......until we got to the bog. I was only too glad to spend some quality time with this young lad once I'd sparked his sense of wonder and we settled in to explore the world of insectivorous plants. Because bogs lack the nitrogen and other nutrients necessary to support the growth of these plants, they have had to adapt by consuming bugs!
When approaching this special wetland habitat, the very first plants you notice are the Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia purpurea) because they stand so tall and red, like sentries guarding the tangle of lower lying plants.
The basal leaves are modified into cuplike pitchers.
You can just make them out at the base of the plants in the first picture.
Within this cup lies some treacherous territory if you are an insect!
Filled with water to entice a thirsty bug,
and lined with short downward growing hairs
to prevent it from climbing back out,
it is the perfect trap.
The pitcher plant then excretes it's special enzymes
to break down it's tasty treat,
and digests the nitrogen-containing compounds.
There is a spider that can negotiate the maze of hairs, however,
with whom the pitcher plant shares some of it's catch.
If you see Pitcher Plants, look closely around the surface of the bog
for the tiny little Sundews (Drocera spp.), my personal favorites.
There are three species of Sundews in Nova Scotia,
and if I'm not mistaken, those pictured here are Drosera rotundiflora
Each little droplet seen on the tiny hairs of this plant's leaves
is a sticky substance that traps the unsuspecting victim.
Once immobilized, the leaves will curl around the bug,
and enzymes will break down the carcass into useful nutrients.
Here are the tiny, sweet, delicate blooms of the Sundew.
Bogs are home to many more beautiful species
of plant life. This post could stretch into tomorrow
if I showed one picture of each!