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strative to the reviviscence of the vege- | though such may elude our investable world now taking place on the tigation ; sometimes, however, the use surface of the ground. Surely the dis- of a particular secretion, or one use, at ciple of Socialism never reflected on the least, may be ascertained. Many lichphenomena of vegetable or animal life, ens, for example, as Dr. Roget has obnever considered “the lilies of the field served, fix themselves on calcareous how they grow," arrayed more richly rocks, and, as the patellaria immersa, than Solomon in all his glory. To such are observed in process of time to persons, nature has no attractions, they sink deeper and deeper beneath the surcannot say

face of the rock, as if they had some " I read my Maker's name exalted high mode of penetrating into its substance, In golden letters on the starry sky;

analogous to that which many marine Nor less the mystic characters I see, Wrought in each flower, inscribed on every

are known to possess.


agent in both instances appears to be Therefore they are not led by nature an acid, which is here probably the up to Him without whom was nothing oxalic, acting upon the carbonate of made that is made ; thus they lose that lime, and producing the gradual excavpleasure in contemplating his works, ation of the rock. This view of the which the wise and the good so keenly subject is confirmed by the observation relish.

that the same species of lichen when atIt was a beautiful idea of Linnæus, tached to rocks, which are not calcareous, the great father of systematic botany, remains always at the surface and does (one who like our own Ray saw God not penetrate below it." We often, in creation,) to construct a natural clock again, find buds covered with a resinous of flowers, the respective opening of secretion, which appears to be spread each of which indicated the hour; nor over them for the purpose of repelling less so, his suggestion to the husbandmen the entrance of water, which might inof his country to watch the unfolding jure the tender leaf, closed up within ; and growth of the leaves of various it may also prevent the ravages of some trees, in order that they might, derive peculiar insects, which, but for such from them certain data, by which to a protection, would effectually destroy the be directed in their agricultural labours ; yet unfolded germs. Many plants, as a suggestion followed out by Harold the ceroxylon, have their stems covered Barch, whose application of this natural with a thick coating of wax, probably calendar to husbandry led to some use- for the same intent. A bluish or white ful information. The flowering of plants powder is often found as a close coating and the foliation of trees are proofs that of fruit, and of leaves, as on the leaves the earth is prepared, that the atmo- of the mesembryanthemum, and the spheric temperature is congenial, for cer- common cabbage. All must have retain operations. In Sweden, the leafing marked how readily the fresh leaves of the birch was found to indicate the of the latter plant throw off the water; best time for sowing barley ; the flower and how when immersed in water, they ing of the marsh gentian, the best time may be taken out, the surface remaining for mowing. Green-house plants should unwetted. In this respect, they remind not be trusted to the open air till the us of the plumage of the duck and simileaves of the oak begin to be developed. lar birds, which swim and dive, their

Plants, though not capable of sensa- feathers continuing dry and uninjured. tion, are yet living bodies; and in their Many aquatic plants have their leaves cells and tubes, are carried on operations covered with an oleaginous or viscid analogous to those in the vessels and secretion, rendering them slippery to glandular cells of animal bodies. The the touch, and as in the batrachospercells of plants are, in fact, laboratories mum, impermeable to water. In the for various processes ; in which, from nettle, the stinging properties of which the sap, are elaborated gum, sugar, are well known, the hair-like spines are starch, and woody matter; in some, analogous to the poison fangs of servolatile or fixed oily secretions are pro- pents; at the base of each, is a little duced'; in others, resin ; in others, vesicle, filled with a peculiar fluid, whence acids ; in others, caustic alkalines. It it is conducted through a fine tube to cannot be doubted, the secretions in the point : when the naked hand comes the various cells of plants are intended in contact with these spines they inflict in to

definite purpose, the skin a very minute puncture, which




were it not for the secretion instilled in

But it is time to stop this lecture. to it, would not be felt; this secretion If vegetation is busy, one of its destroyis of an alkaline nature, and is highly ers is sure to be abroad; the common caustic; and it is to this that the redness shelled snail (Helix nemorosa) is creepand irritation of the skin, which the ing over the dewy herbage. Gilbert stinging of a nettle occasions, is owing. White remarks thus :-" The shell-less

It has been a matter of conjecture snails, called slugs, are in motion all how far the circulation of the juices the winter in mild weather, and commit in the vessels of plants resembles that great depredations on garden plants, and of the blood in the animal frame. much injure the green wheat, the loss In plants with white acrid opaque juice, of which is imputed to earth worms; as the poppy, the convolvulus, etc.; the while the shelled snail does not come vessels in which this fluid is contained forth till about the 10th of April." exhibit ramifications and junctions re- The shelled snail in fact hybernates; sembling those of the blood vessels of in autumn, it retires with others to holes animals; and the microscope shows that in trees, or walls, or under the roots the fluids contained in these vessels are of hedges ; and then closing up the moving in currents with considerable orifice or door of its house, with a thick velocity, as the motions of their globules operculum or lid, formed of the viscid sufficiently attests : this circulation no mucus, which it abundantly secretes, doubt arises from the vital contraction and which hardens into a firm semiof the vessels; it is quicker when the transparent membrane; it remains withtemperature of the atmosphere is ele- in, dormant, and secured from the invated, and ceases when the plant has clemencies of the weather. The black received an injury: but the extent of slug also hybernates. the circuit traversed by a given por- Hark! the cuckoo's_call proclaims tion of juice is limited. Though ob- the advance of spring. This well-known served most commonly in plants with bird is migratory, and leaves us in July, milky juices, a circulation of this kind so that its stay is short; the familiar note is not limited to them ; it is found in is uttered by the male bird alone, the fesome plants with nearly transparent juices, male making only a weak chattering as the chara, or stonewort, the trades- noise. Its food consists of larvæ, especantia virginica, etc. In the caulinia cially those of moths and butterflies, fragilis, a jointed or knotted plant, (of but other insects are also eaten. White which the engraving is a magnified re- observed on one occasion, several of presentation,) a double current, one these birds skimming over a large pond,

and found that they were chasing dragonflies or libellulæ, some of which they caught while settled on the weeds, some on the wing. That the cuckoo makes no nest, and that the female deposits her eggs in the nests of other birds is perfectly correct; the nests of the hedgesparrow are usually selected; but those of the yellow hammer, the wagtail, and the titlark, or meadow pipit are not refused. One egg only is deposited in each nest; this is hatched, and the young one is fed by the foster parent, as though one of her own progeny, but to the destruction of her own brood. How this is effected is not quite clear; it is stated by Dr. Jenner that the young cuckoo contrives to get the nestlings, whose place it usurps, upon its back, which depressed between the shoulders, and then shuffling back to the

edge of the nest, to jerk them over stream ascending, the other descending, in succession, itself remaining sole ocperforms a circulation, confined to the cupant. That the offspring of its foster interspace between every two joints. parents are somehow disposed of, seems very certain; as none grow up with | May, and leaves again in August. The it in the nest, though the eggs are all goatsucker or nightjàr (Caprimulgus hatched together. White states that Europæus) yet lingers on the road: one day a countryman told him, he had but hark! that strain could only be found a young fernowl (Caprimulgus) poured forth from the throat of one in the nest of a small bird on the songster ; the nightingale, the favourite ground, and that it was fed by the little of the poet, the king of British warblers. bird ; he went to see this extraordinary It is a mistake to suppose that the nightphenomenon, and found that it was a ingale sings only at night: on its first young cuckoo hatched in the nest of appearance in our island, the male, a titlark ; and that it was already vastly choosing his station, a low damp spot, too big for its nest, which it more than with close embowered foliage, comfilled, being also fierce and pugnacious, mences his rich song, only interrupted pursuing his finger for many feet from during the midday hours: there may the nest, and sparring and buffeting with his notes be heard, till the duty of atits wings like a game cock. The dupe tending upon his partner, sitting paof a dam appeared at a distance, hover- tiently in her artfully concealed nest ing about with meat in its mouth, and demands his care; it is then only during expressing the greatest solicitude. Two the quiet and repose of a warm night, things in this curious fact in natural that perched on some neighbouring bush, history are very remarkable–First, that he cheers her with his melody: When the cuckoo herself should know in what the young are fledged, he is' heard no nest to deposit her eggs; as on this, the more, till just before taking his desafety and nourishment of her young parture; and in August and September, one on fit and proper food must depend; his notes may be again heard. At for if she deposited her egg in the nest Southend, in Essex, the writer has of a turtle dove, which feeds its young, heard the nightingale during the latter first, on a milky secretion from the part of August in full song. This charmcrop, and then on grain softened in the ing bird, though very common in some same repository, it must inevitably perish counties, very rare in others. It is --Secondly, that the foster parents should seldom heard in Cheshire, or Lancashire, mistake the young cuckoo as their own, or the counties to the north; it only and though their real progeny be robbed visits South Wales occasionally; and in of their rights, continue, blindly, to feed the western counties of Devonshire and and nourish it, bearing as it does no simi- Cornwall is never heard. The southlarity to them, or their actual nestlings. eastern counties of England constitute It is very probable, as was discovered its range; yet on the continent it exby Le Vaillant in a species of cuckoo tends its visits to the north of Germany, peculiar to South Africa, that our Brit- and even to Sweden. Its winter places ish species carries the egg in her of refuge are Syria and Egypt; during mouth, and so drops it into the small this season, it is abundant in the thickets delicate nests of the birds chosen as its of the Delta of the Nile ; but is never guardians. The egg, be it observed, known to sing. The bulbul of the is very small for the size of the bird; Persian poets is not our nightingale. it requires a fortnight's incubation, and The blackcap, a bird almost, if not the

young bird is from five to six weeks quite as shy as the nightingale, and with old, before it is able to fly. Were the powers of song but little inferior, now cuckoo to sit upon the nest of the titlark makes its appearance. This bird is very or hedge-sparrow for some hours before generally spread during the summer, laying her egg, as those birds do, they not only throughout England, but even would be scared from their nest, and Scotland, taking up its abode in woodmost probably altogether forsake it. land thickets, or old close orchards,

Our migrating songsters are rapidly where its clear song may be often heard. arriving. The sand martin (Hirundo It generally sings concealed among the riparia) is here; the common swallow leaves, and in addition to its own notes, (H. rustica) is dashing along, and the imitates those of other birds. In Mamartin (H. rustica) is skimming over deira, this species is very common, and the pools and streams, in quest of in- remains stationary; but it extends its sects ; but the swift has not yet ap- visits on the continent even as far as peared : it arrives a month later than Lapland. Another visitor and fine the others of its genus ; namely, in ! songster, is the garden fauvette, or


greater pettychaps, (Curruca hortensis.) | ted rail, (Crex porzana,) and some
This bird is generally spread through others.
our island; but is seldom to be seen, Listen to that loud, monotonous call
being of very recluse habits. Early in note, peep, peep, peep ; it is

the the morning is the best time for observ- note of the wryneck, (Yunx torquilla,) ing it, as it remains in the thickets and uttered among the branches of the elm among the deep foliage of the trees This elegantly coloured bird reduring the day; when it pours forth sembles the woodpecker very closely in its rich and mellow notes, itself the its manners; its toes are formed in like while unseen. The lesser fauvette, and manner, being placed two before, and the wood wren, the yellow wren, the two behind; and by these, the bird whitethroat, the lesser whitethroat, the clings to the bark of trees, while in babillard of the French, are also among quest of ants, which constitute its faour winged arrivals of this month. vourite food. These it takes, by means

The reed-wren, whose nest hung of a long slender worm-like tongue, upon the stems of three or four reeds, capable of being protruded to a great artfully interlaced together, so as to distance, and covered with a glutinous form a firm though waving support, must fluid. We have often seen this bird exnot be forgotten. This elegant bird is tend its tongue, giving at the same time common on the southern and eastern a peculiar vibratory movement. The counties of England, where marshy wryneck appears a day or two before grounds afford it congenial asylum; the cuckoo ; it breeds in the holes of but in the midland and more northern trees, and when surprised on the nest, counties it is very rare. The depth of boldly raises up the feathers of its head, the nest of this species (Salicaria arun- hisses like a snake, stretches itself out, dinacea, Selby) constitutes its safety; and writhes its neck from side to side, for Montagu says, that he has seen the from which action it derives its name. bird sitting within it, when the wind in the midland and northern counties, blew hard, and every gust forced it this bird is rare; but common in the almost to the surface of the water.' south-eastern parts of our island. The corn crake (Crex pratensis) may There are two subjects connected with now be heard in the rich meadows ornithology of great interest to the and fields, especially near the vicinity naturalist, who loves to contemplate of water; its harsh notes, crake, crake, nature in the fields and woods, rather suffice to give notice of its presence; than in cabinets and museums: one is but so rapid are its movements among the nidification of birds, which differs the tall grass, that it is here, and so much in almost every species, as to at a distance, before its departure enable a person practically conversant from the spot where you just heard, with this branch of the history of the appears possible. Few birds are so dif- feathered race, to indicate the bird to ficult to find, or to pursue ; and it re- which each respectively belongs. The quires a well-trained dog to force it from other is the character or mannerism of its cover to take to flight. In the south- the flight of birds, each having its own ern counties, this bird is comparatively distinguishing mode of aerial progresrare; in Cheshire, and Lancashire, and sion. Gilbert White says that " a good other midland counties, it is, on the ornithologist should be able to distincontrary, very abundant; as also in guish birds by their air (manners) as Scotland, the Hebrides, the Orkney and well as by their colours and shape, on Shetland Isles, and in Wales. It is the ground, as well as on the wing, and common in Ireland. The winter refuge in the bush, as well as in the hand." This of this species is southern Europe, and facility can only be acquired by practice the north of Africa. Their northward, in the fields and woodlands; and we or spring migration, is performed by recommend to our young readers to short stages; but they are often much make notes of every occurrence connected exhausted on gaining our shores. That with every species, which they meet birds of short wing, and comparatively with in their rambles ; such a practice feeble powers of flight, should undertake leads to habits of observation, and naextensive migrations, is very remark- ture is worth observing. Describe a able; yet this is found to be the case, nest, how placed, of what constructed, not only with this bird, but with the quail, the number and colour of the eggs, (which arrives in May,) with the spot- | the manners and notes of the parent

1 Or runs to catch the treasures which it sheds.


birds; and then leave it unmolested. | by ants.” The mole cricket is termed The flight, the habits, and the voices in different parts of the kingdom, fern of the feathered race may be thus like- cricket, churr worm, and eve churr—all wise noted; and it is astonishing in appropriate names. how short a time a mass of interesting How beautiful yonder rainbow ! did information may be acquired. Nor ever conqueror pass through so magnis should other departments of natural | ficent a triumphal arch ! history be neglected. There is no phenomenon in vegetation, none in the ani- “On morning or on evening cloud impress’d, mal world, too trifling to be overlooked,

Bent in vast curve, the watery meteor shines,

Delightfully, to th' levelled sun opposed : or passed over without consideration. Lovely refraction ! while the vivid brede A very interesting and curious insect,

In listed colours glows, the unconscious swairi

With vacant eye gazes on the divine the mole cricket (Gryllus gryllotalpa, Phenomenon, gleaming o'er the illumined fields, Lin.) now begins to be active in its burrows, and to utter its low jarring

Not so the sage, inspired with pious awe,

He hails the federal arch, and looking up, note. This singular insect is con- Adores that God, whose fingers formed this bow, structed for excavating galleries in the

Magnificent, compassing heaven about

With a resplendent verge: Thou mad'st the earth, miniature copies of those of the cloud, mole; its fore feet are organized as Maker omnipotent, and thou the bow ;

And by that covenant graciously hast sworn implements of burrowing, and it raises

Never to drown the world again; henceforth ridges on the surface of the soil, as Till time shall be no more, in ceaseless round it proceeds. “ As mole crickets,

Season shall follow season; day to night; says

Summer to winter; harvest to seedtime; White, “often infest gardens by the Heat shall to cold, in regular array sides of canals, they are unwelcome Succeed.' Heaven-taught, so sang the Hebrew

bard."-WHITE. guests to the gardener.” “They occasion great damage among plants and roots by destroying whole beds of cabbages, young legumes, (as pease, beans, etc.,) and flowers. When dug , out,

LONGEVITY OF THE YEW. they seem very slow and helpless, and The yew is one of our most intermake no use of their wings by day; esting trees; of its wood was made the but at night, they come abroad and famous long-bow, a formidable weamake long excursions." “In fine wea- pon, by the good use of which, the Enther, about the middle of April, just glish archer often humbled the pride at the close of day, they begin to solace of France : but to the naturalist, it themselves (or rather to call the males is interesting from other circumstances. to the females) with a low dull jarring Of all European trees it is that of the note, continued for a long time without slowest growth, and greatest durability. interruption, and not unlike the chatter- An able article on this subject, namely, ing of the fern owl, or goatsucker, (Ca- “ The longevity of the yew, as ascertainprimulgus,) but more inward.” “ About ed from actual sections of its trunk," the beginning of May, they lay their by J. E. Bowman, Esq., F. L. S., may eggs, as I was an eye witness ; for a be found in the Magazine of Natural gardener, at a house where I was on History, for 1837, p. 28, from which we a visit, happening to be mowing on the beg to take a few extracts. He observes, 6th of that month, by the side of a that " a tree, during its life, is always, canal, his scythe struck too deep, pared at least for a portion of every year, in a off a large piece of turf, and laid open state of growth ; the wood first depositto view a curious scene of domestic eco- | ed, soon ceases to minister to the purnomy. The dwelling consisted of poses of vitality ; but its fibre remains,

many caverns and winding passages and is surrounded and enveloped by leading to a kind of chamber neatly other rings, composed of new fibres and smoothed and rounded, and about the vessels, elaborated through the medium size of a moderate snuff box. Within of new leaves and spongioles, annually this secret nursery, were deposited near produced: so that, in an old tree, its a hundred eggs, of a dull yellow colour, earliest wood remains, though concealed and enveloped in a tough skin. They within ; and we see only the parts created lay but shallow, and within the influence within the last few years; these possessof the sun, just under a heap of fresh ing the vigour of youth, a natural capamoved mould, like that which is raised | city exists of carrying on the process to


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