With fall rapidly approaching there will be more people in forest and field so I decided to remove the camera trap at the inlet. All summer the number of photographs has been diminishing, so I wasn’t too reluctant to bring it in.
The camera trap had a few photos, a white-tail doe beginning to change from her reddish summer coat to the gray-brown of winter –
And a red-tailed hawk that only stayed long enough for one distant photo –
This also seemed like a good day to walk along the pond’s edge to see what I could see –
There was closed gentian in full bloom –
An ovenbird in the pond-side shrubs –
And a chipmunk on a fallen tree –
As well as several painted turtles basking on a log –
But the highlight of the circuit of the pond was all the greater bladderworts in bloom –
Bladderworts are carnivorous plants; carnivorous in that they trap and digest small animals (paramecium, mosquito larvae, even very small fish) to provide the nutrients their frequently infertile aquatic habitats are lacking.
This was greater or common bladderwort which is, except for its flower stalk, a submerged plant that lacks true leaves. Its underwater stems have shoots containing the chlorophyll that manufacturers sugars for the plant.
Underwater stems bear the bladders that give the plant its common name –
The bladders are traps for the small animals from which the plant derives nutrients. The bladders have a trigger that, when brushed against by an animal, cause a trap door to open and negative pressure in the bladder draws in the animal and some water. Enzymes secreted within the bladder digest the animal.
There’s always something of interest to see in the natural world.