Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

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In Search of the Pitchers

Monday March 31, 2014
St. George Island State Park
Eastpoint, Florida




As several people pointed out in the comments yesterday, we are very lucky to have Laurel as our guide.  She knows a lot about this area and today she takes us to a place we probably would never have found.  At this time of year, Wright’s Lake is known for its wildflowers especially pitcher plants.

We meet Eric and Laurel in Eastpoint and they drive us up route 65 to Wright’s Lake.  Laurel came here with her family as a child and she is just like a child in her excitement and joy of revisiting her cherished memories.





The lake is a small natural lake and one side of a no hook ups campground touches it.  $10 a night to camp in this lovely quiet spot.  Or $5 if you have the Federal OF pass.  There is only  one camper along with the camp host in the campground  today.  With that same pass it costs $1.50 to park your car for the day to come picnicing or hiking.




There are no trail maps available other than the one on the kiosk board.  As usual, David takes a picture of it.  We are told by the campground’s host that the beginning of the trail is under water from all the rain and we should walk the trail backwards.  He claims there is 2’ of water in some sections.  But then when I asked him if he’d hiked he said no.  So who knows.  We heed his warning but I’m not sure we should have.





Notice on the map that the longest trail (4.5 miles) that we intend to do is white on the map.  BUT as you can see from the key, the long trail is actually blue.   We didn’t notice any of these things until we get quite turned around trying to follow the white trail which is very sparsely marked.   We eventually do figure it out thanks to David’s pictures of the maps. 




Map legend for blog




We begin on what I think is the last bridge.  Turns out it was the only bridge.  





Wright’s Lake is in the Apalachicola National Forest.  Its area is a long leaf pine forest and scrub.  This is the home of the Red Cockaded Wood Pecker and we are really wishing we could see one.  The trees in which they have nested are marked with white paint but the birds never appear.  



It’s a great blue sky day. Perfect weather for hiking in a wonderful habitat.  The trees are tall and straight and reach up to the sky.





Eric does spy a gorgeous Red Headed woodpecker through his binoculars and we all point ours to the tree.  But only Eric has a camera good enough to get a picture so you’ll have to check out their blog, Raven and Chickadee,  when Laurel gets it posted.  She says she’s 3 weeks behind so keep that thought!






The blog today relies on David’s Panasonic for pictures.  This is his 3rd Panasonic and as it turns out, it is not nearly as nice as his previous ones.  Its zoom does not work as well and it does not have a macro feature.  So it is pretty difficult, nearly impossible to get clear close ups of the smallest flowers.   These are not the only flowers we saw by any means but they are the best of the pictures he took.


I think thistles are beautiful and this one with its white tips in particular.




I’m making an educated guess at the names of these next four flowers.  If you know better, please let me know.






Florida Scrub Frostweed



This one I knew yesterday but today I’m really guessing.  Lady Finger Lupine or some type of wild sage.




We’ve walked several miles in the dry scrub enjoying its spring wildflowers when we begin to see the wet areas we know we now have a chance to find the pitchers.





Again, keen eyed Eric spots them a ways off the trail.  We go swamp walking to get close to them.




David and I were so excited to see our first pitcher plants in Vermont this past summer (check it out, it was gorgeous) but they were much smaller than these and differently colored.  Red in fact.









The ground also turns out to be covered with little sundews.  It’s hard to keep from stepping on them.  We have to get out of this marsh with our big feet.




This little butterfly on top of what I think is a sneezeweed stayed on the flower a long time but was constantly flapping its wings thus the camera couldn’t focus on him very well.  David was lucky to get a shot of wings open at all.  I wondered if the butterfly wasn’t expending as much energy flapping as he could possibly have been taking in from the flower and wondered why he didn’t just sit.





We skip what was the beginning of the trail and take the road back to the lake, as instructed, for our picnic lunch.  I wish time had allowed us to give the whole trail a try and see just “how deep was it”.   But after the heavy rains of the week-end, we hedged our bets.

Laurel struck up a conversation with some local people eating leaving the campground from their picnic and got directions to a place where the wild flowers are supposed to be “thick”.




After lunch, David and I take the traditional selfie in front of the campground’s HUGE 50 year old Azaleas in full bloom.  Eric thinks this is a fun idea so they do one too.




Not sure Laurel has the idea, she seems to be hiding behind Eric.  <grin>







Then it’s off down the road and boy do we hit the bonanza of pitcher plants AND a super bonus as well.  From a distance, the bogs look like fields of daffodils.   The pitchers are absolutely thick.  Boy tough luck for insects in the area.






In areas adjacent to the pitcher plants are hundreds of Oscelo’s Plume also known as Crow Poison for reasons our weak internet won’t let me explore.











The likely reason for all this profusion is this area appears to have been burned as little as a month ago.  The baby pines are making their way back. his trunk and needles were burned to a crisp as were all the other little pines but here he comes.  Isn’t he cute??





We drive on down the forest service road which seems to be getting narrower and more rutted. Sure hope we don’t meet someone coming toward us.  Thank goodness we are in Laurel and Eric’s 4 wheel drive and not in poor Ruby who probably couldn’t negotiate this.   Actually in the end we come to a minor lake in the road.  Too deep, too soft and Eric has to back out – expertly may I say – to a spot where he can turn around.


The second spot we find is just a field of pitchers pure and simple.  Clumped together they cover the bog.  I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.  It’s joyous!  Nature in her amazing excess!!  How lucky are we to be right here at this exact right time!   Thanks Laurel!!









This is my favorite picture of the day.  Laurel and I were both overwhelmed with this scene.  I’m glad I could get this shot of her in its midst.




Thanks so much Laurel and Eric for a great day on a hike and drive we would never have had without you.  We are going to be VERY sorry to see you guys head out on Thursday.


  1. Being from the PNW I've never heard or seen any of these flowers but they are beautiful. So happy for you that you have such wonderful tour guides.

  2. I'll have to keep an eye out for those beautiful plants in our last weeks here. We're starting to see some color in the forest now. Beautiful Azaleas too!

  3. What a great day and with fabulous guides:) Love those pitcher plants. They are so adorable. Thanks for the awesome photos!

  4. That field of pitcher plants was amazing. I was thrilled to see a few this past summer :-).

  5. wow. . .you guys really saw an amazing display of pitchers. . .nice!

    AND. . .if you ever see a Red Cockaded Woodpecker, I truly hope you get a picture. . .because we've been going out to a park in Conroe for the past two years trying to see them. . .and all we've seen are the trees painted in much the same way your trees were painted. . .makes ya say. . .hmmmm?

  6. The pitchers are lovely, but I would have to vote for the azalea! In NC I had quite a few woodpeckers around drilling holes in my trees, and I kept my bird book handy at all times. I remember the red-headed woodpecker, and about 3 others of about the same size (whose names I can't remember). Then there was the pileated woodpecker, who just about destroyed a tree outside my window. I love to see them though, and hear them in the woods.

  7. I do enjoy unusual (to me) plants. We had pitcher plants in our koi pond back in the sticks and bricks days.

  8. Another wonderful tour!! Those are the most beautiful pitcher plants I have ever seen...pretty color!! I guess it is all the rain this year, but the azaleas are spectacular everywhere we travel:o))

  9. Wow, those pitcher plants are something I've NEVER seen and you better believe, I've got that marked in my "places to go and things to see" file. At the right time (which you seem to have found), that would totally be worth a trip to Wright Lake all the way from TN. All I can say is "wow" again!! This is why I love reading blogs and having blog friends!

  10. Pitcher plants may be my new favorite! How neat to see so many! Sounds like a perfect day and that spring has sprung there. Love all the flowers :)

  11. Thanks to your wonderful accounting, I can relive every detail of our fabulous day among the wildflowers at Wright's Lake. It was pure delight to share the day with friends who are so appreciative and enthusiastic! I think we should plan a few days camping at Wright's Lake together next year. ;-)

  12. How nice to have such a good tour guide. The pitcher plants are beautiful. I'll bet you could have gotten a picture of the red cockaded woodpecker with your NEW camera!

    My camera does't take good macro shots either, despite the macro setting. I'm thinking of buying a special macro lens. I used to love taking macro underwater photos. You can really see these small things so much better with the right set up.

  13. I've never even heard of pitcher plants! What a wonderful introduction to such a unique flower. Having a guide who enjoyed the area as a child is always the best I think. Seeing a place from that perspective of wonder and delight is a treat. So glad you were all able to share the beautiful day.

  14. I loved seeing everything in bloom in your photos. Long ago, when I visited the forest with Bel, we walked around that area and found the pitcher plants. We have darlingtonia here in Oregon as well, endangered, and in a wilderness area on the road to Brookings. Another one near Florence on the coast route. Still, the warmth of those gorgeous pitcher plants in the warm southern climate is such a treat.

  15. I guess the skeeters fear fields of pitchers. Maybe there is a way to raise your own pitchers to keep with you as a skeeter deterrent... ;c)

  16. What a small world. My two favorite RV bloggers meet. You are both extremely active, interesting and honest. Fantastic.

  17. Excellent shots....I got a new Nikon for Christmas from our sons its a 42x zoom it amazes me for sure..now to just read the book and figure out how to run it..so far its been on the auto button..its the P520 gps and wifi ready...someday I will learn it all I suppose...glad to see you two are staying busy...

  18. We'll be in the area in October...of course I marked this down for a daytrip at only a 45 minute drive from St. George Island!


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