,,,,^«^^&&                                          &&^^«^,,,,
,^«\^§§§@@                                          @@§§§^\«^,
,,,,^«\^§@                                          @§^\«^,,,,
,^«\^§§§§@                                          @§§§§^\«^,
,^«\^§&&@@                                          @@&&§^\«^,
,^«\^§&@##               «««««««««««                ##@&§^\«^,
,^«\^§&###             ^^           ^^              ###&§^\«^,
,,,,^\\§§@             \   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.           &§\^,,,,,,
,,,,«^§§&@                                          @&§§^«,,,,
,^«\^§&@##                                          ##@&§^\«^,
,^«\^§&@##                                          ##@&§^\«^,
,,,,,,«^&#                                          #&^«,,,,,,
,,,,^«\§&@                                          @&§\«^,,,,