By: Blonde Two
Not many of us people would want to live in one of Dartmoor’s bogs; they are wet, wobbly places with slime that oozes into your boots and makes you smell horrible. That kind of goes without saying, but I bet you didn’t know that plants also find it tricky to live in a Dartmoor bog; this is because, despite appearances, Dartmoor bogs are lacking in nutrients.
If you had to live in a bog (say it was the last place available) you would adapt wouldn’t you. You would buy longer boots, learn to prod the ground before you walked on it and develop extra-long nasal hair to block out unwelcome smells. Well the plant world has done the same; and none of it has done this with such aplomb as the sundew.
The sundew is a carnivorous plant that has learnt to catch insects to supplement its otherwise poor bog diet. It is impressive that the sundew has learnt to do this without any formal education; testament I think to Blonde theories about the superiority of outdoor learning over classroom learning.
I have always wanted to spot a sundew but am usually more focussed on avoiding bogs than gazing into them. Thankfully one of our lovely navigation workshop ladies was clever enough to walk on a bearing, count her pacing and find beautiful plants. I am very grateful!