Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Walk on a Savana

The second half of this trip took us to a Pine Barrens Savana, where the focus (pun!) was on flowers.

After lunch we pulled on our muck boots and headed off to find orchids and other beauties.

A quarter mile or so later we were here:

Bigafy, and you'll see plenty of yellow and white flowers.

This is a Sundew flower. Like many carnivorous plants, the flowers are a good distance from the traps. Otherwise these flies would not be pollinators. they'd be lunch.

As is the insect on the left trap of a Spatulate Leaf Sundew below.

The right trap seems to a caught some type of leaf. This sundew's flower can be seen below.

Another carnivore with a curious looking flower is the Pitcher Plant.

With it's flower on a long stalk far away from the eponymous pitchers.

Our last carnivore is the Horned Bladderwort.

Carnivorous plants thrive in the nutrient poor soils of the Pine Barrens, getting the needed nutrients from the insects and other small creatures they consume.

Not all of the plants here consume flesh. In fact, most don't.

Like this Lance-leaved Century above. Or this Lobelia below. Both non-meat eaters (does this make them vegetarians?).

Pipeworts were just coming up.

While Bog Asphodels were already past their prime.

Also just coming into bloom were the White Fringed Orchids.

I mentioned at the start of this post that we were looking for orchids. We had hoped to see both White and Yellow Fringed Orchids, but the Yellow were nowhere to be found. Perhaps we were to early? I guess this calls for a return trip.

I'll end with what was actually the first plant of interest we encountered at this savanna, Curly Grass Fern, which was discovered in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. A vey small plant that looks nothing like the canonical image of a fern.

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