Updated: Oct 26, 2022
Finally, one exhibit for this project has finished. The greenhouse we first had in mind was double the size of the greenhouse we ended up using and pictured above. We planned on a six-foot greenhouse, but it did not work out. Instead, we compromised and modified a moderately sized greenhouse we already had. We added two new stories to this greenhouse. We will not have the greenhouse additionally as an exclusive insectarium like initially thought. We will have the canyon isopod exhibit and the giant pink-foot millipede exhibit, but we will not have as much room as we planned for other possible inverts. The plants are vital to this project, and especially now, the plants need somewhere to go. The blueberry bush, cranberry plant, and others are waiting for the 225-gallon vivarium to be built and do not have a home yet.
We do not have most of the plants for this build for various reasons. The Carnivorous Plant Nursery is one of the sponsors for the plants and is donating some plants and partnering with us to promote this project because it will help bring attention to bog plants and, more importantly, the purple pitcher plant. We are very excited to work with them and to have their high-quality plants displayed in our flagship enclosure. The most important plant is the purple pitcher plant, but it is not an average specimen. This specific plant is an all green albino sarracenia purpurea heterodoxa. We are looking forward to the next few months because soon, we will visit the nursery and select the specific pitcher that will be our staple plant. We are very excited to attempt cranberries and bog blackberries. Both are low-growing vining plants that are native and produce fruit. The fruit will be an added benefit for the inverts living inside the 225-gallon enclosure. Isopods and crickets could be eating fresh fruit, which we think is an incredible event to witness.
Check out the Carnivorous Plant Nursery:
The inverts we have been talking about, the canyon isopods and pink-foot millipedes, are captive bred, and both are/will be from Josh's Frogs. Josh's Frogs has sponsored this enclosure donating lights and other materials. We are very excited for our canyon isopod colony to keep expanding! Very soon, we will set up the isopod colony in the greenhouse. We look forward to getting a rough estimate of how many we have. Before these new groups arrived, we had hundreds. We are hoping to get to tens of thousands. They will be a staple feeder and a pet. We are very excited for the millipedes whenever they become available. The pink-foot millipede is one of our favorite inverts, and we are excited to try and educate you about their role in the ecosystem and why they are valuable. The most exciting part is both colonies are captive bred because Josh's Frogs does not import these inverts!
Almost every invert will come from Josh's Frogs, and so will many accessories to help create the Through The Woods Exhibits. We have been feeding the frogs and toads of the PA Woods and Forests Community for many years with positive results. We even got the opportunity to see where they breed the inverts! We cannot thank Josh's Frogs enough for their continued support for our various projects and their sponsorship of this one-of-a-kind exhibit.
Check out Josh's Frogs:
We sent fecal samples for the wood frogs and American toads to the vet. We will soon find out how the parasite load for both groups is. Oracle has been very patient in the temporary enclosure with Esther, his partner. We are hoping to hear good news from both groups. The sooner we have one temporary group enclosure, the better.
We are considering a YouTube series showcasing updates on all the critters in this project. This series would be dependent on our progress. It would be more inconsistent compared to other projects because we are consistent with making videos for them. Would you watch a series about the construction of the Through The Woods Exhibits?
We are still disappointed about the passing of Queen Ant Laurel. We are very optimistic for the future colonies because we have started purchasing supplies in anticipation of future ant colonies. We purchased a mini hearth. This item is a smaller ant enclosure perfect for the queen while she builds her colony. It provides more space than a test tube, and we think the hearths will help us care for future ants and begin growing colonies. We are working with Tar Heel Ants to care for the new ants. We are very motivated to have a colony of ants for various reasons, and we are looking forward to working with Tar Heel Ants as we get closer to creation of the exhibits.
Check out Tar Heel Ants:
We will focus next time on more of the accessories, updates, if we go through with creating a YouTube series, and more.