Saturday was our annual hike in the Green Swamp preserve called Walk with the Meat Eaters!
This hike showcases the carnivorous plants of the Southeast Coastal Plain; plants like the Venus Flytrap and pitcher plants.
We had a wonderful hike with almost 30 folks from all over North Carolina. One family from Wilmington made a great video of the day, you can view it on our facebook page here. Thanks Anderson family!
The Venus flytraps were blooming and we saw lots of pitcher plants, orchids, and other flowering plants.
Upon our arrival at the Green Swamp for our hike we ran into John Carpenter, bird biologist for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. He was conducting an annual bird survey called MAPS. Every summer over a 5 year period in the Green Swamp he collects data on birds that he catches. He catches the birds in a mist net and bands them, making note of all of the physical characteristics of the bird as well.
The information gathered on the birds is then used to assess trends in the types of birds living in the area. We are excited that he chose the Green Swamp because the information he gathers will help us guide our management in the future.
At the end of the hike we rewarded our guests with a Venus flytrap to take home, grown in the tissue culture lab at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, NC. The tissue culture program was started several years ago by Rebecca Westbrooks, the faculty chair for the Natural and Social Sciences department. Since its inception the students at the college have been cloning Venus flytraps and selling them back out to the public to support their greenhouses. The tissue culture program at Southeastern Community College is rapidly growing and we are so happy that they are flooding the market with cloned plants because it takes the pressure off of poaching of natural plants.
While we were out on our Meat Eaters hike we ran into the Cape Fear Camera Club photographing all of the interesting plants in bloom.
It was the perfect morning for photographing plants, bright but not too sunny. Here is a great shot of a purple pitcher plant with a beetle trapped in its pitcher taken by Les Conner. Thanks for sharing Les!