Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vacation - Day 2 (Part 2)

There are some really nice hiking trails in Quoddy Head State Park. We walked the Arctic Bog Trail.

West Quoddy Head Bog covers approximately seven acres and is the easternmost open peatland in the US.

Peat, in its natural state, is about 90% moisture and 10% organic matter and is the first stage in the formation of coal. It is the partially decayed remains of plants that accumulated in moist places, such as marshes and swamps. It forms at a rate of 4-15 inches every 1,000 years.

Although we have seen several beautiful Pitcher Plants, this is the first time we have seen the flowers too.

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant flowers

[Pitcher plants eat insects to obtain essential nitrogen and proteins they cannot find any other way. Their leaves have nectar glands that attract insects. The cone-shaped leaves, lined with downward-pointing hairs, form a natural insect trap. When an insect climbs inside the plant, the hairs prevent its escape. Eventually it falls into water, which has accumulated in the base of the leaf, and is digested.]

We also saw quite a lot of Spatulate-leaved Sundew.

Spatulate-leaved Sundew

[Sundews thrive in nutrient-poor bog soils by trapping insects for food. The leaves are covered with reddish hairs. Each hair is tipped with a sticky fluid that sparkles in the sun like dewdrops and attracts insects. Insects caught in the hairs seldom escape and are held tightly against the leaf surface and digested.]

After leaving Quoddy Head we drove about 25 miles to Cutler Coast Public Reserve and went on a wonderful hike on the Bold Coast Trail.

More foggy coastline.

The fog finally lifted a little.

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