Adirondack bogs eat the unwary. But have no fear!

In Europe, human corpses turn up in bogs cut for peat, corpses so fresh they're sometimes reported to the police as possible murder victims. But the bodies have lain there in many cases for thousands of years. The high-acid, low-bacteria environments dominated by sphagnum mosses perform wonders of preservation.

Since not much decomposes in boggy areas, plants can be hard-pressed to find nutrients. One solution employed by plants of several families is to kill and eat flesh---not human flesh, mind you, but mainly the nitrogen-rich muscle tissue of insects. 

Consider the sundew, a sort of miniature Venus flytrap. The eyelash-like fringes of the leaves are sticky with a sweet secretion that lures insects close, then traps them. After the insects die, usually of exhaustion or suffocation, the sundew digests them. This is a round-leaved sundew leaf I photographed a few days ago.

Also pictured is the leaf of a pitcher plant. This meat-eater collects rainwater in its modified leaves, adds digestive enzymes, and digests whoever falls in. Diabolical but effective!