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At a recent SNAPP meeting (our local nature photo club) Bill and Marcia Boothe announced that they'd be leading a group to the Apalachicola National Forest on Saturday to look for carnivorous plants, rare plants, and accompanying wildlife. We were invited to join in. Having a rare free Saturday, and knowing Billy and Marcia's reputation and knowledge of the Forest (http://natureinfocus.com/), how could I pass up such an opportunity?
Gathering behind the school in Blountstown, the group then caravan'd down Hwy 65 to the Forest around Sumatra. First stop was "Billy's Bog" where we were rewarded with a wide variety of meat-eating plants - - pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts, and more. We found rare orchids, insects, and a pond. A real bonanza. Tom helped me with one photo by holding back brush and positioning some pitchers. It was challenging to make panoramic shots without photographers in the landscape, so photographers like Amy became subject matter as well.
We visited two other sites, each with special features or unique rare plants. Other than a lunch stop, we were at it all day - learning and getting to know one another. Marcia was quick with the books for keying out questionable plants. Bill pulled out his black velvet to demonstrate field-studio work. The rest of us were wow'd by it all. I drove home happy with muddy shoes, a cameraful of fresh subjects, and a re-newed appreciation for the diversity and beauty of the Forest.