We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Carnivorous plants are a reminder that life has evolved in competition for resources. A blossom is either sex bait or bait for food. Fruit is just a plant's way of using a monkey's body to spread its territory. The trilling of birds in the woods may be one of two messages: "I'm in the mood" or "Buzz off, this is my crib". Squirrels eat nuts -- and birds when they can catch them. The fluffy panda is a slow-moving predator; the ones in reserves sometimes injure their caretakers. And all the deer family can be far more aggressive than people expect.
For all that Nature is red in tooth and claw, it is also a generous provider. Many animals are tender of their young and of their mates. Young of different species -- and even adults -- will play together. It gives me hope and cheer.
The pictures in the gallery are spectacular. Thank you for posting them. I have tried to maintain carnivorous plants in my back yard, but somehow always manage to murder them. Too much water? Not enough water? Not enough sun? Who knows?
Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas
I had kind of the same problem trying to raise chickens. My third trip to the farm to buy more chicks, I asked the guy, "Do you think I'm planting them too deep, or too close together, or maybe I'm watering too much?" He wouldn't sell me any more.