Monday, May 14, 2012

You learn something new...

They say you learn something new everyday.  There's another phrase that says if you don't you die.  I'm not savvy on the exact verbiage, but either way I'm helping you in my own little way to learn something new and avoid death.  Not to mention that what I have to share is not common knowledge, unless you live in Bermuda, and thereby fun factoids you can share with friends.  Or your dog.  Whoever you prefer.

  • Bermuda Cedar Trees were stuck by a blight that spanned the 1940's and 50's.  This was treacherous to the Bermuda economy because they're well known as ship makers.  You see, one of the properties of Bermuda Cedar is that it doesn't get waterlogged.
  • In light of the Bermuda Cedar blight, Lady Bugs were imported to the Island to eat the pests which infected the trees but this proved unsuccessful.  So they imported a lizard to eat the lady bugs, but these little buggers caused crop damage so a bird was imported to eat the lizards. Well this bird caused more damage to their fish population.  It was at this point that the blight ended naturally and the Bermudians stopped trying to mess with Mother Nature.
  • To replace the Bermuda Cedar tree, the Australian Whistling Pine was imported, however it didn't do as well in the soil in Bermuda as in Australia and is now one of the first trees to blow down in any heavy storm on the Island.
  • Bermuda has mangrove trees that grow on the Island despite the lack of fresh water.   They are able to filter the salt out through their roots and often will sacrifice a branch or two by concentrating the salt to that particular area, turning those leaves yellow.
  • The Bermuda Longtail has no feet.  Much like a dolphin, it can shut off half it's brain at a time for sleep purposes and continue flying.  This bird will nest to rear up one baby at a time, however they do not make their own nests.  They steal them from other birds.
  • A common misconception is that the Bermuda Longtail is Bermuda's national bird.  It's not, the Cahow is.  When Bermudez founded the Island, he dubbed it the Devil's Isle because of mysterious noises that would haunt him at night.  As it turns out he was hearing the Cahow, which is a nocturnal bird that makes a noise similar to a screeching woman.
  • Bermuda, although not technically part of the Caribbean, is known to get a hurricane every 8-10 years. The last hurricane to have any real impact on the Island was Fabian in 2003.  It's a good thing Bermuda homes are constructed to withstand winds in excess of 150 miles per hour!  
  • Last, but not least the Bermudians had created a limit on the size of turtle that could be captured and eaten on their Island as a way of preserving the species.   In a further effort to cultivate their declining turtle species, they imported 50,000 eggs from Cost Rica.  However, the sand temperature determines the sex of the turtle which then determines their migratory instincts.  So, based on what our guide told us, 50,000 male turtles were hatched and will most likely return to Costa Rica:  the place where they were laid as opposed to hatched.

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