I’ve been watching a lot of Life in Jars on YouTube lately. I’ve always been fascinated by little self-contained ecosystem. When I was a kid, I did a very bad terrarium for a science project (I don’t think I got a good grade on it). I had the aquarium for a long time after and used it to keep critters and crawdads in until a friend knocked it over.
When I lived in Austin, I made a little terrarium from an old candy jar. The bottom had some polished rocks. I’m not sure why I put those in there. It had a little fern plant, some moss, and a snail that I had found out on the Barton Creek Trail. Also, a rock from the parking lot of my apartment. The snail didn’t last long … just not big enough a space for it. The moss did well, but the fern would wax and wane. Unfortunately, during the last move the jar took a bit of a tumble and the rock inside broke the glass.
So I had an empty jar that was previously home to some Prego Alfredo sauce – yeah, I know, I could make it myself, but I’m lazy – so inspired by Life in Jars, I decided to stick some stuff in it and see what happens.
I started with some charcoal. I think this is supposed to help filter water? I just took a briquette and crunched is up using two large rocks.
Next I added some rocks and pine straw. I don’t think the pine straw is too good – I think it tends to make soil acidic. But meh … we’ll see what happens.
Next some dirt and a little clover plant that I dug up in my back yard.
I threw in some of these grass seeds, some berries, and a few pieces of wood with lichen and whatnot on it.
I was looking for some pill bugs but I couldn’t find any. I did find a worm and dropped him in. But then I thought: this little ecosphere is too small to support it, but he had already started squirming away before I could get him out.
There’s the finished jar, lid and dated, and into the window seal. We’ll see how it does.
I’m going to Corpus this weekend for a Rugby 7’s tourney. I’m taking a little jar that I’m going to use to get some sand, salt water, and maybe some seaweed, and see what happens to it.