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#333 Socorro Isopod

Extinct In The Wild

I saw a written description of these along with several pictures. It was rather surprising how different the written description was from the pictures. In this case, because I was certain the pictures were absolutely of the right isopod, I painted closer to the pictures. Though they are classified as extinct in the wild, it is not in the same as if they only lived in an aquarium. They prefer thermal water up to 91 degrees F. The spring they used to live in was diverted to create a spa (which then went out of business) is what I read most, though some sites said to supply the town. They currently live in an animal watering tank, a tiny pool, 132 feet of irrigation pipe, and a couple captive breeding programs. The ones not in captive breeding programs are actually there because they were reintroduced there. In the late 80's a tree root burst a pipe causing their habitat to dry up, which killed them. They are about 1/3 of an inch long on average. They eat algae, some larvae, and interestingly they have been observed to be cannibalistic though it was only the males! Vandalism is considered their biggest threat now, but any disruption to the water supply again would be devastating.

While I will always say that fall is my favourite season, it is hard to prove it when fruit starts getting ripe here! While I was off getting my glasses prescriptions filled today my husband and kids went to our favourite berry farm and got a flat of strawberries. I know that the term flat doesn't translate to every other country, because I have lots of friends in the UK and elsewhere. I think that pint boxes will make sense even to people overseas. A flat has 12 pint boxes in it. Good berry places, like the one we go to, think of the boxes as a general guideline and over-fill them like crazy. The place my family went and got the strawberries is also where we get boysenberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Those berries we pick for ourselves at their farm. I have another farm that I love where we get peaches, and they have the best ones out there for sure. I also like to get potatoes and other stuff from them as well. Whenever I can buy from a small family farm instead of from a regular store, I absolutely will. Because we live in Oregon there is not as much fresh fruit as you might find in Florida or California for instance, but we do get a lot of lovely berries. In our backyard we have strawberries starting up too. We have 2 white blackberry plants that I am hoping will do well this year, they don't go as crazy as the invasive blackberries that we get here. We also have a raspberry. Our property is not terribly large, we do live in a town rather than in the country, but it is big enough I can cram a good bit of food into our space. What are your favourite food plants to grow? I'm really hoping our peach tree does well, that might end up being my favourite if it does.

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