Mark Walker's attachment

Richard Worth rworth at
Tue Dec 18 11:03:47 EST 2001

Hey all,
I thought I would forward this on, in e-mail format, for Mark Walker. 
I hope he doesn't mind.  There may be some out there who did have 
trouble with his MS Word attachment and still wish to read his 
travelogue.  Personally, I really enjoy his stories, and being in 
Oregon in the winter, I will take some tropical lepping any way I can 
get it.  Our best goes out to you, Mark.

Mark Walker wrote:

Malvern and Mountainside - Day 3, December 9

I awoke on Sunday, famished and ready to head out of Mandeville.  I 
ate my breakfast as if it were the last meal I would ever see, and 
then stopped off at my tire shack to snap a few photos.  After two 
days as a fixture there, I was generating fewer and fewer stares. 
I'll share these photos on the TILS discussion site just as soon as 
I'm back on my feet.  Then all of you can say hi to Weedy and Larry.

 From Mandeville I headed west and then south, choosing to drive over 
the mountains bordering the east side of St. Elizabeth parish.  This 
habitat reminds me a lot of Southern California - sort of scrubby 
chaparral.  The drive to Malvern, a tiny town on top of this ridge, 
is quite pleasant.  There are a few nice places to pull over - most 
of it requires some degree of trespassing - but I found the locals 
very hospitable and curious.  One tiny lad that watched me at work 
waited for me to say something, and then asked the burning question: 
"Are you going to eat them?".  Only after three days with no food and 
money could I fully appreciate this inquiry.  "No", I laughed, but he 
didn't quite see the humor of it all.  I suppose the strangest thing 
one can do in some cultures is to appear as if you've got nothing 
better to do than to prance around and swing a net at flying insects. 
Why not help with the chores?  Build a house, harvest some food, cast 
a line, dig a grave - something productive!  (Of course, I could also 
choose to veg out on Ganja).  While I chose to assume that the lad 
might actually enjoy giving the net a try, I'm sure he instead 
scratched his head in dismay.  It made me feel a little bit like one 
of the infidels I've been hearing so much about.

The bugs were plentiful and interesting.  Once again, I found that it 
was virtually impossible to make an accurate species list.  For every 
new bug that came into view, another five flew by while I wrestled 
with the netted capture.  I saw at least three different 
Swallowtails, but was not able to net a single one.  The Swallowtails 
were absent in and around Mandeville, but were plentiful on this 
ridge.  There was wild croton abounding, and I was pleased to find 
that the expected Anaea (Leafwing) was flying in accompaniment.  The 
Jamaican representative is known as Anaea portia, ruddier in 
appearance to the south Florida A. floridalis, and with elongated 
secondary tails (or are those leaf-stems?).  There were mating pairs 
bounding in and out of the underbrush.  Another croton addict, 
Strymon acis gossei (a gorgeous hairstreak, similar to its S. a. 
bartrami cousin), was found in this habitat.  The Mestra  dorcas was 
again common, along with plenty of Anthanassa frisia (Cuban 
Crescent), a crescentspot that has eluded me in South Florida.  Also 
present here was the Variegated cousin - Euptoieta hegesia hegesia.

The highlight of the highland area was Dynamine egaea - a stunning 
metallic green Nymphalid (female is dimorphic), with an equally 
stunning underside.  I only saw a few, but was quite elated to have 
one grace the inside of my butterfly net.

After spending an hour or so in the highlands, I drove to the bottom 
of the basin at Mountainside where I found many Swallowtails and 
Malachites and other large Nymphalids.  The prize at this location 
(and seen previously) was the Jamaican version of Battus polydamus - 
stunning in flight, looking very much like a Black Swallowtail.  All 
but the Malachites proved difficult to capture, especially given that 
I was so hungry and hot and tired.  I gave them all quite a chase, 
but retreated quickly out of breath.  Often on my adventures I hunt 
too long, and have to quit in exhaustion.  This was one of those 
days.  I couldn't force even another swing - I was done.

 From here I drove through the Black River area, and on to Negril - a 
western-most beach paradise where can be found many drunken tourists 
enjoying various hedonistic pleasures.  During this off-season, a 
room can run as high as $500-$800 a night.  It's twice that during 
peak.  I laughed at the price (quoted at the discount rate of 
$400/night), and found a most delightful beachfront hotel for $50 
(It's called FootePrints).  They accepted my American Express card, 
and allowed me to bill from the beachfront restaurant and bar - which 
also served a delicious fare.  I got to know the help fairly well, 
and enjoyed their company until the wee hours - during which they 
watched me devour a heavenly meal of slow roasted pork.  I broke down 
and drank Pina Coladas to boot.

I was well rested and fed by the time I headed out the next morning 
for Montego Bay.  The drive from Negril is a long and slow 3 hours, 
but the views are spectacular.  This - and Ocho Rios - are the most 
commonly visited parts of Jamaica.  I was proud to have spent so much 
time in the interior.  I look forward to returning to this hospitable 
land - and will most definitely head back into the badlands.  The 
Blue Mountains, for sure, and perhaps a stop to visit friends in 

My lists from Malvern and Mountainside (minus the skipper list):

Danaus gilippus jamaicensis
Calisto zangis
Anaea portia
Mestra dorcas
Dynamine egaea egaea
Junonia evarete
Anartia jatrophae jamaicensis
Siproeta stelenes stelenes
Anthanassa frisia
Euptoieta hegesia hegesia
Heliconius charitonia simulator
Dryas iulia delila
Strymon acis gossei
Hemiargus hanno ceraunus
Leptotes cassius
Ascia monuste eubotea
Eurema nise
Eurema dina parvumbra
Eurema proterpia
Eurema daira palmira
Eurema lisa
Eurema nicippe
Kricogonia lyside
Phoebis sennae
Phoebis agarithe
Heraclides andraemon andraemon
Battus polydamus jamaicensis

Mark Walker
Oceanside, CA

Richard A. Worth
Oregon Department of Agriculture
Plant Division
rworth at
(503) 986-6461
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