The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Travels with Booger, 2006

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Spider lily:
The next morning I put on my muddy, alarmingly stiff pants and headed northeast. I had a long day in front of me--my last in Texas--and would be without Mike's guidance.

I had two goals for the day. The first was to return to the delicate roadside habitat where Mike had taken me on the morning of our first day--I wanted to rephotograph the Pinguicula pumila and try to obtain images that captured more of the plant's spirit. I also wanted to revisit a Sarracenia site I had seen several years earlier.

Along the way I saw this lovely Hymenocallis. I was surprised, later, to discover that the taxonomy of this genus of spectacularly showy plants is very messy. Godfrey & Wooten (1981) doesn't even try to treat the separate species in the genus!

I arrived at the Pinguicula site. I pulled over where I thought Mike and I had been just a few days earlier, but was instantly befuddled. I couldn't find the dense cluster of plants that we saw earlier--I couldn't even find the flat area with a little set of puddles where they had been! Had I suddenly been teleported into the Bermuda Triangle? I walked up and down the road, and while I found a few solitary plants here and there, it was as if I were in the completely wrong place.

Then, with increasing horror, the reality hit me. I had found the site, but hadn't realized it. For within a few days the habitat had been transformed. Some dick-heads on ATVs had decided that the delicate, muddy roadside would be a fun place to spin their tires and throw mud into the air. The plants were all completely obliterated, and only deep muddy ruts and tread marks remained. Pinguicula pumila, rest in peace. Man, I was pissed.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005