¨¨#¨¨#¨¨#¨                                          ¨#¨##¨##¨¨
¨¨¨#¨¨#¨¨¨                                          ¨¨¨##¨###¨
¨¨¨¨#¨¨#¨¨                                          #¨¨##¨#¨##
#¨¨¨¨#¨¨#¨                                          ##¨##¨¨¨##
##¨¨¨¨#¨¨#                                          ¨#¨###¨¨#¨
###¨¨¨¨#¨¨                ===========               ¨¨¨#¨##¨¨¨
#¨##¨¨¨¨#¨             ==           ==              ¨¨¨¨¨###¨¨
¨¨###¨¨¨¨#             /   BLUE FIRE   /            ¨¨¨¨¨#¨##¨
¨¨#¨##¨¨¨¨              ==           ==             ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨###
#¨¨¨###¨¨¨                ===========               ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨#¨#
##¨¨#¨##¨¨                                          #¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨#
¨##¨¨¨###¨  THE ¨BLUE FIRE¨ IS A CARNIVOROUS PLANT  ##¨¨¨¨¨¨¨#
¨###¨¨#¨##  LIVING MOSTLY AT THE WESTERN ALVAR (BUT ¨##¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
¨#¨##¨¨¨##   IT HAS SPREAD TO A FEW OTHER PLACES,   ¨###¨¨¨¨¨¨
¨¨¨###¨¨#¨           MOSTLY ROCKY COASTS).          ¨#¨##¨¨¨¨¨
¨¨¨#¨##¨¨¨                                          ¨¨¨###¨¨¨¨
¨¨¨¨¨###¨¨      THE PLANT IS A DENSE NETWORK OF     #¨¨#¨##¨¨¨
¨¨¨¨¨#¨##¨  GREEN-BROWN TENTACLE-LIKE ROOTS, WHICH  ##¨¨¨###¨¨
¨¨¨¨¨¨¨###    IS OFTEN CALLED "RAT'S TAIL" BEFORE   ###¨¨#¨##¨
¨¨¨¨¨¨¨#¨#    BLOOMING. IN LATE JUNE, IT QUICKLY    #¨##¨¨¨###
#¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨#      SPROUTS FEELERS, TEN TO THIRTY      ¨¨###¨¨#¨#
##¨¨¨¨¨¨¨#   CENTIMETERS HIGH, FILLED WITH PURPLE   ¨¨#¨##¨¨¨#
¨##¨¨¨¨¨¨¨    HAIRS - THIS IS THE BLUE FIRE. THIS   ¨¨¨¨###¨¨#
¨###¨¨¨¨¨¨     STAGE LASTS FOR ONE OR TWO WEEKS,    ¨¨¨¨#¨##¨¨
¨#¨##¨¨¨¨¨     DEPENDING ON FOOD ACCESS, WATER,     ¨¨¨¨¨¨###¨
¨¨¨###¨¨¨¨                 CLIMATE.                 ¨¨¨¨¨¨#¨##
#¨¨#¨##¨¨¨                                          ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨##
##¨¨¨###¨¨  OFTEN IT'S NOT CLEAR HOW FAR THE PLANT  ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨#¨
###¨¨#¨##¨     HAS SPREAD UNLESS ITS IN THE FIRE    ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
#¨##¨¨¨### STAGE. SUDDENLY, AS IF OVERNIGHT, WHOLE  #¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
¨¨###¨¨#¨#  FIELDS CAN BE TURNED ABLAZE (WITH THE   ##¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
¨¨#¨##¨¨¨#  SAME INDIVIDUAL PLANT, AS WELL)! IN THE ¨##¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
¨¨¨¨###¨¨# BLOOMING PEAK, IT'S NOT UNUSUAL FOR THE  ¨###¨¨¨¨¨¨
¨¨¨¨#¨##¨¨ WHOLE ALVAR TO BE CONNECTED NORTH-SOUTH. ¨#¨##¨¨¨¨¨
¨¨¨¨¨¨###¨                                          ¨¨¨###¨¨¨¨
¨¨¨¨¨¨#¨##               /=========/                #¨¨#¨##¨¨¨
¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨##                                          ¨#¨¨¨###¨¨
¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨#¨   FIFTY WEEKS OF THE YEAR, WHILE IN RAT  ¨¨#¨¨#¨##¨
¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨ STAGE, THE BLUE FIRE FEEDS ON THE STONE  #¨¨#¨¨¨###
#¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨  ITSELF VIA A SLOW CHEMICAL ATTRITION.   ¨#¨¨#¨¨#¨#
##¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨  THIS IS ENOUGH TO KEEP THE ROOTS ALIVE, ¨¨#¨¨#¨¨¨#
¨##¨¨¨¨¨¨¨   BUT ALL GROWTH AND PROCREATION MUST    #¨¨#¨¨#¨¨#
¨###¨¨¨¨¨¨   HAPPEN DURING THE TWO WEEKS IN JUNE.   ##¨¨#¨¨#¨¨
¨#¨##¨¨¨¨¨                                          ###¨¨#¨¨#¨
¨¨¨###¨¨¨¨    NOW THE PLANT FEEDS ON BIRDS; THE     #¨##¨¨#¨¨#
#¨¨#¨##¨¨¨  SEMISTIFF UPRIGHT FEELERS LOOKS LIKE AN ¨¨###¨¨#¨¨
¨#¨¨¨###¨¨    EXTENSION OF THE SEA, AND BIRDS ARE   ¨¨#¨##¨¨#¨
¨¨#¨¨#¨##¨ TRICKED INTO LANDING OR DIVING INTO IT.  #¨¨¨###¨¨#
#¨¨#¨¨¨###    THEY ARE QUICKLY PARALYZED BY THE     ¨#¨¨#¨##¨¨
¨#¨¨#¨¨#¨#      POISON ON THE PURPLE HAIRS, AND     ¨¨#¨¨¨###¨
¨¨#¨¨#¨¨¨#     DEVOURED OVER A PERIOD OF HOURS.     #¨¨#¨¨#¨##
#¨¨#¨¨#¨¨#                                          ¨#¨¨#¨¨¨##
##¨¨#¨¨#¨¨   PROCREATION CAN HAPPEN SEXUALLY VIA    ¨¨#¨¨#¨¨#¨
###¨¨#¨¨#¨  SPORES (CRYPTOGAMIA) OR ASEXUALLY WHEN  ¨¨¨#¨¨#¨¨¨
#¨##¨¨#¨¨#      THE ROOTS ARE CUT, DIVIDING AN      ¨¨¨¨#¨¨#¨¨
¨¨###¨¨#¨¨           INDIVIDUAL INTO TWO.           #¨¨¨¨#¨¨#¨
¨¨#¨##¨¨#¨                                          ##¨¨¨¨#¨¨#
#¨¨¨###¨¨#                                          ###¨¨¨¨#¨¨
¨#¨¨#¨##¨¨                                          #¨##¨¨¨¨#¨
¨¨#¨¨¨###¨                                          ¨¨###¨¨¨¨#
#¨¨#¨¨#¨##                                          ¨¨#¨##¨¨¨¨