The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Appalachian Excursion in 2005!

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A nice pitcher:
Our first site was found easily enough; a stream winding through the ravines of North Carolina entered a wide valley and spread into a broad seep. Sphagnum formed large sheets, and amongst the shrubs and grasses Sarracenia purpurea thrived. Mandy and I surveyed the entire site. While travel through the bog itself was fairly easy (although some deep mud holes lurked here and there) we tried to keep to the bog outskirts whenever possible because we didn't want to damage the delicate mat of plants on the soft soil. This meant fighting our way through a lot of rhododendrons, but such was our lot.

Have you ever pushed your way through dense rhododendron growth? It is an extraordinary experience, especially if you are already a little tired. The branches of the plants intertwine to form an interlocking mesh, and twigs poke at your face and jacket from every direction. My old leather jacket--admittedly in need of moisturizing--developed many tears and lacerations from the assault.

It was a bright, sunny day so this and a few of my other photographs from the site are a little contrasty. Alas.

A nice feature about the early season was that competing forbs and shrubs had not yet leafed out. I imagine the plants are harder to find later in the year!

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005