rworth at oda.state.or.us
Tue Dec 18 12:22:27 EST 2001
Oops, Looks like his phantom was carried right on through Word.
Let's try again. If this doesn't work, then I doubt a third time
will be a charm, so I'll stop.
>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
>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 Mandeville.
>My lists from Malvern and Mountainside (minus the skipper list):
>Danaus gilippus jamaicensis
>Dynamine egaea egaea
>Anartia jatrophae jamaicensis
>Siproeta stelenes stelenes
>Euptoieta hegesia hegesia
>Heliconius charitonia simulator
>Dryas iulia delila
>Strymon acis gossei
>Hemiargus hanno ceraunus
>Ascia monuste eubotea
>Eurema dina parvumbra
>Eurema daira palmira
>Heraclides andraemon andraemon
>Battus polydamus jamaicensis
Richard A. Worth
Oregon Department of Agriculture
rworth at oda.state.or.us
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