The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Southern Portugal in 2011

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The next morning Paulo Jorge met me and Beth, and we headed south out of Lisbon. In contrast with the previous day, where my hosts had been in charge, today I hoped to show Paulo Jorge a few sites that would be new to him. It would be a way to pay back for all his efforts the day before.

We first went to a place that was my "sure fire" location. It was near Maça, and was part of the Arrábida Natural Park. I came prepared with GPS coordinates (from Richárd Novák) and aerial photographs for a parking spot, as well as three Drosophyllum colonies. It was going to be like taking candy from a baby!

Alas, while you can see the site was beautiful, we couldn't find any plants. Everything seemed fine--GPS points, aerials, parking spot, habitat, plant communities--everything held together. But after three hours of walking around, using different search algorithms and strategies, we finally threw in the towel.

By the way, the frequent occurrence of yellow-flowering rockroses (probably Helianthemum or Halimium, in the Cistaceae) was really frustrating, because the flower color is--as close as I can tell--exactly the same as for Drosophyllum.

The video above shows what the area looked like. It was very windy, so the audio track on my video was primarily wind noise---I muted the sound on that video to spare your ears.

After a long time, we headed back to the car, defeated. At least, Beth saw a nice warbler. And the site was so beautiful, with so many interesting plants new and foreign to me, that I do not regret the time spent looking. It was certainly better than being mesmerized by countless Christs.

Compared to Maça, our next site was at best a long shot. But we decided, what the hey, let's give it a shot.

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Revised: June 2011
©Barry Rice, 2005