I was a real bookworm when I was a kid (and still am). I would read about things in books, and then I would be utterly fascinated when I encountered the subject in real life. I remember reading about slugs when I was in 1st grade, and thought it was curious that a snail wouldn't have a shell. One day at recess at school, I actually saw a slug on a leaf, for the first time. I sat all throughout recess studying it.
Similarly, I recall being in a large public library in Waterbury CT (probably between 1976-1978), and reading a book about carnivorous plants. I distinctly remember the pictures (don't remember if they were photos or illustrations) of VFTs, Nepenthes, Sarracenia and Drosera. I also vaguely recall it mentioning bladderworts and butterworts.
My first direct contact came when I ordered a VFT from a comic book. It was probably 1979 or 1980. I had read enough about them that I kept it alive quite some time (it was my parents who killed it, along with my other plants, by cooking it in the hot summer sun in 1986.
In 1981, I was hiking through a bog in Connecticut with a group from a day camp. The bog was filled with S purpurea and D rotundifolia (there may have been D intermedia there, too, but the rotundifolia was the one i identified. I remember walking off the wooden walkway into the bog to get a closer look. Later that summer, I convenced my parents to take me back to that site, so I could show them, and collect some plants (before you lecture me, I was 11, and nobody told me I shouldn't). I took one purp and one sundew. I kept them in a fishbowl, and they did very well in it, flowering and setting seed several times. (If it makes you feel any better about my collecting the plants from the wild, i returned some seed from the plants to that bog on a subsequent visit...)
Our house in Connecticut at that time was located right next to a very marshy area... there was sphagnum moss growing there. If I'd known more about different CP genera, I might have explored it more, and found some. As it was, I had always wondered if I'd find anything interesting in that marshy area if i went exploring.
After my parents killed my plants in summer of 1986 when I was at a summer camp (can you tell I still hold a grudge?), my passion for CPs lay dormant until 2003, when I began acquiring plants anew.
Here is a picture my mother recently sent me from 1981 or 1982, when we lived in Middlebury CT.
The brandy snifter holds my VFTs (I had bought one, and managed to propagate it by leaf pullings); the mason jar has my D rotundifolia, and you can see the S purpurea in bloom to the right.
So, no, this is not a recent transient obsession of mine. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]