Monthly Archives: December 2015

And one last note for Christmas Eve

The Triffid Ranch will be closed today and tomorrow, but opens on Saturday for those in the need to get out of the house for a while. In the meantime, how about a little holiday music appropriate to the shop?

Have A Great Weekend

This Saturday marks both the last Midtown ArtWalk of the year, but also an early opportunity to celebrate Caroline’s and my 13th wedding anniversary. Just for the record, this is exactly the song I wanted played at our wedding: certainly, she’s been listening to it for the intervening time.

Critters Among the Carnivores

  Going through the backlog of photos from2015, a few were put on the wayside until such a time as it made sense to gather them all together. Such was the case with photos of various animals around the Triffid Ranch greenhouse. By way of example,a regular joke around here is to point to any animal that would be wildly inappropriate as a house pet and yell “Look! KITTY!” Upon inspecting it, usually with someone in tow as a witness to her husband’s usual behavior, the Czarina tells me “No, that’s not a kitty,” finishing with a very long sigh. It’s all part of my master plan for getting a crocodile monitor for my birthday next year. One day, I’ll point this out to her at a reptile show and she won’t disagree with me, and then I’ve got her. 
Anyway, we had lots of skinny green kitties in and around the greenhouse, especially during rainstorms. Who else would be running around during a crashing thunderstorms, taking photos of sleeping lizards? 
 And then there was the surprise. I’ve heard of mantids camping out on Sarracenia pitcher plants, but the mantids in Dallas are so small and so rare that I’d never seen one amobg the growing pools. That is, until I went out one evening to collect seed pods and found this little girl camped out underneath a bloom cap.  
Surprisingly, she had no issues with being held, and I suspect that she liked being photographed. I saw her once more before she laid her egg case and died, but I’m holing her children are as congenial and determined to use Sarracenia as hunting blinds as she was.  

Have a Great Weekend


A minor update, but one directly tied to (anti)social media. After starting a Facebook account eight years ago, it became time to close everything down. It’s happened in bits and pieces over the years: realizing that work wasn’t getting done because of constant queries while online, deactivating the account, and then getting back on when that was the only way to contact old friends or vital sources for information. The combination of the utter toxicity of Facebook in the current US presidential election cycle, the fact that Facebook was holding the Triffid Ranch page hostage in the hopes of paying to get updates viewed by people who had requested as much, and the simple fact that Facebook was making me nostalgic for the thoughtful conversations and commentary on LiveJournal, finally pushed me over the edge, and I’m staying off. Probably permanently, too.

That’s not to say that the Triffid Ranch is staying off social media. It’s just time to move to a healthier place. In a roundabout way, that’s to mention that everything that doesn’t quite justify a full blog post is going over to Tsu. If Facebook is that unemployed uncle at Christmas dinner who can’t speak except in Fox News bullet points, Tsu is that artist aunt who keeps getting you hooked on Spirograph and polymer clay. Besides a much less obnoxious ad presence, Tsu actually pays for original content, so with the combination of being compensated for new material and being reasonably sure that comments won’t be hijacked by that friend of a friend who only wants to pick fights, it’s a much better idea.

Anyway. Come by to say hello, or just come by to read. Either way, I promise that the Drama Llama will not come along and take a forty-pound dump in the middle of your living room.

The Aftermath: Funky Finds 2015 – 6


And that’s about it for now. Unfortunately, next spring’s Funky Finds show runs opposite the long-reserved All-Con show, but don’t let that stop you. As for next fall, that depends completely upon the state of affairs at Midtown, so we may be moving to a new location at that time and we may not. Let’s see what happens, eh?

The Aftermath: Funky Finds 2015 – 5


The Aftermath: Funky Finds 2015 – 4


The Aftermath: Funky Finds 2015 – 3


The Aftermath: Funky Finds 2015 – 2


Reminder: December Midtown ArtWalk

Just as a friendly reminder, the December Midtown ArtWalk is scheduled for the 19th, and we have reason to celebrate. The soft opening for the Triffid Ranch space occurred right between the Czarina’s and my birthdays, so we brought out separate birthday cakes that pretty much summed up our relationship. Yeah, it’s that bad.



Anyway, this month’s ArtWalk is special for one particular reason: at the end of the month, we celebrate 13 years of wedded bliss, so it’s time for a party. You can imagine my disappointment at discovering that the theme for a thirteenth anniversary isn’t tacos, so this is one tradition that changes on December 19. Come out for the carnivorous plants and the jewelry, and stay to place bets on whether we’ll survive to see 14.

The Aftermath: Funky Finds 2015 – 1


Having the new space is fun and all, but any retailer will tell you that 90 percent of the battle is getting the general public to notice that you exist.With that in mind, it was time to return to traveling shows, with a weekend in Fort Worth for the Funky Finds Holiday Shopping Experience in November. Having much more preparation and propagation space meant having both more selection and more plants total, and the beautiful weather meant that the crowds kept coming for the entire weekend. Since it had been three years since the last Triffid Ranch presentation, I didn’t know if anyone remembered the booth from 2012, but that wasn’t a worry.


As far as the plants were concerned, it was a calculated risk: sometimes the beginning of November is balmy and mild, and sometimes it’s pushing freezing with rain and ice, and Fort Worth usually deflects the worst of the local weather away from Dallas as storms travel east. This wasn’t a concern, other than the quick rainstorm on Saturday morning, and the crowd was the largest I’ve seen at Funky Finds since I first started attending in 2010. (Has it really been that long?)


Back on the air: October ArtWalk


Well, it’s been a little while: between work at the Day Job and work at the space, updating the blog has fallen in priority. However, with a camera just full of imagery, it’s time to get back to it. Since last month’s Black Friday show was a complete loss (and I give nobody any grief about this, considering that the Dallas area was hit with one of its biggest November rainstorms ever, the whole weekend long), how about photos from the October ArtWalk?


Have A Great Weekend

A little secret about the new space: the old Valley View Center was where I first came up with the idea of “zombie walks”, some thirty years ago last summer, because the mall had a very similar look to the one featured in George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Being ahead of your time definitely doesn’t pay the bills.