|Early morning pond reflections|
|Big Island with Venus flytraps in bloom|
Foggy conditions often provide a mystical mood to a landscape. I turned from where I was standing shooting the Venus flytraps and captured this scene through the trees.
|Big Island on a foggy morning|
After spending some time here taking in the beauty, I headed to the parking lot at the pond and hit the main trail. My goal was to hike to Shoestring Savanna, which is the first savanna past the boardwalk, and where you can find many floral delights. It didn't take long to spot more Venus flytraps in bloom. I found a nice one growing in a patch of red sphagnum moss.
I continued down the trail and found more goodies including orchids! There is a side trail to the left of the main trail that boarders a pocosin. Here you find a ecotone or a transition zone between the open longleaf savanna and the shruby pocosin, which is essentially a evergreen thicket. With less woody competition in the ecotone, herbaceous plants flourish.
|A pair of Cleistesiopsis divaricata|
|A pale white flowered form|
I couldn't resist taking a shot from the back side.
The uppermost petal on the flower is covered with hairs resembling pollen-bearing anthers found in other species. This mimicry attracts visiting bumble bees, which are the primary pollinator. For a complete discussion about the interesting pollination technique in Calopogons, check out Jim Fowler's blog.
This orchid is one of our most photogenic species. It occurs in the coastal plain growing in pine savannas, meadows and along wet roadsides, and in mountain seeps and bogs. The colour ranges from pink to deep magenta to solid white.
While I was excited to see this one, I knew a place along a roadside about 20 minutes away where there would be dozens in bloom. That spot I will talk about in another posting.
|Lysimachia asperulifolia in bud|
|Lysimachia asperulifolia in flower|
|A window view of the savanna|