|Those "forked appendages" that look like they're reaching out for hug? Don't fall for it, it's a horrific trap!|
In horror movies, we all know the monster/murderer is never dead, and that there is always a sequel. In that spirit, I am revisiting a blog from 2013 about Darlingtonia californicus, the carnivorous plant that lives in acidic or serpentine-based soils in northern California and Oregon. My last visit was during a November, so I missed any blooming flowers from the plants. This time, it was spring and I got pictures of the unique flowers of the Pitcher Planet (or Cobra Lily). They're towards the end of this post. Let's get to the story...
There was an opening. The splendid odor of food wafted from inside. They were so hungry, they were driven to see what was in the opening. There were some strange fibers about their feet, but the smell of food was overpowering their sense of caution. They crept further inside, becoming vaguely aware that the floor beneath their feet was becoming slippery. The entrance was now out of sight, but they didn't worry, they could see openings that would allow them to escape if necessary. They started sliding deeper into the cave, and they became alarmed. They decided they were in danger, and climbed towards the openings only finding to their increasing panic that they were transparent windows, not exits. They could not escape! Where was the opening? It was gone.
A pool appeared below. A pool filled with the digested remains of previous travelers. The travelers realized their peril and tried to climb back up but downward pointed spikes prevented them from doing so. They struggled, exhausting themselves as they fell deeper into the abyss...
Lockwood when he found I was headed to Florence, Oregon for Thanksgiving back in 2013. Of course the travelers were insects, not humans, and their terrifying trap was a Darlingtonia californica, also known as the Pitcher Plant or the Cobra Lily. The plant grows in northern California or southern Oregon, in two completely different environments: sandy coastal bogs and serpentine soils. In both environments nitrogen is limited and the plants get it by capturing and digesting insects.
|They're looking at you...|
|They're discussing you...|
The trail is short and handicapped accessible, and there are several interpretive signs.
|They're all looking at you and sizing you up. Be scared. Be very scared...|
|If the Darlingtonia doesn't get you, maybe the tree trolls will instead...|