« PreviousContinue »
mining country,—Watkins, struggled up the SAVING THE BIG-HORN SHEEP
steep trail that led to the summit, avoiding the It was eight years ago that Tom Watkins, places where snow-slides might occur, passa United States forest-ranger stationed at ing around precipices that forced him from Ouray, Colorado, craned his neck backward the straight line between the town and the one winter morning after a heavy snowfall sheep. At times he broke a. trail for the burand, in this uncomfortable position, gazed up- ros, and again he fell in behind to prod them ward two thousand feet to the edge of that onward and upward. It was, enough to have iniraculous granite bowl that shuts the little discouraged the most seasoned outdoor cammining community away from the world. Just paigner; but in addition to the tenacity of under the lip of this bowl half a hundred brown purpose that comes to men who live in the specks strayed aimlessly through deep snow- open, the ranger had a genuine love of wild: drifts. They were the big horns !
life. When at length the burros reached the "When I stop to wonder how those sheep spot where the Rocky Mountain sheep band live," he muttered, “I am ashamed to go back had been, Watkins found only trampled into my warm cabin." This was the time when snow. - Exhausted by the great exertion, he Tom Watkins heard the still, small voice of tumbled the hay upon the snow and made his conscience crying, "Feed my sheep." The way slowly downward. hardy rånger heeded that voice, and that The next morning, when the ranger marked the beginning of the most romantic stepped from his cabin, he felt a thrill of and interesting story of game preservation that pride and satisfaction. Far above, the bighas developed in America.
horn band was busily engaged in cleaning up With half a dozen tiny burros,—“Rocky the remnants of the unexpected feast. Mountain canaries," they are called in the This was the beginning of a patient work which was carried on with the help of other years of experiment, a wireless telephone has citizens until, three years later, a great ram been devised which enables us to talk through led a band of sheep into the outskirts of the thousands of miles of empty space.
One 's town. Each day, the distance to which the voice is transmitted more distinctly by wirehay was carried shortened almost imper- less than over telephone wires, and even a ceptibly, and the shyest, wariest, and most whisper may be clearly heard. Probably romantic of American big game responded within a year or so at most, you can lift the voluntarily to human kindness. To the big- receiver of the telephone in your home or game hunter who has braved the bitter winds office and talk to any part of England or the above timberline, fought snow-banks and Continent. One of the great advantages of huge boulder-fields, slipped upon the treacher- the wireless telephone is its simplicity and ous rock-lichen under the snow, experienced cheapness. The charge for talking across the painful stalks and still more painful disap- Atlantic will probably be about one-fourth pointments, all to secure one of those splen- that of talking across the United States. did heads that have come to represent the In the first year of the great war, a few maximum of skill, hardship, and patience on words were transmitted by wireless across the the part of the sportsman, the story of the Atlantic, but a conversation proved impossible. semi-domestication of the Ouray sheep herd The voice was thrown out from the powerful will seem like a chapter, out of the "Jungle oversea station at Arlington, near WashingBook." But children and wise men know that ton, D. C. An American operator had jourthe "Jungle Book,” after all, is not so far off neyed to Paris, and was listening in at the the Trail of Truth.
Eiffel Tower to receive the message. After In spite of rigid game-laws, the big-horn many attempts, working day after day, the obhas not increased as it was hoped he would stacles were mastered for a few brief seconds. when protected.
Colorado has more of this The voice from America was not only clearly variety of mountain sheep than all other heard, more than three thousand miles away, States combined, but even now there are only but was actually recognized as that of a 7,000 of them in the State.
friend. With the close of the war the elecEDGAR C. MacMECHEN. tricians found more time and opportunity for TRANSATLANTIC WIRELESS TELEPHONE
their experiments, and to-day the transatlantic
wireless telephone is announced as a practical, THE human voice is now carried by invisible commercial affair.
the Atlantic Ocean. After The oversea messages are thrown out from a powerful station at New Brunswick, New of the equipment is a giant high-frequency Jersey. A modest, two-story brick building alternator, which makes the alternating-curhouses the complicated machinery, and some rent electricity. The alternating current used
for light and power has a "frequency" of from twenty-five to sixty cycles per second. The current used at this station for the wireless telephone has a frequency of 22,000 cycles per second! The wheel of solid steel which revolves in this machinery weighs nearly three tons, and rotates at the rate of twenty-one hundred revolutions per minute.
The experimental stages of the long-distance wireless telephone are said to be past, or nearly so, and we are promised the practical machine in the near fu
thirteen tall masts, with
GENERATOR (ABOVE) AND CONDENSER (BELOW) IN WIRELESS TELEPHONE PLANT without interruption throughout the entire Atlantic crossing. The ture. It is not generally known that the great present year becomes an important date in the wireless telegraph stations which have been history of world communication.
built all over the world may be used for the There is something almost magical in the transmission of wireless-telephone messages. A complicated machinery which makes oversea great deal of preliminary work of preparation conversation possible. An interesting feature is therefore already completc. By installing
power-stations and using these towering masts 4444 London, speaking.” And the voice will along our coasts, the wireless telephone is be clearer and sound more natural than if it ready for business. There is a great saving of were coming from some near-by town! time and money in the wireless telephone over
FRANCIS ARNOLD COLLINS.
A MUSICIAN OF THE AUTUMN
WIRELESS TELEPHONE RECEIVER
USUALLY we think of springtime as the song time of the year, but this does not apply to all singing creatures; there are some whose singing season is in the autumn. In this class are a few of our insect friends—the cicadas, grasshoppers, and crickets.
Strangely enough several of these autumn musicians are night singers. Though the grasshoppers and cicadas are day singers, the crickets hold the night world without much opposition, and of these perhaps the most wonderful musicians are the little green treecrickets.
These frail little pale-green creatures, belonging to the genus Ecanthus, do not follow the ways of the commoner field-crickets of the ground, but live in the trees. In appear
ance and shape the two are little alike, the the now old-fashioned system of transinission tree-cricket being slender with long legs, by wire. The expense of laying costly cables long wings, and very long antennæ, contrastacross the broad oceans is, of course, saved. ing oddly with the other's blackness and stout
To talk across the Atlantic Ocean, it will ness. The tree-cricket hides among the leaves, only be necessary to talk to the coast by the and seldom comes nearer the ground than is ordinary telephone system, and there the wire necessary to frequent the currant or raspberry can be connected up with the wireless station. bushes. The apple-orchards of both eastern On the other side of the Atlantic, the wireless and western America seem to be their best station there will, in turn, be connected up with the land wires, thus making a complete connection between the telephone subscriber in any part of the United States and any telephone in England. Later, the system will be extended to the continent of Europe. man in Chicago, for example, who wishes to talk to England will merely raise the ceiver of his telephone and ask for "long-distance radio," just as today he asks for ordinary long-distance. He
TREE CRICKET, A MUSICIAN OF THE AUTUMN, AND HIS MATE will then give the number of the telephone in England, and hang up strongholds. Here they are more easily found his receiver. A few minutes later his telephone than among the wild shrubbery. They really bell will ring, and, on raising the receiver to are hard to find in either place. Their colorahis ear, a voice will say, “This is Mr. Jones, tion is exactly fitted for hiding them among
the leaves; they are active, running nimbly orchards his fiddle ceases about the end of : up or down the stems; and also they have a October, and through the later days of song, cunning way of hanging to the under side of his tune runs from twenty-eight, his minthe leaves, thus avoiding prying eyes. When imum, to some fifty "Roos” per minutes. At routed, they spread their wings and sail off the close of his season he tunes up just before much after the manner of some of the grass- sunset and sings for only an hour. In the hoppers, coming to earth within a few feet. East, his song dies away in autumn slightly
But it is by their songs that we know these earlier, depending of course on the severity of little musicians best; indeed, to many people, the autumn frosts. HAMILTON M. LAING. the tree-cricket is but a voice and a mystery.
"THE DEVIL'S SLIDE" AND NONNEZOSHE They know that in early autumn a chorus of “Roo-roo's" begins to come from the orchard, What kind of welcome would you expect if that it increases in volume, and by and by you should step up to the clerk's desk in a fades with the coming of the frost; and that first-class Eastern hotel, and register from is all. As in the case of the other crickets, Devil's Slide, Utah? Nevertheless, that is the only the ales sing. The two sexes are rather unlike, for, as shown in the two photographs on the preceding page, the female is more slender, with narrow wings, while the male has a wing spread (folded) that gives him a broad, flat back, tapering toward the head.
On the inner surface of each wing are two tiny instruments which might well be called a scraper and a rasp, and it is the subbing of the two that produces the vibrant, stridulous note that serves as a song. The wings are elevated almost to the perpendicular, and somewhat spread, as the strange note is rasped out on the air.
To the human ear it is melodious. It fills the August day and night with pulsating melody. To stand in the orchard on a still warm night of early autumn and hear hundreds of these voices in chorus is to hear one of Nature's strangest orchestras. Though all the singers or fiddlers do not strike the same note, varying by several tones, they fall roughly into tune and produce a pulsating, rhythmical sound that becomes tremendously strong in volume and power; the air fairly booms. While there is a steady undertone, resulting from the voices out of tune, the majority sing so correctly in time that the air throbs with a mighty, rhythmical, "Rooroo-roo!"
Yet when we isolate a singer and watch unique name of a little station on the Union him at a few inches, we are instantly struck Pacific Railroad, a few miles east of Ogden. with the insignificance of the individual song. A short distance from the settlement, across It seems one of the magic sounds for this ap- a narrow river, two parallel walls of rock parently quiet song may be heard at a very slope from the top of a steep hill down to the great distance.
stream. This is the famous "Devil's Slide." A curious and interesting thing about this Apparently the town fancied the name, as it creature is the varying of his song with the has taken it for its own. temperature. If we know how to read him he Millions of years ago, when huge reptiles is a perfect thermometer. During a warm were in vogue and set the pace for, the rest of August night he will fiddle out about 100 creation, the region round about Ogden was a "Roo's” to the minute; at near-frost tempera- deposit of mud at the bottom of a great interior ture he becomes silent. In the west-coast
From time to time, the sea would clear
THE DEVIL'S SLIDE