An algorithmic walk (and respite from I75 traffic) leads to a man in a tie-dyed shirt selling air plants alongside a young bearded glassblower at the Chattanooga River Market. It’s curious how much the misplaced tropical plants above resemble the tendrils of captive animals living a few hundred yards away inside Tennessee Aquarium tanks.
This first go at moss terrariums follows a tutorial by a Brooklyn based terrarium store. Inspired, I hiked along a stretch of railroad that runs through Whitehall Forest, harvesting verdant rugs, small chunks of pink and greyscale granite, and parched epiphytic aliens.
The simple tutorial fails to include instructions and tips for anyone interested in creating lasting enclosed microenvironments. After a week, the apothecary terrarium above is growing a white, moldy beard from the sphagnum layer. While troubleshooting, I discovered some comprehensive websites dedicated to the natural art beyond home decor trends. These are the best so far:
The next batch will include a layer of activated charcoal to absorb any toxins, cleanse the water as it travels up and down, and (hopefully) stem mold growth.
Orbweavers, Oranges, Epiphytes, and Espada
The colorful spinybacked orbweaver only lives a few months. The photogenic Lake County resident above found a sunny spot in an orange grove.
The Florida Citrus Growers Association Responds to a Proposed Law Requiring Handwashing Facilities in the Fields
by Martin Espada
squeezed on the hands,
is an adequate substitute
for soap and water.