The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Florida waterscapes in 2003

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Another try:
I returned to Fakahatchee strand at dawn the next day. After the depressing debacle at the Utricularia simulans site, I was hoping a conclusive identification for the putative "Utricularia radiata" would help brighten the otherwise pathetic carnivorous-plant-content of my Florida trip.

Instead of the returning to the boardwalk, where nothing new could be learned, I drove to the northern portion of the strand where you were allowed to get off the path and actually slog around in the water.

I parked my car at a spot that looked promising, and that had an old "tram" going into the swamp. If I am using that word correctly, it means an old road--slightly elevated--that looks a little like a berm road or right-of-way, that enters the swamp. It functioned as a convenient transect for me. I gathered gear together, took GPS and compass readings, skirted around a few lazing snakes, and started into the swamp.

OK, I will definitely admit to a certain wussy-factor here. I dearly wanted to cut straight into the swamp and get up to my neck in the water and fun. However, I was alone and without a cell phone, so such shenanigans were not very wise. I stayed mostly dry.

Again, I must say that the Fakahatchee is simply one of the most spectacular places I have ever been to. This photograph looks up into the leaves of a native, Florida royal palm (Roystonea elata), a lovely species that can exceed 80 meters (90 yards) in height.

Two hours into my hike and there were no signs of Utricularia of any kind. Plenty of red imported fire ants, though.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005