feel pain because I am not an 
Artist I simply observe with all
My senses. My veins are
Waterways like aqueducts and they
Pore concrete down my 
Throat when I sleep but I
Still breathe. Like carriers of 
A disease my mind sends
Me messages and I step speak
Swallow see smell hear my
Own thoughts above all other
Voices soon to be lost in 
My own vined jungle but I 
See sky like earth and I
Step on the concrete and walk
Towards blindness because I really can't
See and that's why I wear
Glasses so I can sharpen the 
Blurred lines along with the
Pencil in my hand. Because if 
I don't record and connect
And create a concrete lineage
Of lives lost and linked I will
Step in cracked concrete and
Fall endlessly like dropped kitchenware
And crash and shatter like
A dish on stripped linoleum.
So to make it last I shade gray 
And make marks so my body
Can speak swallow see smell
And hear before blindness
Finds me and I fall and slip
Against cemented cracks in 

I recently watched The Woodmans, and I feel as though my life has been altered significantly (check it out via Netflix). It's odd how the moments that are supposed to change us, like kisses and sex and school and travel lack impact in comparison to the small moments that shake us like shattered glass. My life has been significantly made different from the small moments and experiences, many of which I have created myself. My words and thoughts bring me closer to conclusions I long to make, movies and books stretch my perspectives like elastic. And with this movie, it happened again.

The documentary profiles photographer Francesca Woodman's parents, who discuss her work, career, and suicide. The film creates an intimate portrait of an incredibly talented artist, and while her story is sad, the beauty of her work never escapes you. Her photographs are shown constantly throughout the film, and they are so beautiful and different and startling and creative that I could stare at each one for hours and be completely content and mystified. The movie greatly inspired me, and I could not help but feel a sense of fury when I realized that I would never be as talented, progressive, and inspirational as Francesca Woodman.

The film speaks for itself, and I would rather not discuss it at length, for when others explain their own connections to a film, it often seems we search for those same connections when we watch it. But that is irrational, and often leads to disappointment, for the ways this film will speak to you will be far different from how it spoke to me, and I do not want to influence your expectations. I hope you watch it though, and when you watch it do not search for life altering moments, because if you do you won't find them. But hopefully you watch it and enjoy it as much as I did.

All images taken by Francesca Woodman.


weird and wired

I just started an art blog where I post my artwork. It's fun and nice to have a space only for my work. Art is something I really love to do. It's almost become a sickly obsession that breaks my bones with every breath like a crocodile cracking timber. Lately I've felt my mind racing so quickly against time that I've really needed art in this way I haven't before. I can feel my blood moving at an unnatural rhythm and it almost hurts my fingertips and eyelids when I try to calm down.

It's been raining a lot and that's helped me feel relaxed. The drops drum softly like darting mallets and when I walk and get drenched I feel free of my own panic. I can always picture a gray sky and matted hair that sticks to my skin like melted ice cream. I love to feel inspired and I hope I always will. I love to write and I hope my pen never runs out of ink. I love art and I hope my paper is never empty. I hope my eyes always see every color the world shares with me. I hope I can always taste and hear and smell what is there and imagine what I long to discover in reality.

I wish it was all simple because I love to laugh.

in art class with a recent drawing and one of my closest friends Emily


body loud

I love Ryan McGinley. He is one of my favorite photographers. His work is weird yet beautiful, awkward yet surreal, and sort of grotesque in this magical, pretty way that I love. I recently visited his Yearbook exhibition at a local art gallery in my area. It was amazing. I ended up going back. Seeing such a diverse group of bodies, genders, ethnicity's, and stories put together like that was so inspiring and empowering. Here are some photographs from his most recent series, Body Loud. I love all of them, and my attempt at selecting my favorites completely failed because I basically selected all of them.
This photo of artist Petra Collins is my absolute favorite. The colors and composition are so beautiful and abstract, and her eyes look so blue even though you can hardly see them. I also love the way her hair blends into the reflection of the tree. It's mesmerizing.
 I love the lights and shadows. A very gentle photograph.
Beautiful colors. It evokes an odd story, both unexpected and liberating. 

The figures remind me of a Renaissance painting. It's very still despite the movement. Beautiful colors too.

 So hurried. It really has a voice. Like two lovers running towards each other, while also running away from something else. I love the colors, how everything blends together in a similar hue. It really unifies man and nature beautifully.
 Amazing contrasts.
I love the darkness and the soft skin. 

 Just odd. I see movement in the paint (wax?) on the feet.
 So incredible! Reminds me of this scene from a movie, but I can't think of the name. So beautiful and mysterious. I love the contrasts, the greens, yellows, and browns. So, so vivid. It really grips you.

Love the perspective, and how wide the hips look relative to the rest of her body. Her hair glows, and I love that you can't see her face. Great contrasts in color, shadow, light, and texture. 

Hot yet cold. The bodies look warm, the water looks freezing.

I love his tattoos. I also love his stance, and the primary colors in the background. Reminds me of Wes Anderson. I love how he was caught in a moment. It's very lively. 

So beautiful! I want to say that a thousand times. So beautiful! I love everything. I love the light on the bodies, the moss hanging from the trees along with the models. The swinging legs and loose body of one figure, while the other seems tense and far more still. The colors are so beautiful. I love the light foreground and the dark background. I love the sky poking through, adding a beautiful amount of blue. Very dusky, and sneak-out-at-night summertime vibes. 

 Creepy and beautiful and scary and amazing! I love the thin lines of light on her body. I love how the sticks in the water are of similar hue to her skin tone. I love her eyes, and her reflection too. So beautiful. Very Children of the Corn to me for some reason.
 Amazing how the body just falls into the tree. It gives the photograph a lot of dimension. Almost as though the foreground is simply a curtain the model is running behind. It seems cold, and the blue coming through the sky is perfect.
So cute. I love the contrast of the raccoon against the tattoo.

Dreamy, surreal. I feel like the horse is supposed to be a unicorn? Almost like a princess who is lost and searching for a way to somewhere. Her gaze is perfect.


the yard

I started writing a lengthy analysis, yet again, about this hazy world we live in. But then I decided to post a personal essay I wrote for my English class instead.

"if you think i'm an artist please let me go
i can't stay here alone anymore"
-verse by me

The Yard

First it was the breeze. My steps stopped froze stock-still. I felt the air crisp clean swift like a deer running from the arrow darting around trees over rocks across rivers swift so swift then still. Stillness like a frozen breeze caught between my lips rolling over my tongue like salted kisses on Sundaes. I found my mind running in circles jumping over hurdles at a constant speed of endless continuation. There was no stopping each thought racing for the finish leaving me breathless and winded and weightless. Anxiety crushes ribs and breaks branches and twists and contorts it all every limb of the tree it breaks and cracks and swallows.
            My uncle’s house is my favorite place. I can see it all when the rope swing carries me to the apex and back again. I swing, eyes shut into blackness, and clarity finds me through the chaotic yard I cruise above. He creates a place of his own within the biome that roots him to the soil. His art litters the property and blends in with the wild vines and habitats. The animals he sculpts from metal find their own homes as rust grows over their backs and legs like poison oak around a fence. I swing and see the world get smaller, the steel animals welding to the rocks and trees below me. I feel calm surrounded by the chaos of rusted steel and discarded pottery, and all my thoughts come together in peaceful silence.
            Then it was the waves. I saw it all like a flashflood and soon the water swallowed me and I was off no stopping no breaks other than the tides that rolled in on the shore. It was the moon that pulled and kneaded the salted oasis like clay like clay salt sprayed and the water roared and soon my mind was a mess of saturated sand. The water pulled back and forth like the swing I gripped and it rocked me like it was the cradle and I the infant but the roar the roar did not quiet and it kept me held me took me.
            I imagine I am swinging towards latticed ivy, my fingers gripping tightly to woven rope. The swing in my uncle’s yard rocks softly to an earthen beat that clings to my fingernails. I swing like a pendulum, an orangutan on acid, but in these moments I feel placid as the breeze I create with my own momentum carries my hair hissing and cracking and snapping like fire around my face. It is odd how the moments when I feel most serene are when I am buried knee deep in frenzied foliage and nature’s dewy petroleum. Every chaotic thought that twists my skull into madness discovers silence, and with it, I discover tranquil solitude. Swinging is what rocks away the worry, the stress, the unanswerable curiosities – it becomes an escape when I close my eyes and whistle along with the wind. Perhaps it is the way the world looks when I glide so quickly towards the future and back to the past, the way my eyelids get heavy, the way my blood beats steady, that brings me contentment.
            Lastly it was the storm. Gravel beat down heavy and thunder drummed and drummed in circles grinding too fast so fast birds break wings and feathers fall. Clouds leaked and flooded like old copper pipes and it made me dizzy and it all spilled over and out and away. It was the tempest the quake the invisible knife the butter melting everything evaporating.  Fists knocked my skull with knuckleball bats breathing quick sight clouded confusion found in an opaque illusion.
            I can remember the silence, how the world seemed to freeze for me, giving me permission to see it all and take it all, my senses making memories like a synesthesiac. My eyes tasted the wide, wide world and my lips heard the freedom within the birds and the bark of trees. My ears smelled the pine needles, and it all felt endless, freezing me in a hot spring. This is the place that holds me down to the root beneath the earth. I relate to my uncle’s disorderedly yard, and every part of me clings to the objects that are hiding where they don’t belong. The more I stare and watch the world twist and contort with my movements, the more I see the organic mayhem folding together into a web of structured satin. As the sculptures and pieces of cracked clay melt into the lives lived by the insects and trees and streams, my own anxiety suddenly feels contained. These things in the yard, some lost, some created, some collected, help me structure and calm my own qualms. Gripping the rope swing, I move at a vivid pace - a quick, darting speed -and the world joins me in this rhythm. But my mind, it stays static. I feel bliss, for I am still again; who knew such flagrant chaos could house such blatant peace. 


look at me

here i am front and center.

i like the world. it's a great place. it sucks that stupid corporations are fucking everything up. people are so greedy and money driven that they forget about the place they come from, and i don't mean nasty, polluted cities, i mean actual dirt and trees and particles. nobody seems to care anymore about preserving wildlife. doesn't it scare anyone that we're the only species actually destroying the world and every living thing around us? half the time we inflict disease on ourselves from all the chemicals we introduce to the world. and we make animals suffer because we need our technology and plastic products and shampoo that tests on animals. and then you go to school and realize hardly anyone cares about any of it.

i'm so happy my friends and i care. we go to the beach almost every week to watch the sunset, and we hike through this little forest and then lay in the sand and talk about everything and it's amazing. in a world full of so much emptiness, it's nice when you finally feel connected to people and a world that is disappearing more and more every second.

i want to dedicate my life to making art and preserving wildlife. when i originally started this blog, it was a fashion blog. but now it's nothing of the sort, and i'm glad. i admire fashion, and i think it's beautiful, but it's not something i want to partake in. i don't like the industry, the cattiness, the haughty attitudes... all these people are so elitist, and they aren't even doing anything important. they aren't helping the world or making it better. i'm more so critical of the industry than the designers. because many designers are great people. but for me, participating in that type of industry would just kill me. my philosophy is that you need to do what you love, but also try to make a difference, help someone or help the environment stop decaying at the rate it is. i have so much respect for fashion designers, but the industry itself just makes me want to vomit. 

butterflies are my favorite animal today.

 two of my main girls that i love forever
i really like trees and flare jeans

 stay in school or else we will eat you


let's stay a while

A sixties kid flashes the peace sign after being beaten by riot police.