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Thread: Trip to the Green Swamp

  1. #1
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    A visit to the Carolinas would not be complete with out a visit to the Green Swamp. In my opinion this area of North and South Carolina is the best place in the world to see cp's. I have the facts to back that claim up too. There is nowhere else on Earth that has as many different species of cp's or as many cp's by volume than this area. The best site there to see is The Green Swamp.
    In the Carolinas there are about 30 different species of cp's. Including some very rare plants like Sarracenia rubra ssp. jonesii, and Sarracenia oreophila. Almost every major cp group grows there. Sarraceniaciae, Dionaea, Droseraceae, Utricularia, and Pinguicula.

    With that being said here's the story of my last trip there in January 2004. I had a lot of sites to check out and I also had a lot of family I wanted to see so I had to schedule as careful as I could so that I could do and see as much as I possibly could.
    I had a meeting with wildlife officials in South Carolina on December 31st over an issue that I hope I'll be able to write another article about real soon. Since It was only a few miles from one of the cp spot's I found a year earlier on a farm in Shallotte, NC, I thought I would just swing by and see how it was doing, even though I didn't have any more memory left in my camera. When I got there, there was a white pickup truck parked on the dirt road leading to the farm. The driver was wearing an orange camouflage hat, so I assumed he was a hunter. I pulled up to his truck and asked if anybody was hunting around the farm. He told me yes and asked why I asked. I told him I wanted to look at some plants. He laughed and said the only plants back there are strawberries and collards. I told him I had been there before so I knew where they were. I drove back to the spot and I got out and looked for the plants. Last year there were hundreds of D. brevifolia beside and even on the dirt road. This year I only found a small patch of about ten plants. I assume that since it was on a farm road that some chemical or fertilizer had been spilled and wiped most of them out.
    The hunter pulled up and asked if I had found what I was looking for. I told him yes. He asked a few quick questions about the plants, and I explained what they were. I'm sure he was wondering what kind a plant would bring somebody with out of state plates on their car to this small farm.
    After he left I went to a wooded area across the dirt road where I had found D. capillaris before. They were still there and growing very well.
    On my return visit on January 2nd, I had plenty of memory on the camera and I first took these pics of the D. brevifolia.

    Then I went over to the wooded area

    And took pics of the D. capillaris




    I spent another hour looking around the farm for more cp's but I didn't find any.
    I'd like to say that I am above poaching but sometimes you can't help it. I'm ashamed to say that I poached two ticks from this site. You should have heard my wife scream when she saw them crawling on my arm.




  2. #2
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    So I left the farm and drove to The Nature Conservancy in Supply NC. This is the best and easiest place to find cp's in The Green Swamp. There is around twenty different cp's on this site. Since it was wintertime I knew it wasn't the best time to look for cp's but I always visit this site anytime I'm in the Carolina's.


    This site is less than five miles downstream of the proposed landfill that the locals and I have been fighting against for over two years. You can see this sign in almost everybody's yard in that area.

    The swamp was very wet and I didn't get to get back to the best parts on this trip but I still got some good pics.

    The Green Swamp is also home to some very rare animals. I've said in a post before that I have never seen or heard any animals on The Nature Conservancy land. On this trip I was lucky enough to hear the very rare Red Headed Woodpecker. Here's a pic of the wood peckers home.

    You can find thousands of sundews just of the trail. Here?s a pic of a D.capillaries.

    In the summer time the most memorable this about this place is how may S.flavas there is. There are thousands of the biggest pitchers I have ever seen all around you. Of course they are not as impressive in the winter as they are in their growing period, but here's a pic of one anyway.

    There are also very nice S.rubras. Look how red this one is.

    Of course what would a trip to the Green swamp be without seeing some venus flytraps.

    Of all the pics I took, I think that this one is the best. Pinguicula's are all around but they are hard to find.

    I think it's a Pinguicula lutea. Of course there a vft in the pic too. When I got home and looked at it I also found a small sundew leaf in the pic. See if you can find it.
    As we left The Nature Conservancy, it was almost dark. On the Brunswick/Columbus county line I just happened to see this sign in front of a house.

    Of course I had to stop and get a pic of it. As I got out a man met me in front of the sign. I told him who I was and asked if he minded me taking a pic of it. Of course he granted permission. I talked to him afterwards and I found out he was Grady Simmons, one of the leaders in the fight to stop the landfill. You can read a little about him on this website.
    FOGS
    We talked for about 20 minutes about the swamp and the landfill. He also told me they were selling shirts with the logo of the sign on them to raise money to fight the landfill and the paper company. I am in the process of ordering some of the shirts to sell myself.
    Well the trip was over and I thought that it would be great if others could experience what I have experienced. I have decided to arrange a trip to some of the best cp site in the area free of charge to anyone that wants to go. These are protected sites so I don't have a lot of concern about poaching. The trip is planned for May of this year. I haven't decided on all the sites yet but The Nature Conservancy and Jones Lake are going to be a part of it. I have already arranged a tour of Jones lake and the permit only site of Salters lake in Bladen County. These are three very nice cp sites. This will be a trip to remember. If it's possible for you to make it, I promise that you won't forget it.




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    Hey Ozzie,

    Nice trip report. When you revisited the D. brevifolia site, was it the same time of year as the last time? Drosera brevifolia can wink in and out of existence pretty quickly, yet persist in the seedbank.

    Cool about hearing the red-cockaded woodpecker. I saw one for the first time ever this last week, which I spent in the Lake Kissimmee area of peninsular Florida.

    Later

    Barry
    Carnivorous Plant Newsletter
    Co-editor

  4. #4
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    I'm surprized I didn't see this earlier! Wonderful follow up Ozzy! I might be able to come on your CP trip...I dunno permission from parents, arrangments for work vacation, etc.

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    Thumbs up

    mark,
    u warm my heart with your post of a beautiful tale....how i must thank you.. naw seriously that is neato..so uh when r we goin?
    In bleak description the waves come crashing; battering the very instinct of every lusting moment to fulfill this gaping desire. A mouth as dry as soot and how it once had tasted of life, fit within a momentís time; And how those fleeting days laid in the light of blissful suffering. -me

  6. #6
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Thanks Ozzy! Wonderful report. I enjoyed reading it and seeing all the photos. The trip you're planning sounds wonderful. Don't know if I can come but I'd sure love to.

    And shame on you for poaching a couple of ticks! LOL I am a tick magnet...can't go into the woods without picking up 3 or 4. Guess that's because I'm so sweeeeet. haha! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

  7. #7
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the nice things that you guys have said about this story, here in the forums and through pm's. I'm not the writer type and I always had trouble expressing myself. It means alot to me that you like it.
    I haven't been truley into cp's as longs as some of you. I have been interested in vft's almost all my life but I never really cared about other cp's until about 4 years ago. I have learned alot, but most of all I have learned to love these plants and the land that they grow. Through my job I have helped destoy thousands of cp's in North and South Carolina. So I have decided that with the rest of my life I am going to do whatever it takes to save at least as many plants that I have destroyed.
    The first time I walked into the Green Swamp, the lyrics to a song popped into my head. "And God ain't never made a place where I felt like I belong" . That's how I have felt my whole life. At that moment I knew I had found the place that I belong.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] When you revisited the D. brevifolia site, was it the same time of year as the last time? Drosera brevifolia can wink in and out of existence pretty quickly, yet persist in the seedbank.
    Yes, I always go to NC at the end on Dec. It was one year to the day, give or take a day.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]when r we goin?
    Have your bags packed sometime in May. I'm thinking momorial day weekend? Any objections to that?
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] Don't know if I can come but I'd sure love to.
    And shame on you for poaching a couple of ticks! LOL I am a tick magnet...can't go into the woods without picking up 3 or 4. Guess that's because I'm so sweeeeet. haha!
    Yeah the urge get's too tough for us all, and we succumb to our weakness. Don't worry I did the right thing I returned them to the wild at the intersection of Hwy 211 and hwy 17. I threw them out the window. This doesn't even compare to my biggest poaching act. Two years ago I poached about 15 ticks countless sandspurs, and what felt like hundreds of redbugs (chiggers). Man I was in misery.
    Oh and I guess you haven't heard the news flash yet Suzanne, we 've already decided. You're going.
    I'm sorry that I didn't get to answer all the responses the way I would have liked to, but as some of you know I'm haveing a very rough time right now. I'll be back here everyday, like normal soon.
    Thanks again for your comments.




  8. #8
    Lauderdale's Avatar
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    Hey Ozzy,
    I just got invited to spend a week in late September with a friend in Charlotte.
    Give me the the nearest town to Green Swamp so I can locate it on a map. I just gotta go see it.

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