|We left Eugene for the coast just as it was getting really hot in the Oregon Willamette Valley. We used our Elks Club membership to stay at a real Elks camground for a few days. Many Elks Lodges provide space in their lodge parking lots, or nearby, with water and electrical power. However, this Lodge has an actual campground in the forest, out of town, on the road to Mercer Lake.
Florence is bear country. We were surprised, while driving out of town to the campground, to have a black bear trot across the road right in front of us. Right in town! Bear country for sure.
On Mercer road, just after leaving Hwy 101, is a roadside park called Darlingtonia Wayside. What a picturesque sounding spot - sounds romantic, doesn't it? Well, if carnivorous plants are romantic, then....
Info from the sign at the "wayside" describes the Darlingtonia thus: Darlingtonia, also known as the pitcher plant, cobra lily or cobra plant, are carnivorous plants found natively in bogs of Northern California and Southern Oregon.
They flower in May or June with hanging blooms of yellow and red. The flower stems stand for months after the blooms fade.
Insects are lured into the leaf openings under the hood of the leaf by nectar on the colorful petal-like appendages and edges of the opening.
Once inside the hood the insects become confused by the many transparent areas in the upper parts of the leaves which appear as exits. Keeping a foothold on the glassy smooth upper surface of the tube is difficult and eventually the insects are trapped in the lower tube by sharp downward pointing hairs. After falling into a pool of liquid at the base of the leaf, the captive is digested and absorbed as food through the plants thin lower walls.
This plant was also growing along the trail to the Darlingtonia bog. We don't know what it is called, but it looks like its growing pickles or prickly cucumbers.