National Geographic : 1974 Jan
be good enough for the towns of the forest. So there is Dick Stewart, under his pines, pargeting his pool. Mink live here as well, and otter, deer, raccoons, opossums, the gray fox. Pine snakes. Milk snakes. Corn snakes. Rattle snakes. Bass. Pickerel. Catfish. Fifty billion mosquitoes. Hyla andersoni, ventriloquist tree frog, is found almost nowhere else but here. He is green, has a purple stripe down his side, looks like a state trooper, and goes wonk wonk in the dead of night. The curly-grass fern, a rare fern, was discovered here. Twenty kinds of orchids grow here, and all sorts of insecti vorous plants-thread-leaved sundews, pitcher plants. A couple of areas-some 15,000 acres-are forested with the same species of pine and oak that live in the Pine Barrens as a whole, but in these areas, known as the Plains, the trees are only three to ten feet high. The dwarfism has never been suc cessfully explained. Dozens of species of birds live in the Pines. The pine warb ler. The prothonotary warbler. The nighthawk. The bald eagle. "What state is this?" "New Jersey. You'd better believe it." Such conversations can go on and on, sometimes, against the winds that sail through the fire towers. Fire itself is an absorbing theme of the Pines. Some of the most dramatic and Delicate as spun glass but a deathtrap for the unwary, a round-leaved sundew grips a struggling ant. One of several insectivorous plants that thrive in the bogs, the sundew will extract nitrogen and protein from the insect's body.