Darlingtonia californica in the wild!
I've always wanted to see carnivorous plants in the wild. When I was younger, my parents would buy me books about carnivorous plants and I'd read them with wild enthusiasm dreaming about going to the Carolinas and the Green Swamp to see them growing in the wild. Unfortunately I haven't yet gotten to see Sarracenia (picther plants), Drosera (sundew) or Dionaea (Venus flytraps) growing in the wild, but I definitely still want to. I just recently relocated from Boulder, Colorado to Ashland, Oregon. I knew that Darlingtonia californica, the Cobra plant, grew in the wild in southern Oregon and norther California, but for some reason, I never thought that I'd be able to see one. Yesterday, August 21st, 2009, Leah (my wife) and I decided to take a trip down the gorgeous Smith River to find a good swimming hole. From our home in Ashland, Oregon it's a gorgeous drive down the Rogue River Valley to Grants Pass and then we hit the Redwood Highway (highway 199) and head toward the coast. The Smith River is my favorite all time river. It's astoundingly gorgeous. I had been down there numerous times. I went a couple times when I came out looking for places to live in January and then we've been down there twice since moving here in late July. Every time we'd driven down that way, I've taken note of a "Botanical Trail" that's about 15 miles outside of Crescent City. I'd always wondered what type of plants the trail led to, but hadn't yet stopped to check it out. Well, yesterday we did! Leah had searched online and found out that the "Botanical Trail" is also called the Darlingtonia Trail. I couldn't wait to see my first carnivorous plants in the wild and this batch of Darlingtonia californica certainly didn't disappoint me! As you can see by the expression on my face in some of these photos, I was so excited and happy about seeing these plants in the wild. I think I'm in heaven! A large Darlingtonia with a hand in the frame for size reference. These things were much larger than I had anticipated! Thanks for looking!