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  • A ringtone or ring tone is the sound made by a telephone to indicate an incoming call or text message. Not literally a tone, the term is most often used today to refer to customizable sounds used on mobile phones.

    to a
  • ll other countries, we deliver via (EMS) Express Mail only.

  • A small room in which a prisoner is locked up or in which a monk or nun sleeps

  • a device that delivers an electric current as the result of a chemical reaction

  • A small compartment in a larger structure such as a honeycomb

  • A small monastery or nunnery dependent on a larger one

  • any small compartment; "the cells of a honeycomb"

  • (biology) the basic structural and functional unit of all organisms; they may exist as independent units of life (as in monads) or may form colonies or tissues as in higher plants and animals

Breathtakingly close to a brilliantly colored Atala butterfly

Breathtakingly close to a brilliantly colored Atala butterfly

Explore Jun 4, 2011 #182

The Atala butterfly is strange to photograph. The colored areas are vague at the margins so the color looks like it has been dusted on a bit carelessly. But look at its marvelous tones... deep velvety blue, bright sky blue and a brilliant red orange! It is very fast moving so getting a shot at all is always a thrill! Usually looks like a vibrant patch of astounding flying color and it's gone.

Interdependencies in nature once again. This marvelous creature owes its life to the Florida Coontie which was almost wiped out after being the money crop of the first Florida pioneers. Without the Coontie, this beauty will be gone.

The short, woody stem and rootstock of the coontie grows almost completely underground and produces a terminal crown of stiff, evergreen, pinnate leaves up to 3 feet long. The brown, fleshy, erect, female or seed-bearing cones are pendent when mature. Coontie plants contain a natural toxin, which atala larvae accumulate in their bodies and use to repel birds. Without coontie, adult atalas have no place to lay eggs. No eggs means no new generations. .

Wild coonties’ demise began with starch: Long before Europeans arrived in Florida, Native Americans used coontie as a source of starch. Coontie, in fact, is a Seminole word that means “bread” or “white root” because the roots can be made into flour.

From "The Forgotten Frontier: Florida Through the Lens of Ralph Middleton Munroe" by Arva Moore Parks: 'Behind the hammock land the pine and palmetto country seemed to go on forever. Sending roots into the crevices of stone, the tall pine and its companions, the bushy palmetto and the fernlike comptie (Zamia), thrived in what seemed like solid rock. Althought not as glamorous as the hammock, the pineland was the backbone of the land. The heart of the pine became the foundation of the pioneer home; the palmetto, for thatch, became the roof; and the starch made from the root of the comptie filled the pionerer's stomach."

Cootie is sporadic in pinelands and hammocks throughout nearly all peninsular Florida and the Keys. In an effort to preserve the Atala, the coontie is being used increasingly in landscaping. Here in Miami, it is growing at Arch Creek East Environmental Preserve.

Arch Creek was an early Tequesta Indian settlement here in North Miami. Arch Creek is spanned by a natural limestone bridge. Early photographs of Miami show the bridge in all its beauty. Compromised now by encroaching housing and roadways.

The Tequesta Indians thrived in Arch Creek and the surrounding area. There was an oak hammock near the creek which provided shade as well as edible plants, nuts and berries. Biscayne Bay, less than a half mile away, was a prime food source for the Tequestas. There they caught shellfish, shark, manatee and turtle. North of the hammock were pine flatlands, which sheltered the all-important coontie plant (Zamia integrifolia), whose roots the Indians ground to make an edible starch product.

Tequesta habitation sites characteristically have midden areas or Indian garbage dumps. The gradual decomposition of refuse, including plant material and animal bones, produces a rich black soil. Many artifacts have been preserved in the soil, and archaeologists have uncovered many of them, such as bone points, shell tools and pottery shards. During their centuries of occupation (from c. 400 A.D. to c. 1200 A.D.), the Arch Creek Tequestas had what appears to be a fairly comfortable lifestyle, supported by the abundant natural resources at the site.

Around 1858 two ambitious pioneers used the creek and its natural bridge as a site for a coontie starch mill. These early entrepreneurs learned how to clean the poisonous roots and dammed up the waterway under the bridge diverting the flow through a sluice they carved out of a solid limestone bank. The water turned a wooden wheel attached to a nail-studded grinder, which mashed the cootie roots into a paste-like pulp. The resulting starch was then soaked and strained to remove any remaining poison. Laid out in wooden racks, the starch dried quickly and the sun bleached it white. In the early 1900s, several commercial factories in South Florida processed coontie roots for the manufacture of arrowroot biscuits. But coontie starch was not as successful as the pioneers thought, and the mill was abandoned several years later. The water sluice was filled in and paved over, and was not discovered until archaeologists excavated it in 1972.

Atala Eumaeus
Arch Creek East Environmental Preserve, North Miami, FL.
See my set, Woods, weeds and streams.

Zebra longwing attaches itself to a branch with pink adhesive to begin forming its cocoon

Zebra longwing attaches itself to a branch with pink adhesive to begin forming its cocoon

Look at the pink "adhesive" the caterpillar is secreting to attach itself to a branch in preparation for exuding its cocoon. Amazing technology! Thank you macro photography for showing us what we don't usually see!

The Zebra longwing begins mating right after it emerges from its chrysalis. The female lays 5 to 15 eggs on the leaves of Passion Vines. The caterpillar has a white body with long black spines and a yellow head. If weather conditions are right, the Zebra longwing can go from egg to butterfly in a little over 3 weeks.

When it is disturbed, the Zebra longwing butterfly makes a creaking sound by wiggling its body. At night, large groups roost together on tree limbs. They return to the same roost night after night.

Zebra longwing caterpillars feed on the leaves of the Passion Vine which contain a toxin that gives the Zebra longwing butterfly an unpleasant taste and makes it poisonous to predators. The butterfly drinks the nectar of a wide range of flowers.

Zebra longwing, Heliconius charitonius

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