Fairhope, AL - Events of Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Weeks Bay is a small, secondary bay located on the eastern side of Mobile Bay. Weeks Bay National Estuarine Reserve is a field laboratory and research facility whose purpose is to study the Weeks Bay Estuary. An estuary is a unique aquatic habitat where fresh and salt water mix. Weeks Bay, which is fed by the Bon Secour and Fish Rivers, empties into Mobile Bay through a narrow opening.
Weeks Bay Reserve includes the Weeks Bay Pitcher Plant Bog, which is a bog with rare, carnivorous, pitcher plants. Pitcher plants have vertical, tubular leaves with downward-facing hairs inside that trap insects. The bottom of the tube contains liquid, which drowns the insect and dissolves nutrients contained in the insect's body so they can be absorbed by the plant.
We went to the Weeks Bay Pitcher Plant Bog a couple of times before, and we decided we wanted to visit it again. After returning from our breakfast of beignets at Panini Pete's on Wednesday morning and relaxing a while around the 5th wheel, we stopped at Weeks Bay Pitcher Plant Bog on our way to Big Daddy's Grill for lupper.
The Kurt G. Wintermeyer Trail is a boardwalk which encircles the bog and allows visitors to get a up-close view of the pitcher plants.
White-topped pitcher plants are the predominant variety in the bog, although there is supposed to be another non-native type of pitcher plant that we didn't see.
The tubes are leaves, and there are also red, waxy flowers.
Not only does the boardwalk traverse the bog, but there is also a branch that heads off through the pine woods and goes to the bank of the Fish River.
In addition to pitcher plants, there are numerous types of other wild flowers that grow in the area, but most of those hadn't started blooming yet. The woods are also full of cinnamon ferns. Cinnamon ferns get their name from the upright, brown, spore-bearing fronds that look like cinnamon sticks.
On the way back to the truck, we stopped for a few more photos of pitcher plants as we passed through the bog.
Another view of pitcher plants on our way to the truck
After we left the bog, we made the stop for lupper at Big Daddy's that we wrote about in our last post. We have more good eats planned, so stay tuned.