The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

By the Mountains of Madness

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The Lake...
In keeping with my FAQ guidelines, I will not reveal the name of this small lake. However, most Californian carnivorous plant growers know the place, so my omitting this factoid is a little silly. But anyway...

This lake is most amazing, and is no doubt the best carnivorous plant area in the Lassen area. What looks like a flat plain of grass filling most of the photograph above is actually a floating mass of vegetation--Sphagnum and other plants. Walk on it, and it feels like a huge waterbed. This is a marvelous example of a "false lake bottom." The mats spread particularly broadly along the lake's north and south banks, and they provide great habitat for carnivorous plants, especially sundews. A few species of Utricularia that like shallow water also thrive in soggy depressions in the mat. The lake also has very deep water, suitable for free-floating, suspended U. macrorhiza.

The birding is good, too, as you might expect, with interesting and beautiful warblers and tanagers. And after a long day of exploring, you can swim in the lake (if it is not too cold), fish (if that is your deal), and then set up your tent in the lakeside campground (if it looks like the neighbors are not going to be too obnoxious).

This is bear country, so be careful about leaving food around. Also, do not collect the plants. This place gets a lot of traffic, and the lighter the footprint you make, the better! In fact, if you are happy with surveying the mat from a canoe or spotting scope, that is best of all!

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005