May 2007

When I was in fourth grade a boy named Ronny brought a wonderful thing to school for Show and Tell. It wasn’t a pet and it wasn’t a scale model of the Bat Mobile. It was a little plant called a Venus Fly-Trap. 

Ronny showed us how the Venus Fly-Trap could capture insects by trapping them inside its special leaves. He told us the plant actually ATE the insects!  He fed the Venus Fly-Trap a tiny piece of raw hamburger and we watched it close its leaves around the meat. I’d never seen such a wonderful thing! From that day on I was a fan of carnivorous plants.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went camping. It was still brown around here. The grass wasn’t green, the trees didn’t have any leaves, but I did find one thing growing in a bog. It’s what you see in the photo above. This is a pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant that grows in bogs in northern Minnesota.

These are just the leaves of the pitcher plant. The flower will grow up and bloom later in the summer. It’s easy to see why it was named “Pitcher Plant” because the leaves form little cups. The little cups trap water. Bugs crawl down inside the pitcher and…DROWN in the water! Then the pitcher plant absorbs the bugsguts, wings, legs and all. Burp!

There weren’t any bugs in this particular pitcher plant, but there was something I’d never seen beforeice!  I think that in the winter, daredevil bug children go skating in pitcher plants. 

What do you think?

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