The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Western Florida, 2010

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Coquina clams:
The next day, after having said farewell to Jim, Beth and I headed westwards towards Fort Walton Beach. It was another Beth-birding day, so we stopped at St. George Island for a hike.

Take a look at St. George Island on GoogleEarth--it is part of a group of barrier islands about 65 km long but only around 600 meters broad, separated from the coast by about 8 km. We hiked trails on its eastern undeveloped portion. Beth found a few nests of great blue herons, but otherwise it was just a dehydrating, long, sandy, hot, damnable trudge.

After several hours I was fascinated to find a population of Drosera capillaris on the island. Unfortunately, the plants were so tiny and pathetic that I had to work to verify they were not actually Drosera brevifolia.

We swam in the Gulf, even though I don't like swimming in the ocean--it's too sticky--I prefer freshwater. But my displeasure was offset by the discovery of great numbers of these cool bivalves that (upon our return to California) Jim Miller was good enough to identify for us (Donax variabilis). There were countless numbers of them, and in places they were so common they practically replaced the sand!

Ultimately, we were chased off the island by intense late afternoon storms. We drove westward towards our evening hotel, occasionally stopping for turtle rescues and wildlife moments. At one such stop Beth left behind a lens cap to her zoom lens, which irritated me, but what the hey---it's just a lens cap!

Little did we know that this lens cap incident would be the opening attack by Florida upon our equipment.

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Revised: June 2010
©Barry Rice, 2005