a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Jul, 2015

Summer fun idea #3 – Botanical adventures at home

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy

I wrote about our family of venus fly traps earlier this summer, but I wanted to post an update because it’s turned out to be a really interesting little project. Sidebar: many kids plant seeds/grow beans as a school project during some point in their lives. This is really taking it to the next level!

Look what happened:

Our Venus fly trap caught a fly. Poor bugger.



I don’t know why I’m surprised that our venus fly traps actually catch flies, but they do! Full size ones! It’s been fascinating – and only mildly creepy. In fact, we saw it happen.

Let me set the scene for you: a pesky housefly was buzzing around the window. Buzz, tap, buzz, tap, buzz, tap. He slowly made his way down to the row of plants. What’s this? He thinks. Maybe it’s something to eat! Curiousity gets the better of him. He inches his way down to one of them slowly, carefully. His senses are tingling, but he doesn’t see anything amiss. It’s just a plant! An ordinary plant! What can possibly go wrong? His antenna is twitching, the hairy parts of his legs picking up every tiny breeze. He takes one final little hop, right on to the trap. He pokes around for a moment to see what the big deal is about, tra la la, when suddenly, the trap swings shut in one smooth motion, the bristles coming together like intertwined fingers. It happens in a fifth of a second, and the fly is hopelessly trapped, forever.


I have some venus fly trap tips if you’re thinking of picking one up for fly killing duty in your home:

  • the venus fly trap needs to be watered with a spray bottle every day, using water that has been be boiled and cooled, or rainwater (we use the latter)
  • it needs to be on a sunny window. Ours are in an east-facing window and they seems to be doing ok.
  • the dead traps should be trimmed off periodically. New ones will grow in to replace them.

And if you’re wondering, we bought ours at Farm Boy. :)

2 Responses to "Summer fun idea #3 – Botanical adventures at home"

1 | Corvus

July 22nd, 2015 at 3:40 pm


Wow….Farm Boy really does have EVERYTHING.

2 | Claudette (@WriterOfWords91)

July 23rd, 2015 at 9:56 am


I want one! Gonna have to get one when the backsplash tile in the kitchen is installed and the construction around here is finally finished…

I bought a house plant I never saw before the other day called Mimosa Pudica (or Sensitive Plant) that moves its fern-like leaves when touched. I just love that thing, and had to move it to several different locations because I felt that we disturbed it too much. Like having a pet! lol

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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