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which, directly you transfer the creatures to the water-bottle, will suddenly be transformed into a globule of glistening silver. Keep them apart from everything else, and take great care of them, for they are a prize.

Now if you are foolish you will go straight home and put all into the Aquarium, and long before morning more than half will be dead. If you are wise you will take one or two specimens of each species only, and will keep them apart until, by patient consultation of Prince • Try-again,' you learn which kinds, and how many of each kind, may be trusted to live together. Meantime, watch the creatures, observe their structure, their various modes of moving about; their ways of breathing and feeding (they will find food enough in the water you have brought from the pond for the first day or two.) Many of them will suffer no inconvenience from being removed for a short time from the water. And remember that every one of them is wonderfully made, and serves some special purpose in the social life of the water-world from which it is taken. So much has been written of late years on all this, and it is so easily accessible, that I do not need to describe over again what others have already described. But some notes of personal observation and adventure may not be without interest and use.

Now here is a long list of curious creatures, all common enough, in such water-worlds as I have described, and all capable of being kept at home, at least for a time.

There is the whole tribe of Beetles. Dytiscus Marginalis is king of the water-world, as the lion is king of the forest-world. Catch him if you can, but being caught, whether in its larval or perfect form, he must on no account be trusted in the same vessel with any other creature upon which you do not wish him to feed. He is worth an aquarium all to himself, and can feed upon butcher's meat like a Yorkshire farmer.

From Dytiscus Marginalis you may pass downwards through a wonderful variety of beetles, great and small, some vegetarians, others carnivorous, all winged, all beautiful, to

tbe lovely little black and brown midgeto

nameless though very familiar, who rushes about in the aquarium with his tiny quicksilver tail-piece and hurts Dytiscus Marginalis, male and female, with front leg of

male magnified. nobody What, say you, is the quicksilver tail-piece? Have you ever seen a water-beetle come to the surface to breathe ? If not, catch one, put it into a bottle, and watch. There it comes, sailing up from the bottom, poised diagonally, with long feathered hind legs spread out. And now see what will happen. Instead of poking his nose out of the water, as you would be glad to do had you been down there as long as he has been, he suddenly alters his balance, ducks his head as though preparing to dive, and thrusting his tail end above the surface, opens his elytra or wing covers, captures a globule of air, and disappears with what looks like a quicksilver tail-piece. His lungs are outside his body. He breathes, not through his mouth, but through branchiæ, which are placed under



the elytra.



(Concluded from page 181.) A

FAVOURITE expedition from Sydney is to Paramatta, a place famous for its orange gardens. We started in the steam-launch early

one morning, and made first for the head of the harbour, and then, proceeding up one of the narrow creeks, entered the Paramatta river. Some miles further, a friend met us with his carriage, and drove us to his comfortable farm, where we were hospitably entertained, and turned loose to feast in the orange orchards. In one sheltered glen, we came on a group of orange-trees from forty to forty-five feet in height, having a stem nearly two feet in girth. As we stood under the trees, the lowest bough left the trunk at a point fully three feet above our heads; so, having hitherto seen only the orange-groves of Europe, we for the first time realized that these were indeed trees.

But our friends had something to show us which they esteemed an object of far deeper interest. This was an oak tree, known to be eighty years of age, a venerable age in this young colony. It was planted by an early settler, and is looked upon by old and young with positive reverence. Soon after arriving here, I spent some delightful days on Darling

I Point, one of the prettiest of the many lovely headlands which jut into the blue sea-lake in every direction. My host was Mr. Mort, who has built his lovely house, Greenoaks, as a dream of some old English home, with many gables outside and good carved oak inside. He has a fine picture gallery, and such a garden of camellias! great trees of red, pink and white, which he generously showers on his friends.

Amongst other things, he owns one of the principal docks here, and a large iron-foundry. He also has a large dairy-farm along the coast, where he has five hundred cows, all in milk! But his greatest interest is in devising and perfecting a great freezing establishment for conveying meat to England. He has the animal killed in the mountains, brought to Sydney in iced trucks, and there received into genuine (artificially constructed) arctic regions, into which we descended shivering, and there beheld low rows of carcases,

all frozen as hard as stone. The intention is to convey about two hundred tons to England at a time, all frozen. It is a gigantic experiment, on which Mr. Mort has already sunk about £100,000. It has been the labour of years, and is now just about to see daylight.*

Ever since we landed here we have met with the greatest kindness from all the principal inhabitants, and it is of our own choice that we have not been altogether engrossed in a ceaseless social whirl. When it became known that we did not wish to go out in the evenings, many kind friends invited us to luncheons, which at first we accepted

* After all this care and anxiety, America has outstripped Australia in the race, and was the first to bring her superabundant stores to the aid of hungry · Britain.

in all innocence. But we soon discovered that such luncheons meant long dinners in courses, and large parties almost as trying as weddingbreakfasts; in short, that they cut up all the best hours of the day ; 80, as we infinitely prefer a sandwich eaten in the open air, we have found that the best way to enjoy this new world, is to go right away from the city, and so we have made several most enjoyable expeditions into the wilds. The first of these was to the Blue Mountains, a wooded range

which lies between Sydney and Bathurst. The manner in which the railway has been engineered between these two points, is one of the triumphs of the colony. From Sydney, it ascends to the summit by a series of zig-zags, and descends on the other side by the same means, so that looking down from the summit, you see the road winding far below you in a series of terraces, along which you must presently pass.

On my first visit to the zig-zags, I was honoured by a seat on the engine, which though not luxurious, is the recognised method by which any privileged guest of the Government is enabled to see the scenery. But on my next visit to the Blue Mountains, I travelled in all humility, in an open, empty truck, and of course had a far better view on every side.

I cannot say that the Blue Mountains are by any means impressive as regards beauty of form. On the contrary, they are, generally speaking, a very shapeless range, offering little variety of scene, and all thickly clothed with very unattractive scrub, composed chiefly, I think, of eucalyptus. But here and there a remarkable geological 'fault' occurs, where a huge piece of the range seems to have subsided, leaving a deep and inaccessible pit many miles in circumference.

The most noted of these is Govatt's Leap, which is a grand, deeplysunken gorge, to which no entrance can be effected from any side. It is named in memory of a noted freebooter who, when so closely pressed by his pursuers that escape was hopeless, forced his horse to leap the precipitous wall, and so vanished from their sight, lost in the dense forest far below, where doubtless his bones lie whitening to

this day.

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In order to secure a careful picture of this remarkable spot, I halted for some days at a most comfortable ‘Bush'Hotel, and spent long hours of delight on the verge of the precipice, beside a sparkling stream, which, emulating the bold bushranger, overleaps the crags, and falling in clouds of rainbow-tinted spray, loses itself among

the tree-tops in the depths of the great pit. Looking down on this closelymatted carpet of green, it appeared to be all starred by the beautiful crowns of tall tree-ferns, rising on slender stems from a depth of perhaps thirty feet below.

Words fail me to describe the loveliness of certain gullies in which these most fascinating tree-ferns flourish undisturbed, their huge fronds weaving an exquisite canopy of fairy-green, through which the sunlight gleams far over head, and lights up banks of equally beautiful though smaller ferns of many graceful forms, from the delicate maiden-hair to the strange, almost grotesque, parasitic elk-horn and stag-horn ferns, which having established themselves on the rough bark of some old tree, there grow and flourish, forming a natural fernery which would fill a gardener with jealous despair.

From Mount Victoria (which is the station for Govatt's Leap) I went on to see a very similar pit known as the Weatherboard, a name the meaning of which is not apparent. The term weatherboard is descriptive of a peculiar method of building wooden-bouses with rough boards overlapping one another, and I failed to see any resemblance to these in the perpendicular rock-walls which encircle a pit very similar to that which I had previously visited.

I secured a tidy little room in the exquisitely-clean cottage of a woodman, whose bright purpose-like wife was surrounded by a large family of the nicest little children you could wish to see, true little Australians, independent and self-reliant from their cradles, and always on the alert to lend a hand wherever it might be required. I was vastly amused on the first evening of my arrival, when, having spent the day alone, at the crags, I had continued painting till sunset, and then started to walk back to the cottage by the light of a brilliant moon. When about half way, I espied a small regiment coming towards me, and recognised the whole household brigade, headed by a ten-year-old boy, and gradually decreasing to a toddle of less than four summers. They expressed great relief at my safe return, as they said they were beginning to think I might have fallen over the crags, so they thought they had better come and look after me! It was quite the story of the lion and the mouse. Happily I never had occasion to test their powers, but their willingness to aid was truly touching.

I have had one very pleasant glimpse of true Australian country life. I cannot say that it at all auswered to my expectations of life in the bush,' as we had no chance of 5 roughing it,' but rather found ourselves in clover from the hour we left Sydney till our return, and could scarcely have told that we were not in a comfortable English country-house.

Our destination was a large sheep-farm in the Murrumbidgee hills. To reach these we left Sydney early one morning, and travelled by



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