The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Appalachian Excursion in 2007!

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Lunch break:
Hmm, I see at least three product placements in this photograph. I smell corporate money at work! Beyond the pines behind me, the ground falls away rapidly; you can see the blue hazy patches among the pine branches which suggest views of vast distances.

Over our sandwiches, Jim and I chatted about our respective hikes, about his impressions, and about what I had seen in my site circumnavigation. It was a pleasant lunch, there at the upper part of the colony, where the rock slope was relatively gentle. Even here, though, the surface was so exceptionally slick that every step threatened disaster. And slipping would indeed be disaster, since the immediate consequence would be sliding 5 meters to the edge of the exposure, where the pitch of the rock surface changed to a deadly 45° slope.

Since I had no interest in early death, I had brought a climber's harness and 20 meters of climbing rope. I tied one end of the rope to an upslope tree and donned the harness. It worked well, and let me explore the upper parts of the slick stream in relative safety. In fact, it was using this system that I took the photographs of the Sarracenia you saw already. Jim also put on the harness, and got some fine photographs of the plants.

Let me emphasize something here. In our shenanigans, it was absolutely critical that we did not step on the soil that the pitcher plants grew upon. We stepped only upon rock. The soil structure on the edges of this cataract site is far too delicate to touch. If you repeat this method, make sure you follow the same protocol.

(Thanks to Jim for letting me display this photograph that he took.)

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Revised: February 2008
©Barry Rice, 2005