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The Woods: Upcoming Project Blog - June Update

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

It has been some time since the last update, and many questions have been answered regarding the size of the enclosure, what plants will be featured, and what is the health of the animals? We will have answers to all those questions and more in this update.

We had the chance to visit our friends and sponsors of this project: Carnivorous Plant Nursery last Friday. The Carnivorous Plant Nursery is a Maryland-based nursery that sells cultivated carnivorous, bog, and wildflower plants. We went down to pick up the featured plants for the upcoming build. The main plant for this enclosure is the Northern Purple Pitcher Plant (one of our target species for conservation), and the specimen they donated is by far one of the most beautiful pitchers ever seen! This plant will be featured heavily as the primary representative for all plants inside the enclosure. One surprise given to us was the lady's slipper orchid. I would encourage you to do a google search of the pink lady's slipper orchid. The plant is stunning, and the specimen we received is once again beautiful. Another plant we are looking forward to observing next year is the trout lily. Other plants are dewberry, northern cranberry, and bog violet.

Other plants not from the Carnivorous Plant Nursery: top-hat blueberry, sensitive fern, New York fern, Philadelphia Fleabane.

Here will be the layout we are anticipating for where the plants will be

Highland near waterfall (the wet part near and in the background)

Cranberry plants

Bog violet

Philadelphia fleabane


Top-hat blueberry

Pink lady's slipper orchid

Trout lily

Lower terrestrial to marginal

New York fern


Sensitive fern

Marginal to the water area

Purple pitcher plant

Big cranberry plant

The plants are in areas of the enclosure where they will likely thrive. We will share more about the plants later.

The frogs and toads went to the vet, and some just had fecal samples sent consistently this year. The vet cleared the animals to go in the enclosure. We are anxious to get the animals in the habitat already. 5 years of planning and waiting for the day this habitat is close to being a reality. Currently, Ace is in her 40-gallon aquarium alone because she was getting a little bit too aggressive with food for poor Pious. Pious is living with Oracle and Esther in a 55-gallon. We wanted to see how the wood frogs would do with an American toad in their habitat. The two wood frogs and Pious seem to get along without aggressiveness. We added Wellsboro to the enclosure; we have gone back and forth trying to decide if he will be a member of this ecosystem. We are still undecided. We will figure out more about Wellsboro in a future update.

Oracle is doing well. He went to the vet for the first time and did better than expected. It will be exciting to see how he reacts the day he enters this upcoming environment. The fauna confirmed in this build are 2 American toads and wood frogs. We will have more updates on the status of the animals and what happens with Wellsboro.

The invertebrates are thriving! The carpenter ant colony (still unnamed) is growing in population. The canyon isopods are increasing in numbers too. They will contribute an important part to the success of this ecosystem. There is not much to report on for the two invert colonies.

The gear for filming is confirmed. The Pocket 6k will be the primary camera with two Laowa lenses: Probe Macro 24mm and Macro 15mm. The B-cam will be the Sony a6300. The lenses are Sony 18mm-135mm and Super Takumar 50mm. We plan to use a camera slider and a professional-grade tripod. The GoPro 10 is fantastic for slow motion and may be experimented with, but it will not be a primary camera for this project. Additional cameras are confirmed. M Morvelli donated a security camera for monitoring the habitat from the outside, and a trail camera will be inside the enclosure to capture the nocturnal activity of the frogs and inverts. We will use many exciting gadgets and tools we will use to tell this story, but we will not dive into that now.

The final decision was made for the dimensions of the enclosure. Sadly we were unable to keep the size of 8 feet long because we found that 8 feet will not make it around a wall. The way to get around the lack of length was to add width. The size of this enclosure will be larger than the 8-foot-long enclosure. The hope is with so much space, the animals will be able to spread out and have a low-stress load. It will be fascinating to observe the four frogs and toads and learn what their preferences are. With many different parts of the habitat, the frogs and toads will have the opportunity to choose if they want to hide near the bog (water area), or in the open terrestrial part.

The flora and fauna have been confirmed for this build

The tech gear has been confirmed for filming this story

The size of the enclosure has been confirmed.

We will have more updates coming soon.

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