Malham Tarn Moss

 

Highlights from a vist to Malham Tarn Moss. Definitely one of the better National Nature Reserves.

Due to the areas geology and high rainfall the moss has areas of both sphagnum moss bog and fen. This leads to an extremely rich flora. In addition there’s also plenty of Roe Deer, House Martins, Curlews, Siskins and Wheatears.

Common Bladderwort
Common Bladderwort
Close up of the bladders or traps used to catch insects from the pools within the areas of fen
Traps/Bladders on the underwater stems
Hundreds of tiny traps awaiting an unfortunate water flea to swim by
A tangle of thousands of underwater traps. Amazingly each tiny trap contains a vacuum. When an unsuspecting water flea swims by it triggers a “hair” which in turns opens the trap causing a drop of water and the unfortunate water flea to be sucked inside. The trap instantly seals and the insect is absorbed. 
The black traps contain a trapped insect slowly being absorbed
The black traps are occupied, the green ones are awaiting their next victim.
Another unfortunate insect slowly being absorbed by the sticky tentacles of the Round-leaved Sundew
Another more common plant with an interest in passing insects. Whereas the Common Bladderwort is a rare aquatic plant of fenland marshes the Round leaved Sundew is restricted to acidic Sphagnum bog.  Although worlds apart their victims share the same fate.
Sticky trap land
Just to make sure nothing passes by the Sundews even secrete a sweet sticky substance to draw their victims in.
A close-up of one of the many Bog Asphodels
Bog Asphodel
Bog Asphodel

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