Jack and Myrtle

When I walk around the pond, I’m usually looking at birds. But I do keep my eyes open on other fauna…and flora. There are some surprising things along the paths. Last fall I discovered a persimmon tree in plain sight. I had been walking by it for years but never noticed it.

Today, while chatting with J and J (Jack and Odie, too), I noticed some plants in a boggy area just off the path. I looked closer and they were almost what I thought they were. Only—at the time—I misidentified them.

The first name to come out my mouth was Pitcher Plant. On further inspection (and with some help from Mr. Google), I realize these are Jack-in-the-Pulpits. There is an important difference: Pitcher Plants are carnivorous, Jack-in-the-Pulpits are not. J-i-t-Ps use a similar shape to attract insects, but they merely use the attraction to encourage fertilization. They let the insects leave and do their thing in another flower. Pitcher Plants keep visitors as a nice snack.

I have to explain why I get excited about plants such as these. Growing up in Colorado—a semi-desert—Pitcher Plants and Jack-in-the-Pulpits were something that I saw in books, but never thought I would encounter in real life. Now I live in North Carolina where things get very green in the spring and summer. Here I can see things I never thought I would see.

OK. I just can’t do it. I thought maybe I could write a post without a bird picture. This Myrtle Warbler in breeding plumage says not.

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