Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Scenery in the Everglades national...
 In quest of an adult crocodile
 Death trap in a jungle paradis...
 Tonight at Paradise Key
 Some native trees and shrubs as...
 The natural history of the park...
 A story of Cuthbert Rookery
 Natural history notes
 Book reviews
 Background notes on authors
 Back Cover

Title: Everglades Natural History Journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00093950/00004
 Material Information
Title: Everglades Natural History Journal
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Everglades Natural History Journal
Publisher: Florida International University
Place of Publication: Miami, FL
Publication Date: December 1953
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00093950
Volume ID: VID00004
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 02251366

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Scenery in the Everglades national park
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    In quest of an adult crocodile
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
    Death trap in a jungle paradise
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    Tonight at Paradise Key
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    Some native trees and shrubs as ornamentals
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
    The natural history of the park visitor
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
    A story of Cuthbert Rookery
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
    Natural history notes
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
    Book reviews
        Page 192
        Page 193
    Background notes on authors
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
    Back Cover
        Page 199
        Page 200
Full Text
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SNatural History
MdECEMBER, 1953 VoL. 1. No. 4


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Everglades Natural History

Edited by Joskn C Moml P.D.

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DECEMBER, 1953 VOL. 1, No. 4


Scenery in the Everglades National Park

In quest of an adult crocodile

Deathtrap in a jungle paradise

Tonight at Paradise Key

by William B. Robertson

. by W. E. Dickinson

. by Roland T. Bird

by David 0. Karraker

Some native trees and shrubs

as ornamentals



D. Ruehie

The natural history of the park visitor

A story of Cuthbert Rookery

by Willard E. Dilley

by Joseph Curtis Moore

Natural History Notes

Panther in eastern part of park

White phase reddish egrets

Another word of caution about elves

Lark sparrow on Long Pine Key

Sharp-shin captures crested flycatcher

Book Reviews
Birds of Mexico

Flowering trees and shrubs of India

. by Leo W. Lorenzo

. by John and Lauri DeWeese

by Frank N. Young

by Willard E. Dilley

by David 0. Karraker



reviewed by:
Dickinson, Jr.

R. Bruce Ledin















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Scenery in the Everglades National Park


Ss TrE family of national parks Everglades is "Ith odd one." disrncely
different from all the rest. Nowhere i the departure more radical than in
the matter of scenery. The Everglades National Park has not a mountain.
a can fon, a eyscr. or a glacier to its name.. Small wonder that some park
visitors conditioned to spectacular mountain scenery may have thought the
area singularly ill-outfitted. Small wonder that the question "What is there
to sec?" has been often asked.
Thc wildlife attractions of the Everglades National Park have been uni-
versally appreciated. Few have mnet the alligator and the anhinga. the gar-
fish and the gallinule and come away unimpresedNC. But what of the resi of
the Everglades scene, the landscape across which the wild creatures move?
Many briefly scan the stage and think it decidedly unworthy of its actors.
The reaction is understandable. Here lies a wide marshy plain with no
comnianding points to hold the eye. The landscape may be entirely foreign
to the experience and expectations of most visitors. Those who have at-
tempted lto understand it have encountered terms as odd as the country:
"hammock" and "cypress head," referring to features that did not readily
separate themscives from the general confusion.
Here a little information may be a key to greater appreciation. A land-
scape acquires new interest as one begins to recognize its component parts
and to sense how the present aspect evolved. No one can as yet present a
comrpletic planation of the scenery of the Everglades National Park. Much
study and exploration still needs to be done, and the visitor with an in-
quiring interest in natural history will soon find questions that cannot be
defnitely answered. However, though not prepared to "tell al," we can
provide a few major aids to guide the newcomer's eye about one of Amer-
ica's strangest and most fascinating Iandscapes.
To begin with. the Everglades National Park is a poorly-drained plain


lying nearly at sea level. Along the Tamiani Trail the "highlands" of the
park reach an altitude of eight or nine feet. The slope southward to Florida
Bay has an average grade of about three inches to the mile. Compared to
south Florida the flattest county in Kansas is hill country. The present
landscape developed on the foundation provided by a bed of soft limestone
called the Miami Oolite. Thin deposits of marl and peal soils cover the
limestone over most of the park. but in some places the ribs of the land
are exposed as fantastically eroded limestone outcrops. The chief of these
is the one which forms the Rim of the Everglades along the lower east coast
of Florida. extending west into the park. The actual elevation of this rock-
land is slight, but it is the Everglades Nalional Park's most notable topo-
graphic feature.
QOn the subdued topography of south Florida varying plant cover pro-
vides thC shapes which compose the landscape. Discussion of Everglades
National Park scenery quickly becomes an account of the kinds of vege-
tation and the forces affecting their occurrence. For present purposes we
may note live vegetation types-the hammocks, hayheads, sawgrass Ever-
glades, pinelands, and mangrove swamps.
The hammocksks' of the Everglades National Park are not the sort meant
for lounging-the mosquitoes will usually see to that. Rather they are a
major feature of the vegetation, and this unexpected usage of a familiar
word often gives the visitor difficulty. What is a hammock? The term is
used in the southeastern United States to refer to certain mature hardwood
forests. More exact definition becomes troublesome because usage has
varied with different writers, and in different localities. Here in south Flor-
ida we apply the term '"hammock'" to hardwood forests containing a great
variety of trees and shrubs most of which are of West Indian origin. Seeds
of these plants originally drifted to South Florida shores in the Gulf Surea
or were carried from the Antilles by hurricanes. The hammocks of the
Florida Keys and the south coast closely resemble forests found near the
coasts of Cuba and Jamaica and in the Bahamas. Further inland in the
Everglades National Park away from the warming effect of the sea some
plants familiar from more northern parts of America, such as hackberry
and red mulbtrry, are found associated in hammocks with te tpica
species. Where rainfall is high, as at Paradise Key, the hammocks are
dense, moist forests, rich in mosses and ferns. Here the tres grow large



and "air plants," epiphytic orchids, ferns, and bromeliads, form fascinating
aerial gardens along their branches. Southwestward on the Florida Keys
and toward Cape Sable the appearance of the hammocks reflects the lower
annual rainfall. Here the trees are smaller and more of them drop their
leaves during the winter dry season. The forests arc more open and air
plants are few.
Hammocks are found in the park as islands of dense jungle in the open
pine woods of the Rim, at a few places out in the Everglades, and along
some parts of the coasts. Two things may at once be said of any place
where they occur. The site is high enough so that it is seldom if ever flood-
ed; and it has enjoyed some natural protection from fire. Hammock plants
tend to occupy all raised surfaces of the land-natural, elevations of a foot
or two, like the limestone outcrops and the coastal shell beaches and marl
ridges, and man-made rises like the mounds of early south Florida Indians
and the embankments of the white man's roads. Fire presents a check to
this tendency, permitting the hammocks to develop to maturity only at
sites that have some fire protection. As Paradise Key painfully illustrates,
fire also endangers long-established hammocks, particularly in years of
severe drought.
Hundreds of tree islands dot the marsh expanses of the Everglades. In
south Florida parlance these usually go by such names as "bayhead,"
"cypress head," and "willow head." These terms indicate isolated stands of
these trees in the open Everglades. The larger, taller trees stand in the
center, giving the island a humped or mounded shape. The tree islands
mark the presence of small topographic variations in the level sawgrass
plain. Bayheads are usually upon lightly elevated peat soil, cypress heads
usually occupy shallow ponds. Most of the Everglades tree islands are
bayheads, low tangled forests much overgrown with vines. The number of
kinds of trees are found in bayheads are few. The principal ones are species
of hay, magnolia, and holly, which are common swamp forest trees through-
out much of the southeastern United States coastal plain. Bayheads occupy
deep peat deposits. When quite -dry this soil burns readily, and glades fires
occurring in an exceptionally dry season may completely remove bavheads
from the landscape, leaving hollows which may become ponds and perhaps
a ring of dead trees to mark the former site.
When a south Floridian speaks of "the glades" he means the sawgrass



country. The Evergiadc& eucrnd for 120 miles from Lake Okeechobee to
the south coast, and Everglades National Park includes the southern one-
third of it. The endless reaches of sawgrass with its tree islands constitute
,ie scenery of much of the interior of the park. These sawgrass plains are
flooded in the summer rainy season, dry and frequently fire-swept in late
winter and spring. Here and there over the glades are ponds and deeper
drainage channels which hold permanent water except in extremely dry
years. The smaller pools arc often called 'galtr holes, since they resemble
the ponds often maintained by large a.ligalors. The larger ones and deeper
drainage channels are sloughs (pronounced slews) Taylor Slough where
Anhinga Trail is located is a good example. The sloughs and 'galor holes
provide dry season refuges for the small fish, marsh snails, and crayfish
of the gladesa and are often winter concentration points for the larger birds
and mammals that feed on these aquatic animals.

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Pinelands occur in the upland limestone outcrop area known as Long
Pine Key, that extends west into the Everglades from Paradise Key. The
pine forest covers the general expanse of this upland with scattered ham-
mocks marking places where fire has not reached. Frequent fires here leave
little ground cover, and the pines appear to spring from the bare rock.
Closer examination shows that the limestone surface is riddled with solution
holes containing small pockets of soil where plants are rooted. Most of the
larger pine trees were lumbered off shortly before the Everglades National
Park was established, but the remaining forest on a rock pile still presents
a remarkable bit of landscape.
The mangrove swamps of south Florida shores provide some of the re-
gion's most unusual scenery. This forest that thrives in areas flooded by
the tides and in saline soils near the coast, and even "goes to sea" estab-
lishing seedlings in open water, is something new to most visitors. A broad
belt of mangrove swamp lines most of the shores of Everglades National
Park and extends inland to the Everglades. Similar forests occur along
ocean shores throughout the tropical regions of the world, but they arc
nowhere better represented than in Everglades National Park. In the remote
west coast of the park along the braided channels of the Shark River en-
tering the Gulf of Mexico stands what is perhaps the largest and best
developed mangrove forest on earth.
Many environmental forces condition the occurrence and aspect of these
plant communities and thus take a hand in shaping the south Florida scene.
The Everglades is a land of paradoxes. Fire is a major influence in a land
much of which is submerged for half the year. Elevation is a critical factor
in a region flatter than most pancakes. Inland penetration of salt water,
hurricanes, and occasional cold spells have also had a role in determining
the pattern of vegetation seen today. The pattern resulting seems at first
sight to have no rhyme or reason. Actually it is the outcome of the long
interaction of vegetation: and environment. The hammocks, for example,
continually encroach upon the pinelands; just as steadily, lire has acted to.
check this advance and to maintain the more fire-adapted pine forest.
Long opposition of forces in this and many other instances has resulted
in sort of dynamic balance wherein essential stability of vegetation is
achieved by means of constant small adjustments. The present scenery of
Everglades National Park represents the equilibrium reached,



The writer would not leave e theimpression that the scenery of Everglades
National Park is all of a sort whose appreciation requires careful study.
There are many spots which qualify as "scenery" by the mos exalted tests.
places where form and color combine to produce beauty that requires no
explanation. The many-colored waters spread over the deeps and shaBows
of Florida Bay are ever scenic, perhaps most delightfully so on days of
dead calm when blue so matches blue that sky and sea are one. The horizon
line is lost and one views a scene of fantasy where distant mangrove islands
seem to hang in mid-air- Other Everglades "scenery" crowds forward to
be mentioned-the clean, ly sweep o e Ca Sable beach the ae S beaes west
coast rivers. dark tideways threading the ancient mangrove forest; the palm-
lufted hammocks where the sawsrass meets the mangroves-many more.
In them all is the strangeness that is the hallmark of the south Florida
The Everglades National Park preserves a unique American landscape.
Not all who learn to know the country find it attractive, but few are un-
moved by it. As with another "different" region, our southwestern deserts,
acceptance or rejection is usually emphatic. Many who came to know it
well, have found that the charm of the Everglades country grows with
acquaintance and sharpens in memory. This feeling is difficult to phrase,
especially for one who feels it keenly. For rme it is compounded of many
experiences, by no means all pleasant. and small insights gained after long
stru.ggle-so personal that it can scarcely be communicated. Perhaps these
experiences arc necessary. It is best you devise your own test, but 1 can
offer a sampk-: Sleep sand-fly bitten in the bottom of a skiff-fiebht a saw-
grass fire-see a rattlesnake, a spoonbill, a family o otters, and a hurricane
-w-andcr tor a day in the rock jumbnles of Long Pine Key-go a.lon to a
remote hammock. This course of indoctrination, or some less stringent one,
should do the Irick. If you are susceptible to the Everelades, you may then
begin tn know that this long misused and often hostile wil"rness holds a
fascination yoiu will never be able to shake oft.


In Quest Of An Adult Crocodi


IW mitr buying gasoline near Rock Harbor at the old Overseas GriBt on
a preliminary trip to the Florida Keys in 1941. March 27th to be
exact, we noticed several small crocodiles alive in a display case. On in-
quirv we found that W. Argyle Hendry of Rock Harbor was the man to
see about collecting crocodiles- We were keenly inicrxctd in constructing
exhibits in the Milwaukee Public Museum to show the difference between
our American crocodilians. With limited field funds, however, we have
found that it is best lo contact local cxperts to locace our game ahead of
time and to come when they give the signal. Correspondence with Argyle
Hendry seemed to indicate March as our time, In 1942 another trip to Key
Largo was planned, this lime with an artist, photographer and a collecting
permit from the state. The area of our operations had not yet become a
national park.
On March 22, 1942, the writer reached Miami a week in advance of
the rest o gr the group the thought being to pick a site which would be
reproduced for display as a diorama showing the crocodile in its native
Homestead was picked as a base camp and the overseas bus was used
as transportation to Hendry's "Jewfish Creek Camp" on Lake Surprise.
The old gentlman had a well-ventilaied and slightly decrepit houseboat, a
rickety pier and several "glades boats" (rowboats L One of the latter, the
"Bluefish" had a temperamental one-cylinder inboard engine. The camp
was about a quarter-mile north from the old highway on Key Larg and a
stone throw from the former railroad right-of-way, which. I understand.
has sine been used for much of the base of the new overseas highway. At
that time the crews were cutting the ditch for the pipe line which now
carries Key West its freshwater supply from the well field near Florida City,
Over some cups of tea Argyle Hendry and I discussed plans. It was




a -


M I.a I v*rr rats l u-
14' .4rwslr Hendry r f Rnck Harhr wu\ the man w we ubwrf..rrocodiltr


evident that he had done itlde in anticipation of our arrival., although he
did have a 5' or 6 foot croodik under his pier. It was tethered by a rope
around its snouL
He suggested a camping trip in the Madeira Bay area, where "the gov-
emnment was doing some cotton experiments,"-prsumably a program of
eradication of mitd cotton plants. After some dickering a start was made.
We look two boats, the Bluefish and a rowboat, stopping for bait and
gasoline at an adjoining fishing camp on Lake Surprise, probably that of
Roll in Davis.
A strong wind required us to select a route close to shore, through creeks
and smaller bays to our destination., Litle Madeira Bay, Hendry was not
very talkative,, but I did learn that some of the smaller passages through
the mangrove creeks, where we pulled the boats along by means of the
low overhanging branches, were called "wink eyes."
On Green Heron Creek we stopped for our first crocodie burrow or
cave. Here the old gentleman. without telling me how located the under-
waler entrance and proceeded to take the floorboards out of the boat. They
were to be used as a barrier to ck-se the opening of the burrow which was
some twen~ty-our inches below water level. The small boat was tied bow
and stern to the mangroves so tha the side of the boat held the stockade
in place against a possible rush for freedom by the cave inhabitant. When
all semed secure an a xe and several half-inch iron rods were taken ashore.
The axe was used to clear away brush while the rods were used for probing
the burrow to ascertain its direction. This was done horizontally first from
the boat through the entrance of the burrow, then from ashore by pushing
vertically through the sand, marl and roots.
Occasionally Hendry would place his throat against the vertical inserted
rod and make a grunting sound in his throat without opening his lips. The
probing showed that the first cave was L-shaped and extended back from
the shore about 10 feet before the bend of the L. The leg of the L seemed
to be about 6 to 7 feet. When no tactile or audible responses came along
the probing rod from inside he cave, we packed up the gear and moved on.
Watching the old man, be-tweemon mot picture shots. I marveled at his
energy, and looking alof I won&ercd if those circling buzzards would make
a feast of nie should anything happen to Hendry, I certainly couldnIt have
found my way out of that wilderness.


Mhaii* Pir- vi Me4a'r Pht.<
htr rwd ii err uird for prolbng the burrow to uscIrrtain its direction."

We' found a number of "slides" or sunning places on the banks of the
creeks as we poled along. These wree bare spaces about 12 to 18 inches
above w atr level and with smooth, somewhat abrupt descent into the
water wnhre the whitish marl mud was firm and fairly smooth but still
showed claiw r marks idently made b the crocodiles in climbing up ou
of the deep water of the creeks. After sc-cral more cave investigation we
reached Alligator Joe's Bay and passed the remains of Joe's crocodile corral
at one end of a small island. Trout Creek yielded more empty burrows.


We spent the hirst night at an apparently abandoned two-story hunting
cabin on Mud Creek where we slept on cols in the upper room about 8
feel above he ground., not too well protected by screens. A sign indicated
that the camp had been put up by members of wimc union. Our supper
consisted of blue crabs which we caught on fish lines baited with mullet.
Across Little Madeira Bay along Taylor River and. East Creek the next
morning iwe found "sign" but got no results, In shallow places we could
see a groove in the bed of the stream where dragging crocodilian bodies
had left their mark. The best of such trail we found of Long Sound where
a shallow creek led to a small pond filled with ducks. Beside the groove
on the boitom here were the crocidiCe's footprints and these were fiIed
with hundreds of small minnows that appeared similar to Mollinesia. We
also saw gar, need-e fish. snappers, and large snok.
Empty handed excepting for the films exposed, and our heads full of the
crocodile lore we had acquired, we reluctantly and wearily were obliged to
retrace our route to Lake Surprise on Key Largo. At the Davis camp here
we found a small crocodile about 15 inches long being held for us, and we
were also shown a diamond-back rattlesnake skin. The snake had been
killed a few days before on the old railway fill.
The next trip was to the eastward and took us through Barnes Sound
to Manatee Creek where we located a crocodile nest as well as a burrow.
We got there too late, however, for the sand crocodile nest had been dug
into by raccoons, and only empty egg shells remained.
Our artist and photographer were dropped oIf. then, to gather material
at a site which we had chosen for the museum display. This was a roost or
slide on a small creek between BlackLwater Sound and Little Blackwaier
Sound. east of Blackwater Pass. At that time ihe creek had some piling,
remnants of the old railway. I believe.
It was not until a second visit to East Creek in Little Madeira Bay, how-
ever, that a crocodile of suitable imposing dimensions could be captured
for our display in the Milwaukee Public Museum. It was by this eventual
success that old Argyle Hendry's exceedingly curious methods of capturing
these creatures were fully revealed. Closing up the entrance of the croco-
diWles cave or burrow, he proceeded as before. He inserted the long iron rod
vertically into the cave and grunted with his throat against it as before, but
this time he heard a response and knew the cave was occupied. By probing



with rods, H:iendry then forced the crocodile back to the end of its burrow

and fenced it up there by driving several probing xds vertically here in

a row across the cave. Next old Hendry proccded to dig down, through

ith ground surface above !he end of the cave. Soon Mr. Crocdik wia

exposed, and he was a fine, big one. Carefully enlarging the hole, Hendry

now exposed the crocodile's head and then genlly passed a noose over the

trapped reptile's long, formidable jaws. Its m-outh lied shut, he proceeded

then to noose a front foot and i'ith some struggling .managed io get it

secured to the other front one over the animal's back. Soon he had lticed

up the hind feet in the same manner. It took some further diggng to ex-

pove the crocodile's long tail and get the end of it safely tied back to the

animals body. It was now quite helpless, and the entire party bore a hand

in lifting ihe great reptile out, of its cave and loading it into its boai.

A few days later this; handsome, Loothy denizen of the weird. milk)k

waters of Florida Bay and the wink cyes of lihe mangrove-bordered creeks,

arrivcd safely in Milwaukee in a vcntilaied if somewhat cramped packing

casc. The crocodile measured nine feec and nine inches long and weighed

two hundred and eighty-seven pounds. We made a fine life-sizc likeness of

it in pl;lic. and this is still one of our niiosl popular displays.






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Death Trap In A Jungle Paradise


W iHEN I first cane to Floridk's west coast years ago, I klarned that the
bones of a large fossil vertebrate had beeeen en along a drainage
dich near SL Peteburg. The surrounding terrain indicated the animal's
age to be Pleistocene; the area, I welt knew, had already been worked
by professional pakontotogists. It seemed rather doubtful that I might
strike new and unknown material But there are certain esthetic values to
be gleaned from investigating any animal that comes from so fascinating
a period as the late Ice Ages, so I decided to have a go at looking it up.
Perhaps I should encounter fragments of a mastodon that had roamed
early Florida together with primitive man.
The wide drainage ditch, carrying four or five feet of water, crossed
an open field with a high spoil bank of white marl and brown sand
tumbled invitingly to one side. I knew the bones must have once been
mixed with this spoil, but the first half-hour's casual examination of seveCral
hundred feet of its weathered surface revealed nothing. Then I picked up
a hexagonal object that was just not another lump of the whitish-brown
matix.4 Even as I brushed away adhering grains, of brown sand. my whole
being began t t tingl with ,he excitement of the hunt.
The six-sided fragment was about the size of a silver dollar and as thick
as my thumb. One surface proved flat and uninteresting. but the opposite
carried a symmetrical pattern of pits and ridges like a flower design on
coarse lac e Moreover, the thick edges were suture-marked. I knew that
if I could pick up and assemble enough of Ihese hexagonal objects, they
should interlock to form a mass of shell, big and round and eavy, like
that of a gigantic turle. It would, in fact, be almost barrcl-like
The animal was not, however, reptilian. A giant glyptodont had been
buried here, a mammalian edenitae related to the pres~ni-day armadillo,
The shell had covered all bul the cre;alurc protruding head and lail and


limbs, a protective dermal armor that even the great sabre-toothed tigers
of its lime had been powerless to penetrate. Even before I began picking
up more fragments. I could imagine the ungainly form alive, waddling
across the ancient face of Florida, approaching this spot and the unknown
fate that would place his fossil in my hand. It was as though Nature, in
one of her rare benevolent moods, had so buried this creature tha its
harder parts had lasted 10,000 ,ears just for me.
When my wife and I moved into the Redland District near Homesiead
in 1949, I felt too far south to find such bones along canal banks here.
The Ice Age fauna of the west coast, small animals and large, may well
have wandered for a lime into these lower reaches. But the basic under-
lying rock, over which they had to come, the Miami Oolite, was marine
in origin, and in our area contained no overlying deposit save for the
thin Redland clay. There could be no fossil vertcbratcs in this spot save
those of possible marine types as yet not noted in the limey oolite. I must
confcs. I did not think to look into the large solution cavities that occur
occasionally in its deeply eroded surface.
The first reports of mmamal bones reached me through Charles R.
Mebisner. a near neighbor. Mr. Meissner is the owner of Redland Ham-
mock on West Kings Highway. He is also just the kind of man who would
notice animals trapped in large rock holes, especially what he took to be
a large muskrat that had starved to death in onea The great pothole yawned
deep in the heart of his hammock jungle, and the dead animal lay on a
black mass of accumulated peat of unknown depth and character. Mr.
Mcissner immediately wondered how many creatures might have perished
in the hole before the water rat. He decided to find out.
He came to me a day or two later in a state of high excitement. "I
placed a ladder in the hole and climbed down with a shovel and started
digging," he explained breathlessly. "Almost right away I began striking
bones. I recognized deer bones and antlers. Then there are a lot of others,
some of which I haven't been able to identify. And the mass continues
straight down with no end in sight. I am now working in a test pit about
30 inches below the top of the peat layer, and 12 feet or so down from
the hammock floor. But ihc point is, what do I do next?"
"I'lt come and have a look see," i said. trying to picture fossil bones
as coming from still lower in the hole. The cavity itself would date well



"He derided to find toiUt.,

back into late Ice Age time when the mother oolite first emerged from a
reading sea as dry land. It was then that erosion began to dissolve away
the firsI of the soluble calcareous core that gav rie and form [o the pres-nt
animal trap. But all had since been refl odcd by a returning sea, and the
organic peat now in the hole's bottom did not start to form until thai
water had again moved off, several thousands of years later. Then it was.



at the beginning of recent geologic time, the jungle ham-mock, the peat
source, had sprung into being. How long ago was that?
I remembered a mammoth skelton I once excavated from an Indiana
peat Ibg. The peat in that Indiana bog had accumulated over a period of
perhaps several thousands years, not during. but after the final retreat
of Ithe last ice sheet from that area, marking tbc very close of the Ice Age.
The great bones of the giant proboscidean were embedded in the bog just
beneath the surface, a startling picture of the prehistoric past converging
on the very door of yesterday. The bones may well have been considerably
under 10,000 years old. The lowest deposits in Mr. Meissncr's death trap
may have started to accumulate about this imnne the ocean along the
Florida coast was, by then, approaching its present level. I was quite in-
trigued; never had I seen ;a depxsit worked from this particular end. niche
in geologic time.
The tropical jungle at Rediand Hammock is unique in being undis-
turbed by man, in an area where both fires and bulldozers have long been
destroying hammocks. This dens. leafy paradise. largely of West Indian
derivation, is pierced onl) by a narrow winding path. It was coning along
this path with Mr. Mcissncr that 1 first saw the ladder op projecting up
from what seemed a clump of sveral large air pines fallen to the jungle
floor. Then our closer approach revealed that the pineapple-like plants
were clinging to the spindly trunks of small trees clusicred about and above
a dark and ominous cavity tha gaped like an open manhole. A few clumpn
of strap fern on the very rim only further concealed a mysterious darkness
that yawned below. I hesitlaed uncertainly at the top of the ladder. It
was a regular wooden house kldder and looked to be a long one.
"Go right on down," said Mr. Meissner behind nme, "t's perfectly solid
and will put you safe on the peat layer beside the test hole."
Up until this very moment I had given little thought to the more deadly
aspects of this underground pitfall. Most of the larger solution cavities
around the Redlands were of the open-mouthed type; I knew specifically
of two that were at least 30 and more feet across. This one was more
like a hole punched down through the roof and into an undargrw nd cave,
almost functionally perfect as a trap for every unwary animal that came
its way. It wouldn't admit todics of man moth size creatures, but for
those of man and deer, and all the legions of smaller jungle life, it was



ideal. I shivered a little, descending into the black emptiness below the
strap ferns, for I could not avoid imagining how awful it would feel, un-
knowinlJy to. step and plunge through that deceptive fan of bright greenery.
Small wonder the bottom was filled with skeletons!
It took a moment before I could make out anything much but darkness-
I continued down the rungs of the ladder largely y feel, conscious now of
a cellar-lik coolness to the air, dank with the heavy scent of leafmold.
Then 1 began o discern the bolder details of the adjacent walls curving
hack and away on all sides like the interior shoulders of a giantic bottle,
and after a few more fumbling reaches for ladder rungs., I fel my feet
sink into the coal-black mass that was the top he oppeat rill. I1 was almost
as soft as a pillow. but one that comnains a few hard lumps. Mr. Meissner
was descending right behind me with a flashlight.
"Now if you'Il turn at the side of the ladderP" he said, his voice ringing
strangely in the confined space, "you'll find that you can easily lower
yourself to the bottom of the test pit. But he careful and slep on that piece
of plank 1've placed down there. Otherwise you'll he in w:Iter."
The test pit yawned about three feet across. I looked down as into
a well, and saw the water as a dull mirror faintly reflecting the dark sil-
houeute of my head and shoulders, with the little plunk bisecting them; the
head was cut away at the chin. I also noted the hole of light that was the
green-fringed opening of the trap; it seemed to be so far above my sheared-
off head, I might have been looking at the moon. I saw, too, Mr. Meiss-
ner's flash illuminating the dull white of the bones. They stuck out around
the circling blackness of the pit's sides like sticks, and were everywhere
as thick as raisins in a cake. Many were large enough to be human: part
of these I surmised must be deer.
I lowered myself gingerly to the plnk without managing to slip into
the waier, wondering jut how deep that. was. Then I bent eagerly to
examine an exposed jaw with teeth. directly in front and catching the full
beam of Mr. Meissners ligihL The lower edge of the long and slender
mandible was still party embedded in the peat body, but the upright
teeth were nicely free and fairly clean. The large molars were crowned
with the shearing surfaces of four concentric ridges like the twisted edges
of knives outlining the four compressed cuspsi the teeth were definitely
those of a herbivore. Moreover, the crowns were low, those of a browsing



rather than a gazing herbivor. Al the animals of the area considered
obviously the jaw could only be that of deer. A lumbar vertebra of the
same-sized animal was partly exposed hereby; the thin neural spine had
been broken off; however, I took the vertebra to be deer also. The ends of
ribs, limb bones, a fragment of a scapula, all these at other levels, in-
dicated others.
Mr. Mcissncr said, "I've already accounted for at least four buck accord-
ing to the antler evidence. But what gets me is how any animal as alert
and agile as a deer would ever fall in here. I can understand how some
of the other animals would."
The other animals included much evidence of snakes, some of the ribs
and vertebrae large enough to have belonged to giant diamond-backed
rattlers. Turtle shell fragments were abundant. Though most too small to
see readily, the teeth of various large and small rodents, often still in place
in max:illary fragments and mandible, filled spaces with the peat between
larger bones like scattered chaff. There was evidence of 'coon and 'possum;
rabbits (which are not true rodents) and fox. I also made out the distal
end of a femur of a very large bird, but whether the thin-walled limb bone
belonged to one of the water fowl. or no. my first thought, I could not tell.
The thing was a surprise in here. If the deer had seemed to Mr. Meissner
strange victims in the trap. I could not vision a bird in here, unless some
injured old crane perhaps, unabkl to fly, had wandered up and fallen in.
But both these small problems subordinated themselves quickly before the
major one. What would lie concealed below these top and last victims of
the trap? What would the oldest victims be?
We climbed back up into the glorious light of day, and I became instantly
conscious of just how beautiful a tropical hammock can be under circum-
stances that are like a return from an intimate brush with death. South
Florida's golden winter sunshine filtered in long beams down: through the
green canopy above, a Heliconia butterfly, velvet-black and gold, floated
in and out of one of those beams with a grace so exquisite it made me catch
my breath, and the sweet, sweet fragrance of a distant time grove in bloom,
floating into the jungle on the breeze, never seemed more heavenly. How
truly wonderful it is to be alive sometimes!
In the days that followed, Mr. Meissner, assisted by his son Robert,
removed hundreds of bones from the upper peat layers while waiting for



the asoal waters of the underground water table to recede. The floor
of the carport at Mr. Meissners home became so clttered with boxes of
sored and labeled bones, it began to take on the aspect of a sincable
paonidtogical laboratory. Mr. Meissner continue to be surprised at the
number of deer bons encounteed, and their very siz made te record
seem more impressive than it was. One day we stod by the trap's opening
in the jutge, coomemplating the puzzle about the deer.
"I have now acouned for about a don skeleton," he said. "Biut for
the life of me I still cannot see bow that number of deer fell in. Just i
at the siz of that opening! Even surrounded by vegetation, any animal
with the kn reaction of a deer woul cert sn e its presence.
"Well," I replied, "you must remember that even if we are dealing with
recent geologic time, this trap has been catching animals a comparatively
long whie. It was doing so long before the fall of Rome, before the birth
of Christ, before the pyramids of Egypt were built. Can you imagine how
many deer would wander into this nice shady jungle to bed down in a
hundred years? Multiply that number by ten, and that result by at least
five or six; then consider the possibilities. For every hundred thousand
that. safely passed this hole, would it be strange, if one, somehow, fell?"
"But how do you, account for the fact that so many seemed to have
been buck in antler?" This had been a new feature disclosed by a careful
check of the antler material in comparison with bone counts classifying
the different individuals.
Remembering a time in a western forest when I had come unexpectedly
upon two buck deer battling over a nearby female, I said jocularly, "Maybe
some were pushed in. Bucks fighting in the rutting season, you know. A
buck might not have been pushed backward into this thing very often, but
when and if he was, in he would certainly go!" I could easily visualize the
:many necessary battles taking place.
But it was not buck but the presence of the bird bones in the trap that
puzed re Moreover, not just one stray bird had been accounted for;
there had ben several, and all of the same type. The evidence had been
most scanty limited to the harder portions of a few of the limb bones.
but th tr they were Then I encountered by a roadside, the skeleton. skin
and feathers of a car-struck turkey vulture, and the mystery was cleared.
The bone fragments would have fitted perectiy into the limbs of this great



carrion feeder. Why hadn't I thought of vutures venturing down into the
trap to feast n decomposing bodies? They would have dropped down like
stones, but flying out again would have been another matter. There would
have been no space for takeoffs for birds of their size. As I stood again
one day, looking at the hole. I could almost bear below the futile beat and
thrash of a pair of those great wings. What a way for creatures so truly
of the high, free skies, to perish!
The day came when Mr Meissner began to dig deeper into the lower
peat body than he had ever been before- I made frequent trips to the
hammock to check results. The amount of deer and other mammal and
reptile bones continued, but in a much more scanty and fragmentary con-
dition. Only teeth bones remained of some specimens. Obviously these
lower animals had been buried here a long time.
Then one day, when I was standing with Mr. Meissner down in the
gloomy bottom of the trap, he pulled from his pocket a tout peg-like tooth
and handed it to me- Here was something new indeed. At first, examining
it in the light of a flashlight's beam, I thought it must have come from the
aw of a crocodile. While I puzIed over it. Mr. Meissner dramatically
added to my hand the large camassial tooth of some mammalian carnivore
and two molars from the same animaL This immediately explained the
presence of a few now battered fragments of unidentified mammal bones,
and helped to identify the peg-like tooth as a canine tooth of the same
creature. I had often wondered about the absence of big carnivores in the
trap, but had almost as immediately dismissed them in terms of bears or
panthers, aninmas agile enough either to spring to safety, or successfully
climb out with sharp and curving claws. Here now, was one such creature.
But the meat shearing carnuassial tooth didn't look like that of the omniv-
orous bear, and I still wandered how it could be cat.
I have always been essentially a student of dinosaurs and other fossil
reptile. If I could have had ;vaiblah the proper facilities for making car-
nivore comparisons. I might quickly have identified the teeth. Lacking
these facilities. I mailed them to George Simpson for identification. Dr.
Simpson. of the A:merican Mukscum, is one of the world's foremost authori-
iks ion kfosil mammals, I receivedd a prompt an decisive answer in return.
"The tieth are eitherordoJ or wolf." he wrote. "But without the bones
I cannot ysa which. I[ i i mptiiible othierwia to difflreniiatc between them"



He added a nice suggestion. "It would be worth while if you could collect
the skeleton of the extinct Florida wolf."
The mystery of the trapped carnivore was explained. A dog's claws are
not the sharp and curving claws of cat or bear. A hungry wolf, dropping,
like the vultures, down into- the hole to feast on some dead carcass, would
have been as powerless to escape as a hoofed decr- Unfortunately, the boxes
accompanying the teeth consisted, only of worthless broken shafts of limb
bones with ends missing. Still lower, Mr. Meissner encountered more of
the wolf-dog teeth, but with these no bone remained preserved at all.
At last Mr. Mcissner's exploring shovel began to bring up only a brown
sterile clay shot with fine grains of quartz sand. The sand was a definite
marker. It told, like the Pamlico sand tha usually fills all solution cavities
in the oolite north of the area of Coral Gabics, of the last encroachment of
the sea over south Florida, long before the cvent of the jungle hammock,
long before the Everglades peat deposits a few miles to the west. Its age
was undoubtedly greater than that of my Indiana mammoth in the Indiana
peat. Below that there was nothing but the bottom of the hole, funneling
into nothing.
It was good to climb up, for the last time, into the bright light of day,
even without a wolf skeleton. A man, fossil hunting, must often look in
many places for fragments of chapters to piece out the past history of
life on earth. As I have often done in museum store rooms filled with vast
numbers of fossil skeletons, I paused beside Mr. Mcissner's total bone
collection, and indulged in the amusement of visualizing every represented
animal suddenly re-imbued with life. At leasl 15 or 16 adult deer leapt
up from a circle of 7 or 8 turkey vultures taking wing. while the wolf-dogs
and hundreds of lesser creatures swarmed out, swelling into a greater ring
-of moving forms. overflowing the carport into the wide yard and across
it like legions turned loose from a Noah's Ark. Only the flopping fish
seemed alikn and uncomfortable. Then it occurred lo me, as always. ehat
every one of these unfortunate creatures in d iing in a death trap. had
shared in commononne thing rarely known to contemporary life of their
ime.. The trap in the jungle paradise, in killing them, has also preserved
the record of their existence. And ., as a man privileged to stand a 'ew
bright moments in the Age of Now, could visualizc, hm all as if alive


Tonight At Paradise Key


L ETS EXPLORE a bit of the Everglades tonight and see what we can find
aTe air is warm and not moving. Mosquito language is all that is heard
from the animals, but it Is early, and life has not begun t stir. Soon the
barred owl will call from the hammock, to be answered by another farther
away. The little squirrel tree frogs which have hidden from the sun of the
day, will crawl into the moistness of evening and feed on small flying
Mist curls from the black water, and the moon will not rise tonight.
Something large rustles the saw grass at the right. Stand still. Maybe we
can se it. or maybe it will go away. Remember, panthers have been re-
ported front this area. It moves steadily, loudly closer and pushes a long

i". . i is earhy and life has noi bhemun to stir."
P$il.. H'y A FAUC'ETT. .>aIpciT Nournna Piri S ev-t


snout, shining eyes and dainty, naked ears through the stiff foliage. Possum,
We walk farther down the road and into the saw grass. Its blades scrap
against our legs and occasionally grate our knuckles. But danger will not
come from this sharp-toothed sedge, for soon we will be free of its grar-p,
Watch where you step. The glades are punctured and pitted by strangely
shaped holes probing into the limestone beneath. Water reflects from the
bottom of one of these places. On another night in a different parl of the
glades, I found a live leopard frog in such a hok just minutes after a large
fire had swept over the area. The glades had been dry that night, and they
are now. If there were a heavy rain, maytc the frogs would begin to call.
A warm wind sweeps in from the west, and the saw grass rattles sofly.
A toad signs his ear-splitting trill, and a long-homed grasshopper begins a
lighter trill of his own.
Now we are out of the saw grass, back to the road, and walking toward
the slough. Something is usually happening there. A raccoon investiguaes
the roadside in front of us, He occasionally looks at our flashlights and
finally disappears into a jumble of willows and shadows. A black-crowned
night heron flies from the top of the jumble, quawks, and moves off into
the darkness. Others quawk but remain hiden. Beside the ditch a tall. pak
figure stands. As we sweep the light in his direction, he roars and lifts him-
self ito the air. This is the great blue heron, the "old man" of the marshes
A flock of red-winged blackbirds awaken, call, and flutter about in the
darkness. We wait quietly and soon the birds are still again.
With that, we walk on into the slough and over the hoardwalk .of An-
hinga Trail. The southern bullfrog is there. He grunts, but the other species
of frogs are quie. Dainty bactid mayflies are whirling about, dancing in
the light A faint garble of sound arises from the end of the boardwalk. The
light is flicked off and the mayies vanish. We move silently toward the
sound and toward a roost of several hundred herons and ibises. American
and snowy egrets, whie ibises, little blue and Louisiana herns. which
arrived here during the late afternoon, appear now as dim,. gray. muttering
and grumbling forms scattered about on the blackness of the willows, Ap-
parently our approach is not ,detected by the birds, for only an occasional
call comes from the roost. A bird shifts to a new perch, and another probes
his feathers. Three night herons quawk by in flight, and the roost is still



But rustling in the thick plant growth almost constantly suggest that
isolated sturugges fr food play, sex, and cscap a-re happening everywhere
Iibout ur. However, we are able to perceive only a smattering of the least
subtle of these adventures. The wake of an rllsigator ripples The water, and
a slender gar arches free of the surface in front of the reptile. From dhe
safety of a denrs button bush a gallinute cackles, and several birds move
ibout in the big rost.
A diswant owul cal, unarnsered-
We proceed softly back along the 'hbrdwalk and toward the hammockt
Tiny, glittering green e-es dot the romadst id The belong to spiders, which
prow] jungles of a different sort. Shine the light in the ditch. See what is
there. Red eyes pop forth, large and small. Alligators and frogs. Little
bright hunches of white glearn from the stems of pickere- weeds. These
arc the clustered eggs of a certain large fresh water snail, Along the edges
of the weed beds bass and bream lie motionless. The sweep of the light
starts a myriad small fish into Hfighl. They scramble from their protective
rnatie of plant stems, and the bass and the breram are wailing.
Across the way looms the blackness of the hammock. Light spatters from
;a sca.crcd handful of fireflies, and there is no wind. We enter the ham-
mock. to tread over the thin mat which generations of dead plants have
contrihutcd as soil. It shines black and rich, but the grey limestone pokes
through everywhere.
Insects howl, and a tree frog inches along a royal palm leaf, away from
the light. A group of five tre snails reflect dimrly from the top of the same
palms. But the vast animal life of the hammock is largely cloaked by the
dense %ub-tropical foliage. Ferns and air plants arc silhouetted along ihe
heavy limbs of a live oak. Gumbo limbo, paradise tree, mariberry, and
wild imne crowd into the trail at places where they seemed never to have
bee:n before. Lancewood is in flower somewhere near. The sweet odor is

,A ;hdow slides silently onto the Irai.l We stop and wait, and finally
reach out with the light. A bobcat stars back- Seconds pass, the the ani-
mal turns, and leaps into the brush.
The .iir is still and hot. The owl cricl again. aa unanswered.


Some Native Trees And Shrubs

As Ornamentally No.


T HE extreme portion of the Florida pcninksul contains an extensJic
flra that i includes a remarkable variety of plants. The native :ora.
partiuarly of southeast Florida, includes a great many species that belong
essentially to the tropical West Indies.
Among the native plants found growing in south Florida are many
shrubs and trees with foliage and flowers of sulffcient beauty to make them
good subjects for ornamental landscape work. A few of these have attracted
enough atltntion that they are being used rather extensively in ornamental
planting. Others have been planted in county parks, memorial parks and
botanic gardens in recent years, affording an opportunity for more and
more people to become acquainted with native plains, Many others., how-
ever, that appear to possess horticultural value have been neglected and
are either not cultivated at all or are found only in a few of the larger
botanic gardens.
Many exotic palms and cycads have been introduced from the warmer
regions of ihe world and are grown ct lenively in southern Florida as
orntaentals. The abundance of cultivated exotics diverts attention from
the native flora, yet some of the native specie'o are fully a a attractive as
many of the highly regarded exotics.
A study was begun several years ago to evaluate as landscape subject-
the many trees and shrubs native to the area. ThrcT e area covc.red includes the
Florida Keys, the Miami rock ridge., the Everglade Ke hs, and the coasal
hammocks, sand dunes and islands along the aoast ass far north as Palm
Beach and Punta Gorda. The study is far from coniplcic -ut thus far m'.:
than 60 species representing 33 plant faniilic, arc e:iher be-ing usd.l a,
ornamcntats or arc considered to, be worthy nof Inal for this purp~s-- Thi
first article briciy describes the ccad and patlmm


Figure I. Coontie. showing .cones t b har of leaves,

COONTIE, conti, Florida arrowroot, Znaia integ rifolia. Ait. (Z. flori-
dana DC.), Figure I. The cycads were more abundant during earlier geo-
logic ages. The only native Florida representative of this primitive family
of pltins is the coontie or Zamia, Four species of countic have been recog-
nized in Florida, but Z. insrerifolia is the common pecies growing in the
pinclands throughout central and southern fig;ida. It characteristically
pos cNsecs stou, fleshy. underground stems, from which arise crowns of
beautiful fcm~-like leawvs 1 to 3 feet long with many narrow, shning claf-
lets 3 to 4 inches in length. Plants are male or female. Arising from the
center of the plant arc short-stalked brown cones, the male 3 to 5 inches
long, the female larger and thicker, producing numEcrous orange-red seeds.-
These low -grow ing plants are valuable ornamentals. thriving in poor soil in
either full sunlight or partial shade. although their leaes are more hand-
s"me when shaded. They are useful for planting along the edges of shrub-
hern borders or palm clumps and arc quite hardy. They are propagated by
s -c-cd-



Eleven species of palm are native to Florida. and nine of these are
found in the southern end of the State. Seven of the species are valuable as
ornamentals, although some of these are quite limited in the range where
they can be grown scessfully.
ROYAL PALM, Cuban royal palm, Roysicswa regia (H.BJK.) O. F.
Cook (Oredoza regia H.B.K., R. floridana Cook). Figure 2. The royal
pam is one of the most magnificent of the pinnate palms, attaining a height
of 80 to 100 feet with trunks often 2 feet or rno in diaimeer. Often con-
spicously enlarged at the base, the trunks are smooh and straight, resemb-
ling columns of concrete, and haie the upper 8 to 0 feet enclosed in the
green sheath-like leaf bases. The gracefully curved leaves, 10 to 12 feet
long, possess numerous dark green leaflets 2 t to 3 feet lng. This majestic
paim 6M a favorite for avenue planting in southern Florida. but it i per-
haps more cffcctive for landscaping when planted in groups. It may be
grown in wetter soil than most decorative palms but will succeed on drier
ground if properly fertilized and the holes are well prepared before plant-
ing. The royal palm will withstand hurricane winds up to 125 miles per

Figure? 2. Royal palms at Hfo/rmt'sfqJd. Floridai



hour or more. Propagation is by seeds, which are produced abundantly
during summer and fall ad I occasionally at other times during the year.
SARGENT CHERRY PALM, buccaneer palm, hog cabbage palm,
Pserdophoenix sargensi Wcnd. ( P. vinifera Bec. ), Figure 3. The Sarget
cherry palm and the al he only feater-leavd palms native
to Florida. The Sargent cherry palm is comparatively rare, only a few tir
being left in the original locations on the Florida Keys. It is reported that
about 50 years ago vandals removed these palms to Miami and olter
locations where they were sold as royal palms. The Sargent cherry palm is
a smaller species, attaining a height of 25 feet with a smooth conspicuously
banded light gray trunk. The leaves are 4 to 6 feet in length with numerous
Icaflets from 16 to 18 inches in length at the middle of the leaf and shorter
at each end. The fruits are globular or 2- or 3-lobed, measure from i to
, inch in diameter and are orange-scarlet in color. In young specimens
before the trunk is formed, the leaves of this palm are arranged in one
plane. Propagation is by seed. Probably the main reason why this attrac-
tive palm is not propagated more extensively is tha i t makes extremely
slow growth.

Figure 3. Sarge nt cf rrry palm or buh-
cineer palm, Pseudophoenix sar-
genhii, a sqpecirmeri tree planted a
the S ubtropical Experiment Sta-
tion in 1939. Its leaves were still
arranged' in one plane when' ir was
potogrd aphed in 1953.


aFigure 4. .Saw-ceab.
cbbarc palm is i two ocaies i low, wt ground in the extr sPaou
rti wris ghli ta
Fairchi d Tropi-

portion of the Florida peninsula. One of theisc i an area aboum six by twelve
SAWaCABBAGE PALM. silver-saw palm. Cuban palm, Pauroris
wrighili (Oriseb. & Wendl.) Bri. (Acciorraphrr wrighuil DCC".,, Seronca
arborexen Sarg. ], Figure 4. The native hahbitai of the handsome saow-
cabbabge palm is in two localities in low, w5rt ground in the cnreme souther
porI)tion of th'e FloTida penins s"La. One oF rhetc is an area a bout six by twelve
miles in the Everglades National Park. The other is smaller and in a less
accessible wilderness area ear Evergiade. It .Icnder upright trunks grow
m clumps from an underground stern-system, making it the onl' native
cluster palm. The taller trees in large clumps often attain a height of 25 to
35 feet. The light green leaves are fan-shaped, diidcd about halfway into
stiff, slader segments, and supported by long sTalks armed on each side
with a saw-like series of heavy up-curved spines. When in bloom in: spring
and carly summer, the long pancies of yellow flowers above the trees arc
visibk for klng distances. Later the maturing fruits arc likewise very con-
spiuous. Propaation is by seed. The saw-cabbage palm dxoes best in moist
rich soil. When wel grown it is a handsme addition to the landscape.


Figure 5. Cahbbag palms, Fair"hild Tropical Garden.

CABBAGE PALMETTO, swamp cabbage, cabbage tree, Sabal pal-
metro (Walt.) Todd. (5. awnesiwwa Small), Figure 5. The cabbage pal-
metto is common over most of the Florida peninsula, growing not only in
wet and dry places but in practically all kinds of soil. Its size varies con-
siderably depending on the richness and moisture supply .of the soil. Indi
vidual trecs may attain a height of 80 feet with trunks often 18 inches in
diameter. The trunks are covered at first with the remains of the leaf but
become barN, leaving a fairly smooth, slightly ridged, brown to grayish-
brown surface. The leaves are 5 to 6 fee, long, fan-shaped, dark grae,
shining, with the margins deeply divided into many drooping segmets
tearing numerous threadlike fibers. On a healthy, vigorous individual the
foliage of this palm forms a rather nice sphere. The prominent, recurved
petiole exiends well into the leaf blade in the shape of a wedge. The
smooth, stiff leafstalks may be as long as or longer than the leaves. Being
resistant to cold and high winds, the cabbage palmetto is well adapted for
group planting. It can be propagated by seed, but it is also readily trans-
planted from native sites.



THATCH PALM, green peaberry palm, Thrnax parviflora Sw. (T.
floridana Sarg. T. wendlakdiana Becc.), Figure 6. The thaich palm is a
slender tree up to 30 feec tall with a trunk 4 to 6 inches in diameter. The
attractive laves axe fan-shaped, and about 3 fct long. The margins of the
kcaf are deeply divided into numerous stiff segments, and the color of the
leaf is pale grn both above and below. Fruits of this palm are white
feshed, about inch in diameter and borne on short stalks. This thatch
palm shows its fine foliage above the hammocks of most of the south coast
of the Florida mainland bordering on Florida Bay. It also survives on
ome keys in northwestern Florida Bay, on the beach dunes of Cape Sable.
and north to Highland Point beach in the Everglades National Park. It is
widely distributed in the Florida Keys.
Thrinax nicrocarp Sa(rg. (T. keyensi Sarg., Brittle thatch palm,
silver peaberry palm. This species is very similar to the foregoing but with
the leaves silvery gry beneath and with the white fruits sessile. Both
species are rather tender to, coW .and are recommended for planting only
in the warmer coastal areas of extreme southern Florida. This one does
not occur naturally on the mainland at all, and is rather closely restricted
to the lower Florida Keys in its native range. Propagation is by seed.


Figure 6. Thatch pabn.
Thuinaw parviflora. W,



Figure 7. Florida SiE-
ver palmr, Cocco-
thrinax argentabiL

FLORIDA SILVER PALM, Bailey seamberry palm, Coccothrinax ar-
grntrata (Jacq.) Bailey. (C. argenrea Sarg., C. jucunda Sarg., C. Garbei
Sarg.), Figure 7., The silver palm is a very slow growing slender fan-leaved
palm found almost entirely on the Miami rock ridge and the lower Florida
KIcs. On the lower Keys it may reach a height of 25 fctl, but on the Miami
rock ridge it grows no taller than seven feet, and in the vicinity of Miami
the trunk is seldom mrce than a foot high. The trunk of this attractive
palm seldom cxcceds 6 inches in diameter and is smooth and brownish
gray in color. The leaves are glossy, pale green above and silvery beneath,
wilh flexibhI segments. The black fruits are borne in handsome dense
clusters 2 fee( or kss in kn-lh and the s eds are channeled. Propagation is
ve.ry ~;vs by s.-'sA if sizeable specimens arc d.eired, they should be irans
planted from the wild. taking a sizeable piece of the limestone with the
trce on it in order to avoid disturbing the crown rooms. Successful trans-
plantings from tlh Mimri rock ridge pinclanas have otherwise been ex-
cccdinhciy rare.
( Fe' ti rv n tiet',r. )


The Natural History of the Park Visitor

by WILL A R D E D LLE Y iustramion by the author

tI .-HE DRIVE to Coot Bay was the most wonderful drive I have ever
experienced." beamed a visitor whom I had carrier in the day ad-
vised to journey into the mangrove country, an area lying beyond Royal
Palm Hammock some twenty miles or so. Not all persons who take this
drive react in the same manner.
Any employee of the National Park Service who is assigned field duties
such as the rangers, fire guards, or naturalists, sooner or later finds that
along with his association with plants, wildlife. or geology, he is also dealing
with people. Gradually the employee slips into the position of viewing the
park visitor in an objective or detached sort of way. When a trail is plan-
ned, the persons involved wonder all the while if the park visitor will care to
walk so far, or is it too short to satisfy curiosity. A trail-side sign is written,
but always with mental searching and wondering as to how the visitor will
react and interpret the wording. To better serve the public, perhaps we
should inquire into the nature of a park visitor, the kind of creature he is,
and what makes him tick. Some statistics arc easily gathered and cata-
logued., such as fromn what state e e comes, how he arrives, that there are
three and a third persons per car, that Monday is the day of tightest visita-
tion and Sunay the heaviest. and other useful data. Probing into the realm
of visitor thought, attitudes and reactions is a more difficult matter. There
are. xhowver, ways and means by which one can arrive at some educated
guess. Clues usually orignate with the visitor himself. They may arrimv
via cormcspondence. personal co-tacsb, o crt act, or comments recorded on
the park register sheet.
The visitor's background experience is without doubt one of the most
important factors governing his reaction to what he S.ee or experiences in
the park. Obviously the boy from a large midwestern city. who rites to
inquiry what caliber rifle he should bring for protection from the wild


varmints 'has had a different back ind of xperiene than the professor
who, although never having been near the Everglades before, knows jus
which hammock to visit to find a certain lichen growing in ts natural
habitat. Casual observation indicates that the person who. eters the park
may come from any station in life. That is one of the reasons why the
national parks are such a typically American institution.
Previous impressions of the Everglades must have a profound effect on
the visitor's reaction. A visitor from Brooklyn writes on the registration
sheet, "A grear disappointment" One from another place writes, "Much
better than I thought One comment the author was unable 'to decipher.
"Dig this crazy." Many visitors among with their search for spiritual or
recreational values are also concerned for the inner m an and comment,
"Fine, but need something to eat along the way" or "We miss the coffee
The average visitor is particularly impressed with the spectacular. The
deadly venom of the coral snake or the great strength of a twelve foot
alligator arouses much more comment than the symmetrical web of an orb
spider or the complicated orchid flower, so carefully designed to prevent
self pollcnic tion. A great mass of snowy erets will get more applause
than a close view of a single bird erecting his plumes of marveously deli-
cate structure.
One old timer with a grilled beard and battered hat defended from the
lower from which he could scan a. wide expanse of glades, He was properly
impressed with the vast stretch of flat land for he commented to some
nearby persons, "It is sure a lot of land, but what are they going to do
with it?"
A goodly amount of natural curiosity is an important part of the make-
up of a park visitor. When on duty at an information desk or elsewhere,
park personnel answer many and varied questions. Frequently the questions
indicate the visitor's line of work or perhaps his hobby. The cabinet maker
may inquire about the tropical woods, the farmer about the soil, or the
fruit grower about the native fruits of the area. The inquisitive streak fre-
quently turns toward the park ranger with the often repeated question.
'Don't you get lonesome out here?"
The visitor is subject t mnny fears and prejudices, some wel justified
and rImc not. The excitement caused by a beautiful and either ing ing



snake is entirely out of proportion to the pin prick of damage he might do
to one's person under extreme provocation. The prejudiced answer, "I
know it is harmless but I just don't like it" is, of course, frequent. The not
uncommon suggestion that we kill off all the garfth ami all the hawks is
another prejudice much in evidence To the credit of the visitor it may be
said that when properly informed of the role these animals play in the
whole scheme of things, he readily acquiesces in our National Park policy
of not trying to remove a single natural thing.
Along with his other qualities, the visitor often exhibits a certain amount
of gullibility. While talking with spectators at Anhinga Trail i have many
times been called upon to explain that the jaws of alligator and crocodile
are hinged no more differently than the jaws of two women talking over a
back fence,
Skepticism plays about as important a part as gullibility. This character-
isti was illustrated in the best form by a lady who visited Anhinga Trail.
A few yards across a pond stoxd a great white heron. He held a statuesque
poSe, as these birds often do. The lbdy watched the heron for a time and
then traveled on t t he Royal Palm Ranger Station. Here she found the
writer at the information desk. She informed me. "I saw a large white bird
down at the board walk. I had a norton to take its picture, but then I
thought those rangers aren't going to fool me. That is a stuffed bird. So I
didn't take the picture."
Some visitors believe in what they call practical use of the park area.
One of these suggested that we should introduce the fur bearing nutria,
"Why, in a few years there would be millions of ihem and the government
could Iease out trapping rights for a $100,000 a year,"
Many visitors have likened the park area to paradise. This is indicated
by the following quotes taken from the registration sheets: "Wonderful
natural paradise," "Photographer's paradise,' and "Mosquito paradise "
Many people exhibit a justifiable pride in their national parks and strive
to keep them neat and cican, even going so far as to pick up bottles around
the area and bring them in for disposal. 'Others may be confirmed itter-
bugs. One man in particular displayed this characteristic with a line of
reasoning which I found difficult to follow. This person was standing on
the board walk of Anhings Trail nonchalantly tossing orange peels into a
cIer pool in which noting was previously floating except a placid alii-



gator. With all the policness which I could muster,. explained that the
peels constituted an unsightly mess and would he please cease his objcc-
tional activity. With rising indignation, he countered with the question,
"Was il against the law?" I explained that it was. "Okay then, I will stop."
Often visitors will show their pride of the area they call home. Again
quoting from the register we find. "Almost as good as Washington" or
"Lovely, only see Martin County, Indiana."
From the foregoing it may be gathered that the park visitors have many
things in common and that they are also quite divergent in many of their
characteristics All of the attributes may be recognized as very human ones.
Perhaps we can conclude that the park visitor represents a very typical
cross-scCiolt of America and that we are rescued from the terrible monot-
ony which would surely follow if each visitor was the same as every oiher


. .



1 80

A Story of Cuthbert Rookery


N o ON Es KNOWS for ho'w many decades waterbirds have been congre-
gating on that tiny islet in the middle of Cuthbert Lake. Winter after
winter hey have streamed in to Rookery Key to build their nests. hatch
their eggs, and rear their young. Under the subtropical skies far out in the
lake-spotted wilderness of this remote mangrove forest, untold generations
of waterbirds must have succeeded each other in relative serenity before
this important rookery was discovered by man. According to the story
that is toldI, il was an exceedingly resolute man of the frontier named
Cuthbert who penetrated this labyrinth to discover the rookery and to
slaughter its birds.
That was about the year 1890, or only about sixty-four years ago. It
will illustrate thc frontier character of the time, though, to point out that
there was then no road or railroad which approached Miami closer than
seventy miles from the north. Between Palnm Beach and Miami the robust
mailman walked the wild beaches barefoot for sixty miles to carrt the
mail. It would be six years yet before Miami would become incorporated
as a town of 502 people. About two years before the discovery of Cuth-
bert Rookery. when the county seat was changed in March of 1.888 from
Miami to Juno seventy miles north, the court records were transported by
indian canoe through the Everglades.
Cuthbert must have been a man of remarkable stamina. The story goes
Lhat although one of a number who suspected the existence of a great
rookery back in that unexplored. almost impenetrable area. he sought it
alone. apparently motivated by greed for the money he could get for scalps
of plumns from the backs of the egrets. The wilderness wrung and twisted
th characters and bodies of these frontier men with [hardship. and they in
turn inflicted devastating wounds upon it. Wantonly they scoured it for
alligator hides and egret plumes to :el. Ruthlessly they burned ot iTts


beautiful hardwood hammocks in retaliation against the dreaded diamond-
back. Recklessly they ditched the Cape Sable Prairie to drain off excessive
fresh water, but let salt water in which ruined the land for heir crops.
Even under the protection now provided this wilderness by the National
Park Service. the severe ecological effects of such havoc will linger for
many years.
Cuthlber is supposed to have approached the unknown rookery from
the Whitewa.tCT Bay area. By following the feeding flights of parent bids
he toiled through the Langle of mangrove, ponds, and waterways, paddling,
poling, or pulling his light canoe., and keeping as well as he could in what-
ever wretched place nightfall stopped him. He persisted and survived and
eventually found access o this beautiful, hitherto unknown lake and the
ine waterbird rookery which adorns its one key. It must have been a
supreme moment in Cuthberfs life, but it was a dark day for the birds on
the rookery. In the days that followed, Cuthbert concealed himself on the
key and shot and scalped the parent plumc birds as they came home to
feed their young. It is alleged that he obtained 1800 for the plumes that
he took out. And imagine the rocking chaos which he left behind, the
hundreds of nests which covered the low mangrove trees of the island
filled with wasted remains of the starved young, and the ground piled with
the scalped rotting bodies of adults.
The virtual inaccessibility of this rookery had kept it undiscovered while
most loher such waterbird rookeries were shot out repeatedly until no
plume birds returned. Even after Cuthbert found and shot out the rookery
which hears his name. its inaccessibility made repetition of this act in-
frequent. and the waning remnants of the American and snowy egret popu-
lations, still came here to try to rear their young. In 1901 the Florida
legislature enacted some bird protection laws. ~he following year the
National Ass!ciation of Audubon Societies employed a Flamingo resident,
Guy M. Bradley. to protect local waterbird rookeries including Cuthbert
Rookery. Plume hunters watchE d him and raided Cuthberz when he left
to get suppliks. Finally in 1905 a plume huntr apparently reisting arrest,
shor and killed Bradley. Perhaps from that moment the movement to save
the egrets from extinction began to succeed.
Services of other wardens were procured. and with occasional lapses
Cuthbert andi other rookeries in this greal wilderness were protected. In the


( k .; U miw osii- is Statg NcSm Bus..11
"' trood ibis ItRions learl~ y dominnairr fit k ey."

early twenties the Ingraham Canal was dug from Paradise Key to the Cape
Sable area. .ts spoil bank became the road-bed of the ingraham Highway,
which after three decades remains the only road penetrating this vast area.
It reaches West Lake, which connects indirectly with Cuhbert Lake, and
makes Cuthbert Rookery fairly accessible by boat. Seven years ago the
National Audubon Society began conducting scheduled tours for paying
visitors by station wagon and boat from Miami to Cuthbert Rookery, and
these continue today.. Late that same year some important portions of the
south Florida wilderness were at la set s asidc to be progicted and pre-
served for the enjoyment of this and future generations, and became known
as the Everglades National Park.
The writer as park biologist for five years has enjoyed many visits to
Cuthbert Rookeory and memories of many incidents on these irips crowd
forward to be tok. The trip itself oilers much. West Lake Pond where one
embarks, provides many a pleasant sight. During most winters rafts -of
coots. scaup ducks, pintailed ducks, and haldpatcs beguile the bird watcher
with their brisk activity and bright colors. One o the nicst sights I have
Mi~a csed there was a flock of black-necked stills which rose in unison from
the far shore and wheeled rapidly by us. fathing hbl.ac and white in the



bright sun and trailing their pink legs like uniformly flaming exhausts. One
of the most exciting was that of an osprey observed 30 or 40 feet out in
the pond with just its head and neck above water but raising and flopping
its wings with strokes which apparently brought it ashore. By the time we
could stop our car and approach. he bird had reached the shore. It stood
there soaked to the skin with the talons of its right foot buried in a sand
perch about ten inches long. The fish made no motion, but it must have
weighed about I, pounds. The osprey showed no inclination to leave its
prize, but watched us with alert, yellow eyes in a fearless manner as we
approached within ten feet. We left i in peace.
Three miles over West Lake by skiff can be rough in the midafternoon
when the wind gets high. especiallyif i t blows along thee four-mie length
of the lake. Most mornings, though. it is limpid and delightful, and eve-
nings are usually as nice. Almost invariably I have steered my boat to
whichever shore seemed most shclelred and cruised along it close enough
to enjoy watching the large, reclining buttonwoods whose fluted, ropy-
surfaced trunks provide secure places for showy, red-bracted air pines to
cling. The clustered Wrights palms stand out attractively above and before
the mangrove and buttonwood trees along the shore to meet appreciative
eyes. It is always interesting to see whether a big flock of scaup or cools
might be around the next point feeding in a sheltered cove. Sometimes on
the distant surface of the lake there has been a bright, white speck so large
that it could only be a white pelican, and then on closer approach there
would be the spectacle of the ponderous bird taking off. Once a dark phase
short-tailcd hawk sat atop a buttonwood on the shore and permitted us to
bring the boat within 40 feet of it. We sat and amazed and looked as long
as we liked, freely passing the binoculars about to scrutinize every visible
feature of 1his rare, black hawk.
The exit from West Lake gives the visitor an unusual experience. 1
sup'poie cvreone has known a certain enchantment in the aspect of a
woodland bovwer somewhere, a secluded glen. or sheltered nook in the
wra-oc This narrow, canopied passage provides a superlative impression
of that kind. From the bright glare of the open lake one escapes suddenly
int a deep. narrow creek, which tunnels through the swamp forest, arched
over close aNbev by red mangrove trces. BEneath the cool shelter of their
canOpy, one moves slowly forward through a golden shower of sun spots



fite:ing through from above. Both sides are walled by the fantastic, many
branched legs of the mangrove. Some of their trunks and limbs bear inter-
esting clusters of bristly air pines. Beyond the immediate gray wall of egs,
one peeps into the dim, mysterious jungle peace of the mangrove swamp.
Perhaps a silent songbird flits, but nothing cse moves, Each new opening
through the wall invites a searching look. The creek unwinds toward us.
and the boat slides easily around he curves Nothing ever happens there.,
but I always love it.
One leaves the cool magic of the tunnel for ,he open sunshine of Long
Lake and continues east over the lake for about a mi before enteing
another mangrove tunnci krnon as Cuthbert Creck. Midway in this second
canopied creek a gae stops us, a reminder that this ~a is adminstrativety
closed to the public excepting for regularly scheduled trips. Today the
plume birds of Cuthbert Rookery occupy an inviolate sanctuary. Unlocking
the gate, we soon pass into Cuthbert Lake. Our searching eyes quickly fix
upon an islet a mile distant in the middle of the lake. It is white with birds.
A thrill of excitement runs through us, and increases as we accelerate the
motor and point the prow of the boat toward Rookery Key,
Gradually now we can see more details in the shining white mass of
birds which covers the mangrove trees. We can see some birds arriving
singly to settle on the key, and other individuals departing.
The birds on the key slowly take shape. Against the skyline most of
them are clearly wood ibis, large white birds whose dark, naked heads
silhouette sharply against the sky The delicate curv of an American egre's
neck may now be distinguished against the sky here and there. A suspicious
anhinga is the first to leave its perch and rie in circles above the key,
identifying icielf easily y its characteristic lap-fap-Aap. glide, flapflap
flap, glide.
We slow our speed and swing away to circle wide to the windward side
of the key. Now we can distinguish an adult bald eagle perched on a high
snag in the rookery. Presendy he spreads his great wide wings and db-
appears beyond the key. Directly upwind of the rookery and a quarner-mile
distant, we shut off the outboard monor. Now for ihe first lime the babel of
voices from the rookery assails our ears. It gives a further stir to our
excitement., like the roar of the human crowd gathering for some gala
even. There are louder kwoks and quacks and fluted gurglings which


MP-i t-Fy A FABCETT., Lmuh r '5. Ewi1ri NaivalaP.al P'A S.ii
.'. W. wer catr i moere details i the shining white mas .. ."

sound above the general din.
We are alone with the sun and the wind and the lapping waves, and
with one of the country's greatest waterbird rookeries. Wood ibis legions
clearly dominate the key. All over the tops of the rather low, red and black
mangrove irees which cover the islet, stand these big white storks. Their
nests crown the summi of every vegetative contour, and their whi dies
contribute about nine tenths of the festive iteh which: ihin.s from the key.
The hand-somer American egrets are only about a tenth as numerous and
usually stand on nests bull below the skyline and just barely out of sight,
so that we cnn see the egrcls but not the ncsis they stand upon. They build
their nests in suitable places scattered throughout the rookcry, to all ap-
pearancC finding the wood ibises to be as good neighbors as other Ameri-
can egret. Many of the hirds are standing on mangrove branches instead


of on nests, and some adult anhingas are perched on high protruding snags
Having drifted about as close as we dare, we slip the anchor quietly
overboard. It is possible now to see young birds on many of the nests. The
downy white wood ibis young are most prominent. Here and there a
straggly American egret shows beside an immaculate parent Clustered
somewhat locally in the rookery, we see cormorants and their nests. The
black down covering the young looks like dusty velvez. They sit in high
nests, some exposed like those of wood ibies but most partly hidden in the
foliage. Adult cormorants wing individually in and out of the rookery in
heavy. head-long flight. Some sit on low, emergent snapg near the far end
of the key. Now we find the prima donnas of the show. Among the hun-
dreds of nesitings. we have discovered a brood of downy young anhingas.
With the binoculars we can examine these starlets in detail. Their honey-
colored down is smooth and comely, their heads are petite. and their fea-
tures seem demure. Their long, slim necks bend nearly double when re-
laxed. We note that redwing blackbirds are oddly numerous on the key
and contribute their trilling calls to the steady din.
After a while we lilt the anchor quietly to let Ihe wind drift us on past
the rookery. Our arrival was too gentle to Ilush any of the birds from the
key, but we nmust not remain to interrupt their momentous normal activity
for too long. At our resumption of slight motion, three adult anhingas
launch into the air, and several American egrets start up for a few wing
strokes but drop back to other perches on the foliage. The hundreds of
wood ibis merely watch us, their bald, wrinkled heads reminding one of
sharp-eyed, wise old men. As we drift, we observe two or three snowy
egrets running about beneath the mangroves. They may not be nesting yet,
for they do not begin nesting until later than the others. Their nests are
also the most difficult to see, being small and placed within the foliage. The
three anhingas in the air are now circling high above the key, their long
tails spread out an-wise like a turkey's. A Florida galinule shows itself
for a moment swimming under the overhanging mangroves and disappears
into the cascade of down-arched rooms An arriving adult wood ibis creates
a momentary diversion by almost alighting on the wrong nest. Defendant
wood ibis threat the arrival, and the clap-clap-cap of their warning
beaks sounds sharply above the general clamor. The arriving one veers off
and settles in some proper place, and order is restored.



As we drift past the end of the key,. a small flock of coots coyly swims
on around, hugging the edge of the key until out of our sight again. The
cormorants launch heavily from their low snag perches, kicking the tops
of wavcs repeatedly with both feet until air speed is adequate to lift them
away. Two more broods of anhing young are mow in sight, and we focus
for a Las good look. Pretty things, but how strangely tey waggle their
oddly bent necks. Several snowy egrets are aso in sight here, prowling
through the interior of the jungle of mangrove roots, and feeding in the
shallow pool under the rookery. As the distance increases, w focus more
on the thin line of ibis and egret traffic on feeding flights bcetweni the
rookery and the wilderness to the north. The tumult of rookery voices
fa&ds, and one begis to feel a sensation of deep peace. At the rookery the
individuaL begin to become Lost in th mass of white. We turn the boat at
last toward distant Cuthberz Creek, and start the outboard motor with a
roar. The stately egrets may keep their plumes; no one may massacre them
now. As we depart we find ourselves taking one more looi back over our
wake at Rookery Key.

"Oirf ilpji'rti wvfl too geltr to fins/h mry of she thirds from she key "
Phol.u k A. FAWc;.TT,, Mari. -b 1410, CrumnlrTe MniUlM3 Park SrTVmCi

'~a ~*.

Natural History Notes

24, 1953, 1 passed the Ingraham Highway entrance station into the Ever-
glades National Park at about ten minutes past nine in the moving. I had
slowed down to around 20 miles per hour while passing the station, there
being no one on duty at the time. Just as I passed the station, much to my
surprise a full-grown panther crossed the road about 75 feet in front of my
car. The panther did not seem to be in any great hurry. It crossed from
the north to the south in what you would call a slow trot, never even glanc-
ing in my direction. I stopped the car where the panther had crossed the
road and discovered a well defined trail which led into a hammock, pos-
sibly made by deer. To describe his size, I would say the panther was the
size of a large police dog, dark brown in color, with a tail nearly three-
fourths the length of his body, For the past several years I have worked in
the Big Cypress country northwest of the park and had occasion to see
numerous panther tracks, but this s the first panther I have actually seen
in its natural habitat.
Lio W. LORE NZO. Fire Contrr l A id Ercrrldes National Park

morning of November 7, 1953, we looked ut ou f mor quarters on Garden
Key in the Dry Tortugas, and saw two white herons flying over the fort
wall and the officers' quarters descending into the parade ground. After
their landing we went to the window to see thcm and noted they were too
small for American egrets and too large for the snowy egrets we had
thought they were. At this time we observed their ridiculous lurching about
as they were apparently feeding on insects in the grass. We went down-
stairs for our glasses, and with this close observation we saw the tight-
colored, black-tipped bill, black legs and fee= identifying [he two birds as
reddish eets in the white phase. The birds remained about a half hour.
when the normal work activities of Forl Jefferson pcrrsJncl flus.hed l'rn


off the parade. and they retired to the beach strand where we saw them
again at close range.
Later in the day we saw white birds of similar actions on Bush Key.
We went over to invesiiate and counted fihe reddish egrets, white phase.
feeding in the pursilan. These five birds commuiled between Garden Key
and Bush Key for about a week. The last date- we saw then was on No-
vember 3,. 1953.
This species was observed and procured heCr by Woodbur% in 1850-
T. J. Ash reported the species in 1914. We saw the bird after a hurricane
in 1948 (took a colored movie of it standing on the beach and taking offt
We are assuming, as was in our earlier case, that the reddish egret re-
ported was of the dark phase or some note would have been made to the
contrary. To the best of our knowledge this bird has not been reported in
the while phase for this locality. and we are pleased to record it as such.
JoIn and LAviR DEW :.FS,. Fort J'.fer.un Nationaltf MAfo entr

Hazel Rusall Bird's delightful article about lying squirrels in the June
issue oIfiEv'erglades Natural History. I was convinced that they must be
the best of all possible pets. Imagine my joy, just a few days after reading
the article, at finding a baby elf sitting beneath one of the ornamental
crab-apple trees on our campus- I carried him home with glee, and the
reception he received from the children was most gratifying. We fixd
him up in a laboratory mouse cage, and he readily ate pieces of apple
and drank water from the dispenser. Bety and Chip were completely
captivated. They held him in their hands, let him run over their shoulders,
and practically smothered him with attention.
But our joy with our new pet was short-lived. We also have a cat, and
one evening little elfs cage was left open by accident. The tragic results
klt us all practicaUlly or actually :in tears, and Susie, the cat, has been ri
the dog house ever since. However, our brief encounter has convinced us
as to the truth of Mrs. Bird's assertions. The Tree-Tapping Sociey of
South Florida now has an Indiana chapicr known as the Hoosier Tree-
Tapping Society--membership to dale, four.
FRA N N- YousNG, Indiana University, Bloomingson



LARK SPARROW ON LONG PINE KEY. On October 29. 1953, with
camera equipment stowed in the car. I was driving west on Long Pine
Key, vaguely comncioc s of the numerous palm warblrs fitting along the
road before me. Quite suddenly my attention shifted from scanning the
roadside for possible flower pictures to a sparrow which flew up several
times and each time again settled on the road. I was convinced from the
pattern of white on its tail that it was a lark sparrow, but by being so
intent on photography I had left my binoculars behind in the Homestead
office. I stopped the car and approached on foot. The indulgent bird per-
mitted me to close in to a distance of six to eight fet, from which I could
see detail marking and even note that it was eating a medium sized green
larva of some m sect. Any doubts of my identification were now dispeled.
A. H. Howel records one collected at Flammigo, April 5. 1908. William
G. Atwarer and Louis A. Stimson saw one on the shoulder of the
Ingraham Highway where it crosses Taylor Slough. October 6, 1951 Park
ranger Paul Barnes saw one in the same locality. August 31. 1952. The
current observation constitutes a third fall record for successive years. Is
this bird extending its winter range or had it been overlooked in previous
years? WILLARD E. DILLEY, Park Naturalist, Everglades National Park

On December 8, 1953, while I was walking quietly along the Bear Lake
Road in the Everglades National Park. I heard repeatedly a sharp, metal-
lic, snapping noise. A crested flycatcher. Myiarchus crinins, revealed it-
self as the originatr of the sound when it flew across the road rapidly
snapping its bill. The flycatcher darted into the dense growth bordering
the road, and struck out on an erratic course among the trees. The
reason for this behavior became quickly apparent. An adult male sharp-
shinned hawk, Accipiter velox, flew into the same group of trees in pursuit
of the flycatcher. in a brief chase the hawk seemed to match every man-
euver of its quarry but with greater speed. It seized the smaller bird and
forced it to the road about fifteen feet in front of me. As I ran to them,
the hawk took flight. leaving its prey. The crested flycatcher was apparently
uninjured, for after several seconds had elapsed. il flew away and was
not seen again.
DAV[D 0. KARRAKER, Ranger-Nawiralist. Everfladirs arminar Par,


Book Reviews

BIRDs oF MEXICo by Emrnme Reid Blake. 644 pp., fro tispiece numm-
crous figures University of Chicago Press. Chicago. 1953. $6.00.

S.ay,-at-hotme Floridians will find in
this beautifully done book a compel-
ling invitation to travel in Mexico and
tropical Central America. There has
long been a need for a comprehensive
iand authoritative field guide to Mexi-
can birds. Mr. Blake has provided a
handbook which treats 967 species and
20L1-odd subspecies. He has spent
much time in the American tropics
and his concise descriptions of field
habits add much to the value of the
book as an aid to sight identifications.
Simpic easy to use dichotomous
keys. using, conspicuous characters as
cl!ues to preliminary idenlification are
provided and thee will prove valuable
io boTh museum and field biologists
as aill as innumerable amateur bird
watchers Oer MI) of ihe species are
il u'f rated ith excellent I me drawings
by Diou&as E. Tibbi.tts staff artist of
the Chicago Natural Hitory Muwum
The problem of choomng ,cormonn
names is alma's a perplexing ane and.
Mr. Blake has probably come no
clo.~cr to pleasing ev'crw'one w th his

solutions than anyone, ise has ever
been able to do., The fact tht he hadi
- of necessity to concern himself
with many northern migrants more or
less forced acceptance of the Ameri-
can Ornithologists Union check 1is
as his starling point. While this is ex-
tremely helpful to the gringo bird
waicher, in many instances, it provides
him with names which will be con-
fusing to most Latin Americans with
whom he finds himself in company.
The inclusion of local vernacular
names would have added much lo the
value of this book as a handy adjunct
to birding in Central America. In ad-
dition to admirably doing the jobs for
which it is designed, it will be an at-
tractive addition to the Library of any
Florida bird lover wilh its concise
word pictures of species common to
Forida and Mexico. For the bird
watching traveler to Mexico and points
south it is a definite mun, LJ. C DICK-
INSON. JLR. Flcridat State Musxum.
Gaines vitr.

FIn WEARING Tx RES ANI) SII ituBS IN INDIA by D. V, Cowen, Thacker and
'Co, Ltd.. Bombay, India, 136 pp. (9" xI ll/"). 1950,

Many of the showy. ornamrnental
plants grown in South Florida home
garJden s and found in our public parks
ranid hota-ir al gardens are alo growv n
in tropticl and suhnropic.Al countries.
aroundd the worLi-. Therforc. publica-,
Iii'n, tn o rnamciial plantIs in other
kiin Cntr% ire uwlful to us ati hec
.r e rn the ceunin for which they arec
reyn.- An crmrnpie of Lhi- ti D. V

Cowen's hook "'Flowering trees and
shrubs in India This book describes
in some detail 42 trees, 6 palms, and
23 shrubs and vines and to a lesser
cxtecn 45 additional species. Thus 1 6
ptansi arc dealt with. All but about 15
or ws are grown in south Florida. Not
alll of them are common herr by any
means I Brtea Saraca. Artocarpu,.
M ussacnda., Woodix-rdial. hut the great


nmajoriy are well knoMwn-tamarind.
Toyal poinciana. jacamnda fragipani.,
orchid tree, crape myrtle, golden show-
re, rmango. tulip tree, pongam, banyan
tree, papaya. royal palm, oleander,
bougainvillea, ixora, hibiscus, poinset-
ia, flame vine, yellow elder, and alla-
manda, to mention only a few.
Seventy-one of the plants are given
a full page or more of treatment. This
includes non-technical descriptions of
the leaves, flowers. fruits, ec.., and
other items such as the type of woodL
nativity, history of introduction, local.
uaes for nedicinal purpoyas and so
on. Special tiatmient is given to five
species of pink Cassias. Als of special
interest is the description and colored
plate of our natiive geiger tree (Cordia
sehesnena), here aen led scarlet cordia
and stated to he native to the Florida
A glossary in the back of the book
defining and illustrating botanical
terms should be very helpful A color
key for trees and shrubs is interesting,
and can be helpful in ijentifdyng a
plant; one can "key out" Bombax.
tulip tree, yellow elder, and aohers
quite readily. But it should be pontedi
out that where one is dealing with only
a very limited number of plants. the
chances are quite large that the reader
will try to "key out" a plant which is
not included in the book and. as a
result, give up in despair or identify
his plant incarrecty. For example.
some of the pants inot included in tEis
hook are Bix a Cryptosiegia, Plum-
ago. Thryalliis Solandra, and ho-ln
brush, If one tri ed to kn: thes plants
out. Bi.a would become Allarnanda.
violates. Cryptosstegia a morning
glory: Plumhago. a Crape Myrt e;
Thryallis, a Mussaenda:. Solandra, a
yellow Allamanda; and Bocile brush
would not key ou at t all. Furthermore.
since this is a key only to plan s( with
colored flowers, all of the while flow-
cring plants are omitted.

The most valuable part of this book
are abe 59 colored plates and 39 black
and white sketches. Many of the tatter
are habitat sketches of the entire plant
to accompany the colored plates. The
plates in most cases have been well
reproduced and the colors are excep-
tionally good.,
In; many respects thbi book is simi-
lar to "Flowering Trees of the Carib-
bean" (reviewed in EverRades Natural
Hinstry. Vol. 1. No. I), but the lttle
describes oaly 30 plant. Fiftee of
the same species appear i both books.
One of the criticism of the iFlower-
ing Trees of the Caribbean" was the
incorrect name applied to the flowers
of one of the Bauhinias, .In Cowean'
book the flowers of the two common
Bauhinias, 8. purprrea and B. varir-
gaam, are included on the, same plate.
this will help to point out the differ-
enLce between these two species.
Unfortunately, the dust jacket givcE
no clue It the identity of D. V. Co en.
We assume that he is an artist of quite
sowe merit, as well as a horiculturisL
Both qutalifai ions aere reflcted in hi
work. Mr. Cowen slate that he s not
a botanist. but sees trees with the
eyes of a layman and as I sec them
so I have described them.'" He also
slatesc that "the illusira'lions were ii'l
done with special care and from life.r'
Even if not a botanist. Mr. Cowen hta
done a remarkably good lob illusirat-
ing, decribing. and digging up inter
esting tinorm.aiion on native and cul-
iisaed p'ant: of India.
This book. pub:liihed inm ndia, will
not he found on the halves of most
local ookstores, but it can bI ordered
from Mr. Edwin A. Mcnningcr. Stuart
i)aily Nes., Stuart, Florida $Sh.t. l
plus tax and postagcl.

Suir'bspicarli Lperiment
Statfion. rIm.n 'ad


Background Notes on Author

4i William B. Robertson, Jr., the author of SCENERY IN THE EVERGLADES
NATIONAL PARK, is a coming authority on general ecology of south Florida.
He has written a voluminous report for the National Park Service entitled,
"A survey of the cffccis of fire in Everglades National Park," which he re-
gards as a preliminary study, but which is an exceedingly thoughtful, pro-
vocative attempt to understand some of the basic forces which shape the
native vegetable cover, and hence the scenery, of the Everglades National
Park. His doctorate dissertation is being submitted to the faculty of the Uni-
versity of Illinois as this issue goes to press. It involved a two year study
of the relationship of nesting songbirds to vegetation types in south
Florida. Finding out what kinds and numbers of birds made their homes
in the different types of vegetation led him into investigating the make up
of the plant communities themselves and the forces which make them
the way they are. He spent a large proportion of his eighteen months of
field work on this latter aspect.
Bomn in Berlin. rlliinois, in August of 1924, author RoberLson worked
his way through Carthage College at Carthage, Illinois, by washing dishes,
working as janitor, and by summer work at loading boxcars for a flour
company. Moving on to the University of Illinois for graduate studies in
biology, he found more congenial work as a half-time teaching assistant
in zoology and later as a museum assistant in the Natural History Museum
there. Author Robertson first came to reconnoiter the Everglades for a
few days, during the Christmas holidays of 1948. He saw enough to con-
vince him that he wanted to do his field research for a doctorate degree on
the ecology of this wilderness
In the summer of 1950 author Robertson returned to the Everglades
for two months to obtain a basic acquaintance with the types of vegeta-
tion. If anything in the world could have discouraged him, it would have
been that two months of midsummer field work in the mosquitoes and
heat of the Everglades. He came back,, thugh, in February of 1951 for


seven months. Seeing the progress he was making in understanding the
defts of fire on the park vegetation, park superintendent Daniel B. Beard
offered him a season fire control aid position li come back the next
year and extend his studies. Accordingly author Robertson returned in
November of 1951 for aninemmonth stay and advanced his work to that
etent. He reports that two or three years of careful additional field work
and analysis of fire effects on vegetaion are required to obtain conclusive
quantitative results, and he hopes to find some way to finance such a
( Everguldes Natural Histwy believes that its raiders will especially enjoy
DEATHTRAP IN A JUNGLE PAADISf by our Consulting Editor on fossil ani-
rmals, Roland T. Bird. Author Bird lives in the Redland& on the Rim of the
Everglades near Homesitad. Readers will recall with pleasure the litit
article by his wife Hazel Russell Bird in the second issue of this magazine
entitled "Real elves lived on our shelves." We have obtained the fol-
lowing background notes for this column from author Roland T. Bird:
"I was born at Rye, New York, under circumstances better than aver-
age, but ill health forced me out of school the same year I finally passed the
still-hated subject of spelling. My early teens were spent quietly in the
clear mountain air of my Uncle's upstate farm. I wanted to take up avia-
tion and did learn to fly the junk Cannucks and Jennies left from the first
world war, but at that time there was no such thing as commercial avia-
tion, and my father, Henr Bird, an entomologist, was much more pleased
when I fialty discovered and settled for vertebrate paleontology. Through
his excellent connections at the American Museum of Natural History in
New York, I was awed to find myself admitted into the circle of such
famous paleontologists as Henry Fairfiekl Osborn, William 1C Gregory.
Walter Granger, and Barnum Brown. I was fortunate in studying com
parative anatomy two years under Gregory and spent nunmirus seasons
afield with Brown, specializing on dinosaurs and disaur-bearing rocks
of te US a Dri the i U.S. and n war I was again fortunate,
serving the government as a geologist on a project I suppose I am not yet
permitted to mention publicly, a position that placed me in the unique
drcuwnstanc o being able to prospect for diosaurs right on, as I worked
ihose rocks my duies called for. After the war I was not so lucky, forced
by ill health to change again my made of living. Behind me. I lxook with



some satisfaction at a, total of around 80 tons of fossils, collected on
cxpcditions eiher in company with Barnum Brown,, or ones in which I was
leader Besides paleontology I have a passion for three things: my delight-
ful, inspiring wife. Ha-lel, married in 1946- writing, that I have never
made a success of; purebred livestock, that I have never been wealthy
enough to own-"
( Is OUEST OF %i A ADULT CROCODILE by William Edmund Dickinson.
Curator of the Public Museum. Milwaukee. Wisconsin, isa an artick which
came- to hee pages through author Dickinso's having chanced to have
picked up the June issue of Everglades Nauoral Hisionr and to have read
the anicle about the crocode nest on Cup-O-Whiskey Key. Having known
he experience of going .out to capture a full-grown crocodile active with
the shrewd and woodsy old veteran Argyie Hendry, and having learned
from the experience some things about crocodile habits that author Moore
had not found out, he prepared this interesting bring-dhem-back-alive
article for Ererglades Natural HIisrory Thiis is its third article on our rare,
native crocodile in what, some lime after author Dickinson's expedition
down here, has become the Everglades National Park. This frequency of
crocodile articles calls to mind ihe circumstance that when a name was
being sought for this new magazine and the association membership was
canvassed for ideas, one of the most interesting possibilities o be pro-
posed; wals by Robert P. Allen, "Thie Crocodile."
Born at Florence, Wisconsin, in September of 1902, author Dickinson
ohtaincd hi higher education at the University of Wisconsin and Mar-
quette University. He worked as a museum assistant at the Milwaukee
Public Museum from 1923 through 1936 and as director of the Kenosha
Museum the next four years. After the war he was an instructor at Mar-
quette Univerity for two years before re9uring to the Public Museum at
Milwaukee in his present capacity. His wife is Hatie M. Dickinson, and
they have a son Bill. Jr., age 16.
( The author of TON GHr; AT PARASE KEV, David O. Karrakcr. is already
known to readers of this magazine for his article "'The mystery voice of
Taylor Slough'" which appeared in the firs issue. Author Karraker rinmred
to duty as a seasonal Ranger-Naturalist in the Everglades National Park
the first week of December. His tour of duty as a seasonal ranger at
Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana this past stunrrir was



evidently a pleasant one, and he was vastly impressed by the striking
changes from the tropical sea-level vegetation hre to arctic alpine types
there. During he month or so tha he spcnt at home in Lewisburg, Penn-
sylvania, between his duty at Glacier and his return to EvcrgLades Na-
tional Park, he wrote this article for Evergl es Naturai HFio based
on actual incidents which occurred last spring during several visits after
dark to Paradise Key and Taylor Slough.
A Besid helping par visitors to know and appreciate sone of die more
attraive native trees and shrubs, autiw George D. Ruchle's arle will
hold much mre personal inlenest for the horne owner and garden club
mcmblens of southem Florida- This article, SoMEr NATIVE TREES AND
SHRUBS AS OMNAMENTALS., is only starting in the present issue. It will very
probably continue through as many as eight numbers of the magazine by
the time it includes the sxty-odd specks which author Ruehle consider
suitable for use about the home and other landscaping. The current install-
ment deals primarily with what to most of us seems the most tropical of all,
the various kinds of palms.
Born in Stillwater. Minnesota, fifty-six years ago, author Ruchle ob-
tained his advanced education at the State College of Washington in the
far northwest. He came to the Subtropical Experiment Station of the
University of Florida at Homestead nineteen years ago, and he has been
director of the station for thirteen years. As a plant pathologist, author
Ruehle's research work has contributed most to knowledge of fungus
diseases of potatoes, tomatoes, mangoes, and avocados. He has been
interested in ornamental plantings of shrubs and trees for a number of
years. and was responsible for much of the development of the arboretum
and ornamental plantings on the Subtropical Experiment Station grounds,
He has grown a great many of these native plants from seed, himself
and has experimented with bheir use as ornamentals in planting about
the Suropica Experiment Station building. about his own home, and
on t&e golf course, etc.
Author Ruch~k ties in the Rediands close to Homestad~ His wife
Marian Ruehle is secretary of South Dade High School. Their son John,
age 22, is doing graduate work in plant pathology at dh University of
Floida and dhir daughter Nadeane, age 19. bi a isoph ore at the Uni-
versty at Florida.



fAutihol Willard E. Dilicy felt that t natural history of park visirs
should be reported in Everglades Natura Hisory, too, and his article THE
N^TURALn HISTORY OF ruT PAx. Vistno is te result. Realers of this ma
ai are acquainted with author Difly through his three earlier articles and
notes as weil as faw repos upon him in thii umn. His heavy winter
eason program of day-i of natural history foi to
park visitors, ond uctd night prowls, and Sunday evening slide talks at
Royal Palm R r Statio began before he could get s ed on his article
for this issue. To keep things interying, instead of pgting the two addi-
tional seasonal rauger-naruralists needed ad required for thi seasoM, he
has ost his only ranger-naturaist from the Royal Palm Ranger Station
where he has had one for six years. In an effort to keep up the natural
history information service provided in previous years a w as keep up
with other accumulated responsibilities, author Dilley has accepted as-
sistance from the Girl Scout leaders in Homestead. In return for the train-
ing they receive, girl scouts Sondra Weiss, Polly Holden, Annette Lewis,
Ann Ray, Clara Lynn Harkness, Beth Krone, and Barbara Lucas have
been assisting author Dilley with matchless enthusiasm both in his mailing
out Everglades Natural History and in answering natural history questions
for park visitors at Anhinga Trail.
( THE STORY OF CUTIHERT RooXE.ty comes from Joseph C. Moore, an-
otber author with whose articles, notes and background, readers of this
magazine have had some opportunity to be acquainted. A rent wind from
the north brought news that assembled in annual meeting at Rollins College
in. inter Park, the FloridG Academy oI~Sciences honored author Mooe
by making him their presidCrt-elct Around Homestad, for a week or so
afterward, he seemed rather saune. He says he wrote aboit Cithbert
Rookery because of aministrative plans for making e rookery more
acei~ble this winter Author Moo, seems a lit concerned that his
~tia on ie glossy ibis and the racc wells were a bit documenta
ror easy reaig, and tried to pesetD the Cuthbert Rookery artile m a
mno readable style. This was in lare part pumped by a kng, highly
critical letr written It him by a r der.

1 98

Information fr Authors

em er ra eANrev cept articles and
a; pwprd as described below n aoth Forida atral
f0, Thel r p-ra if the ctor, or a caslt
~a, mo!des th a awm d of a am w

wbeip lafseit g ad norm i to d ae ay palte of *ul
fkd md.a tob vinti to she n w s Nam J Pat.
Nf uut e a tkiS dioaM amp betwe. 600 .d
12 woem- ad ie aoe for te Noes' ahecin ram p-
beLom aboa t O5 ad 200 w B&s. Minuacripts which Sh
Cy flieperffms dcr -winw tw by ft s:aoe amre pr-
haid. WhiRb wce wif bs gavea tl SnOneeripow ad
SISBtSSIBra li mobber the dbfar lao Veth A icstaXDn cns aw-

i ts'flrSm MawAmurirw. Articles and notes tabmitted
fo pubBcation should be typewren, preberby t m standard
sie l.d weiht typing paper. All written material should be
yped double paced. P ograp for illutrtion should be
sy p of atod cooUia, and with no markings o the
beck. Dmwmp should be ia ndia lak on beets of go
pgper =ep-i rm thenit. Pdoeo.risA and dmw-
- asf.Um trrrm --. asa

imt miaed a Imnl pop lt os shoud graerbf ly be
ailmt t by ba inha~ CGafe pro wl be ihTi ifb
qsnd Id & iB malt waMp had SMm if i qracph
m be ma Aui t na ma- to be abn forI Wh pb -
am ~ mi M be add to 6 t, Edl fain Ni
ELfy 3S M.t Umec--i-fl RMN.t


of the

E rglades Natural History Anwcstion

C. l. GOETHE. Mieranek Cif^mi

THOMAS S. & HODSON HoomiCN4, bird

cuFiwtiutg us member

rAR.AL BKZICQmw Sr5ta ma

MAC m" IEAMB HOLMa QM % CoNd 0Maft $Ec&


p A tE s a.
Fer t,,A.a .

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