Last week, we made another trip to the Florida Panhandle. When most people think about the Florida Panhandle, they think beaches. It makes sense. There are some truly wonderful beaches along this section of coastline, including Gulf Islands National Seashore (photos will be posted in one of the next blog entries).
[Nerd Alert} What goes largely unnoticed are the beautiful long leaf pine forests and Pitcher Plant bogs found in a number of locations, particularly in Santa Rosa County. A favorite area of ours, for viewing Pitcher Plant bogs, is Black Water River State Forest. Part of the fun is finding the bogs. They are almost never in plain view from the road. Looking for seepage slopes in areas where there has been a fairly recent burn was our strategy. We were not disappointed! We found a number of fabulous bogs, each with it's own unique look and collection of Pitcher Plants.
The Pitcher Plant bogs are home to a number of different carnivorous plants. While the Pitcher Plants stand out the most, there are other meat eaters (insectivores), including sundews and bladderworts. With the Pitcher Plants, insects crawl inside the pitcher. A series of downward pointing hairs prevent them from crawling back out. They eventually end up in the water collected in the pitcher where they become bug stew. Inside each one of those beautiful plants, a deadly drama is playing out.