I’ve gone to the Green Swamp a few times during our weeks at the beach. Sometimes with a largish group and sometimes just a few others. I went by myself today and had a nice time. I planned not to go too far, with the primary goal of getting some pictures. I got some nice shots of Venus fly traps (Dionaea muscipula) and sundews (Drosera sp.). It was fairly dry and many of the pitcher plants (the purple Sarracenia purpurea And the yellow Sarracenia flava) were a little the worse for that. Still, I got some pictures. I also got a good shot of a palamedes swallowtail (Papilio palamedes (. But this is my favorite photo from the trip, showing the long leaf pines (Pinus palustris).
Tagged With: Carniverous Plants
Another of my favorite trails in the Juneau area is the Dan Moller Trail on Douglas Island. We went up this with my parents and Albert in 1987 and one of my favorite pictures of my folks was taken from the top of the mountain, looking down on the cabin from above. This was also, I think, the first place we saw sundews in Juneau. There are two main species here and this is Drosera rotundifolia, the round-leaved sundew.
They are surprisingly common and at the same time, almost entirely overlooked. They grow in places that are constantly wet and at the same time sunny (or at least not shady). The slightly dryer parts of muskeg, where it’s almost constantly wet is generally the place. Once you see them, they seem to be everywhere, but until you’ve had them pointed out, they really aren’t very noticeable. The False Outer Point Trail is the other place we saw them. I understand that they are quite common on the Spalding Meadows trail, but we only did that on cross-country skis when the ground was covered with snow, so it wasn’t a good time to see them.
The sundews are not the only thing about the trail that I like. The combination of trees and open, meadow-like muskeg with its abundance and variety of wildflowers and plants is relaxing and beautiful to me. The Labrador tea (Ledum palustris), with its tiny, white flowers, the bog candle orchid (Platanthera dilatata, and many other little flowers are all over. None are terribly flashy but all are lovely in their own way. The usually dark water, the bright greens of the meadows, the darker green of the trees, the blue of the sky (when you are lucky enough to have a blue sky in Juneau), all combine to make a really pretty scene.
We also hiked a few miles on the Treadwell Ditch Trail, which is a relatively easy trail because it follows the contour of the land. It’s pretty, too, although quite different to the Dan Moller Trail, in spite of their very close proximity to one another. We also got a good view of downtown from the early part of that trail.
A few of us went to the Green Swamp this morning. As usual, the humidity was a bit oppressive but it was actually cooler than it’s been most years and it wasn’t until we were nearly back to the car that I was starting to feel particularly uncomfortable. The trail goes through long-leaf pine savanna for the most part, but areas of that are separated by pocosins (evergreen shrub bogs). In the past there have been boardwalks through those but this year they were gone. I found out later that the preserve was technically closed, although there were no signs to that effect anywhere that we saw. The reason was that the boardwalks were out, having been destroyed in a wildfire. We managed to get through them and found four of the 14 carnivorous plants known to grow in the swamp. The four we saw were the Venux flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) shown here, along with a few sundews (Drosery species), yellow pitcher plant (Sarracenia flava), and purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea subsp. venosa). All in all, I’d say it was a successful outing.