Crocodiles of big dimension are plentiful within the Cuban Everglades, in addition to a terrific number of waterfowl. Among the streams heading within the swamp afford glorious fishing. Mangrove snappers and tarpon abound in them. The hutia, a tree-going, ratlike animal is present in giant numbers. It’s a number of instances the scale of a rat, and roasts to a most succulent dish. Deer launched from Europe on the Outdated Spanish estates are pretty quite a few. Boa constrictors inhabit the dry forests of the limestone sections, making their properties within the cavernous rock. A few of these are reported to be of enormous dimension. They’re innocent, as their regular meals is bats. One is usually stored as a rat catcher for home and corncrib.
In November and December mallards and blue-winged teal come down from the north, however often go away by February. The yaguesa, or whistling tree duck, is usually seen. Parrots are plentiful alongside the south shore. White and blue herons are plentiful, and egrets are seen sometimes. Mocking birds sing gaily concerning the shacks of natives residing right here and there by way of the rocky areas, and a songster with notes considerably just like the North American wooden thrush enlivens the shadowy depths of royal palm swamps. Since a lot of the area is with out financial worth, there may be alternative for establishing an necessary reserve for wild life. The isolation of the inside areas and difficulties of journey mix to afford appreciable safety.
To the north and west of the Zapata lies one of many nice areas of the well-known pink soil of Cuba, the Matanzas Purple Plain. This area is occupied by probably the most exceptional soils of the world-red soil that exhibits no seen change from the floor to depths of twenty-five toes or extra. The feel of that is finer grained than the common clay of the USA, but the rainfall, amounting to seventy inches yearly, is completely absorbed, passing downward by way of the bottom. So quickly does it percolate that plowing may be accomplished inside just a few hours after heavy downpours. Regardless of this thorough sub-drainage the soil conserves enough moisture to provide tremendous crops of sugar cane.
A lot of this land has been in cane constantly for greater than 100 years, and continues to be producing. Some fields, which haven’t been replanted for twenty years, are giving yields of twenty tons of cane per acre with out fertilizer. It’s obscure how land subjected to ages of leaching, as this has been, retains its fertility. It has however slight stickiness, and is completely completely different from clay soil, as recognized in temperate zones. Within the japanese patt of this plain, there may be an space of 300 fifty thousand acres that has not a single stream or drainage despair in it, though the rainfall is heavier than in japanese United States.