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t.SEPTEMBER, 1953 VOL. 1. NO.
Everglades Natural History
A MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY OF SOUTH FLORDA
Edhid by JWEPR C. MaiOt, P.D.
BOARD OF CONLLTINO EDITORS
TATLm R. ALzamnD, Ph.D. &my D_. LU .m .. ...A. Ner P
Ronr P. AnLLtN. Nim Ajmion So T.wier 4 F E 4 D efu hirw
RomL T. R m A1mD. W.an.., aK Maurl n.,y tme.. .. .. in y Fons Anto
Aema F. Caa, PhD., itNar Dwc, Uni. Fkmaa... R&fpiln md AmAl-w
%L Aaua. DET, Ph.D, mii DeO.,o VQ $Mo r Mir UB. Lr& F MC F baus
t C. D.onaN a.D-, BJiw r DaLg. yUv. MrrF i ........ t. Na.s
RmEIT N. GOaSoCUu, PMh.D.. Mal Lab., Ut?. 3mw 9. Rdcks and UM i
JWA M. GooJi. Ph.D Dpep social & Adhr., yU. Forl ..-...- IndkAt Life
,t Bixac L.s, P .D. Sal...pial &ap ltmF ..... *. F...... Elrod P lina
Wu.~ M. McLAN. Fnra. Gia & rEwam Eub Ca ..... Fresrwater Fsarw
6L MOaTON MiLER Ph.D. UfiUIt 01 W V*. ,. .m.. Socid Ietsm
HINKRY M. S7TEVVO, PhL.D, ZooL D*t,, Florida S"te UitrM, .BId Disaribudon
CHALrTON W. TMBAu, PILD4, EHimr Dpt, Us,. "MagJ .. . F F. 4. 0t0 gi
P. G. WOCv h, D uind .. ~.. . a .u M Me F #
B hus aI NATua mwsr b lapLtd four p ha iwr by g ve*adu Natra
The Emrglades Natural Hirtny Association
A i-proilt y ndr cher 19.,51 to farther hinfat b
madsdeano Jigc the naird amd hist$ aS .d sbnl vaes at of th
BOARD W DIRCOMRS
WiHedC E. DMItByo k. NEaat ..,. ietn
JrI *C. Mowa, Park uIlkght %..m -.. *F.*E.... .....4 Oim
C C VOm PWAM Cpt USCr.. (,) -..L.........,. 4TrCwRumm
0-- B Biaom Pat I.1*.***.!.
CTe M. Brthkid Natisa A&6i... Sache
VtOL. I, No. 3
Expdion egg-drop .. ..
South to sce key deer .
Crocodile nesi at Tmrou Creek
The Rim of ,he Evergiades . .
You and your camera in the Everglades .
Raccoon parade .
Natural History Notes ....
An early ruddy duck
More eateCrn glossy ibises .
An albino Florida duck . . .
Early ll Arknsas kingbird . . .
A colorful hawk moth larva .
Shrew on box tuniic menu' .
Book Reviews .. .
Flowe rs of the south . .rr i
The raccoonn ,-- . tri
Sea Pest . . . .
Junior Natural Hisiory Department . .
Alligapor lkoi for Joonni .
Back.pound No~t on Autho .
by William Bridges
tarha arid Paul Connor
biy Nwri-to A. Bean
h b y Fnnak young
Shy I'7mu rd E. Dilley
by Jorteph Cuprtis Moore
hy Loiisi A. Stimson
by IViliRiani B. Robertson
by Ltuis A Stimsonr
h. i Louis A. SSimson
h. y Willard E. Di0Hey
by Joseph Curtis MAore
rtwrd hr R'. Bruwr Lrdin,
iewed by IH B. Shermanw
reviewed by the Editor
by Bersy Altxander
hy Joseph Curtis Mowre
hy WILLIAM BRIDGES
A s i FAA As WE KNow. nobody has previously made a motion picture in
Color of Loggerhead urtles actually laying their eggs on the beach. The
reasons arc pretty obvious. They lay during a %ery limited period, they
choose lonely and generally remote beaches, and Ihcy usually lay after
dark. As everybody knows, color photography requires plenty of light-
and electricity is seldom laid in at the beaches patronized by turtles.
These difficulties are not insuperable, however. Certain beaches in south
Florida are well known as turtle nurseries in May, June and possibly July,
Some naturalists and fishermen are even pretty definite about the time of
laying; they say the peak comes around the full moon in May and June,
when the tides are highest. Dr. Joseph C. Moore, the park biologist of
the Everglades National Park, does not hold with the full moon theory,
but he was able to pinpoint the best turtle nursery-on Middle Cape of
the Cape Sable region, the southernmost point of the Florida mainland
-and he agreed that any time around the full moon night of May 28
ought to be good.
And so it was: it was on that night that an expedition from the New
York Zcoological Society captured the 40 seconds of film that are the
reason for this article.
The problem of how to get brilliant light on an uninhabited beach was
easy enough to solve. We ordered two dozen magnesium flares, each of
which burns for 30 seconds. As an alternate we borrowed from the Zoolo-
gical Park's Maintenance Department a gasoline-driven electric generator.
it weighs 125 pounds-no trifle to lug over several miles of beach. That
Little problem was solved by what (in New York sounded like a stroke
of genius. We mounted the generator on a strap-iron frame attached to
the axle and handle of an ordinary lawn roller, the kind fhat is lightweight
itself until it is filled with water for rolling purposes. A roller has a broad
.". .. it was after ten o:rlock and ithe rie was creeping up .
bearing surface and does not sink into loose sand as wheels might do.
At a distance of 1,200 miles from Cape Sable, it looked as if we had
prepared for everything that might possibly happen.
The Zoological Society's photographic party reached Middle Cape
in the early afternoon of May 26 after a two-hour voyage by outboard
motorboat from a jumping-off place near the Coot Bay Ranger Station.
It included Dr. James A. Oliver, the Curator of Reptiles:, Sam Dunton,
our Staff Photographer; Dr. Theodore Kaziniroff, a New York naturalist
and ou.ldoorsman; and myself.
Many years ago Middle Cape was a flourishing dispersal point for
sprouted coconuts and many of the coconut palms up and down the Florida
coast had their origin in a plantation at the spot *hcn: ~we landed. The
bones of a wharf. now oyster-Cnc sted and whitened by the droppings
of pelicans, marked the site. More usefully, the planter's two-room cottage
had survived successive hurricanes and still stood a hundred yards from
the beach. Everglades National Park rangers have kept its screened porch
and windows in repair. It was no palace, but on the other hand it was a
lot better than camping on the beach with the mosquitoes, mikges, sand
ies,, gecan-headed flies, horsemlies,, no-s-ums and other hungy curiosi-
ties of nature.
90 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
According to the best advice, Loggerheads are most likely to make their
nests when the tide is highest and Ihey can swim farthest up the beach.
On the night of May 26 high tide came at 10:53 P.M. Tramping the beach
that afternoon we had seen many tracks and nests on the dry sand above
high-lide mark and it was obvious that the tunics had been laying for
days or perhaps weeks. The heaviest concentration of tracks seemed to
be cast of Middle Cape point, and consequently the tour of us split a
two-mile section of that beach into segments for patrolling, beginning
son after dark.
Under an almost full moon in a cloudless skyr. there was no difficulty
about seeing turtlcs-if there had been any turtles- Sam Dunon walked
the section nearest the wharf. Dr. Kazimriroff patrolled the next link, I
took the third and Dr. Oliver worked the far end. By 9:30 o'clock three
of us had seen nothing remotely resembling a turte or fresh tracks, but
then Dr. Oliver strolled back with news. FIe had seen three turtles at the
far end of the patrol area. Two were slowly cruising a few yards offshore
and the Ihird had actually come into shallow water and had crawled a
short distance along the wet sand, as if undecided whether the spot was
favorahhlc But none of the three came out and started to climb rthe beach,
At any rate, we had learned that Loggerheads don't necessarily wail
for the peak of the tide before starting ashore.
In the next few minutes we learned something else. Since the turtles
were apparently interested in an area well o the cans of the wharf where
our equipment was resting, it seemed like a good idea to roll ihe generator
nearer the probable scene of action.
So we tugged and pushed-the lawn roller did work, but not quite as
efficiently as it seemed in New York that it would--and parked the
generator and the flares far down the beach. We had just returned to the
wharf to get the camera when Dr. Kazimiroft startled us.
"Turtllc'" he said.
Fifty feet away a dark object bobbed in the moonpath across the water.
It drifted inshore and heaved itself up to the edge of the sand. Only fifty
feet from where our lighting equipment had rbe4n-t a long, long way
from where it was now!
The situation would have been unbearable if the turtd had actually
come ashore while w were so unprepared- But it spared us that. It may
have seen us standing there, or maybe it decided the sand wasn't the right
consistency for a nest. Anyway, it turned back and the waves closed
over its shell.
By then it was after 10 o'clock and the tide was creeping up toward
the wrack left by the morning's high tide. With four turtles already sighted
and almost an hour to go before food tide. it looked as if we couldn't fail
to get our picture on the very first night on Cape Sabk.
The patrols went out again. At 10:50-three minutes before flood-
Dr. Oliver signalled with his flashlight. He had found a turtle.
His signal came from a mile down the beach. There was no time to
drag the gcncrator that far. Dunton. Kazimiroff and I grabbed camera and
flares and in a matter of minutes we reached the lur:le.
It was a moderate-sized specimen. lying slightly upsIope at the extreme
back of the beach where sand and wrack merged with grass and low
bush. Apart from an occasional slight heave it showed no signs of activity
until Dr. Oliver scraped away the sand from under its tail, and then we
could see the extended cloaca. forming an "ovipositor," Round, white
eggs the size of a golf ball were dropping every few seconds.
While the Itares were being rigged on poles,, Dr. Oliver measured the
carapace of the animal and found it 35 inches in straight-line length and
25 inches wide. We estimated its weight as 200 pounds-300 pounds is
about as big as they come nowadays.
There was no danger of alarming her by talking and moving around,
it appeared. Sea turtles are notorious for their insouciance once they start
laying. In fact, more than forty years ago S. 0- Mast reported fishermen
as saying that Loggerheads will go on laying even if they arc turned on
their hacks. MAast himself carried experinicntation even further he
pounded one turtle on the head with a heavy stick.,
"She withdrew her head. moved, slightly to one side and stopped laying.
but only for a few moments," he commented.
If Mr. Mast is still interested in learning how to stop a Loggerhead
from laying for at least 30 seconds, we can tell him.
Sam Dunton trained his camera on the pit where the eggs were dropping.
and we lit the flares. They find and spiuttered and wiunt off in a burst
of brilliant white light.
The turtle stopped laying.
92 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
She jusl sat there. Not another egg dropped.
After 30 seconds the flares went out and the eggs started dropping again.
We tried another round of flares and the same thing happened.
While we were working fast to rig more flare, the Loggerhead came
to the end of her quota and began a systematic covering of her eggs. Her
hind flippers waved sideways and each stroke flipped sand into the it
covering the eggs deeper and deeper.
Since the covering of the eggs was part of the nlsing story, we touched
off the third set of flares. Once more she stopped everything.
There was plenty of flares kft but it seemed useless to continue. The
tune scratched the last sand and leaves together until the site was ap-
proximately kvel with the rest of the beach, and, then she turned and
scrabbled past us-ignoring us-down to the walker and under the waves.
And that was the end of our first attempt to photograph 40 seconds
of tirtlc-nristing on Cape Sable.
Morning brought a more cheerful outlook. After all, we had actually
seen five turicss, and it was still 48 hours before the night of full moon
when nesting was supposed to reach its peak. As for the turtle stopping
" hthen xhsre tried umad scrabbled pai ul . .
laying when the lights went on-probably if they had been minute or
minute-and-a-hall flares she would have become accustomed and resumed
laying. With the generator, we could out-stay her. Plans were switched, the
generator was taken off the lawn roller and remounted in one of the motor-
boats, and we would patrol the beach as before but signal to the boat to
come with lights and camera when a tunrtk was found.
For half that hot and mosquito-ridden day we photographed turtle
tracks on the beach and excavated the nest we hadl watched the night
before. The nest area was considerably larger than the turtle that had made
it-S fee wide and 9 feet long, indicating that she had scraped and cast
about widely before choosing the exact spot where her eggs should all.
Once the nest is made, turtles do not return to incubate but leave the
hatching to heal from the sun. At 10 o'clock in the morning the air tem-
perature on the beach was, 87.8 degrees and the surface of the sand register-
ed 96.8 degrees. Ten inches below the surface the sand was quite moist
and the first eggs were uncovered;, in the center of the clutch the ther-
mocrnetr showed 84.2 degrees. Jumbled just as they fell and not separated
by layers of sand, the soft, leathery eggs were still glistening white. There
were 122 of then. Three typical eggs measured 1%, 1% and 1 inches
The shape of the egg hole could be roughly determined by the firmness
of the undisturbed_ sand around it; ii was approximately 11 inches wide
and 21 inches deep, measuring from the surface of the dune.
As soon as the photography was over-a matter of only a few minutes
-the eggs were replaced and sand shovelled over them. The tune couldn't
have done a better job herself.
That night we patrolled the beach from 9 P.M. until I A.M. We saw
not one. sing~ solitary turtle.
Luck, i iit was going to come. had to come the third and last night, the
night of full moon and the highest tide. for we had to return to civilization
on Friday. Cape Sable curves southeast and northwest fram Middle Cape
and during the morning we cruised a hundred feet offshore in both direc-
tions. looking for turtle tracks. They were everywhere. A casual count
came to 51. all within two miles in either direction from Middle Cape.
From a small boat you more or less get a turtle's-cye view of the beach.
Beyond the sand there are broad-leafed evergreen hammocks in the middle
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
distance and bushes or isolated trees nearer shore. Sometimes a coco palm
leaned gracefully, or the glossy leaves of a poisonwoodl tree formed a
green blot aginrs the sky. At nihl, the lighter sky would be broken up by
irregular dark masses of vegetation.
Presently it occurred to Dr. Oliver that there was a relationship be-
tween the heavier vegetation and the tracks. There is always a double row
of them, one going to the nest and the other returning. and from the sea
they appear as a serrated and spraddled "'V." More often than not the
apcXs of the "V'" was aimed straight at a dominating clump of trees or
bushes. Looking down the beach you could predict with fair accuracy
Swhen the next tracks would appear.
We kncw from walks along the beach that the favorite nesting sites
were chk'e to bushes at the upper edge of the sand. H.ow were the turles
guided to those particular spots? Our tutlic'-eye view offered a possible
explanation: 'hey cruise-d offshore until they saw a heavy dark area, and
then headed for it-in a sort of negative phorotropism.
That afternoon we laid our last-ch;nce plans, Dr. Kazimiroff and Sam
Dunton would stand by the loaded boat at Middle Cape point while Dr.
Oliver would patrol new beach to the northwest and I would cover the
old territory to the southeast. The bout would speed in either direction
High tide was to be at 1:07 A.M. Thunderstorms ringed the area, but
Cape- Sibll was clear with a few scattered cumulus clouds glowing in the
mtoKnlighl. A miraculous wind blew awily Ihe midges and mosquitoes. It
was a; gio night for a Loggerhead to come ashorc.
One did. At 1:35 o'clock in the morning Dr. Oliver saw wet tracks and
he blinkcd his light to summon the boal. lI unloaded and came back to
get me. and when we were still half a mile ;iwa the beach flamed into light.
Sam had his generator working,
The. camera got there just in time. Dr. Oliver had discovered the turtle
when shc was in full production, with ggs dropping rapidly. The sudden
dectMrc liIght halted her for half a minute but then she resumed laying.
Moving the photo-Iofod lamps close to her head made no difference. The
eggs continued to drop. She was a trirf larger than our first turtle-38
inches hinm and 27 inches broad. We guevsed her weigh! at 250 pounds.
Sea turtles are saidd to Iroan and heave and "cry" while laying. None
"Sea turdles are said to .. c. ry while ayitng"
of those things were noticeable in this animal, although :it did seem that
her "face" was somewhat streaked as if her eyes had watered at an
Covering and packing of the nest followed the pattern of the first turtle
three nights before, but the return to the sea was dillereni. We had sup-
posed she would head straight for the w.er., Instead. she turned toward
one bank of lights.
It happened to be the lights I was holding aind I stepped back and to,
one side. The turtle followed. I retreated and she still followed. In the
nexl few minutes Dr. Kazimiroff and I maneuv-red her in a complete circle
simply by retreating with the lights. Finally we backed into the water.
At the edge she halted and her had sank until her yellowish chin was
lapped by the waves. Dr. Oliver touched one hind fipper and that gal-
vanizrd her into action. In another two seconds the water of the Gulf of
Mexico closed over her, and unless she nests again-as some Logger-
heads do-she won't come out on land again until the spring of 1954-
South to See Key Deer
by MART HA and PAUL CONNOR
a IHI t~ T AIR LiNE MILES beyond the southernmost point of the mainland
of the United Staes lies Big Pine Key, the largest of the Lower Florida
Key), where live the smallest of North American der. These are the key
deer, an isolated subspecies of the Virginia whitetail which are very tow
in numbers and infrequently seen today, c egal hunting, excessive fire, bad
weather, and traffic deaths on the Overseas Highway have taken their toll.
In recent years, poaching is said to have been especially serious. One of
the reported poaching methods has been to pursue the deer with dogs
unlil they become frantic and attempt to swim to another key. Then men
in boats easily overtake the deer and club Ihcnm to death, without risking
noisy gun shots.
Men apparently hunted key deer long ago on Key West, and in 1910
one is reported to have been killed on Stock Island. Today, however, it
is said that the dLer are confined to an area reaching from Big Pine Key
on the northeast to Boca Chica Key on the southwest. They are supposed
to swim from island to island rather freely, but Big Pine Key has probably
always been their chief refuge.
Reading most of these things during our dark northern winter, we
decided o leave Michigan for a two-week spring vacation in south Florida,
where we might spend some time on the sunny Florida keys in hopes of
getting a kixk at this rare little deer. Before we knew it, knapsacks were
packed, tickets purchased, and we wrre :lying south to Miami.
A, we dr'ov down over the Florida kies by the Overseas Highwav to
Big Pine Key, the very first thing we noticed there was a large highway
department sign "Key deer crossing." Stopping at once, we climbed out
and cxplomrd. But a few yards away we found a muddy flat criss-crssed
with the prints of their small hooves We had heard much of their extreme
shvrs,;. M it %n med unlikely to us that we would see the animals so close
MARTHA and PAUL CONNOR
to the busy highway. Yet, there were the tracks.
We decided to, watch for the deer in the evening. and so returned just
before dusk. Hopefully we waited-and waited The sun was sinking now.
and mosquitoes rose to buzz about our earm. Suddenly. it was dark. Still
we waited. hoping to hear a snapping twig in the dense brush beLond.
But above the whine of the mosquito cloud, there wa only the intermittent
roar of cars and trucks on bhe highway above us and the glare of head-
lights sweeping across the flat. At length we gave up, deciding to look for
ann:hcr spot the next day.
Our camping place, which we had reconnoitcrcd earlier in the day, was
near the end of a small dirt road which led bumpily along a pleasant, open
bench. Back from the beach, prickly pear bloomed abundantly, and long.
angled, dildo cactus twisted sinuously about. Coconut palms waved over-
head along the shore, and on the sand beneath grew the wild poinsettia,
its red-marked bracts a miniature copy of its showier relative. Alert green
chameleons had clung to the bushes, and the sprightly black and white
striped racernners had scurried out of our way. Now it was a sombre.
silent scene, the quiet broken only by the rustle of the palm leaves and
the lapping of the waves, bright and then dark as small clouds scudded
across the moon. A coolness seemed to have sent the mosquitoes off. and
we slept peacefully until dawn.
Next morning we drove on down she highway, turning off at the aged
Big Pine Inn to explore along a smalklr road for a more suitable place to
watch for the deer. Soon we came upon a quarry pond in the midst of
slash pine and scrub palmetto woods. Across the road was a small opening,
and then more woods. A pink grass orchid grew abundantly here, as did
the showy white-top sedge. Poisonwood, an interesting tree related to
poison ivy and poison sumac, grew here too, and we looked upon it with
respect. Its sap is known to have an extremely irritating effect on skin.
especially on wet skin. Its compound leaves when young have the peculiar
shiniess that also makes poison ivy so attractive, and the small, greenish
flowers are in long, branched clusters.
H-iking through the woods seeking further deer sign, we found main
water-filed sinks in the porous limestone. These were fascinating spots,
for lying flat one could see deep into the crystal clear water. Most con-
tained numbers of dark, ittke fih. Small southern lkopard frog were also
EVERGLADFS NATURAL HISTORY
a common inhabitant. As we approached, they plopped hurriedly into the
water, then rose and crept up to flatten thcmslve% against the irregular
rock wall of the sink.
For scvcrdl days we camped on Big Pine, watching each day for the
kec deer and becoming familiar with the varied bird life on the island.
Stranger interesting to us were the small, pale insular red-shouldered
hauk, big-ikid gray kingbird, demure little ground dove, and many others.
We tCok a short jaunt to Key West a-d returned then to Big Pine Key.
whl'rc wc again spent an evening driving slowly along the roads looking
for d-cr. but without luck.
That night we camped among the mosquito hordes at the quarry. Early
the next morning as we watched an osprey hunt oler the quarry pond,
-we were startled to hear behind us a snort, and then another- The brush
crackled as startled animals hurried away. Deer! They must have been on
their way to the pond when they had come upon us unexpectedly. But they
had been too quick for us. and were across the opening into the w olds in
a moment without giving us a glimpse.
In the evening we returned to the quarry, where after an early supper
we perched atop a rock pile hoping the deer would again come out of
the woods and cross the opening. This was our last chance to see them,
for the next day we were obliged to leave the Keys. Twilight came quickly.
A barred owl hooted in the distance, and we heard the "'quok, quok" of
night herons flying by. A raccoon pawed annnz ehe ashes of an old camp-
fire near the pond edge. There are four subspecies of coon in Florida, we
knew, and this fellow would be the kind called Torch Key raccoon, found
from Big Pine Key to Key West_ They are the palest of the Florida raccoons,
and: this one was a buffy cream color, with a very small mask. At length he
ambled off. oblivious of the unmoving lumps on the rock pile staring down
at himn But now it was dark, the mosquitoes were unreklnting, and still
We decided on one more tour about the island, and drove slowly up and
dokwn the small roads, it looked like we would have to go back north
wfItithot vcen a gimpse of the little deer. Dejectedly we turned back towards
But suddenly, as we rounded the corner just before the pond, there they
were" Two s mall deer stood bh the roadside. For a moment they remained
MARTHA and PAUL CONNOR
slatuc-Utke in the glare of our headlights, Then into the thicket they hopped,
turning shortly to siare back at us with consuming curiosity. Above a
clump of palmetto we could s Ie the t.wo ittle heads. their eyes glowing
brightly now within the circle of our flashlight beam. For a long moment
we watched each other with mutual interest. Then suddenly they turned
away. fading into the woods out o rance of the light.
Yes, it had been little more than a gliimpT'c. but we felt well rewarded
for our search. We had really seen thr rare jnd little-known deer of the
I NP hit el
RIo PIm Kn1^
Crocodile Nest at Trout Creek
h NORTON M. BEAN
A s VAiANLEE and much of a landlubber I had considerable o learn
whenn transferred to Everglades National Park in the summer of 1952
from the mountains of Virginia to be rcsponsibic for the park's Florida
Bay District cornstituting some 370,000 acres of salt water. I came with
preconceived notions, as many do. of the abundance of reptilian life fin
an area o sort hi r and fondd as others had before me that, because of
Ihe many years that crocodiles had been casually destroyed, it takes a. hit
of looking and perseverance even to observe a few of these creatures in
their native haunts.
On one of my early trips into Florida Baiy in company with my pre-
decessor, park ranger David Bogart. we lkinded on Cup-O'-Whiskey Key
where he had found an active crocodile nest in May 1951. An investigation
of this nest had been undertaken by the park biologist over a period of
several months. This intrigued me, and I had visions of encountering ,a
crocodile lazily sunning himself on a mud bank, or tending a nest -on some
sandy beach. Such opportunities as that proved not to be easily come by.
A pair of cyes, a snoult and a few ripples on the water were all that I was
to see of these armor clad denizens of my ranger district for several monrhs.i
Occasionally I stopped al Cup-O'-Whiskey Key and other nearby keys
during the following spring, It seemed to me that what was a good site
for a ntest one season might be used other years as well, but that did not
hold true in this instance.
While low water prevailed during the drier winter and spring months,
I took the opportunity of landing on and exploring many of the keys partly
as a change from the ever constant patrolling by boat. but; more to find
out w hat wildlife. if any. existed on them. Water birds ol various species
were abundant. 'Coons occurred on some keys which had links with the
mainland through shoai areas. But of crocodiles there seemed to be a
NORTON M. BEAN
dearth. One day on Roscoe Key in early March I found a twisting trail
and foot prints which were apparently those of a crocodile, and followed
them for some distance and then lost them. Al about this same Lime while
Biologist Moor nre a I re counting roscate spoonbill ness on Botdtepoint
Key.. we found a crocodile wallowing hole on the interior of the key along
the inner edge of the high red mangrove fringe. There were also slides
and sunning places in various stages of use that I encountered, as -ohers
have, along several of the creeks connecting lakes and bays in the northern
portion of Florida Bay.
June 20th of 1953 was to be more productive along the crocodile line.
I stopped that day to investigate a small key of relative high elevation
at the mouth of Trout Creek. Heavy rains a week or so earlier had resulted
in the sca-son's first really large hatch of mosquitoes so I anticipated a rather
short visit. However abbreviated it may have been, it did result literally in
a hand to hand to contact with a crocodile in the wild.
Where I put ashore on the east side, the key rose rather abruptly to an
elevation of approximately three feet and then gradually sloped to the west
in the form of a shell beach. Rounding a clump of bay cedar bushes I came
upon an open expanse of beach which had a:ll indications of having been
rather violently overturned and swirled about. My first thought was of some
human use. But then why should it be of such a manner as this, and in
so remote a location? Hidden treasure perhaps? In the midst of this dis-
turbed area there were three mounds of sand approximately twenty feet
from the water's edge. Two of these were relatively small and a third much
larger in size-approximately seven feet in diameter and fifteen inches in
height at its center. Surrounding the latter was an extensive area which
had apparently been scooped out and the sand hxrown onto the mound.
These I surmised to be crocodile nests, noi knowing what else they might
be. To confirm my suspicions I dug into the three mounds. The two smalfer
ones consisted only of sand. About six to eight inches beneath the top of
the arger mound I encoiutered several ellipsoidal white egg about four
inches in length. I broke one of these open. From it uncurled a well-
develod young crocodile about seven inches in length, with eyes and
mouth open. The egg yolk was still present and was in the process of being
enclosed within the abdominal wall of the young sler. Having satisfied my
curiosity, I left the remaining eggs undisturbed and recovered the mound
0EVErRGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
Foot prints or tail marks were not evident in the vicinity of the mounds.
Heavy rains earlier in the month had undoubtedly obliterated such details.
and there is some evidence that theCse 'crocodi k may not attend their nests
for tsom time after laying the eggs. The two smaller mounds of sand may
have been the remains of old nests. inasmuch as young crocodiles have
bhen reported in this area previously-
Partlv because of my being away on lcave. nearly two months eapsed
before it was convenient to make a return trip (on August 14th) to the
sand bar key at Trout Creek to check the progress of the young crocodiles.
Nature had evidently run its usual course. Nine broken shells on the beach
indicated that at least that many young had hatched and progress on
to the ncxt mtep in their young lives. A cursory inspection of the noc
abandoned nest also revealed a number of eggs which had failed to hatch
and were now rotten. Life in the crocodile family has its hazards as
The Rim of the Everglaes
by FRANK N. YOUNG
M ANY, WHO COME to southern Florida for the first time, still remember
the old geography book picture of the Everglades as a miasmic
swamp where rod-long rattlesnakes coil about the feet of bloodthirsty
savages. Many go away from Miami with a memory of gaudy hotels and
well-tended beaches with a backdrop of the introduced Australian pines
and gently swaying palms intermixed with brightly colored blossoms. Few
leave with the illusion that beautiful girls in bathing suits lean against every
palm, but some never tak the h trouble to look at the truly remarkable
natural features of the region. No one will ever see the Everglades from the
bar of his favorite howld, but it is possible to see much of it without ever
leaving the comfort of a modern automobile. Roads and b yways, through
county that once required endless hardship to traverse, now provide easy
access to vistas of surprising tropical beauty.
When I was five, my family moved to Miami. and I grew up in the pine-
lands and "glades. ran bariefoo over the jagged rock. poked my head into
every crevice, and hotred the beetles and brightly colored tree snails of
the harnmocks. As the years passed, south Florida has remained my first
love, I have wandered across it and savored its pleasures and petty discom-
forts until they have all blended for me into a strange poi-pourri of aesthetic
appreciation and, I hope, scientific understanding. In the following article
I have tried to dissect out for you one of the distinctive physiographic
features of this little portion of the American tropics. Why not drive out
some day before you leave, and see if you too cannot capture and enjoy
some of this strange reality? If it does not measure up to your wildest
fancies. I think you may lstil find it a challenge to your sensibilities if they
have bcen dulled by the delicate nuances of the scenery of the "In-temper-
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
THE RwDGE-THE EASTERN RIM
South of West Palm Beach toward the Everglades National Park. U. S.
Highway I runs along a grat ridge of low elevation which curves gently
lo the southwe-st This ridge. bordered on the east by the mart prairies and
mangrove swamps of the coast and by the sandy 'glades on the west, is the
e.itern Rim of the Evergladcs that forced the "River of Grass" southwest-
ward and prevented it from flowing freely into the Atlantic drainage. The
backbone of the ridge has been broken by transverse glades, streams, and
drainage canals, but it still stands at a higher elevation than the Everglades
and so continues to serve as a great damr forcing the main drainage to the
south and west. The Rim measures nearly a hundred miles in length from
around West Palm Beach to Long Pine Key in the south. It is most evident
as a distinct ridge below Fori Lauderdale and along the shore of Biscayne
Bay where it is more widely separated from the Atlanlic beaches and bars
(sand) which extend down to form the little peninsula on which Miami
Beach is situated-
West of the northern end of the Rim is the Loxahatchee Slough. a deep
lakc-likc marsh. which together with the main branches of ihe Jupiter and
St. Lucie Rivers form the eastern boundar of the northern Evserglades. At
its southern extremity, the Rim is broken into a scrie of islands, the so-
called Everglades Keys which are covered with pineland and hammock.
.tcween these two areas. representing two of the wildest pieces of country
in the United States, the Rim is largely overgrown by a strip of towns and
cities which will probably beconm one extended mrnropolilan area before
iany; years have passed. The phenomenal growth of the human population
of south Florida threatens to obliterate every natural feature of the ridge
and the surrounding region, but vast tracts are still unexploited and offer
endless delight to the naturalist.
The manner of the beginning of this long ridge is still something of a mys-
tery. Its building was undoubtedly involved with the events during and
immediately following the lce Ages which brought mile-high rlaci-rs d'wn
over Canada and the northern United States. Contrary to the b" ire's of
many older geoklgists, it is now well established that the ride w-is never
a coral reef, although Key Largo and the adjacent islands to the srrtheast
were formed as a reel at about the same period- The rock core o' the Rim
was proha ,l formed b currents of water sweeping south around the
THE RIM OF THE EVERGLADES
(adapted from: J. H. Davis, "Natural features of southern Florida.")
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
stubby end of the Florida peninsula as the seas retreated at the end of the
glacial epoch. These ocean currents worked over the soft ooze of the sea
floor, incorporated it with sand brought down from the north, and built
up a long off-shore bar which later solidified into the limestone called
Miami oolite. Still later the currents washed out over the bar to bury the
rocks beneath a sheet of sand, quite deep at the northern end but deceasing
in depth to the south. With the lowering of the sea. the bar with its cover-
ing of sand formed a long spit or series of islands along the eastern edge
of the newly formed Everglades. The water from the west began to spill
over through the lower places. streams formeCd, and the present condition
of the ridge with its transverse 'glades was on its way to completion.
The story is not quite so simple, however, for there are indications that
the ridge did not "stay put" after once being formed. At one time the
cr-st and the Everglades behind it must have stood at a higher elevation
than at present, for some of the larger streams have cut their channels
below sea level and perhaps out onto the continental shelf. The submarine
canvons" beyond the present mouths of the rivers have probably been
filled with the sand which drifctd south along the coast and built up the
outer beaches, but such deep inlets as Port Evcrgladces at the mouth of New
River may well represent the inner ends of more extensive valleys. Caverns
which are below sea level and other solution phenomena also indicate
that the ridge once stood higher than it does now,
The apparent rise and fall of the sea aboit Florida in the past is corre-
lated with the incras.c and decline of the ice sheets to the north. Through-
out the state there are ancient shore fines., brad marine terraces which
were once the sea floor, relict sand dunes. dry river valleys, and sinks wAhich
pnectr.tie far below present sea Iied-a-ll attesting that Florida real estate
underwent icyclic fluctuations lone before 1926.
Just north of Coconut Grove along Bayshore Drinve you can see the
cv idnce of the last invasion of the ;sa. Here at the bottom of the low
limesione cliill called the Silver Bluffs is a wave-cut bench whichh indi-
catre that nt t LC many thousands of years aeo the s a stlod about five
feet higher than at pr-enlv This Silver Bluff shore is also recoigizable just
nurth of the Rickenbacker Causeway to Biicaync Key, and at other places
along the c Stern front of the BluT on which Brickell Hammnock is located.
FRANK N. YOUNG
From Fort Lauderdale south, you should be able to recognize the trans-
verse 'gladEs which were once occupied by streams that cut valleys across
the ridge. On the dinner edge these shallow valleys fan out into the Ever-
glade, but across the crest they were often deep and narrow and are still
detectable since they largely correspond with the drainage canals- Many
of the major streams were probably originally subterranean, flowing
through rather than over the rock. Just north of Miami, Arch Creek flows
under a natural bridge olimste limt (crossed by the old Dixie Highway),
and there is a considerable dry valley to the north which does not core-
spond with the present canal There is also a Seminole Indian legend which
says that New River at Fort Lauderdale appeared over night, and it seems
entirely possible that part of the open stream across the ridge may have
resulhtd from the sudden collapse of the limestone roof of a subterranean
Some of the transverse 'glades are undoubtedly simply lower places in
the ridge through which the water from the Evergilades has found passage
out to the coast at times when the deep 'glades were especially full. Others
may have begun as underground or surface streams which at first carried
only the water falling on the ridge east toward the coast, but which grad-
ual.y eroded their valleys inland and "captured" part of the vast stream
of the Everglades itself. Between Miami and the Everglades National Park
you will cross a number of the transverse 'glades, and just east of the Park
are several 'glades which extend only part way across the ridge. Beneath
the surface of the limestone, also, there are probably numerous subter-
ranean passages through which water still passes eastward. One occa-
sionally finds deep sinks in the pincLands which seem to have been formed
by the collapse of the roof of a portion of an underground stream. Many
of the round solution sinks, so numerous in certain parts of the Rim, must
also have been formed Mi connection with an extensive underground
Before the white man undertook the drainage of the Everglades the
transverse 'glades and their streams divided the southern par of the Rim
into a series of islands John Kunkle Small. who hunted plants over south
Forida in the early part of the century, describes the difficulties in getting
from Miami to what is now the Eerglades National Park area. His party
was forced to swimm their ules and float the wag<:ns across the 'glades, and
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
his account of the hardships of reaching Long Pine Key is heart-rending:
"Our first attempt to reach the Key was rendered unsuccessful by en-
countering a slough just east of the Key filled with si feet or more of water
and mud. in addh ion to being the home of alligators and water moccasins.
These conditions and the weight f our camp outfit rendered wading and
swimming not only inadvisable. but out oo the question. We were thus
forced to retrace our steps to Camp Jackson [a surveyors* camp consisting
of a single log cabin about forty-five miles southwest of Miami] for the
purpose of securing the remains of a disintegrating steel boat abandoned
by t he surveyors, After carrying the boat over a ragged coral reef [sic!i
and dragging it over the partially submerged everglades for a distance of
three miles, there was sufficient of the craft left to enable us to cross the
above mentioned slough safely, and thus reach our objective . ."
One of the principal streams crossing the ridge was the old Miami River
which is today a deep canal subject to. tidal flow. Apparently, however, it
was never easily navigable, and Lieutenant H. L. Willoughby. who crossed
the Everglades in a canoe during the Spanish-American War, describes
(alls and rapids in the channel. The Tequestas and probably the earvy
Seminols used some transverse 'glades to the south of the Miami River
to rcach the coast, but they also lived along he river. Herando de Esca-
lame Fontaneda. who was a captive of the Tequestas for over fifteen years
in the 16th Century, was apparently the first white man to see the Miami.
"'The Martires Florida Keys! end near a village of Indians called
Tequesia I Miami!, situated on the bank of a river which comes from the
interior and issues from another lake of fresh water I the Evergladesi,
which is said by some Indians who have traversed it more than I, to be an
urm of the Lake of Mayaimi IOkeechobee] .. ,"
Today the nameless islands of the ridge are connected [by bridges or
by road fills. Vegetables for the northern markets are grown on some of
the 'glades in the winter, and one can only locate their former boundaries
by examining the orncial road maps of Dade and Broward counties on
whlch the limits of the pinelands are clearly marked. When the Everglades
flood. however. the transverse "glades still serve their original function,
and the water pushes eastward toward toa he Atlanmic. Many of the local
inhahitantm then find to their dismay that they have planted crops or even
FRANK N. YOUNG
built their homes in what are still effectively high water spillways of the
THE ANIMALS AND PLANTS
The fauna and flora of the ridge reflect the former isolation of the area,
the subtropical climate, and the diversity of habitats not represented out
in the Everglades itself. The southern part of the Rim, together with the
lower Florida Keys and the Largo reef, was probably elevated above sea
level before the present form of the peninsula was established. The area
around Miami and to the south may then have been a large, low islad
widely separated from the mainland by a shallow sea, Upon this island
landed the "pilgrim fathers" of he tree snails and many of the other south
Florida organisms related to West Indian forms. At the same time northern
species could have reached the area from the mainland of Florida which
was probably only a few miles to the north, but perhaps as much as eighty
miles away io the northwest.
A considerable number of animals and plans now to be found on the
southrem part of the ridge differ sufliciently from related forms elsewhere
to be considered either distinct species or geographic subspecies. The
lower Florida Keys and the Key Largo group have even a greater number
of peculiar local or endemic organisms. Many of these plants and animals
which were at first taken to be endemics are, however, only the result of
growing under different climatic and soil conditions (ccotypcs) and are
not separate species at all. For example, the Cherokee bean (Eryihrina
herbacea) is normally a low herb-like plant, but on the ridge and the keys,
as Charles Torrey Simpson has pointed out, it grows into a small tree.
Similarly James' palm (.Sabal jamesianaP is possibly only a form of the
common cabbage palm which grows in the dense hammocks of the Ever-
gbades Keys. Other organisms. however, are undoubtedly distinct, and their
distinctivencss argues t hat they have lived for a considerable period of
time in isolation since migrating from the West Indies or other reeions.
Among the early plant 'tourists which came to the ridge and liked it
so well thai they stayed and went completely native are: the fern. Asplrn-
ium biscaywraum; rte tu berus prickly pear. Opunria austrina: the gass
pink orchid, Limodorum pinewrtum: and several legumes and euphorbes. A
number of other plants on the ridge also represent ormns rest riced to the
ride", but in some cases their status as species would depend somewhat
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
upon the opinion of the botanist doing the classification. The list could
be increased considerably if we added the species confined to the Rim
and the Florida Keys,
SFlorida trema (Trea (Tr floridana) is particularly interesting because
it is the foodplant of a peculiar species of May beetle (Cnemarachis young)
related to West Indian forms, but so far known only from Brickell Ham-
mock in Miami. Like most members of its group, this beetle feeds only at
night, and its presence in southern Florida was not even sspected until
the writer found specimens in the guters along the streets through the
hammock in 1932. Later, hundreds were collected from the leaves of the
trema by searching for them at night with a headlight. The same or a
related species ought to occur on the Florida trema or the West Indian
trenma (Trema lamarckiana) on the Keys, but so far none has been
The wild pepper (Peperomia floridana) grows profusely in the hard-
wood hanmmocks on the Everglades. Keys and northward on the ridge. It
was firsi thought to he confined to the mainland, but has since been dis-
covered on the Florida Keys. Curiously enough, it is an epiphyte, growing
on the trunks of the live oak and other rough-bharked trees. The other, more
conventional. native Florida species live largely in humus or on aboriginal
shell mounds in the northern part of the state.
One of the most abundant plants the t unant plnhe Rim was formerly the Coontie
or Arowroot (Zamia integrifolia) from which the Indians and early whites
manufactured starch. This cycad with its dark green, palm-like leaves
grew everywhere in the pinelands and may have originally developed on
the ridge, although it is now widely spread over Florida. The Coontie was
the food plant of the Florida blue butterfly (Eumraeus aiala florida) which
also was once found throughout the pinclands. In recent years, however,
this beautiful insect has been thought to be nearly or quite extinct. A few
specimens were taken in the pinelands on Long Pine Key in te Everglades
National Park about 1935. but none have been reported since. Only this
summer. however, I heard a rumor that several specimens had been co-
lected in Coconut Grove, so perhaps there is still hope. In the early 1920's
the Florida blues were so abn t as o be ab t nuisance., They came to
flowers of the introduced coral vine in such numbers that you could not
walk nearby without getting butterflies in your hair or even inhaling them.
FRANK N. YOUNG
To-day even a single specimen is. worth a note in one of the entomological
The large native animal of the ridge have largely been reduced in num-
bers or exirpated, but several deserve mention. Among them is Barbours
coral snake. a pale form of the northern Micrurus fJturius and a curious
pale form of the common blacksnake (Co!ub-rr cmntrict-or). Why are these
reptiles less deeply pigmented than their northern relatives? In south
Florida indigenous forms of te link sported skunk. the mainland gray
squirrel, the gray fox, and the cottontail rabbit appear to be rather closely
cofn6ned to the ridge in their ordinary range. Some of the rodents may also
prove to be distinct. since a subspecies of the cotton rat (Sigm ndon) has
been described from the Cape Sable region and another from Big Pine Key.
The biggest animal of the ridge was ontc the Florida bear, a keen corn-
petilor for the title of the largest Noth American subspecies of the black
bear. Although originally described from a large male killed on Biscayne
Key (in what is now Crandon Park! ). and once common on the Rim, the
Florida bear has apparently survived in south Florida in recent years only
across the Everglades in the Big Cypress region.
Among the invertebrates the list of endemic forms is somewhat more
impressive, but most of them are recognizabhc only by a specialist and are
of little general interest. They include a number of beetles, flies, moths.
butterflies, and other insects. One of the most striking of the butterflies is
the large Poinciana swallowtail, a subspecies of the Antillean Papitio
araistdemrns, which occurs only on the ridge and some of the Keys. Many
beautiful color forms of the tree snails of the genus Ligitus have developed
in the hardwood hammocks of the ridge, and around Fort Lauderdale
ULguus fasciatu septentrionalis represents a distinct geographic subspecies.
The real biological interest of the ridge, however, lies not in the endemic
plants or animals, but in the amazing abundance and diversity of tropical
organisms. From the Miami River south a very large percentage of all the
plants are identical with or related to species from the American tropics.
and the rih and varied insect life is not far behind in the number of tropi-
cal forms Only the iase with which northern plants and animals could
spread south onto the ridge has prevented the area from becoming ex-
clusively ubtropical jungle. Like many other parts of Florida, however.
the elevation are so minor that the main aspects of the terrestrial scenery
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
are due to differences in the vegetative growth. n many places only a close
examination will show the surprising variation, although the changes in
vegetation are sometimes abrupt and very striking.
Nearly all the plants are evergreen, even some which in more northern
latitudes are not, and the vegetation looks very much the same in winter
or summer. Spring may be said to begin in January, mainly signalled by
the flowering of the live oaks, but the seasons are more strikingly delimited
by the dry and wet seasons rather than hot and cold. There are no au-
tumnal displays of colored leaves as in the north, and fall is marked by the
flowering of the wild oats and the blossoming of the deep rooted perennials
of the pinelands-t-he goldenrods, thorougworts, and rat.ksnakemastcrs
which have pushed down from the north. Throughout the year some plants
are blooming and some insects flying. although the dry seasons bring
periods of semi-dormancy.
On the Rim of the Everglades, fire has had the most profound effect
upon the vegetation. The result is two very distinct types of forest-the
pinelands, through which fires still rage, and the hardwood hammocks. It
is in the latter that we find the greatest concentration of tropical organisms.
since within the dense stands of broadlkaved trees conditions most closely
resemble those found in the tropical rain forests. The pinelands, however,
are not without interest, for not only are many of the species of plants and
animals West Indian in affinity, but they show the most remarkable adap-
tations for protection against fire and drought. Similar pine forests occur
on the Bah:.Imas and in a few other places in the tropics, hut their signifi-
cance in the succession of tropical vegetation is still unknown.
If you are i naturalist, some of the thinp which you see here may shake
your preconceptions. Trees that strangkl others or even themselves, cacti
that grove in swamps. giant ferns intermingling with maples, and forrss
that march out into the sea, are all to be seen for the looking. To the
otanists, fed on the orderly logic of Gray's manual, the sight of a dozen
trees belonging to as many different families and yet with almost indis-
tinguishable leaves and trunks should be something of a shock. I have
heard that some tke it so hard that they go back to collecting match
covers. Most have the time of their lives. But you do not need to be a
naturalist to enjoy the endless contrasts of swamp, pineland, hammock,
and 'glades, They are worth viewing for themCslves alone.
You and Your Camera in the Everglades
by WILLARD E. DILLEY
A _LONG TIM AGO a Chinese sage is reputed to have said that a picture
is worth a thousand words. Today the great American public is ap-
parenaly taking the wisdom of the old adage to heart, for one of the whole-
some trends of our times is the expanding interest in outdoor photography.
A person skilled at analyzing trends could find many reasons for the mush-
room growth of the hobby, such as iner cameras, more diversified equip-
ment, and the aim of the manufacturers to meet the needs of the amateur,
1i like to think that there is another important reason. It has become an
exciting outdoor sport, challenging one's manual dexterity, his quick think-
ing, and his good judgment. The end results are most satisfying rewards.
It is indeed a very modest person who can resist a show of pride when one
of his pictures brings forth admiring ohs and ahs.
Outdoor photography produces many secondary benefits such as a
better understanding of the natural world around us. The camera fan who
captures a fine picture of a bird, a flower. or any other subject is likely
to seek its name, it rarity, where it is usually found and other facts which
may intrigue him. He will almost unconsciously become -smething of a
No atemp will be made in this article to explain how to operate your
camera or what film and equipment to selkct. That is a subject which has
been adequately covered many times in photographic magazines. It might
be prudent to say that the amateur who is limited in time and resources
should decide in the beginning whether he prefers lack and white or
color, still or movie, stereo or two dimension. Once decided, better result
are likely to follow by concentration n n one field of photography.
The main aim of this article will be to point out special conditions Af-
etcting photography in the Everglades. the possibilities as to subject ma-
terial. and thc hbKco ime and season for obtaining intere ting pictures.
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
In the course of a year many hundreds of visitors enter Everglades Na-
tional Park with cameras. In fact, one wit was so impressed with the
number of photographers focusing on a bird roost at Anhinga Trail thai he
c xprtssed the opinion that he felt sure they were about to form a roost of
their own. it has been the writer's pleasure and good fortune to talk to
many of these photographers, some professional. some amateurs, many
skilled workers, and others beginners. hey all have one thing in common.
a desire to take away a picture record of their impressions of the area.
More often than not, they discovered that it is a more difficult assignment
than photographing the Lower Falls of Yelkowsion:. Half Dom in Yose-
mile, or the spring Tetons.
Scenic W i ,rs' presen the photographer with hbi most elusive challenge.
The opcn gladct. which so readily convey the feeling of vast space to the
unaided eve. may he a dull picture when recorded on film. There are sev-
cral ways in which such a shot can be improved. One which will occur to
most picture makers is the use of a low horizon line. This results in a
large sky area, which if cloudless, doom., the picture. Fortunately, during
the summer months, beautiful cloud effects are almost. a daily event. If no
clouds are present. a well selected camera position can include in the fore-
ground such fealuures as paurotis palms, pine trees, or other features which
will hreak the sky into a pleasing patcrn, Most glades shots arc improved
by a low sun angle, avoiding the period from 1.0 A.M. to 2 P.M. In addi-
tion., the experienced cameraman will find ways and means of enhancing
his picture with properly selected ilters.
Hamrnocks, niLingrov, and pinel.ands arc less troublesome if one is con-
tent to t t small portion of the scene tell the whole story. A small interior
section of iangled and arching roots wil better and more attractively con-
vcy the feeling of mangrove than an ambitious attempt to present a large
The majority of visiting photographers are anxious to set heir camera
6itc on the park wildlife. In a national park the wildlife is free to roam.
and it usually does. It follows that an important element of success in this
field is luck. A good bird or mammal picture can result only if someone
wa in the :right place at the rieht time with the right camera. 'However, a
know ledge of the habits of wildlife will increase picture opportunities many
W1LLARD E, DILLEY
". . an aldfigator picture ih a mnttf. "
In general, winter is a better season for wildlife shots than during sum-
mer. This is because the winter is a dry season nrd the animals tend to
congregate in ponds and sloughs which remain as the glade waters recede.
Paradoxically, if the place is one frequently visited by humans, the possi-
bilitics of good pictures are actually increased. Such ai place is Anhinga
Trail where the wildlife quickly adjusts itslf to the presence of human
visitors. This lack of fear and suspicion works to the advantage of the
photographer. During winter several choice camera targets are added to
the park wildlife population. These include prrstalitics such, as the white
pelican, shortitailed hawk. avocet and others. On the other hand, only
summer offers the beautiful and photogenic Lwallow-tailed kite or the
charming whitl-crowned pigeon.
Most photographers feel that an alligator picture is a must. Here again
season becomes a factor. During winter the gators delight in basking in the
warm sun and when so occupied are easy subjects. During summer they
prefer to remain submerged, looking more like an old log than a reptile. It
is well to keep in mind that an alliptor's hide is dull and almost black.
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
reflecting perhaps a fourth as much light as a gleaming white egret. It is
safe to assume that few will venture sufficiently close for a meter reading.
Befoe one gathers te impression that winter is the only season for
photographs of the area, it should be pointed out tha in some fields this is
certainly not true. The majority of our flowers are blooming during the wet
summer months. A most product ive area for Bloral pictures is in the open
pinclands. Here. all summer long, is a profusion of airactive blooms. One
nmuIt get out early in the day to get pictures of the many species of morn-
ing gloves. The early hours of the day have another important advantage
in flower photography. Usually the air is reasOnably still until about 10
A.M. after which one'~ ptili-nce can be sorely tested while waiting for a
lull in the breeze which will ullow a slow shutter speed.
If your equipment will permit taking close-ups, don't ignore the many
small but fascinating subject which are at hand. Trce snails are found in
almost evenr hammock. They are colorful and stay put while the camera
is carefully adjusted. Tree frags are found in a variety of places but because
of their aversion to hrighi light are best photographed in dark spots with
"Tree ,ropi ure hrst phoiogriphrd In dwirik \pMuI,"
MR:* A I
4^^ i V^
WILLARD E. DILLEY
"Here?. al suimmeir long, i a' profusun of hlMOYmi."
the aid of flash equipment. Insect photography is a field wheTr the surface
has just been scratched. Butterflies. large grashoppcrs and others are well
Turtles vary greatly in ternperarnenl. All are shy but some less so than
othir%, The box turtle, as is well known, retires into his shell if disiurbd.
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
Now is the time to set up the camera and outwait the reluctant reptile. With
the camera focused and directed one has only to snap the hitter as head
and feet emergeC
Snakes. are difficult subjects to handle, figuratively or Literally- IF ex-
posed to bright sunlight they will not remain still more than a second or
two. Like frogs. perhaps a dark corner and flash is the answer. It is as-
surned that a photographer of sound mind will ue the utmost caution if the
subjccl is a venomous species.
Deer and bobcats are mosi often seen in early morning when light is
weak. Bobcats are sometimes bold on Cape Sable Prairie. Otters and rac-
coons are commonly out during the daylight hours, otters in March and
April at Taylor Slough, raccoons in the salt water areas of the park
throughout the year. All of the mammals are shy and alert, making ihem
anything but easy targets. On one occasion, however, I failed to get pictures
of a raccoon which had loni i.ts fear to the extend tha it would accept food
from my hand. The animal just refused to stay sufficiently still to permit
proper focusing and framing of the picture.
This arlick has pointed out many problems involved in photographing
in the Everglades It has offered solutions to some. However, those who
consider outdoor photography as a challenging sport will wish to work out
their own methods of attainmenl I am sure their satisfaction and pleasure
will be in proportion to the effort and thought thai is pul into the work.
by JOSEPH CURTIS MOORE
R AccooAs do inhabit the mangrove wilderness of the Everglades Na-
Stional Pa.rk, probably at soe me e or another reaching every key in
the park to which they can wade or swim. During my field investigations
in the park since March. 1949. I have observe d raccoons or convincing
evidence of their presence on every beach on the Gulf of Mexico from
East Cape Sable to the north side of the mouth of Loasmans River. These
beaches and beach dunes probably constitute the only ground, other than
a few indian mounds, in tidewater on the Gulf coast which spring tides do
not submerge. They support a scrubby growth of tropical trees and shrubs
which produce a variety of fruits that may be eaten by the raccoon.
It may be partly this fruit as well as the dry ground that accounts for
the apparently much denser populations of this animal on the beaches than
out in the pure mangrove forest, which has but few kinds of trees and Li
swamp. However, on mangrove keys out in Whitewater Bay I have found
raccoons several miles from any other vegetation than mangrove forest. As
might be expected, one of the places is WedgepoinI Key which has the
only beach in all Whitewater Bay. My many hours of boat travel in White-
water Bay a a all seasons of the year. rarely observing a raccoon, suggest
that here the animals are scarce. Where there is some high land such as the
coastal beaches. raccoons are frequently seen.
Much of the south coast of the mainland, which fronts upon Florida
Bay and smaller bays connected with it, has a wide. low marl bank,
perhaps a natural seawall thrown up by storms. This land lies above all
but exceptionally high "wind tkids" and supports considerable hammock
growth. Here, too raccoons may frequently be seen by day and their sign
Everyone knows that raccoons cat just about anything, but during the
long dry season from November through May, one might wonder wer hat in
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
this saltwater area they find to drink. On the beach of Laosmans Key during
the moonlit night of January 30, 1950, when I was encamped with a party
of tour archaeologists. we earned one thing. One of the party, Eugene F.
Miles of Hastings. Florida, had strung one end of hi jungle hammock to
a sea grape tree a little distance from the rest of us. and he was repeatedly
disturbed by raccoons. He watched them in the moonlight before driving
them away and observed that they came to the leaves of the sea grape tree
and licked off the dew. The broad. stiff, smooth leaves of the sea grape
may be an important source of fresh water to raccoons in such places.
East Cape Sable in the Everglades National Park forms the southern-
most point of land in the continental United States. Here when the sub-
tropical sun is high, an invigorating breeze sweeps in off the brilliant waters
of the Gulf of Mexico over the long, beautiful, shell sand beach and over
the weedy, scrubby growth on the dune area behind the beach- Here, thanks
in part to this breeze, it was possible lo discover something new about how
racctins drink in this saltwater area in dry season, and to watch them do it.
Prowling the edge of the dense, scrubby tropical hammock which grows
Ln the landward slope of the innermost dune, i sidestepped the savage
points of A gave leaves and carefully pushed aside the spiny sprawling
stems of cacti. Here I encountered the most heavily worn raccoon path I
had ever seen on dry land. It emerged from the hammock here and dis-
appeared through the open weedy growth of the dune area toward the
beach which lay perhaps a thousand feet away. Following the raccoon
path into the hammock was promptly barred by an impenetrable tangle
of sprawling cactus- But toward the sea it was easy to follow over the
almost flat weed-covered dunes. With little deviation from its course, it
proceeded successively over the slight spois hills at the mouths of about
five separate gopher tortoise burrows. Beyond these it passed beneath a
flourishing cabbage palm which tovered alone here ten feet above the
expan-c of hip-high weeds.
Alongide te five-inch breadth of trail but separated from it a few
inches I found several scatoria. places where the animals had formed a
habit of defecatin. The scats were baked dry in the sun, but varying stages
of disintegration indicated deposit over a long period of time. For an idea
of the size of this scatorium, in case you are interested, there were sixteen
distinct stldN-,. each of which appeared to represent a bowel movement.
-" JOSEPH CURTIS MOORE
and beneath these an equal volume of older disintegrated scats. There
were more scaoria farther along he raccoon path. nuambring six in all
None was more than eighteen inches from the raccoon highroad and some
were continuously spread alonsike of it a distance of two or three feet.
The establihment of scaloria by free, wild raccoons appeals to be some-
thing new to the published knowledge of the animals.
At the middle of a gentle swak between dunes, the raccoon path sud-
denly ended: at a live raccoon. The hind half of the animal was protruding
from a hole in the middle of the bare area at th tterminus of the path. It
gave no sign of awareness of my presence.. Stepping forward I took hold
of the raccoon's tail, gave it a pull, and promptly released it. Growling in
a resentful manner, the raccoon backed out and ran ofi through the weeds.
The hole was interesting. It occupied the center of an area of a square
yard or so which was worn quite bare and which was the hub of five to
seven radiating paths. The earthen rim of the hole was exceedingly worn.
The hole was about twenty inches deep. and at the bottom of it there was
about a half inch of water in an area no larger than the bottom of a teacup.
None of the paths led directly from heret to te beach, and the path which
I had followed- t tthe well was definitely the main trunk line to the ham-
Returning 26 days later on March 28. 1950. I found it quite easy still to
walk up to the raccoon well and pull one by the tail. This time it became
apparent to me that even some raccoons walking their highroad between
the hammock and the well could be astonishingly oblivious of my ap-
proach. One rather young one did not discover me standing in plain sight
over its path until it was within fifteen feet of me. Undoubtedly the noise
of the wind sweeping across the weedy dune area obscured my noises.
After having discovered another raccoon well of almost identical descrip-
tion only about 100 feet up the sale from the first, and disturbing a total
of six raccoons at or close to the wells I sat down n o a dune near the first
well to see if more raccoons would come. Between 3:20 and 4:20 P.M.
six did come one by one, parading to the well.
Bringing some visiting scientists to Eas Cape Sable on April 8gt follow-
ing., I found use of the raccoon wells continuing. By attempting to get
photographs, we disturbed only two young coons before two of us settled
down to watching well number one from a dune a I had before. while the
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
"The bolt' i .i / irPerFn rf."
rest of the party went off exploring the Cupe, Between 3:48 and 4:48
P, ,. we observed twelve raccoons approach the well. Three or them urnred
hack and disappeared toward the hammock without drinking. These may
have overcome their evident suspicion and returned again, but we could
not distinguish individuals well enough to say. Most of those which entered
the well hole stayedd in it for 90 to 120 second and probably ere too well
filled to have come back a ain during our siay.
This almost continuous parade of raccoons to the well provided a fas-
cinating spectacle. Most cae alone,, and when two met face to face, there
were snar.is sometimes clashing of teeth, and ocw a wail. Such meetings
involved one stepping or slinking aside for the other to pass. Several paused
and sniffed about suspiciously upon crossing the place where we had earlier
walked close t tthe well getting our pictures, but none of them saw us dur-
ing this hour while we sat in plain sight 30 feet away from the well. The
JOSEPH CURTIS MOORE
The it'fedv ara on frutr.v, wil hinfrnrAi brottd.
only ones which came in company were two only half rnown. The leader
was healthy, the other, following at about len feet, was scrawny, dull-eyed.
and adorned with two engorged ticks on top of its head. The healthy one
entered the well hole and remained for aTout 30 .seconds. The scrawny one
arrived at the hole, looked about, turned his back lo is, and sat down on
its edge. When the leader emerged and started unhesitatingly toward the
hamrmock, the poor scrawny one followed huricdllv without a drink.
'Wondering whether thi parade to the water hole went on all day un-
abated, I returned alone nine days later and campcd on this lonely shore
to watch tbeide the raccoon well at o.her limes of dayl Without having
disturbed a singic racc'on. I settcld down quietly to this vigil; at 7:05 P.M.
Tw.ntIy-five minutes later it became too dark to sec or wni and only wo
had come to drink. There was certainly no rush on the water hole at dusk.
The follow ing morning the sun rose at 6:23 lo find me ailreadv 24 minutes
on watch. BHy the end of an hour only two racCmens had conic to the well,
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
and I suspected, it was the same individual coming twice. It now appeared
that early morning wasf not the best time for visiting the well. Watching
again from 10:02 until 1 1:02 this same morning, I found the situation
changed. During this time nine raccons camCe to the well, anl but one
entering the well hole. Apparently the middle of the day was best
It is a curious ring that on this late morning tally the behavior of five
of the nine raccoons clearly indicated that they saw rne. whereas almost
none had shown this any time before. One wonders whether. when the sun
bakes them i their habitat during the height of the day, they may be-
come less alert.
This is not a single instance of a raccoon well dug by chance and used
by nccessity. but which may never occur again. On April 2th of that same
vear. whilc investigating the dune area of Northwest Cape Sablke eight or
nine miles distant from East Cape, I found two more raccoon wells several
hundred yards apart, which were at thai time receiving heavy use. One of
ihem occurred at the ttom of the bot of landward slope of the dune farthest
back from the sea, in a small but deep hollow between two steep shoulders
of sand. The other occurred in a deeper than usual swale out in the middle
of Ihe dune area, and it was like those at East Cape excepting for being
dccpcr and of greater diameter. Both of Ihese had raccoon paths leading to
ihcnm, deeply cut by long, heavy use,
The readers need not assume that raccoons dug these holes to obtain
water to drink. Raccoons dig a great many ho;ls almost this deep apparent-
ly in foratiing for crayfish and fiddler crabs. I have followed raccoon tracks
from crawfish hole to crawfish hole in freshwater glades (February 15,
l95(0 noting that it excavated some holcs but not others. Park ranger
Ralph Maxwell and i followed raccoon tracks about in an open back
nan.'ro c and samphire swamp at the lip of Crocodilk Point on January
'7 19'50. ohefrvine that in quite a number ol places the racooans had dug
owlcs five inches in diameter and Ceiht or more inches deep. in the mud
flats~ o Spartina erass marsh and sawgrass marsh of the Bear Lake area
on March 17, 1949. park naturalist W. E. Dillcy and I observed ubiqutous
racc 'i trslcks. occasiona! well-beaten paths, many droppings and innum-
crabtl raccocxn di.eings.
The shell sand dunes of Cape Sable absorb and store great quantities of
rainwater. This is lighter than saltwater and mixes with it very slowly.
JOSEPH CURTIS MOORE
tending to ie on top of the saltwater, depresing the surface of it to make
room for the fresh. I am told that during one of the inter-hurricane periods
when white men lived on Middle Cape Sable, they made wells for drinking
water there by sinking two barrels in the sand, one on top of the other.
water seeping in between the staves.
It seems quite probably that a thirsty raccoon digging for some food
item in a low place in this dune area during the dry season would drink
with relish the fresh water which seeped into its excavation. and having
done so would return to the same hole when thirsty again. Other raccoons
observing the first one enjoying his well would surely investigate it, and
this could give rise to the conditions observed. However, a species which
very likely detects the presence of its food in the ground by smell and digs
it out to eat, might be able to smell fresh water under 1I inches of porous
sand, and it seems not out of keeping with raccoon behavior that at least
brighter individuals might in extremity be inspired to dig for it.
This use by raccoons of little wells in the sand dune reservoirs of fresh-
water amid this otherw-ise almost entirely salty area is siomccthing that ap-
pears to take place in the dry season only. The next )ear when I visited
East Cape to observe the raccoon parade on April 6th. ten raccoons came
to the first well during n watching period from 12:15 to 1:15 P.M.
Unsea-sonal heavy rains fell a few days after this, and when I returned on
April 2th and watched from 2: 10 until 2:30 P.M. not a sinEkE raccoon
came. The wind was unfavorable th is later day, but I felt that the rain had
had more to do than had the wind with raccoons failing to show up at the
well. A visit or tw tto the place during the rwain y season revealed the wells
to be quite forsaken and grown up in weeds.
One miah expected that thee especially dry years in succession would
leave the freshwater supply in the sand dunes at Cape Suible either badly
depleted or badly infiltrated by salt, or both. it was toward the end of three
very dry years when on March 13 15, 92, visited. the well sites on East
Cape, There was plenty of evidence of their use earlier in the dry season,
but not much that was more recent- Although water was high in the old
wrel two more wells had been dug in the swakc. and about the four wells
I found the dcssicaird rnmajns of ciehi dead raccoouns. A group of archaejl-
ogists working in early February on Middle Cape Sable four miles awi h ,1
reported finding dead raccoons in several places there without making an%
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
special search. With so few observations one can only speculate on the
causes of these deaths. Contagious disease might be expected to play a
primary part in a population so dense as this one had appeared to be.
Absence of bullet holes in the six skulls I collected suggests that no trigger-
happy vandal had committed a sacriegious slaughter here. There could
have been failures of several wild crops of food upon whose earlier re-
liability the population of raccoons had built up.
Two seasons of ample rainfall have now followed the tragic one. An-
tlher year otherr may be time for an adequate investigation of te raccoons
down on the Cape. They are exceedingly interesling creatures and so easy
to observe there, that one wishes to visualize ranger-naturalists a few yea
hence conducting park visitors along the beautiful beach to the raccoon
wells at Cape Sable and sitting in a quiet group to watch the raccoon parade.
" a long the beaufibiid hebrh .
Natural History Notes
AN EARLY RUDDY DUCK IN THE EVERGLADES NATIONAL
PARK. A little before noon on Sunday, September 13. 1953, Mr. William
G. Atwater and I, during an interval when a tenmperarnental outboard motor
refused to run, were paddling a canoe across Alligator Late on the ou-r
look for any bird life that might be present. A small du ck came into view,
flying from a northeasterly direction and alighted on the water not far
from our canoe- The white cheek patches, dark crown and nape, and
general rusty coblr, proclaimed it to be a ruddy duck. O.xur jra jamaresifs.
still in summer plumage. We paddled towards ii for a coser look. The
duck dived repeatedly but did not take to the air again. In the interval
between dives the duck did not carry its tail in the usual upright manner.
We went on to the northern end of the lake, ihad our lunch and started
hack, now with the motor running. We found the duck swimming around
in about the same part of the lake as before, now with its tail jauntily
elevaicd in the characteristic habit. On our closer approach the duck again
dived at intervals, and between dives the tail was not erected. The date
seemed rather early for this species, but on reference to Howell's Fl.rida
Bird Life we found that Captain J. F. Menge had observed a small flock
near Fort Myers on September I, 1917, I have seen ruddy duck at West
Lake on several occasions; usually in the winter and spring. except for a
rather notable occurrence of a flock of some two hundred on Thanksgiving
morning. November 1 1 1951 This large flock was in the pond adjacent to
the Flamingo Road and the ducks were undoubtedly seen by every person
passing there. The September I3th date is apparently the second earliest
fail date for the species in southern Florida.
Louias A STrTiSON, Miami, Florida
MORE EASTERN GLOSSY IBISES IN EVERGLADES NATIONAL
PARK. The article on glossy ibises in Everglades Natural History (Vol.
I, N. I: pp. 25-28. 1953) prompts me to report these additional obser-
vations. On June 14. 1950. Dr. S. C. Kendeigh. James F. Opsahl and the
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
writer located an aggregation of several hundred water birds feeding in
shallow pools immediately northwest of the west end of the Long Pinc Key
Road. On this occasion, seven eastern gklt.y ibises, Plegadis faifinells.
were observed associated with a larger number of white ibises. Guara adba.
an estimated 150 little blue herons, Florida catrueira and 14 black-necked
stilts. Himatnitpus mexicants. Two glossy ibiss were again observed in
this area by Mr. Opsahi and the writer on June IS. The locality was within
the region swept shortly before by the hitlerly fought Long Pine Key fire
of May 1950. The area where the ibises were seen was still blackened and
new shoots of sawgrass. Mariscus jamakirrtsis, were just beginning to
appear. These records extend the season of the known presence of the
g %,y i ibis in the interior of Everglades National Park, and add another
hlcality to its reported area of occurrence. Louis A. Stimson reports two
additional observations in the Florida Naturalisr, (Vol. 15: p. 55, 1942)
in the early spring of 1942 for the Tamiami Trail section of the park.
WitI..I AM B. RoBE:RTSoN. Jjt., Illinois Narural Hisrory Survey. Urbana
AN ALBINO FLORIDA DUCK. On Saturday afternoon, October 3,
1953., William G. Atwater and 1 were looking over the birds congregated
at Snake Bight in the Everglades National Park. A small flock of six ducks
flew overhead. circled around, and returned aglin almost directly over
where we wcre standing. Five of then were Florida ducks. The size, shape.
and flight of the sixth one was exactly the same as the other five, but to our
iamalzcnten ii was almost completely white in color. The head was a little
dusky and a dark spot showed on each wing where the speculum would
normally occur. Otherwise the bird was a slightly grayish white, and while
not the pure shining white of the American egret, it appeared almost pure
white in contrast to the accompanying ducks. We could not see te color
of the eyes. and we assume that the bird was an albino Florida duck.
LoUts A. STIMsoN, Miami
AN EARLY FALL ARKAN:SAS KINGBIRD. On Saturday afternoon,
October 3. 1953, Mr. Wrm. G. Atwater observed an Arkanasa kingbird.
T1rrannus vertirls. in the rear of the Flamingo Ranger Station in t1he
Evcrglades National Park. Turning my car around, I went with him to
investigate the bird at close range. With an occasional foray, th bird
perched for some time in a small tree-like bush on the open prairie and
NATURAL HISTORY NOTES
allowed us to approach to within about fifty feet of it, where with binocular
every field mark was carefully noted. Howell's Florida Bird Life gives a
record of September 27, 1925. at Pnsacola, but October 3rd is apparently
ie earliest fall date on record for this species in southern Florida Again,
as on April 5, .953 (Evergiades Natural History. Vol. 1. No. 1, p. 29)
we saw there kingbirds, eastern. gray, and Arkansas, on the same day.
Lo[uis A. ST MSON, Miami
A COLORFUL HAWK MOTH LARVA- Late afternoon of September
21. 1953. while casting about in the area of the Tamiami Ranger Station
for interesting color slide subjects, I observed a large Lrva feeding on the
foliage of a willow primrose, Jussioea peruvianas The larva was obviously
of the Sphingidac, that is. the sphinx or hawk moth family. The very strik-
ing feature of the insect was its rich yellow color, which vied in vividness
with the yellow blooms of the shrub. Large larvae of the hawk moths are
not uncommon in this area, but normally they are pale green and blend
so well with the foliage of the host plant as to be nearly invisible.
The species in question was determined to be Phi'.s faisiawfs and ac-
cording to t he distribution as given in Holland's Moth Book, ranges
through the Caribbean. Florida, and the Gulf States. I am informed by
Dr. H, F. Strohcckcr of the University of Miamni that this species in the
earlier larval stages is green, but when about ready to pupale it may as-
sume the bright color which attracted my attention.
WILLARD E. DrLLuE, Park Naturalist. Everglades Natiortal Park
SHREW ON BOX TURTLE MENU, Although Mr. Dickson sates ver)
plainly in his article on box turtles in Evrrglades Natural iisyory (VoL. I,
No. 2. p. 59). that they are omnivorous, it nevertheless seems especially
interesting (o learn of one observed in its native haunts eating a shrew,
Park naturalist Willard E. Dilley was corning in from the park at half past
noon on October 7. 1952. when a half mile east of Parachute Key he
stopped to discover what a box turtle on e he road was eating. The turtle.
a large maTe Terrepene banr, was busily eating a shrew. Mr. Dilley salvaged
what remained of the shrew (the hind quarters and brought it in to show
to me. I compared it with the hind leg. tail, and coat color of my stuffed
Florida shrews, and am convinced that the shrew vwa Crypatais fltridana.
Josu CURTis MOORE, Park Bildogvt.l E 'ierlades NdriImalf Park
.130 EVEtRGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
HainA r. Prih larvi-i ftrdffEjf on jdihnwj. Pfimrose.
FLOWERS OF THE SOVtiT, NATIVE AND EXOTIC by Whihemira F. Greene
and Hugo L Blomquis.t 208 pp..
Chapel Hill 1953, 55-00.
"The Soulh abounds in many beau-
it fu and interesting planLs". andi the
oncs which attract our alention most
-and are indeed the momt common
-are the flowering pantss" The first
snlenece in the introduction gives the
clue to the nature of this hook.. 11 devils
with the identification of the plants
which possess attractive .ind showy
flowers and thai are naive or culti-
vated in the southern slates from Vir..
ginia to Florida and wesi to Texas.
Over 400 native trees, sh.ruh. vines.
and wild flowers, and over 103 cuu i-
vated ornamentals, are dealt with. Th.
treatmrrts are brief commcniarier and
each is accoapanied by a line drawing-
There are also 40 colored plait and
15 composite colored prlatie coloreded
mixed bouquets"). IThe plants are ar-
rangrd according lo familY, tarting
with the Water-Plaintain and ending
with t he Compositae.
The number of nainri and cultivated
plants of the southern vitale is re-
siendous, and the authors had the task
of reflecting representative plants of
each family with the most conspicuous.
features. Not all, however, have showy
flower', hut apparently the authors felt
it was neccsary to include such plan!is
as the wax myrtle, silver bush, sea
grape, poiWson wood, and poison ivy,
because of their importance as dan-
gerous plants or because of their- at-
tractive fruit. Actually the task was
one of elimination rather than selec-
tion. As a ork covering a large area.
it hia succeeded in bringing together a
great many commonn. conspicUOus. or
otherwise notewrthy plants, but as a
work for use in a limited area such as
south Florida iith its wcalih of tropi-
University of North Carolina Press,
cal plants. it is quic defi.:ens-many
of our conlpicuous ratives, of neces-
sity. having hbcn omiirted The pond
apple, mahogany, lack mangrove,
pigeon plum. satinlkaf. gumbo limbo,
Geiger tree, and fiddlewood, are
among thoRs not found in this book,
and none of the native Myriaceae are
rEprepsented. N-everthelcss, a surprising
number of nwtivc plans have been in-
cluded. Many hooks dealing with
plants of the oul:hern states tend to
ignore south Florida. So it is quite a
pleasant s.rprisC to find such plants as
the seagrape, J:mairca dogswaood. locusi
berry. poi,_on iod. varnish leaf,, TeF-
raryvlva. red man roec. Joe-'aood.
maribcrrn, ica .lavndcr, SUrrvola. sea-
ox-eye daiy, described and illusir-asi
Many ot the oth.r native plants that
are included in this book are ones
which range throughout the sohuhern
states anid find their southern limit in
our area-the dahoonb holly. French
mulberry. and button.ihsh being ex-
More than three-fourths of the cul-
tivated plants that are treated and il-
lustrated arc common in south Florida
gardens Of special interest in the sec-
tion on "Exotics." paige 169, is the
treatment and illustration of true and
false j;ismnie s which will help the
gardener to distinguish the true jas-
mines from the numerous other plants
which are called ;asmines of one type
While this is a responsive work.
there is evidence that it was not all
dome fro personal obsevaliouns. As
one familiar with south Forida plans,
I believe I can flfdv state that the
Carisa does not ha-e %elow. fruit
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
Page 171' 1the Barbados cherry has
pink or while and not yellow flowers,
and third plant is actually grown more
for its vitamin-ricb fruit than for its
bloom (page 63). Aso I fed sre
tha t he so-called pagoda flower ciled
as Clerodendrumi paniculaium on page
174 ns actually our C. sperics ssJmTnm.
often mrtcalled pagoda flower.
Flondiani wil also regret that the
authors" acknotledgemeni of the asr
mslance of our late Dr. Walter SM-
Buiwell i barely recognizable because
of the misspellng of his name in the
Mrs. Greene of Winter PaAk is ver
active in garden work in Central Flor-
ida and her drawing and paintings
have been in great demand- The ones
included in this book are quite accur-
ate and aid imrrmensey in identifying
the plants. Her 15 composite painting
which arc accompanied by pen-and-
ink drnwinp lo identify the fkmers.
are indeed quite useful. Dr. Blomquist
is Chairman of the Departrment o
Botany of Duke University in North
Carolina. He iis widdel kno-wn as an
authority on plants of the South and
has published on wild flowers. ferns
and grasses of Nornh Carolina.
--L. BRUCE iI Ms.
Stirftropical Experiment Station
THE RAccoo~ by Leon F. Whitney and Acil B. Underwood., 177 pp.,
1952, Practical Science Publishing Company. Orange, Conn. $3.75.
The abundance of the raccoon in,
southern Florida and the fact that it
is one of the wild mammals most oflen.
seen. make this book of unusual in-
!crest to sudcni s of the natural history
of the EvergHldcsi. The authors., one a
veClerinariin and the other a raccoon
rnnch owner, have contributed much
original information as well as having
provided a summary of the extensive
literature on this species. They discuss
Ihe varictics of raccoons of North
Anerkica. life history, foo ad nd feeding.
hiahits, enemies and diseases, physical
and mental characteristics. There are
.alNO chapters on commercial uses., rais-
ing them for pets and other purposes.
legal protcclion and mode of inheri-
lance, it iis evident that the authors
have spent many years in studying wild
as well as captive animals. The lay-
man will, be pleased by the scarcity of
technical terms, while the mammalo-
gist will appreciaie the information
presented in this small volume---. 9.
sumtIMAN Departmnenff of Biology.
Unimverriy of Florida.
SEA PESTs by Craig Phillips and Winfield H. Brady- 78 pp., 7 plates by
the senior author. Marine Laboratory. University of Miami. 1953, 75r.
This hiiIc publication is ;orth a
great deal to every shell collec-or.
eiery sports fisherman %ho fishes
much .n thec sea. and to vqery parent
pho I akct htis children swimming and
caploong on remote- beaches. It is an
albsoute mu4i to the growing legions
of gogkle divers and aquA-lu:ng hobby-
its. and to life guards on marine
beaches. Frrn it we may learn easiulw
wvhat animals to avoid. what the known
prospects are of attacks by sharks and
harracudla, and what shockingly
dangerous cllecs cn tact with a Par-
tuguvee man-o-%ar may produce. Arm-
ed w iih the information in this booklet
and reassured by frequen re-reading
of ls fir i paragraph, we are ready to
enjoy our hathing. fishing. goggl driv
ang, and shell collecting with coafti
dence in knowing how to avoid
The boo is not perfect but the
iiaprfctlions dicetied by this reviewer
are mostly trivial .ypographicai erronrs
A report on th;e kind of behavior that
appears to stimulate shark and barra-
cuda attack appeared in the April,
1948, Journal of Wildlife Manage-
mrent, aind presents information which
would have been an exceedingly valu-
able addition: o that included in Sea
Pests. The scnwir author's illustrations
I exemplified (on his page will assit
tie camer of this booklet really in
learning to recognize many of the sea
creatures the authors tell us how' to
Junior Natural History Department
BIRD NOTES by BETSY ALEXANDER
An alamanda's fellow head
Nods at mc across the lawn:
My wing-hrnm guests have all been fed,
The last reluctant diner gmne.
Could I have seen one pelal fly
Free of the bloom, and dart and dance
Before my unbelieving cye?
(A garden witch's prank perchance?)
1 look again, a warbler skims
Over the bird hiath, lights along
The flame curve of hibiscus rims,
Matching his vel. wilh gulden song.
I can't help marvelling that birds
Are never old of eye or song,
But sing like children, without words,
Bright eyed and eager all life klongm
I SN'T 1 FUN to make new friends and to invite them to your home?
It's exciting, too, when they drop in for a surprise visit at the time you
We have sone new friends we would like you to meet. It will be a sur-
prise it they are already your friends, too. If you prepare for them. our
new friends may even come to see you before they have been introduced,
because they are more friendly than many people arc-
All you have to do is make a bird bath. Some of tIhem are very in-
expensive, or you could use a shallow tin tray or basin filled with water.
Put it in a comer of your yard where there is some sunshine and where
the bushes or trees close by make plenty of shady I'ilet hiding places for
your "friends." Sprinkle cracked corn or cereal on anUothr tray near the
bird balth every few days, and watch and wait. You may be much iuckier
than we were in waiting for them to come. We waited for more than three
months for our first visitors. In the meantinmc we were reading about the
birds in sonm of the books we borrowed from the Eibr;.iry. for we did not
own any then-
You will enjoy learning how the voices of some ofl he birds sound, the
ones you see every day. And there are some you may never see but only
hear. For instance we have one very shy friend who visits us only at night,
and has such a sad, sweet call that it almost makes us unhappy too. A
biologist friend explained that it must be at liltic sreech owl, and now that
we've seen a picture of him. we feel we know him much better.
Our first new bird friend was a handsome flicker with his long sharp
bill, a fine big bird and quite tame. Later momnc nlxkingbirds came with
their chattering and rather rude manners, and the cardinals with their
lovely red suits. The boy cardinal has a brighter red thnn his sister's beau-
tiful tailored jacket, but they boh are attractive friends I know you'll
enjoy. They sometimes come one t at time, or once in awhile they arrive
all at oncr. What excitement it is to watch therm then. So bright and quick
as they try to be first to get the crumbs upon the feeding tray- The better
we get to know them., the more we like them.
You will soon learn to recognize them by their ,oicer. and even before
you run to look out the window, vyzowll be able to call m4ill to %our Mother
and Father and say. "'Oh. good! I hear a blue jay is here,' You will laugh
at the way blue jays talk to each other, and sometimes arguc and even
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
quarrel. And you'll enjoy seeing them splash in the bath and spread their
brilliant wings and duck their heads under. You might have thought ducks
were the only birds that like to play in water, but you'll find out that all
of your nw friends enjoy it loo.
We think it is fun to make a bird GUEST BOOK to keep the names
of all the birds who visit you. Sometimes we sketch one of them whik
it is eating or bahing. Coloring them with crayons helps you remember
just how they look, and you will learn easily from one of the bird books.
to tell the difference between the males and feman s. One good easy way
is that the male usually has the brighter coloring.
Birds are such faithful friends, and if you are quiet when they come to
visit you, they'lll become surprisingly tame. Then you can invite your
human friends to come and watch them. .io. Your human friends may
wan 'to set up a bird bath and feeding station to encourage some bird
friends to come to them at their own house.
Alligator Lore for Johnnie
by JOSEPH CURTIS MOORE
IT WAS NINE-THIRTY one morning on. Anhinga Trail, in the Everglades
National Park, and Johnnic's father was eagerly and quietly putting
a different lens on the camera without ever taking his cyes away from
the purple gallinule. Sensing ihat this might go on forever, Johnnie moved
softly away along the winding board walk, his new boy scout uniform
wrinkling crisply as he walked. He straightened his shoulders slightly as
he neared the tall, uniformed ranger-naturalist on the observation platform
at the end of the trail. Then he relaxed them and sucked his breath in
A monster alligator was hauled out on a hummock across the slough.
After staring as it in silence, Johnnie looked up and asked softly, "Does
he stay there all day?"
"'No," responded the man in uniform companionable. "only while the
air is a more comfortable temperature to him than the water. As soon as
the iun gets too hot or the air gts too cold, he gt~e back into the water."
"What does he cat?"
The ranger-naturalist leaned on his elbows on the rail. "Mostly garish,
hut sometimes turtles and snakes, and any of the bigger water birds that
gets careless. That big fellow gets a careless cout every now and then."
He paused, "Of course. Ihere are cases known of a big alligator killing
"Their jaws must be very strong." ventured the boy appreciatively.
"Powerful. A large one can crush the leg bone of a cow with one snap..
It's funny, they have enormous power to close their jaws but not much
at all to open them. A good man can hold a big alligator's jam shut with
"How big do they ge"" Johnnie's eyes studied the "gator.
"That one is about cleven feet long. A man named Mcllhcnv over in
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
Louisiana claimed to have measured three during his lifetime that were
over nineteen feet long. For the past fifty years. though, alligators have
been hunted so for their hides that I suppose one rarely lives long enough
now to grow longer than thirteen feC "
"They must live to be awfully old,." thought Johnnie aloud.
"WelL. yes. A bull 'gator grows to about nine feet ong in his first (en
years. Nobody really knows how long they might live in the wilds. The
femakls group more slowly and probably stop growing at about nine feet.
When they are about seven feet ong and ten years old. they begin to
have their young."
""DE they have them in the waterT? asked Johnnie doubdfully.
"Oh. no. The female makes a big pile of decaying vegetation on the
shore.. you e' Thcn she makes a hole in the mound, lays her eggs in it,
and covers them up. The heat from the decaying vegetation warms the
cgs until they hatch. Takes about 65 days. The baby alligators are about
nine inches long when they hatch out,"
"And does she take care of her babies?"
"Yes. indeed. She takes good care of them. That big fellow's mate
kept her babies over in that grassy place last year. A great blue heron
got one of theCm, but mamma 'gator nearly got the heron, too. We saw
her drive the heron away many times when he care too near the babies.
I have seen two or three of the babies riding on mamma alligator's back
while ihe s wam a little ways."
The b N'\ i'yes were w nide. Another questJion died unasked when his
fIather's voice called, "'Johnnic!" He liXk a few steps toward his father"'
voicCe then hesitated and looked back. The ranger-naturalist was already
writing in a notctb)ok Johnnie turned and ran exultantl, over the board-
wv.lk toward his dad. bursting to share his ncwl learned alligator tore.
Background Notes on Authors
[ Every year scientists come to the Everglades National Park in varying
numbers, and with greatly varying interests, Some have come to discover
whether its buttcrflies were engaging in migrations, others desired to make
tape recordings of the voices of porpoliss, still others to sample and study
the artifacts of ancient Indian cultures in midden mounds. Last spring a
well-oemanized expedition from the New York Zoological Society under
the direction of their curator of reptiles. Dr. James A. Oliver, came to
investigate and record on movie film the baying of eggp by sea turtles on
the wilderness each of Cape Sable. Flying down to cover the expedition
for the magazine Animal Kingdmm, was its editor William Bridges, who
cooperatively permitted Everglades NatIural Hisory to reproduce his story
EXPrEDITON EGCo-DROP in this issue. It appeared in the July-August issue
of Ainbmal Kingdemra under another title.
In response to a request for a ittile condensed ontogeny author Bridges
responds: "I was born in Franklin, Indiana, in 1901, and grew up in a
small town newspaper office. Missed the town's Armistice celebration in
1918. in fact, because I was in the basement feeding the press for the
Extra we got out. After Franklin College in 1923 I wen to France for a
walking trip and .ended up on the staff of the Chicago Tribune's European
edition in Paris, and then its Riviera edition in Nice. Later switched to the
Paris Times. and in 1929 came back to America and the rewrite desk of
the New York Sun. Wrote Zoological Park stories every week for a year.
The Sun sent me to Trinidad and British Guiana to cover Dr. EDitrars'
quest of the bushmaster. In 1935 I became Curator of Publications for the
Zoo. It is a wonderful job, and I have talked the Zoo into sending me to
Mexico, Panama, back to Trinidad, and twice to Africal"
Author Bridges has published a book entitled "A Snake Hunter's Holi-
day" recounting the adventures of the Ditnars expeditions, and in 1948
authored an outstanding and beautifully illustrated book caNed "Wild Ani-
rals of the World." On E EXPEDI GG-DROP h comments in his leter:
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
"The Everglades National Park trip turned out exceptionally well be-
cause we got just the movies we wanted, the weather was wonderful and
the Park personnel as helpful and kind as if we had grown up with them.
The only sour note was that purple gallinule -on the Anhinga Trail that
kept getting in front of Sani Dunton's ca .rnra while he was trying to photo-
graph alligators. A lens louse. But we got the alligator footage eventually
. We certainly got some magnificent purple gallinule pictures."
(E Co-authors Paul and Martha Connor stopped in at Everglades National
Park headquarters office one day last spring to inquire where they could
go to s ee a mane and to Let permimsion to camp somewhere in the part
Hearing that this couple had already been down to look for key deer, the
editor of Everglades Nitural Hisrory asked them to write an article for this
issue. They complied, and SOUTH To SEE KEY DEER is the result,
Paul met Martha at Cornell University when they were both in school.
Both majored in wildlife conservation there., and Paul obtained his master's
degree in mammalogy. He is now a year along toward his doctorate degree
at Michigan State, and a condensed version of his masters study of the
mammals of the New Jersey pine barren was published in the May issue
of the Journal oi Mammwraly.
Paul was born in Washington, D. C., in 1925. He served in the Tenth
Mountain Infantry I(ski troopers) in an intelligence and reconnaissance
platoon in Italy and got a leg shot off below the knee a fact which seems
to interfere with his field work not in the least, Martha was born in Boston.
Massachusetts, in 1931. but spent mosLt of her life in Virginia. On their
honeymoon in June of 1952 they visited Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand
Teron. and Rocky Mountain National Parks-
( The scarce and wary crocodile has been the subject of two articles in
Everglades Naturoa Hi51n-ry now. CROCODILE NEST AT TROUT CE.EK iS
from the pen of district ranger Norton M. Bean, who came to Everglades
National Park someIhing over a year ago from four years as a park
ranger in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Author Bean was
born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1920 and grew up there. He
obtained a BS. degree in forestry at Ihe University of New Hampshire.
and has worked as a professional forester in Vermont and in Louisiana.
During World War II he served in the Air Force as a navigator and then
NOTES ON AUTHORS
as a combat intelligence officer briefing and interrngiting combat crews.
seeing duty in England and Sweden.
Al the Shenandoah National Park author Bean txok his duties seriously,
patrolling 32 miles of the Skyline Drive, protecting 60,0(I1 acres of
mountainous park land, and promoting good public relations with 600 land-
owning park neighbors. He went so far in this last category as to marry
a neighbor's daughter. Helen Christine Coyner. He evidently looked the
6001 over rather carefully, and has considerately brought the charming
Mrs. Bean to Florida with him. Tavernier, on Key Largo, is his base of
operations for patrols and the protection of Florida Bay, and author and
Mrs. Bean live there with their daughter Donna Marie, age two.
I Author Frank N. Young of THE RIM OF THE EVFRGLADES is already
somewhat known to readers of this magazine for his article THE LURBERLY
LOCUST-PREDATORS BEWARE which appeared in the June issue of Ever-
elades Natural History, and. from the comment in Background Notes on
Authors of that issue. According to the grapevine. the vacancy on the
faculty of the Zoology Department of Indiana University which author
Young filled about five years ago. was the vacancy created by a fellow
entomologist who had decided to give up study of insect life and teaching
to devote all of his time to the absorbing study of s Kxual behavior of man.
This was Alfred Kinsey into whose vacated teaching and research niche
author Young has stepped..
C Undoubtedly the most important thing a person does when visiting a
national park, besides look, is take pictures. Successful photographers in
the Everglades National Park give special consideration to such matters
as the intense light of the subtropics, importance of cloud effects, the flat
terrain, and what one's subject might be likely to do. Park naturalist Dilley's
arickle You AND YOUR CAMERA IN THE EVERGLADES modestly refrains
from revealing a great deal of the lore he has acquired through experience
so costly in sweat and toil amid mosquitoes and mud. No matter how
deeply sincere he may be in his article about letting the reader work out
his own methods and think out all desirable precautions in order to enjoy
more fully the favorable results, author Dilley is ever pleased to answc_
direct questions about the peculiarities of photography in the Everglades
or your chances of getting within snapshot distance of a great white hcrtn,
2EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
a sea turtle, etc. This fall he has been adding substantially t tthe Everglades
National Park collection of color transparencies which he uses for illustrat-
ed lectures on the park.
(i Peepings into the privacy of lives of raccoons such as park biologist
Joseph C. Moore reports in RACCooN PARADE seem: to emphasize how
little is known about them. Even though it is one of our commonest mam-
mals in south Florida and the one which we most frequently see, who knows
where it sleeps? Who knows where it brings forth its young? H-as anyone
found a raccoon in a panther's stomach? A diamondback raItlesnake's?
Anyone observing something of th. sort should write in to Eery~rades
A long lime member of the Florida Academy of Sciences, author Moore
has just resumed from a council meeting with an intcresling natural history
report. He 'was being introduced on the steps of a college building to the
vice president of the institution, a history scholar of some renown. As
they shook hands a pigeon on the cornice above celebrated the event by
dropping ;a copious blob of fecal matter upon the scholarly gentleman's
head. It splashed upon his glasses. on both suits, and upon the clasped
hands. A veteran of many such annointmr nts from work in bird rookeres
author Moore scLaes with a smile that he has never shared one with a more
( Betsy Alexander, author of the verse and prose of BiRD NOTES, lives in
a retiring little frame and stone masonry house designed and built about
five years ago by her graduate engineer husband John S. Alexander, in the
pine woods of their twenty or so acres of the Rim of the Everglades. Built
as much as possible of native materials, the house blends quietly into the
informal profusion of their plantings. When her husband boiled alone some
days on monotonous parts of constructing the house, authoress Alexander
went with him to the frame in the pine woods wilderness and read to him
as he worked, to divert his mnd from the tol. Before their door now
stretches a young lime and mango grove.
They came to south Florida in 1942, living at Coconut Grove at first,
even going off to the Bahamas for a time to live on one of the out islands
by the sea. Mr. Alexander has built a beautiful cruising class saiboa.t,
and anyone looking for the Alexanders on a week-end might almost better
look out on Biscaynie Bay first.
P ARKRK B
S WA 54*43
Information for Authors
9S.afma e IcNaT.UsAe acf xcept articles amn
Os prfte d we idescribed below aMn aUh loridB Wrl
'iary. These are puliaed ,if e edfaor, ,or to agm m
dditom, e .di n w~a ~a te a i mdof i m ofa ~mn witb
wil be bleating ald h yormadte to ibe lay public of sout
Pbliid god p i ,iU-toi the Everg des Nadional Pat
Mm. Ofti or feamme artidcs should r-aw between 600 and
100 wrds, and tos kw te MNos tecao Smodd rEap
breen about 50, and 200 word. Maacript widi odMe
odhim! experience or obervatkiom by the author awe pre-
fcrd. We cmar wiQll be -ge to wcdriq mannicriptb aud
Wuanatioas, wither the Sedior ax e A .is.&rm can ac-
oept responsibiiry tor their safety,
garITBarmnZ Maglwi4amge ,. Ardcles and n ffsubmk WBtted
for pblcation should be typwrit preferably on standard
i and weight typing paper. All written material should be
pd double spaced. Photographs for IDustiraion ahuMld be
gbsy pis of good cfntrast, and with no markings on the
bat Drawigs shwd be i ladia f ink on shens of pod
paper uperite fran AB man e script. Ftographs and aiw-
ihp Mannie bI a I pap iiiirallU seo prefabhpy Wbe
abmt l'eht try 'ia i ae. aly proof will be submitted if
sie and DImd anRs: 3- w ympa advance V repriip s
ae; to be nmd-e Articks or soales to be milHtd for pobfia-
!da Abomo be n diseEh d o 6c BrfAtmo hieeder Eadua
Mawryi, :BA3 275, HBaHmatd, a la F