The carnivorous Florida, White-topped pitcher plant

white-topped pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla)Kathy and I were on assignment in the Florida panhandle, shooting for The Nature Conservancy, when I found this collection of White-topped Pitcher plants. There were several plants nested in a boggy, piney flat woods area that had recently been through a burn. I singled out this one plant when I noticed it was covered in spider webs. Then, as I zoomed in I saw the spider nursery under the top leaf of the plant. These plants are carnivorous and trap insects down in the interior of the tube and slowly digest their meals. What a wonderful little ecosystem, for the spiders and the pitcher plant! It wasn’t until I got back to my studio and was processing the images that I noticed another element in the photo. If you look closely, on the top of the plant you will see the Mother spiders leg and her shadow cast through the plant., BONUS! I love discovering parts of an image that I sometimes miss when shooting in the field, it is like discovering the image anew once again.

There is more information about Florida’s pitcher plants and The Nature Conservancy in the links below.

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wetlands/delineation/featuredplants/sarrac.htm, 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitcher_plant

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/florida/index.htm

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