« EelmineJätka »
a considerable quantity of quartz sand ; and, being a voracious feeder, Desmids, Diatoms, and other Alga. When at rest it is of sub-globular form, but frequently buds forth small lobes of its clearer ectosarc, as a preliminary to activity (see Fig. 69). The somewhat globular villous patch, which is always posterior, has a prehensile function. Nuclei small and numerous. The same description is said to apply to the contract. ing vesicles, but in the specimen from which the drawing was made there was most certainly one very conspicuous Cont. vesicle. Colour, very variable, but by transmitted light, usually a dark grey or brown, in some cases approaching to black.
J. E. LORD. Rawtenstall.
wards and forwards. Size about noo of an inch. Fig. 64, an ordinary form showing Nucleus and Cont. vesicle. Fig. 6), small form, which withdrew all the pseudopodia except one ; this although constantly moving, lengthening or shortening, remained persistent for over an hour during which it was under observation (Fig. 66). Another specimen with longer pseudopodia.
The next form, Amaba verrucosa, is the last of the naked lobose Rhizopods I have found in this district. The illustrations (Figs. 67, 68) give a fair idea of young specimens; older ones are a little larger and generally contain more Algous food, though not in such quantity as to destroy their translucency. It is said to be very common, but I have very rarely found it, and unfortunately I have omitted to note the exact locality. It is, I think, a good species. Ordinarily it presents a quadrately rounded form, with broad expansions of the ectosarc, which in this species is unusually distinct. Old specimens are very sluggish, but younger ones are active, and when moving across the field of the microscope, the broad end is always in front, so that there is a distinct anterior and posterior part. The Cont. vesicle is large and posterior ; Nucleus generally obvious, a little in front of the Cont. vesicle. The creature does not put forth distinct pseudopods, but the ectosarc rolls forwards as a short, broad lobe and the endosarc gradually follows so as to maintain the same relative position. The creasing of the ectosarc, appearing as fine, more or less permanent lines, reaching from the back forward as far as the endosarc, is very characteristic, and will greatly assist the student in identifying the species. Fig. 67. Specimen with large Cont. vesicle and single Nucleus. Fig. 68, another with Cont. vesicle partially contracted, food-particles present ; these generally consist of Oscillatorian fragments. In the naked lobose Rhizopods there are four Genera and about eight Species. Amoeba, as deescribed. Pelomyxa, slug-like, with wave-like expansions of the ectosarc; Dinamoeba, whose pseudopods are long, conical, sometimes furcate ; with surface of body and pseudopods covered with spicules of motionless cilia ; and Ouramaba, with fixed filamentous appendages. These all belong to the sub)-Order Lobosa, and are of great interest, but as I have not yet found them, winter having effectually put a stop to .collecting, I omit all further reference to them here. In my next paper I shall commence the description of the testaceous forms, illustrating the chief varieties of the various species found in Rossendale.
P.S.- Pelomyxa villosa is another of the naked Rhizopods, which, while absent from many ponds, is yet numerous in others. It is closely allied to Amæba villosa, if indeed it is not a state or condition of that Rhizopod. It differs from it chiefly in having
Nuclei and Cont. vesicles scattered through the body mass. It is one of the very largest forms, and its endosarc is crowded with dark granules,
LANE, an English country lane ! To the
dweller in a city's murky streets what more suggestive of peace and beauty? In the very word there is a ring of rusticity; it tells us that it is not a high- but a bye-way, one off the beaten track-one more secluded, peaceful, fragrant. The thought of it calls up visions of mossy banks and o’erarching trees, sweet-smelling hawthorn hedges with eglantine and bryony festooned, and gay with roses white, with crimson tipped. Nor does the pleasant vision exist only in the imagination of the poetic dreamer. Nay, thank heaven! in this our lovely native land there still are left to us a thousand country lanes, as rich in beauty as they were in ages long since passed.
'Tis not, however, of lanes in general that I would now discourse, but of one particular lane—that special, secluded, restful spot of earth on which it is our hap to dwell, and which we love to designate par excellence “Our Lane."
In this our sin and sorrow stricken world 'twere hard to find a spot so sacred to peace that no disturbing element will e'er be found within its precincts, and, mayhap, the occasional inroad of merry schoolchildren, full of boisterous mirth, or lumbering wain, somewhat harshly jingles upon the ear of the recluse, but such infrequent breaks but serve to enhance the restsul atmosphere which here prevails ; nor do I begrudge the young ones their season of innocent enjoyment ; to many of them it may be only far too brief.
Our lane is situated in a lovely, richly-wooded, old-world western county, whose benighted inhabitants slowly yield to changes of so-called modern progress, and as slowly help to swell the calendar of crime. Beautiful for situation is it-in every season charming. But 'tis in early summer-say in leafy June-when from the thicket the mellow-throated blackbird mingles his fluty notes with the bright outpourings of the sweet-voiced thrush-when 'tis brimful of birdsong, rustle of leafy shade, and hum itself;
of happy insect life, that its beauty most commends
for then, methinks, 'tis at its very best. Its sinuous course extends through rich pastures and mossy orchards, from the brook at the bottom of our lovely valley, right away up and up, until it widens out upon the breezy height some goo feet or more above the sea level. No unsheltered half-mile course is this, for its steep banks are high, surmounted with luxuriant hedges, and with lofty trees o'er-arched, and even when “November chill blaws loud wi' angry blast,” the wanderer here may bid defiance to the tempest. His upward glances may discover the bowing and swaying of the tree-tops before the forceful blast, which onward sweeps the ruddy shower, and carpets the ground beneath with glossy beech leaves ; but, through it all, as disturbed his steps as separate his lot from the tumult and harass of the outside world. Now and again, sweet glimpses of the lofty hills and overhanging woods afford him a foretaste of the treat in store when he reaches the topmost height, for his footsteps lead him ever upward, until he emerges from the shade into the breezy open, when what a glorious prospect meets his eye! Hills beyond hills, all richly clothed with beech, and larch, and pine. Here from this lofty ridge his eye embraces two lovely valleys—this, "the Switzerland of England," the most sequestered and richly-wooded of the two; the most steep and narrow; and from wood to wood and hill to hill the eye may rove, until hill, and wood, and cloud, all harmoniously blend in a mellow hazy distance. That, more open and wide-spreading, its bounding hills more sweeping in their contour, but yielding as fair a scene, and behind that swelling down descends the westering sun ; and whilst the steep valley slopes are sleeping in deep shadow, the fleecy cloudlets glow in his rays, and give fair promise of a bright to-morrow. Across the valley there is Painswick Hill-nearly the highest point in the county—and from it we see on the one hand the Vale of Glo'ster, the Severn, and far beyond—on the other, the hills and woods—the towns of Gloucester and Cheltenham ; and out there, in the purple distance, the lofty Malvern Hills. Such scenes as these mark epochs in one's life.
Here then, far removed from earth's hurly-burly, rest awhile, inhale the breeze, fragrant with floral odours innumerable, and rich with refreshment alike to the jaded spirit and the weary body. No situation more conducive to restful feelings than the summit of some lofty eminence, some mountain peak, some mighty swelling hill like this. Here on some turfy couch reclining, at this high altitude one feels so far removed from life's sore turmoil, the city's roar, the strife of contending factions; and soaring heavenward, one strives to rise superior to the grovelling things of earth. And yet, withal, how oft the humbling thought obtrudes—How very, very small am I; yea, but an atom in an Universe.
Cast the eye whithersoever one will it lights upon woods. There lies the largest of them all, said to be one of the most extensive in the kingdom ; and there, where those advancing wooded slopes, which, from opposite sides of the ravine upward climb towards the sky, consecrated to peace and beauty, is my favourite resort.
Adown the steep hillside the pathway leads, until we reach "the bottom.” Here, sheltered in the bosom of this lovely valley the outer world and I are quit, and “every sense is joy." No storms—no chill. ing blasts invade these bosky depths profound; nor sight nor sound of higher animal life disturb the stillness, save when the agile squirrel leaps from branch to branch, or timid rabbit scampers across the path, or jay's or magpie's discordant notes are heard.
Yet let it not be thought that these solitudes are untenanted, for a myriad host of insect atoms hum, and flit, and flutter out their happy day in the genial sun-rays of this insect paradise. Butterflies innumerable disport themselves, and a long chain of wood ants' nests skirt the sunny edge of the gloomy larch wood. This exuberance of insect life betokens an equally redundant flora ; indeed, in all my wanderings never before was it my hap to light upon such a wealth of floral beauty, nor from the appearance of the first flower until the last withering leaf has been swept from the bare woods fails there a display of Nature's most beautiful productions. I have sometimes thought that not a flower that blooms but here finds its representative-methinks a harmless fancy, and one that I delight in.
Deep fringed with moisture-loving plants there, too, meanders through this deep ravine a brooklet, and oft do I cast myself upon its mossy bank to contemplate the marvellous perfection of Nature's handiwork. Call me not a visionary if I evoke bright fantasies out of the sweet music of whispering windsthe odours of thousand flowerets, and Autterings of scaly wings in golden sunbeams. Not idly do I spend my hour, for sadness I beguile, and homeward turn my steps, mentally and physically refreshed.
The picture has another side. Not always is the silence thus unbroken—nor ever is the solitude replete with gentle sounds, for when summer's bright-hued floral pageant has vanished, the song of wild bird is hushed, and the year, no longer young, has yielded to the decrepitude of age, then the howling tempest rages and threatens, and the lofty tree-tops, responding to the sweep of the wind, pour out such wild music as thrills the listener beneath, and transports him in imagination to the lonely sea-shore where roaring billows toss and heave. Delightful transi. tion ! 'tis Nature in her varying mood, and her wild harmonies how sweet.
Presage of blissful repose, comes the blessed evening's fragrant breath, fitting termination this quiet spot to a delightsome stroll. Here, then, wanderer, rest, and whilst you gather “ the harvest of a quiet botanical specimens were very good, and contained many rare species. There was also a large assortment of African weapons, implements, spoils of the chase, and many other curiosities too numerous to mention. Throughout the evening various electrical appliances and a number of microscopes were exhibited.
eye,” let me discourse awhile anent the denizens of “Our Lanc."
And first to merit mention assuredly are those ministers to our happiness, our little feathered friends. They abound in our lane, and notably within the precincts of our garden and orchard, for here in my berried shrubs, and ivy and other climber clothed walls, they find food, shelter and protective care ; here, unmolested, they build their curious nests, and raise their young broods—’tis to them a veritable bird paradise.
My list mayhap embraces no great rarity, but includes—not excepting the nightingale-nearly all most noted for their sweet song. Foremost let me mention my sweet-voiced friend the common thrush (Turdus musicus) who much affects my garden, Could I ever tire of his melodious outpourings? I trow not; nor do I tremble for my fruit when I see his lovely speckled breast beneath my shrubs, for well I know that soon his tap-tap-tap upon his favourite stone is the death-knell of the marauding snail. Fearlessly, last summer, a pair built their nest beneath the thatch of my summer-house, and but five and a half feet from the ground, and although I made a daily visit to the spot, and at but a foot distant would stand and watch the sitting mothernot once she fled her home, but, fixing her trustful eyes on mine, calmly sat on.
Their near relation, too, the missel thrush (T. viscia vorus) is a frequent visitor, and until the last berry of the mountain ash has been gathered frequents our lane. Somewhat less welcome to me is the jetty plumaged blackbird (T. merula), for much as I delight in the fute-like notes of this mellow-throated songster, he lays my fruit under such heavy contribution that, sometimes, methinks, I dearly pay for his sweet music. Abundant though he is in all the bends and twists of our lane, he most affects our garden-as does that shyest of birds, and sweetest singer of the feathered choir, the blackcap (Curruca atricapilla). From the time of his arrival, about the first week in April, until he takes his departure, about the end of September, he much affects my shrubs, and pours out his most tuneful notes from morn till eve. Sweet, affectionate bird ; a thousand times welcome to the fruit you claim as the guerdon of your delightsome song.
(To be continued.)
THE Easter Excursion of the Geologists' Association will be to the Isle of Wight, under the direction of Professor J. F. Blake and Mr. Thomas Leighton.
A new quarterly magazine has been started at Leeds, under the title of “The Conchologist.” It is edited by Mr. W. E. Collinge.
The Annual Exhibition of the South London Entomological and Natural History Society will be held at the Bridge House Hotel, London Bridge, S.E., on Wednesday and Thursday, the 15th and 16th of April next. On Wednesday it will be open from 7 until 10.30 P.M.; Thursday from 1 to 6 and 7 till 10 P.M. Particulars and tickets can be obtained of the Hon. Sec., Mr. H. W. Barker, 83 Brayard's Road, Peckham, S.E.
We are glad to inform our readers that the proposed oological expedition to the Shetland Islands has very properly been abandoned.
We have received a copy of the interesting “Monthly Circular and Journal of Proceedings" of the Huddersfield Naturalists' Society.
We have also received a copy of the useful "List of Microscopical Preparations” from Mr. J. Sinel, Jersey.
At the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society, the Wollaston Medal was presented to Professor Judd ; the Murchison Medal to Professor Brögger, of Christiania ; the Lyell Medal Professor McKenny Hughes ; and the Bigsby Medal to Dr. G. M. Dawson, of Ottawa. The balance of the Wollaston Fund was presented to Mr. R. Lydekker; that of the Murchison Fund to the Rev. R. Baron, Antananarivo; half of the balance of the Lyell Fund to Dr. C. J. Forsyth-Major, of Florence ; and the other half to Mr. G. W. Lamplugh.
PROFESSOR VICTOR HORSLEY, F.R.S., gave a discourse on Hydrophobia at the Royal Institution, on Friday, March 20th, in place of Professor W. E. Ayston, F.R.S., who was unable to give his promised lecture on Electric Meters, Motors, and Money Matters.
THE Second Loan Exhibition of the Woolwich District Natural History Society (President, the Rev. J. W. Horsley), held at the Freemasons' Hall, Mount Pleasant, was very successful. The exhibits were of a high order, and represented most branches of natural history. The collections of fossils, shells, star-fish, crustacea, coleoptera, lepidoptera, and
The last part of the “Diatomiste,” edited by J. Tempère (London : W. P. Collins, 157 Great Portland Street), contains four plates. This promises to be the most important work on the Diatomacea ever issued. It is being issued every three months.
M. FREMY has been able to manufacture rubies folia, var.);" by Dr. W. J. Simpson, “A Note on artificially, and has produced numerous rhombo. the Bacillus of Leprosy, with specimens ;" by Dr. J. hedric crystals identical with those found in nature. Stevenson, “The Microscope Stand, with some The rubies are produced by calcining a mixture of remarks on the Choice of a Microscope;" by Mr. A. aluminium, red lead and potassium bichromate for Thomson, “On the Optical Principles of the Microseveral hours in an earthenware crucible.
scope;" by Mr. W. J. Lynch, “On a few Hints on
the Home Construction of Appliances for the MicroThe celebration of the Jubilee of the Chemical
scope, with Exhibits ;" by Mr. W. J. Simmons, Society was held on Tuesday, February 24th.
three Résumés ; by Baboo Bhupendrasri Ghosha, There was a conversazione in the evening held at the
one Résumé ; and by Mr. W. M. Osmond, “Bromide Goldsmiths' Hall, at which eight hundred were
Enlargements of Photo-micrographs," and a Silver present.
Print from an Enlarged Negative.
MOUNTING CORALLINES.— I have been trying to to further the scheme of the Essex Field Club and
mount corallines for the microscope with the animals Chelmsford Museum for the establishment of a local
expanded out of their cells. I read ia “Carpenter museum, laboratory, and library in the county town.
that osmic acid would cause the animals to expand The occasion was one of great interest, Professor
their tentacles so that they could be mounted. I Flower and other well-known scientists took part in
have tried that acid, but with no result. Can any of the proceedings.
the readers give me any help how to get the animals
to expand their tentacles and to kill them at the COLONEL SWINHOE, F.L.S., gave a capital lantern same time, so as to be fit for mounting ?-W. A. lecture before the members of the Croydon Micro- Towner. scopical and Natural History Club, on March 18th, on the interesting subject of “Mimicry in Nature.”
MOUNTING COCHINEAL Insects. To ring, try
Hollis' glue. I have found this good in almost every DR. J. E. TAYLOR, Editor of SCIENCE-Gossip,
case, and always use it to ring, for I do not like white .concluded, on March 19th, a course of twelve lectures
zinc, &c., except as a finish ; though I never even care (each of which was extensively reported) in connec- for that, for the plain Hollis is all ready, and can be tion with the Ipswich Museum, on The Ingenuity, used for immersion objectives. — V. A. Latham. Sagacity, and Morality of Plants."
MICRO-MARINE ZOOLOGY AT HOME.—Those
who desire a delightful evening at home with the MICROSCOPY.
microscope should procure one of the jars of living
marine objects sent out every fortnight by Mr. J. THE ROYAL MICROSCOPICAL SOCIETY. — The
Sinel, of Jersey. The latest to hand contained the February number of the journal of the above society following specimens :-Lucernaria auricula (in reprocontains, in addition to the well digested and use. duction); ova of Inochus striatus with embryos ; Alcyo. fully arranged “Summary of Current Researches,” nidium papillosum, Membranipora pilosa ; on the red abstracts of the proceedings of the meetings, and the weed, one or two kinds of Campanularia and some following papers :-“Some Observations on the small Polyzoa ; Crisia denticulata, Spirorbis nautiloides, Various Forms of Human Spermatozoa," by Dr. Syllis armirallis ; one or two other micro-annelids ; R. L. Maddox; and the address of the president some young Rissoas ; Cystophium Darwinii, and one (Dr. C. T. Hudson), “On Some Doubtful Points in or two other micro-amphipods ; Cythere reniformis and the Natural History of the Rotifera."
one or two other kinds of Entomostraca ; some small “JOURNAL OF MICROSCOPY AND NAT. Science.”
Planariæ ; various parasitic Infusorians, Diatoms, &c., -The March number contains the following papers,
&c., on the weed. in addition to notes and excerpts :-“British Earthworms,” by the Rev. H. Friend ; “Prehistoric Man in Europe,” by Mrs. Bodington ; “The Evolution
ZOOLOGY of Sex,” by Dr. J. A. Smith, &c.
PhysA ACUTA IN SCOTLAND.--About July, 1887, THE MICROSCOPICAL SOCIETY OF CALCUTTA.— I found this shell in abundance in Banner Mill The Third Annual Report of this flourishing society Ponds, Aberdeen, but never thought of recording for 1890 has been published. During the year the the same in my journal. But, since I came to following papers were read :-By J. Wood-Mason London, Mr. Jenkins, M.C.S., Deptford, on one (President), “On a Secondary Sexual Organ in occasion when visiting me saw them, and asked me the Males of certain Prawns of the genus Peneus," if I had ever mentioned them, as this was a new and “On the Changes of Skin, and on the so-called locality. I said I never had. He took a few notes Pupa-Stage, of the Praying-Mantis (Tenodera aridi. and sent to “Conch. Journ." (see vol. vi., No. 8,
p. 270). A few additional notes might be of interest. I sent to my brother, who is employed at the above factory, a note asking him to get a few alive for me, and made arrangements with him to get them here, which he did on November 21st, 1890, when he sent sixty-two live P. acuta, which I kept alive in tapwater for a period ranging from six to twenty-one days. Strange to say, all the largest specimens died first. The ponds they are found in are filled with hot water summer and winter, so I think the sudden change from hot to cold was the cause of death. Limnea peregra is very plentiful in the same ponds, but succumbed the same as P. acuta. There is a distinct variety in the P. acuta that is white, and much larger, and the outer lip seems to approach the variety of L. peregra, var. labiosa, but pure
white--a very pretty form, but not so common as type. The above specimens when put in the tap-water were quite lively, and night after night I sat and watched their movements, which were very interesting. Mr. Smith gave me the following information. He is foreman at the Banner Mill, and since he came there, that is, thirteen to fourteen years ago, they have always had a place in the ponds, for the first time he cleaned out one of the ponds he found them there, but how they got there he could not tell me, but for fourteen years they have lived and died in these ponds, and never been heard of till now. This is the first time P. acuta has been found in Scotland; that is to say, five hundred miles farther north than any other locality, the other locality being London, and, though not a British species, it is interesting to hear of a Continental species getting so far north. Large or small specimens of P. acuta are very difficult to get during the months of September, October, November, and December. Plenty of small ones can be got, but I think the larger specimens burrow in the mud at the bottom of ponds.W. D. Rae.
lungs and air cavities in the body of the bird. The modus operandi may take effect by contraction of the length of the intervening trachea down towards the lower larynx, then closure of the upper larynx, followed by elongation of tube upwards towards the head. The intervening column of air inside it would then be lengthened and attenuated, and the lower larynx would then be closed, so as to preserve the attenuation in the lungs and cavities from the external air. The upper larynx would then be opened and the air let in, and the contraction of the trachea would again take place, and the action of attenuation of air as before repeated up and down. If these efforts were renewed so many times in a seco
econd, with intervals for ordinary respiration, then an ascent to one thousand feet would take place as rapidly as in any balloon. In order to establish this procedure on a scientific basis it would be requisite to take the weight of a certain bird at the level of the earth, and at a height of one thousand feet ; or instead to exhaust the air out of the lungs to the extent of one inch of the barometer, and weigh it again, and also to ascertain the weight of the air in the body of the bird and its volume, at the level of the earth, and at a height of one thousand feet, or a reduction of one inch of mercury. The rapid descent of the bird would be effected by reversing the above process of air pump exhaustion, and converting the trachea and its doublelarynges into a force pump, so as to fill the lungs and cavities with air of a greater density. The buoyancy of the bird might then be made out for flotation in its medium, in a like manner as is done for torpedoes, diving-bells, balloons, &c., and the modus operandi of towering rendered more clear of comprehension. 6. Observer."
DWARF VAR. OF Helix SYLVATICA.-At a place about one thousand feet above Montreux, and some little distance above a bridge known as the Pont de Pierre, I have found a rather remarkable dwarf var. of Helix Sylvatica, Drap. The species is pretty widely distributed in the Alps, but is usually of a larger size than in the above-named locality. It belongs to the same section, Tachea, Leach, of genus Helix as H. nemoralis, Linn., and hortensis, Müll.-C. P. Gloyne.
THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS.-In reference to the soaring flight of birds, under notice in some papers lately, I beg to offer my explanation of flotation in the air by the ability of the bird to reduce or increase its specific gravity by voluntary action. It may be surmised, it is possible that the double larynx may be the means whereby this is effected, where the trachea and two larynges may correspond to the cylinder and two valves of an air pump in pneumatic experiments, and the glass globe or dome would correspond to the
BOTANY. The FLORA OF KENT.-Seeing your questions on the Flora of Kent in this month's SCIENCE-GOSSIP, I thought I would write and tell you that, having read and come across any amount of books in science, natural history, &c., I do not remember ever having seen a Flora of Kent. The nearest I know of is the
* Flora of Middlesex, with Map of Botanical District,” by H. Trimen, 125. 6d., published by W. H. Allen, 13, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, London, S.W. If you have a copy of G. P. Bevan's “Kent," 25. (Stanford's “Tourist Guide Series,” published by Stanford & Co., 55, Charing Cross, London, S.W.), you will most : probably find, either at the very beginning or very end of the book, the topography, history, biography, archäology, geology, mineralogy, fauna and flora, botany, mining, manufactures, and agriculture of the county. At the end of the introduction the author gives a list of the best books on the county, including botany, geology, &c. You may hear of a Kentish Flora in this way. N.B.