I once went on an Ecology trip to a long-leaf pine savannah in. The long-leaf pine savannah is a common ecosystem to south-east Louisiana. It is a fire-dominated ecosystem (it depends on small grass fires ignited by lightning to survive) that has been logged, farmed, and damaged almost to where it has been driven to extinction. It is sad to see this happen, especially in such a unique and species-rich ecosystem.

I was able to observe some beautiful tree-dotted grassland. The grasses found included grasses from the Poaceae family, which is one of the largest families where cereal grains are found.

I also saw some interesting carnivorous plants including the yellow pitcher plant, Sarracenia alata and the sundew, Drosera brevifolia, which secretes a sticky fluid from its hairs to trap insects. The “dew” that it secretes had digestive enzymes in it that break down animal parts. 

I was also able to observe some interesting insects such as the common black ground beetle,  Pterostichus melanarius.

I am so happy to know science.