Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, September 15, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 15, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc



Basil is a super fun and active four-
year-old American Staffordshire 
mix with a gorgeous golden coat, 
beautiful auburn eyes, and a big 
happy smile. At about 47 lbs. Basil 
is a compact bundle of energy who 
loves spending time in the sunny 
outdoors. Basil was surrendered 
by her prior owners because 
they were not able to provide the 
active lifestyle that she needs. 
Since she has been at the shelter, 
this intelligent and pretty girl 
has been a great playmate for the 
volunteers and learned how to sit 
on command. As long as treats and 
human affection are involved, Basil 
would be willing to learn even more 
commands! This delightful girl 
also enjoys going out on long walks 
or going jogging with her human friends .Basil would 
make a great addition to an active 
on the go family who is willing 
to give her some training and the 
forever family she deserves. If you 
are that person, please come on by 
and meet Basil! Her adoption fee 
is $145 and includes spay surgery, 
vaccinations, microchip and a free 
wellness exam at a participating 
veterinarian. Feel free to call 
us at (626) 286-1159 for more 
information. She currently resides 
at the San Gabriel Valley Humane 
Society located at 851 E. Grand 
Avenue in San Gabriel which 
is located off San Gabriel Blvd, 
north of Mission and south of Las 
Tunas Drive. To arrange a ‘Meet 
and Greet’, please stop by any time 
from 10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday 

Throughout most of my years growing up I considered 
plants to be live, yet, for the most part, inanimate objects 
that help feed us, keep our air oxygenated, and add 
ornamental appeal to our environment. I am sure most 
would agree that these are all true facts about plants, but 
some varieties of that gorgeous green growing fauna 
we tend to take for granted, are much more active and 
animated than we might expect.

 The plant species that prey on insects and small animals 
are the ones that fascinate me the most. Who isn’t amazed 
by the beast-like behavior of the Venus flytrap? I remember 
when “Little Shop of Horrors” came out when I was a kid, 
and thinking the screen-writer had created the concept 
of a predator-like plant, until I learned that they really do 
exist. Of course, they have yet to find one that speaks like 
the one in the film, but the feats that they are capable of are 
remarkable enough.

 The following narrative was written by contributors to 
the Botanical Society of America ( and 
provides a very interesting and informative summary about 
the origin and development of several plants that prey on 
foods other than the micro-nutrients found in water and 
soil. I hope you find it as fascinating as I did.

 Carnivorous plants have the most bizarre adaptations 
to low-nutrient environments. These plants obtain some 
nutrients by trapping and digesting various invertebrates, 
and occasionally even small frogs and mammals. Because 
insects are one of the most common prey items for most 
carnivorous plants, they are sometimes called insectivorous 
plants. It is not surprising that the most common habitat 
for these plants is in bogs and fens, where nutrient 
concentrations are low but water and sunshine seasonally 
abundant. As many as thirteen species of carnivorous 
plants have been found in a single bog (Folkerts, 1982). 
Most plants absorb nitrogen from the soil through their 
roots. But carnivorous plants absorb nitrogen from their 
animal prey through their leaves specially modified as 

 Traps work in a variety of ways. Pitfall traps of pitcher 
plants are leaves folded into deep, slippery pools filled with 
digestive enzymes. Flypaper (or sticky or adhesive traps) 
of sundews and butterworts are leaves covered in stalked 
glands that exude sticky mucilage. Snap traps (or steel 
traps) of the Venus flytrap and waterwheel plant are hinged 
leaves that snap shut when trigger hairs are touched. 
Suction traps, unique to bladderworts, are highly modified 
leaves in the shape of a bladder with a hinged door lined 
with trigger hairs. Lobster-pot traps of corkscrew plants are 
twisted tubular channels lined with hairs and glands.

 Carnivorous plants are 
fascinating because, even 
when they are not trapping 
insects, their unusual forms 
are intriguing. However, you 
should not collect plants 
in the wild because most 
of them are relatively rare. 
Habitat destruction and over 
collection are two of the 
greatest conservation threats 
to carnivorous plants. If you 
are interested in growing 
carnivorous plants in your 
home or classroom, purchase 
the plants from a reputable 
grower who uses tissue 
culture or vegetative means to 
grow the plant, or starts them 
from seeds.

 We now know that the carnivorous habit evolved 
independently in many plant lineages (Albert et al., 1992; 
Ellison and Gotelli, 2001; Cameron et al., 2002; Muller et 
al., 2004). Pitfall traps evolved independently in four plant 
groups (the eudicot orders Caryophyllales, Oxalidales, 
Ericales, and the monocot family Bromeliaceae), and sticky 
traps, in at least three (the Caryophyllales, Ericales, and 
Lamiales). These are examples of convergent evolution. In 
contrast, the snap trap and lobster-pot traps evolved only 
once among carnivorous plants.

 Carnivorous plants have features to attract, trap, kill, 
and digest prey, and absorb nutrients. A number of plants 
have only some of these characteristics. Glands that secrete 
sticky substances are found in many plants. Pitcher-like 
tanks are common in bromeliads and in few other plants. 
While perhaps not fully fledged sticky traps or pitfall traps, 
these features hint of the potential for carnivory. The list 
of plants described as near carnivorous, protocarnivorous, 
or borderline carnivorous is quite diverse, including 
Ibicella lutea (Mameli, 1916), Dipsacus (Christy, 1923), 
Passiflora foetida (Radhamani et al., 1995), Paepalanthus 
bromeloides (Jolivet, 1998), and Geranium viscosissimum 
and Potentilla arguta (Spomer, 1999). No single definitive 
list exists. Ibicella lutea, which has not been studied 
since 1916 (Juniper et al., 1989), is sometimes listed as 
carnivorous, and Catopsis berteroniana is sometimes 
described as borderline. The ability to digest prey and 
absorb the amino acids is considered the real clincher.

 Carnivory is more widespread than just the plant and 
animal kingdoms. The fungi kingdom has flesh eaters 
also (Pramer, 1964). Living in the soil are over 200 species 
of fungi (identified as zygomycetes, basidiomycetes, 
and hyphomycetes) that use special structures to trap 
nematodes. Like carnivorous plants, these fungi have the 
ability to trap prey and to absorb nutrients from the body 
of their prey. The traps of fungi come in two general types: 
constricting rings (active traps) and adhesive structures 
(passive traps). These trap types occur in separate fungi 
lineages (Ahren et al., 1998).

 Exploring and learning more about the amazing 
world of carnivorous plant life somehow gave me a 
broader perspective on how I view the greenery that 
surrounds me and makes this world such a gorgeous 
place to live. I even find myself talking out loud to the 
trees and flowers from time to time, as I pass by them 
while walking through town. Hey, we all need to hear a 
few encouraging words now and then, so why not them 
too? Love and let live.


This is one fun 
loving little guy! 
Loves to play, 
loves every single 
cat in our rescue, 
loves all of us! 
He has simply 
blossomed from 
when we first 
rescued him, 
and once we 
put him in with 
our other kittens he learned the life of play, love 
and affection. Please adopt our super soft furred, 
handsome tabby boy, and give him the great home 
he deserves. He will provide you with endless 
entertainment and follow you everywhere you go. 
Even better if you have another pal for him. Tucker 
is only a year old. See adoption info, more pics and 
his video on our website. Contact us for a “meet & 
greet” or delivery to your home as a trial. Tucker 
will come current on vaccines, neutered, and 
chipped. Adoption info at



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


[Nyerges has been 
conducting course in 
emergency preparedness, 
wilderness survival, 
and self-reliance since 
1974. He’s authored “How 
to Survive Anywhere,” 
and other books. More 
information from www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.
com, or calling 626) 791-3217.]

Last week we talked about earthquake 
preparedness, and disaster planning in 
general. Be sure to watch this paper for news 
of the upcoming CERT meetings held in Sierra 


 Sierra Madre residents are lucky that there is 
a very active CERT group which meets at least 
once a month in the Hart Building in Memorial 
park. The purpose of CERT is to train individuals 
in the details of being prepared individually, and 
how to work together in the aftermath of any 
major disaster.

 You can learn more about Sierra Madre CERT 
group by checking them out on Facebook, or 
their web page at www.sierramadreemergency.
org. CERT means Civilian Emergency Response 
Training, so you can learn what to do in 


 While it is important to be prepared with 
batteries, and water, and food, and cooking 
devices, and toilet paper, and all the stuff that 
makes your life continue in a somewhat regular 
manner, don’t forget that survival planning is 
about more than having the stuff.

 If you lived in New Orleans during Hurricane 
Katrina, all your stuff would be underwater and 
you’d have to decide where to go, and what to 
bring, and how to get there.

 If you live in North Carolina where Hurricane 
Florence is hammering the Atlantic Coast, your 
stuff might get blown away.

 Survival and self-reliance includes “the stuff,” 
but it includes so much more.

 I have long advocated that you get to know 
your neighbors and develop local relationships 
that involve working together during normal 
times. If you know your neighbors and you 
do things together (dinners, building projects, 
giving rides, etc.), then you are far more likely 
to jump into action with your neighbors after an 
emergency. Neighborhood Watch activities are a 
great way to develop these skills.

 Besides developing relationships with others, 
you should never stop learning new skills, such 
as you might learn at a local CERT meeting.

 Don’t overlook your physical fitness! In a 
serious emergency where you must leave your 
home, or where you cannot rely upon a car, your 
body is your vehicle. If you don’t exercise, and 
are out of shape, you will not be able to perform 

Those who plan ahead for a major hurricane 
have the luxury to load up the car or truck and 
drive out of town. Just look at the thousands of 
cars on the highways who were fleeing the path 
of Florence. But if you wait too long, highways 
are so jammed to become useless. Remember 
the pictures of Woodstock, New York, during 
the rock festival? There were so many cars that 
people simply abandoned that and walked.

 If a major quake hit the L.A. basin, there’d be 
no time to “get ready” unless you were already 
somewhat ready. If you had to depart, you are 
at a severe disadvantage, having to flee, and go 
“somewhere” with the mob of panicked people 
who are also fleeing to who-knows-where.

 If you take the time to regularly walk around 
your neighborhood, or even bicycle, you 
will experience many benefits besides being 
more earthquake-ready. You will feel better 
physically! And as you walk, or bike, around, 
you will see aspects of your own neighborhood 
that you didn’t know existed. You will meet 
neighbors, and you will realize that yes, you can 
be your own vehicle. Though you could never 
carry as much gear on your bicycle or back as 
you could in your truck, walking and bicycling 
at least free your mind and body to the potentials 
you’ve probably forgotten you had.

Questions? Please write.


I, like so many people, love a good mystery. I have read 
all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, the Father Brown 
stories and other good mystery novels. I just like trying 
to solve a good mystery.

 A good mystery does not reveal the mystery until 
the very end. All the way through the story, importance 
evidence points to that person and the other person 
and so forth. However, you must read the end of the 
story to find out the answer to the mystery.

 Mysteries do not just exist in novels for short stories. 
In my case, mysteries are all through my life. I cannot 
manage one day without some kind of a mystery.

 It is not because I am getting older either. As I 
remember my younger days, it too was filled with 

 I remember that one Christmas Eve when I was 
going to solve the mystery of Santa Claus. I heard 
about this mysterious person, but I had never seen 
him and this Christmas, I promised myself, I am going 
to see who this Santa Claus really is.

 That night my parents sent me and my brother and 
sister to bed early because it was Christmas Eve. We 
had our little party around the Christmas tree and 
admired where all the Christmas gifts should be come 

 Then at the strike of 10 o’clock, we were sent to our 
bedrooms to await the coming of Santa Claus and the 
Christmas gifts. I decided to stay up and just see how 
Mr. Santa Claus worked his mystery on Christmas 

 Hiding in the shadows, I could see my mother 
and father around the Christmas tree drinking some 
Christmas punch, talking and laughing. They seemed 
to be having a good time. I was a little irritated because 
they were having a good time at my expense.

Then I heard my mother say, “Don’t you think it’s 
about time?”

 My mother and father looked at each other and 
giggled one of those hilarious giggles. My father said, 
“It sure is. Let’s go and get them.”

 At the time, I really did not understand what he was 
talking about. What were they supposed to go and get? 
Why won’t they get out of the way so Santa Claus can 
come and do his “thing?”

 They soon disappeared and I got excited because I 
figured the next person coming into the living room 
would be Santa Claus himself.

 I faintly heard from the hall, “Shhhhhh, we don’t 
want to wake up the kids.”

 Then I saw something I never anticipated my whole 
life. My mother and father came into the living room 
carrying Christmas gifts and carefully placed them 
under the Christmas tree. They made several trips and 
it was not long before the Christmas tree was loaded 
with all kinds of Christmas gifts.

 I just could not believe my eyes. For years, my 
parents told us the tale of Santa Claus along with 
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. They told it in such 
a way that I believed every word. Now, before me was 
evidence that what they were telling me all these years 
presented as a mystery, was not a mystery at all.

I just solved the biggest mystery in my life up to that 
point. My parents were Santa Claus. It was hard for me 
to swallow that information. It was not the mystery I 
wanted to solve.

 Now I had another mystery on my hands. Do I tell 
my brother and sister that I had solved the biggest 
mystery we had in our home?

 To reveal the mystery to them would give me great 

 On the other hand, to reveal the mystery to them 
would greatly disappoint them.

 Now that I have solved that mystery, what do I do? 
Do I go for my satisfaction or do I protect my siblings 
from being disappointed?

 It was then that I had solved the biggest mystery 
in life. That being, every mystery you solve presents a 
bigger mystery you cannot solve. That seems to be the 
way of life.

 I am glad I learned that when I was young because 
it has been beneficial to me down through the years. 
I have learned to live with mysteries with no desire to 
uncover those mysteries.

 When I say, “no desire,” I do not mean that literally. 
Yes, there have been many mysteries I have wanted to 
solve. But my biggest discipline is to let a mystery be a 

 This is so helpful to me, especially since I became a 

 Every husband knows that his wife, as wonderful as 
she is, is a basket full of mysteries.

 When I first got married, I thought my job was 
to solve every one of those mysteries. I learned very 
quickly that solving a marital mystery, particularly on 
the feminine side, is rather a dangerous venture with 
no good marks behind it.

 Some things are better left in the mystery basket of 

 Paul understood this when he wrote, “And without 
controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was 
manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of 
angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the 
world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).

Some mysteries are too sacred to try to solve, rather 
we should rejoice in the mysteries associated with our 
Father which art in heaven.

 The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. 
He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, 
in Ocala, Florida. Call him at 352-687-4240 or 
e-mail The church web site 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: