An islet is most simply a little island, anything markedly differing in character from that by which it is surrounded. Archly poetic and connoting the diminutive, even the fanciful, islet is not a terribly serious term, though it has been used by no less an eminence than the naturalist Archie Carr. Though general usage has not adopted Carr’s approach, he uses the term in place of hammock or tree island, providing an opportunity for digression here on the subject of Florida tree snails, genus Liguus. Specific in color and design to individual isolated hardwood hammocks of the Everglades—their sole habitat—the exquisitely patterned lovely “ligs” are considered a microzoogeographic classic.

Joy Williams