Monday, September 1, 2008

Candy Cane Pine Sap

This Pine Sap I found off-trail at the Ansonia Nature Center has an unusually bright candy cane appearance. Pine Sap, along with its cousin Indian Pipes, are plants that have lost the ability to photosynthesize, and so are not green. Instead, they are indirect parasites on other plants such as beech and oak trees, by feeding on fungi that are feeding on tree roots.

These types of plants ususually look more like a fungus than a plant, with a dull white or tan appearence, yet like other plants they produce flowers, nector, pollen and seeds. I've never seen Pine Sap this colorful before.

And...once again I was being watched. I spent the afternoon exploring unmarked trails between the Ansonia Nature Center, the adjacent state forest (600 acres), and the "Paugussett Last Settlement", where I now have a letterbox. More on that later.

1 comment:

Larry said...

That Pine Sap is interesting-never seen it or hear of it.-Cute Raccoon photo too even though they can be nasty little(or sometimes big) buggers.