I have spent the past few weeks making the daily announcement, as I head out the door, "I'm going to go water the dragon". Dragon care has been pretty labor intensive.
The dragon started out as a project for DIY.org, so that Blaze could complete his biology badge.
This is the video we used as directions for growing moss on a wall:
First, we had to go out moss hunting.
Then, assemble the ingredients:
Mmmmm! Moss smoothie.
By the way, make sure there are no tiny pebbles mixed in with the moss before blending. Also, it's not very easy to clean out of the blender afterwards, but it can be done.
I drew an outline of the dragon on the wall, using chalk.
Painting the moss mixture onto the wall wasn't working very well for us, so we ended up using our fingers to apply it.
Every day, sometimes twice a day, the dragon was misted. At first this was Blaze's job, but like may other childhood pets, it soon became mom's job.
And then...the war began.
If something grows in Florida, something eats it, maybe more than one something. Millipedes, centipedes, and snails turn out to be the enemy of intentional moss growth.
These are the worst!
They are big enough that I could hear one eating the moss. I'm pretty sure that if they were left to devour the entire dragon, they would continue to grow until they rivaled the sandworms from Dune in size.
The "worms", as we've been calling them, caused so much damage that we had to head back out into the woods to find more moss and start all over again, but I was determined not to let them win, loudly announcing to my family, "I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED BY WORMS!"
After the new layer of moss was added, the toddler and I started planting seeds and plants in the neglected flowerbed under the dragon. We planted marigold and nasturtium seeds and transplanted a sweet potato plant and some yellow mums. She even tried to plant herself.
It still requires a lot of vigilance, but the dragon is beginning to grow.