I have just returned from a three day bogging trip with Jim Miller and Stewart McPhearson. As you will remember, Jim is producing the CPs of the Southeast DVD series. This installation will include some stunning shots of native stands of Sarracenia in flower. The alata stands in MS shot at dawn are absolutly breath taking, huge sweeps of pale creamy yellow flowers streaching out for acres. Ditch banks cover in ping. lutea in flower and Drosera brevifolia budded and in bloom.
The savanna at Bob Hanranhan's property was not to be belived. Everything you would ever want to see and more. BUT, I digress.
The reson for this posting is to report the extreme disappointment, bewilderment and dismay at what we found at the Citronelle site and at a site just up the road near Chatom. Upon getting out at Citronelle we found that a huge piece of equipment had been driven through the ditch creating huge ruts in the soft mud and crushing some of the most spectacular psittacenias I have ever seen anywhere. The pitchers are so large on these clones, we call them psittacenia golfballensis. None were to be found. When we got into the bog proper, we found there were no flowers or pitchers showing. We found that very odd having just come from the staggerly beautiful alata sites North of here. When I looked closer I found stubs where flowers and pitchers had been. Every single pitcher and flower off of EVERY plant was gone. It looked like sping had not even come yet. There were a hand full of flowers that were just opening that missed the shears. This is no small feat considering there must be 5000 to 8000 plants on this one site. We left crushed and disheartened.
We ventured up the road to two more sites. We were encouraged when we got to the first site and there were flowers and pitchers but when we got to the second site our hearts sank again. Again, the same scenario, just about every single pitcher and flower were gone. This was staggering due to the fact that this was a 30 ac site! I cannot begin to imagine how long or how many people it would take to stip a 30 ac site of almost every flower and pitcher. We all were heartsick. Now, talk about disrupting the natural cycle of seed production *and gene dispersal. I can think of nothing worse short of total destruction. I know that the collection of pitchers and flowers is a cottage industry and that it is legal with the land owners permission but we were certain that no permission had been granted on these sites to collect. There was no one to stop these people. It was infurating and sickening all at the same time. We felt helpless.