The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Travels with Booger, 2006

The Trip:
In April of 2006, my travels took me to Houston, Texas. This put me only a few hours west of interesting carnivorous plant territory, so a trip extension to accommodate an easterly digression was mandatory!

As I would be in the eastern corner of Texas, I expected to see Sarracenia alata, Drosera capillaris and D. brevifolia, and an uncertain ensemble of Utricularia: no doubt U. subulata and U. gibba, but perhaps U. cornuta and a few other interesting aquatics. It would all depend upon luck, prior research, and the availability of local contacts.

This region of Texas contains the Big Thicket National Preserve, a system of nine land units established to protect samples of the native biodiversity of the region. It is considered a "Globally Important Bird Area" by the American Bird Conservancy, and an "International Biosphere Reserve" by UNESCO. In general heavily forested, it has a suite of upland, slope, floodplain, and flatland forests. These forest types occur in a patchwork matrix, so travelling through the Big Thicket exposes you to a constantly changing plant community.

I had a three primary goals for the trip.

My first step was to contact Mike Howlett, a naturalist at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center. Mike is a well-known carnivorous plant aficionado, associated with both the International Carnivorous Plant Society and the North American Sarracenia Conservancy. From my past dealings with him I suspected he was the kind of person with whom I would enjoy going on a field trip. Mike told me that he was happy to go into the field with me, and was even kind enough to rearrange his schedule for the week to make this possible. All signs were propitious!

Start the photo-essay!


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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005