Category Archives: Have A Great Weekend

Have a Safe Weekend

No kids and Caroline has a show this weekend, so festivities consist of a Mother’s Day Porch Sale on May 9 from 10 am to 4 pm. See you there.

Have a Safe Weekend

Another friendly reminder: because of impending incredibly foul weather (and in Texas, “foul weather is usually a synonym for “hail and tornadoes”), this weekend’s Triffid Ranch event at Frightmare Collectibles was cancelled early this morning. We’re awaiting word as to when Frightmare Collectibles wants to try again (and ever notice that tornadoes only blow you to Oz and not Melnibone or Nehwon?), but until then, there’s always the Mother’s Day Porch Sale on May 9. See you then.

Have a Safe Weekend

Well, enough disasters in the past few years have prevented the Manchester United Flower Show gallery exhibition from running, so let’s hope that the real disasters stay away from this weekend. If you can make it, we’ll see you on Sunday.

Have a Safe Weekend

Much like an old girlfriend’s severe dairy allergies made her an obligate vegan, my severe aversion to alcohol and various respiratory issues make me an obligate teetotaler. (Don’t get me going about opiates: two weeks after thoroughly invasive rotator cuff surgery in 1994, I went cold turkey on my prescribed painkillers because the pain was preferable.) That said, with 4/20 coming up, celebrate according to local laws and customs, secure in the knowledge that you won’t having me mooching your booze, your weed, or your chocolate. The more for everyone else, right?

For those more in the mood for other vegetative celebrations, we’re going to try again with a Sunday morning Porch Sale on April 18, running from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The weather should be exemplary, and masks will be mandatory. See you then.

Have a Safe Weekend

After the last three weekends, it’s time to stay home for a little bit. The first Triffid Ranch Porch Sale of the season opens this Sunday at 10:00 out in front of the gallery, and I’ll keep the tent up until 4:00. See you then. (EDIT: due to particularly intense vaccine reactions, this Sunday’s Porch Sale has to be cancelled. The Manchester United Flower Show is still on in two weeks, though.)

Have a Safe Weekend

Another weekend, another Triffid Ranch outdoor show, and just in time for some spectacularly beautiful weather. This Saturday, it’s time for the Spring Slasher Camp at Frightmare Collectibles in Justin: the festivities start at 11am and keep going until 9:00 pm. Admission is free and masks are mandatory.

Have a Safe Weekend

Well, back to the linen mines: this weekend’s Triffid Ranch appearance is at the Dallas Oddities & Curiosities Expo in Fair Park, making up for last year’s cancellation. Considering how much of a joy it is to be at an Oddities & Curiosities show (look for the Triffid Ranch booth in Austin in June, too), I don’t know who’s going to be more thrilled to be there: the vendors or the attendees.

Have a Safe Weekend

With outdoor markets starting to open up again, the Triffid Ranch follows. This Saturday, it’s the Boho Market at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm: March 2021 is going to be BUSY.

Have a Safe Weekend

And so the 2021 Triffid Ranch show season starts the way the 2020 show season ended: in the middle of March, just in time for Daylight Savings Time. This Sunday’s Carnivorous Plant Tour kicks it off, but it’s definitely not the last.

Have a Safe Weekend

Sunday marks the latest Carnivorous Plant Tour before the Venus flytraps and North American pitcher plants start waking up: admission is free, masks are mandatory, and several new enclosures will be ready for public view and discussion. With luck, this will be the start of a long and very productive show season, because we have a lot to make up.

Have a Safe Weekend

No shows or events this weekend: I’ll literally be up to my armpits in wet sphagnum, but that’s to prepare for the upcoming spring. Very soon, though…

Have a Safe Weekend

And here’s where the season starts to get interesting. We’re not quite ready for outdoor events yet (and the temperate plants, such as Venus flytraps and North American pitcher plants, were definitely thrown into dormancy by last month’s deep freeze), and we won’t have anything happening in person this weekend, but now that the bugs from last year’s Twitch experiments have been worked out, expect video. This is in addition to a LOT of airbrushing while the weekend weather holds. As for next week, it’s time for another Carnivorous Plant Tour on March 14, so it’s time to get ready.

Have a Safe Weekend

Now that the weather has shifted again, presumably for the better, we’re going to try again this Sunday. Spread the word: we’re a little late for either Valentine’s Day or Lunar New Year, so expect the Carnivorous Plant Tour you would have had if we hadn’t gone cold and dark that day. Besides, my birthday is on the 30th, so we still have reason to celebrate. (The early forecast suggests rain, but we can use the rain, if only to wash off the sand and dust from last week.)

Have a Safe Weekend

As of this writing, the Dallas area should be thawing out from this week’s deep freeze, and hopefully the rest of Texas as well. For the first time in decades, we get the experience of seeing the lost, the misplaced, and the discarded as they’re revealed by the melt. That’s the problem with thaws: you never know what was hiding under the snow and ice.

Have a Safe Weekend

The weather forecast for this coming Sunday keeps bouncing back and forth between “bitterly cold but reasonably clear” and “SET THE HOUSE AFIRE BEFORE YOU’RE BURIED ALIVE IN SNOW,” so Sunday’s Carnivorous Plant Tour is still on for the moment. (I really feel for the number of Dallas outdoor events scheduled months ago on the reasonable presumption that this month would replicate February 2019, where even day drinkers in search of wine samples wouldn’t want to venture out.) This may change as the National Weather Service refines its predictions, so keep checking back for potential cancellations.

Have a Safe Weekend

No Triffid Ranch events this weekend, but keep a place in the calendar for the joint Valentine’s Day/Lunar New Year Carnivorous Plant tour on February 14, running from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. And now, music.

Have a Safe Weekend

And things get interesting for February: for Day Job-related reasons, the Triffid Ranch relocates to New Jersey for the next week, meaning that appointment availability resumes on February 7. With luck, COVID-19 vaccines and better weather later in the year might lead to a side-wander through the Pine Barrens, but for now, it’s going to be all-business…and scoping out gonzo bookstores and curio shops for better times. And so it goes.

Have a Safe Weekend

The holidays are long-over, and everyone is craving a touch of green, so it’s time for the January Carnivorous Plant Tour: Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Best of all, for regular visitors, expect a few surprises. It IS 2021, after all.

Have a Safe Weekend

Advance warning: the first Triffid Ranch Carnivorous Plant Tour of 2021 begins at 10:00 am on January 24, and runs until 4:00 pm. We now return to our scheduled musical programming.

Have a Safe Weekend

Here’s hoping that everyone is okay…

Winter Carnivore Cleanups – Introduction

It’s inevitable after the holidays are over: holiday buyer’s remorse kicks in, and we all look back regretfully on the things we did and the things we didn’t over the past two months. Those nights of ordering pizza because the shift from Daylight Savings Time made you feel as if you were living in a cavern. Buying that supremely Ugly Christmas Sweater even though you’ve worked from home for the last nine months. Pretending to drunk-text former coworkers, just to see what they’re up to and if it’s more fun than what you’re doing. Subscribing to HBO Max. All of this is completely understandable, but eventually you’re going to climb bleary-eyed out of the clothes hamper, look at an apartment or house that looks as if Hunter S. Thompson camped in the bathtub for a month, look down at the wine stains down your front and look up at the spaghetti stalactites on the ceiling, and decide “Yeah, it’s time to clean up for the New Year.”

Now, as every year, you have all sorts of options. I’d recommend staying far away from the gym for a while, or at least until a significant proportion of fellow gymgoers look as if they’d stay home if they were sick. (I have a gym next to the Triffid Ranch mail drop, and with that crew, if they can’t end a list of symptoms with “We call it…’The Aristocrats’!”, then they don’t think they’re that bad off.) For domicile cleaning, you can go gently with Marie Kondo reruns playing in the background while you sweep and sort, or you can use demolition charges to take off an entire end of the building, shove everything into a dumpster below, and set the dumpster afire both as a symbol of 2020 and to keep from rescuing items inside because “They’re still good!” For cleaning your computer desktop, and files that really need to be backed up so they aren’t lost, nothing is as effective as the old “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit” strategy. For your carnivorous plants, though, things are going to be easy.

To be honest, this time of the year is perfect for giving all of your plants a once-over. With temperate carnivores such as Venus flytraps, North American pitcher plants, and temperate-climate sundews, they all should be well into winter dormancy by now, so they won’t mind a repotting and thorough cleanup. With tropical carnivores such as Asian pitcher plants, they’ll still be growing, but shorter daytime photoperiods mean that they’ll be growing much more slowly than they were six months ago. They also could stand a good tending to, but the actual process will be a bit different. Either way, it’s too late for standard gardening and too early for starting up tomatoes and peppers, so no better time than the present for essential carnivore maintenance.

Now, like working on a Volkswagen, you can put together a complete toolkit to take care of everything, or you can build multiple kits for specific functions, thereby avoiding losing essential tools when you pull out everything to work, say, alongside a pool full of Sarracenia. For the sake of this series, we’ll split everything up into separate kits of necessary tools, so if you focus on one group of plants, you don’t have to reserve tools you won’t necessarily need. (A very strong recommendation: get tools for your toolkit that will remain in that kit, and don’t swipe tools from other places in the house unless they’re no longer going to be used in those places. Spouses, parents, and roommates may not be as understanding about your using kitchen implements for repotting pitcher plants, especially if you brought them back but didn’t clean them properly before returning them.)

Essentials (in all kits):

  • Sharp gardening knife
  • Sharp kitchen scissors
  • Sharp trimming scissors (garden trimming scissors or ear/nose scissors)
  • Garden mat or towel
  • Hand towel
  • Long forceps
  • Whisk brush
  • Isopropyl alcohol, either bottle or sanitizing wipes
  • Spray bottle, filled with rainwater or distilled water
  • Spray bottle, filled with dilute neem oil (1/2 strength recommended by manufacturer)
  • Kitchen tub

In addition, a standard bonsai tool set can come in very handy. You may not need all of the tools all of the time, but many, such as bonsai shears and root rakes, are worth the cost.

One valuable tool for glass enclosures is a tamper, and you’ll have to make it yourself. This is a dowel rod or other stout rod (I cut a fiberglass driveway sign rod in half) with a wine cork at one end and a rounded tip at the other end. The idea is to use the tamper to tamp down and smooth out soil, moss, and other items in glass containers that won’t give enough room at their mouths to allow fingers, hands, and most tools to reach inside. Natural cork is fine, but artificial corks have the advantage of easy disinfection, and they tend to last longer.

Anyway, this is the starting point: now it’s a matter of seeing these tools in action. That comes next.

To be continued…

Have a Safe Weekend

It might be futile, but let’s see if we can set the mood for 2021, shall we?

Have a Safe New Year

Establishing the tone for 2021…

Have a Safe Weekend

Finishing up 2020 with double events on December 24 and December 27, while celebrating a Christmas classic from the Euclidean ideal of a heavy metal band. (Here’s also a fond memory of bassist Colin Grigson before his tragic overdose on jenkem in 2014. Rock and roll just hasn’t been the same without you, buddy.)

Post-Nuclear Family Gift Suggestions 2020 – 6

Curious about what this is all about? Go back to the beginning.

So now it’s down to the wire. Thanks to the previous year making every day a holiday shopping day as far as shipping volume is concerned, every online store worth its salt refuses to make any promises as to whether any purchase will arrive before December 25. Here in the States, the screaming in UPS and FedEx locations is positively deafening, because recent efforts to scuttle the US Post Office mean that both UPS and FedEx are trying to pick up the slack. If it’s not local, you’re probably not going to get it.

It’s at times like these where the default response is, indeed, “buy local.” That’s completely fair, but this also depends upon discovering what’s available. For the vast majority of the Twentieth Century, this would involve some heavily overworked Arts & Leisure section writer at the local newspaper deliberating between legitimate local treasures and what family friend of the editor or publisher needed a holiday bailout and didn’t want to have to pay for advertising. Today, the raw information is available, but the old “I didn’t know what I was looking for before I saw it” phenomenon is more pronounced than ever, and that section writer was laid off about four years ago to preserve the publisher’s holiday bonus. Thankfully, you have a terminally embittered former weekly newspaper writer turned carnivorous plant rancher more than willing to help carry some of the slack.

The only issue with “local” is “whose local?” Sadly, this means that this list is going to be horribly Dallas-centric, but this has two effects. The first is that for those already living in the vicinity of the Triffid Ranch, you have options for gift shopping that you might not have had before. The second is that for those who don’t live in the area, you now have additional pressure to do so. You’re welcome. Even if all you want to do is visit, when it’s safe to do so, now you have options on what to see besides South Fork (hopelessly dated), Jack Ruby’s nightclub (demolished decades ago), or the Texas School Book Depository (only interesting when a lone woman, answering to “Missy,” walks by once a year in November to look up wistfully at the sixth floor windows). I mean, don’t let that stop you from doing that anyway: if you go by the Book Depository, just tell Missy that her grandson says hello, okay?

Numero uno, as Dallas’s greatest superhero would put it, a little goes a long way, and Dallas’s restaurant scene is so much more vital and varied than it was, say, 20 years ago. It’s also in a particularly precarious situation because of COVID-19, and without eternal vigilance, it could be overrun with Applebee’s and Twin Peaks and the whole city becomes indistinguishable from Lewisville. Thanks to the wonders of modern point-of-sale processing, so many good restaurants offer both hard plastic and electronic gift cards, and you know at least one person who is going to NEED a dinner cooked by someone else in the next month. This means hopping on that phone and talking to the crews at Blu’s BBQ (Texas and Memphis barbecue), Flying Fish (Cajun seafood), Bistro B (Vietnamese), Tasty Tails (New Orleans seafood), Maple Leaf Diner (Canadian), Sababa (Middle Eastern), Chubby’s (classic comfort food, with the best strawberry cheesecake in the city), JC’s Burger House (burgers), or Del’s Burgers (more burgers, as well as excellent homemade root beer) about your efforts to spread the wealth.

Numero two-o, all that food means having something to read while eating, and while most people are perfectly happy to slog through Facebook, the idea is to amp up your experiences. The first, most obvious choice is Interabang Books, survivor of both bookstore wars and the tornadoes that hit North Dallas in 2019, as the best choice in the area for new books. Equally important for those looking for more graphic persuasions, I’ve been friends with Keith Colvin of Keith’s Comics for half of my life, and part of the reason why Keith’s Comics stores are going strong while other deeper-pocketed competitors blew up and scattered on the wind a decade ago is because of each store’s wide selection of graphic novels. (I highly recommend asking for a copy of Evan Dorkin’s Eltingville Club collection from Dark Horse Comics; for most, it’s a source of entertainment, but for others, it’s a source of never-ending self-aware horror.)

Numero three-o, you may or may not be surprised by the recommendation of the holistic health and wellness studio HeyyHealer, but there’s a specific reason. Namely, Triffid Ranch regulars may remember Christian “Doc” Cooper at various events, particularly the last Midtown ArtWalk at the old Valley View location before everybody in the mall got our eviction notices. Well, Doc has been busy with succulents, particularly red and yellow dragonfruit cactus, and his succulent arrangements are exclusively available through HeyyHealer. It’s all about taking care of your friends, coming and going, and if you’ve seen some of Doc’s arrangements, you’ll get that extra joy of having it all to yourself before you pass it on.

Have a Safe Weekend

The holiday vortex is producing its own event horizon, and we’re slipping into the maelstrom. This weekend is a busy one: on Saturday, weather permitting, look for Caroline and me out at the Frightmare Collectibles Horror Christmas Market in Justin from noon to 8:00 pm: I won’t have any plants as it’s an outdoor event, but look for the Caroline Crawford Originals tent for Triffid Ranch posters while supplies last. Sunday, we’re back at the gallery for the second-to-last Weekend Carnivorous Plant Tour of 2020, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. If you can’t make it then, we’re reprising the Plant Tour on December 27, for everyone who wanted plant enclosures but couldn’t figure out where to put them before then. Friday, though, is clear for the moment.

Have a Safe Weekend

We’re now nearly halfway through December, 10 days away from the winter solstice, and 20 days away from the end of the Gregorian calendar year. We’re also two days away from the next Triffid Ranch Weekend Carnivorous Plant Tour, starting at 10:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm. Either way, it may stop, but it never ends.

Have a Safe Weekend

No Carnivorous Plant Tour this Sunday: the gallery is reserved this weekend for a private function. However, the Tours are coming back for December 13, 20, and 27, and for those whose schedules prevent viewing the enclosures on Sundays, there’s always the option for appointments. Until then, music.

Have a Safe Black Friday Weekend

Just a friendly reminder: the Triffid Ranch is closed on Black Friday, but we’ll be open both Saturday and Sunday (November 28 and 29) from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. In the interim, stay warm and stay safe (a call in particular for friends and cohorts working retail), and in the age of COVID-19, be REALLY glad that the gallery isn’t still in a 1970s-era shopping mall. (The movie may be quaint by today’s standards, but it’s still the best documentary about 1980s-era Dallas ever made.)

Have a Safe Weekend

Okay, lots of interesting news this weekend, starting with the fact that since last Sunday’s gallery tour turned out so well, we’re doing it again on November 22, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, 57 years to the day my hometown got its unofficial motto “Well, aside from THAT, Mrs. Kennedy…” As always, we’ll be disinfecting regularly and mask use over the nose and above the chin is mandatory. Because of sudden developments involving a new day job, we’re still deliberating on opening for Small Business Saturday on November 29, the subsequent Sunday, or both. Stay posted.

And as a shoutout to good friends who made the mistake of inviting the triffids across the threshold, two additional developments. For obvious reasons, the Blood Over Texas Horror For The Holidays show in Austin can’t run this year (and I had such plans for a “Back and to the left” gag on Sunday that would fit right in), so they’re hosting a Blood Bazaar virtual event from November 21 until the end of the year. In the same vein (see what I did there?), Loyd and Sue Cryer of Texas Frightmare Weekend stayed very busy over the ongoing shutdown with their new store Frightmare Collectibles, which officially opens on November 21. Go give them both lots of love, and expect some Triffid Ranch surprises from both in subsequent weeks.

As for festivities, there’s one more on November 23, and it’s personal. Whether or not you enjoy the show, there’s one thing for which I have to thank 57 years of Doctor Who: the character that’s the closest I’ll ever get to getting my grandmother back. And if after reading this you think “that explains SO MUCH,” you’re right.

Have a Safe Weekend

It’s going to be a long week: the Triffid Ranch Sunday Tours start on November 15, and all of this is preparation for some major news at the end of the month. Please don’t feel obligated to come out on Sunday, especially considering recent Dallas COVID-19 news, but if you do, your presence is appreciated.

Have a Safe Weekend

No shows or events for this weekend: after the Porch Sale schedule for the last six months, it’s time for a minor break before getting ready for indoor sales through November and December. Details will follow very shortly, but expect the Sunday schedule to continue for the foreseeable future.

Have a Safe Weekend

Okay, lots going down over the next week, including Saturday’s Halloween Day Porch Sale, what would have been my grandmother’s 95th and my father-in-law’s 89th birthdays respectively, that much-promised Halloween full moon (which should be visible in the Dallas area shortly after dark), and hopefully a lot of good news next week. In the meantime, I plan to join a slew of friends in celebrating the end of the Halloween season with various movies, and I dare anybody coming of age in the 1980s in the UK (or anybody in the US with access to MTV) to hear this song and not think about the greatest vampire ever.

Have a Safe Weekend

We’re down to the line now, folks: one last Sunday morning Porch Sale for the year on October 25, with one last outdoor show on Halloween Day, and then the Venus flytraps, temperate sundews, and North American pitcher plants all get a much-earned rest over the winter. The Triffid Ranch won’t shut down over the winter, though: we have plans within plans, mostly involving Asian pitcher plants and some new surprises. However, if you’re in the mood to see flytraps and Sarracenia, make plans to come out this weekend or next, and remember that masks are mandatory.

Have a Safe Weekend

Two more Sunday Morning Porch Sales and Saturday’s open house to go, and then it’s over for the season. Don’t worry, though. In the best tradition of Jack Skellington, the creepy stuff doesn’t have to stop just because Halloween is done.

Have a Safe Weekend

Based on the weather forecast, Sunday is going to be spectacular, so the Sunday morning Porch Sale is still on. In the meanwhile, there are covers of classic songs, and then there are Kimberly Freeman covers of classic songs, on the birthday of the original songwriter. Enjoy.

Have a Safe Weekend

Just a friendly reminder: things are going to get wild this month, starting with the last of the Sunday morning Porch Sales for 2020 running from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm until October 25. We also have plans for Halloween Day itself, so keep tuned in. Until then, music.

Have a Safe Weekend

One more time: no Sunday morning Porch Sale this weekend, because the Triffid Ranch will be out at the NARBC Arlington reptile and amphibian show, so look for the new banners. Bring your masks and hand sanitizer, because it promises to be a hoot.

Have a Safe Weekend

Well, this weekend is going to be considerably more quiet than last: no interviews, no movie commentary, and just the last of the Sunday morning Porch Sales for September (on September 26 and 27, the Triffid Ranch will be at the NARBC Arlington reptile and amphibian show). The Porch Sales will continue through October; no word about subsequent interviews, but if they happen, I might tell the story of how I got my record with the FBI.

Have a Safe Weekend

And it’s a busy safe weekend: Friday belongs to gallery renovation and new shelf installation, Saturday belongs to Frightmare HQ video (an interview at 2:00 pm Central and a guest host for a Twitch Prime Watch Party screening of Annihilation at 7:00 pm Central), and Sunday to this week’s Porch Sale. To paraphrase one of of great philosophers of the Twentieth Century, Paul says check it out.

Have a Safe Weekend

Sunday morning, it’s the Triffid Ranch Porch Sale. Friday night, though, take the time to hook up the Panoptikon DJ streams, in fond reminiscence of when Labor Day weekend always marked the beginning of Happy Goth Season in Dallas.

Texas Triffid Ranch Occasional Newsletter and Feedlot Clearance Sale – #19

The Texas Triffid Ranch Occasional Newsletter and Feedlot Clearance Sale is a regular Email newsletter, with archives available on the main TTR site at least a month after first publication. To receive the latest newsletters, please subscribe.)

Originally published on July 17, 2020.

Installment #19: “A Little Deluge Will Do Ya”

July in Texas, to folks who don’t live here, brings up one impression: blasting heat. After 38 of my last 40 summers in Dallas (two were spent trapped in Portland, Oregon, which has its own summer weather issues), it’s hard to argue with that impression, because that pretty much sums up July…about half of the time. Figuring out which half, though, is the fun of it, because you won’t find any hints as to how a summer is going to proceed until about two-thirds of the way through.

For those outside of North Texas, we may not have the same plant diversity as the famed fynbos of South Africa, but we have a lot of the same climate. Although it may not appear so when you’re on it, but the northwest portion of the state is at an incline, and one that you can’t appreciate until you try driving a big truck toward Amarillo and realize that the aforementioned incline requires slipping into lower and lower gears. That incline, the Edwards Plateau, is a little show of plate tectonics, as the irresistible force of the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean and the immovable object of the great Pacific Plate mean that everything to the west of Dallas is gradually crumpling and buckling. Meanwhile, the Great Plains to the north constantly heat up this time of the year, setting off winds that are fed by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, leading to a constant south wind through Dallas for about nine months of the year. The sun goes down and the south wind usually dissipates, only to start up the blast furnace shortly after sunrise.

What does this mean? It means that you should buy cookies and beer for every Dallas-based meteorologist you ever meet, whenever they need it, which is all of the time. With precious little warning, cold fronts bracketed by the Rockies pass down past the Texas-Oklahoma border, only to run into that south wind coming up from the Gulf. They don’t just release gentle rains, either: the collisions usually produce huge waves of small but intense storms that rip through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex like a shotgun blast through tulle. Ten to 30 minutes of intense rain, and then the south wind cuts through and sucks out every last drop of moisture out of the area. When the winds stop after dark, the local humidity rises a bit, and we may even get enough clouds to hint at rain. As soon as the sun comes up, though, it’s back to hot, sunny, and dry enough to make every breath feel like concrete aerosol.

Oh, but the fun comes when you make the assumption that this will continue. The end of July is always hot and dry, unless a cold front passes through for a week and makes everything cool and rainy. It’s always the same through the day, until you see a storm front coming out of the west dropping so much rain that it looks like a wall of water coming at you. That rain is always diffuse, until you’re standing on one side of a street under a full sun watching the other side of the street drown under the onslaught. That rain is always coming, until you look at weather radar and watch as the storm that just pummeled Fort Worth evaporates halfway to Dallas. Oh, and those storms always rush out of the west, until they suddenly come steamrollering in from the Louisiana border. The one absolute is that we haven’t seen snow flurries in July since the mid-Pleistocene, but grapefruit-sized hail is just as much fun, especially for pedestrians and cyclists without easy access to shelter.

And what does all of this have to do with carnivorous plants? It means that you need to have pity on all of your outdoor plants, and not just the carnivores. You can move out of the way of Texas weather. They’re kinda stuck.

Outside Events

Welp, since Texas Governor Greg Abbott keeps plagiarizing his COVID-19 policies from an obscure 1974 teleplay (and I suspect that life will again imitate art when his supporters decide that he’s insufficiently ideologically pure), shows and events keeps getting cancelled because nobody can guarantee the safety of attendees and vendors. The latest casualties are the rescheduling of the New Orleans Oddities & Curiosities Expo previously set for August 29, and the Houston Horror Film Festival previously set for the subsequent Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, their new dates for 2021 are the same weekend, and that weekend is the weekend after the rescheduled Austin Oddities & Curiosities Expo, so I’m having to delay New Orleans and Houston for 2021. Please: if you’re interested in either, please don’t stop planning to attend when it’s safe to do so. Until I’m able to be in three places at once, though, it’s just not an option for this little carnivorous plant gallery.

As for everything else scheduled for 2020, it’s a wait-and-see schedule right now. NARBC Arlington is still on for September as of this writing, and AquaShella Dallas is still on for Halloween weekend, so keep checking back for details. We’ll have a Triffid Ranch show sometime between now and when the Dallas Cowboys finally win a shutout World Series pennant: I promise.

Shameless Plugs

This time on Shameless Plugs, it’s time to hype up a longtime vital service while everyone is refocusing on cooking on their own. As an enthusiastic lover of spice that ranges from “medium hot” to “that salsa just peeled the enamel off my teeth in big floppy strips,” I’d be remiss in not mentioning that the crew at Defcon Sauces has been experimenting with a lot of new rubs, sauces, and powders, and the Defcon Malum allium garlic powder is now an essential spice at the gallery for lunch breaks. (I bow to nobody in my appreciation for the Defcon Habby Horse hot habanero/horseradish sauce, so the Malum Allium was a very welcome surprise for roasted vegetables and other dishes that could use a bit of a kick.) Edgar Harris says “check it out.”

As an additional recurring plug, the Dallas goth club Panoptikon already has a special place with the Triffid Ranch (co-owner Jiri forgets more about carnivorous plants in his sleep than I’ll ever be able to learn), and the ongoing shutdown has hit it as hard as every other club in the area. That said, the crew has become very proactive with regular Friday and Saturday night events via Twitch, and the Friday night streams are now essential listening while I’m working at the gallery. And now you know why it’s been a little while since the last Triffid Ranch Twitch event: no way am I interrupting their show for any reason.

Recommended Reading

They were delayed for a while due to printing issues, but the reprint of Redfern Natural History’s Drosera of the World just arrived, and each volume is potentially dangerous if falling from even from a moderate height onto an unsuspecting bystander’s head. All three of them together could kill a moose, and the interiors are just as lethal to anyone wanting light reading. All three are beautiful volumes of the world’s known sundew species, with the stunning color photos we’ve come to expect from Redfern. When they’re sold out, the odds are pretty good that the only place you’ll be able to get them is at an estate sale, so get your order in before they’re completely gone, and don’t worry about the price. If anything, they’re underpriced for the value.

Music

Regular newsletter readers may already know how much of the Triffid Ranch gallery soundtrack consists of entries from Austin’s One Eyed Doll, and singer/guitarist Kimberly Freeman has been busy during the pandemic. She currently has a large selection of new songs and covers in the Kimberly’s Quarantine Playlist on YouTube and elsewhere, including the only cover of John Lennon’s “Watching the Wheels” I’ve heard that’s worthy of the time. Go give them all a listen, and join me in looking forward to new entries as events keep grinding on.

Have a Safe Weekend

The last of the Sunday morning Porch Sales for August runs this weekend, and the schedule for September is now up. (Because the NARBC reptile and amphibian show in Arlington is still on, there’s no Porch Sale for September 27.) After that, August 31 is celebrated the way it has been every year for the last 35: a big pile of barbecue, a lack of prior commitments, and the annual viewing of one of my all-time favorite films. And so it goes.

Have a Safe Weekend

The plan for those wanting to view the large enclosures in the gallery: the fifth anniversary open house starts on Saturday, August 22 at 6:00. For those seeking smaller plants, the Sunday Porch Sale starts on August 23 at 7:00 and runs until noon. For everybody else, we have music.

Have a Safe Weekend

As usual, the Triffid Ranch Sunday Porch Sale runs this Sunday, and every Sunday this month, from 7:00 am to noon. (For those who have been asking this week, yes, we can take cards. As I like to put it, “What the hell do you think this is: the Twentieth Century?”) Next week, keep an eye open for both the virtual and in-person open houses, as we try to open up for something approximating a normal gallery schedule. Until then, music.

Have a Safe Weekend

Big surprises are afoot for this Sunday’s Porch Sale, so long as the weather holds (and this being Dallas in August, it probably will), but until then, a bit of pop culture commentary. With the recent hype about MTV announcing a reboot of Beavis and Butt-Head, a re-reboot of Ren & Stimpy, and a spinoff of Daria, it’s disappointing and a little aggravating that nobody at MTV is talking about reviving the most unusual of its animation experiments…a show scuttled by management after weeks of being pre-empted by Road Rules reruns. it’s definitely time for a revival of Downtown.

Have an Early Safe Weekend

Because it’s someone’s birthday today.

Have a Safe Weekend

Thanks to a shoutout from Dallasites 101, i welcome all of the new folks coming across the Triffid Ranch for the first time, and welcome you all to the Porch Sales running every Sunday from 7:00 am to noon. And for those wondering about the big deal with carnivorous plants, here’s a combination of fascination and elaboration. Enjoy.

Have a Safe Weekend

Since they’re now a regular Sunday event, calling the Sunday Flash Sales “flash sales” is a bit ridiculous, so expect a new, equally ridiculous name for the August events. In the meantime, the last July Flash Sale is this Sunday. See you there.

Have a Safe Weekend

As always, the Texas Triffid Ranch Sunday Flash Sale continues this coming Sunday from 6:00 am to noon. Until then, it’s time for music.