VOL. 2 NO. 2
Everglades Natural History
A MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
Conceived by Co M. Goethe aid Daniel B. Beard
for VISITORS to the EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
tad everyone interersed iin natural soth Fl rido.
Edited by JOSEPH C. MOOsE, PH.D.
BOARD OF CONSULTING EDITORS
TAYoLCa R. ALLEANDER Ph.D,. atony Drpt, Ue jm,. Mia"i ....... 'Natibe PCts
ROBErT P. A.LLEN, Nationa Amuduo Society. Thuemitr ...... Sird therwr
RoPAn-D T. Bi, AErKcan I Mmeua of Na m u HWisry I)L .... Foul A rfi
ARcHsi F. CaRA Ph.D.. okly IDept, Ltuv. Flod. Reprier mad Amphibas
H. ARuss DENYES, Ph.D., P'hysiir Dcipt. Fwnia State Uni'. ... tfe Porrnes
J. C. DicIrNsoNt JIL, Ph.D-. Bsioljs Depw-. UDim. Florida ...... B'rd SNinl
RosBET N. Grissuna, Ph.D, M mine Liab,. U'ni. Mam, ... Rocrk and MAltnef
lOHt M. GooC-EG, Ph.D., Dept. ociA & Anihr., U:ri. Flonwa ...... ndaf ifJeL I
R, BRUCE LEIN. MPID.. Subhlopical Espimrni Stjab2nn .- ---oric Pmlma
WM. M. McLAsNE, Florind. C.e & Freihwater Fih Conm ... Frn. Fewater Fi'Sh
E. MORTON MLLL-ER, Ph.D., University of Miami ..... ...... Socfial insera
HE RY M. STEVENSON, Ph.D.. .lic. l0'pI,, Florida S:leR Univ-. Bird DiwtribunI
CliARLTON W. TEOEAU, Ph.DD. Hlisiory Depi.. Unvi, Miami ..n *H- k/if
F. G. WOOD, JR., .Marine Sluidias, Marin'del .. ............ Af ane Fiuha
EvFiLDE.A-s NATUIuAL HmnoiuY is pu.blinhcd in Marlch, Jurr, icplcmbc~t. and DTKcmiwr df
each year by the Everglades Natural Himory kAwociainn. 210 nnrth Krome A neu Imi,
ngi a.ddlres P.O. Box 275 ), Homeslead, Florida., indiv idual copite are 5c rich pou pruk
subcrjipLion i SLG00 a year. EirtIed as w'cond ;a. maifter Fcbnruay 5, 1. l4, at ihe P
Office at Homeead, Floridi. under AcI of March 3. 1H97. CHEtrs soukid e made ow. a
the Awociatimtn and mailed io Executive Secetary Willard E. Dilk .
The Everglades Natural History Associatio
A non-profit society established under charter in 1951 to Iurtier iseiast a
and understanding of the natural and historic and scientific vaiws of I
Everglades National Park.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Willard E. Diley, Park Naturalist .......- -.- .. Exrrafit Sef
Joseph C. Moore. Prk Biologist ... ..- - CW
C. C. Van Paulson, Captain U.S.C.G. (rct. .. ....- . r
Daniel B. Beard, Park SuperinicfAien
Charles M., Brookfield, National Audubon Scckiy
VOL. 2. No. 2
Cover photograph is by Ralph S. Palmer. Drember 31, 1953,, Morathmn. FM.
Great while heron
How Flrida tree snails live ...... by Arehiu L. Joes
Fear of man .. .. ... (Vps) by Albet 1. Miller
Where o find shells in soWuh Florida .. . bSy y A. Weber
Four summer days on the Florida Keys by Dorothy E. Snyder
Gut .... . . ,vrse) by AIfred L. Ridgard
A palm that never dies .. . by Roland T. Bird
Sandy Key . (erse) by Albers Miller
Those bounteous Florida Keys . by lohn D. Dickson, I1
Native trees and shrubs as ornamentals, . 'y' George D. Ruehle
Natural History Notes
Three new trees for park list .. .b Frank C, Cr 4aiwad
Possum makes a nest . . .. by Peter Payne
A rare south Florida tree . . by R. Bruce Ledin
Green-winged leal in Cape Sable area . y Louis A. Silmson
Flying speed -of a connmra.t by Wiard E. DlIey
Am4rican seadshels . . .. by the Ed1tor
Marine tropical by F. G. Wcod Jr.
The mockingbird sings .
Vo'ics of the niht . .
Bactround Nots O Authors U .
by Dwnsk B. aBnw
by Dei B. 8 e, f
by R. BIucr LWM
", 3 .
How Florida Tree Snails Live
by A R CH I E L. 1 J NES iltsstration by Walter B. Colebrook
D EEP i the vast'i s of the hammocks of the Evergladel National Park
there lives a oosat intcrcaing and beautiful little cre re Its generic
name is Liguus. but it is better known as the Florida tr snail. The brightly
colored shell of this animal is by far the most beautiful of land snails in
North America and ranks with Ihe most beautiful of sn-ails found anywhere
in de world.
This Ligus (li-youus) is found in south Flkida only in our hardwood
hammocks ,of mahogany, gumbo limbo, fiddwood8 mastic, etc. Excellet
photographs of such a hammock are to be found in Everglades Naturda
History (Vol. 1., No. I, Pages 6, 8 and 9). Its favorite food trees are wild
tamarind in the Everglades hammroc and Jamaica dogwood in the Keys
h"ammoks.. From these it scapes its food of Confervia and mold from
the bark and leave of Ue w it raspSlke mouth part cad a r nhad
which means "liUlk fMle Snails feed_ on a dead f on a :9tiD Wgt may
be heard at a distance of eight or ten feet.
The genus Liguus in Florida comprises some fifty-odd color variations,
with such formidable names as grapatinms septftriomith., foria-s y'aica.
and cvaiWeozostar. These name may decrib thema adcquauelyo to hfi
scinlist, but to dCscribe for me Ihd ciqukpite beauty, tlae delicate pattera
of pastels of some varieties, or the bold contrasting color of a few forms,
no words can be fobu.
It is during the rainy sasmo from May tsh~Cl July that these ranark-
able animal build their shlls and decoate tcm with spiral lines of gree
brown, lavender, or olive, and wide spirl bands of black, brown, y ,fl
usually over a background of white. In some variti the color pWa
consists of axial flams of blue, gray or brown, white odrers abow blotches
or smears of varous colrs. Some, e eswatew a, cary a ample
desi of black or brown and wite, while others like the wonderfully
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTOt
marked shells of Brickell Hammock. cam the most intricate pne
These beautiful designs are made by the snails mantle. which alo b
the cacaintro structure that houses the snail's body. The spire is eim
pink or white, and is formed during incubation.
Late in June, and in July and August of each year when the groi
svason for adult shells is about at an end, the adults begin the period
courtship and mating. The author has bred south Florida Liguus in I
hack yard for six years and has studied the complete growth cycle fIa
vear to year.
Lieus are hermaphrodites or bi-sexual: that is, each snail possess bd
male and female organs of reproduction. The external organs of repr
ion are located on either side of the snails head. below and slightly b
of the smaller antennae and when extended arc about one-half inch l
and shaped like the fangs of a snake, except that they are shorter W
thicker. If both these organs were extended simultaneously, the aniudi
would look not too unlike a miniature bull walrus with tusks, Although k
author has witnessed scores of snails embracing in courtship, only on
has he observed the organ on the animals left side in use. For some icma
the animals almost invariably use the right-sided organ.
The courtship begins by an amorous snail climbing on the shell of
other snail. which sanctimes tries to dislodge the intruder by quickly (fI
snail) oscillating and twisting its shell. This maneuver is never CTaR M
for the Romeo is not easily discouraged and sticks on as though it to
glued. Then the courtship progresses much the same as in mammals. (O
snail assumes the role of the male, making the advances, while the 0t
snail follows the usual course of the female by allowing herself to be W
duced. There follows a period of intermittent mutual kissing and care
and resting, which may last for two days. The actual act of copulaWt
which follows the courtship, is completed in about one day, after which
snails change posiiont-one snail crawling back on the tree trunL. wbik
other snail mounts the shell of its mate and the entire lor-cycl is rpeat
the snail which did the fertilizing first now being fertilized.
After about two months, the eggs are mature and are laid during L
first rainy weather occurring after this time. As in many lower forms 4
life, the period of gestation may vary according to weather condilkom i
much the same manner that it affecis the ripening of crops and fruits Ti
ARCHIE L. JONES
snail leave their tree homes and dig nests in he leaf-mould--usually at
the base of a food tree. In leaf-mouWl the snail digs a pear-shaped nest
about the depth of the length of its shelL Th snail accomplishes this feat
by the use of its rdula as a cutting tool and its foot to remove the dirt and
leaves from the hole. This task takes about twenty-four hours. The snail
deposits in the nest from fifteen to fifty eggs about the siza of a small pea.
Scores of these tree snails which I have had under observation in my back
yard averaged over forty eggs to the nest I believe this to be well above
the average laid by snails in the wilds due entirely to the abundace of food
and moisture furnished them. The eggs are deposited at the rate of about
ten each day ad the writer could determine with fair accuracy the number
of egs in a given nest merely by counting the number of days he snail
remained on its nes These little animals covered and camouflaged their
nests so well that I was obliged to place broken toothpicks over the nests
while he snail was laying in order to bee able to locate te nests after the
snail left. Then I dug up, catalogued and transplanted each nest in a hatch-
ing box of leaf-mould.
The eggs remain in the ground through the long dry season until the
warm rains of spring call forth the little snails. These emerge as perfect
replicas of their parents, capable of self-support from the moment they are
hatched. If one has the patience, it is a, fascinating sight to watch thirty or
forty of these little fellows emerge from the ground and instinctively climb
the nearest tree and immediately begin feeding. Mortality is great the first
month--droughts being their greatest enemy, with probably birds next.
The young snails grow between two and three complete whorls the first
season; one to one and a half whorls the second year; about one-half to
three-quarter whorls the third year and so on until eventually the shell
barely grows at all. By counting the annual growth marks on the shells it
has ten determined that some individuals reach the age of eight or nine
years. although the average life was scarcely half his long among my
Every fall of the year these snails seek a hiding pl in i ok in trees.
under loose bark, in vines, etc., seal themselves to the trees by seceting a
Sticky substance which harden forming what is known as an ephigram.
thus sealing itself to prevent loss of precious body moisture through the dry
winter months. This amounts to hibernaiion but appears to provide protec-
62 EVERGLADES NATURAL MLITOt
tion from drying up rather than cold Whenever a warm ran e
the winter, a few of the snails may awaken, unoea m amselme a
about actively while the moist cacditimn a
Thse fascinating link creatures haw very limited eycnit b .
doubtedly possess smell or some sort of radar equipmaL My wht l |,
have often watched them locate unerringly a small oranm tIree
the center of a large lawn of high St. Augustine grass. I have had OM
under water a distance of several feet in order to escape coafiaemeL
appear, by some unknown means, to be able to sense the approa 4
hurricane. The writer has observed them descending trees en nmM 1 a
approach of an unusually severe hurricane, and less promptly wl am
straggling in advance of less severe storm. Ralph Hunme of
Grove, who has studied he habits of these iUgus in his yas hli M
observed this phenomenon on serial oasW i. They d
smoothest surface and can cross bong sketches of wie thed cb
the edges of razor blades, remain submerged in water for as kog
hours, remain sealed up in their shells for nine or ten mosla e l
no apparent ill effects.
An excellent small display of Ligus from the collection of pfC
Erwin Winte is on display in the Royal Palm Ranger Station at
Key. When you visit Paradise Key in the Everglades Nadonal itPL.
the Park Naturalist on duty there about these beautiful shml, H
probably point out a few to you or direct you to a place in the
where you can observe for yourself these interesting c trea m
ME OSPREY ROSE FROM HER LrrOKur PEr C
AND VOICED HER DEP CONCERN,
WiTW Kt;.L.UW CRIESts THE EVERWIS SKIES,
AS CAME AROUM T"HE TURN.
-o THE TOUST RANCH OF A StIlWRLEMOItD PTR
R W C WMATE TOOK TO THE SKY,
AND SWOOPutp LOW OErTnIS SUDDEN FOE,
E,-_ Ji1 NED IN HER FWARM 1 LNG CRY.
G- FLED rLINt CROUCHED IN TtHE AIKIENT NEST
SHEN DISAPPEARED FROM VIEW;
EC'HIRS NOT TO CRY, NOR WONDER WHY,
SAS YOUNG AS THEY WER&-7WEY KNFW
1 WMITE HERONS ROSE AT THE SHRIU. ALARM
AND FLED IN A STRAGGLINO BAND,
AND THE NOTeS OF FEARREf CHED EVERY EAR
SOF Tir. TUnISTONES ON "TmE SAND.
I TURNED AND WALKED DOWN THE LOiNELY flACM
S As THE TIDE CAME CREEPING IN.
AND TLaouT OF TlE FE, MENtM CAUStE ENu YEARm
-- AD THEIR UMI'E TO KILL WITHIN.
- AND AS T6E Isms GREW SILEWN THEM
SAS THE EVENINtM SATOWS FELL,
SMARVELED, NOT r AT TEIn R F OF I EN,
S BT HOW THEY ALL KNEW SO WELL.
- a- __
j-1 r- Ki, FA itfj n lA12JL7b k
Where To Find Shells In South Florida
by JAY A. WEBER
A QU'ESION asked frequendyy by visitors to southern Florida is, "Where
do you find marine shells?'" The answer is, of course, that each
species finds suitable environment where its special requirements of temr-
perature, sna y of the fwter, tidal cudioio, depth of the water, dbe kind
f botWn.m, the available food supply, and doubtless oiher unikown factn,
are rn~e. Let us first consider temperatures Like many otler forms of wild
life some mollusks thrive in arctic regions, others in the tropics and many
ti the intermediate regio Marine shedl are very sensitive to the water
tmpejlramus. Some cold water molusks are found undcr warm seas but
HI the very deep water where the cold temperature are the sam as in
their northern habitats.
The degree of saltiness of the water is very important. A mollusk re-
saved from sea water to fresh water, soon dies- We may not, therefore,
eSM.ct t find many marine shells at places where fresh water enters be
sea; for here at high, tide the water may be wry salty an at low tide aumo1t
fresh, Very few mollusks have been able to adjust themselves to such cone
The amount oxygen dissolved in ihe water i i tant; like land
animals, molauss require a certaia amount of oxygen. to breathe. In this
cometioan the amount of wave action is impora~et, for the breaking o(
waves mixes oxygen from the air with the water, Another oxygen detcr-
mniun factor is the amoan of living green plnt in the water. These
Pain give off oxyg a a by-prDduct oa their food ~n faetrig wtch
they accomplish through having anlight and the now famous green stuff
The tidal zone along our soth Florida coast, as in other parts of the
world, is a very important habiat for a large oporaon of aur mdolluscan
ic. This zone is the most prolific collcting area d at die hsae sa ie r e
66 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
most accessible area, for the average collector of marine shells. Because the
tidal zone varies extensively, some specific descriptions are necessary.
Let us begin with the most extensive area, the so-called sand beaches
These may consist of real sand (silicate) or ground up shells in various
stages of fineness. Since many people visit such beaches for other purpose
casual shell collecting by the beginner most often starts there. Beaches ar
however, very poor collecting grounds. The shells found there are usually
so long dead, worn by wave action, and bleached by the sun, that they ae
not worth picking up. After violent storms, however, live shells may be
dislodged from off-shore reefs, etc., and be thrown up on certain beaches,
On such occasions, beach collecting may be quite productive. A very few
mollusks do actually inhabit the beach itself. In the fine sand beach on
Marco Island the tiny, vari-colored coquina clam, Donax variabiis, is ott
so abundant that it is gathered by natives by means of a sieve and is ued
for making a delicious chowder.
Along the upper Florida Keys there are many areas where the shore
line is rocky and consists of ancient coral reefs. On the rock shore may
attractive species of mollusks find suitable habitats. The extensive mangrove
shore areas which also occur here, and which have bottoms of soft black
muck are usually poor collecting grounds, but the bay bottoms, especially
where there is a growth of marine plant life, harbor many species with
interesting shells not found living on the rock shore. Beginning ai the
highest tidal zone, where the splash of the waves wets the rocks or mne-
grove roots, one may find the knobby top shell, Tecrarius muricors, in
abundance. Farther down, where the high tide bathes the rocks, the ebra
periwinkle, Littlrina ziczac. is often abundant, too.
Where the receding tide exposes rocky bottoms, many species of nol-
lusks may be found, Often thickly covering the rocks is the little black
horn snail, Baritlaria minima. On and under the larger rocks one finds te
bleeding tooth, Nerita peloronta. and its close relative called baby's teeth
etc. In fact so many species of shells may be found in this zone that they
cannot be listed in this short article. Here you may be surprised to see mal
shells being nimbly walked about and not gliding along in the expected
fashion. These walking snail shells are those of dead snails, and have ben
adopted by hermit crabs. Most of these carried by crabs are old, worn and
useless to a collector, but they serve as an indication of what species mra
be living nearby.
JAY A. WEBER
The lowest tidal zae is the best collecting ground. Thi is the share
exposed by the unusually low tides which occur when the moon is either
full or new. Here you may find some of the larger and more attractive
shells. Most of the specimens will be found under rocks, where they will
have sought protection from the hot sun and enemies. It takes nature a
kong time o produce lie marine growth on rocks such as these. It is ad
isanb after cooking beneath there m to tur the rocks back their original
position as a conservation measure. Some of the commowr shells found in
this zone are: The Florida purple, Thair floridana; the mottled spindly
shell, Catharus fthelru; and Florida horn shell, Cerithrhum floridanum.
Many other possible finds make collecting in the lowest tidal zone of the
highest reward, Beyond the shore exposed by lowest water, ollecting is
usually done in clear water only, and in a bathing suit. The wave action as
well as stooping down to pick shells from the botto gives one a thorough
wetting. Except on unusually calm days a glass bom bucket is needed to
view clearly the sea bottom. A long handled net with wire mesh is useful in
picking shells from the deeper water. Many wonderful shels may be found
in this zone. The tulip shell, Fasciolaria ruipa; the apple rnmurex. Murex
pomunm; the Florida conch, Stromibs ranirns, are only a few examples.
The more keenly interested collectors w viasi some of the sand amnd mud
hfats, usually found. near our inlemt Such places shuWd be wisited at vey
low tides, and a boat is often necessary to reach same of the best of them.
Many species are found alive only in such places, for example the lettered
olive, Oliva sayana, the ear shell, Sinmn perspectdvwm, the sunrise shell,
Tellina radisao, etc.
Next the ambitious colector will uty to visit some of the offLore reds
alOg the Floria Keys. Such collecting requires a substtia boat and a
a capain familiar with the location of the ress. The ime of L Vr
owest tides should be chosen. The collector should be equipped with a
swi suit,, water glass, sneaks for the protection of the feet, and gloves to
protect the hands. A face mask may serve in place of the bulky glass bottom
bucket. Here the high prized cones, Cous citrinus and regius; the carved
star, Arrae caeewcr and many ram shells may be found. On the waving
'og oe one may often find the flamingo etgue, Cyphe aibbo with
ts beautihl spotted mantle completely covering is handsome podshcd
at The beds of gorgonias and gently swaying sea fans themselves provide
a thrilling sight.
68 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
Thi bays of southern Florida cover large areas of varied sa bontm wth
mostly rather shallow water. In the grass beds here the little cro-bun
clam, Chione cancellata, may be found alive among the roots and aho te
light, smooth bubble she'll, BSute rriata. In rocky places leaf-like clustn
the winged tree oyster. Pedalion alat: are abundant. On sandy mud bot.
torn, the dotted horn shell, Cerithium muscarum, may be found in abun-
dance, Where salt water streams drain mangrove swamps at low tide, the
crowned conch. Melongrrna corona, is often found at the end of its trail in
the soft mud- In areas where there is good tidal current among the man-
grove roots, the coffee-bean shell, Metampust cofems finds a suitable bone.
The author has attempted to give a brief outline of the more import
habitats occupied by marine mollusks in south Florida. Nature has provided
so many niches where marine shells can live, that a detailed descripn of
all of them would require a book. The foregoing general outline should be
sufficient to guide the collector to most of the habitats found within the
area described. For the identification of the shells there are several books
which may be recommended.
East Coast Marine Shells by Maxwell Smith has 314 pages (8% x 104
inches) and 77 black and white places and is litho-printed. This is t the d
edition, revised and enlarged, 1945, available from Maxwell Smih, V-
dermerc. Florida, at six dollars.
A Field Guide to rhe Shell by Percy Morris i the size of the odr
Peterson series field guides, has 45 plates (8 mi color), and is published by
Houghton Mifflin Co.. Boston, at $3.75. Both of these books are avaite
in book stores, and both are good.
I have seen the manuscript of a book entitled American Seashells by R.
Tucker Abbott which was then scheduled to be issued early this year, which
I expect to be the best of all of our books on shells, This is a 540 pip.
well illustrated book, and will be published by D. Van Nostrand Comipy.
New York, at S12.50,
Four Summer Days on the Florida Keys
by DOROTHY E. SNYDER
A JUNE TRIP to Florida was a new, venture for all of us. Elk- and 1 ad
spent some ime there in winter and spring, but Bob and Frd were
only now realizing their ambition of birding in the state. All of us were
trying the "tropics" in summer for the first rnie. Leaving Boston on Jue
12, we birded most agreeably here and there until the 22nd found us at
last on Key Largo.
One of the principal incentives of the trip, for a group of confined
"'hawkophiles" was the possibility of seeing a short-tailed hawk, that small
South American, Buteo brachyurs which readies North America only in
Florida. We had been told, however, that loca( ornithologists would con-
sider our chances of seeing one very poor indeed. In the excelnt recent
summary of data concerning observations of the short-tailed hawk in
Florida, Moore, Stimson and Robertson (Atdk. vol. 70, 1953, 470478)
found that the bird was practically unknown in summer, and that there
were no records, for June or July, and only two each, for May and AugusL
Early in the afternoon of June 22nd. two and a half miles north of
Tavernier. Bob stopped the car to check on a hawk scen over the road far
ahead. With binocutar we could see that this was obviously a dark Buteo,
and as it came directly toward an over us, we ost all doubt that it was the
nadanlstic phase of a short-tailed hawk. We could hardly believe our good
forte as f bird soared over us, showing he dark underprts with liter
flight fth and taiL With a bright sun overhead the tail had an almost
lfy toue, and to our surprise, quite unlike the figure in Peteri's field
gade, w oty intinctly banded, the dark tearinal stripe being i et nmos
"0oeam e As the bird pasd us, we nrad the car and drove norh after
i- T even pasui, to look at our firt grat whiT heron in a nradmde
poo. Apin we lopped and this tim sett up four elescops., using 20 and
30 power lemft to osudy the hawk. As Lth bird sad o and circled above
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTOlt
us, higher this time, but in view for ten minutes, the white spots at the base
of the bill could be seen with the higher magnification. This was a small
Butco. but not notably short-tailed to our eyes; graceful in flight, it most
closely resembled a broad-winged hawk. The two-toned effect below was
striking, and the bird resembled a miniature red-tailed hawk in shape. For
four birders who had spent many hundreds of hours observing hawks at
Mt. Tom in Massachusetts, Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania, and through
Texas and Arizona to the coast of the Pacific, this, one of the few North
American hawks we were not acquainted with, was a thrilling sight.
Returning to photograph the great white heron, we then drove on to find
various other tropical and subtropical species to study. The first while-
crowned pigeons any of us had seen were perched on a tree near to the
road. The male was most handsome, the iridescent bronze-green streaks of
the hind neck separating the gleaming white crown from the otherwise
slaty-gray plumage, which was set off by the wine-red of bill and lep
Nearby were one which may have been a female with a duller head and an
immature, quite dark on the crown. Along here, too, were the first of many
gray kingbirds and black-whiskered vireos (we logged respectively 180
and 115 of these birds on the trip). Soon we stopped at Greyhound Key to
buy shrimp, but failed. There were no eating shrimp" this side of Key
West, we were told. However, we found our first mangrove clapper rail
there, on a muddy edge where small mangroves offered little concealment.
This ruddy-sided rail, not fifteen feet from us, was much more distinctly
striped on the flanks than our Rallus longirosrris, and had the larger bill so
characteristic of southern forms.
Shrimp not being available, we dined very well on fried red snapper and
tossed salad, prepared on Grassy Key where a gale of wind kept the mos
quitoes away. In our ignorance, we had planned to camp out on this trip,
but tonight, as on most others, these pests drove us to a comfortable mold,
where Key lime pie provided the dessert our meal had lacked.
On the 23rd we were up at five as usual, and started poking down the
various back roads of the lower keys. On Big Pine Key we were watching
a school of small fish when an odd-looking bird popped up on a roadside
mangrove. This was a good-sized warbler with a large bill, a gray cap
enclosing bright yellow cheeks, a pale grayish-white belly, bright yellow
under-tail coverts and a plain olive back. The sides of the breast we
DOROTHY E. SNYDER
streaked dusky, and we finally saw pale yellow tips to the outer tail feathers,
but it was only after we had seen some well-marked adult males that we
were sure this was our first Cuban yellow warber or golden warbler.
Tough we found eight of them in all, we were abkl to watch only one
singing in the open. The phrases had, as expected, much the quality of a
Louisiana water-thrush, as the bird sang see, see see, see'bit, see-bit, chu
with a characteristic drop at the end. (Analyzed and syllabized by Fred, our
song expert with the keen ears.) The adult males showed much heavy chest-
mut streaking Bn the underpass, reaching far down on the anksI a very
large bill, and most interesting of all, a suggesting of tawny or chestnut on
the forehead. According to Ridgway (Birds of North and Middle America:
1902. II: 500-501.), this color on the forehead is rare in Dendroica pe-
terhia gindsr; hi.
That morning's count of 41 black-whiskered vireos and 45 whie-crowned
pigeons shows how common one might find ttese birds on the keys. The
virCo seemed to us to sing (sis) pi-cherr-ry, with a rising infection, the
first syllable olftn omitted. On a tongue of land extending out into the
mangrove surrounded waters where we lunched was a Wurdcmann's bhero.,
its pure while neck and head distinguishing it from the common grpa blue
Reaching Key West, which seemed uncomortmably hot and breathless
to northerners, we watched man-o'-war birds scissoring and soaring over the
harbor, while a brown pelican reminisced on a wharf pile, A barn swallow
here (and three on the 25th at Sugar Loaf Key), with a far souLh starling,
weTC surprissc At dusk we saw there the CuIban nighthawks, and heard
thrm give Ilheir distinctive kidick or ki-dick-dick-(dick ) call over the Naval
Air Base. This sub-species seemed to have more white in the throat and less
in the shorter and more rounded wings than our nighthawk. Heavy black
clouds in the sky, and equaly dense clouds of mosquitoes on land finally
SdrW us to cover on Litt Torch Key. where it was y to tie scarves
O o urr r heads while bringing luggage into the cabin we rentedL This Lw
right on the water,. well-screened and as cool as any place could be this
part of the world. It was altogether a most weirdly built affair, with rooms
running off at all angles.
June 24th was spent rather fruitlessly in looking for th scarce mangrove
cuckoo, and in niJe eating with no beticr resus, d*espte much hep from
Frances Hiames. for a trip to the Dry Tortugas Between the mt efforts.
72 1EVERGLADES NATURAL HtSTORT
we found a number of shorC birds most of them on Boca Cbica Key. R
necked Wilson's and black-bellied plover, ruddy turnslone, both castePa
western llkcts (with a direct comparison between the two) greater yed
Ices 14 dovhichers, and both semi-palmated and western sandpipenrs-
up a respectable list of shore birds for a June day in Florida. Here w
a v hite-ecd vireo which, judging from the location, should have beat
Key Wesl virct, though our observations did nol tally with the daeh4 f
of that su-species. This bird had a yellow forehead and the yellow as b
underparts which relieved as it was by a pure white, seemed more,.
than less. noticeable than on our northern birds of the same species. Tkh
heavier bill and larger size of the bird were as described by Ridgway (BhL
of Middle & N. A, III. 177-186). We watched one sing many times; he
"'chicks" before and after the main phrase were often omitted, and kh
latter was very hurry and z-z-zy in quality.
Great while herons below one of the bridges, against the remanrkb
blue-green of the waters, were most photogenic, and here we saw the oa
reddish egret that we found on the keys. Toward dusk we cooked Jewt
and concocted salad and cool drinks on what we called Mangrov Couan
Peninsula. since a bird suspected, but not proved, to be this buffy-beaS
speciKes ,a glimpwd here. Dinner was a race with an ominous back ckl
we finished in a mighty hurry and got things back in the car just befaot
storm dumped tons of water on the keys. Through this downpour w: drm
to Marathon to find rooms for the night; as we stopped to inuire at am
motel. a good-sized hermit crab in a banded tulip shell appeared at the p
of the car window beside the driver, a weird sight in the lightning faktie
On the 25th we turned east and north again, and were soon M
birds which make enduring the discomforts of summer heat and motqupa
well worth while, A couple of miles north of Tavernier there was a the
tailed hawk again, same place, same color and markings. Seven miles nut
of the town the most handsome of all the raptors, swallow-tailed Wls
put on a fine show for us, scissoring and soaring around with matchJE
grace. A party of convicts, and their guards resting shotguns on the road
never looked up to see the inspiring sight overhead.
Drinking iced juice from our traveling ice box at the edge of th b1
where a gay kingbird called musically, we decided to drive to the am* OW
of the key for lunch. On the way. indeed over the village of Key LIf
DOROTHY E. SNYDER
itself, there was another short-tailed hawk, also in the dark phase, but
evidently a different bird, since this one had ot several primaries. We tried
to lunch along the road between the lanes of mangroves, but mosquies
gathered before the food could be set out. Farther on it was still impossible
to stop and eat even on a causeway surrounded by open water. Rcidents
told us his infestatio was caused by winds which had blown directly from
dhe mainland for many days.
But for us o tropical downpours nor mosquitoes, nor the heat was too
trying to bear, for we had seen, and seen well, not omn but two short-taied
awks, finding this species three times during our four day trip to the keys
Having ~perienced the mosquitoes, the rain, and he eat, we susptet it
the absence of the birders at this time of the year rather than he absence of
the bird which accounts for the lack of summer records of the short-taicd
G U LL
A gall is grace above the sea -
He glides and turns in sudden sweps,
Then Jeo as as trinmy as a sail,
An inward spirit moving free.
ALFtED L. RIDGAD
AP AA -? *
rf r,;JEI p( r.
A Palm That Newr Dies
by ROLAND T. BIRD
ilustrations by Robert Wolfenqrarger and RWihcrf F. Deckert
IJ HE FLASH of lightning ripped at he bark of the tall pi. My wife and
I, sated' almost too rear the screen of an open window, saw only the
blinding light; it seemed to encase in a halo of white ire the pine just
beyond ihe window. We inched at the cannon-like crah. Then we saw
the near pine had! not been hit but another a few dozen yards beyond.
Tattered shreds of brown bark hung dangling from a gash, showing white,
where the violent boll had joined space of sky and rain-soaked wood.
The tr1e was an old friend, pan of the home landscape.
My wife said sadly, "'Now that pine will die."
I waited impatiently for the storm to pass. A strange emotion always
draws me to trees I have seen lightning-struck, I eel impelled to trace the
fiery route of the current where the damp conductive sap, turned to in-
stailancous steam, explodes away the outer bark. I feel I must stand on
the same ground where but for the grace of God., might have been stand-
ing when the bolt came. When I reached this tree, my eyes fell on tdh
blasted bole of a saw palmetto. Right next to the pine. it had attracted dhe
charge on its last surge between trunk and ground. The reamy-white
heart lay split wide open. Like the tree, the palmetto seemed doomed-
The event iitrigued me. I could not recall ever having scen a palmetto
kited by natural causes. The ccnral bud within its surdy spray of waist-
hith ronds, advancing cdlessly about the ground like fte usied head
of some giant vine, seemed almost imanbed wih etlnal life. Fire, that
Uatesi scourge of the piney woods, had no. mcw effect on it 'than flood or
brought. It stood unmolested by insects except for rare occurnVes of
lte miners that did it little harm, and a beetle eties Ifting a bole
after this had suffered injury. Disease apparently did n ot oter it and the
most frigid of Florida winter freezes left it untouched. Only man, driving
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
his ponderous bulldozers, creaking and clanking and roaring across patches
of woodland like iron Juggernauts from another world, tearing the plant's
incredibly tough roots asunder, could make it seem less lkg-lived.
The palm in the plant world goes back in time for at least 135 tiloa
cars. In my field of vertebrate palconiology, I had my first experien with
fossil palms near Rock Springs. Wyoming. The giant footprints of a ma
bipedal dinosaur of unprtcedenlcd size has been discovered m rocs
of middle Cretaccos age, and a museum expedition sought bopefufay 0
encounter it skeleton. A steam shovel was engaged and moved to a at
where some promising bone fragments had eoded from the bae of a
great layer of friable shale and sandstone.
The steam shovel gouged busily but fruitlessly for several days ower a
area large enough to have held two of the most monstrum dinosaur
imaginable. The bone fragments proved to be only fragmets. We wen
fighting acceptance of this bitter discovery when the powerful shovel ripp
into a new stratum of fossil-bearing sandstone. Tell-tale fragments rtted
down a bank of spoil. Someone waved frantically to stop the shovel Tie
roar of machinery died. The great scoop paused. Men leaped eagerly int
the excavation with whiskbrooms in their hands. In the bottom lay party
exposed the sandy bed of a stream channel, hardened and compressed.
The nails of our shoes grated harshly on the surface.
Someone shouted, "Hey boys! Fossil leaves!"
Along the flatness of a parted bedding plane, as perfect as though they
had fallen yesterday, were the imprints of scores of leaves. A few lay is
single isolation but most were contained in matted masses like drifts akq
a fence. The surface, broomed clean. revealed several types. Under sti
dark carbon film that had been plant tissue. we made out the familiar shaps
of fern and waxberry. There was a partial section of the frond of a plh.
Hammers and cold chisels were brought to split away thin slah cn-
tainig the finest leaves. The fragmentary palm leaf was too thickly cove
with other kuaves to tell how big it had been- The plant collection ma i
the excavation only excited our appetite for more. Next day the whoe part
fanned out on foot over the surrounding rocks to prospect. I remib
I had no luck: I picked up only dinosaur bone fragments, drifters, socald
pieces of small elements scattered before burial and fossilizatim. Ody ik
last man to return to camp walked in the manner of one whose time
ROLAND T. BIRD
been wcll-spent. His stout haversack sagged with several rock slabs, mys-
trious and promising. His face as he approached the table b tthe cook
tent was smug. We others edged up, envios and intent. Big Don grinned
as only Big Don coaud.
There's a lot of them he explained, hbut it is going to be the d wry
devil to gt one that is complete."
He brought out and laid on the table a slab containing not more matted
leaves but part of a single palm fond. The outer edges, stem and petio
were missing, but x he fluted central portion was perfect; under our fingers
't corrugations felt like washboards. The other slabs contained more sec-
ions of fronds; two or three fited together like parts of a jig-saw puzzk All
were of the broad fan type, reminding mr o the cabbage palms and pal-
mettos I had seen many limes in Florida.
I was so eager to visit the discovery site that Big Don !ook me to it that
evening. In a high bench of eroded sandstone surrounded by rough desert,
erosion had exposed a solid malt of fronds. It wwaas s though a scream eddy
had caught a disordered drift of leaves and held them until they were
buried under succeeding deposits of sand. The next day, with heavy ham-
mers and cold chisels., we re able to split into the bedding planes and
loose quite a collection. Sections showing the petiole and attached portions
of stems were especially prized. Later in thC season I collected a three-
foot stem and frond complete, from the sandstone roof of the States-Hall
coal mine near Cedaredge, Colorado, also of middle Cretaceous rocks.
But to go back to the beginning of this, it was when I was four years
old at Rye, New York, that I became excited about Florida for the first
time For several succeeding winters my vacationing grandmother Bird
and Uncle Will mailed me fascinadng post cards from St. Augustine and
Palatka, which were about as far south as east coast tourris3 of that day
'wt.I These post cards showing orange groves, alligator and palms. made
meK determined to visit fh slaMe as sonm as pspoibbe. When at las, at the
age of ighteen, I boarded the old Clyde Lin Steamship Comanche bound
for Jacksovilie on the St Johns River. I felt my tife"s ambition was being
"c tthan achieved, for I also planned to out-do my gandmohr and
Mncle and eros ithe state.
I was wholly unprepared fof the endess stretch of piatn woods. The
low-growing palriKtos I easily mistook for yoUtq cabbage palms, which
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTOrL
I wished would hurry and grow. The regular cabbage palms, rising
grwn-tasseled feather dusters here and there among them, were mme
the order of the post cards and the mos acceptable features of the
scape. Since thai day and that firs glimpse of Florida wood and glade i
hammock. I have been in and out of palmetto country more times t~ I
care to count.
I still enjoy forcing through a good rank stand of the growth. I like to
feel the stiff fan-like fronds tear at my waist, hear them rattle against e
like pieces of coarse paper. For here is still a touch of a world primeval
a glamored strangeness never found in more northern types of woodland
The shadows stir with unseen forms like ghosts straight out of the Ap
of Reptiles. Add cabbage palms and jungic hammock, and if I k p a
eye cocked for tyranosaur at every turn. why, cyranosaurs for me, a
likely to be about.
I admire the way a palmetto often makes the best of tough goi I k
finds itself on sterile sand. it makes that sand into soil t for a pgrd; k
takes from the hardest of oolitic limestone a living with the same cmas
tenacity. One of the best features is probably that of protective o h
wildlife. It is true that one seldom sees a diamond-back rattler tar
its cover, but on the other hand, no wild turkey could possibly tastl
than one fattened on the copious berries which hang among the f
clusters of green buckshot.
I am reminded of the only time a palmetto might be said to
me a bad turn. Some twenty years ago a friend and I went into the
fringes of the Everglades, hoping for a shot at turkey. Tradks
seen near a series of cypress ponds, close to palmetto cover and
pine and other trees in which the birds might be expected to
nightly roosts. Wild turkey) are not the easiest game in the wa i
our plan was to locate their roosting place and he near at carac
when they give themselves away by gobbling in the deade-dfl
place was so far from a road we were forced to go in and
The mosquitos were troublesome about the little cabbage palm-
where we pitched our pup tent handy to one of the cypress
palmettos grew close by, and there is no better material for a
smudge than that portion of the reclining hole discarded behbid
ROL A D T. BIRD
in its forward growth. I chopped such a section, dry as punk, fromn the
largest palmetto I could find, and placed one end in the campfire. Presenty
this began Io smouldcr with the proper glow. When bedtime came, I
placed Ibis just safely outside the open tent end where the drift of smote
would cross it.is pll aantly aromatic and relieved of signing
osquitls, we were soon alleep.
An hour before dawn w w ere up again., tme with the expectation of
soon haring our turkeys somewhere in the vicinity. The palmer bole, or
rather that portion now remaining, smokeless .ad cold, was pushed aside.
We placed fresh pieces of fat pine on fhe camphre and tied to prepare
breakfast with the least possible noise. While e weate, the palretos beyond
the fire begn to glitter like a se lifted silver bayonets, dew-drenchd
the fading dark. A gray mist hung across the pond and an adjact glade
like a ghostly bLanket. The air was utterly still and wholly without move-
ment; any sharp sound would carry a mile. It was tim, to ge hidden
among palmettos in one of the nearby strands of pine trees. We doused
"We placed fresh pieces of fai pine on the camp fire . ."
by ROBERT WOLFEPBARGER
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTOlR
the campfire with pans of water carried through saw grass so wet we got
our pants drenched halfway to the hips.
The day dawned upon us in a palmetto blind and the first crow to
awaken cawed, breaking the stillness. We listened breathlessly for soW
old gobbler to answer, but that clarion barnyard call, which seems so alia
when heard in the Everglades, did not come. We waited anxiously whil
the multiple twitterings of other awakening birds continued to break the
ethereal hush. The magic hour was somehow satisfying despite the lack o
game. Perhaps the turkeys-and I have heard as many as three gobbiht
at once, from as many widely scattered points-had sensed our prtsec
and were playing coy. They could refrain from gobbling but not from
flying to the ground. If a single flock was within a quarter of a mile, we
might yet hear their loud wing-beats as they descended one by one.
The rising sun grew unpleasantly warm as we waited in the hanb
palmetto growth. We brought out our mechanical calls and made a fe
practice cluckings in the forlorn hope we had missed hearing the tureys
fly. It was easy to vision an enormous gobbler, fat with a season
palmetto berries, strutting into the open before the blind, but none appeared
Realizing at last there was no point in lingering longer, we started off an
a long sortie to the south, hoping to pick up fresh signs of the vanished
turkeys. Our notable lack of luck continued throughout the day. Fiual
we turned back toward camp, cheered by the thought of food and se
We smelled smoke on the wind while still half a mile away. My cea-
panion said, "1 smell it but don't see it. What does that mean?" We vd
vanced uneasily across an open glade. We could now see the dista
tasseled tops of our cabbage palms, but on this side of the little hannmo*
opposite camp, there was no sign of fire. We stumbled in our hurry to
close the last few hundred yards. The odor of stale smoke became U
I cried out senselessly, "1 A~on' we put out the campfire!"
We crashed into the palmettos around the end of the hammocL nte
day's bad luck seemed poised for another strike. We burst through Ia
a sea of charred fronds. There was no tent: no bedding where the tent d
stood. There was no reserve of food. Empty bits of metal lay where at
surplus ammunition had exploded. Only the pond on one side and &t
ROLAND T. BIRD
grcn hammock on the other had prevented h ire from fanning out
across the country.
My companion said dazedly, "But we did put out the camplre!"
We churned through mounds of powdery ash to the site. We picked up
pieces of the left-over fat pine. They ay upon ground that was still damp,
untouched by the greater sea of flame-
Then we both cried incred ulously "That palnetto smudg near the
We searched quickly. A tiny portion of the ble still Ermined. I snatched
it up and blew sharply on a recess in one cad. A gray spot about the size
of a dimne turned into a white one and glowed brightly, It was a coal of
fire lhat earlier in the day could have been fanned by wind. There had
ben dry grass ..
I have sometimes since wondered, seeing great fires out of control in
the Everglades, if oiier hunters had ever had the same experience.
No account of the palmetto would seem complete without a tale about
the Florida diamond-back rattier. I cannot recall exactly how many en-
counters I havhave had with this beautiful but ctrrible denizen of the shadows
beneath palmetto fronds, I had been living with my family on our place
near Homestead for three cautious years. We had established the start of a
future winter home on the uncleared acres of a strip of pineland, with an
exceptionally dense stand -of palmettos between the house and a nearby
glade. We had seen one stray coral snake, entertained resident black snakes,
king snakes and a magnificent and friendly indigo snake that must have
been tough on our woods rats, but in all this time, had never heard or
seen a rattler. In fact we had almost reached the point of no longer ex-
pecting one. Weren't rattlers said to shun areas already occupied by black-
My 1 1-year-old daughter Fay was playing alokin the pieshaded
ard that fateful afternoon, when I sat writing an article on diamoid-backs
m hour had come when, in the cooling air of early evening the diamond-
bk most usually leaves its den to forage lor garme. This was the hour
about which was w riding and an incident taking place in whh Fay and
a dair2ond-back had figured four years before while the family was
capped on lovely Paradise Key of the Everglades National Park. I :had
t RICHARiD Db3f
ter .tianrEnlhack rattflenake rank wiond to none."
brought out Ditmars+, not to recreate the chills a rattler always gives m
but for the inspiration of his delightfully descriptive stories. Included with
the treatise on the diamond-hack, I encountered the comparative data wh
the terrible bushmaster of Central America and the king cobra of Inld
This figures fang sizes and the relative amounts of venom each snake ca
inject into a wound, and gives the diamond-back the highest honors. Thbolu
the poisons vary in their actions. Ditmars' line of reasoning is plain. I rld
on page 447. and the italics were his, "Compared with the most deil
known species of poisonous Nnakcs in the world, the diamond-back ratil
snake ranks second us mmne'" I had forgotten, if I had ever priy
noted, these particularly ringing words. 1 knew a big diamod-back w I
bad customer, but I had never placed him in the class of bushmaster
cobra. It is the extrmees in life that are to me often the most fWi
I was delighted with Dirnars' dramatic statement: the very feeti i ,
spired promised to give great zest to my story.
Under this influence I began to frame the first sentences of my
wript. I could easily recall the great ratler, which, wandering pCehp
ils usual palmetto habitat into the alien jungle of Paradise Key, had
SR tI rtmar. Rrpnir u.f h 1d ddiU
ROLAND T. BIRD
into open ground before Fay's tent; Fay herself only steps away. I could
remember her cry, "Oh mother, what a big snake!" I could see again from
where I had sat a aa nearby table, the gross five-foot reptiian body, :ully
as big around as my arm.
The rattier paused, uncrtainly, facing a circle of hostile humans But
the dark fait-s head. triangulr and menacing, only lifted brazely; the
diamond-back, as though listing in prehistoric powers left over from an
Age of Reptiles, ner eats in the face of danger. It was ready to coil
itantly, ready for its lethal strike, if anyone should attempt awnoer
sudden move. Its jet black eyes glinted like polished shoe buttons. The
forked tongue picked forward, beat the air a moment, and was withdawn.
I could hear the ten or twelve-odd rattles of the tail clack the firs hint
of warning, and though it did not otherwise move, seM the decision made
to continue further into camp.
My consternation of having this thing continue at liberty in our vicinity
had been considerable. There was the problem of protected wild life in
a national park. Where was park ranger Ed Stephanic? The bright diamond
patterns on the broad reptilian back before me had seemed sewed in place
with scales like fingernais. The door of the room where I was writing
opCJed, squeaking on its hinges. I glanced up from the middle of a sen-
tence to see Fay framed in the doorway.
She announced excitedly,"Father, there's a diantond-back rattler out here!"
Her words were like a wind blowing a long way off. They did not belong
to this, our quiet home in the pinelands, but to the still-open volume of
Ditmars beside my typewriter, to the memory of that great rattler at Para-
disc Key. She said impatiently, "Father, don't you hear me? Theres a
diamondRback raitler right out here beside the doosip!"
I tried to push back from the typewriter calmly. I tried to rise, to speak, to
hak. I opened a desk drawer whene I kept a revolver- A Light holtgun or -22
"ie wa best for a rather i o lacked a long, pole orgarden hoe, but with-
Wat either, the revolver must do. The hard feel ofthe loaded gun was good.
I dw a breath, realizing I bad not made one since Fay first spoke
She sd "I satpped up on the porch step and heard a souwd li dry
kavf blowing, ad there it was!" Outside the door, blow the porch.
eyoWd, the doorx ep beyond the slanting shade of a wild coffee bush. gliding
aily off toward the pahmettos, was . one more diamond-back rattler
EVERGLAPES NATURAL HI
Todav I tooik time olf to walk out into the palmetros in qucIt
of those lean arras in our oolitic limestone almost too poor to
plant life. I wanld to locate a palmetto that might have starved to
Here the plants had. by remaining hardly more than seedling si, a
their fundamental demands for food where only soil enough wau pm
for seed to sprout or migratory roots to find a footing. They wen 4
%idecl scattered but alive. cven one slender bole once injured by a f
dozer. In this caw the terminal bud was sheared off; the remaining
soft with decay. But all was not dead, for far back on one side, two~
blades of a new bud sprouted. Someday, despite the ponderous bunlldE
as though springing from s me eternal cosmic source within the hat I
mining sip, ihis would develop into another dwarf palmetto. In anodt
area, plants injured by livcsiock clung with the same tenacity to life,
In the- end, Cf arching for plants in bloom and hoping to pick a pnay
of those liny wax-like flowers that have a faint scent like oleander, I
approached the pine which lightning had struck six months before, ab
hitting a palmetto. Here. I thought. would he proof that this tough p
was not eniw ins indestructible. Surely this individual had died under S
terrific blast of a lightning bolt. I remembered having eaten a frngmel 4,
the broken hcart. tasty and nut-flavored, and was prepared to see tW db
fronds. rotting brown in the sun. pnrstrate beside the split bole. I pFle
my foot upon the bole and fell it give under the first effects of dry rot
Then I saw the two bright thin blades. They were far back on one t
beyond the rowing end. For a moment I stared at them numbly, try
accept their greenness. They were obviously the start of a new btad.
was alive . .1- L
--s ~ 4C
KNOW A LONELY ISLAND
SET IN A TURQUOISE SEA-
ITS COLORS-PEARL AND EMERALD,
WHE NAME IS-SANDY KEY.
MERE NO ON& BID5 YOU WELCOME,
AND NO ONE BIDS YOU STAY,
BECAUSE THE WANDERING FISHERMEN
MAVE LONG 61NCE GONE AWAY.
MERE NAUGHT BUT CRIES OF SEABIRDS
DISTURB THE PEACEFUL'PLACE
1O SOUND OF HUMAN LAUGHTER,
NO SIGN OF HUMAN FACE.
NET RACKS, LONG SINCE FORGOTTEN
NOW CLUTTER UP THE PLACE,
8 1RD-LI M ED, ASKEW AND ROTTEN,
FEtSltINED WITH SEAWEED LACE.
1 KNOW A LONELY ISLAND
E IN A TURQUOISE SEA,
AND SOMEDAY YOU MAY WANDER THERE
AND WALK ITS BEACH WITH ME.
6 BEV ERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
..*i P L
"... .rr ntr J A'it an oIutii rd morow breakdown -
Those Bounteous Florida Keys
by JOHN D. DICKSON III
itlarrations by A. J. Miller
I T WOULD INDEED be uilfortate for a person to starve or die of thrst if
stranded by an outboard moor breakdown among dhe the lower Florida
Keys. A persmi might easily be killed by hordes of mosquitoes or sand flies
if he had no proccuion, but if he knew enough about he woods and sea, he
could easily supply himself with food for a long time by living off the bounty
I had always wanted to try eating many of the plant and animal foods
of (he south Florida wilderness area but which are not customarily eaten
in our culture. At home we always had so many things to eat tat t it was
difficult to get my mother to cook anything out of the ordinary. Good
fortune enabled me to be stationed on Big Pine Key from June, 1951, to
September, 1952, while working on a research project for the Florida Game
and Fresh Water Fish Commission. Now was my chance. By supplementing
my diet with nature's produce found in my surroundings, I kept my grocery
bill down to about $1t5.00 a month. It should be mentioned that I am
hearty eater, that I did cat plenty, and that I enjoyed every meal during
this stay on the keys.
WATER On the pine islands of the lower keys good dining water is
availab in the many solution holes in the oolitic limestone. Sometimes the
water may be aiued a color like strong ea from the mangroe leaves
which fall int it, but it is siln good to drink and very efreshing. The Co-
nut palm. Cocos nmUferf, may be found at sites here omes oea stood
or along the sandy beheLs I ike the coconuts best when they are grn
with the jelly just beginin to form inside so that it can easily be caten
"itha spoon. At this sage or a little earlier it makes a very refreshing drink
nd is harmkes. When the nut are ripe, dr$nin too much of their milk
IVt GI.;ADFS NATURAL HISTOg1t
may make one diuretic,While camping at Cape Sable several years ap~
a friend of mine and I ran shor of drinking water, and we drank only gr.
coconut milk for an entire v. c'.
NA T IVE F R IT There anr q uite a number of fruits native lo the ai,
Most of these are small but sill may be vner tasty, In the sapodilfYh fau
other. are the saf ln-plum. Bfiira u, i nusaCj ra; the satin-1eaf fril, Ctrw-
pthyllurm ofSii Jrtilrme; and the w iId-d il I. imtusps emerginma, The sllt.
plum is a small purple, s Wcct-ta'tMi fruit about 3 4 of an inch $o. k
gro1v on a tree which has branches that usually end in spines and beta
that arc small. narrow. and uncro dcd. The saun-kaf f(huit isqu simiar..
The tree which bears this fruit may be recognized by its kaves whi me
a shiny green above and hav' a den-s bronaish, satia-4ke pbaw_ w
beneath from which it ge ts its common name. Since the fruit are smll
these two trees and the trees. usually arc not heavy bearers, I did an pkox r
lhem in qua.ntits but ju:s ate them as I came upon them in the fid. The
wild-dily looks like a dwarf sapodilla, bu t is not so tasty and the dde
in it will really stick one's mouth together. The wild-dilly trees am
prolific. The hog plum, Ximni'a r.'ricnra, is a small yellow fruit it.
looks like a wild plum found in the Carolinas, and to me, at least, itls
somewhat similar taste, [l can be catcn raw or cooked or made ito p.t
ThCe fruit arc borne in quantity on usually a small thorny, sprawling ag
The darling plum, Reyfipesia sept lntrir alis, bears a small round, dMkt
purple or almost black fruit as large as a small marble which cooetai
small amount of flesh around a large seed., It tas es good racwar oood.
Cooked it tastes somewhat like hblueberries. The sea-grape tree, Corroblb
ui'ifera, is easily recognized by its ;lrg., v'ery round, stiff lkaves amd it
frequency of occurrence on the beaches. ILs fruit is very tasty but dhl t
i.t close relative. the pigeonplumi. C(:wutia bis laurifoha. Iound moSIy il
the hammocks. usually has little flavor and will pucker up oe's aM
Although thLe pond-apple. Anuitonu 'lahra, does grow a fnd ( herea [1 m
happernd to come upon the frui at athe right stage.
The fruit of all the cacti w hih ngrw cvcrywh-cre hrc, are vey pod t
ing. There arc a number of specik. of p&ckly pear and coinhar ca~i :
rce nuing the genera Oputii.r, A1~wnrhrrru.,. CephaoJrewa. and HJfi
O ne has to be tvenr careful in catine the cactus fruit to be sure BD Ci d
all the small bristkle- an) is the time I have gotten one of theinImy
or mouth and spent hours (sO it seems) tuning to get rid of il Hotwe
JOHN D. DICKSON III
even at this, since the fruits are so juicy they are wonderfully refreshing
caten in the field when the sweat is running off one's body like rain and
the sun beans hot overhead in a cloudless ubopical skby. The small ruin
of the wild fig. Firs breviaofia. is cdJic but has litdl flavor as a general
rule. I once though that cooking this fig might bring out a beer flavor,
but it had the oppose cffect- The small pca-sized fruit of the locust-berry.
Byrsonima cunreau, can probably be eaten as a last resort they taste like
soap. I might menUto, though, that the raccoons love thm. The small
pea-sizd fruit of one of the stopped, Moasera ~aiips., a rrlativ of the
guava and Sumiam cherry, is also quite tasty and worth picking when found
There ar other fruits about the same size or smaller which are edible
and sometimes rather sweet but usually too scattered to be of much import-
ance as food except o "browse" on casually while in the field Among these
are: Chrstmas-bcrry, RharoSma iicifolia, borne on a small protrate plant
easily recogni.cd by its holly-like leaves and roundish red berries; Rhacoma
Crossopei atm, a shrub with the same kind of berries; and blolly, Tor-
rurbia longijofia, a small tree with small ellipsoid red berries. Two mem-
bers of the melon family are to be had hhere occasionally and can be
utilized for food. The wild balsam-apple, Momordica chawraoniaa, a small,
warty, orange fruil 1 to 2 inches long has red arils around the seeds. The
aril is edible and tasty. The creeping cucumber, M lihria,, a small oval
fruit about I inch long, looks like a miniature mottled watermelon and tastes
like a cucumber. These two melons are numerous on the mainland.
NATIVE VEGETABLES. For vegetables one might select several
members of the goosefoot family, Chrnopoliaceie. the family to which the
beet and spinach belong. The members of this family which pgow in abun-
dance in the area are: sea-blite. Domndia inearit, an herbaou's succuleMi
plant with linear leaves found near the shoe close t sat water; the glass-
Amti. Saicornia ambigua and S. bigenovi.i with succ ult stems and scale-
Kk leaves found on salrwater marsh-ma prairies; and beacwh-ra A tip .
wrrnria, fund along the beaches as thie como mne iimpics. The first
three are slty, therefore in cooking do no( add salt ThaB was tte mia&Le
I made when first tried these s~eiL nts. k The leaves and tips of seaM ie
are used, the sims of the glassorts, and the leaves of beach-or ach. W
CQked all thee oft these goosefoot mernmers have a taste similar to spiach,
kt I consider beach-orach the best. My mother even likes it now; so when
tVERGLADES NATURAL Hl81
I have the occasion to pick some, it is served at home on te tshe bWei
rest of the meal. The leaves of pigweed. Anaranthus hybrids, a mit
another family also tastes a great deal like spinach and is equily
Two other members of the amaranth family to be had here an
vermiculris and spny-amaranth, Amaranthus spinosu. PhMam
another succulent and looks quite a lot like sea-pursain, Ser~vimae p
casrtnm. but of a finer texture. Spiny-amaranth excep for being qo .b
similar to pig-weed- Sea purslain which may be easily obtaaid is i.
succulent and grows in clumps; the prostrate stems are usually pie. OK
other salty succulent that should be mentioned snce it is so C '
altwort. Baris mariiima. This plant may be found wherver the rd
black mangroves grow and it sometimes forms a solid cover over ste
sive areas. It is a prostrate plant not usually getting more tha 15 b
tall and may be recognized by its yellow-green color. The aves ci b
eaten. If one likes the taste of mustard geens he can try sa-rocks, CC
tusiformis, a member of the mustard family. Spanish needle, Bidea pim.
is sometimes used as a table food in some parts of the south, but I cmt
say that I cared much for it. If one likes lettuce he can try.wild isee,
Brarhyrhaimphius intybacrus. or sow thistle, Soncrhas oeraceus. Them my
be calen raw in salads, but I believe I like them better cooked.
For seasoning there are the hot bird pcppersc Capsicum fruescers, bu
Ihey were too hot for me to use. And if one smokes he would Wot ave t
resort to rabbit-tobacco: for he might be able to find some real lobmao
growing as an escape from cultivation.
EXOTIC FRUITS. Among introduced fruits common to the ow
keys there are the delightfully swcct-tasting sapodillas, Sapow ad*
Sapodilla trees may be found at sites where homesteads oac stood md
are rather numerous and very prolific. One has only to beat te rawE
to the fruit. The tamarind. Tamarindus indica. and the date pahi. Plhs
daror-ifrra, are also to be found a such sites. The april around tbe Ut=
sccd is the part that is eaten. II is acid but very good tasting and if it
not put m) teeth on edge. I guess I could eat them aU day. I haw Am
used them in cooking, to give a different flavor to guavas, Pzadibtm.
which also may be found on the kes. I didn't spend much time it
dates because I found only a few ripe at a time. The ones I did lt *
to gather v.aw very good. The key time, Citrus auranifoia, may be fSd
", . young r coonco Ied rifgh is as good as any meiC . -
growing in some of the hammocks. Its juice is a fine seasoning on fish
and fresh greens. Occasionally one will find one of the small wild papayas,
Carica papaya, which happens to be sweet.
SEAFOODS, Of marine life there are all kinds of fish to be caught in
the surrounding waters. I had never tied moray before, so I got my chance.
Although most people won't touch it, it turned oui to be a rather tasty
dish. Crawfish and crabs are also to be had with little effort. One day when
my brother was visiting, we caught some octopi in the rocks Knowing
them to be pried as food by some natives of the south Pacific, we tried
these. Probably if octopus had been our only mena, we would have apprec-
iaiSd it a lot more than we did but we ad already liled up on crawfish
Many conchs, the queen coch in parta r, are to be found in te
shallow waists surrojWdib g de Keys- These can be eaten raw in salads.
fried or used to make choder Tey really make some wonderiul chowdtr.
II tI lar coach arc not to be found at cerlatam tmes o the year, there
are many snails to be had on the roaks exposed at low tide. The aocs I
'mutll obtained were three species of oerites, Neria pforemB'r, ersd-
(fokr, and N. lesserita. N. Pe~orkia calcld the bkeding tooth. These
svails are very nuernPous on the rocky shares and grow to have a shell
diameter equivalent to that of a half-dollar. The ones I was able
however, were usually somewhat smaller. To get them out of the
can drop them in boiling water for a few minutes, after which,
can be easily removed by using a needle or some other sharp
Fried they remind one of oysters,
MEAT. In days gone by, the key deer also were available for
were numerous. Today they are few in number and are protected.
There are some meals one could not have every day, but be ~tld
have raccoon. These animals are so numerous that many are fou
the beaches or shore feeding in the middle of the day, even th
are typically nocturnal. At night they become so bold that they
up to the campfire to obtain food and practically climb over you
are sleeping. Raccoons are easy to catch, especially if you get them oat
the open. I usually caught my "coons alive so that I could kill them ts I
needed them for fresh meat. To do this I carried a heavy stick on my
scouting trips. When I spotted a 'coon I would run him down, which b
very easy unless he dives into the brush, press the stick down on his nec
and hold him to the ground, then grab him behind the head with one had,
and hold his four feet with the other. They can also be easily caught in a
box trap. A nice young raccoon cooked right is as good as any meat you
can buy. Joe Chase of Big Pine Key really knows how to cook them. One
day I happened to be having a stew of 'coon head and collard gea
while the Game Commission photographer was down to take pictures. I
invited him to come dine with me, and he never quite got over that!
Among the terrestrial animals especially suitable for food in the Bi
Pine Key area, besides raccoons, are the diamondback rattlemnak. Of
course, one is not lucky enough to find a rattlesnake every day, ahbqb
some of the oldtimers there will tell you that certain favored keys m
literally loaded with them. A rattlesnake is very easy to clean. Just ~it
down the belly, pull off the skin, pull out the entrails, and it is praclk
ready to throw into the frying pan. All this time it is still writhing am
as if it were still alive, of course. To make it tender, take a malt a
hammer and pound the flesh along the ribs. Do not hit the bWatb
because if you do you'll spend a lot of time getting rid of all the mid
pieces of broken bone in each mouthful. Fried rattlesnake makes a md
equivalent to fried chicken.
Figure 8. Fruiting brancMh! ol soutlhrrn rwao myrrie.
Some Native Trees and Shrubs as
Ornamentals, No. 2
by GEORGE D, RU E H L E phoforaphs by J. C. Noonan
SOUTHERN WAX MYRTLE, bayberry, myrtle,, MVrica crifera L.
(Cerathamnus ceriferns (L.) Small), MYRICACEAE, Figure 8. The
southern wax myrtle occurs as a bushy shrub or small trc in practically all
parts of Florida, It is common as a dense shrub in fields and along road-
Sikes and ditch banks. Along the shores of tIakes and in low hammocks it
frequently becomes a tee to 35 feet high with cro.ked trunks up to 12
inche in diamucer. The ev-ergreen aromatic leaves are 2 o 4 inches :long,
oblanceolate, usually with the marines coary toohcd board ta the pointed
tip~ or slclimc-s entire. They are smooth and shining above with small
orange colored dots belneath Staminate and pistillate flower are borne on
different tre.f The small globose fruits are thinly coated with grayish wax.
A dwa,-rf form. Myrica pumil, occurs in dry pincIlnds. It has narrow linear
spatula leaves and usually occurs in clumps awning from a horizontal
rOLbtoeck. The suqhcjmr waI myrtnlc tolcrant of sal spray and may be
F'iuire 9. Old !,ve oaA a:t farrrhid Tropfr4f (G Srd.
planted near the seashore, It has been recommended for use a a
plant. either as a formal or informal high hedge or screen
LIVE OAK. Qwrcru. virginiana Mill. (Q. virens Ait). FAGACEAE,
Figure 9. Few trees equal a large live oak tree in picturesque beauty, tat-
liness and massivcnes Old specimens often reach a height of 40 io 50
feet uith trunks 3 to 4 feet in diameter, and dcnFs broad crowns meLK
exceeding 1X) feet in diameter. The graish bark is broke into tly m
form corrugations by numerous interlacing deep vertical fawr 1r
Icathen kav%-s are simple dark green and shining above, paler ad mWf
beneath. 2 to 5 inches long. oval, oblong or elliptic with renm d Mt
revolute margins. The corrugated bark furnishes anchorage for
species of air pants. In northern and central Florida Spanish mass h.
only secn growing on live oaks. In extreme southern Florida, the
usualI free of Spanish moss but numerous air plants of other
common on the branches Young live oaks grow quit rapidly be
take 30 cdars to gron a tree from seed to a height of 40 feet Yl
transplant tairtL easii provided they are root-pruned one two
prior to moving. The beauty of the live oak, its relative case of
GEORGE D. RUEHLE 95
ing and its freedom from serious disease and insect pests entitle it to a lead-
ing place for specimen, park, avenue and roadside planting.
FLORIDA STRANGLER FIG, golden fig, Ficus aurea Nutt. MORA-
CEAE. Many species of Ficus have been introduced into Florida and plant-
ed as ornamentals. Of the exotic species rather widely planted as avenue
and shade trees, several are no handsomer than the two native species,
Ficus aurea and F. brevifolia. F. aurea is very common in southern Flo-
rida, especially in hammocks where it attains a height of 40 to 50 feet
with short trunks up to 3 feet in diameter and broad, round-topped crowns.
Secondary roots descend to the ground from the larger branches, eventually
forming a banyan type of structure if they are not removed. The evergreen
simple leaves are dark green and shining above the paler beneath, 1 to 4
inches long, oval to elliptic, with pointed tips and bases wedge-shaped. The
fruits are red, stalkless, about 3 inch long in the axils of the leaves. The
Florida strangler fig often starts as an epiphyte on the bark of other trees
especially on cabbage palmettoes, sending aerial roots downward which
grow together and finally may kill the host. The seedlings are capable of
living a terrestrial life from the start, however.
SHORTLEAF FIG, wild fig, wild banyan, Ficus brevifolia Nutt. (F.
populnea Willd.). MORACEAE, Figure 10. The shortleaf fig is not as
common as the strangler and is distinguished from it by its smaller leaves
which are ovate or oval, mainly rounded or cordate at the base, and its
dark red fruits borne on long axillary stalks. It may also start life as an
epiphyte but usually does not kill its host. It is very similar in appearance
to the strangler fig in other respects. Both species can be propagated readily
from seed or from cuttings and young seedlings transplant rather easily
Figure 10. Native figs. Fruits of shortleafed fig (left) are stalked; th
strangler fhe (rioht) are not.
from the wild.
They are useful for avenue planting and make excellent
Coccoloba laurifolia Jacq. (C.
POLYGONACEAE, Figure 11.
The pigeon plum is one of the
tallest hammock trees in the vicinity of Miami, attaining a height of 60 to
70 feet with tall straight trunks and small dense, round-topped crowns. It
is a beautiful small compact tree where it finds sufficient room for free
development without competition from other vigorous growing trees. The
bright green evergreen leaves are 3 to 4 inches long with a large and prom-
They are ovate to oblong, either acute, obtuse or rounded at
the tips with entire,
slightly wavy margins and with the stipules sheathing
the twigs. The round or somewhat pyriform,
dull black to purplish fruits
/3 inch long are borne in pendulous clusters several inches long.
When quite ripe these may be good to eat. The bark of the pigeon plum is
attractive, scaling off in irregular plates so that the surface of the trunk is
several tones of two or three colors like that of the sycamore and guava.
The beauty of this tree when it is given sufficient space recommends its
wider use in landscape designs for the warmer portions of southern Florida.
It is wel
adapted to planting in groups or in the foreground of large trees
in parks. A well developed tree is distinctly ornamental as a specimen tree.
dldL 0 l
d 41 I r
SEAGRAPE, grape ure, plater-leaf, Corroioba uvferar Jacq. POLY-
GONACEAE, Figure 12. The seagrape is quite common along the seashor
in southern Florida. In exposed situations it branches freely at or near the
ground, assuming a bushy habit Sen, however, in protected localities in
richer soil, it appears as a stout branched broadly spreading tree to 25 or
30 feet in height. The evergreen simple, thick leathery leaves are 4 to 5
inches long and 5 to 6 inches wide, rounded at the tip, cordate at the base,
with entire and wavy margins, and with stipules at the base of the stout
petioles sheathing the twig. They arc brightly colored when first appearing,
becoming dark green with prominent red veins and before falling change
to yellow or red. The edible fruits, ripening in greatest numbers in late
summer, are greenish white to purple, about inch long borne in long
pendulous grape-like clusters. The seagrape is salt tolerant and is used
widely in seashore plantings as an ornamental. Its large handsome leaves
and abundant fruit clusters and dense shrubby habit make it a useful sub-
MC for pInral decorative planting. It is propagated by seed but small
tmp6aems can be transplanted from the wild with little difficulty.
BLOLLY, Torrubia longifolfa (Heimneri) Briton, (PiMsonia longifol
Sar- NYCTAGINACEAE. The Blolly is usually seen as a large shrub
n the Florida Keys but in hanunocks it may occur = a tree 30 to 40 feet
Shiht with trunks a foot or more in diameter and developing a short
tPU round topped crown. In open situations it usually produces a
in, Crown of irregular contour. The persiatent leaves ame opposite
W aItent* obkmg-bovwe, I to 2 inches ing, to I inch wide, with
ti M"d"or no edm tight green with only the midrib evident, and mar-
Stg1hY thkcnwed and wavy. The bright red fruits are borne in dense
tial or axillary clute The Biokly is vry active when in fruit and
O |WtM useful to kd intrsto mixed tree plantings. It apparently
q8 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
is not being used much at present but merits wider trial.
SOUTHERN SWEETBAY, Magnolia virginiana L. (M. glauca L, A.
virginiana var. australis Sarg.). MAGNOL1ACEAE. Scattered trees of the
sweetbay occur in swamps and along canals and streams in southern Flor.
ida. Occasionally it forms thickets in similar situations farther north. It may
be found in many of the tree islands in the Everglades, In the soulbra
counties it rarely exceeds 40 feet in height and is usually much smaller with
a small head of nearly erect or spreading branches from straight trmw,
and evergreen, aromatic leaves 4 to 6 inches long which are shiny green
above and smooth and silvery beneath. The terminal white fragrant Sfowe
2 to 3 inches broad are among the most attractive on our native treg. For
low wet situations it is worthy of trial as an ornamental.
COCO-PLUM, Chrysobalanus icaco L. ROSACEAE, Figure 13. The
coco-plum is usually a dense shrub from 8 to 12 feet high, but occasionally
is seen as a shrubby tree with an erect or reclining trunk up to 1 foot in
diameter. In bayheads in the Everglades it may reach a height of 20 feet or
more. The crowns are symmetrically rounded and very dense, composed of
erect branches and slender reddish brown twigs with numerous conspicuous
lenticels. The evergreen leathery leaves are smooth shiny dark green above
and paler beneath, obovate to nearly round, notched at the tip and I to 34
inches long on short stout petioles, and conspicuously two-ranked when
growing in the sun. The fruits, usually abundant, are I to 1j inches in
diameter, nearly globose and ripen either purple, pinkish or white. Al-
though it is edible, sweet and fairly juicy, the fruit is rather insipid. Tm
coco-plum is being used to some extent as an ornamental but its beauty
commends its wider use. It is well suited for parks and large gardens whtre
it can be given sufficient room for development. It is tolerant to salt spray
GEORGE D. RUEBLE
** 3**flrf aI ,, *' rv -> *V^ ^
' I -" ""*"'
,,. \ -: ".
""; .L -." -. . '* .
,. +1 'll 'J i *, ,
.1.: " l. . .
Fise 14. FeSwe ad flowe of Ar l sw cdar
aad is weal sued for coaal pbauiap Popstio is by ed or by bud-
LAUREL CHERRY, West Indies cherry, Prunus myrdfolla (L.) Urban
(Lrwoemrasw myrtffoia (L) Britton, P. sphercurpa Sw.). ROSACEAE,
Fipuc 14. The mrel cher is a vry com small bee up to 30 fet in
e wifti leader ras in Dadle Caly hiaA= The somannew t ope
cwEn is ceipod spe a S i bnra ad slader tN a The pesint
y grea eves we t .hm, 2 to 4 Iacslomg.p ci r uov nt
' ei mrnms mad emi cr dmy odaor n cmne Neidier lb e
ownerss bore in aary remt nor 'me mn roand bbdk fils are
tui y tCtiu vew but dte foliUp I quip onaetol and te tre sdou
id wider un in ornamental planutn. Propaation is by sed but small
"dHapcan radily be tranplanted from the wild. An ambrosia beetle has
: ohstrved occasionally to attack and caue death of small branches.
(To be continue.)
Natural History Notes
THREE NEW TREES FOR PARK LIST. The writer, intendig t
spend the 1953-1954 winter in the Everglades National Park and it m.
irons and wanting some rational justification for wandering around in the
back places so much. usked superintendent Daniel B. Beard if be mU
ucccpt the services of a retired entomologist in collecting plants for the pst
herburium without compensation. He not only agreed, but after getting my
signature on all kinds of forms and affidavits, made it possibk for 1me a
accompany some of the rangers to distant parts of the park on pztk.
Camping with park ranger Vincent Mrazek at Flamingo Ranger Staki
proved an invaluable aid, for his training in tropical botany and excelle
knowledge of the trees and shrubs greatly facilitated the writer's effort to
come to grips with the unfamiliar plants.
The first addition to park naturalist Willard E. Dileys mimeogrphd
1952 "Preliminary checklist of trees of Everglades National Part" aw
during an airboat trip on January 17, 1954, with park ranger Erw C
Winte south from Seven Mile Fire Tower. We proposed stopping on a few
hammock tree islands here in the glades. Soon after getting under way,
ranger Winte pointed to a hammock with the leafless crown of a laIrp tt
rising above the other vegetation, and suggested we wade into that ue,
Upon reaching the large tree, we found it to be an ash. Roy O. Woodby
of the Department of Botany, University of Miami, identified this teai-
tively for me as Fraxinus paucillora Nutt. Any ash would have been nry
to the park list.
On January 18. 1954, when I was in the field with district ranpr Naot
M. Bean, he pulled his boat up to a shell beach on Deer Key In FlTcik
Bay. As we proceeded along the beach dune collecting specimens of bs
of the plants. ranger Bean broke off a twig from a small tree and remusrd
"This appears to be different from anything you have." It was a plant
which I was not yet acquainted, and upon consulting West and AMti
"The native trees of Florida," I found it to be the wild sapodilla, MlAmsop
emarginara Britton, another tree not previously on the park list.
Professor Roy O, Woodhury joined me in a visit to several of the keyli
Florida Bay south of Flamingo on January 28, 1954. While we were trWi
NATURAL HISTORY NOTES
ing around on Bradley Key, he pointed to a large tree and asked, "Have
you collected that one, the silver buttonwood?" Admitting not having seen
it before, I checked the park list and found that again we had a tree new to
the list, Conocarpus rereta variety service. A few days later ranger Mrazek
discovered another specimen of silver buttonwood in Florida Bay on Peli-
FRANK C. CRAIGHEcAD Catile., Pennrylvania
POSSUM MAKES A NEST. Two baby possums from the Everglades
were given to me last spring and proved to be interesting pets. I found that
they like to eat fruit, raw meat, and fish, but above all they like their
food alive, and a frog, lizard or a fish still flopping was a tasty treat. They
hold their food with one front foot, using i rather like a hand 1 housed
them in a large cage partitioned off into indoor and outdoor sections. 1
gave them a large heap of dead leaves in the inner room for bedding and
over the outdoor section, floored with hardware cloth, scattered a few
leaves to make walking more comfortable. But these leaves kept dis-
One day 1 saw one of the possums in the outer cage busily gathering
leaves with its front paws and stuffing them under its stomach. It had pulled
its tail in between its hind legs so that the tail lay stretched at full length
up under the animal's body toward its ead. The leaves were piled on this,
then the tail was wrapped around them and with the load tucked in close
to the body above the hind legs, the opossum waddled into its sleeping
room to add to its bedding.
In his recent book entitled "Possums" Carl G. Hartman, who is a world
authority on our opossum, mention that as early as 1872 somcoOc pub-
ishd an observation of Virginia opossums carrying into their burrows
bundles of dried leaves rolled up in their tails. However, Dr. Hartman im-
plies that in spite of that and other more casual reports of opossums carry-
"as thing in their tails, this was not believed to be a general habit of our
opsam until 1941 when Luther Smith published his observation of a free,
add opomt in a woodlands in Missouri carrying four tail-loads of leaves
ito a hole in the ground. I think it is interesting that here in the Everglades
they carry leaves in this peculiar way, too.
PETER PAYNE, Coconut Grove. Florida
102 I.VER.RLADES NATURAL HIS'Ott
A RARE SOUTH FLORIDA TREE. One of the rarest natia pk
of south Florida is Cupania glabra. It is known only from Watson H
mock, which is located in the center of Big Pine Key on ihe west dh
approximately one mile from the quarry. Cupania is very abundant is i
hammock, especially along the margin. to the excusion of alstall at .
Cupania glabra is also native to Cuba. where it is called "Gut." t
routhcrn Mexico. where it is known as "trcs-lomos" because tc cm
action of the wood suggests a clover laf, and to Honduras. Coas Ri
and Jamaica. In all probability Cupania entered Florida from CUt,
why it has not become established on other Florida Keys is a mysay. I
was first collected in September. 1843. in full flower, by John Loam
BklXgctL. a medical doctor who was the firt botanist to colt plats
south Florida- This plant then became "lost for nearly 80 years mnil J
Kunkel Small, G. K. Small. and Paul Matthews found it in fruit in Decm-
hcr 1921. in the same spot where Blodgett made his original colcctio a
Bie Pine Key. J. K. Small collected more specimens o( it again in My,
1922. Since then. collections of it have been made by Walter M. Bumm
:;nd Roy Woodbury in the late 1930's and by the writer in the late 1940
all at the one original place.
In Janiil;ry of 1952, John ). Dickson, 11i, brought several small sed.
lings from Big Pine Key to me at the Sub-Tropical Experiment Stati
These were potted and, after they produced sufficient growth, were piabld
in the stljtion's arboretum in the spring of 1953. To date these plants
growing fine and promise to he attractive shrubby ornamentals. Afto
only four feet high, they are beginning to flower.
The trees in Watson Hammock arc slender-trunked, rarely growing mao
more than about 15 feet high. with dark-green, compound leaves i 6-14
relatively narrow, thick, prominent veined leaflets; the margint
coarely toothed and the lower leaflets are smallest but inaca i it
upwards. Young stems have alternating white and purpk-brow u
tudinal streaks. Flowers are produced in near terminal picks abi
hidden in the foliage; the individual flowers are minute, yelDow-gprm a
tinged with red. The fruit is an attractive 3-lob*d brown capste abMs
inch in diameter. Cupania is a member of the Soapberr y yaiy and is m
related to the native soapber., ink wood, and balloon vine; ad 1a 1
cultivated akee lychee. longan. and Spanish lime.
R. BRUCF LE N. Sub-Tropical Experimen Sr5
NATURAL HISTORY NOTES
GREEN-WINGED TEAL IN CAPE SABLE AREA. In the twenty-five
years prior to 1950 1 had never observed the green-winged teal (Anas
carolinensis) in the area that now comprises the Everglades National Park.
This makes Arthur H. Howell's remark in his Florida bird lif that the
species is considered uncommon at Cape Sable, seem a bit of an under-
statement. However, on the Christmas Bird Count for that area on Decem-
ber 23, 1950, William G. Atwater and I found forty green-winged teal on
the small pond located on the west side of the Snake Bight road only a
short distance south of the Ingraham Highway. In he succeeding years the
species has been recorded several times each winter in the Cape Sable area.
A remarkable concentration of these birds was found on January 10, 1954
when, with a large group of Dade Omithologists, I counted approximately
five hundred on a pond about two miles west of Flamingo.
Louis A. ST'IMsos, Miami
FLYING SPEED OF A CORMORANT. It is common opinion that
ducks are swift flyers. this belief partly founded on fact and perhaps also
founded on a desire of the hunter to explain logically a miss from the duck
blind. The cormorant on the other hand has not established a reputation
for speed in the air. For this reason I was rather surprised at the observa-
tihn about to be related. On March 5, 1954, at approximately I PM.. I
was driving west along the Ingraham Highway in the park toward the con-
crete bridge. A Florida cormorant approached from the cast and banked
onto a course paralleling the road and above the adjacent canal. Flying
wst, it maintained a distance of about 200 feet before the car and a height
of fifteen to twenty feet above the canal. I noted the speedometer reading
and observed that it traveled before the car for a distance of nine-tenths
of a mile. The bird did not appear frightened but seemed to be traveling in
a leisurely manner. As near as I could determine it was flying 42 miles per
hour, which to me was a surprising speed for a bird which gives the im-
pression that i is slow and lumbering when in the air.
WILLARD E. DILLEY, ParA Naruralis. Evergldes National Park
AMFRrIAN SEASHFLLS by R- Tucker Abbott. 541 pp,, 23 color pb,
16 black and white photographic plates, 100 tx; figures D. Van NoaW
Co.. New York. April 1954. $12,50.
The first thing one sees in this book
1 the delightful color plates, They
are suprtb. and make the book vir-
tually irresstable from the sar- They
are equal to, if they do no surpass,
the color plates in Percy Morrts' A
f eld &nudr o the sheets. and they num-
her iwent.y-thre to Morris' eight- It
sctms worth while to compare this
new book ith the already available
gutde,. jpt from the standpoint of a
person who is collecting shclh in Flor-
ida. For uw in the field Percy Morris'
book is pocket size, weighs only about
's pounds, contains 40 good photo-
graphic plates illustrating shells, and
costs only $3.75. It is clearly the hand-
icst to carry around. Maxwell Smith's
Fast rnmt marine shells is 8'.- hy II
inches and weighs about 21 4 pounds.
and Abott's A nlerican srasthells is 7 i
by 10 inches and weighs nearly four
Suppose one is wiling to make pr
vision to awr a larger heavr. mre
expensive bok, if it wil idiady
shells eauier, o if ia wi idesify ame
lunds of ihel. What is t he be
then' Welt, Maxwell SmiO's %1A
Eas coan marine shels (1945) hi
eventy-sven plat in it, pr~bm
Ihowing photopgrphs or drawip
more Florda seashells tban my atd
book. But it is only Iithpried mI
many of the halftones show r~ lin
detail, Using this book simutmiasdy
with Abbot's in identifygm a m
sample of shell I foId Mumel
Smith better on distinguishing o to
kinds of dove-shells, and Tuck Ab
boil's better on determining tb aM
altractive little drill was the barp
ribbed drill and not the thick-pped
drill. The following table offer in.
dictation of which books provide tth
mosi descriptions of Florida Ahell
Table showing the number of kinds of Florida shells in th e cone family,
family, etc.. for which the several books provide descriptions. The book by
Vilas and Vilas is Florida marine shells, 1952, selling at $4.00.)
Cones Arks Cockles Wenrtlearps Lucina Sfrak
Tucker Abbott 17 14 11 II 15 6
Marwetl Smith K 14 12 14 17 6
Percy Morris 6 9 7 7 S 5
VIlas and Vilas 4 4 6 1 6 j
One thing which is a source of an-
no1 ancc and a serious impediment to
the learning of enthusiastic amateur
shell collectors is the failure of shell
book authors Io provide phonetic pro-
nuncialsons for the scientific names of
shclh. Persons to whom shell collec-
ing becomes a real avocation often
fnd them-eles driven by the generaL
dna rnment and confusion on com-
mon names to learn the scientific
names. Then they became ufia
by not knowing bow to ta
names m conversations Mr. T
Abbott has sough a way awod t
dilemma by offering the m
preferred English Laf1upe ae
each of some 1500 Americam l&
This should hdp sutati to
this new book become te Ibe
hobbyist shell clleks bat il om
the field wide open to sorm ciP
ous future author to place etymolo-
gically corct pronunciations of cien-
ific names on the lips of the eager
Abboltt American seashie/s hus, of
course, the advantage of being useful
wherever else one might care to use it
in North America north of Mexico. It
has the most colored illustrations and
the best. Its word descriptions are
usmply and early stayed. The infor-
mation is well arranged so that to find
what one wants to know, one does not
have to stumble through a mass of
irrelevant information Yet a great
deal is there. handy if one wants it.
The book begins with lK pages of
stimulating natural history informa-
tion about the shelled marine animals.
Frederick M. Bayer's superb color
plates contribute greatly to the aesthe-
tic appeal of this book, Many of the
hundreds of pen and ink drawings, of
equally high quality, were evidently
reduced too much in printing, with
some reulling muddiness and loss of
deal. All told. however. he author,
illustrator. publisher, and the man who
owns one are to be congr'aulated on
the attractiv nes and usefulness of
this excelknt book.-- ditor,
MARINE TRoricALS by Ed L. Fisher. Published by Sub-Marine Studios.
918 Langford Bldg., Miami 32, Florida. 56 pages with photographic illus-
trations and a color-photograph cover. Price $1.50.
Judging from the inquiries we re-
ceive at Marine Studios, which has no
connecion, incidentally, with Sub-Ma-
rine Studios, the popular interest in
keeping marine dishes in home aquaria
t becoming more and more wide-
spread. This is not difficult to under-
stand. In their striking coloration and
bizarre appearance many marine
forms-and especially those from
tropical waters-surpass all but a very
few of the familiar fresh-water aquar-
TIm new booklet by Ed Fisher rep-
resents a valuable addition to the
'eOdr literature on keeping marine
ishes and invertebrates in the home
aquarium. In many respects t it s in
my opinion, the best thing of its kind
) o a appear. The author is an ex-
pTriencd skin diver and underwater
Potographer as well as an able and
His approach to the problems that
One encounters with a salt-water
aquarium and its inhabitants is one
that should he observed by every
aquarist. However, his definition of
"the scientific method." which he so
strongly advocates, needs to be re-
worded. Instead of starting out with
"a god theory." one starts by formu-
lating a question to which an answer
is desired, then plans an experiment
that will yield the answer. This in-
volves the use of controls-for ex-
ample, setting up two aquaria identical
in every respect except the one that is
to be tested,
Included in the booklet is a very
useful chapter on "Keeping Sea Wat-
er in Shane" (a title which. incidental-
ly. might be more appropriately word-
ed): a chapter on seating up a marine
aquarium; and other sectmins on Feed-
ing. Disease Control, and Collecting.
Fourteen pages are devoted to de-
scriptive accounts of representative
marine fishes, invertebrates and plants,
all considered as denizens of the home
In a work containing wo much thal
is good, the errors and faults stand
out all the more prominently. There
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
arc a few misstatements of fact and a
number of highly questionable infer-
ences, none of which, however, is like-
ly to effect the book's general useful-
ness to the average reader. The author
is guilty of a number of boners with
regard to scientific terminology: for
example. "algae" for alga and algal,
"'agaes'" for algae, "order" for phy-
lum. "phylum" for genus, and "ocelli
for ocellus. Many scieniilic names of
fishes are misspelled and a few are
There is no indication that the tet
and picture captions were ever proper
ly edited or even proof read. In addk
tion to many obvious typographial
errors such as "deveolpmenit "loo-
rine," "evidentlly," the word sliceou
is repeatedly spelled "saliciouk ad
phenomenaa" is used as the plural of
Such easily correctable errors ast
unfair reflections on the large amom
of valuable information contained in
"Marine Tropicals."-F. G. WOOD,
JR., Marineland, Florida
THL MOCKINGBIRD SINGS, 78 rpm, 10 inch record. Prepared from re-
cordings made for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and supervised by
C. Russell Mason. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N. Y., 1954.
VOICES OF THE NtGIIT, 33 1/3 rpm. 12 inch record. Produced by Ptetr
Paul Kellogg and Arthur A. Alien for the Albert R. Brand Bird Soqn
Foundation. Cornell University Records, Division of CorneU University
Press, Ithaca, N. Y. 1954. $6.75.
If Professors Peler Paul Kellogg and
Arthur A. Allen could be put in a
time machine and sent back to the days
of Henry Thoreau. 1 wonder what
that famous naturalist-philosopher
would think of his modern colleagues.
Just imagine the two eminent scien-
tists unwinding their gear before Thor-
eau's eyes at the edge of Walden Pond:
parabolic microphone, headsets, strobe
lights and telephoto-equipped camera.
tape recorder, electric generator, and
the other paraphernalia necessary to
capture not only the images of wild
life, but also its sounds. Thoreau could
see, remember, and interpret nature
only through his writings. Audubon
could prop freshly killed specimens up
and make a record with his paints and
brushes. Kellogg and Allen can bring
a fleeting song of a bird, the momen-
lary trill of a frog, melodies of a
marshland, or the rare thumping of an
ivory-billed woodpecker to the fitede
of any who wish to hear, thanks to the
Albert R. Brand Bird Song Fouodt-
tion and the miracle of modem taec
nology. And they have been doing k
for years and years.
A portion of the platter, "'Tk
Mockingbird Sings" is a Paul Kllog
recording made in a Miami gdeam
Narrator C. Russell Mason o- te
Massachusetts Audubon Society (ad
former president of the Florida Ato-
bon Society, by the way) expalns & i
when mockingbirds are in their hoe
range, so to speak, where they bia
others of their species, they are e
likely to be imitating the saOP Of
other birds, We will not argue the
point, but a certain mocker on a cr-
rain twisted pine tree in back of oY
house in Everglades National PFk
does a pretty smooth job am the so p
and calls of the red-bellied wobjCk-
er. Ricker, blue jay. bob-white, and
other birds of the feeding station as
well as a chuck-wills.widow. I tried
playing "The Mockingbird Sings" as
loud as I could the other day. The
mocker from the twisted pine came
down to the banana plant just off the
screened porch and shouted back-
uhich. I suspect. i as good a com-
mentary on the record as one might
wish to have. However, 1 find that my
copy of the platter has echoes of the
narrator's voice Ithough the bird calls
are crystal clear which may be mere-
Iv because C. Russell Mason of San-
ford. Florid+ now lives in New Eng-
land and his teeth were chattering.
On the periphery of the mocking-
bird's range, Mason found one that
was an especielty good imitator. So.
he brought H. Vose Greenough, Jr..
of the Technicord Laboratory to the
farm in Massachuetts where the bird
lives to get some recordings. These
are also included on the record and
Mason is able to identify many of the
imitations. A sharp ear will catch 32
In my opinion, "Voices of the
Night" is the best of all the Albert
Brand Foundation records. Parts of it
were out before in a 78 rpm album.
Since then, much has been added, and
the 33 I/3 rpm allows the listener to
relax in the chaie longue and enjoy
the record to the futlest without being
constantly alert to jump up and turn
it over. The fidelity of sound sems
remarkable Perhaps the uniqueness of
the object matter adds zet o this
oe too, "Voicn in the Night" coo-
ains the calls of thirty-four frogs and
toads of the United States and Canada.
There is something pleasantly nos-
talgic about this record. Listening to
it one is transported to the cool damp-
ness of a swale in Pennsylvania with
the chorus of spring peepers welling up
from underfoot. Or, there is a sum-
mer evening in the Adirondack with
a bullfrog calling its deep "jug-a-mnm
among the pickerel weeds Prhaps the
'loud musical trill of a male American
toad" awakens remones of hikes
duough the woods when Lhadbnh n
in bloom and kunk cabbage is up.
The shrill breath-hoding call of a
western toad may recall a little pond
in a fold of the Dakota grasslands
when sandhill cranes are flying north.
No matter where you have bee or
where you are now, familiar voices
will come to you out of this splendid
Florida is well represented- Anyone
with two ears, or even one for that
matter, can find out what species he
has been hearing by going through
the record. Towards the end, there is
a grunling call that sounds very fa-
miliar. Narrator Arthur A. Allen re-
minds you that it is a southern bull
frog, "Recorded July 14 from Anhinga
Trail in Everglades National Park.
Florida." To one who wants to know
the toads and frop in the field, this
record is i must, But to many isten-
ers, as to hti reviewer. "Voices of the
Night" is untual and interesing na-
tural history entertainment I is nice
to be able to bring such a familiar bit
of the owdoors right into the family
living room.-DANIEL B. BEARD.
Evergrad National Park. Homesnad.
Background Notes On Authors
bs R. BRUCE LEDIN
C Onc otf the most fascinating creatures that ;nhabit the hammocks of
wouth Florida is the tree snail. NaturaliLst come from all over the Uaild
States to study and collect these animal' for their colorful shell. But cqal
tI a-. nian rnesidnt Floridians find a great deai of pleasure in collting
and observing these snails. ARCHIE L- JONES is one of these and he
has ct;(mtnbuted a most intres ing article beginning on page 59 oN the
reproduction and life history of Liguus. He has studied these creaus
since 1934 when he was first introduced in them in the Pincrcst mc
while collecting tropical fish. And, a. he states in his article, he has hd
them under constant observation for six years in his own back yard wbne
he has had the opportunity to observe their peculiar, but also highly cnwr-
Archic Jones was born in 1910 in Palitka and after spending a brief
period in Havana. Cuba, moved to Miami. He attended the University i
( .lifornia Adult Education Division and lived in Oakland, California, for
rivec years. He served in the United States army for two years spendio
over a year in Paris, France. After the war he returned to Miami to live.
Being treasurer of the Crandon Wholesale Drug Company naturally
Iccuptie his working hours hut his hobhtbs, which include tree sai
hunting. fishing, orchid colkcting, driftwood collecting, (and. ia.ncdell
plker and bridge manage to get him outdoors often enough to enjoy sodt
Il-rida'% natural wonders. His wife. Margaret shares many of his intigsn
Thu- hae tuwo children. Archike age I and Kenneth age seven.
I Colkc-ing marine shells is an inlcrcmsing habby induced in by 0aSy
inntcr isi-ors, as vacll as resident Flonrdian. Once you get started in di
hobhh. % u iill find. a. pointed ourt hb JAY A. WEBER in his artic
whhwh Ix-ins on page 65. that there are many areas better than beacs
'here mri annc hdll can he found
NOTLS ON AUTHORS
Jay Weber retired many years ago, for reasons of health, as one of the
pioneer crficiency experts for the manufacturing industry in New Jersey.
He states: "My chief object has been to get out-of-doors and away from
indoor business in order to conserve better health both physical and mental.
My natural history pursuits must therefore be considered in the nature of
a hobby. My childhood and younger days were spent in New York City.
and 1 used every opportunity to visit the suburbs to collect buterflies and
insects. Later on I began collecting bird, resulting in a collection of scien-
tific bird skins. The object of the collection was to obtain the material
necssarn to work out the classification of our North American birds. In
this endeavour I was frustrated by a growing family and the necessity of
giving close attention to business to support them. In the meantime the big
museums of this country with their adequate staffs completed this work
better than any individual could ever have done. But my collection of birds
was not in vain. for when I gave most of it to ihe Smithsonian Institution.
I was informed that it added greatly to their collection in many ways. The
collection consisted of 10,000 birds ... I donated a representative collec-
tion of about 1,000 skins to the University of Miami.
"My next adventure was in herpetology ... I brought my herpetological
collection to Florida, numbering about 3,000 specimens, and gave it to the
University of Miami. But my enjoyment of natural history is now contin-
ued during my retirement by the collection and studyy of Mollusca. A con-
siderable collection has been made and identified, and I hope it will some
day add to some collection available to the interested students of this part
of the country." Jay A. Weber has published several articles on birds, and
one short article, "Nests of Florida Tree Snails" appeared in Everglades
Natural History for March. 1953.
C In June of 1953. DOROTHY E. SNYDER made a trip to the Florida
Keys to observe birds, with special hope to see the rare short-tailed hawk.
t is this trip that she describes in the article beginning on page 69. She
as accompanied on the trip thus chronicled by three others: Mrs. Elen
Stepheionl a former Chicago birder now located in Connecticut, and who
accompanied Miss Snyder on a trip to Arizona in 1953; Fred Brant. a
senior at Amberst College studying birds of Massachusetts; and Robert
Sat formerly of Amhers Colkge and Harvard University and now of
Palm Springs, California.
EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTogy
Dorothy E. Snyder. Curator of Natural History at the Pcabody Muma
of Salem. Massachusetts, is one of the most active women field nim .
gists and bird photographers in the State of Massachusetts She s the lg
of many articles on birds and has taken many field trips to vario pitJ d
the United States and Canada. She was born in Chicago and s r
childhood in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. In her teem she speal a
at Pearl Beach, Ohio, where friends introduced her to the fAu
observing birdlife. When her family moved to Elyria, Ohio, she ao-
to explore out of doors and became acquainted with plants, bjh, b mb
etc., there. She joined the local bird club under the leadership df r-dS
gist Frank n Phelps and soon became proficient in taking bid n-
graphs. In 1943 she became associated with the Berfhire Muem k
teaching nature study. One of her duties was staff lecturer for the m
chusctts Audubon Society. In 1947 she was appointed Asistant m d
Natural History of the Peabody Museum at Saem and has bler ba
Curator. Her duties include teaching in public schools as wel as com is
the museum in bird identification. She also identifies many birds ad h
animals that are brought and sent in to the museum. She has made an
sivc birding trips through Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, Arizoe ma
Canada, and in the summer of 1954 she plans to spend three mondh clmp
ing and birding through the western United States from Texas to CaliforW
and Washington, spending as much time as possible in Mexico. In 1949 de
spent 16 days in Florida from Jacksonville to the Keys and receded
33,300 birds of 189 species.
(' ROLAND T. BIRD has stated that he has a passion for three i
one of which is writing, but he adds that he never made a smc d(
However, I believe that the readers of this magazine will agree dSt l
his previous article. "Death trap in a jungle paradise, in whr he
scrbed and explained bone accumulations in the bottom of a h p pst
in the Redlands Hammock, he has succeeded in making dIe Sdib
cinating. indeed. Here in his second article "A palm that nemr B" hb
ginning on page 75. he has again written with charm. In this hib abe .
of a bolt of lightning striking a pine and then bouncing off a sa
cts off a stream of reminiscences associated with this Hltt pahL & bit
back to days when he dug fossils in Wyoming, recal his first p c rA
ida when he first saw the saw palnetto. describes an intlistig cq
NOTES ON AUTHORS
with the palmetto when hunting turkey in the Everglades. and concludes
with an unusual experience with the Florida diamondback rattlesnake.
( JOHN D. DICKSON'S article, "Those bounteous Florida Keys," which
begins on page 87, will appeal to many naturalists. In it he has demon-
strated, certainly to his own satisfaction, that one can partially subsist in
the lower Florkida Keys on our native plants and animals. The number of
plants with edible fruit may surprise many peopc, and Dickson has done a
valuable service in identifying and assessing the palatability of so many of
John D. Dickion Il was born in Eastover, South Carolina, in 1921, but
has lived in Miami nearly all of his life. He state that his parents went up
to South Carolina just to have him born there. He has, as far back as he
can remember, always been interested in plants and animals. One of his
many natural history pursuits has been keeping and observing the box
turtle. He published an article about this animal's habits in Everglades
Natural History for June 1953. Mr. Dickson graduated from the Univer-
sity of Miami in biology in 1951 and will receive his Master of Science
degree from that university this very month. The investigation upon which
he wrote his master's thesis is a study of the ecology of the key deer. He
spent 15 months from June of 1951 through September of 1952 on the
lower Florida Keys, camping mostly on Big Pine Key, and studying among
other things the food habits of this famous diminutive deer. To do this he
analyzed the droppings of the deer, studied the stomach contents of a few
which were killed by traffic on the Overseas H'ghway, and observed the
browsing habits of the animals. Since he had to know the plants in order
to accomplish all of this, he collected and learned to identify the different
species of vascular plants on Big Pine Key and 24 adjacent keys. He was
aided in this work by the herbarium and staff of the Botany Department
of the University of Miami, and from this phase of his investigation he
recently published a "Check list of the flora of Big Pine and surrounding
keys." This ist, co-authored with R. Woodbury and T. R Alexander,
includes 450 species. This investigation of the ecology o the key deer was
done in cooperation with the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Com-
mission with federal aid from the U. S. Fish ond Wildlife Service. Ar-
rangements were made for the field ork to be used in his thesis. His report
to the Commission was presented in June of 1953 and according to the
112 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORy
Ilaest information should be published soon.
( GEORGE D. RUEHLE'S article "Some Native Trees and Shnrbs as
Ornamentails." which begins on page 93. represents the second insallent
of this informative paper on the landscape uses of native plants. Dr. Ruaebl
has studied the native plants for many years, has propagated most of them
from seeds und has observed their growth and function as onamenal
plans throughout south Florida. He has been with Experiment Station of
the University of Florida since 1930, spending five years at the Lake Citrus
Station and coming to the Sub-Tropical Experiment Station in 1935. He
hccamc director of this station in 1943, and since the war, has ben M-
strumental in developing it to a point where it is one of the largest nd
most interesting stations of its kind in the United States. One of its out-
standing features is the large collection of tropical fruits. The station is wel
known in Iropical countries throughout the world and is visited by many
foreign agricultural workers.
Besides being interested in native and exotic pants. Dr. Ruehle has done
considerable work on tropical fruits (mangos, avocados, limes, guavas) and
winter vegetables. His work has a wide range, including studies of plant
diseases. plant introduction, testing of new varieties, study of propagation
:ind general culture of all our subtropical plants. Probably no other premst-
day horticulturist has had such a wide range of experience in this area and
his advice is eagerly sought on many problems connected with gowin
plants of all kinds.
In this present article, Dr. Ruehle describes and discusses the landscape
uses of ten species of native plants. This includes our attractive sea gape
and cocoplum, as well as the live oak and the fascinating strangler fig. Aso
included are the common wax myrtle and southern sweetbay magnolia. It
may come as a surprise to most people that this wax myrtle is of deinit
value as a landscape object and that we south Floridians have a native
magnolia with attractive white flowers,
Vo.. 2, N 3
Cme pha grpAh fI bOy Rldph L Pdamr. Ufw e A foa c Dwmsaru
23 fl53. E'hd Forhi.
aft b in &n id Flor .
PIhrd I. hb NaSi=n Pat . .
lWNbdpad of dIe Ri of te Ewerggi
L myay wiuke of Vio Bemh .
A tWd from the wife of tree ailer ,
- t .. 4
Pat qu rmj ceptionita . . .
Ivw Deputment . 9 .
w with w p . .
Vi frm bird trv e
Hh" ffiry Note
rhalminba oft yO "n hS O
Vbs flgn v ......
"a u*km y- ..
Lmat of Amica
The OW Pde .. . .
rl bdNobf ALom cm . ...
. byRAM P. AM
.. by 4 A. Sm
* bby Fsk N. YeCw
. y F.O. Woo. Jr, fnr .
, . by Floyd M
tr) by Alfred L. RAfrwd
by Frace Normnm Ya#r
by Jowph Curtw Moore
by Pwt Staplus Flun
by WAd" E. Diry
. b Mr Sh ~r
S by. An Ne.tn
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Comments on the Status of the
Flamingo in Florida
Sy R OBERT P, A L L E N illtration by Water B. Colbroo
T HE STATUS of the West Indian flamingo (Phoenicopterus rubr) in
Florida continues to be of interest to visitors especially within the
rca of EvergLade, National Park. The picture is fairly clear prior to 1931,
hen the first Hialeah birds were introduced from Cuba, but somewhat
confused since that year. Today, in addition to the strong possibility that
individuals of this species observed in Florida Bay or elsewhere arc escapes
irom the growing flock at Hialeah, the recent increase in roscate spoon-
bills (Ajaia ajaa) along the Upper Keys has been responsible for many
erroneous reports of flamingosos" in that vicinity.
There is no positive evidence that the flamingo, in u wild state, ever
nested in Florida or elsewhere in the continental United States, although
s regular occurrence in some numbers previous to 1903 is well established.
Having studied in considerable detail most known nesting sites of this
species in the Bahamas. Cuba. Yucatan and Netherlands Antilles during
*it las three years, the writer has been impressed with the fact that none
t the suspected Florida habitats meet the usual requirements of a typical
amingo breeding sire. None of the early travelers and naturalists reported
a Hida colony and most of them do not mention the flamingo at all.
e it occurred mainly "about the point of orida. rarely as far north as
St Augutine," as reported by Wiliam Bartram after his 1774 visit.
Autb's account, published in 1839, is the first caiy report with amy
Sto it, but it can be said at once that Audubon was obvious disap-
p idat the unexpected scarcity of famingos in Floida. He reached the
iM aMay 1832 with high hopes, ". .. for my voya)e o the Foridas
i deruaken in a great measure for the purpose o studying these lorvly
116 EVERGLADES NATURAL HISTORY
birds in their own beautiful islands." However, he saw only one flok.
evidently not a large one, near Indian Key on May 7th, and as they wNe
both shy and alert he was unable to obtain one of them as a specimen frm
which to painL At Key West he had expected to find them numerous bIt
again be was disappointed, for none were in evidence, although Dr. Bce-
amin Strobel reported that he had killed a good many. some of ctm i
salt pans within the Key West environs
Five years after Audubon ws in London working on the final paiinp
for his Birds of America. Certain of his letters of that period real that
he had not been able to lay his hands on so much as a dried skin f
flamingo. Nor an egg. On October 4, 1837. he wrote to an unnamed (riNd
(probably the Rev. John Bachman). expressing delight that an egg hd
been obtained for him. "But." writes the already disappointed Audub~ a
"when shall I see it is another affair!" He also says, "I wrote a few days
ago to our friend Doer. Wilso 1 Note: Dr. Samuel Wilson. a ried o
Bachman]. to do all in his power to forward me in Rum one or mOre
Flamingoes as soon as possible .v"
Later that same month Audubon wrote from London again, on October
31. 1837, not only showing his growing impatience at not receiving the
promised flamingo skins or eggs, hut giving us an interesting clue to the
value of the Dollar in those days, and disclosing how near he was to going
to Cuba, a visit that would have had historic results ornithologically. "+ "
As to flamingoes & their eggs I fear this is up for me; and this proves to
me now that I was a great fool not to have gone to Cuba, or sent a pe0fl
there expressly. It would have cost perhaps one hundred and fifty Do0
but what is such a sum to the assurance of the Truth being had, respect
this remarkable species; unfortunately rare on our coast-" Then foo i'
under date of December 20, 1837. a third letter on the subject, a
red to Bachma, in reply to that gentleman's answer, in which he
assured Audubon that be and Dr. Wilson had "comund with a cert
a firing Captain, who promised to xert himself in the pouring
Flkmwioes in the flesh for me!" Auduboa wat careful nstructios
be shipping of these specmn "by the first packet ship bound to LatoL
r it ill prove too late
AAnther naot, daed December 28th, says simply, ". .. When wt
ROBERT P. ALLEN
Finally, nothing having happened, Audubon wrote in utter isgust,
u.n6 owt without ood humor, a follows: "Londo, April 14th 1838.
My dear : -.. HL mps are sa vwy far bew 'r pwed
i wi povt a curiasiy to he Wor of Scie, wean dat word wr
know that Jon Bachman, D.D. himself, assisted by Samuel Wson M-D
ad about one half of a hundred persons, beside, have not been able to
md me enen a fuled qpeca in time for my publicatio4-So is
k Oetr nd I Wop the 1kt"
Adnbo's plam of the h amiPng, which appeased alog with h other
remarkable paintio the following year, was of an adult male sent to hi,
Presumably at the lat minute, by Jean Chartrand, Esq., together with
Ea & d kimn." h y had bee obtned a Oa pebably frm ks
t h dwad of Mat ," where the spec wm reported wfs in
1137. A dboa's Anl mtatmment m tohe Us aino Is Irn was, "IRa
rae, and only during summer in the Florid Keys, and the western coast of
Florida Accidental as far as South Carolina. Constantly resident in Cub.L"
Wh regard to the Florida oomnce cf the aminzo, the allowing
P-t ame bSo of htImW. Gomavi Wwdem rec rded how mtis of
SUpper 1ey. capped and killed dte birh ear -ina Key i Aqpst,
1857, when they wer flightless as a result of molting their primaries
Thee ae no further reports on large numbers frm that region. According
b W. E D. Sco, a Gock of 1,000 or mor anrived I the vIti of
Dame SndS 3B July a od moed to the k rega of Gri& B in J
Y- He asAed that hey were post4beding e birds hm the
BWhamas, to which they presumably returned each spring. Th was in
1890, the me ye that John Nortop visited a sizeable estig ite on
e t slde of Amgas kand, t much ovr 100 Mi l to t e*nt
I' L=W. Northrop akid that te Aues atin we der ii a lp
Saof tde y mg lamnrios each year. SoNcefu ml s on Ac w~e
* of Andros was ranr or unknown after 1890, and te last report of
W fok in Florida Bay was that of Howe and King who saw about
100i bdi camt Cape Sable in Mai, 1902. Amdrl may well ha
Ses aore at &e Forkida ay sock
BeweMn 1902 and 1930, that is, before iah i odmeoa re
Se, thre atr some 14 items in the liurature concerning flaingosh
pbri Sw ral of tbe report no bird at all, whie the larpgt number
Everglades Natural History
A MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY OF SOUTH FLORID4
Conceived by C. M. Goethe and Danie B. Beard
for VISITORS to tire EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
and everlnme interested in natural nauth Fhloida.
Edited by JOSEPH C. Moon, PH.D,
BOARD OF CONSULTING EDITORS
TIvLOR R. ALEXLNDEX. Ph.D.. souny opt. u'nis. Mimi ...... .\ anve Pia
ROBEAT P. ALLEN' N.ional AudubW Socyr. Tomerw ..... ... Bird Bhewrn
RoLAND T. BUDD Aerica Mineu of .Natulral tor ir.). - FoiW Awm)*
ARCHIE F. CAX. Ph.D, iolo De~p. nLim. Fh-dA -. Repriles and .4mpflub
H. AILISs DiEnES, P., hD Piolo I~cp. Florim s Stas s.t .-.. Lif_ Proceus
J. C. DiCKINSON, JIL. Ph.D., Bioot Det(., UnL,. Flowidnl .......... Bird Namsn
Rob RT N. GINSBURG, Ph.D.. Marine bLb., lait. Msiara ... Rock s and Mi4nt a
JOHN M. GOGGIN, Ph.D.. Dept. Social. & Anhf., Vnv, Floiida ---- ndan I ef
R. BRUCE LEDIN. Ph.D., Subiroic l l ubn nton ........ . ..woIr Pdlas
WM. M. McLANE, Florida Gmr & Frel*watlr Fi'i Comm. .... Fr.rhwarr F nih
E. MORTON MILLER, Ph.D.. Unive hy of Miami .............. Social bijru
HENRY M. STEVENSON, Ph.D., Zool. Depl., FlHoida State Univ.. Bird flisltibuAt~
CIIARLTON W. TEBEAU, Ph.D.. H]iiory Dcpt., Univ. Mipmm .. ... .- - Hior
F. G. WOOD, JR., Marine Sludios, Marineland ..........-...--... M-rne-' Fi.h
EV .ItlrrcA NATURAL HIuTORY is publihed in Marih. June. Scptcmber. and I)tLrmItr 4
ecb year by the Everglades Natural Htlory Auicalion, Wlk2 North Krama Acrtnur I m
ini addrr P.O. Box 275), HomncirPad Florida, Indivlual cnope~ are IOc each prw pra.
wtbscription is 52.00 a vcar. Enieted as ccond clam maiur Februvry 25, 194. .1 the P t
(Mice aI Hfomnesfad Florida, under Act of March 1. 11K7. C(tcIu C luld be mad out
the AswcitLion and mailed no Extutuie Secrr( ry Willand F l)llky
The Everglades Natural History Association
A non-profit society established under charter in 1951 to further interns
and understanding of the natural and historic and scientific valuh of
Everglades National Park.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Willard E. Diley, Park Naturalist .... .- Esene" e Secrfw
Joseph C. Mooe, Park Biologist .... .............. C w
C. C. Von Paulson, Captain U.S.C.G. (rci) ............. Tr1amm
Daniel B. Beard, Park Superintendent
Charles M. Brookfield. National Audubon Society
Everglades Natural History Association
C. M. GOETHE. Sacramnto. CalifNtor
FRANK E. MASLAND, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
WI.LIAM ANDERSON. Washimopl D. C.
RICHARD ARCHBOLD, Lakc Placid. Flrida
THOMAS S. HODSON. Homestead, Florid.
WILI.AM H. LANE. Lunchurg. Massachusetts
MRS. DOROTHY B. PALMER, Fort Pierce. Florida
MARSHALL S. P. POLLARD. Coconut Grove, Florida
MRS. R. STFARNS. JR.. Stams Kentucky
GEORGE N. AVERY, Marathon, Florida
MRS. ROBERT HARGIS ANDERSON. Miami, FLorida
MRS, AUGUST BURGHARD. Ft, Lauderdolc, Florida
GEORGE A, COFFIN, Miami. Florida
FRANK C. CRAI(GHEAD. Carliske, Pennylvania
RICHARD F. DECKERT, North Miami. Florida
M R. and MRS. HOARD I. DOH R MA N Coconut Grove
MRS. BRUCE M, HOGG, Coconu Grove, Florida
JACK and JEANNE HOLMES. Coral Gabcl. Florida
DR. RALPH W. JACK. Miami. Florida
FREDERICK LAW OLMSTEAD. Palo Allo, California
GLADYS E. WILBUR. Soulh Miami, Florida
MARY WHELAND WILLINGHAM, Miami. Florida
C oaNL *L I