Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Oh, She's A Man Eater!"

This lovely, diminutive wildflower is commonly called Yellow Bladderwort, a nasty moniker for such a pretty thing. It conjures all kinds of disgusting images, especially keeping in mind that I'm a Registered Nurse. This flower grows in freshwater billabongs and stagnant pools in many places in the world from Maine to Australia. The blossom is about the size of a dime. It rises above the water 8 inches on a thin stalk. Below the water lies the source of the name, a series of bladders entwined in filament like roots. The plant is not attached to the soil, but is free-floating. It was believed that these bladders kept the plant afloat, but not so. Utricularia macrorhiza is carnivorous. The bladders create a vacuum suction pulling in microscopic animal life. Once trapped, the animals are slowly digested by secreted enzymes. Gruesome! These flowers are so small, that I could only truly appreciate their beauty through my camera lens. I could'nt get close enough to see the details of the petals without it. I laid on a dock cantalevering my body out over the water. It was the kind of area where you could not pay me to swim. The Bullfrogs were chal-umping amongt the rushes and waterlilies while I tried to ignore the mosquitoes biting me. In the dark water, a few Bloodsuckers slithered by. If the Bladderwort was a bigger plant, this whole scene could make the screenplay for Jaws look like child's play!

Utricularia macrorhiza, Phippsburg, Maine


  1. Does not being in your bathrobe mean you were outside naked again?

    ahahaa too easy to resist!


  2. Wonderful! I learn so much from you!

  3. Very interesting flower and images. Your posts are a perfect combination of images and words. Keep up the good work.

    On another note, I've moved my blog to my new website at I sure would appreciate it if you would update it in you links. Thanks.

    And be careful. Our friends from Bar Harbor (Bonnie and Clyde - no kidding, that's their names!) are headed for Portland later in the week!

  4. Nice, informative blog!


  5. I am proud to say that you are FAMILY for sure. Nicely done my dear!!!!!!