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



5 comments:

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

    ahahaa too easy to resist!

    R

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  2. Wonderful! I learn so much from you!
    Jo

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  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 http://www.itsmynaturephotography.com/blog/. 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!

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  4. Nice, informative blog!

    Laurie

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

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