The past week has been one that I won't forget in a long time.
During vacation I planned to update my original post as I went though the days. That quickly surfaced to be quite difficult. There was simply too much that I wanted to share, I couldn't put it to words fast enough and be ready for the next day at the same time.
Traveling from Illinois to Virgina I opted for traveling by train. The path followed a lot of geographic features of the united states that I had never seen before. I figured the train would be the best way to see the country. In the end I was right, however both going and coming home took about 28 hours. A lot of time lost, but still a good experience none the less.
Upon arriving from the train, I was greeted by one of the other interns Nick, Phil Sheridan was out at the airport picking up another intern, Rebecca, that was flying in from Canada. Sadly I arrived at night and couldn't get a good look around. But that just made the morning even more of a surprise.
Bed after bed, Sarracenia after Sarracenia. It was amazing, never before have I seen so many mature plants. The research station where I was staying is the off site cultivation and propegation location of specific genetic lines. Many of these plants were saved from sites that are now extinct. Hopefully in time, they may find a new, location apprerate, home back into the wild. Some have already been reintroduced! But for now these continue to grow in the saftey of the research station.
Our work started immediately, there is hardly a day of rest as there is always something to do. A local school summer program was stopping by to learn more about carnivorous plants. Phil, along with all of the interns got to speak about their experiences with carnivorous plants. This was turely a heart warming experience to see the exticement, "oohs" and "aahs" of seeing these plants in person. It reminded me of my own experiences of seeing these plants for the first time.
The next day we lent a hand at repotting venus flytrap seedlings. These seedlings will some day grow into mature plants that help fund the research station along with the Joseph Pines Preserve.
Here's Phil and me, bundling up 100 older venus fly traps to ship out.
Along with all the daily work that everyone was putting in, I did manage to sneak away for some great photos.
These are growing along the pond of the research station.
This little guy stopped for a photo before being eaten. :x
But the most important element of Meadowview, and the reason for it's existance is the preservation of Sarracenia in the wild. We got to spend one day visiting two habitats of Sarracenia growing in the wild. First was a VDOT site that Phil and volunteers lend time and effort in helping manage.
In this photo, Nick is pointing out how Sarras die in natural habitat. In the past, wild fires kept woody growth at bay, keeping Meadows around swamps free and open. Civilation today fights wild fires full force for obvious reasons. It's amazing how one tree will kill an enitre population of Sarracenia. It's nature fighting nature. This day, we lent our hands at being an artificial fire. Cutting away sapling trees, bushes, and other growth so that these plants have a fighting chance.