Long Island, NY, is part of an archipelago of glacially-formed islands on the Northeastern seaboard of the US, along the Atlantic Ocean. Many interesting and unique wetland habitats are found on Long Island, with great biodiversity of their inhabitants. Of particular interest, are the carnivorous plants. These carnivorous plants grow in varied and fascinating habitats. There are gently sloping, sandy ponds formed by the glacial processes which created the island. There are great dunes of sand, which at their low points, dip to the ground water table, keeping the sandy soil consistently wet with fresh water. And, of course, there are the Sphagnum bogs, saturated wet, and low in the nutrients that other, more mundane plants require to survive. On Long Island, there are 16 species, in three genera, of carnivorous plants. The three genus are: Drosera, known as the sundews. Utricularia, known as the bladderworts. And Sarracenia, known as the pitcher plants. There are 12 species of Utricularia, 3 species of Drosera, and only one species of Sarracenia, which are native to Long Island.

This photography series is mainly focused on the carnivorous plants and their habitats found on the Eastern end of Long Island, in Suffolk County. There are also other interesting flora and fauna observed in these habitats as well. The photography is visual expression, bringing the creatures and landscapes to life, by utilizing bold compositions, meticulous focus, and the artistic use of lighting. While also clearly identifying the morphological or ecological characteristics of the subject matter, for the interest in sharing natural history observations with the reader. It can be very surprising to some, that in an area more associated with suburban life, and in the shadow of one of the world’s greatest megalopolises, there can be such unaltered wilderness. But here it is, continuing its fragile existence, while the modern world continues to steadily march forward.


Matthew M. Kaelin is the author of The Sinister Beauty of Carnivorous Plants. He exhibits at fine art galleries, is an accomplished cultivator of carnivorous plants, has won horticultural awards, named two Nepenthes cultivars, authors natural history articles, lectures for nature presentations, discovered a Drosera hybrid in NY, and contributes to a conservation survey of Long Island’s native carnivorous plants and their habitats.


Visit Amazon to view his book: The Sinister Beauty of Carnivorous Plants

And visit: MKaelin.com to view his fine art photography series of cultivated carnivorous plants