Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Green Swamp Preserve

Last week the weather was blessedly cooler than normal for mid-June, and my husband and I drove up to the Green Swamp Preserve from Ocean Isle Beach, just to see what we could see.

Brunswick County, North Carolina is home to more rare species (112) than any other county in the state, and a total of over 400 vascular plant species have been identified there.

The borrow pit pond you see here is ringed with our first exciting find...sundew!

See the reddish "grass?"  That is the sundew.  This is a spoonleaf type (Drosera intermedia?), but there are threadleaf sundews as well. (We missed those this time.)

Insects stick to the droplets on the "spoons" and then the plant rolls up around them.  Inside these Drosera death cocoons, their guts are dissolved and absorbed, helping the plant satiate its appetite for nitrogen.

Sundew was so thick in some areas, it was hard to avoid stepping on it.  Will they dissolve your toes?  I'll never tell.

Speaking of which, do not wear flip-flops to the Green Swamp. I don't need to tell you that, do I? I saw someone hiking around a waterfall in high heels at Yosemite last summer, so I thought I would mention it, just in case. It's not wet in the savannas where you will likely spend most of your time, but you need good coverage because of the brush and insects. And the sundews.


The Green Swamp Preserve, Wildlife South - An excellent article about visiting the swamp.  Wish I had read it before I went!

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