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Apalachicola Forest and the Pitcher Plants

Hammock on Graham Creek

Hammock on Graham Creek

When I left Eastpoint on the last day of my trip to Apalachicola a month ago, I drove north on 65 towards Sumatra to see the pitcher plants.  The sun had already risen while I was photographing the abandoned boats in Eastpoint.  I crossed the bridge over Graham Creek and pulled the car off the road on the other side.  I coudl not believe the way the light was hitting the hammock of trees, which were reflected so beautifully in the creek along with the clouds that were still quite colorful.  It was a magical Rorschach.  There were fisherman on the edges of the bridge, as signs prohibited fishing from the bridge.  I could see why people wanted to fish here.  The water was clean and the scenery was incredible.  This was the way it once was in most parts of Florida, when people lived in harmony with the environment and were able to fish in non-polluted water.  There are few places left like this in the State today.

Serenity on Grahams Creek

Serenity on Grahams Creek

Here is another image of Graham Creek, which gracefully arcs in to the Apalachicola River.  The light hit the grasses perfectly, illuminating the rich golden yellow, browns and reds, which contrasted with the blue water and pine trees on the opposite shore.  The clouds dotted the sky so gracefully.  It is unexpected gifts like this that fill be with gratitude for where I happen to be at the moment the miracles of creation are revealed.  

Field of Pitcher Plants

Field of Pitcher Plants

Next, I was fortunate to find the pitcher plants just outside of Sumatra.  They looked magical illuminated by the still early light in the forest, and were surrounded by softly textured grasses and sturdy pine trees beyond.  The light made everything seem to sparkle and I was astounded by just how many pitcher plants there were.

Nourished by Wildfowers

Nourished by Wildfowers

When I saw this insect feeding of a wildflower, I was touched by the fragility of the ecosystem and the tiny creatures and plants that sustain life in every direction I looked.  The colors, the way the stamen danced in the light, the iridescence of the bug's body, the water droplets and hairs on the top of the plant, it all was this quavering suspending moment that would never again be exactly this way, and I was there watching breathing as slowly and silently as possible.

The Rhythm of Pitcher Plants, Wildflowers, and Tree Limbs

The Rhythm of Pitcher Plants, Wildflowers, and Tree Limbs

I recently traveled to the wild but slightly manicure gardens of Giverny and was blown away by the colors and contrasts.  Sumatra's wildflowers are the totally natural version of this kind of beauty.  The compositions I created had more linearity because of the grasses, stalks of the plants, and trunks of the trees, but there was the same unending vistas, the layering of formations that created a magical tapestry, and this completely occurred by nature's own genius, entirely uninfluenced by the hand of man.  I was in awe.

Yellow and Red Pitcher Plants

Yellow and Red Pitcher Plants

The yellow and green pitcher plants went on for as far as I could see, but interspersed were these amazing, rich red ones.  This is a place I will definitely return to every May for as long as I am in Florida.

Pitcher Plants in the Forest

Pitcher Plants in the Forest

 I know the forest is grateful to be graced by these beautiful plants.  There carnivorous nature no doubt provides a usual function.  I was barely bitten by any bugs here, compared to the onslaught of yellow fly bites I suffered kayaking the creeks.  Even if the forest is not grateful, I certainly was.

Red Pitcher Plants

Red Pitcher Plants

The red pitcher plants were like jewels in the midst of the sea of other plants.  Their leaves, which help the carnivorous plants trap there pray, were richly veined and the contrast with the yellow inside and on the tops of the leaves created a striking contrast.