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Showing results for tags 'sarracenia habitat'.
Unforunately, I don't have very good news about the sites in Washington Co, AL. Prior to visiting this area, I had heard that many of the amazing sites that used to exist in this area were recently destroyed due to a road widening project. It's really sad how little the local people know about the botanical paradise that grows literally in their backyard. I explained to the hotel owner that night that we were out to see carnivorous plants, and he had no idea they were even in the area! That same night, Damon showed a restaurant owner a picture of a S. leucophylla and asked them if they've ever seen this plant before or recognized it. While she did comment on how beautiful it was, surprisingly, she had never seen one, EVER! I was under the impression that this restaurant owner has been there for quite some time, as indicated by how well she knew all the of the other customers. The sad truth is this used to be one of the main hotspots for Sarracenias, and now they're so rare, local people don't even know they're there! Washington County, AL used to have vast acres upon acres of plants. Today, there are little relic patches here and there, and just like in Baldwin Co, AL, these sites have succumbed to tree farming and other agricultural activities....From our observations, one of the main reasons for their near extinction in this area is tree farming! To top it off, the use of round-up (an herbicide) was rampant in this area. Even in the middle of nowhere, road workers have figured out it's easier and faster to spray the weeds on the side of the road than it is to mow them! The reality is this area is quite impoverished, and local people are doing whatever they can to get by. Despite all the negative activities, I'm happy to report that plants in this area still exist as of 2013! They have endured all these years of being beaten up with chemicals and plows, and hopefully, some of these sites will continue to exist. Before we take a tour of the plants, ever wondered what a fire ant hill looks like? They're called fire ants because when they bite, they inject formic acid, which cause a sharp, hot sting! I don't know what it feels like, but ask Axel Bostrom of California Carnivores...he got bit to threads. Here's the mound before I kicked it over: And literally a second after being kicked over, there are 1000's of angry ants moving really fast, ready to bite. These mounds are EVERYWHERE in sarracenia habitats, and it's as horrifying as it looks: A nice pink lipped S. leucophylla filled with love bugs: Pretty much every single trap out there was loaded with love bugs: A neat greenish clone-notice how this population looks very different from the Baldwin Co, AL plants: more love bugs: Nice Lynx spider: I just love the way these washington Co, AL plants look: A little bouquet-notice the old, large pitcher, indicating nice spring/summer pitchers: Another nice plant: group shot: [ There were gigantic populations of S. leucophylla here, but unfortunately, they were growing in thick brush, and they looked like this. Without a burn or clearing, these will eventually perish: But on a brighter note (literally!), there were some amazing var. albas here: And to end the show, this S. leucophylla var. alba is one of the best that I saw out there!
This population of S. alata from Stone Co, MS is probably the largest, most dense population of Sarracenias on the planet! The bog stretches for as far as the eye can see, and the forestry service religiously burns this site every year (from what I could tell). I saw many tree stumps, which means they are removing trees to keep the forest from shading the meadow. When we visited this site, it was incredibly dry, and most of the fall pitchers were turning brown from water stress. The site was really dry...when I dug into the sandy substrate, it was barely moist. I saw a few pitchers wilting from the lack of water, but fortunately, it looks like it should rain in that area pretty soon. The good news is this site is the healthiest Sarracenia population I've ever seen. Everywhere you look, there are seedlings, which is a great measure for the health of any population of plants. Despite the water stress, this site will likely continue to thrive for a long time, especially in light of how the forestry service is managing them. Here's some photos: The largest trap I could find in the field was almost black and almost looked like a fish's face, haha: Side view of the same clone-this thing was BULBOUS: Some brand new fall traps-these will turn solid red when the temps. cool down in the late fall/early winter. If you see any red on the new traps, you know it's a dark clone: A nice clump: these plants were hard as hell to photograph with the full sun we were having. They're especially hard to photograph the darker they are. Notice the new traps are less red than the older traps: Another beautiful red clone: A nice ornate/veined clone: It smelled like dead animals in this field because there were so many traps filled with insects. Keep in mind I have a sensitive nose: This one will probably turn black: A beautiful, standard lemon-green clone with nice shape. You can see how many insects it's already caught, and this trap looked perhaps 2 weeks old: This trap was probably a bit older than the others, which is why it's so red: