Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Deadly Beauty

New York, July 9th, 1818


Dear Sir:


We arrived at South Amboy one week after we left Philadelphia, and, although our journey was a rather arduous one, we think ourselves well rewarded for all the privations we endured. The principal difficulty we experienced was in keeping the right road. Hundreds of these little roads cross each other in every direction like a labyrinth, so that it is next to a miracle if you hit the right one. We remained two days at Thompson's Tavern [at Quaker Bridge] , where we were very well entertained. About this time we found a considerable number of plants which were new to us, indeed there were few plants but what we found here. the Drosera filiformis and foliosa (?) were abundant, ..., After we left Quaker Bridge we fared pretty hard. ... At a place called the Ten-mile Hollow, or Hell Hollow, ... this was the most miserable place we ever saw; they were too poor to use candles.


John Torrey

As reported in the 1910 Annual Report of the New Jersey State Museum, Including a Report of the Plants of Southern New Jersey, With Especial Reference to the Flora of the Pine Barrens, by Witmer Stone

*****


Seems I'm not the only one who had difficulty wandering about in the Pine Barrens. Nor the only one who found Drosera filiformis  worth looking for. Hopefully you can see why.


The flowers are among my favorites in the Pine Barrens.


I like the color combinations of the purple petals, green buds and ovary, and yellow anthers.

But the real fascination for me is the carnivorous nature of the plant.



The "hairs" of the filiformis stems have drops of sticky fluid on their ends, used to trap insects unfortunate enough to alight on them.



They are common throughout the Pine Barrens, and at Lakehurst they were a small forest.


Unfortunately, despite all the bug eating plants, there were still plenty of mosquitos out there. But I had bug spray.



And my camera. I hope you like the thread leaved sundew as much as I do.

(And you didn't have to travel for a week to see them. Nor get stuck in the mud.)

3 comments:

Zen Photography said...

Great work ! Very pretty and I love the Sundews.

Ron a.k.a. Danudin said...

What a wonderous bunch of smelly things!

Anonymous said...

Savage beauty! These are fabulous shots and well worth a bit of mud and some bites.