Thursday, December 8, 2016

Carolina Beach, NC and the Elusive Venus Fly Trap

The only place the Venus Fly Trap grows as a native species is within a 70 mile radius of Carolina Beach State Park in North Carolina. That fact was, of course, intriguing to Tom and I. We HAD to go on a little hike to see them. In fact, the park provides a Fly Trap Trail just for that purpose. Armed with the walking sticks that were lovingly made for us by William and Mary Lou Wilson, we set out one day to find and photograph them.

The sign said it was just a half mile trail. No problem! We didn't read too much more of this sign than that. We are both experienced science teachers. We knew we would spot the plant. We both had a mental picture of what it would look like. Off we went.

This was a piece of cake! We found a yellow pitcher plant at our second stop to look around. We were on it!
We really enjoyed the scenery about us as it was so different from home.

Wait a minute! That's the parking area on the other side of this swamp. We are almost back to the truck. Where were the Venus Fly Traps?

How had we missed it? We had both taken our time and scanned the area around the walkways carefully. Well, I'll tell you how we missed it. We were looking for something much larger than our quarry. A closer look at the guide sign told us it was a VERY small plant. Back to the trail we went to look again. We even decided we were going off the main trail to the side trails we had seen some people with a camera on.
After much wandering and searching, we finally found one!! (Did you catch that? We only found ONE plant.) Here are a couple of pictures of it with a penny beside it for scale.

We were triumphant. Later that evening, Tom did a little more research. It seems the plant that we found must be a little astray. We should have found it in another biome. Oh well, we found it. That was what mattered. It only took us an hour and a half. ;)

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