Please Don’t Poke the Flytraps :) ….and why plants are cooler than people sometimes

When Matt and I first started doing this Flytrap situation that has now very surprisingly become the focus of our life (thank you, customerpeople!), we shilled them at a few Farmer’s Markets, and oh my gosh you would not believe how many people would just walk up and poke the mouth of the Flytrap.  And guess who the majority were – children or adults?  It was adults.

There are 2 things about this that stand out to me – first of all it is so very cool that Venus Flytraps bring out the child in all of us.  They produce a sense of awe, and awe is one of the best things about being alive, even science says so.

What I see myself and others do when a Venus Flytrap’s trap closes is to step back a little, put their hand on their heart, and open their mouth a little.  It’s so great!  Just totally in the moment.  A complete perspective shift, all of a sudden.

And it’s one of those things that kind of has to be in-person to really get how amazing it is, a plant moving of its apparent own volition.  Of course, other plants move, too, but it’s so slow that we generally can’t see it without time-lapse cameras, etc.  But Venus Flytraps are the sprinters of the plant world – boom! gotcha, bug!

The 2nd thing about the phenomenon of people poking into Venus Flytrap traps leads me to the title of this post.  We had to put up a nice sign asking to please not touch the Flytraps.  That’s because if you poke a Venus Flytrap (on the trigger hairs, twice within 20 seconds – which BY THE WAY, human short-term memory is also about 20 seconds, whaaaat), and it closes, that would be like asking Usain Bolt to run 100 meters just for funsies, no prize, no reward.  It’d be like telling you if you do 50 push ups I’ll give you a piece of pizza, but then, no pizza for you.  In other words, it takes a lot of energy, and a food reward helps make up for that.

It’s incredible enough that many plants can make make energy out of sunshine (well, technically, powered by sunshine, making energy out of carbon dioxide and water).  But then to be able to Usain Bolt the trap?  Awe-inspiring.  Literally.

Plants in general are way bigger contributors to the world than many humans, in my opinion.  I mean, most contribute oxygen every single day, as the result of photosynthesis.  I wish that when I ate, I released something of value to the world afterwards, how cool would that be?!  (Matt definitely releases something afterwards, ha, and then asks if I “heard that spider”, heh-heh).

So, yes, unless you have a treat, Please Don’t Poke the Flytraps.  Also, I now have a lot more respect for people working at the Farmer’s Markets – it’s hot and crowded and it’s a ton of work for not much payback.  Thank you, Farmer’s Market people, and Flytraps.  🙂

(Also, here’s a pretty nice article on awe written by Susan Cain, the person who wrote that awesome book about Introverts – my peoples!).

https://www.quietrev.com/the-science-of-awe-and-why-it-matters-at-work/

About Leah Miller

I'm Leah, "flytrap whisperer" or so I like to think, who is actually trained as a Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist. I think that people who like Venus Flytraps are the best kind of people, and it makes me so happy to make them happy!

2 Comments

  1. I help out a local orchid retailer here in KC, and have to tell the customers at the local farmers market to not poke the traps. No matter how many signs you put out, they are ignored by a lot of folks. It’s almost as if it’s a dare.

    Hope you guys had a great Christmas!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *