The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Travels with Booger, 2006

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Finally, Michael took us to another site of a very different character. It was a fairly open, flat shrubby fen inundated with water a foot or so deep (depending on how deeply into the anaerobic, foul-smelling mud you sank). Manure from cows and feral pigs was common. (We met a pig hunter on the way out who seemed a little concerned that we were messing around in the site, because his impression was that the pigs were something of a threat to our safety--he didn't know about Michael's hobby of pig-hunting with only a knife...)

We splashed about, and became progressively more gross as we squelched through the blattering mud. Here and there Sarracenia alata grew, and while the site was interesting I cannot really say it appealed to my sense of aesthetics overly much.

We found some Utricularia (above) that we concluded was probably U. juncea (because of the absence of flowers; in contrast U. cornuta was actively flowering). However, that diagnosis was about as firm as the gelatinous mud the plants lived upon!

We also found Utricularia gibba in the mire. Believe me, it's in there--the stolons just had to be pulled out a bit more to see more of the plant.

As you can tell from the long shadows in the above image, sunset was upon us. Mike and I departed from Michael as friends, and we returned to the Houston area. Back in the privacy of my hotel, I peeled off my bemudded pants, goggling in horror at what they had become. I did a quick emergency washing of them which involved dunking them in the toilet several times to remove the bigger fragments of muck, then rinsed them in the shower. They were still dreadful, but entirely serviceable for the next day's activities.

The evening ended with a rendezvous with Mike at a local Asian restaurant, where we engorged on surprisingly good sushi. A good day all around.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005