The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Being Stupid in Ontario in 2003

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Bog #1:
This is the first place I visited--a Sphagnum-rimmed lake, nestled in a mixed conifer/hardwood forest, tucked in an agricultural district (i.e. farmland). Finding it was tricky. Even after I had located what I hoped was the best place to stop my car, my scribbled instructions led me over hills, through woods, down ravines, past farms, and so on before I finally saw the pond I was seeking. If you have ever tried to follow someone else's verbal directions to a bog, you know how dicey it is--you have maybe a 50% chance of successfully finding the site. But my guide's information was great, and it only look about an hour to reach the perimeter of the bog.

But that was not the end of my challenges. I next had to figure out how to get to the plants. First I had to cross the deep bog moat, then fight through dense groves of willows, and hop old rotting snags. Of course, it would have been easy to stick to the open patches where the travelling seems so clear and easy, but those are mined with hidden, deep watery holes desirous of snaring foolish botanists toting thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment.

But in time, and with a few scares that pumped a bit of excess adrenaline into my bloodstream, I made it to the pitcher plant area at the edge of the lake.

This is the view looking away from the water, back towards the trees. The shrubby foreground is habitat for carnivorous plants--you can see a few Sarracenia inflorescences poking up here and there. The ground is wet, spongy, and is probably a false lake bottom. However, the shrubs suggest that the ground is comparatively stable.

The bog was populated with a great number of Sarracenia purpurea. The pigmentation variety was bedazzling--some were bright red, some bright green, some veined, some not. It was a candy store! The plants portrayed in this web show document only a small amount of the diversity present.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005