A Large Winged Animal That Lived Thousands Of Years Ago The Famous Red Soil of Cuba

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The Famous Red Soil of Cuba

Large crocodiles abound in the Cuban Everglades, as well as a large variety of waterfowl. Some of the creeks leading into the marsh offer excellent fishing. There are many mangrove snappers and tarpon in them. Hutia, an animal that goes to trees, like a mouse, is found in large numbers. It is several times larger than a mouse and is cooked in a more delicious dish. Deer introduced from Europe on the old Spanish estates are quite numerous. Boa constrictors inhabit the dry forests of the limestone sections, making their homes in the cave rock. Some of them are reported to be of large size. They are harmless, as their normal food is bats. One is sometimes kept as a house rat trap and corn grain.

In November and December the mallards and blue-winged coots descend from the north, but are usually gone by February. The yaguesa, or whistling tree duck, is sometimes seen. Parrots abound along the southern coast. Egrets and blue herons are numerous, and egrets are seen occasionally. Mockingbirds sing merrily about the huts of the natives who live here and there in the rocky areas, and a songbird with notes somewhat like the North American wood thrush enlivens the dark depths of the royal palm swamps. As much of the region is of no economic value, there is the potential to create an important wildlife reserve. The isolation of the interior areas and the difficulties of travel combine to provide considerable protection.

To the north and west of Zapata lies one of the great tracts of Cuba’s famous red earth, the Red Plain of Matanzas. This region is occupied by one of the most remarkable red earths of the world which shows no marked change from the surface to a depth of twenty-five feet or more. The texture of this is finer than the average clay of the United States, yet the rainfall, amounting to seventy inches per year, is completely absorbed, passing down through the soil. It penetrates so quickly that plowing can be done within a few hours after heavy rains. Despite this complete under-drainage, the soil retains sufficient moisture to produce fine crops of sugarcane.

Much of this land has been in cane continuously for over a hundred years, and is still producing. Some fields, which have not been replanted for twenty years, are yielding twenty tons of cane per gold without fertilizer. It is difficult to understand how land which has been subjected to ages of drainage, as this has been, retains its fertility. It has only slight adhesion and is completely different from clay soil, as it is known in temperate areas. In the eastern part of this plain, there is an area of ​​three hundred and fifty thousand acres that has no stream or drainage ditch in it, although the rainfall is greater than in the eastern United States.

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