Piddly Podcast 5- Prison Tampons and Carnivorous Michigan Plants

Piddly Podcast 5

Piddly podcasts are our mini-filler podcasts.  These will include things like corrections, fan base contact shout outs, confessions, and short stories.  These aren’t scheduled, they are little surprises when they arrive in your podcast queue.

 

Warning: This podcast occasionally contains strong language which may be unsuitable for children.

Today we have…

A troll.  A troll in my family.  I’ve decided to directly address the points that were brought up.  One is why Jenn’s articles are shorter than mine are, and two is that I curse.

Jenn: “The reason I am not as detailed as Ali is for the following reasons: I have a son and a dog who for some reason still like to spend time with me, I work at a minimum of 72 hours a week, I attend college where I am working towards my Bachelors. Currently, I wake up at 5:00 AM and my head, on a good day, hits my pillow at 1:30AM.”

I, Ali King, only work 32-36 hours a week and I am married to a unicorn.  My husband makes 99% of our meals, he cleans the house, fills my car with gas and clears it of snow. I have the time and the inclination for researching articles, so I do.

I also refuse to share my unicorn husband with his sister, which makes me the Wicked Witch of the Frozen North.

I would like to add that it was my idea to do the podcast and I’m just lucky Jenn said yes and then took over the technical work.  Also, to clear up some of her time I would like to announce that we have our first employee, Poppy.  That’s right, the sister that loves to correct me will now do it BEFORE the podcast.  She’ll also be creating our Continuing the Conversation articles.  Thank you, Poppy!

As far as the cursing goes, I curse.  One of the first things I said to Jenn was that I wanted to curse on our podcast because I wanted to speak naturally.  I naturally cuss. I get pumped over people in history.

There was a podcast pause because Apollo, Jenn’s big dog, busted down the door and came in the office.

Listen to another podcast if you don’t want curses. That is why our episodes come out with the E for explicit.  Read our show notes at michiganandothermayhem.com if you want to learn about the subjects but you don’t want the swearing.

Virginia’s New Prison Policy

Virginia has a policy that female visitors can’t use tampons and enter the prison.  They are given full body scans to determine if they are using a tampon. Women with tampons are given the option to pull out the tampon and relent to a full body search or leave.

Ali thinks this is because someone snuck something into the prison using nature’s pocket, the vagina.  Jenn doesn’t think it is possible.  Ali thinks Jenn should watch more prison movies.  Vaginas are referred to as ‘nature’s pocket’ because it is our body’s only orifice that has an end point.

Carnivorous Plants of Michigan

Carnivorous means flesh-eating.  I used to have Venus Fly Trap plants, but they were hard to keep alive as I had to buy distilled water for them, and they were sensitive to the environment. I did once kill a fly and then stimulate the plant so it would eat.

Michigan is home to three different carnivorous plants that grow naturally.  We have Pitcher Plants, Sundews, and Bladderworts.  Carnivorous plants grow through an adaptation when soil nutrients are poor.  That messed me up a little, because we have deciduous forests, which are known for their rich soil, but Michigan’s carnivorous plants live in environments like acidic bogs and wet fens, which do have soil with low nutrients.  These aren’t forest plants, they’re water plants.

Bladderworts are found in the wetter areas of wetlands.  They lack root  systems but have more of a floating stem system, which contain “bladders” which are small hollow sacs that capture and digest tiny aquatic animals.  They digest insect larvae, aquatic worms, and water fleas. I’d like to think Bladderworts eat mosquito larvae and think that they are tasty.

Zigzag bladderwort in Michigan is a threatened species that is legally protected.  There are very rare instances of them being spotted on the lower westside of Michigan. Floating Bladderwort in Michigan is even more rare.  All the Floating Bladderwort in Michigan grows in a single, large coastal plain marsh that is in the state’s most southwest county, near Lake Michigan.

Bladderworts have delicate little yellow flowers that remind me of ballerina tutus, and grow out of stems that are tall, thin, and crooked. The stems remind me of a wizard’s walking stick.

Pitcher Plants grow to look like a pitcher or vase that is filled with rainwater and digestive enzymes.  Insects are attracted to the plant’s nectar secreting glands.  When insects investigate the source of that sweet, sweet nectar, they slip on the smooth walls of the pitcher, that often have small protrusions pointing down.  The prey falls in, drowns or exhausts itself, and it slowly digested for nutrients.  Pitcher plants in Michigan have been known to consume insects, spiders, and the occasional frog.

(A few years ago, I watched a documentary program that showed an Amazonian Pitcher Plant that had been digesting a mouse.)

Pitcher Plants can be found throughout the upper and lower peninsulas of the state.  There is a page on CS Mott’s Children’s Hospital site that warns against people using Pitcher Plants as an herbal supplement.   https://www.mottchildren.org/health-library/d05332a1

Sundews are a plant that grow similarly to Pitcher Plants, even alongside them in nature.  Sundews have long leaves that form points, with what look like little hairs coming off of them.  Each hair has what looks like a droplet of water on the end, but it is actually a very sticky mucus. Roaming insects become stuck on the hairs, and the hair produce extra glue-mucus to keep the insect anchored.

When an insect moves against the tentacle-like hair, the hair moves the stuck prey toward the center of the leaf.  This can take a matter of minutes.  Afterward, the leaf curls in on the insect, so it can be digested easier.  This can take days for the Sundew to complete.  The insect usually dies of exhaustion or the mucus from the hairs asphyxiates it.

Their flowers are white with five petals that grow out of the center of the rosette, which is made by the leaves. They are the most common carnivorous plant in Michigan.  There is a type of Sundew, the Drosera linearis, (aka Linear-Leaved Sundew) which only grows in the Great Lakes regions.  It thrives on the shores of Lakes Michigan and Huron.

Sundew fact: In England, in the late 1970’s, they did a study of Sundew flowers, finding that over 6 million insects were eaten by them in a two-acre area.

Anything that eats a mosquito is Ali’s friend. It reminds Jenn of “The Little Shop of Horrors”.

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