Well… my interest started way back when I was eight… my hobby at the time was killing Venus Flytraps from the local grocery store. However it wasn’t until I was sixteen that my future as a Sarraceniaphile was solidified!
One March Break… when I was sixteen, my family took a vacation to Savannah GA. I knew that pitcher plants grew down that way. So in the months ahead of the trip, I tried to make contact with someone who might be good enough to take me to see some plants. That was not the easiest thing to do… no such thing as email or google. Frankly, I don’t remember how I got this guy’s name and address, but I contacted a professor at Georgia Southern College in Statesboro GA. Don Drapalik was his name.
We drove out from Tybee Island GA, to Statesboro, and we met somewhere along one the area highways. We spent the day looking around at various sites. The above photo is a picture of me and my Dad, poking around a powerline site at Sarracenia flava flowers. We were very lucky that year, as it was a mild winter and the flowers were out a few weeks early. This was the first time I had seen southern Sarracenia in the wild!
We also visited some private land owned by one of the Kennedy’s… there I saw my first psittacinas and rubras. I also saw some S. minors growing around in the ditches in the area. It was an amazing day. One I will always remember.
In a previous post I wrote about my reunion with Don on a trip down to GA in 2003. We did a few bogs in the area and we visited some very cool places. I don’t know if Don is still around… but I have great memories of him, and credit him with igniting my passion for these amazing plants. Thanks Don.