November 29, 2020

Grand Cayman Nature Tours

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Smith's Barcadere

Smith’s Barcadere

The Cayman Islands were discovered by Columbus over 500 years ago.  Permanent settlement came later. Indigenous plants were used for shelter, food, clothing, healing, everyday utility, boatbuilding, livelihood and export. They are part of the history, culture and identity of the Cayman Islands and what makes them unique. We don’t have large wild animals, but we do have an interesting diversity of wildlife, for which plants provide food and shelter.

CaymANNature offers CAYMAN ISLANDS NATURE TOURS with fully licensed, knowledgeable Nature Tour Guide and consultant, Ann Stafford, in her car, which seats up to four passengers.

Spanish Elm – Cordia gerascanthus, Family: BORAGINACEAE.

Spanish Elm – Cordia gerascanthus, Family: BORAGINACEAE.

Spanish Elm – Cordia gerascanthus, Family: BORAGINACEAE, is an Endangered tree that grows in dry, rocky woodlands on Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. The wood was used for making Catboat mast, gaff and boom and in general construction. The tree has showy white flowers early in the year. They soon turn brown and act as little parachutes to help seed dispersal. Range: Greater Antilles, Mexico, Central America and Columbia.

 

Native plants and animals are interdependent, and are part of intricate food webs. There’s a fascinating world of little-known plants and the creatures which are dependent on them – birds, bats, butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians, hickatees, crabs and so on.

Julia butterflies – Dryas iulia zoe, Family: HELICONIIDAE

Julia butterflies – Dryas iulia zoe, Family: HELICONIIDAE

3 Julias nectaring on Roundleaf Sage/Bitter Sage – Lantana involucrata, Family: VERBENACEAE.

Ann Stafford is a Cayman Native Plant expert and co-author with Dr. R. R. Askew of Butterflies of the Cayman Islands published by Apollo Books in 2008, ISBN 978-87-88757-85-9. The book is available online, visit http://www.apollobooks.com/cayman.htm

and from The National Trust for the Cayman Islands Visitor Centre (US$30.00 / CI$24.00) and from local book stores. The 2nd. edition of the Flora of the Cayman Islands by Dr. George R. Proctor, 2012, published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is available in Cayman for CI$30.

Broadleaf and Spanish Elm

Broadleaf and Spanish Elm

It is also available online: http://www.kewbooks.com/asps/ShowDetails.asp?id=874 and

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/F/bo9114115.html

For more on this story go to:

http://caymannature.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/grand-cayman-nature-tours/

PHOTO  TAGS

Broadleaf (Cordia sebestena var. caymanensis) and Spanish Elm (Cordia gerascanthus), Family: BORAGINACEAE

PIX – Ann Stafford, Sept. 2005

Spanish Elm – Cordia gerascanthus, Family: BORAGINACEAE.

Endangered, grows on all three Cayman Islands, Greater Antilles, Mexico, Central America and Columbia.

Photo: Ann Stafford, Mar.19, 2005

Julia butterflies – Dryas iulia zoe, Family: HELICONIIDAE, Cayman Islands endemic subspecies.

Photo: Ann Stafford. Jan. 30, 2013.

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