Daily Archives: May 9, 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012, Continued

More photos from Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012. As can be told, Frightmare has a lot more new and returning carnivorous plant enthusiasts than I realized.

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

One person in particular struck a chord, because just about everyone who regularly goes to conventions has been in her situation. This young lady came by to take a look at the plants on Saturday morning, and fell in love with the spoonleaf sundew (Drosera spatulata). Unfortunately, she related that money was really tight, and that she had enough left either to buy a sundew or to get back home on Sunday. I asked “So where’s home?”, and she told me “Norman, Oklahoma.” Since that’s also home to a very dear friend from high school and the Sam Noble Museum, I knew exactly how far she’d had to travel, and I told her that there was no way I’d take her money if it meant she’d be stuck.

The girl from Norman

Instead, I told her “I take photos of folks who buy plants, and I’ll put you in the gallery under ‘Next Time, Maybe?’”

The Girl From Norman, Redux

Well, Sunday came, and she took a look at one particular sundew arrangement. Lots of sighing, and I knew that sigh. That wasn’t a sigh of “Oh, if only someone gave me something for free.” That was a sigh of “If I knew a place that bought kidneys in Dallas on a Sunday, I’d cash one in right now.” Count this one as a raincheck, kiddo. Just come back in 2013 and let me know how it’s doing, and consider buying a couple of companions when you have the cash, okay?

The Girl From Norman, Sunday

And that’s it for 2012. Next year, I’m definitely getting a decent lighting rig for the camera, and trying this again.

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012: The Aftermath

Like the swallows of Capistrano, every year’s Texas Frightmare Weekend since 2009 starts and ends the same way. After spending weeks getting ready so nothing goes wrong, Friday morning opens and then EVERYTHING goes wrong. Grumble, grouse, contemplate going back to bed and not coming out until Monday morning. Rise above it, open up at 5:00 Friday evening, and then spend the entire weekend wishing that the party could keep going for the rest of the week. Come home and collapse, making plans for the next year as unconsciousness slides in. Repeat as necessary.

If there’s one big reason why I’m so enthusiastic about Frightmare, it’s because this show has one of the most interesting audiences I’ve ever seen. Quite literally, there’s no telling who may show up and say hello at the Triffid Ranch booth. Biology majors. Dentists. Stilt walkers. All of them come screeching to a halt and look surprised when they see a carnivorous plant vendor at a horror convention. I repeat: they’re the ones who are surprised.

By way of example, below is my dear friend Mischa Jordan, having left Jet Girl, Sub Girl, and Booga at home for the weekend in order to pose with a Nepenthes arrangement. Not only was she surprised to see an N. alata up close, but she was even more surprised to see the big stein it was in. (For obvious reasons, this arrangement was named “The Mullet of Metal”.)

Mischa Jordan with the “Mullet of Metal”.

Other than the initial difficulties of getting to the convention hotel and getting back out, thanks to ongoing road construction around DFW Airport, the only issue the whole weekend came from the lighting in the hall hosting the dealer’s room. Combine that with getting familiarity with a new camera, and I’ll state for the record that I plan to leave photography to the experts. Even with that aggravation, and lots of frustration with light levels and autofocusing, just look at the expressions on everyone’s faces.

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012

As always, talking with the kids at shows is one of the great joys of setting up booths at said shows, and I had a real surprise. Among other guests was Madison Lintz, best known for playing “Sophia” in the cable series The Walking Dead, and she took a break on Sunday from signing autographs to wander around the dealer’s room. Not only was she intrigued by the plants in the first place, but she had no idea that the Atlanta Botanical Garden has a large carnivorous plant collection, including a Nepenthes collection. Since she mentioned that her teacher back home was offering her extra credit if she came back with interesting science information from Texas, I gave her my last spare copy of the May 2011 issue of Reptiles. If she becomes the Tippi Hedren of carnivorous plants when she gets older, well, it’s all my fault.

Madison Lintz

As of last check, the crew at Texas Frightmare Weekend still doesn’t have a complete count of the attendance, but I’m glad nonetheless that we were in a much larger space in a much larger hotel than in 2011. Between the Czarina and myself, when asked if we were going to be out for 2012, our simultaneous response was “Oh, HELL yes.”

More photos to follow…

Texas Triffid Ranch: Year Two

A solid year and 350 posts later, and the new Triffid Ranch blog finishes its shakeout cruise. Now it’s time to add some improvements, get rid of some things that don’t quite work, and try to make it a bit more consistent. Most of all, the original Triffid Ranch site is working on four years old (having launched in time for the Convergence 14 convention in Ybor City, Florida), and it definitely needs a refit. Time to do everything at once.

Since that first posting, a lot of interesting craziness came through this way. I could understand interest in the subject of Capsicum peppers in bonsai or using dinosaur figures in miniature gardens would get some interest, but I find it a little disturbing that the most popular post in 12 months was a throwaway on my tormenting the Czarina about getting a crocodile monitor. Even the disturbing realization that Doctor Who and The Red Green Show are the same television program didn’t get as much traffic. And here I thought at least someone would have been interested in designing gardens around what plants look best in moonlight.

Other than that, I’m only a little surprised at which postings were read and which ones weren’t. In some cases, such as the invitation to come out for the MetroPCS Fair Park Holiday Show, you probably dodged a bullet. (Not to sound overly cranky about that fiasco of a show, but if I wanted to be pig party entertainment for a herd of SMU horsefaces, I’d take a job with D magazine. But that’s just me.)

Other than that, it’s more of the usual for the next 365 days. More research, more observations, more learning and sharing what comes across the firmament. Heck, I might even open up the blog to comments this year.