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another stage. A third movement, a sidelong one, brought it to the wooden frame of the glass, which it partially crossed, clinging to it with one hand, and adhering to the glass with the other hand, its throat, and chest, the legs hanging free. Its hold now was evidently not secure, and in about a minute it fell back upon the window-sill outside. About four feet below the window is an iron grating, placed over a pit, constructed to admit light into a cellar window. In this pit a number of frogs had taken refuge in the scorching weather of August, and here I supposed they were doomed to spend the rest of their lives; but this ambitious traveller must have taken advantage of the wet weather to climb four or five feet of rough masonry, four feet more of smooth painted wall, and about ten inches of polished glass. Is this climbing power of frogs known, and may it not help to account for the strange situations in which the batrachian tribe are sometimes found? Callipers Hall, Rickmansworth, September 18th 1852."
The concluding extract, refers to the House Fly. It is a communication by James Napier, Esq., to the "Natural History Society of Glasgow." He says:
On the day of the last severe thunder storm in August last, I observed, immediately after the storm had passed, my parlor window facing the storm literally studded with dead flies adhering to the glass; beside each fly was a small opaque cloud, composed of a white gummy matter that appeared to have been ejected by the fly, and that very recently, from its being soft. That it had been simultaneous with the death of the insect, I think evident, from the wings and feet in most cases being covered with it in such quantity as to make it impossible for the insect to fly or walk. In all cases the insect was adhering to the glass by this gummy substance; some by the feet, the wings, and the mouth or sucker of the proboscis; in every instance this sucker was at its full expansion, as if blowing out; and in two cases, out of the few examined, the proboscis was ruptured or burst in the side.
Whether the death of these insects took place during the thunder storm, or in consequence of it, I cannot affirm; but they had all died within the space of a few hours, and that insects are affected by sudden or great atmospheric changes can hardly be doubted. I have spoken with several persons who observed the same sudden mortality among the flies about the same time, and also the invariable spot of dirt, as it was commonly called, contiguous to each insect.
In connection with this gummy matter, I may add a few observations first made some years ago. About the latter end of summer, (the month of August,) flies will often be observed standing perfectly motionless often for a period of fifteen or twenty minutes; examining them during these moods by a lens, it will be observed that they are not entirely idle, but are blowing out from their proboscis a fluid, which they hold at the mouth of their trunk as a globule, often as large as the head of a small pin. This globule the insect sucks in and blows out every few seconds, occasionally drawing in the proboscis and again throwing it
out, evidently with great enjoyment. These drops of fluid often fall on the place where it stands, and form grey-colored round spots, which soon get dark, and constitute a great portion of that termed fly-dirt. I have seen several of these drops fall in a few minutes, exciting some apprehensions at the consequences were it continued. May not this account for the fact, that dead flies are always dry and empty? The fluid, by reflected light, is of a cream-color, viscid and gummy; and occasionally little specks of air and dust are seen in it--but no revolving motion has been observed.
NOTES ON WILD ANIMALS.
This little animal is found throughout Europe, and, indeed, in most of the northern parts of the world. Its generic character consists in its having two front teeth, both above and below; and the upper pair duplicate, two small interior ones standing behind the others; the forefeet have five, and the hinder four toes. Being destitute of weapons of defence, it is endowed by Providence with the passion of fear. It is attentive to every alarm, and is, therefore, furnished with ears very long and tubular, which catch the most remote sounds. The eyes are so prominent, as to enable the animal to see both before and behind. The hare feeds in the evenings, and sleeps in his form during the day; and as he is generally on the ground, he has the feet protected, both above and below, with a thick covering of hair. In temperate regions they choose in winter a form exposed to the south, to obtain all the possible warmth of that season; and in summer, when they are desirous of shunning the hot rays of the sun, they change this for one with a northernly aspect; but in both cases they have the instinct of generally fixing upon a place where the immediately-surrounding objects are nearly the color of their own bodies. Among naturalists it is a received notion that the hare, espocially the buck, seldom lives beyond seven years, and that when either is killed, another succeeds to occupy its place; whence is derived the proverb,-"The moro hares yon kill the more you will have to hunt;" for when the buck and doe live undisturbed together a little time, they suffer no stranger to reside within their limits. It is also a well-experienced truth, that some places are remarkable for being seldom without hares, and others, although as likely in all appearance to harbour them, rarely with any. Whether it is any particular excellence in the feed, in the situation for forming advantageously, for warmth, hearing, or seeing, that induces them to prefer certain spots to others, or that on the death of a buck or doe another succeeds, and they possess their usual circle-cannot be ascertained, but the fact is perfectly established.
The first ring a hare takes is generally the foundation of the ensuing pastime, all the doubles she afterwards makes are in a great measure like the first; a hare will go over great part of trailed land, and visit her works of the preceding night and morning; sometimes a buck will take endways over fresh ground without offering to
return; the doe usually runs in a circle, unless with young, or having recently kindled; at such times she often runs forward, and scarcely ever escapes with life, being naturally unfit for fatigue; however, both sexes greatly regulate their conduct according to the season and weather. After a rainy night, in a woody country, neither buck nor doe will keep the cover, owing to the drops of wet hanging on the spray; they therefore run the highways or stony lanes, for as the scent naturally lies strong, they hold the roads which take the least. Not that a hare judges upon what soil the scent lies weakest; it is her ears that chiefly direct her, for the hounds being oftener at fault on the hard paths than the turf, she finds herself not so closely pressed, and is not so much alarmed with the continual cry of the dogs at her heels. The louder the cry, the more she is terrified, and flies the swifter; the certain effect of which is, a heart broken sooner than with a pack equal in number and goodness, but who spend their tongues less free. The same principle directs the hare to run to the covers in autumn, when the ground is dry, and the wind cold, at north or east; she then keeps the paths that are covered with leaves, which are so continually falling and blowing about that the best hounds cannot carry scent; her alarms are
consequently short, and she rests contented where
she is least disturbed,
When a hare rises out of form, if she erects her ears, and at first runs slowly, with her scut cast over her back, it is surely old and crafty. When a hare is hunted to his form, along the hard highways, and feeds far away from cover, and the doublings and crossings are wide and large, it is a buck; for the does generally keep close to the side of some cover, and, when going to feed in the corn fields, seldom cross over the furrows but follow the track of them; when hunted, they turn frequently, use many stratagems, and rarely leave the country round their seat; whilst the buck, after two or three turns about his form, runs straight forward four or five miles, and then probably squats in some place where he has before preserved himself. A buck or jack hare may also be known by his head being shorter, his ears more grey, his shoulders redder, and the body being smaller than the doe; and, at his first starting, by the whiteness of his hinder parts.
According to the season of the year, the hare is to be looked for; if it be spring, upon fallows
or green corn; during the autumn, in stubbles or turnips; in winter, they will seat themselves near houses, in brambles and tufts of thorn.
Tender feet in dogs, are owing to the softness of that fleshy substance called the ball of the foot; but nature has been singularly liberal to the hare in this part, by supplying her with such feet as are not subject to, and indeed scarcely susceptible of hurt, so as to incommode her in running. The balls of her feet, instead of hard flesh, are covered with strong coarse fur, suited so well to the purpose that she never treads easier, or to more advantage, than on the hardest beaten track, or rugged stony roads; the very surface which cripples a dog, she glides over with pleasure. In a frost she has an evident superiority to most creatures; the horse does not
"TIS NOW THAT the cold blasts of the
north, sweep along the ruffled surface of the lake; over whose deep waters frown the rugged crags of rusty gneiss, having their crevices sprinkled with tufts of withered herbage, and their summits crowned with stunted birches and alders. The desolate hills around are partially covered with snow; the pastures are drenched with the rains; the brown torrents seam the heathy slopes; and the little birds have long ceased to enliven those deserted thickets with their gentle songs. Margining the waters extends a long muddy beach, over which are scattered blocks of stone; partially clothed with dusky and olivaceous weeds. Here and there, a gull floats buoyantly in the shallows; some oyster-catchers repose on a gravel bank, their bills buried among their plumage ; and there, on that low shelf, is perched a solitary heron, like a monument of listless indolence — a bird petrified in its slumber.
At another time, when the tide has retired, you may find it wandering, with slow and careful tread, among the little pools; and by the sides of the rocks, in search of small fishes and crabs. But, unless you are bent on watching it, you will find more amusement in observing the lively tringas and turnstones, ever in rapid motion; for the heron is a dull and lazy bird, or at least he seems to be such; and even if you draw near, he rises in so listless a manner, that you think it a hard task for him to unfold his large wings and heavily beat the air, until he has fairly raised himself. But now he floats away, lightly, though with slow flappings, screams his harsh cry, and hies to some distant place, where he may remain unmolested by the prying natu ralist. Perhaps you may wonder at finding him in so cold and desolate a place as this dull sea creek, on the most northern coast of Scotland; and that, too, in the very midst of winter. But the heron courts not society, and seems to care as little as any one for the
Were you to betake yourself to the other extremity of the island, where the scenery is of a very different character, and the inlets swarm with ducks and gulls, there too you would find the heron, unaltered in manners,
slow in his movements, careful and patient, ever hungry and ever lean; for even when in best condition, he never attains the plumpness that gives yon the idea of a comfortable existence. Far away through the green valley winds the silver Tweed; now rolling its waters over the white pebbles, then gliding placidly between banks covered with fresh herbage and gaudy florets of many hues. The hum of the wild bee draws your eye toward those beautiful tufts of purple trefoil; the weet-weet, ever vibrating its body as if delicately balanced on its slim legs, runs along the sunny beach, spreads out its pointed wings, and skims over the pool.
There, in the water, nearly up to the knees, is the heron, patiently waiting an opportunity of seizing some giddy trout. Those ducklings that swim so beautifully, and dive with such marvellous quickness, he seems to eye with hungry glance; but their watchful protectress is in the midst of them. That wary old water-rat is equally safe, as he nibbles the grass at the mouth of his hole; and at intervals trims his whiskers with his little paws. In short, go where you will, in summer or in winter, to the shores of the sea or the far inland lake, the source or the estuary of the hill-born streams, you may here and there find a solitary heron.- MACGILLIVRAY.
OBSERVATIONS ON LARVÆ.
Ar this bleak and barren season of the year, although there is still much to attract the general admirer of nature, yet as regards those who follow that particular branch relating to insects, there is little now to draw them abroad, while the insect world lies almost entirely in a state of sleep. At this season, the entomologist recalls the pursuits of the previous year; and the following observations, made by the writer, can perhaps claim little merit save their originality. I purpose to offer a few points noticed in rearing various larvæ of Moths.
The first caterpillar which I had during last year, was one of the Goat Moth (cossus), which was cut by a laborer from an old willow. When I received it, it was apparently about three parts grown. It was in a rather languid state, and if disturbed would immediately raise its head, and open its formidable jaws. The peculiar odor which it emitted was so powerful, that a box in which it was placed smells as strong as at first, after the lapse of ten months. Though it was supplied with food, it died after a few weeks; having made some attempts to form a nest which it was apparently too weak to do.
In the beginning of April, I obtained a num ber of caterpillars of the great Tiger (Arctia Caja), in the vicinity of Chelsea, feeding on the dead nettle. Of these, some arrived at perfection in May, and others in June. A remarkable circumstance is, the great irritation produced by
even a minute particle of the hairs which create a kind of nettle-rash on the skin.
In June, I obtained from Hertfordshire the eggs of some unknown Sphinx, nearly all of which hatched; but none of them would eat, although supplied with the leaves of the tree on which length, of a pale green color, with a long horn they were laid. They were about five lines in tapering gradually, and without any appearance of stripes on the sides.
I had next the eggs and young larvæ of the Puss Moth (Cerura Vinula), of which nine arrived at maturity. This caterpillar is very remarkable both in appearance and habits. The usual period of growth was from six to seven weeks, and in this time it changes its skin four times. Having closely observed the habits of these, I can find books, of their ejecting an acrid fluid if irritated. no foundation for the fact (?), noticed in some The peculiar horns, with which the tail is supplied, are certainly protruded when it is touched, but are not used to strike with. The cocoon generally is perfected in about two days from its commencement; and when dry, resembles a swelling on the trunk of a tree.
In the beginning of July, I obtained from the vicinity of Chelsea some caterpillars of the Eyed Hawk (Smerinthus Ocillatus), but unfortunately all but two were killed by parasites. This insect Some of them will live for days after the grubs seems peculiarly infested by these ichneumons. have forced their way out; but they never eat, and ultimately die. Scarcely any kind of caterpillar seems exempt from attack by these insects, which no doubt serve some useful purpose in the economy of nature.
In September, after having examined a large quantity of privet, I discovered a nearly fullgrown caterpillar of the Privet Hawk (S. Ligustri), which was an insect I had never before obtained. This beautiful caterpillar after a short time entered the earth; but to my surprise, after a few days he came out again, and remained on the surface, where he died in about a week; and did not change into a chrysalis, much to my disappointment. I afterwards attributed his death to the earth in the flower-pot not being of sufficient depth.
During last season, I reared from the Larva, also the Nettle Tortoise, and the Peacock, and the
Feathered Prominent Moth. There is a remarkable
difference in growth often observed amongst caterpillars of the same species, and hatched at the same time. Some will enter the chrysalis state There is also a difa week earlier than others. ference in the time occupied in changing their skin. With some, it takes three days or more; I have watched many others perform it in two. larvæ closely, but could never observe any consciousness, or any perception of the times at which they were usually supplied with fresh leaves. CERURA.
THE FIDGETS.-A fidgetty man, or a fidgetty woman, ought to be kept under lock and key. They frighten themselves till they get ill; and they drive all who come near them to the very verge of madness. They should have a ward to themselves.
FURTHER REMARKS ON THE SPIDER.
(Continued from page 277, Vol. II.)
Lo! in this curious insect,
the body, immediately above the insertion of the mandibles and legs, so that the head and thorax are the first parts liberated. The line of separation pursues the same direction till it extends to the abdomen, which is the next part disengaged; the extrication of the legs being the last and greatest difficulty the spider has to overcome.
RIUMPHING, As we now ARE, DAILY, over old prejudices; and viewing the wonders of creation as we now do with a desire to know more and more of their varied attractions,- we deem nothing that the Creator has made, unworthy our attention. ALL PERSONS who really love to watch Nature in some of her more delicate movements, should carefully study the operations of the Spider.
"As the suspensory filament connected with the spinners of the exuvia is considerably shorter than the legs, and does not undergo any sensible alteration in length, the abdomen during the process of moulting becomes gradually deflected from its original horizontal direction, till it assumes a vertical position nearly at right angles with the thorax. By this change of posture, attended with numerous contortions of the body, and alternate contractions and extensions of the limbs, the spider is ultimately enabled to accomplish its purpose. The spines with which the legs are provided, no doubt contribute to facilitate the operation greatly; for as they are directed down the limbs, and are moveable at the will of the animal, when it has partially drawn its legs from their sheath, by con
It is not merely in the construction of their residence that they turn their silken filament to account. With its assistance, they are enabled to fabricate a cradle for their progeny, so well-contrived that it is impossible to contemplate it with-tracting them, it can prevent them from re-enterout admiration, or without reflecting that even ing, by slightly erecting the spines, and thus Among these most savage and ferocious of all bringing their extremities in contact with the living animals, "Love strong as Death," has inner surface of the integuments. been appointed the safeguard and defender of the race. Who would expect anything like affection in a female spider-remorseless, cruel, and blood-thirsty as she is? Her very mate approaches her with fear and trembling; for should she not happen to be in an extremely good temper, his life inevitably pays the forfeit of his rashness, his amiable spouse feeling not the slightest objection to obtain a hearty meal by devouring her betterhalf; yet, strange to say, no animals can be pointed out more devotedly attached to their progeny than the females of these relentless devourers. When about to lay her eggs, converting her silken thread to a new use, the spider-mother constructs with it a beautiful globular basket or cocoon, in which she deposits her precious treasure, and then binds the cradle to some part of her body, or sometimes simply carries it clasped to her breast; no matter how she may be engaged, she never leaves it, even while at the chase in search of food; no danger, no torture will make her drop her cherished burden, nor while life lasts will anything compel her to desert the charge entrusted to her care. When the young are hatched, the spectacle is equally interesting; for the new-born progeny, as they leave the egg, creep out upon their mother's back, who carries them about and defends them with tiger-like courage, until they become strong enough to procure their own subsistence.
"When the spider has completely disengaged itself from the slough, it remains for a short period in a state of great exhaustion, suspended solely by a thread from the spinners, connected with the interior of the abdominal portion of the cast skin, which is much corrugated and drawn together. The entire process, as above described, occupies After reposthe space of about twenty minutes. ing a little, the spider further attaches itself to the suspensory lines by the claws of the feet; and when its strength is sufficiently restored, and its limbs have acquired the requisite degree of firmness, it ascends its filaments and seeks its retreat."
Such are a few only of the curious provisions of nature, with regard to this insect. Vulgar minds recoil at the sight of the spider, and can see no beauty in the "work of its hands." They shriek, and run away, as if from a revolting spectacle. We pity such people, and blush for their narrow intellect.
Spiders, unlike the true insects, frequently change their skin, and present themselves in a new and enlarged dress as their growth proceeds. The manner in which this operation is effected is thus described by Mr. Blackwall, to whose excellent observations on the structure and economy of these creatures we are indebted for an account of the process:-"Preparatory to casting its integuments, the spider spins several strong lines in the vicinity of its snare, from which it suspends itself by the feet, and a filament proceeding from the spinners. After remaining for a short time in this situation, the horny covering of the thorax gives way by a fissure running down each side of
AUTO-BIOGRAPHY OF A DOG.-No. IX.
(Continued from Vol. II., page 406.)
HEARK'EE, MR. EDITOR,-"La dent d'oche fume sa pipe," and so does my old master now and then, and I see no harm in it. Indeed, it is rather a cosey sight to see the old boy snugly ensconced in his little summer-house, and enjoying his patent "yerbury " well primed with best "latakia, myself reclining by his feet on one side, and my godson (an immense black cat) on the other a glass of sherry-and-water on the little shelf, and though last, not least, the latest number of OUR JOURNAL, which he is quietly conning over.
This is a very calm scene you will admit; but it is a vastly different story when the "dent d'oche" performs, as you shall presently see. I must premise, Mr. Editor, that the "dent d'oche" is a very high mountain in Savoy, about three
miles S. E. of Tholon, a small town situated on the S. E. of Lac Leman, and nearly opposite 'Cully," on the Vaudois side of the lake.
Now, Mr. Editor, when the wind blows from the Fort de l'Ecluse just above Bellegarde, on the frontiers of France and Switzerland, you must not fail to go to this spot, if you should ever take it in your head to visit Geneva, not only to see the splendid wild mountainous scenery from this tremendous fortification, but also to witness the remarkable Perte du Rhone. There is a very good old-fashioned hotel here, and everything very well and very reasonably served; and although it is a frontier town, the d'armes" never give you any trouble, if you are only kind to them. They much prefer discussing a "pinte" of "medoc" and a cigar, to turning your carriage inside out for the chance of finding a bit of stale bread. However, when the wind blows from the fort de l'Ecluse, it is a hundred to one that the "dent d'oche commence a fume sa pipe."
It happened one morning in August, that Bombyx and his family, accompanied by the old grandpapa des papillons," started in a large open carriage for the Tour de Gourzes. It was a glorious morning as, at six o'clock, we left our residence of course intent on a day's sport and amusement; and the wind was slightly from the N.W. We went up the Berne Road by Vennes," les "croisettes," to the "chalet à gobet," here we branched off to our right through Savigny, after our party had refreshed their steeds, and myself and brother had got up a glorious cats' hunt.
We turned south from Savigny, and reached our old friend the Chasseur about nine o'clock; when having disposed of some bread and cheese, and ordered dinner at three, Bombyx and his sons, with old grandpapa, Jean, and the German servant, set off for the Tour de Gourzes; whilst the young ladies amused themselves by making captures at the foot of the mountain and fishing water-beetles out of a neighboring pond. Many were the beautiful captures made in butterflies, moths, geometræ, tinice, and coleoptera; and delightful, too, was to see old grandpapa, at nearly eighty, the gayest of the gay.
Myself and my brother were hunting for mice, close by the old tower, when we heard Jean say to himself (at the same time stroking his nose significantly), "Voyons voir," the wind has quite changed, and the heat is almost suffocating.
"Parbleu oui," says grandpapa, applying his handkerchief to his venerable bald cranium, I am quite in a perspiration. I think the wind blows from the Fort de l'Ecluse. However, we shall be home in time."
"Je voudrais bien," says Jean.
After a little more sport we went down to the chalet. There all was ready under the old plane trees, and the first thing I smelt, Mr. Editorah! I suppose you have already guessed it-was the inimitable omelette, the never-to-be-forgotSoupe aux Herbettes," the exquisite "Jambon, the "Salade croquante," some delicions "Briscelets," expressly for old grand-papa, old Beaume, and Yvorne.
At about five o'clock, we started on our return; but I overheard a conversation between Jean and the postillion, which made me fancy we should not
have such a pleasant trip home as we had out. All went on smoothly and comfortably down to Grand Vaux and Villette, although it had now got fearfully "sombre" and overcast ; and thunder was heard in Savoy. Our postillion (an uncommonly jovial fellow), pushed on as fast as he could, and we were just getting into "Lutry" when the loud voice of our postillion was heard. "La dent d'oche fume sa Pipe!" All eyes were instantly turned towards the "Dent d'Oche;" and sure enough, immense heavy, lead-colored clouds, were rolling over the lofty summit, and slowly descending its huge sides, towards the lake; whilst others were winding round the "Roche St. Julien, and reaching the Lake by the "Vallée du Rhone." Every one was made as snug as could be; but it was of little use. Flash after flash of the most vivid lightning followed with awful rapidity. The "Dent d'Oche" fired from the summit, midway, and base. This was met by tremendous serpentining flashes, which seemed to run along the lake as they burst from the "Vallée du Rhone." The thunder was unceasing, and fearfully loud. Luckily, the postillion knew his horses, and they were quiet as might be. Presently we got to Pully, and here a deluge of rain drenched us to the skin. The storm continued raging; and as we neared Lausanne, by the old "Route d'Italie," and were passing "les Moussequines," such a shower of hail fell, that I really thought we should have had every bone in our bodies broken. Fortunately, it was all up-hill, and we escaped a good deal by keeping under the carriage. Far otherwise was it with Bombyx and his party. However, Jean and Bombyx were laughing away to keep each other in good spirits. Not so old grand-papa; who lost his patience, and got out to walk, thinking to get shelter in a small cottage which he knew to be close by. Here, however, he was, unfortunately, much disap pointed-the owner being out, and the door locked. In a back lane by Mon Repos, the lightning fell twice within four yards of us. I confess we were all now alarmed, and leaving the high road, we went straight across a private field, and reached home after the worst soaking I ever had in my life.
Old grand-papa arrived about half an hour afterwards, worse off than any-positively like a drowned rat. A good supper, and some hot grog, put all to rights again. This storm lasted, on and off, during two entire days.
Now, Mr. Editor, you know what it is when "La Dent d' Oche fume sa Pipe."-Believe me to remain, your affectionate friend,
Tottenham, Jan. 20th, 1853.
There is no word or action but may be taken with two hands; either with the right hand of charitable construction, or the sinister interpretation of malice and suspicion. All things so succeed, as they are taken. To construe evil action well, is but a pleasing and profitable deceit for myself. But to misconstrue a good thing, is a terrible wrong to myself, the action, and the author.-BISHOP HALL.