The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Western Florida, 2010

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Getting close and personal:
Utricularia floridana is special because it grows in fairly deep water. Indeed, the plants were in water several feet deep, and amazingly they were flowering!

I knew that this species occurred in such situations, and as Randy had emailed me that they lived in clear water (not tannin-rich blackwater), we had brought snorkel gear to say hello to these plants on their terms--this was thrilling!

As I waded into the water, I admit I had some trepidations. I had never done this, and did not have much experience with aquatic Floridian wildlife. Did I have anything to worry about?

Randy had never seen alligators at this pond, which was reassuring. I have also read that both snapping turtles and alligator snapping turtles are surprisingly docile when underwater: also reassuring. I told myself (without data to back it) that cottonmouth snakes are probably docile in their own aquatic environment, too. This was only marginally reassuring.

As an alert system, Beth kept an eye open for threats I should know about.

P.S. If you want to know why I was concerned about turtles, of all things, conduct a quick Google image search on "snapping turtles" or "alligator snapping turtles." You'll see.

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Revised: June 2010
©Barry Rice, 2005