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Pitcher Plants at Horseshoe Lake

posted May 6, 2015, 9:57 AM by Justin P   [ updated May 15, 2015, 5:17 AM ]
On Sunday, Sandy had the day off and the weather forecast looked fabulous, so we took the kayaks out to Horseshoe Lake in Suggs Mill Pond Game Land. We got on I-95 south and took exit 49 to NC-53 east. In about 15 miles, we turned on to Live Oak Methodist Church Road right after the water tower and continued to Suggs Mill Pond Game Land. Although this place is rather remote, there were quite a few other vehicles here, so clearly we weren’t the only people who wanted to paddle the beautiful lake today.


Even before putting in, we saw a blooming pitcher plant right by the water’s edge. The water level was higher than when I had been here in the past and reached almost up to the dock. We got in our boats and started paddling out on the water. We initially paddled to the west, where the lake is more swampy. There were a ton of cypress trees sticking out from the water and the lake’s surface was covered in fragrant water lilies. It was still early to see the lily pads in peak bloom, but we did find a few beautiful flowers.


There were also some nice patches of blooming pitcher plants in this area.


We paddled around this area, exploring for a bit, then headed over to the main part of the lake. The water is more open here with cypress trees mainly along the shore. We paddled out about half way across the lake and stopped for a bit to have a snack. Then we paddled some more along the shoreline and found some more great patches of pitcher plants.


They’re easy to find as the bright yellow of the pitchers and flowers stands out in contrast to the green of other vegetation. The flowers on these plants are really interesting - the flower has five petals with an umbrella-shaped structure in the middle.


Looking straight on, it appears to be solid, but looking from the side, I could see that it was like an umbrella. At one point I was right in the midst of the pitcher plants and a fly was buzzing around my head. I thought to myself that isn’t a very safe place for a fly and that he would likely end up as lunch for one of these carnivorous plants.


The sun was quite bright and there was no adequate shade, so after a while, we paddled back to the dock to finish our kayaking adventure.