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Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

“I’ll get you my pretty…”

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It was time to haul out my rubber boots and walking stick today as we would be on a quest for some carnivorous plants.  The area we were going to required a walk through a very wet and muddy area.  The boots also help deter mosquitoes and chiggers from attacking my legs.  I need the walking stick to help with my stability walking through mucky areas.

Before we sloshed through the wet area, we checked out a culvert that we were told had a lot of bladderworts near it.

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Sure enough, we found them.  They are a carnivorous plant that is aquatic and is usually only noticed when in bloom. 

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Wikipedia had a pretty good explanation of how this plant operates.   Aquatic species, such as U. vulgaris (common bladderwort), possess bladders that are usually larger and can feed on more substantial prey such as water fleas (Daphnia), nematodes and even fish fry, mosquito larvae and young tadpoles. Despite their small size, the traps are extremely sophisticated. In the active traps of the aquatic species, prey brush against trigger hairs connected to the trapdoor. The bladder, when "set", is under negative pressure in relation to its environment so that when the trapdoor is mechanically triggered, the prey, along with the water surrounding it, is swept into the bladder. Once the bladder is full of water, the door closes again, the whole process taking only ten to fifteen thousandths of a second.  The bladders are those many little round things located under the water.  I was thrilled to find these plants as I’d never seen one before.  I continue to be overwhelmed by the diversity of the natural world.

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Then it was on to see more pitcher plant blooms.  The most common species has yellow flowers, but last year I learned of a spot that had red blossoms.

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The red blossoms emerge a little later than the pale yellow pitcher plants.  This area had tons of yellow blooms and quite a few pitchers already, but the red blooms have just begun.

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To me, these red blooms have a waxier look to them, and you just can’t beat that vibrant color.

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I found two pale yellow pitcher plants doing a tango, with a wall flower waiting on the side.  Eye rolling smile  I suppose some of you may become tired of my pitcher plant pictures, but I’m so fascinated by these carnivorous plants that I can’t help myself.  Just wait until you see the pitchers from the red blossoms in a week or two.  Perhaps you’ll be  as thrilled as I.  They take my breath away…

I had to leave Emma home today so the Wicked Witch of the West wouldn’t get “your little dog too!”  You can never tell about these carnivorous plants. 

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

25 comments:

  1. The spring flowers make this my favorite time of the year. Great photos, as usual.

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  2. Good idea, keeping Emma out of danger. I'm glad you went prepared with walking stick & boots!

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  3. I have quite a cluster of Jack in the Pulpit plants that grow along one of the retaining walls. They don't last long, but the berries are also colorful later.

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  4. Your photos are always pretty amazing, Judy, but today they just took my breath away. beautiful. Do you use a macro lens for those flower closeups? They are soooo good!

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  5. Would never get tired of any of your pictures, but those plants look like something from outer space, for sure...

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  6. We haven't seen much blooming yet so I love the flower photos. :)

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  7. Excellent Judy! And no, we would not Emma to be eaten by a Bladderwort! Imagine the heyday that the news could have with that one...

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  8. Your photos are always so beautiful I never get tired of them.

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  9. I'll certainly be looking at these plants in a whole new way when I see them.

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  10. Never heard of bladderwort before, very interesting.

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  11. Beautiful pitcher photos. Sarracenia rubra is my favorite of the genus.

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  12. Judy I have to agree with you about the various shades of color in the red pitcher plant. I am working hard at achieving your level of success with the camera.....Someday !!!

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  13. Tired of your pictures? N.E.V.E.R.!!!!!

    I even read through the class lesson today without my eyes glassing over!

    WTG!

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  14. agree w/ rest...pics are beautiful and never tire of them. Had a venue fly trap as a kid loved how it caught flies, of course never thought of what happened to them after they were caught. The reds are prettier than the yellow...one pic the red one looks like it has its tongue hanging out!

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  15. I have never seen aquatic carnivorous plants....very interesting!! I LOVE the Pitcher Plants....all your photos are interesting..You should be giving lectures and slide shows for garden clubs...You would be a huge hit!!

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  16. Carnivorous plants are cool! I guess their environment is nitrogen-poor?

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  17. Aewsomely informative as usual! I have never seen these plants. Thanks for posting.

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  18. Those are just fabulous pictures. I vote never tire of them too. Very interesting information. I just love your life. Thanks for letting me look over your shoulder.

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  19. You definitely have a gift for photography and among us bloggers, take the best photos of anyone.

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  20. butterbean carpenterMarch 29, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Howdy Judy & Emma,

    Hugs!!! As everyone else has praised the pics, I'll jut say, "Ditto!"!! Those plants eat bugs NOT dogs!! You're no fun, carrying a walking stick so you won't sit down in the swamp, phooie, hee, hee.. Good idea, though!! Have you stuck your finger into one of the 'bug-eaters', just to see what it feels like
    yet?? We so enjoy your adventures(as our g-son sez) and the pics are OVER THE TOP!!

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  21. I thought you carried the stick to chase off bladderworts that were trying to get a bite outta' you!

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  22. Really neat pictures as always. I had no idea there were so many carnivorous plants. How they doing on the mosquito population around there??

    http://travelinglongdogs.blogspot.com

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  23. Can't add anything that hasn't already been said so will just say "ditto"...and I never tire of your pictures of pitchers!

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  24. I can't believe Roxie passed on making a reference to pitcher pictures, so I guess it's up to me!

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