Friday, February 12, 2010

A winter's visit

I live in the central valley of California, and for me winter means a couple of long months filled with rain. But from my front door I can see the Sierra Nevada mountains, and they are filled with fantastic monster plants like carnivorous pitcher plants. This is what they look like in the summer...

Cool, huh? And here is a view of a whole field of them.

Nice, huh? The Latin name for these guys is Darlingtonia california, aka the California cobra lily.

Well, after a couple rainy months, I got a little antsy, and decided to see some monster plants, even though it is the middle of winter. The monster plants were deep in snow, but I needed to see them!

So my wife and I bundled up our winter clothes and drove high into the mountains. We stopped only when the road ended under the snow. So then we strapped on snow shoes and hiked all day.

It was cold, and the snow was several feet deep. But we finally got to the site, and this is what we saw....

Can you see them? The pitchers are just barely poking through the soil. These were the only plants we saw...the rest of the plants were deep under the snow.

OK, it might seem kind of weird to work so hard to see these monster plants poking through the snow, but we didn't know what we were going to find on the trip. You never know! And finding out, well, that is the whole spirit of science. And you can see by the smile on my face, that I had a great time!

Keep searching for those monster plants...rain or shine!

Prof. Rice

1 comment:

  1. You're pretty luckyt to go around and photograph these marvels of nature! :)
    -Mitzi (aka the Mysterious Anonymous Human)
    [You probably don't remember me]