Meadowmom

Meadowmom

Posted on 11/03/2013


Photo taken on November  3, 2013


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Keywords

Darlingtonia
Cobra Lily
Trinity Alps


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Life and Death in the Cobra Lily Swamp

Life and Death in the Cobra Lily Swamp
It's worth risking a damp bottom to sit in the cobra lily swamp and watch these plants do their diabolical work.

Bugs land and hurry toward the sweet smells from the outside of the plant and the very faint fetid smells wafting from within. In they go through the big curved green tunnel, with its pretty veined yellow skylight. If they try to get out, most of them will fly straight up and beat against the shafts of yellow light until they fall into the depths, exhausted.

A more immediate doom awaits those who placidly disappear into the dark green throat, sliding easily down over its smooth skin and the stiff down pointed hair-spears. At the bottom, waiting, the small pale brown pool of liquid fertilizer.

In August, when the YellowJacket wasps get mean and sting with little provocation, there's a special pleasure in watching them go into the traps. (To quote my daughter: Nyeh, nyeh, nyeh!)

Darlingtonia californica.
Trinity Alps, California, 6500 ft.

tiabunna has particularly liked this photo


12 comments - The latest ones
tiabunna
tiabunna
Wow, what an interesting description of this bug-eating plant. It's certainly obvious from your photo how it derives its name.
5 years ago.
Ron Hanko
Ron Hanko
We've seen and photographed these in northern California and southern Oregon. They are incredible.
5 years ago.
Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen
Outstanding image !!
5 years ago.
Mike (Bogger3)
Mike (Bogger3)
Beautiful image :)
5 years ago.
Chrissy S
Chrissy S
LOL....I can understand your daughter on that one. It is nature taking care of itself.... Cool looking plants. I think I could watch a while too :)
5 years ago.
Joan+
Joan+
Well, I hope you are OK - the photo is so lovely.....
5 years ago.
W9JIM - Jim Doss
W9JIM - Jim Doss
In all my travels, I've never seen one of these.
5 years ago.
Pam J
Pam J
Need some a little bigger please.. there are some people.........................................
5 years ago.
Peter Van Der Houwen
Peter Van Der Houwen
Unique image!
5 years ago.
Evergreengirl
Evergreengirl
They look like they've just poked their heads up from out of the grass and are looking around for their next victim!
5 years ago.
Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor
Wonderful, all right, and what a lovely description you've written!
4 years ago.
Alass
Alass
Wow
4 years ago.