Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/804

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

that less surface is exposed to the direct rays of the sun. The result is that such trees give but little shade, as the light is not interrupted in its passage to so great an extent as it is by the leaves of ordinary

Family represented in a village scene
Native Twins.

trees. In situations where it is necessary for plants to economize their water supply and prevent undue evaporation, they adapt themselves in various ways for this purpose. Some grow thick, leathery leaves; others have a waxlike or hairy coating; and still others, like the cacti, have thick, succulent stems in the place of leaves. Many of our own desert or seashore plants have adopted one or more of these methods.

The soil, though thin, is fertile, but there are no streams of running water on any of the Bahama Islands except that of Andros. The streets of Nassau and the roads of the surrounding country consist of the coralline rock which underlies the soil. They are white and dazzling, and are kept in repair by the Government. The work is done usually by the prisoners, dressed in prison garb of blue and white striped cotton. The coralline rock is porous and looks not unlike the result of volcanic action. In some places the rocky ground is honeycombed with holes three to ten feet deep, called "potholes," in which bananas, especially, like to grow. On the deep-sides of one hole we saw a luxuriant growth of delicate ferns.

We found the natives very much afraid of a camera, believing