The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

The Whisperers in the Boglands

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Kettlehole Pond:
The first carnivorous plant site on Beth's and my agendum was this pond in coastal Massachusetts. I had learned a little about the site in preparation--I knew it was a protected wetland that at one point had some kind of boardwalk. In later years the boardwalk was closed because of excess visitation. More recently, the site was reopened to visitors. Because of its abused past, I vowed that we would be particularly careful at this site.

With Beth navigating, finding the highway pulloff for the site was a piece of cake. Next was a straightforward 15 minute trundle through the woods. This and all the other woodland walks we took were very interesting because the previous weeks had been very rainy (because of a closely spaced set of hurricanes), and fungi were everywhere. Big ones and small ones; colored red, orange, white, purple, and brown.

Before we knew it, blam! we were pondside. It was a nice, acid pond edged with a mat of Sphagnum, typical wetland shrubby vegetation, surrounded by a forest of Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) and a beech/oak hardwood forest beyond that.

All that was left of the boardwalk was really only a tilted, floating dock extending 2 meters from the shoreline into the waterside vegetation. (Boardwalks in bogs have a way of falling apart, as I knew from a previous trip through a Utricularia bog in Illinois!) A trail led off to the right, presumably circumnavigating the bog. As I shrugged off my camera gear, Beth was already finding sprigs of Utricularia floating in the water. Sure enough--there at the end of the boardwalk was a tangle of Utricularia in the water.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005