The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Western Florida, 2010

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Our flight arrived in Pensacola in the early afternoon, and for the balance of the day we meandered eastward. In hindsight, we should have just spent the extra bucks and flown into Tallahassee, but those flights were a little pricey and I am always big on shaving bucks off the bill when I am on a photography trip.

In Tallahassee we stayed in an entirely acceptable Super 8 motel; very cheap--just how I like it. The room was clean and quiet, so what more could we have wanted? We shared the motel with a conference of marriage counselors. I considered faking huge fights with Beth in the dining area, but the crowd didn't seem quite up to it.

The next morning Beth and I called on the famous carnivorous plant videographer Jim Miller and his wife Margot. For our baptism to the panhandle area, Jim and Margot had two days of aquatic fun scheduled. The first day was spent snorkeling in the warm shallow waters of the Gulf.

I despise sunburns, so I threw fashion to the wind and snorkeled with a long sleeve shirt on, and my collar popped. I'm sure my comrades were embarrassed, but they had the good manners not to laugh in my face.

I will always carry with me memories of snorkeling amidst clouds of comb jellies (Ctenophora), as their rows of cilia refracted light into wonderfully pure colors. As I write this, we can only hope that the Gulf isn't too damaged by the BP oil spill.

The next day we were joined by Dawn--an outfitter with The Wilderness Way. With a set of kayaks, we headed downstream on the quiet Wakulla River. While swimming in the Gulf was great, freshwater habitats are much more my preference.

Above is a fantastic spider lily (Hymenocallis sp.). If you like it, enjoy this second image of it, and this specimen I found in a buggy cypress swamp a few days later.

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Revised: June 2010
©Barry Rice, 2005