The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Western Florida, 2010

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Spanish moss
In preparation for the kayak trip, Jim pretty much promised us close views of manatees....but none were in attendance. But who's complaining---the sights were great, and we spent the day chatting and talking of what would come on the rest of the trip.

This day was designated as a "Beth day" (i.e., emphasis on wildlife), so the view of a swallow-tailed kite wheeling lazily overhead was perfect. And perhaps it took Beth's mind off the fact that her back looked like overcooked bacon---she got nailed by sunburn the day before. Laugh at me for snorkeling with a long-sleeved shirt on, will you?!

Paddling downstream, we had a continuously changing view of the panhandle biota such as fantastic bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), basking Suwannee River Cooters (Pseudemys concinna subsp. suwanniensis), etc.

Alligators were commonly seen on our trip (although not so much on this day), but I was not particularly interested in photographing them.

Summer photography in the panhandle is challenging. The morning light is great, but after dawn passes you have several hours of intense, contrasty light that is useless. In the afternoon the sky becomes partly cloudy and if you are patient, you can usually find moments when the light softens---the wait may be 5 minutes, or it may be an hour.

On the other hand, for your impatient vigil for magical moments of soft light and no wind, you might instead be rewarded by an intense thundershowers.

After the long trip, we stopped for lunch, said goodbye to Dawn, and drove to the coast. On the way, Jim showed us a rarity for Wakulla County--a little road-site with Pinguicula caerulea. In was so similar to P. caerulea plants I had seen previously that I did not bother to photograph it---and recall this was a "Beth day," so I didn't want to monopolize her time. Had I known this would be the only P. caerulea we would see---and, come to think of it, the only flowering Pinguicula we'd see on the entire two week trip---I might have been more insistent.

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Revised: June 2010
©Barry Rice, 2005