The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Idaho fen-hopping in 2006

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A menagerie:
Aquatic images complete, I gathered gear and headed back to the sedge field where the Utricularia lurked. Again, I scared up more garter snakes on the beaver dam. Walking across wobbly sedge fields, by the way, is not a trivial business. Remember my theory of moistened body appendages? If you want to avoid a full-body dunking, or stains on your soul from sins awarded by damaging fragile wetlands, you must keep in mind the following as you traverse such floating habitats:

To perform all of the above simultaneously is entertaining to watch. I know because occasionally I looked up and saw clusters of people watching me from the opposite short or the deck of a boat--slackjawed and mystified as to my intentions. This, of course, makes me feel terribly mysterious. Or dorky.

Anyway, the photograph above is one of my favorite from the trip, and took a lot of work to capture. What you can't tell from here is that while I worked my camera gear I was actually laying down in the muck on the edge of the sedge mat, with my feet trailing behind me in open water. The tripod's meter-long legs were completely submerged, and the camera was just a few cm above the water.) But it was worth it. You can see all three Utricularia species presnt in this image: U. macrorhiza and U. minor in flower, and U. intermedia foliage in the background. Here and there in the image you can also see U. minor and U. macrorhiza foliage exploring the water. I like how the emergent compound leaf echoes the structure of the U. macrorhiza inflorescence, and how the individual U. macrorhiza flowers appear to be looking around.

Notice the blue damselfly?

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005