North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, aka the Southern Outer Banks, offers a wide variety of oppotunities for the nauter and wildlife photographer. When one thinks of the Crystal Coast they normally envision shots of shorebirds along its barrier islands and in its marshes, of wild mustangs running free on Shackleford Banks and within the confines of the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve, and of coastal scenics of beaches, dunes, light houses and fishing boats. But there’s more here than just maritime environments. The Crystal Coast is also home to the Croatan National Forest. This is a marvelous resource with a variety of coastal plains habitat, swamps, black rivers, wild animals, rare species of birds and yes, even carnivorous plants!
I’ve been on a quest for quite sometime to find and photograph a variety of the indigenous carnivorous plants found in the Croatan Forest. Over the last several days I’ve located a photographed three species: The Yellow or Trumpet Pitcher plant (Sarracenia flava), the Purple Pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea), and the Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula). While this certainly isn’t anywhere close to all the species that can be found in the Croatan National Forest, it is a nice start to growing my collection of images. Please keep in mind if you happen across any of these plants many of them are threatened or endangered. Take only photographs… leave on footprints. Make sure they continue to exist for the enjoyment of those generations that will follow us.