The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Splinter Hill Bog, Alabama, 2010

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Polygala lutea
Driving from Eglin Air Force Base we reached the parking lot for Splinter Hill Bog an hour before sunset. While I expected to be met there by our friends, it was a lonely and quiet place. Fortunately, cell phone reception was good, and after a few clarifying phone calls, Beth and I pulled up to the farmhouse which served as an operations building for Splinter Hill Bog. There we met our friends Brian Barnes (International Carnivorous Plant Society, Director of Conservation Programs) and Keith Tassin (The Nature Conservancy; TNC).

Splinter Hill Bog is owned by TNC, and includes what I believe is probably the finest remaining populations of S. leucophylla in the world. In a way, the incredible beauty of Splinter Hill Bog is bittersweet. It makes you reflect upon the vast S. leucophylla sites which have been destroyed.

If only our species demonstrated the wisdom to set aside more of our wild heritage to treasure for the future.

The International Carnivorous Plant Society started partnering with TNC (Alabama) under my conservation leadership in 2008. Since Brian Barnes took over my post, he has done wonders with the program. It was an honor to tour the site with Brian and Keith Tassin. God, they are doing important work!

Beth and I arrived at the property that evening, and after making our greetings (and in Beth's case, her first meetings), the four of us immediately set to feasting upon great slabs of meat that would have been adequate for Fred Flintstone. Life was good.

It even offset the discovery that, somewhere along the way, Beth had misplaced the lens cap for my 50 mm macro lens. This trip was taking its toll on our gear---we had now lost...
Two lens caps;
A paddling glove;
Beth's prescription sunglasses;
and...Beth had killed her expensive digital SLR camera by taking it for a dunk during a tumble into the muck of a pitcher plant pond!

The above plant, Polygala lutea, is a plant I always enjoy seeing, because it goes hand in hand with having a great time outdoors in the Southeast. It is more beautiful the closer you look at it!

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Revised: June 2010
©Barry Rice, 2005