Hornworm meets alien!

So much better than that pointless Prometheus movie, is this glimpse into the kind of parasitism Hollywood just can’t match. In this Purdue Extension Entomology Service produced video, you’ll see a hornworm devour a tomato and then fall prey–Alien-style–to a species of parasitic wasp (Cotesia congregata). Not only do these parasitic wasps devour their host but in order to overcome the caterpillar’s defenses, mama wasp injects a virus before laying her eggs.

How do you create habitat for Cotesia congregata? Adults feed on nectar producing plants and, of course, you need to make sure you keep a few hornworms on hand!

Thanks to Jeff Spurrier for posting this video in Facebook.

Saturday Linkages: Beer Caps n’ Plants

beer cap bathroom floor

Beer cap floor via Dude Craft.

Beer Cap Bathroom Floor http://www.dudecraft.com/2013/04/beer-cap-bathroom-floor.html …

Lecture on stone-wall building, with miniature stone wall built: http://boingboing.net/2013/04/02/lecture-on-stone-wall-building.html …

Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land http://j.mp/12r218m

Transmitted light photos of houseplants: http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/2013/04/exceptionally-pretty-pictures.htmlntsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/2013/04/except… …

grounded design by Thomas Rainer: Noel Kingsbury: The Ghost in the Machine http://landscapeofmeaning.blogspot.com/2013/04/noel-kingsbury-ghost-in-machine.html?spref=tw …

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The Present Order is the Disorder of the Future: Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Little Sparta

Scottish artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay spent forty years creating his garden. He called it “Little Sparta,” a reference to the battle he fought with the town council who wanted to tax it, claiming that it was a gallery not a garden.

Little Sparta was a place of healing for the intensely agoraphobic Finlay. In the city, he could barely leave his room–at Little Sparta he could go outside.

This is one of my favorite gardens–I’m a sucker for classicism but I also like that it has a narrative, that it tells the story of the people who lived in it.

Here’s here’s another nice video about Little Sparta narrated by Finlay’s son:

I hope to visit it someday. In the meantime, I’ve got my own Little Sparta to work on.