Monday, May 16, 2011

The Terrible Avocado Experiment Transforms Into The Ferret Lover's Blog!

Well as I said in my last post things were going poorly. I know it has been more than two weeks since then, but I've been working a lot of extra hours lately, and between that and taking care of my ferrets, I've not had a lot of spare time. But things are slowly returning to the way they were before, and now it seems I have too much time on my hands. Anyway, I have given up all hope for thew avocado thing, it just didn't work out. Shame on me for not doing any research in the first place, but then again that was part of the fun was doing something to see what works. Unfortunately for me, nothing I did was even close to right, except for the submerging it in water thing...

Anyway, it is time to let dead fish float down stream, and start a new topic. As you have probably guessed from the title, I will now be talking about ferrets. At first I will give a basic outline, in case anyone reading this might be interested in raising their own ferrets. But after that's all over with I will begin discussing raising my own two ferrets, different experiences I have with them, and why I love ferrets so much. I am also more than willing to do a Q&A session or two, and I'm always more than happy to answer questions left in the comment area. I love ferrets, but that doesn't mean all of you will end up liking them too, and that's fine. Ferrets aren't for everyone, but maybe you just don't know enough about them. This might just change your mind. Well, let's get started then!

First off, as I said, I'm going to give an introduction to ferrets. That includes a short history and tackling some of the common misconceptions.

The first boring fact is their Latin name, which is Mustela putorius furo. They belong to the Mustelidae family, along with weasels and polecats.

Ferrets are also crepuscular which means they sleep 14-18 hours a day, and are usually most active early morning or late evening. However, most ferrets will adapt their activity time to whenever their owners are awake and active. For example, I usually don't wake up until 8am or so, long after early morning sunrise when they are normally active. And after just a few weeks of having them, they began to wake up with me. And between having dinner and going to bed is when they are active in the evening.

And now with that over with, I will go into some common misconceptions. First off, and by far the biggest and most common one is that ferrets stink. That is about as wrong as you can get! It is true that They are a distant relative of the skunk, and they are born with must glands, but they are removed when they are very young. Ferrets do have a rather distinct smell, but it's no different from a dog or cat having a distinct smell. You can also, and it is highly recommended by veterinarians, give your ferret a bath once a week or so, and there are several products out on the market available at most pet stores where ferrets are sold, that you can spray on your ferrets to give them a fresh smell. Personally I've never had any problems with my ferrets smelling bad, I just bathe them once a week and I don't even use the ferret spray I've got.

Common misconception # 2 is that ferrets are bad for the environment and can destroy entire ecosystems. Wrong again! And in fact, it is because of this reason that they are still illegal to own in California and most parts of Australia and New Zealand. The fact is they are burrowers by nature, and they love to dig holes, but they aren't pets you just let loose outside for hours at a time. I am considering building a large structure for them in my back yard with plenty of dirt to dig in, but it will basically be a very large cube so they can't tunnel their way out. And I'm sure that pit bull owners feel the same way with the stereotype that they are vicious dogs. It's true in the cases with the irresponsible own, and they seem to ruin it for the rest of us.

Well I'm down off of my soap box now, and I'm going to stop here.

I will finish off with a picture of my own two ferrets, Scott on the left and Logan on the right. They are my little bundles of joy, and we will go into more detail on that next time. So until then, bye for now!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Terrible Avocado Experiment: The Long Journey Downhill

Well as you might have guessed from my title, things are already going bad for me. One of my many followers pointed out that I can't simply put the seed in the water any ol' way and expect it to grow. This person was also kind enough to send me a link of where to go to find out how to do it correctly. As I was reading the instructions on, I began to realize this was a failed experiment to begin with. Now I know I said when I started this that I wasn't going to look up any information about it, and that was part of the fun. But I can honestly say that in this case it royally screwed it up from the beginning, and here's why.

First of all, there is indeed a "right side up" for these seeds. Now not being a botanist, or having any real interest in plants at all other than to eat some from time to time, I had no idea this was the case. I was under the impression that you just stick the seed in water with some toothpicks and you're good to go! That was, of course, the wrong assumption. But wait, it gets worse!

So not only did I have a 50% chance of the seeds being upside down, but apparently because they're tropical plants they need to be in warmth day and night, you can't even put them in cold water. Now anyone who knows the weather in Northern Nevada knows it can get pretty warm during the day, but even in the summer the temperatures can drop down to the 40's at night. And since 3 of my 4 seeds were outside, that's already a guaranteed 75% failure rate. Even the seed in the makeshift greenhouse wouldn't be able to stay warm enough all night.

One last thing I read on that website killed the little bit of hope that was still in me. It says that if the water turns cloudy or murky the seed is bad and to replace it immediately. Well the one seed that might have made it, the one sitting in my window sill, had rather cloudy water just a couple of days after I set it up. I didn't think it was anything more than a little dust and maybe some debris that wasn't washed off the seed when it was prepared. As it actually turns out, it was because the seed was no good and needed to be replaced.

And if all of that wasn't enough, it turns out that they aren't supposed to be in direct sunlight either. Basically they need to be kept in a closet or store room where it is mostly dark and relatively warm. Unfortunately no such place exists in my house.

Now you might say that I can just start over with some more avocado seeds and put them all in my closet with a small space heater set to just keep it warm enough and go from there. But that ruins the whole point of the experiment! It has to be under such specific conditions, there is no room to try one way or the other. A friend of mine has told me to keep going and see if I can save them, so I will do what I can, but I make no promises.

I will continue to post until there is nothing worth posting. And hopefully by then I will have thought of something else to post about. But don't let that stop you from making any suggestions! I'm sure most of you are more creative than I am anyway, so let those creative juices flow and let me know what you want to see. You also probably noticed there are no pictures this time, so instead, a picture of my two favorite boys, Scott (left) and Logan (right).

P.S. During one of our last windstorms (we get a lot of those in this area) one of the cans was blown away and, along with the seed, seems to have disappeared. I have no idea where it went, and I'm not so dedicated that I'm going to form a search party to go look for it.

P.P.S. I'd like to give a shout out to my newest followers JC JC and Krystal, thanks for the adds. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you. And of course comments are also appreciated! I know I don't always get back right away, but these next few weeks I'm working full time and I'm not really used to that. Thanks again everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Terrible Avocado Experiment: Things get interesting...

Well it is Wednesday, which means update time! And this time I will even include pictures, woohoo! Anyway, again not much has really happened, but it's only been just over a week, so I guess not much is going to happen. Here are the pictures for the update.

This is the can in my window, as you can see not much has changed. The water has turned a rust color, and ants seem to like it, but that's about it. As you can see it is getting plenty of sun, as it is in a south facing window. And anyone who is anyone knows the sun rises across the southern horizon in the northern hemisphere!

This is the can outside that is in the soil. I found a worm while digging outside so I put it inside too, as well as some compost. Added a little water, and now you can't even see the seed, although it is just below the surface.

Can # 2 outside, also the control of this experiment. It lost the most water (for reason that are pretty obvious if you know science-y stuff, but if not, it's because of evaporation and a lack of cover). It might just be me, but I kind of get the feeling this one isn't going to make it very long. I don't know, what do you think?

And last, but certainly not least is the seed in the makeshift greenhouse. This one, not surprisingly, lost the least amount of water (see explanation for can #2, then know that condensation, or basically rain, is why it lost the least amount of water). However, I have my doubts about this one as well, mostly because I don't know if it's getting the nutrients it needs, if any. But if that was the case, I guess the one in the soil would be the only one to do anything...

Well there you have it, another wonderful update on the terrible avocado experiment. Leave comments with what you think will happen, or any other questions or suggestions you might have. So until next time, thanks for tuning in and bye for now!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Terrible Avocado Experiment: The Genesis Plus

As promised I am going to update everyone on The Terrible Avocado Experiment. Unfortunately I Procrastinated and didn't take any pictures, so I will upload those tomorrow with some explanations for them. Nothing much has changed, seeing as it's been less than a week since I've started, but there are a couple things I'd like to mention anyway. 1st, I need to be sure and water them more often. The can sitting outside with no cover and no soil was nearly empty when I checked it today, and that cannot be good. Secondly, and you will see it with the photos I upload tomorrow, the can under the tupperware blew over the night I set everything up, so to remedy that I simply piled rocks around it. This will prevent it from blowing over again, but still lets in the light from all angles as before. Other than that, not too much has happened. i just have to be a little more active in the experiment and make sure they have enough water every day. Otherwise this experiment will go all wrong, and I can't let my fans be disappointed.

So once again, thank you to all my fans and followers for all your support, I never would have made it here without you. I'd also like to give a shout out to Atley who inspired me to start this experiment in the first place and all the pointers he's given. Thank you all, and to all a good night!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Terrible Avocado Experiment: The Genesis

 Well after much work and toil, and waiting for the avocados to ripen so my mom and sister would eat them, the experiment has finally begun. 4 avocados are now sitting in their cut up aluminum cans ready to sprout into the world. In case you have forgotten, or are too lazy to click a few times and look for yourself, I will recap what the experiment consists of. One avocado is sitting in my window sill. The other three are sitting just outside my bedroom, one inside a plastic container (a makeshift greenhouse), the second in a can with just water, and the third in a can with good quality soil and some water. The three avocados that are in water are also in the water at varying depths to test if the immersion has anything to do with growth. One is nearly completely submerged, one is only about 1/3 under the water, and the remaining is somewhere in between. The avocado that is most immersed is in my window sill, the middle is outside uncovered and the least is in the "greenhouse." But you don't have to take my word for it... here are some pictures!

These are the four avocado seeds in their four perspective soda cans, each can approximately 9oz in size. From left to right it goes like this. A: in my window, deepest submersion; B: outside with no cover, middle submersion; C: outside with cover as shown, least submerged; D: Outside with no cover, submerged in water and good quality soil.

This is a close-up of Can A

Can B

Can C

And you guessed it, Can D

Now, my personal hypothesis, based on absolutely no specific research or special knowledge of botany (study of plants in case you didn't know), I'm going to say the one in the "green house" will do the best, simply because it is not drowning in water and it will get plenty of sun without losing water. Anything that evaporates will condense and come back down, while the others will lose any water that evaporates. I will water them on a regular basis, but that is my theory for now. Updates will be posted every Sunday and Wednesday by 10pm. Wish me luck, and feel free to share any ideas or theories you have as well.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Terrible Avocado Experiment! Con't

Well I suppose I should keep all my adoring fans updated on what's going on right now with the experiment. Due to strange northern Nevadan weather, it has been slightly postponed. However I promise the fun will soon begin. My mother and sister have eaten 2 of the 4 avocados, and I have the soda cans ready to go, as well as all the materials needed for the experiment. Now I'm going to base the results on weight gained by each individual plant, both as a solid number and percentage of weight gained.

I was going to post pictures tonight, but at this time I am just too lazy to do that. It will be no longer than 3 days before I get started though, so be ready. I am also going to be starting a new blog soon, basically giving reviews of the top 50 action movies of all time. More information on that later.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Terrible Avocado Experiment!

Okay, so just as I promised, I will now begin my experiment on avocado seeds in different environments... unfortunately my camera has gone missing and I am unable to take pictures for now... But all is not lost, for the internet is a wonderful thing full of many pictures of avocado seeds and other people doing their own experiments. Not that I will only use other's pictures, I don't do that... But for the mean time, their pictures should suffice because I'm pretty sure for the most part all avocado seeds look pretty much the same. I'm sure by the time something starts happening I will have found my very own camera and I will post all the pictures I can. Anyway, here is the gist of my experiment...

To start, I'm going to keep one seed suspended in a soda can in my room where it will get light for most of the day (I have a south-facing window), and it is usually 65 degrees or more. This will be the control as it has the best circumstances for plant growth. The second one will be outside of my window, also suspended in a soda can where it will receive about the same amount of sunlight, but will be exposed to colder temperatures at night and also pests during the day. A third one will be outside in  makeshift greenhouse where it will be exposed to the same cold temperatures at night, but without the pests during the day. The fourth and final avocado seed will be outside in a plastic bottle in good quality compost and soil. This is to see if good quality soil makes any difference at all. Now I'm sure there are a lot of people who already know what the outcome is going to be, and I could just as easily look it up myself. But what's the fun in that?

Yes, I know this blog was much longer than my others, but please bear with me. From now on they will be considerably shorter because I won't have to explain everything. I will simply post pictures and say what's going on. Now I do have somewhat of a life, so I will not update every day, however I will most likely do it 2 to 3 times a week. Thank you again for all my supporters out there, I couldn't have done it without you.