The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

North and South Carolina low country, 2007

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A vegetable wall:
Just as true islands are tiny bits of land separated by vast expanses of water, the islands in The Green Swamp are relatively tiny bits of navigable land embedded in great tracts of impassable, intertwined, thorny shrubs, trees, and vines collectively called "bay vegetation." This bay vegetation is what makes The Green Swamp so difficult to navigate.

The image above shows the edge of an island. The shrubs that are abruptly rising at the right side of the image constitute the beginning of the bordering bay vegetation. If you were to try to walk into those shrubs, you might notice that the ground drops almost imperceptibly. The ground would become muddy, and in spots extremely so. In fact, a bad step might plunge you into deep muck that would be hard to pull yourself out of. Visibility would drop to near zero. Add in thorned Smilax vines snagging your feet, stinging fire ants, and the thrill of disturbing the occasional snake (some of which are venomous), makes the whole prospect fun in a way that only a cacodaemon from Hell would truly appreciate.

If you ever visit The Green Swamp, I strongly recommend you spend 30 minutes fighting your way through bay vegetation. You will leave with a greater appreciation for the habitat. You will pay sweat and blood to earn your knowledge.

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Revised: February 2008
©Barry Rice, 2005