To me, a cup of tea is not complete without a spoonful of honey. Our kitchen’s honey collection ranges from jars of amber-coloured local honey to pale, creamed honey brought back from previous travels. Our neighbours have hives, and the air is always buzzing with these beneficent harvesters. Plants depend on pollinators for their survival. … Continue reading Plants for Pollinators
By Nick Johnson In November 2020, Carla Reid and her daughter, Hannah, were out walking on one of the parcels of land owned by the Reid family on Cayman Brac. Both Carla and her daughter are keen naturalists. In fact, Hannah Reid writes a very informative blog about the traditional environmental knowledge of Caymanian people; … Continue reading Documenting two new plant species for the Cayman Islands
Once presumed extinct, the critically endangered Cayman sage, Salvia caymanensis, now has a home at Camana Bay. More than 80 plants are being placed in flower beds adjacent to the Foster’s flagship store by a joint team from Dart and the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, which partnered to make the planting project come to … Continue reading Bringing Cayman Sage to Camana Bay
"Their lives are dedicated to making, to transforming. Even when they take, they can’t help but create. They are beneficent harvesters, pollinating plants in their wake. They leave a legacy of blossoming, fruiting." - Pam Grossman, "Beeing" Local pollinators - like bees, butterflies and bats - are essential to the health of our natural ecosystems. … Continue reading Plants for Pollinators
Check out my article on local bush medicine in the Spring 2020 issue of Real Life Magazine here! To read the e-version of the magazine, click here.
"We carried those smoke pans anywhere we go, keep the mosquitoes from biting you. Those mosquitoes were terrible on Cayman." - Nell Connor (interview with Richard Westmacott) You don't need to talk to an older Caymanian or read archival interviews to know how troublesome Cayman's mosquitoes are. Despite 55 years of research and work by … Continue reading Put dat in ya pot an’ smoke it!
Aside from doing our part to curb the spread of COVID-19, one of the silver linings of sheltering in place has been the ability to pick up on the localised patterns of the natural world that usually go unnoticed. The birch trees are laden with berries, drawing bald pates and parrots to their boughs. Soon, … Continue reading Best Books for Budding Local Botanists
"It was a big thing, it was a very exciting thing. It was a beacon that Christmas was coming." - Alan Ebanks (interview with Richard Westmacott) Christmastime is such an important part of Caymanian culture that it is part of our National Song, composed in 1930 by the late Mrs. Leila Ross Shier: "And when … Continue reading The Christmas Plants of Cayman
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir Plants are often identified by two sets of names: "scientific" and "common". The scientific name comprises the Genus species of the plant in question while the common names are the local nomenclature. Neither … Continue reading What’s In A Name?