The Last Thing You’ll Ever See by William Dolak
Bill shared this photo from the West Lake Nature Preserve in Portage in our Michigan in Pictures group on Facebook & writes:
If you were a fly or a mosquito, this grotesque monster might be your conveyance to the afterlife. Michigan has several native carnivorous plants growing in bogs throughout the state; this one is the pitcher plant. It entices its prey by collecting rainwater; when the insect climbs in for a drink it is trapped by barbs and drowned in the pool. The plant then absorbs the nutrients from the decaying bodies…most gruesome, indeed.
You can check out some more pics from West Lake preserve by Bill including these shots of a Pink Lady Slipper on Facebook. Read more about the pitcher plant (with another pic from Bill) on Michigan in Pictures!
Pitcher Plant, photo by Bill Dolak
With the ice now gone from the Great Lakes, Michigan was at Terror Level Burnt Orange until Bill Dolak went and took today’s photo. We’ll take the level back up to Hot Pink (at least for insects). The Michigan DNR page on the Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) explains that:
This unusual plant, usually found in bogs, is carnivorous, feeding on insects that are trapped in its bulbous pitcher like leaves. Although this carnivorous plant is a common inhabitant of acidic bogs, it also is found in fens. The highly modified leaves are covered with downwardpointing hairs on the inside which keep insects from escaping. Insects that enter the leaf eventually drown, providing the pitcher plants with important nutrients. The tiny sundews also shown in this poster are also carnivorous and trap insects on the surface of their sticky leaves.
Read more about Michigan’s carnivorous plants from the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy.
Bill took this photo in southwest Michigan’s Barry County. View it bigger on Flickr and see more in his Flowers slideshow.
More perils of Michigan on Michigan in Pictures!