Front Cover
 Title Page
 Prefatory note
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Down the west coast
 The reproduction of plant life
 A pilgrimage to deep lake
 The flatwoods
 The Caloosahatchee River
 A bit of local geology
 Lake Okeechobee
 The coconut palm in Florida
 Merritt's Island
 A chapter on hurricanes
 Paradise Key
 The vagaries of vegetation
 Incidents in the life of a...
 Along the roadside
 A search for liguus
 The life of the swamp
 An old tramp among the Florida...
 A midwinter walk

Title: Out of doors in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00024604/00001
 Material Information
Title: Out of doors in Florida the adventures of a naturalist
Physical Description: xii, 412 p. : front., plates. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Simpson, Charles Torrey, 1846-1932
Publisher: E.B. Douglas Co.
Place of Publication: Miami
Publication Date: 1923 [c1924]
Subject: Natural history   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: together with essays on the wild life and the geology of the state, by charles Torrey Simpson ...
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00024604
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000006655
notis - AAA7953
oclc - 01526560

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Prefatory note
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
    Down the west coast
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 12a
        Page 12b
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 28a
        Page 28b
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 32a
        Page 32b
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 40a
        Page 40b
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 44a
        Page 44b
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    The reproduction of plant life
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 60a
        Page 60b
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    A pilgrimage to deep lake
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 76a
        Page 76b
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 92a
        Page 92b
        Page 93
    The flatwoods
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 108a
        Page 108b
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    The Caloosahatchee River
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 124a
        Page 124b
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    A bit of local geology
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 140a
        Page 140b
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    Lake Okeechobee
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 156a
        Page 156b
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 172a
        Page 172b
        Page 173
    The coconut palm in Florida
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 188a
        Page 188b
        Page 189
    Merritt's Island
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 192a
        Page 192b
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 200a
        Page 200b
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 204a
        Page 204b
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
    A chapter on hurricanes
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 220a
        Page 220b
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
    Paradise Key
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 236a
        Page 236b
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 252a
        Page 252b
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
    The vagaries of vegetation
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 268a
        Page 268b
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
    Incidents in the life of a naturalist
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 284a
        Page 284b
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 300a
        Page 300b
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
    Along the roadside
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 316a
        Page 316b
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
    A search for liguus
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 332a
        Page 332b
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 348a
        Page 348b
        Page 349
        Page 350
    The life of the swamp
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 352a
        Page 352b
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 360a
        Page 360b
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 364a
        Page 364b
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
    An old tramp among the Florida Keys
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 380a
        Page 380b
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
    A midwinter walk
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 396a
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
Full Text

. .

Lake Okeechobee. Mouth of Disston Canal. Large cypress tree on the left which was long a land-
mark but is now destroyed. 'y
rPhoto by F. W. Hunt (See page 168.)

Out of Doors

in Florida

The Adventures of a Naturalist, Together
with Essays on the Wild Life and
the Geology of the State

Charles Torrey Simpson


Published by the
E. B. Douglas Co.
Miami, Florida


Press of
J. J. Little & Ives Company
New York, U. S. A.





IN 1920 I published a book, "In Lower Florida
Wilds," consisting of a series of essays on the
animals and plants of the more tropical part of the
State and some account of my experiences as a col-
lector of natural history material in this region. A
friend who read this book said to me: "Write an-
other and tell more of your adventures in the wilds."
As there were several subjects which I could not dis-
cuss in the "Wilds" on account of lack of room and
as my explorations have led me over other parts of
the State, I have followed his advice.
These chapters were written in part to give some
idea of the wonderful wild life that inhabited Florida
before man began his destruction and partly to call
attention to the fact that there are a great number
of interesting problems here that remain to be
studied and worked out. In it I have appealed
again that some of the hammocks and other vegeta-
tion, together with the natural features of our State,
should be spared from destruction. It is high time

that an organized effort should be made to save some
of the useful and beautiful things for those who are
to come after us.
An Old Tramp Among the Florida Keys was
published in Natural History and is here reproduced
in a slightly altered shape by permission. A Mid-
winter Walk appeared in a local newspaper and is
used here with the consent of its editor.
C. T. S.
May II, 1923.




. I49
S. 7049

. 94
. 113
. 138
. 153
. 174
. 190
. 214
.* 233
. 257





Lake Okeechobee. Mouth of Disston Canal .
"Naples by the Sea," Southwest Florida 12
Caxambas, Florida. Looking across to Horr's
Island 13
Two lone Royals, the remains of a Magnificent
Forest on Rogers River .. 28
The Ten Thousand Islands. Chokoloskee Is-
land on right .......... 29
Chokoloskee Island. Seminole Indian Camp 32
Mouth of Rogers River, Fla. Mangroves seventy
feet high ........... 33
Forest of Black Mangrove (Avicennia nitida) 40
Northwest Cape Sable. Heavy Hammock in dis-
tance ............. 41
Wild Aerial Garden showing trees laden with
Epiphytes .. 44
Tall Saw Palmettoes in brackish swamp 45
Diagram illustrating Growth of Saw Palmetto 60
Heavy Pine forest (Pinus caribaensis) such as
is seen south of Fort Myers 61
Beautiful Coconut Palms near Marco. Below,
Old Man taking notes .. 76
Deep Lake, hidden in Heavy Forest .. 77


Off for Deep Lake. Below, Cypress Strand
west of Everglade .. 92
Flatwoods near Head of Chokoloskee River 93
Another Type of Flatwoods near Ballast Point,
Fla. 1o8
Views in Flatwoods; Ponds and Flowery
Meadows ........ o9
Old Pine with gnarled branches. Crooked limbs
of Old Tree below .. 124
Young Pines, showing manner of growth 125
The Caloosahatchee River. Heavy Growth of
Cabbage Palmettos .. 140
The Caloosahatchee with Village on Bank .141
Beautiful Bend in the Caloosahatchee River 156
Part of Fort Myers from an Aeroplane 157
Potholes and Strata of O6litic Rock . 172
Remarkable growth of Pond Apple (Annona
glabra) East of Lake Okeechobee 173
Beautiful Hammock along East Shore of Lake
Okeechobee 188
The Barbee, our exploring boat, aground in Lake
Okeechobee .. 189
West Palm Beach Canal where it enters Lake
Okeechobee 192
"The Landing of the Pilgrim Father." Canal
near Moorehaven .. 193
Young Coconut Palms, about one and four years
old 200
Six-year-old Coconut above; Old crooked trees
below ............ 201

Map of Merritt's Island showing Long Tongue
of Land .......... 204
Diagram of Rainfall between Lemon City and
Hypoluxo, Florida 205
Charming View on Indian River Opposite Mer-
ritt's Island 220
Base of Great Strangling Fig (Ficus area) on
Merritt's Island .. 221
Knife-like Point of Merritt's Island seen from
Banana River .. 236
Jelly Fish at Merritt's Island. Hammock along
shore 237
Beautiful Palmettos on Merritt's Island 252
Paradise Key seen from the north across the
Everglades 253
Head of Taylor River just east of Paradise Key 268
Near View of Paradise Key showing unfinished
Rock Road .. 269
Lone Royal Palm on Island'near Paradise Key 284
Wonderful Fern Growth on Paradise Key .285
Lodge on Paradise Key (Royal Palm State Park) 300
A Young Forest Nymph on Paradise Key 3. 301
Royal Palm on Paradise Key 125 feet high .316
The "Spirit of the Forest." Long Moss hanging
from Giant Live Oaks 317
Ingraham Highway on Paradise Key, now Royal
Palm State Park .. 332
Anamomis simpsoni showing long, narrow but-
tresses .. ??

Remarkable buttresses on West Indian Silk Cot-
ton Tree......... 348
Rachel's Key, a typical islet of the Florida Keys 349
Joseph Sears, Negro Boatman. "Conchs" below 352
A Florida Key Home. Below, Dense Scrub on
Lower Matecumbe Key .. 353
Freshwater Swamp such as is seen back of Fort
Pierce .. 360
The wild, lonely, untrodden Everglades .361
Another more extensive Freshwater Swamp .364
"Gator Hole" with Spatter Dock. Edge of Ever-
glades ............ 365
A group of Natives of the Florida Keys 380
A Ride with the Section Men. Below, How the
Old Man collects Tree Snails ... .381
Oolitic Rock Formation at Punch Bowl, near
Miami ........... 396


ON the first day of May, 1885, the sharpie
"Permit" sailed out of the Manatee River
for a month's cruise down the west coast
and keys of Florida. The crew consisted
of Captain Hugh Culbert, owner and builder, Pliny
Reasoner, who acted as cook and sailor, the writer
in the capacity of general roustabout, and in addition
we had one passenger, Mrs. Simpson. We were off
for a cruise in one of the most interesting regions
of the United States.
Culbert was a curious character, a native of the
coast of North Carolina who proudly boasted of
being a "Tar heel." As a boy he had taken to the
water as readily as a duck and had followed it all
his life. He might have been fifty or a little more,
with sharp features, high cheek bones and a shock
of curly grizzled hair, was little given to talk and


made few friends. He had a certain crustiness of
manner and speech which sometimes amounted to
irascibility when aggravated, but as a general thing
was kindly and good natured.
When I first knew him he was a fisherman, and
I got him to bring me the shells he took in his nets;
then he sometimes brought fish to my home and later
we occasionally had him eat with us. He was a
bachelor and a woman hater, but somehow soon took
a liking to Mrs. Simpson and later declared to me
that she was the only "wommern" he ever "seen
that had any sense." Pliny Reasoner met him at
my house and they were soon on excellent terms;
in fact, he became much attached to all three of us
and his friendship was fully returned.
I am quite sure that he could neither read nor
write, though he took great pains to conceal his lack
of knowledge. Ordinarily his only oath was "By
juckies" which he used on all occasions, but during
the few times when I have seen him fully wrought
up his profanity was as vivid and complicated as
that of any old seafarer I ever knew. His manner
of rendering favors was often decidedly unconven-
tional and his voice was peculiar and querulous.
In short he was an out and out sailor, a man whose


every act and utterance smacked with the flavor of
the sea.
He had formerly been a smuggler of West India
rum, agua ardiente or "argidente" as it was usually
called, which he brought over from Cuba in a small
fast sailing boat and turned over to an accomplice
somewhere on the west coast of Florida who disposed
of it. At the time I first knew him he had an old
sail boat, but later he built a flat-bottomed, seven ton
sharpie. This had two masts each carrying a long,
triangular sail. Below the middle of each there was
a sort of gaff or "club" as it was called and there
was a boom at the bottom. In case of very strong
wind the upper part of the sails could be lowered
and the two spars lashed together easily and quickly
to form a reef. Culbert christened it "The Permit"
after a food fish of the southwest coast of Florida.
Although almost a giant in stature, Pliny Rea-
soner was a mere boy, kindly and unselfish, fairly
bubbling over with glorious young life and energy,
an excellent botanist and a plant lover. He took
delight in teazing Culbert, but generally managed to
stop before the latter became exasperated. Reasoner
and I were both interested in making a collection of
shells, and this coast was the richest in marine tiol-


lusks that I ever saw. Culbert had most generously
offered us the trip free and had told us he was in
no hurry, that whenever and wherever we wanted
to go ashore to say the word and the anchor would
go overboard.
We ran down through Sarasota Bay and just in-
side of the key of that name we came to anchor and
all but the captain went ashore to collect. The sandy
beach was strewn with small mollusks, among them
being a variety of Olivellas with oval shells which
gleamed in the sunlight like shining beads. For
some distance after getting under way again Culbert
sailed outside in the open Gulf, and as the weather
was fine he concluded to run at night in order that
we might reach Sanibel Island at the mouth of Char-
lotte Harbor the next morning. He was a night
hawk and could go for days without sleep apparently
with little or no inconvenience. He said he would
run inside at Stump Pass, I believe, and make the
rest of the distance in sheltered water, and he had
me sleep on deck to assist in getting in if any help
was needed.
Some time late in the night he called me and said
he was going to run in. The moon had risen about
an hour before, and a slight haze lay along the sandy


beach. A light wind blew directly on the land, and
heading the sharpie for it he gave me the helm and
went forward, telling me to obey any orders in-
stantly. It seemed to me that there was no opening
in front of us and that we were headed directly for
the sandy shore, but supposing that he knew I steered
straight ahead as he had ordered. In a flash we
were among a smother of breakers, and Culbert
yelled to me to put the helm hard down, which I did.
Pliny was awake in a moment, and when Culbert
came and seized the tiller we attempted to shove
the boat off with poles. For a strenuous fifteen min-
utes which seemed hours we pushed and strained
with all our strength. The boat pounded ominously
on the bottom and two or three times the booms
scraped the shore, but finally the land fell off a
little ahead of us and the Permit picked up and
slid into deep water. I never could understand how
Culbert made such a mistake unless he was moon
blind, for as we sailed along it was evident that
there was no opening anywhere in that vicinity, and
he knew the whole region as well as a man knows
his own back yard.
Early in the morning we ran through the wide
Boca Grande channel and into the waters of Char-


lotte Harbor. The latter is a large and fine bay
or gulf into the upper end of which Peace Creek
enters. La Costa Island was on our right and Pine
Island on the left. Farther down, Sanibel Island
stretched in an east and west direction almost en-
tirely across the mouth of the great bay. Although
this is an extensive arm of the sea I have no doubt
that it is an estuary such as is found at the mouths
of all the Floridian rivers that enter the sea. At
the close of Pliocene time, during which an immense
amount of sediment was deposited over most of
what is now the State of Florida, a general elevation
took place until the land stood at a considerably
higher level than it does today. All the streams
which flowed into the sea began to cut channels and
wear out shallow valleys. Then during early Pleis-
tocene a decided subsidence took place and when the
land again rose it was not carried up so high as
formerly. This made estuaries of the lower parts
of all the streams entering the ocean. The erosion
caused by the tides rushing in and out and the dis-
solving power of the carbon dioxide in the water
tended to widen these and in some cases to slightly
deepen them. Charlotte Harbor is doubtless one of
the oldest and has had a long time for development.


Tampa Bay has much the appearance of a forked
estuary occupying the site of two former streams,
and the fifty-foot line of elevation runs in a loop
some forty-five miles to the north of the head of
Old Tampa Bay and nearly to the headwaters of
Hillsborough River which empties into the head of
Hillsborough Bay.
We came to anchor inside the eastern end of
Sanibel Island, and at once all but the captain went
ashore in the rowboat to collect shells. I have been
about the world somewhat as a collector, but in no
other spot have I seen such a wealth, such an over-
whelming magnificence of marine shells as is to be
found along the inner shore of this island. For
miles from far below low water mark to a hundred
feet or more back from the shore they lie in great
beds or ricks, an unbroken sheet. If a railroad track
could be laid down through them it would be easily
possible to load a train upon it by shovelling up
shells, almost every one fit for a cabinet. The entire
west coast of Florida is fine collecting ground, but
this island is the climax of it all. We were simply
crazy with delight, overpowered by the extravagance
of marine life before us, and after filling every bag
and basket with selected specimens we threw them


out and gathered more. Although a considerable
part of the lower east coast of Florida is composed
of limestone, the material which furnishes carbonate
of lime in the shells, the region is generally rather
poor in mollusks. The beaches are so close to the
profound waters of the Gulf Stream which sweep
in against them that there seems to be little room
for the development of marine life. On the western
side of the peninsula there is a long and very gradual
slope of the bottom before the profoundly deep water
of the middle gulf is reached, hence there is a splen-
did opportunity for the development of shallow water
Having filled all our receptacles with shells and
dumped a lot into the boat, we got in and pulled
for the sharpie. Mrs. Simpson sat in the stern,
Pliny in the bow and I took the seat amidships and
pulled. So elated were we with our splendid success
that we didn't notice the very strong tide which was
running out into the Gulf, not especially swift just
at the shore, but it must have made at least eight
miles an hour at the sharpie, which lay some twenty
rods out. It soon became evident that although I
headed the skiff up the current and pulled with all
my strength we were making no progress, and though


Pliny encouraged me I could see that we were drop-
ping down into the open sea. My strength was
about exhausted and I determined that I would head
the skiff for the shore when the boat gave a sudden
lurch which nearly carried it down by the head.
Pliny called to me to take in the oars, and when I
looked around I saw him holding a big block of
wood attached to a rope. Culbert had happened to
come on deck and saw our predicament, so without
delaying a moment he fastened the piece of wood
to the end of a rope. This he threw overboard, pay-
ing it out as fast as possible to the end; then he tied
on one rope after another and let them out until the
whole reached an eighth of a mile below the sharpie.
It took quick work, but he got it out so fast that the
block was carried to us and Pliny caught it and
stopped the drifting of the skiff. Then Culbert and
Reasoner pulled in a long time finally bringing us
alongside the Permit and we got aboard.
The next day we went ashore again, wandering
across the island to the outer beach, but to my sur-
prise it was not so rich in shells as the inner. I
noticed quite a change in the vegetation, there being
a considerable number of tropical trees and shrubs
not found as far north as the Manatee region, and


among them was the lovely satinleaf (Chrysophyl-
lum), a Bumelia or ant's wood, a mastic (Sideroxy-
lon), two new Eugenias, joewood (Jacquinia), with
slender, obovate leaves and panicles of yellowish,
deliciously fragrant flowers and several others.
Coming out of Charlotte Harbor we ran down
opposite Estero Island with a beautiful outer beach,
and when we said there ought to be good collecting
there Culbert obligingly told Pliny to heave the mud-
hook over and go ashore. Then Mrs. Simpson, Pliny
and I got into the skiff and started, but we had only
gone a short distance when Pliny saw a magnificent
Portuguese man-of-war floating a few feet away.
At his eager request I pulled the boat towards it,
and in attempting to get it he reached far over the
side of the skiff-too far as it turned out. I do not
know whether it stung him or he merely lost his
balance, but anyhow the water poured over the side
of the boat and in an instant it capsized, throwing
us out where it was neck deep. Mrs. Simpson went
under, but I got to her in a moment and raised her
head above water when we waded ashore while
Pliny towed in the boat and our various belongings.
I heard a loud derisive laugh from the sharpie and


something which sounded like, "Them fool land lub-
bers 'll manidge to git drowned yit."
We got safely to the shore and intended bailing
out the boat and going back to change our clothes,
but the beach was covered with shells and we couldn't
resist the temptation to begin collecting. Our cloth-
ing soon dried on us and we scarcely suffered the
least discomfort from the ducking, but after that
when Pliny wanted to go ashore Culbert was likely
to say to him, "Don't go getherin' any more Portugee
Culbert very often told of a former friend and
companion, "Ole Man Josslyn," with whom he
seemed to have been on the most intimate terms.
The old man was possessed of profound judgment
and wisdom, he had had the widest experience and
the former almost worshiped him. What he was,
what he did for a living, whether he was a pirate
or trucker, a fisherman or boat builder we never
knew. Apparently he lived somewhere on the south-
west coast, for Culbert often told of running in to
his place, but he would never tell where it was. I
sometimes thought that this old man was a sort of
imaginary, a fancied character who possessed un-
limited wisdom, who could be quoted by Culbert as


a final authority when he wanted to silence Pliny
or me, something like Sairy Gamp's "Mrs. Harris,"
but it is probable that he was a confederate in the
smuggling business who received and disposed of
the contraband rum which was brought over by Cul-
bert in "Th' ole Porgy," a celebrated boat which he
once owned and of whose remarkable qualities he
never tired of telling. A hundred times during the
cruise little things "minded" him of adventures with
the old man and of this wonderful boat.
During the time we were delightedly gathering
shells Culbert caught an immense mess of fish, and
while we were sitting at supper that evening, the
table being the roof of the cabin, Pliny said:
"What made you catch so many, Cul?"
"Oh," said Culbert, "they jis' kep' bitin' an' bitin'
an' I heddent sense enuff to stop haulin' 'em in. It
'minds me of one time w'en me an' Old Man Josslyn
wuz coming' in the Porgy from the capes to Key
West, we run into one of the biggest schools of fish
I ever see an' we ketched 'em with hooks an' lines
till we hed half a boatload. Then we started fer
Key West fairly chucklin' 'bout the money we wuz
goin' to git fer 'em. Well, sir, it cum off dead cam
an' we laid thar fer four days an' wallered in the

V0-.'. ~f... *.20


"Naples by the Sea," southwest coast of Florida. It has a wonderfully fine sandy beach which is
celebrated for its shells.
Photo by F. W. Hunt

`~" 'I?":~'P~(li*RJ~C~*PI*'':' '1~"T~T'C~~."*I


Caxambas, Florida. Looking across to Horr's Island.
Photo by F. W. Hunt

I -


trough of the sea withoutt win' enuff to blow a feather
off'n the rail. We didn't happen to hev no salt
along so'z't we cud take keer o' them fish an' ev'ry
one of 'em spilt, so we wuz obleeched to chuck the
hull passel overboard. We jist hed barely water enuff
to last, but we run out o' grub an' mighty nigh
"Why didn't you eat some of the fish?" said Pliny.
"See hyer, young smarty," said Culbert, angrily,
"I'll hev ye to understand' that I wuz jis' as well
brought up as ever you wuz, an' my ole dad wuz
mighty partic'ler 'bout wut we et, an' he alluz hed
plenty o' grub on his table an' that that wuz good,
jis' as nice as eny of the Reasoners ever hed. I
wuzzent brought up on sp'ilt fish an' I don't never
eat no sich truck."
The next afternoon we were off Marco bar with
a strong breeze blowing shoreward, and as Mrs.
Simpson was quite seasick Culbert determined to
attempt running the Permit over it in order that
we might get into smooth water. A heavy sea was
breaking on it, but he took down the mainsail and
ran straight for it. A big breaker broke over our
stern and fairly flooded everything, then the boat
began to pound on the bar as if it would break a


hole in its bottom. However, it slowly worked
ahead under the strong pull of the fore, and after
ten minutes or so slid off into the smooth water of
the inside.
As we sat on the roof of the cabin that evening
the conversation was mostly about our adventure of
the afternoon, and we were all inclined to marvel
at Culbert's skill and coolness in getting across the
bar. Finally Pliny remarked that if the tide had
been any lower we never could have made it.
"'Tain't nawthin'," said Culbert, "anybody cud a
tuck the Permit over w'en it wuzzent no wusser'n it
wuz now. By juckies, it 'minds me of one time
w'en me an' Ole Man Josslyn wuz out a fishing' off
Big Hickory Pass, 'bout twenty mile to the norwest
of hyer an' we gut ketched in a no'ther. 'Twa'n't
so very bad at fust, but it wuzzent long till it gut to
blowin' like the very devil an' we run afore it till
finally we gut jist off whur we are now. Th' Ole
Man wuz a steering' an' he suz to me, suz 'e: 'Blamed
ef I ain't gut a notion to try to cross the bar'; an' I
suz to him, suz I, 'Th' ain't water enuff on it an'
you'll shore pile th' ole Porgy up hard an' fast.'
He wuz the biggest dare devil I ever see, an' some-
how he allus cum out on top, fer he hed the best


jedgement of anybuddy I ever knowed, an' ye never
cud skunk him nohow. Anyway, he turnt her nose
in fur it an' the fust time she struck it seemed to
me it wud loosen my teeth. Well, sir, he hilt on to
her an' she laid an' pounded an' wallered, fur they
wuzzent as much water on it as this evening' by half
a foot. I wuddent a giv three cents fur her chance
of gittin' off but, by juckies, she finally slid into
deeper water. She was nearly full an' it tuck us
a haf hour to bail her out an' then she wuz so shuck
up that it loosened her seams an' we had to beach
her. It wuz the clussest call I ever seed in my life
an' don't you fergit it."
"Do you think the old man was an extra good
steersman?" said Pliny aggravatingly, "maybe he
just got over by good luck."
"Whut!" said Culbert, fairly turning white with
anger, "Ole Man Josslyn not a good steersman, I'll
hev ye to understand young feller, that they wa'nt
never nobuddy on this hull coast that cud a hilt a
candle to him. He cud a steered a boat better with
his eyes shet than anybuddy I ever see with 'em wide
open." Then he got up and went forward to the
bow of the boat where he sat the entire evening and
smoked in gloomy silence.


Next morning we ran into one of the channels
of the upper Ten Thousand Islands. For the most
part these were rather narrow passages between a
maze of low, mangrove covered islets and the whole
had a somewhat depressing appearance. In one place
where we lay almost becalmed Pliny inquired of Cul-
bert the depth of the water.
"Six fadom," said the latter in an instant.
"Oh, go along," said Pliny, "what are you talking
about? I'll bet it isn't up to my waist." Then he
got up, took a large deep sea sounding lead and line
that lay on the deck and made ready to take
"See hyer, young man," said Culbert, "afore you
heave that lead over make the end of the line fast
to the cleat."
"What for?" said Pliny.
"Cos I tell ye to," said Culbert. "I ain't goin' to
hev my dipsy lead lost overboard by any of your
infernal foolishness."
Pliny complied and dropped the lead over, and to
his and my astonishment it nearly dragged him over-
board. It went whizzing down until at last when
he pulled the line straight it registered exactly six
fathoms. Then Culbert said: "Nex' time I tell ye


somepin, young man, mebbe ye'll b'leeve it. I've
allus noticed that folks that's been brought up in
a tater patch knows a heep sight more about sail-
orizin' than them that's follered it all their lives."
The reason for the great depth of these channels
is that they are drains from the interior country
where there is a considerable amount of rainfall.
The strong current during the rainy season scours
them out and the carbon dioxide in the water dis-
solves the soft limestone, still farther deepening and
widening them. All of these which enter the sea
have bars at their mouths.
We came to ancher near the Collier place and went
ashore. The house covered a large space but was
only one story high, having a broad veranda en-
tirely around it. Two wide halls ran through at
right angles, crossing each other in the center of the
building and dividing it into four equal parts. Each
of these contained one or more rooms, and no mat-
ter which way the wind might blow a cool draught
passed by every room. The whole was set well up
on piles and was one of the finest dwellings for a
warm climate I ever saw.
Not very far away there was some fine hammock
and on searching through it I came across the first


specimens of the large, handsome arboreal snails
called Liguus I ever collected. I was overjoyed to
find them and from that day to the present time
I have been completely daft about them, having
tramped and travelled thousands of miles in lower
Florida, Cuba and Haiti in an effort to collect and
study them. From this place, now called Marco, we
went to Goodland Point, at some distance to the
southeast, where we made a stay of several days.
There was a large hammock at the latter place which
was overgrown with the half sprawling, half climb-
ing Cereus pentagonus, perhaps the most dreadful
plant torment found growing in Florida. But it
was also the home of the splendid Liguus, and al-
though I filled my body with the terrible cactus
spines I also filled a water pail with the snails and
at the same time my soul with delight. Here we
found mosquitoes and sand flies excessively abun-
dant, so much so that the people carried smudge pots
about with them, but they all assured us that it was
early yet and that the few which were about were
not worth mentioning, only a sort of vanguard, the
advance agents, as it were, that had come to arrange
for the main body.
Pliny and I were very anxious to visit a great


royal palm hammock which lay in an almost inac-
cessible region to the southeastward of the point.
We obtained the services of a man named Johnson,
of Scandinavian birth, to take us in a rowboat, and
set off early in the morning. For a long time he
pulled through most tortuous passages in which the
tide sometimes ran one way and again another, while
in places there was none. Pliny concluded that in
the still reaches the water had become confused and
was unable to make up its mind where to go. After
traversing a number of miles of such channels we
entered one of the prehistoric canals and attempted
to work our way through it. These passages were
straight and had probably been ten or twelve feet
wide and of considerable depth originally but doubt-
less the banks had washed in so that they were gen-
erally quite shallow. Most of the way they were
overgrown with mangroves which sent down their
roots, so thickly in places that we could not get
through. I lay in the bow of the skiff; Pliny occu-
pied the middle, and Johnson the stern. I guided
it as well as I could, sometimes having to cut out
roots so that we could get through; Pliny pulled
whenever we were jammed and Johnson shoved with
one of the oars. In some places, on account of the


dense growth, we had to back out; in others all had
to cut roots and clear away. Finally Johnson turned
into a passage which he followed for some distance
when it opened into a considerable lagoon. He said
this was the end of our boat trip and that there was
a sort of landing on one side of it, but although we
searched carefully we failed to find it. Then I knew
by his actions that he was lost and he finally acknowl-
edged that he was. He knew the lagoon which we
should enter opened from an old canal, but he was
not sure that he had traversed the right one. We
turned back and again entered the canal, followed
along it for some distance and found another small
opening. He took the boat into this and soon we
came into a second lagoon which, to me, looked
exactly like the first. Searching along the shore of
it, he found a place which appeared as if it might
have been a landing. From this we followed a sort
of overgrown path and in a few moments emerged
into a great swampy prairie. On the opposite side
of it was a sight which thrilled us until we shouted
with delight for there was a splendid hammock and
from it arose far above the general outline of the
trees the noble stems and black green crowns of
dozens of royal palms.


Pliny was beside himself and lost no time getting
into the forest where, with the assistance of Johnson,
he dug up a lot of young trees which he carried back
to his home and planted. From these he named his
place the "Royal Palm Nursery." Just before land-
ing I was taken with a severe chill and was so used
up by it that I was unable to cross the prairie, but
after it was over I hung around the edge of the
swamp and found Ampullaria and other freshwater
shells. We were told that only a few white men had
ever been to this hammock, the botanist, A. H. Cur-
tiss, being one of them. It was said that at the
time of our visit there were over five hundred large
royal palms in the forest, some of which were fully
one hundred and twenty feet high.
After a couple of hours spent in the hammock
Pliny and Johnson returned and we started back,
first through the canal and later the intolerably
crooked channels. I can understand why the abor-
igines, even though they were a leisurely people, pre-
ferred to go to the trouble of digging these canals
rather than waste their time traversing the tortuous
water passages.
We stopped at Rabbit and Pavillion keys on our
way down, collecting at the former dead but nicely


preserved shells of a Liguus with broad dark brown
bands and a small Polygyra, a land snail which
occurred in such abundance that we gathered them
up by handfuls. In the early morning we ran into
Rodgers River, a fine broad estuary. It became ex-
ceedingly crooked as we advanced upstream and
Pliny remarked about it.
"By juckies," said Culbert, "this ain't nawthin',
I've seen places in these hyer Ten Thousand Islands
whur the channels wuz so crooked an' turnt so short
that you wuz in danger of snappin' yer boat in two
gittin' round 'em."
We reached Evans Plantation, a fine place in the
midst of a large hammock having probably twenty
or more fine native royal palms. We remained over
night botanizing and collecting shells, among them
a pretty Auricula that I had never seen before. Re-
cently I have visited this place and found it a mel-
ancholy ruin, the buildings deserted and collapsing,
the fertile fields grown up to weeds and scrub and
most of the palms destroyed.
A sail of twenty miles brought us to Northwest
Cape Sable where we stopped for a couple of hours.
Here a fine white Liguus with narrow green revolv-
ing lines was abundant. From this point we went


to Middle Cape, some six miles distant and found an
extensive tract of hammock consisting largely of
Jamaica dogwood, no relation to the northern flow-
ering species. This is a member of the pea family,
having smooth bark and rather pretty red striped
flowers. In the latitude of lower Florida it is de-
ciduous, shedding its pinnate leaves in winter and
becoming naked towards spring. At the time of our
visit the trees were so loaded with Liguus that they
appeared as if full of glossy whitish fruit. The
snails are always arboreal and usually live on ever-
green trees where they are partly concealed from
their enemies, the birds, by the foliage.
We found the vegetation of the Cape Sable region
tropical, but we did not know that it had migrated
across from the Upper Keys over an old but now
destroyed landway which connected the south coast
of the mainland with these islands. We found a
wonderful variety of marine shells up on the beach
and among them a great number of Tellina bra-
ziliensis, about an inch and a quarter in length vary-
ing from deep pink to rich red. We lay at anchor
off Middle Cape, but the heavy swell caused the
Permit to roll and pitch so that we slept but little.
Early in the morning we got up anchor and sailed


across to the Content Keys, a group of small islands
something over thirty miles distant, lying on the
northwestern edge of the Lower Florida Keys.
Here the vegetation was much like that of Cape
Sable, but the marine life was almost as different
as though we had gone to another ocean. Many of
the familiar forms of the west coast were missing
and in their places among mollusks were a Vasum,
two or three new cones, a handsome Oliva, no less
than four strombs, two purples, several fine Tri-
tonide, four Cypraeas or micramocks, and a number
of Astraliums which do not inhabit the west coast.
The rocky beaches were covered with large chitons,
new Littorinidae and Neritas, many of which were
hidden by conferve until they looked precisely like
knobs or points of the rock, and by means of this
growth they were concealed from their enemies.
Some of them, such as Nerita peleronta and N. ver-
sicolor, have brilliantly painted shells, and the same
is true of other mollusks which by some natural
means have their gaudy colors entirely hidden. The
beautiful Ceylonese land snail, Acavus hermastomus
and other allied species which are among the most
splendidly colored in the world attach themselves to
the trunks of mango and other trees and become


overgrown with alga until they look like knots on
their bark. One can hardly understand why such
animals are so brightly colored only to have their
beauty entirely concealed.
Among the bivalves were a number of fine Tel-
linas, Veneridoe, Lucinidwe and Cardium serratum, a
lovely gem which replaced the larger and plainer
C. ckvigatum of the west coast. About the reefs
were many sea fans and a different set of crustaceans
and echinoderms inhabited the water everywhere.
This difference in the life within the distance of only
a few miles has been accounted for on the ground
that the beaches of the west coast are composed of
silicious sand while those of the keys are coral, either
solid or disintegrated, but I am sure this is only a
partial explanation. The main reason is, I think,
that the temperature of the shallow sea along the
west coast is much cooler in winter than it is even
among the nearest keys. The water of the Gulf
Stream which sweeps past the south side of this
chain of islands is always tepid and the tide from
it rushes strongly across among the islands twice
a day. Even in time of a norther when cool water
is driven down through these channels among the
keys it is almost certain that much of the marine


life burrows into the warm sand and mud or gets into
deep water which does not get cold during the short
duration of the storm. Mr. John B. Henderson,
who has dredged along the northern slope of the Key
plateau, informs me that its marine fauna is like
that of the west coast of the state and not like that
of the keys.
We left the Content Keys early in the afternoon
and Culbert concluded he would run to Key West
through an inside passage instead of cruising down
either north or south of the chain. The archipelago
through which he sailed that moonless night is one
of the most intricate in the world, not only being
studded with a maze of mangrove islands but hav-
ing a foundation of ragged limestone rock with num-
berless shoals. Mrs. Simpson and I usually occu-
pied the cabin while the other two slept on deck, but
that night Culbert asked me to stay up where I could
assist him as he expected to go through a dangerous
place about midnight. A little before that time he
called me to take the helm, saying we were skirting
a reef through which there was a single narrow
opening. The wind blew strongly on to this reef,
and I could hear the roar of the surf as it broke
over the rocks near us. He went forward to watch


and I was to instantly put the helm over when he
gave the order while Pliny was to ease off the sheets.
Then the command came to put the helm hard up
and the sheets were eased off. In a moment we
were tumbling about in a smother of breakers; the
Permit ground its way through, hitting the rocks
slightly here and there, then we slipped out into
perfectly smooth water and put down the anchor
for the rest of the night.
We were up very early next morning and ran on
to Key West. This was before the city was destroyed
by the great fire, and it was a beautiful sight, no
matter. from which direction it was approached.
From a little distance it looked like a green, almost
uninhabited island, for so completely was it clothed
with tropical trees that few of the buildings could
be seen on approaching it.
When Pliny got ashore his delight was unbounded
because of the wonderful vegetation. Great Aus-
tralian pines, tall coconut and royal palms, West
Indian silk cottons, East Indian laurels, tamarinds,
tropical almonds, royal poincianas and a variety of
other trees which would not grow in the Manatee
region shaded the streets and embowered the houses.
Gay Chinese hibiscus, the gorgeous flower fence and


many other showy shrubs mingled with dozens of
less gaudy species. Lovely vines covered arbors and
the walls of the houses, and altogether I have never
seen a place that was such a riot of tropical beauty.
The architecture was much the same as one sees in
most towns of the Bahamas and West Indies. The
buildings generally were so covered with lovely
growth that little could be seen of them.
Whenever Pliny saw a plant that was new to him
he would rush in to the place of the owner and ask
if he could get seed, cuttings or suckers. There was
something so bright and winsome about him that
no one could refuse him and in no time the propri-
etor would be out with him helping him to get what-
ever he wanted. I can see him yet in imagination
full of life and energy, of the beauty and buoyancy
of youth and health as he joyfully worked his way
about that flower bedecked city. He went home and
gathered together perhaps the most extensive col-
lection of tropical and semi-tropical plants in North
America, then he began a colossal work, it being
nothing less than a complete encyclopedia of all the
cultivated plants of the warmer parts of the world.
He was called to Jacksonville to take charge of the
horticultural exhibit at the great exposition held


Two lone Royal Palms; all that remain of a once magnificent
forest on Rogers River.
Photo by Dr. John K. Small

-MOww'_ _

I-- ~

r p

The Ten Thousand Islands. Chokoloskee Island on right; Sand-fly Pass at left.
Photo by Dr. John K. Small


there and while attending to his duties yellow fever
broke out on the Manatee River near his home. In
spite of all the remonstrances of his family he went
back to stand by his own and was stricken with the
disease and died in a few days at the age of twenty-
six. Had he lived, I am sure he would have made
for himself a great name.
To us the city was full of strangeness and delight.
Not only the vegetation and the peculiar architecture
but the boats and life of their owners, the people
generally and their curious customs were very inter-
esting. A majority of the inhabitants were either
migrants from the Bahamas or their descendants,
and a great many of the men followed the sea, fisher-
men, spongers, wreckers, coasters and deep water
seamen. They are a simple, straightforward people
and, like those of most isolated localities, somewhat
provincial. They hold auctions in the open streets,
putting fruit, clams, fish and crayfish in little piles
of various sizes to suit customers. The auctioneer
would say: "Who'll give me a dollar for this fine
lot of plantains, ninety-five cents, ninety, eighty-five,"
and so on until the first bidder got the stuff, a speedy
and satisfactory way of disposing of supplies. At
that time there had come in to the city a considerable


element of Cubans and it was interesting to visit
their quarter.
We next went to the Marquesas Keys, "Markees"
as they are called locally, a peculiar group of small
islets lying about sixteen miles due west of the Island
city. While the rock underlying Key West and all
the true lower chain of keys is oolitic, that which
forms the western part of the plateau is a very re-
cent limestone composed largely of the remains of
marine organisms. The islets we were about to visit
are made up somewhat in the form of an atoll but
of a totally different structure from that of the
groups bearing that name in the Pacific, which are
of coral. The general outline of this Floridian group
is that of a round headed kite which encloses a shal-
low lagoon, the whole about four miles long and
three wide. One long, curved islet forms the entire
head and there are some fifteen others, none of them
being anywhere more than three-fourths of a mile
wide, while in places they are only a few rods across.
They are composed of sandy mud which has prob-
ably been washed up by the sea and the interior is a
pretty sheet of water, nowhere over seven feet deep,
while most of it is so shallow that it is laid bare by
very low tides. The islands are grown up with man-


groves and other littoral vegetation with a few dry-
land forms, and among them is a lovely palm, Thri-
nax keyensis, with shining leaves whose under sur-
faces are silvery, and it is probably confined to this
group of islands in the United States.
We ran in through a channel at the southeast part
of the archipelago and came to anchor where the
water was absolutely still and protected. Then we
all got into the skiff and landed on the shoal which
we found well stocked with mollusks, great pink
strombs with a couple of others, beautifully marked
Olivas, cones, a variety of lovely Tellinas, the large
orbicular Codakia whose white shell was elegantly
marked with red, and a considerable variety of
others. I collected the smaller stuff but Pliny raved
over the big pink conchs and filled a gunny sack with
them. Then when he had room for no more Culbert
told him to chuck them down by a stake which stood
in the shallow water and get them when we came
back. So he emptied the bag and we wandered de-
lightedly on over the flat and an hour later came
back to the stake. Not a conch was to be seen, all
having crawled away or buried themselves in the
sand. Then Culbert laughed until he nearly fell


into the water, for he had all along known exactly
what would happen.
That evening we sat on deck after supper enjoy-
ing the beauty of our environment. The surface of
the lagoon was absolutely still and we could just
make out the dim outlines of the fringe of man-
groves which surrounded it. Occasionally we heard
the splash of a fish as it jumped out of the water to
escape from an enemy. Pliny said to Culbert:
"Why don't you ever tell us about some of your
smuggling adventures ?"
"0, by juckies, I ain't never hed no adventures
to tell about," said Culbert.
"Yes, you have," said Pliny, "tell us about them
"I tell ye they ain't none to talk about," said Cul-
bert, "they ain't nawthin' to it nohow."
"Yes, there is," said Pliny, "did you ever get
caught ?"
"0, yes, of course I wuz, but not so very often.
You see most of them revenoo officers wuz a passel
of lunkheads; they'd a heep sight ruther lay round
Key West than be out huntin' smugglers. Thur wuz
one or two uv 'em though that kep' after me; Ole
Bill Sawyer uset to fowler me pretty dust, but he

Chokoloskee Island. Seminole Indian canoes on shore, Camp in Hammock.
Photo by Dr. John K. Small

Mouth of Rogers River, Monroe County, Fla. Mangrove growth seventy feet high.
Photo by Dr. JIhn K. Small


wuz sich a hawg fer licker that it mighty nigh spilet
him. Then thur wuz Ole Man Chase, he wuz a terror
fur he never drinkt, an' it 'peared to me he never
slept. The darker an' stormier the night the surer
he wuz to be prowlin' round, an' he gun me more
trouble 'an all the rest uv 'em putt together."
"What did they do when they caught you?" said
"O, they tuk my argidente away an' hauled me
up an' fined me an' then turnt me loose."
"Why didn't they put you in jail?" said Pliny.
"See hyer," said Culbert, "you think them rev-
enoo people heddent no more sense than to kill the
goose that played the golden aig. Me an' a few other
fellers wuz bringing' in a little argidente from Cuby
an' they must hev a passel of men with good pay
to watch us. Oncet in awhile one of 'em wud blun-
der on to one of us an' then he'd git the likker an'
of course he'd slip out a demijohn er two fer hisself
an' his friends. Thur 'ud be a big hurrah, an' the
papers 'ud be full of guff about the eturnal vigilence
of them officers an' how they wuz slowly but surely
stompin' out the evil. Don't ye see if they'd a shet
us in the jug they wuddent be no need of revenoo
officers ?"


"What did you do, Cul, when you had a cargo
of rum and they got after you?" said Pliny.
"Well, you see," said Culbert, "fust off I hed the
Porgy, that me an' th' Ole Man Josslyn built an' I
knowed mighty well they wuzzent nawthin' them rev-
enoo fellers hed that 'ud git away 'ith her if I hed
a good, strong win'. I got my argidente in them
five gallon demijohns you've seen an' they wuz cov-
ered with wickerwork. W'en we gut the rum, an'
it only cost a few cents a gallon in Cuby, we hed
the corks shoved in tight an' sealed so'z't no water
cud git in. Ef they got after me an' I seen that
they wuz likely to overhaul me I gut the demijohns
up on the after deck an' fassened a strong line to
the necks of all of 'em so't they wuz in a bunch.
I made the end of this line fast to the end of a
smaller one I'd shoved down through the center-
board case an' when I hed to I chucked the lot over-
board an' hauled in with the small line. This drawed
the demijohns up dust under the bottom of the
boat an' I made the line fas' to a little cleat hid
inside the case. They finally got on to this trick
an' then I tied the demijohns two an' two together
to a strong line an' weighted 'em so'z't they'd jist
sink. I makes one end of this line fas' through a


hole I'd bored in the after part of the keel an' then
they all strung out an' sunk enuff so'z't ye cuddent
see 'em. One time one of them demijohns on the
end of the rope got adrift an' Ole Man Chase, who
wuz after me, seen it an' he gut my cargo.
"Finally I fixed up a contraption that neither him
nor none of 'em ever did git on to."
"What was it?" said Pliny.
"Wull, I'l been over an' gut a good cargo an'
wuz coming' back jist no'th of the Capes in the
morning' when I see a boat away to the south'ard
that after awhile I made sure wuz trying' to overhaul
me. I hed a mighty good pair of glasses in them
days an' purty soon I seen that it was Ole Man
Chase's boat. 'Think,' suz I, 'ole feller, I'll hev some
fun outen you,' so I fixed up my plan an' got ready
fer him. Thur wuz only a light win' from the nor'-
east an' he slowly gained on me till I see he wuz
goin' to overhaul me. So to'ards night I got up
all my demijohns an' set 'em around the aidge of
the forrerd part of the boat an' I tied their necks
together with a strong line. Then I weighted 'em
down so'z't they'd sink an' I fassens a piece of
spunyarn to one end of the lot. This hyer was about
a fadom long an' then I took an' tuk a small pine


chip wot had the bark on one side an' I druv a little
steeple in the wood side. I made the free end of the
spunyarn fast to the steeple an' then I wuz ready.
I run till 'bout sundown in among them Ten Thou-
sand Islands an' gut pretty dust to the lan' whur
I wanted to leave my stuff. I got the pint of a little
key in line with a clump of mangroves an' jist as
I gut opposite a big pine away back on the shore I
chucks the hull passel of them demijohns over. I
knowed the depth an' hed the line jist right length
so as I went by I seen my little chip afloatin' an'
I was sure everything wuz all right. Purty soon I
altered my course a little as ef I wuz goin' to run
out round Cape Roman an' Chase he seen it an'
cut acrost. I run on till dark an' the win' fell so'z't
the ole man overhauled me. He fired a gun but I
paid no 'tention to it an' then he yelled out if I
didn't heave to he'd shoot the nat'al stuffins outen me.
"When he cum up he wuz awful mad an' he sez:
'You gun me a long run but I gut you this time.'
He hed a man with him an' they cum alongside an'
made fas' to the Porgy an' then they cum aboard
an' searched her from step to gudgeon but of course
they didn't find nawthin'. Then they got out a line
with sinkers on it an' dropt the loop over the bow


an' one walked back on one side holding' the end
an' t'other the other, but they wuzzent nawthin'
under the boat. Ole Chase wuz fairly rippin' an'
he wanted to know whut made me run from 'em,
but I sed I was jist goin' along 'bout my bizness
an' wuzzent running' frum nobuddy. He wanted to
know whur I wuz goin' an' I tole him I was on
my way to the Manatee River to haul my boat up
an' paint her an' lay in a stock of grub at Ole John
Fogarty's. Then they turnt back, but the las' thing
Chase said wuz: 'Ef ever I ketch you with eny
liquor I'll putt you behind the bars ef I kin.' "
"Did you go back then?" said Pliny.
"Whut d'ye take me fur?" said Culbert. "Do
ye think I hadn't no more sense than to foller them
back an' run into a trap? How did I know but
they'd be waiting' behine some pint to ketch me if
I went back? No, siree, I tole him I wuz goin' up
to the Manatee an' I done jist whut I said I would.
I want ye to know, young man, I wuz brought up
jis' as nice as you wuz an' I don't never tell no
lies lessen I'm obleeched to."
"Did you find your argidente all right?" said
"Oh, yes, I run down an' picked up my ole course


an' when I got opposite to the big pine I see, my
little chip afloatin' all right. I wukked up to it an'
put the anchor down sort o' keerful like so'z't to
not bust any of them demijohns. Then I pulled up
the line with the chip an' drawed 'em up an' put 'em
in the boat, an' every one of 'em wuz all right too.
I tuk 'em ashore an' hid 'em in a good safe place,
but I won't tell you whur.
"By juckies," said Culbert, "I gut a good un on
Ole Bill Sawyer oncet. I'd been over an' gut a
cargo an' the win' blowed a half gale dead ahead all
the way back. It was right against the current in the
Gulf (Gulf Stream) an' kicked up sich a devil of a
sea that several times I thought the old Porgy was
goin' straight to Davy Jones's locker. I started in
the morning' an' run all day an' that night an' the
nex' day an' jes' 'bout dust I sighted these hyer
Markees an' think suz I, to myse'f I'll jus' 'bout
run in an' git a bite to eat an' a few winks of sleep."
"Did you come in here ?" said Pliny.
"Whut d'ye take me fur?" said Culbert, "d'ye
think I heddent no more sense than to run into a
trap like this hyer? I laid outside jist west of the
keys whur I had open water an' cud cut an' run ef
I hed to. I'd jist got the fire lit in my little stove


when I heerd a noise an' I lookt out an' see a boat
alongside an' Ole Man Sawyer an' another man
wuz in it. Well, they made fast an' I hed to hand
over all my demijohns an' they stowed 'em in thur
boat. Then they tuck me in an' poled their about
a couple of cable lengths away an' come to anchor.
They pulled their skift aboard an" locked it to the
mast so'z't I cuddent git away an' the man he
cooked some grub an' Sawyer he ast me to eat an'
we soon got to gammin sort o' soshible like. I tole
him I wuz mighty sorry he hed gut my cargo fur it
wuz the best lot of likker I ever see. I kep' talking'
about it an' I see I wuz gittin' him wukked up, so
I said it wuz smooth as oil an' if a feller tuk a
drink of it he cuddent tell whur it went to. Purty
soon he gits up an' breaks the seal of one of them
demijohns with his knife, pulls out the cork an'
pours out some into the tin cup he'd been a drinking'
coffee outen. He tastes of it an' smacks his lips an'
then takes a good snort an' sez it is mighty good
likker an' no mistake. Then t'other feller he gits
up an' gits him some. Well, nawthin' wud do but
I must drink with 'em, but I tole 'em that likker
allus went straight to my head an' ef I tuk a couple
or three good snorts of that stuff I'd be crazier'n


a bedbug an' I wouldn't know nawthin' fer twenty-
four hours, an' of cose that wuz jist whut they
wanted, cos you see they knowed ef I wuz laid out
I wuddent try to git away. The more I kicks agin'
it the more they urges me, so I pours out some in
my cup an' petends I'm guzzlin' it at a great rate,
but w'en they ain't noticin' I pours it down a hole
that's bruk in the boat's linin' jis' whur I'm a setting .
I keeps it up a spell an' 'twa'n't long 'fore I begins
to act the fool an' hoop an' yell like mad an' finally
I tumbles down in the bottom of the boat an' begins
to snore to beat a four flush. Then Ole Sawyer
reaches over an' shakes me good but of cose I don't
pay no 'tention an' I hears him tell t'other feller,
'He's all right now, he won't give us no trouble;
we got him fixed fine.' Then they fills a big can outen
the demijohn an' sails into it fer a howlin' spree.
In less'n two hours they wuz both hawg drunk an'
tumbled down in the bottom of the boat an' fell
asleep. Then I pulled up the mudhook of their boat
an' poled it alongside the Porgy. I tuk all the demi-
johns out an' put 'em in my boat an' poured the
argidente w'at wuz in the can back into the demi-
john they got it outen."

Forest of Giant Black Mangrove (Avicennia nitida). Such forests are found on the south and
southwest Coasts of Florida.
IPhoto by Dr. John K Small

Northwest Cape Sable. Heavy Hammock in the distance. The open, sandy land in front is be-
ing planted to Coconuts.
'Phlto Iy I)r. John K. Small


"Oh, Cull," said Pliny, "you'd ought to have left
them a little to sober up on."
"Whut," said Culbert, bristling up, "wuzzent it
my likker? didn't I pay fur it? whut right hed them
devils to it I'd like to know ?
"Then I put the canvas on the Porgy an' fassened
the bow of their boat to the stern of mine; I towed
'em out a piece into the Gulf (Gulf Stream) an' cast
'em loose, an' I afterwards heerd that they wuz
picked up nex' day summers off Key West an' both
still drunk as biled owls. After I dropt 'em I pointed
the Porgy straight fur the Capes an' as the win'
had hauled to the sou'east an' wuz fair I jist went
a callihootin'. Nex' morning' I run in to Shark River
an' up behine a lot of big mangroves whur the divil
himse'f cuddent a found me an' I tuk a good long
We left the lovely islands with regret and steered
for the Tortugas, about thirty-five miles to the west-
ward. This group is a sort of atoll consisting of
eleven keys and a fine assortment of rocks and shoals,
the whole arranged somewhat in the shape of an
irregular horseshoe with an open lagoon in which
the water reaches in places a depth of ten fathoms.
At the time of our visit, Fort Jefferson, a great


hexagonal brick structure, was peacefully rotting
away. Great Columbiad guns of the date of the
Civil War rested on tottering wooden carriages; in
places the walls were crumbling and falling. The
islands are all small and have no natural forest, only
a little scrub and herbaceous vegetation growing
wild, but they are a great resort for sea birds.
Only a single man, an elderly sergeant, was sta-
tioned there at the time of our visit, and he seemed
to take great pride in showing us around the dilapi-
dated fort and having us look at musty food sup-
plies and rusting tin and ironware. Our first after-
noon was spent on an extensive reef near the fort
which, owing to an unusually low tide, was almost
bare. It was covered with irregular broken coral
blocks, and when we overturned them we were aston-
ished at the variety and richness of life. There were
a vast number of marine worms mostly with cal-
careous tubes, sea anemones of wonderful beauty,
great warty star fishes and the "corn pone," Metalia,
sometimes eight inches across. In the pools among
the rocks were beds of hydroids which looked almost
exactly like seaweeds, but when examined the former
have little cups along their stems and the latter have


not. There was a wealth of crustaceans, of small
fish and a variety of fine mollusks.
As we returned in the evening hundreds of acres
of the branching madrepore corals were laid bare.
Their brown stems were crowded together and the
whole was a sight long to be remembered. This and
other corals as we see them in museums are pure
white, for only the skeletons are preserved, but when
alive they are covered with the brownish or other
colored polyps which are the real vital part. There
is at the extreme end of each branch a polyp larger
than the others and this is the original animal. It
throws out buds around its base which may form
new stems or merely become a part of the original.
The walls of the branch, the part which we see, result
froin surplus lime which accumulates and gradually
clogs up the living tissues of the animal. The corals
are gathered and placed in full sunshine and sea-
water is poured over them from time to time until
finally the decaying animal matter is washed out,
leaving the whitened skeleton.
We had only been a couple of days at the Tor-
tugas when I came down with chills and fever so
that I was unable to walk about the reefs. But I
crawled out from the boat between the intervals of


shaking, and, lying down on a bank of finely broken
materials, I found it full of lovely and interesting
minute things, some of them exquisitely colored.
Here, although tortured with malaria, I was able to
collect about three hundred species of small trop-
ical shells.
We had reached the farthest limit of our delight-
ful cruise and reluctantly one morning we turned
the bow of the Permit homeward. On the way back
to the Marquesas we encountered a severe gale, the
wind from the northeast probably reaching fifty
miles an hour. Although we reefed both sails so
that but little of them drew we made bad weather.
Mrs. Simpson became dreadfully seasick and could
not remain in the hot stuffy hold, but when I got
her on deck the motion of the boat was so violent
it was hard for her to hold on. The bottom of the
Permit was perfectly flat and it seemed whenever
it fell and struck the sea it would certainly be stove
in. For hours I could hardly understand how any-
thing made by human hands could hold together
with the pounding, twisting and thrashing the boat
endured. Finally, perhaps from fright, Mrs. Simp-
son's nausea left her and Pliny and I got her below.
I noticed that Culbert was very pale and apparently

A wild Aerial Garden in Lower Florida showing trees laden with a variety of Air Pines (Tilland-
sias), Long Moss (Dendropogon) and a number of different ferns.

Tall Saw Palmettos growing in brackish
swamp. Those below are Fifteen feet high.
Photo bI Dr. Edward Mercer


agitated; in fact Pliny was the only one who seemed
unmoved. Finally the storm abated and towards eve-
ning we ran into our old channel in the Marquesas.
After supper Pliny in an aggravating spirit said he
believed Culbert was scared, at which the old smug-
gler became angry.
"By juckies," said the latter, "ye don't know whut
ye'r talking' about. That wuzzent nawthin' but jist
a capful of win', not enuff to blow a setting' hen offen
her nest. You'd ort to a bin with me an' Ole Man
Josslyn one time when we wuz trying' to run into
Cedar Keys from the south'ard in the old Porgy.
Thur cum on the wust no'ther I ever see in my life
an' say it blew; why, young man, it 'ud a blowed
the har off'n yer head. We wuz a trying' to make
up to port an' the ole boat wuz a poundin' away
until every time she cum down I wuz shure she
would bust the bottom outen her. The ole man wuz
a steering' and he wuddent let me relieve him, an'
by and by he suz to me, suz he, 'We cyant keep this
up much longer; I'm goin' to try to bring her about
an' run afore it.' An' I suz to him, suz I, 'She'll
go down jess as shore as you do it.' Then he suz,
suz he, 'She'll go to pieces in five minits if I try to
keep her head on.' Well, he let her fall off an' she


jist wallered in the thought of the sea, an' I suz to
myse'f, suz I, 'Good by, John, this finishes it,' an'
I shet my eyes. I tell ye I wuz skeered an' I wud-
dent a giv' three cents fur her chance of ever coming'
round. But somehow she did make it and begun
to run afore it. Finally we gut into St. Joseph's
Sound an' run down behine Sand Key whur we hed
good shelter an' I putt over the mudhook. The ole
man wuz so cole an' stiff I hed to lift him up an'
cyar him down into the cyabin."
We merely stopped at Key West to get provisions,
then pushed on, this time going east along the Hawke
Channel to the south of the keys. Pliny and I had
collected plants and shells so industriously that the
boat was full, and we had put the plants in the cabin
to save them from being wetted with sea water, the
deck being everywhere crowded with bags and
boxes of shells and other sea plunder. In the hurry
of collecting, many shells were taken with the ani-
mal, and as the weather was warm they began to
announce their presence by a perfectly hair-lifting
odor. Culbert fussed about these "stinkers" as he
called them, and from fussing he came to growling
and finally to an open outbreak. A boat came along-
side and the man aboard asked if some one was


dead and others had shied off when they came near.
"See hyer," said Culbert, "this hyer boat is git-
tin' to be a regular outlaw all on account of these
infernal stinkers. By juckies, it's got so that all the
craft about these parts gives us a wide berth, an'
even the people ashore is movin' away on account
of 'em. Now you understand' you got to do sumpin'
or I'll heave the hull kit an' calabash overboard."
Then Pliny and I got forward and went into
executive session. We sorted over all our shells,
putting those that had a bad breath into certain sacks
which, with Culbert's permission, we towed over-
We entered Torch Key Channel lying west of
Big Pine Key and later visited Torch Key. In
searching through the hammock I found specimens
of the splendid form of Liguus called graphics.
The shells are quite large, of a wonderfully rich
porcelain tint and were beautifully painted with yel-
low, white and purple. I might have gathered a
quantity of these splendid snails, but Culbert was
anxious to get on and after being a few minutes
on shore I was reluctantly compelled to go. At one
place near the upper end of Big Pine we made a
brief stop where I found more of these lovely things.


It was then after sunset and Culbert determined
to run at night in order to hasten us on our way
home. For several miles there was a labyrinth of
rocky islets, shoals and crooked passages, and it
seemed to Pliny and me that it would be well nigh
impossible to get through it in daylight with the
help of a chart. When we expressed our wonder
at his undertaking it, he laughed and said he could
take a boat through it blindfolded, a statement we
were inclined to believe.
We three turned in and when we awoke next
morning we were well above Cape Sable and our
boat had not even touched bottom. The second eve-
ning after we entered the Manatee River, and ran
up to Fogartyville, the anchor was dropped, and the
cruise of the Permit was at an end.


LL organic life strives to obey the scriptural
injunction to "Be fruitful, multiply and re-
plenish the earth." Most plants propagate
themselves by seeds which fall to the
ground when ripe and are either buried by some nat-
ural means or germinate in a damp time without be-
ing covered. This method is very unsatisfactory,
being exceedingly wasteful. An incalculable amount
of energy is expended in blossoming and producing
seeds while the means for planting are so imperfect
that only a very small portion of them can ever ger-
minate. When they have started to grow, their
troubles have only begun, for there is the competi-
tion of the small plants with each other and with
older and larger ones, as well as the destruction
caused by countless insects and other enemies. The
ground in our hammocks is often covered with seeds
and sometimes many of them germinate, but from
the causes I have mentioned only once in a long time
does a single seedling run the gantlet and become
large and strong enough to fight its way among the


other growths of the forest. Millions of mangrove
seeds ripen and fall each year, some into too crowded
situations, others to be carried away on the sea and
eventually lost. For hours I have watched the plumy
seeds of the willows floating away before a gentle
breeze, looking almost exactly like a snow storm.
Nearly all these were wafted out on to dry land
where there was no possibility that they could grow.
Although a few were doubtless drifted into some
wet place, yet it is probable that the market for wil-
low seeds was not good; ten to one the spot where
they landed being already crowded with them. I
could give dozens of other instances not only of great
waste but absolute miscarriage, and it is safe to say
that not one seed in every hundred that is developed
in a state of nature produces a mature plant. If a
farmer or gardener managed his planting in this
way he would be bankrupt in a year, yet nature is
so fecund that she gets along with these wasteful
Most plants have hermaphrodite flowers, that is
with both stamens and pistils, and they produce per-
fect seeds. Others have the male organs in one
flower and the female in another, but the plant pro-
duces good seed. But in a number of cases one


plant of a species produces only male flowers and
another female; they are dicecious. In the first two
a single seed if transported into a new locality might
produce a plant that would ripen perfect seed and
thus establish a new colony. But any seed from an
imperfect or dioecious plant would only grow either
into a male or female and in order to found a new
colony it would be necessary to bring in a number
of seeds so that male and female plants would be
raised. This has always seemed to me to be a great
handicap, and that it acted very unfavorably against
the distribution of dioecious species.
Burroughs says: "Nature does not reason; she
has no moral consciousness; she is not efficient; she
is wasteful and dilatory and spends with one hand
what she saves with the other. She is blind; her
method is the hit-and-miss method of a man who
fights in the dark. She hits her mark, not because
she aims to hit it, but because she shoots in all direc-
tions. She fills the air with her bullets. She wants
to plant in yonder swamp her cat-tail, flag or her
purple loosestrife, and she trusts her seeds to every
wind that blows and to the foot of every bird that
visits her marshes, no matter which way they are
going. The pollen from her trees and plants drifts


in clouds in order that one minute grain of it may
find the pistil that is waiting for it somewhere in the
next wood or field. She trusts her nuts to every
vagabond jay or crow or squirrel that comes along,
in hopes that some of them will be dropped or hidden
and thus get planted."
We constantly find her resorting to a variety of
devices by which seeds are planted at a distance from
the parent plants. Of thes2 the principal are the
use of the wind which blows and water that floats
them so that they may reach suitable places. Among
our wind borne seeds are those of the air pines found
epiphytic on the trees of our hammocks, the willows
already mentioned, nearly all the members of the
Composite or dandelion family and the Jamaica dog-
wood (Ichthyomethia). Its pods are decidedly
winged and contain the seeds at the time when they
fall. A strong breeze may thus waft them to a con-
siderable distance from the parent tree. Every one
is familiar with maple seeds and those of the pines,
all of which have a wing attached and even in a
calm time they gyrate to some distance as they drop
to the ground. Some seeds are so minute that they
may be carried to great distances by the wind and
among them are those of our native tropical orchids


and ferns which have probably been borne by hurri-
canes from the West Indies and landed on our shores.
The seeds of many plants are so buoyant that they
float on salt or fresh water and may retain their
vitality for a considerable time. Undoubtedly a large
part of the numerous species of tropical plants found
in Lower Florida were thus borne in from the Antil-
lean and Central American regions by way of the
Gulf Stream, the seeds being thrown high and dry
on our shores in time of hurricanes or by tidal waves.
Our littoral trees and plants were established in this
way as their seeds all float. If the mangroves and
other tropical shore vegetation in any locality are
entirely killed out by freezing other seeds float in
from the tropics or some more favored part of the
State, and the region is soon reclothed with vege-
Many plants produce seeds which have spines or
small hooks attached to them, burs as they are com-
monly called, and they depend on man and the ani-
mals, perhaps to some extent on birds, to carry and
distribute them. Among these we have the alto-
gether too well known sand burs, a Boerhaavia with
crimped, roundish leaves and small purple flowers
which develop into burs, a Urena with pink flowers,


lobed leaves and a great number of burs along the
upper stem. It is a member of the hollyhock fam-
ily and in parts of Florida the burs cling to cat-
tle in disfiguring masses. There are a couple of
Desmodiums with trifoliate leaves and jointed pods
and a curious plant that grows in sandy places
(Mentzilia floridana), the poor man's plaster. The
entire plant, including the seed vessels, is covered
with sticky, barbed hairs and the leaves, seed pods
and brittle stems break off and adhere to the
There are many trees and plants which bear showy
fruits that are relished by birds and animals, and
these contain indigestible seeds in nearly all cases.
The bright colors are developed to attract attention,
the pulp is relished by these little carriers, and after
it is eaten the seeds swallowed with it are often taken
to considerable distances and dropped ready to start
new colonies. The coco plums, pond apple, comptie,
the Eugenias and coffee berries in the hammocks are
examples. But all these methods are exceedingly
wasteful and uncertain, for the chances are that very
few seeds ever alight in suitable locations.
It is evident that if a plant, shrub or tree can
develop any plan or system by which it can propagate


itself without resorting to the wasteful and exhaust-
ing one of seeding it will have gained a marked
advantage and as a matter of fact an astonishingly
large number of species have some such means of
reproduction. One of these is the development of
air bulbs or tubers. The West Indian yam has be-
come more or less naturalized here, and its rank
growing, sprawling stems bear tubers of varying
sizes and forms which drop to the ground and pro-
duce new plants. They are often hung by long stems
or pedicels which swing in the wind and when they
let go are catapulted to some distance. In addition
the great underground roots divide and the plants
often seed. But the century plants, of which we have
several native and naturalized species, excel anything
I know for various means of propagation. Long
before they bloom, even when they are quite small,
they drive strong, horizontal stems or suckers
through the earth and these turning up into the air
at the ends make vigorous new plants. If by any
means one of them is broken off or injured under
ground it at once branches and sends on perhaps two
or three growths. Small stems may come up from
the axils of the great leaves, bloom and bear seed
and bulblets, attaining a height of only a couple of


feet. The large capsules which they bear are crowded
with flat black seeds, every one warranted to grow.
When the great stalk, sometimes over forty feet high,
attains its full height the plant may be said to really
set about the business of propagation-everything
preceding this being merely preliminary. It may
have hundreds of seed capsules and in addition it
bears a vast number of bulblets which proceed to
develop leaves and roots while still attached to the
parent plant. If one does not cut the great stem
before the seeds and bulblets ripen they will fall in
showers often among other nearby growths and the
result is that in a single season one finds his grounds
entirely occupied by these plants, for many of the
seeds and all the bulbs sprout and grow, holding on
for a time when a nearby old plant will die and give
them space. It is small wonder that these aggres-
sive plants take full possession of waste sandy places
in South Florida. A large area is so occupied on
the south side of Jupiter Inlet and another at the
mouth of the Manatee River.
We have a plant from the Oriental tropics, Bryo-
phyllum or life plant, with succulent crenate leaves.
As soon as they become mature they are liable to
drop off, and as they lie on the ground a small plant


sprouts out from every depression in the edge of
the leaf, or in some cases several. Each leaf quickly
becomes a little garden, and if the whole is not de-
stroyed the plants soon take full possession of the
Some years ago a friend asked me to dig him up
some seedling trees from my hammock, which he
wished to plant in his grounds. I knew there were
plenty of nice young growths from one to three feet
high scattered through the forest and I did not antic-
ipate any particular difficulty in getting what he
wanted. But to my surprise the first one I attempted
to get was a sprout arising from a large horizontal
root. Then I tried another with the same result, and
I found that almost every one was attached to an old
tree. I went to another part of the wood and tried
again with exactly the same results. Most of these
suckers had a clean, fine growth but few or no roots.
In some cases there were a number of them in line,
one after another, all doubtless springing from a
single strong root of the parent. They were utterly
worthless for transplanting because they were so
firmly attached to the large roots and from the fact
that they had few or none of their own. This set
me to thinking, and I soon saw the purpose of the


whole thing. Suppose these trees produced an an-
nual crop of seeds which fell and even germinated,
they would nearly all be destroyed because of the
crowded condition in the air above and the earth
But the idea of sprouts seems to me like a stroke
of genius, like tfie invention of the steam engine,
the telegraph and telephone, these being a boon to
the human race. It will be noticed that I speak of
these plants and animals as if they studied, as though
they invented things which benefit themselves and
their race. Why not? They are constantly engaged
in doing such things, in making short cuts, in achiev-
ing results, in lifting themselves out of a low and
degraded position into a higher and better one, and
this looks to me exactly like the work of intelligence,
brains if I may say so. Had a man invented the
sprout system, he would have been a second Morse
or Fulton. I am not so egotistic as to suppose that
man is the only creature possessing a soul and capable
of thought. The animals and plants which develop
such wonderful things are enabled to survive while
the less intelligent become extinct or are at least
compelled to occupy subordinate places. The weaker


ones are pushed back and they must eventually go on
the scrap heap.
This business of sprouts as a means of propagation
is wonderful. A vigorous tree in the forest drives
its roots in every direction; they are able because of
the reserve energy back of them to get their share
or even more of food, to go where they will and at
the same time build up and strengthen the tree to
which they belong. As soon as a big root is devel-
oped it may throw up sprouts. There is such a strong
backing to these that they can grow, no matter how
crowded the forest may be. They have their sap
furnished ready elaborated, and in spite of all draw-
backs they soon become strong and lusty. Once
established it makes little difference whether they
continue to grow or not, they are there on guard like
good soldiers watching at their post and ready for
duty at a moment's notice. By and by some great
tree falls in the forest leaving a vacant space in the
air and, to some extent, in the ground. At once the
sucker, if it be within this open space, commences
a vigorous growth; it is doubtless supplied with sap
from the parent, and it begins to form strong roots
of its own. No seedling can hope to compete with
it; it soon becomes a thrifty forest tree.


We see something of this kind almost everywhere.
Our Bermuda grass which we use for lawns sends
out a large number of underground stems, and so
completely does it take possession of the soil that
nothing else can grow with it. The form we call
"St. Lucie grass" has runners above ground, so does
the rank growing St. Augustine grass and the straw-
berry. In our hammocks the sword fern (Nephro-
lepis exaltata) with its near relative, N. biserrata,
constantly send out above the surface of the earth
growths which look like slender roots, but they soon
fasten down and develop new plants. In the streams
and ponds the curious Pistia or water lettuce, a
native, and the water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes),
introduced from South America, multiply by means
of suckers, each of which soon becomes strong, and
the connection with the old plant decays, thus setting
it free. The strange little Lemnas or duckweeds,
minute plants related to the Aroids, seldom bear seed
but propagate for the most part by a sort of division
or budding, something akin to that of the unicellular
A considerable number of shrubs and plants which
live in the fire swept pine forests have taken to prop-
agating by means of suckers and among them is the


Diagram of Saw Palmetto. On right young plant which has
branched and is dying in rear. On left, older plant where
death has followed up and severed one of the branches, thus
forming new plant, absolutely prostrate.

Heavy Pine forest (Pinus curibaensis) such as is seen south of Fort Myers.
I'Pholl by )Dr. lnod l ld l.Ir Ur"



common bracken (Pteris caudata), a tall fern with
harsh fronds. Although it sometimes produces
spores I have never seen a young plant that I believe
came from one, and I am inclined to think they are
generally abortive. They have strong, black roots
which push vigorously through the ground and send
up lusty shoots. A little shrub rarely over a foot
high frequently carpets the ground in pine woods,
the gopher plum (Geobalanus). Although it some-
times blooms abundantly in spring I have never seen
it bear its large, roundish drupes in fire swept loca-
tions, but it propagates by underground stems.
Three oaks, Quercus pumila, Q. minima and Q. myr-
tifolia, reproduce by sprouts and seldom bear seed.
The latter becomes a small, much branched tree with
thick, almost incombustible leaves, and it grows in
such masses in the pine woods that it often protects
itself from fire. There are several other shrubs in
these woods which propagate by suckers, such as
Ximenia americana, the hog plum, and Pithecolo-
bium guadelupensis or black bead. These plants de-
veloped suckers and almost ceased to bear seed be-
cause the latter or the small plants which grew from
them were so often burned. The suckers had fire
insurance; the seeds had none.


Perhaps the commonest plant in Florida is the
despised saw palmetto, one which costs the settler
an infinite amount of the hardest kind of labor to
eradicate before he can cultivate his land. Yet I
believe I am justified in saying that this same detested
plant is one of the most wonderful in the world.
It has long existed on the earth, in fact it is supposed
by O. F. Cook to have occupied its present position
in the Southern States before the Ice Age. I am
inclined to believe this is true and that with many
other plants and probably some animals it was driven
southward by the cold from its most northern exten-
sion. It may date back to a time when immense
mammals such as the giant primeval elephant (Ele-
phas primigenius), fully twice as large as any recent
species, a mastodon (M. floridanus), a rhinoceros,
the saber toothed tiger (Machcerodus floridanus),
whose terrible sword-like teeth literally cut its vic-
tims to pieces, existed. There was a horse and the
American bison, which, until recently, lived on our
western plains, there was the curious tortoise-like
Glyptodon and a great variety of other large and
interesting species. It was probably the same kind
of saw palmetto when all these wonderful animals
were in their prime, though it is very doubtful


whether any of them browsed on its tough innutri-
tious leaves. It most likely saw all these great mam-
mals die out, but like the boastful pebble in the poem
it remained unchanged.
I have little doubt that when it first developed it
was an inhabitant of fresh or brackish swamps and
that its reclining and aerial rooting stems helped to
hold the plant from being washed away when exces-
sive tides or floods swept over it. Down on the muck
land near my home it is just such a sprawling half
tree, the trunks often six inches in diameter and
sometimes fifteen feet high, and it reaches these
dimensions because the forest fires never enter the
swamp. Most of the stems are rooted only at their
bases though sometimes they fall over and root from
higher up. In such situations they rarely fork and
when they do the branches are likely to be small and
to become aborted.
The ordinary palm has a straight, unbranched
trunk, though it may be very short in some species.
I have never seen more than half a dozen cabbage
palmettos and a single royal palm with divided
trunks. Hyphene, a small genus of palms from
Africa, forms heads like ordinary trees and a few
climbing palms bifurcate. The saw palmetto doubt-


less began to invade the pine woods as soon as the
latter developed in the lower south, and in order to
do so it had to entirely change its habits-in short,
it was compelled to completely' rebuild itself. Only
such as crept close along the earth and were partly
protected by it could possibly survive. So when it
entered the pine forest it had to learn to creep, in
fact it not only did this but it partly or sometimes
even wholly buried itself in the sandy soil. Instead
of only rooting at the base of the stem as the swamp
form usually does it throws out a great number of
strong, tough roots along the entire under side of
the stem. That part of it which answers to the base
of the plant slowly dies as the growing, but far away
bud, moves onward. It grows on and on indef-
initely, pushing ahead at one end and dying at an
equal rate at the other, and it is probable that under
favorable circumstances these stems may grow for
miles! In other words, this mortal plant that may
in the swamp attain an age of fifty years becomes by
the process I have described an immortal and may,
so far as we can see, live for thousands of years!
In fact nothing but an entire change of its environ-
ment will stop this strange growth and death that
have now become a part of the character of the plant.


So totally different are the two forms that it has
been believed by some that they were distinct species,
but they are certainly the same, and if the fire is
kept from them for awhile our prostrate plant begins
to sit up and take notice and later to grow in a semi-
erect manner.
Another strange thing comes about. As this creep-
ing trunk grows on the ground it branches sooner or
later, and where there is no obstruction the side shoot
leaves the main stem at an angle of about 30 degrees,
usually growing as straight as the original trunk.
Growth and progress are ahead; death and decay are
behind them. By and by the first stem dies up to and
beyond its junction with the branch, and the result
is a new plant is born! In other words, propagation
and a new life are the direct result of death, one of
the most wonderful processes in all nature! An-
other branch comes out and still another; death
creeps on and severs them from the parent, making
of each an individual. The new plants grow away
from the old one and in case one of them meets
another one goes over and the other under. After
awhile some of the branches begin to divide and
produce new plants in the same way the first was
developed and this process of division may continue


indefinitely. If no change took place through the
agency of man, this growth, death and division
would continue as long as present conditions prevail
on the earth. In the open pine woods this plant
seldom blooms and still more rarely bears fruit. It
depends almost entirely on this greatly improved sys-
tem of propagation by means of which a full grown
palmetto is born.
Recently I visited a great area of the flatwoods
where there was an unusually fine opportunity to
observe the processes I have described. In places
where the ground was damp and filled with fine roots
I traced the path of some of these stems for more
than forty feet! There was a slight rounded furrow
which marked the place where the trunk had been
and there were partly decayed fragments scattered
along its track. Again and again I saw trunks that
had been severed from the parent by death, some-
times with one or more branches and not infre-
quently the second separation or even the third could
be found while the progenitor grew not far away.
It may be asked why should the saw palmetto so
completely change its habit, its entire structure?
why should it adopt this peculiar method of propa-
gation instead of by seed as it doubtless did at one


time and still does in the swamps? The answer is
one little word of four letters, f-i-r-e! The saw
palmetto has always been a dominant plant. Noth-
ing could successfully oppose it; it is full of initia-
tive; it is ambitious, smart! In its invasion of new
territory it attempted to enter the pine woods, but
was met by the enemy fire. Every few years since
the forest developed fires have raged, started at first
by lightning and later by man, and wiped out every-
thing not adapted to such a trying situation. Its
half upright stems were clothed with the dead bases
of the leaves, and to some extent the netting, and
though the latter when alive is like asbestos it is
combustible when dead. Its half reclining habit sug-
gested the first step as it crept in from the swamps,
and such stems as fell down stood a chance of sur-
viving while the more upright ones were destroyed.
The young plants, which are quite susceptible to fire,
were burned and it had no way by which it could
propagate itself. Then this genius of a plant took
on the habit of lying prone, even partly in the
ground, of throwing out roots along its entire length,
of branching and dying in the rear as fast as it grew
ahead, and the whole problem of life was solved. It
had the great advantage of beginning its existence


as a full grown plant furnished with all the fire
fighting apparatus and instincts of its fathers. It
fought with the fire and completely conquered. It
is one of the most perfect -plant successes that ever
inhabited this planet! As soon as it adopted this new
mode of growth it at once set about to overrun the
pine forests of the great sandy peneplane of the
southern and southeastern states, and it has now so
completely done this that it occupies most of this
region, being limited only by climate.
Who knows but what this enterprising plant may
sometime extend its province to the northward and
reach the Ohio River? Who can say that it will
not be found climbing the vertical cliffs of mountains
or even trees, holding fast by its strong roots. It
would not be a whit more wonderful than what it
has already done.
The lesson conveyed by all this is that the process
of propagating by seeds is not only wasteful but
exhaustive. It often utterly fails to accomplish the
object for which seeds are developed. It is a great
handicap that all the inventions resorted to for their
planting cannot overcome. A large number of what
we may call progressive plants have worked out
devices by which fewer but much stronger individ-


uals are produced and these are able to fight the bat-
tle of life from the start. Such forms have probably
lived a great while on the earth and have had abun-
dant time for the development and perfecting of
such devices. If the world lasts a million years
longer in essentially the same condition it is in now
I believe that a large proportion of the higher vege-
tation will have adopted some mode of propagation
less wasteful and more efficient than seeds.


OR many years I have been hearing about a
mysterious body of water hidden away in
the interior of the southwestern part of
Florida. I had been told that its depth was
very great, in fact unfathomable, and again that it
was rather shallow, that it was a small body of
water and also that it covered a considerable area;
in fact, it had even been asserted that no such lake
existed. Not long ago I received some authentic
information about it and I determined to pay it a
visit and if possible find out something of its origin
and natural features.
On the 24th of February, 1921, my friend, Dr.
Edward Mercer, the companion of a former tramp,
and I started by train for West Palm Beach, where
on account of the shallow water of the canal leading
from Lake Okeechobee we took a bus to Loxa-
hatchee farms and from there proceeded up the
canal in a large launch into the great lake and across
to the Disston canal on the opposite side. At a for-
mer visit the water of Okeechobee had been so


drained out by the numerous canals that a great area
of it was absolutely dry, but this time we found
that locks had been put into the upper end of them
and the water had been raised perhaps a couple of
feet, so that this sandy, muddy area was covered.
It was, however, growing up with grasses, sedges
and other herbaceous vegetation and was not navi-
gable as it once had been.
That night the boat stayed at Moorehaven and
while the other passengers went to the hotel, my
companion and I hunted for a camping place. It
was getting dark, and we searched in vain for some-
thing for tent poles and stakes. Finally we saw on
the bank of the canal an old upturned canoe resting
on a couple of saw horses. We spread the tent over
the boat so that it shut off some of the keen north-
west wind and pulled a little dead grass for a bed.
We found a few blocks and chips and made a fire,
by which we ate our supper. We passed a miserable
night and when we got up in the morning stiff with
cold we found the ground covered with frost.
We took another launch for Citrus Center and
passed through Lake Hicpochee. On my last visit
we were unable to get through it because that for
a half mile the whole consisted of a deep loblolly,


not firm enough to walk on and a little too dense for
navigation. Since then a sort of channel had been
dredged out and a two-rail fence built along each
side of it. We were at a loss to understand the rea-
son for this construction until the Doctor concluded
that it was built to keep the water from getting out
of the canal.
At Citrus Center, a low prairie which some enter-
prising company had undertaken to convert into a
grapefruit grove, we took another bus for La Belle
on the Caloosahatchee River and drove through a
beautiful country, much of which was unsettled. We
crossed level prairies having scattered clumps of
charming cabbage palmettos, through cypress strands
and heavy hammock, with here and there a stretch
of pine. In the latter we saw hundreds of acres of
lovely blue iris in bloom, a thrilling sight. At La
Belle, which stands on the high banks of the river
we took still another bus which carried us to Fort
This beautiful little city which contains the winter
homes of Edison and Henry Ford was built on the
site of a heavy hammock. It is an old town, and its
inhabitants had the taste to plant it with the finest
tropical vegetation. To-day it is embowered with


great trees and overrun with splendid flowering vines
and is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful
spots in Florida. After spending a night there we
took a mail bus for Caxambas on the Gulf of Mex-
ico. For a considerable distance out of the city we
drove through a highly cultivated country with many
fine citrus groves and finally entered a flat, rather
low pine forest which stretched for many miles to
the south and east. The trees were generally tall and
of good size, while much of the floor was covered
with bright green saw palmetto and gallberry. This
was the southernmost limit I had seen of the latter
which is found almost everywhere throughout the
flatwoods to the northward.
In the high, dry pine woods one often sees exten-
sive growths of the saw palmetto with decidedly
glaucous green leaves, in fact they are sometimes
gray green, but in low, wet land they are almost
invariably bright colored. It is a well known fact
that vegetation of arid districts, especially where the
soil is poor, is liable to be dull or glaucous in color
while that of moist regions with good soil is bright,
rich green. This gray colored palmetto has received
a different specific name, but I believe it is only a
variant of the common form caused by unfavorable


conditions. Farther down we ran through low ele-
vations in the flatwoods where the Caribbean pine
gave way to Pinus clausa which is only found on
the poorest of soils. Among these slight ridges the
formation was an almost pure white sand which was
only partly covered with vegetation. Here and there
we saw patches of a Bejaria which bears handsome
pink flowers and another shrub, a Ceratiola, which
so closely resembles a heath that it has received the
specific name of ericoides, heath-like. Both of these
range throughout the peninsula to about the latitude
of Miami and in their southern extension may bloom
at almost any time of the year.
We later left the pine forest and ran through wide
stretches of cypress. The trees were small and thickly
set, growing in a muddy sand that is doubles over-
flowed in wet weather, but it was only damp at the
time we were there. A track had been cut out barely
wide enough for the passage of a car, and our ma-
chine constantly dodged from side to side to avoid
the larger trees and stumps. In all my life I never
saw a narrower or more zigzag road, for every now
and then the wheel tracks which were cut very deep
would change their direction almost at right angles.
The driver ran his car at the rate of twenty miles

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