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any information; but our watchword was "onward,” | It appears to be approved both in France and and the day was one of the hottest of the three or Germany. four hot days which the Exhibition has yet experi- | Before turning my back on the Exhibition, I must enced.
mention the splendid mass of crystals of purple Before leaving the subject of this Exhibition, I Tourmaline exhibited by Colonel Guthrie, in a case must once more advert to microscopic matters con- directly opposite to Messrs. R. & J. Beck's case. nected therewith; not that I have any reason to | These crystals, about six inches in height, are said alter the general opinion expressed in "A Voice to be the finest which have ever been seen. C. from Paris," but to add one or two facts then, unnoticed. First of all comes the discovery in the French department of a microscope with a moveable “AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS.” stage and a lever, and still more surprising a large
TOME is not shut within narrow limits, is not microscope (not quite so large as No. 2 size of the
I confined to scenes of pleasure, regal splenLondon opticians), with two rack-work movements
dour, or the dwellings of the great. Wherever to the stage. I must add that the exhibitors of
warm hearts are to be found together, with contentthese phenomena are Mirand & Fils, Rue Galande,
ment and a hearty desire at all times to do the best 52. It is but fair to add that the Parisian opticians
i that can be done under existing circumstances, are not at fault in shunning stage movements and
health and strength, a will to work, and an other improvements, but, as a friend writes me
unwavering trust in God, who cares even for the from another corner of the Continent, there is a
sparrows,--there, believe me, exists the primal reason at the bottom. “I read with interest,” he
| elements, the magic of home. Thus writes Mr. J. says, “ your remarks on the microscopes. You are
K. Lord at the commencement of a book* which he certainly quite right in reflecting on the small
has just issued with the above title, and which is dimensions of the continental instruments, and on
intended to teach all wanderers how, if they have the very general non-adoption of machine stages and
but the will, they may make themselves “at home inclining joints, but you might have given (if you
in the wilderness.” One of the most important could have done so without offence) the true
requirements for such a task the author possesses, reason-a desire for cheapness. A German or
a long experience on the subject of which he writes. Frenchman likes the luxury of a Ross, Smith and
Still another scarcely less welcome recommendation Beck, or Powell and Lealand, as much as any one,
will be found in the interesting, aye, fascinating and when they affect to despise English appliances
manner in which he inveigles his reader into followon principle, I never believe them.”
ing him through what a less efficient hand would I have also seen the working of high powers
have left a dry detail of makeshifts about as constructed on the "immersion” principle, at a
interesting as a cookery book or a pharmacopæia. comparatively cheap rate, and certainly with ex
The object of the book is equally achieved, but in a cellent results. I am disposed to think that we know
different manner. We learn "where and when to too little of these objectives in England, and have
camp; how to equip and manage a train of packhitherto regarded them with a trifle too much of
mules ; break, gear, and saddle wild horses; cross prejudice. Fancy, for instance, looking at Pleuro
streams, build log shanties, trenail a raft, dig out a sigma angulatum, with an apparent diameter of
canoe, or build it with bark or hide; manage dog about two inches, without artificial light, or con
| sleighs, and tramp on snow shoes; what to carry, denser of any kind, and, more than all, mounted in
and what to leave at home;" in fact, all that a the ordinary manner, with the common thin glass,
wanderer would desire to know, freely interspersed not extra thin glass, and being able to take the
with illustration and anecdote, joined with hearty slide off the stage without moving the objective out
and wholesome advice, and all so disguised that we of focus. The magnifying power is said to be equal
| fancy we are reading a new book of travels which to about auth of an English inch, and the price 300
we cannot leave until it is finished, and which has francs. Messrs. Hartnack exhibit objectives of a
the merit all books of travel do not possess, of very superior character to those heretofore manu
leaving the reader a wiser man. factured in France; and their new pattern objectives,
Let us collect an incident or two from this little without immersion, are spoken of by all who have
volume in illustration of our remarks. No one tried them in terms of high praise. On this point,
would think it a matter of much consequence in however, I am only echoing the opinions of others,
buying a horse whether the animal had a long tail although my own impression, from a casual peep or !
or a short one. Oh, yes it is ! says Mr. Lord. “In two through one of them, is much in their favour. By the way, I am not aware that the spot lens,
* "At Home in the Wilderness : being full instructions with the spot on the plane face of an inverted cone
how to get along, and to surmount all difficulties by the of glass, described by M. Nachet, in the Microscopical way." By “The Wanderer." 323 pp., post svo. London: Journal some years ago, has been used in England. | Robert Hardwicke.
proof of the value of a horse's tail, in a country complicated, inasmuch as the prairie leading to the infested with blood-sucking flies, I may state that I pass was intersected by several streams not fordable, once, when at Walla-Walla, a small steamer-landing and two swamps that must be crossed. I thought and town situated at the head of navigation on the the matter carefully over, climbed up and down the Columbia river, purchased a Siskyoo horse, which hill, and recalling the words of Napoleon, 'Imposmeans a horse with its ears cropped short like a sible, c'est le mot d'un fou,' finally made up my mind terrier's, and a tail cut off close up to the rump. This to do it. By describing how this apparent impossiis, or once was, a common custom with the Siskyoo bility was overcome, I shall give all the practical Indians, and all horses so trimmed are designated hints relating to trail-making, bridge-building, and by the generic name of “ Siskyoo." The object of fording swamps which a wanderer can require." But this barbarous custom was to enable these Indians our space will by no means permit us to narrate easily to recognise their own horses if stolen and how it was done, and we can only recommend all who subsequently discovered herding with other bands. desire to know, to procure the book and read it for Horse-stealing is the primary cause of nearly every themselves. Indian war and quarrel. The poor Siskyoo beast, In compensation for omitting the details of the although as perfect a cob as any man need have Diamond Tree Pass, we purpose to conclude with looked on, was nevertheless utterly valueless during the picture of a “buffalo run":the summer ; unable to whip away his tormentors, "The scene of my adventure is on the broad plains they worried him with impunity, until want of rest in the Red River settlement. The sun is just and continuous irritation reduced him wellnigh to creeping from behind the eastern hills, tinting with a skeleton. When found make a note of.' Always the rosy hues of morning the splintered summits of look out for long-tailed mules and horses in a fly many a far-off peak, and at the same time shedding country.”
a paler glow over the grassy slopes; the different The author of this book was Naturalist to the intensities of the light give to the flat surface of British North American Boundary Commission, and the plains the appearance of being an ocean of mist. when reading his account of one difficulty which he A band of Red Indians with whom I am hunting had to surmount to the west of the Cascade moun. and living are mounted and ready for the hunt, and tains, we could not help wondering what some of I few have ever looked upon a more picturesque
sight. Their only garment, a piece of skin tied round the waist, makes the muscular figures of the savages look more like exquisite carvings than real flesh and blood. Thus sit. ting their prancing half-tamed horses with matchless ease and grace, their black hair flowing in tangled locks down their backs, confined only by a narrow band of ermine-skin, with an eagle's feather sewn to it, they look as wild and fearless as the beasts they are about to chase. We are waiting for the mist to rise, which it will do when the sun comes fairly above the horizon. Ah! there it goes, the fog lifting like a veil. It does not evaporate, so to speak, and
disperse, but rises en masse like a Fig. 90.
balloon, and at once becomes invi
sible. And now we can make out the our "parlour naturalists” would have done in such / buffalos scattered over the plain. Some are busily a strait. The place is now called the Diamond cropping their dewy breakfast, others are still lying Tree Pass. “It certainly was an awful place up | down in little groups-but all are in happy ignorance which to make a trail that should be available for of the dire enemies lurking behind the knoll packed mules, and, to add to the difficulty, a good watching their every movement. Craftily, and sized stream of water tumbled rather than ran with extreme caution, we walk our horses to down the hill-side. The distance from the base to windward of the herd, and as we emerge from the summit, in a straight line, was not more than the cover of the ridge, the trumpet-like notes three-quarters of a mile, but it was rocky and of the older bulls tell us that we are discovered. densely timbered. The difficulty, too, was the more | Concealment is now of no further use, the beasts are crowding together like sheep when and low plaintive sounds, more resembling sobs scared by a dog. The Indians give a piercing | than anything else I know of, told in language plain whoop, and we dash wildly after the now rapidly as printed words how terrible were his sufferings. retreating herd, their tails upheaved and their The head dropped, until the nose was nearly horns rattling noisily against one another. The very touching the grass, the ponderous body rocked like plain seems to shake, clouds of blinding dust, a storm tossed ship from side to side, a gurgling raised by thousands of hoofs, nearly hides the sound replaced the stentorous breathing; then hunters from each other,' whilst a rumbling noise, suddenly the muscles seemed to lose all further like subdued thunder, seems to absorb and swallow power, and with a heavy crash the king of the plain up all other sounds. I soon overtake the rearmost fell dead amidst the grass and wild flowers. The animals, and singling out a young cow, drop her in Indians soon recovered my lost steed, for his her tracks; recharge my gun, and single out this shoulder was so much injured that he could only time a fine old bull. He seems to roll rather than contrive to limp slowly away." gallop along, his nose nearly touching the grass, Of course every wanderer in the future will and his shaggy brown mane tossing wildly in the read this book before he starts on his travels, breeze. My horse, though thoroughly up to his and so should every one who stays at home, unless work, appears to know by past experiences that it his home is a wilderness, and he desires to make it a is no mean foe he has to deal with ; laying back bis desert. ears, and pushing out his nose, as if to make the most of every breath of air, the gallant mustang
SOCIABLE MITES. thunders on at such a pace that I find myself side by side with the shaggy bull before I have time to TINDER the name of “Sociable Mites,” I am think of my position in reference to the other U desirous of interesting those who have opporstragglers of the herd. Now or never I must fire, tunities for observing the small organisms which or lose my chance. Lowering my gun, I pull the make their appearance during the summer months, trigger.
on behalf of a little known group of Acari, which “It appeared to me that the cap had hardly ex- are associated by naturalists under the generic ploded ere my mustang wheeled short about with name of Tetranychus. Scattered notices occur of such startling velocity, that it was with the utmost the appearance of some of these minute visitors in difficulty I contrived to retain my seat; but as if the immense numbers in former years, and now, being fates were against me, two other buffalos were forewarned, it is hoped that some of the readers of directly in the way, and for a few seconds prevented ! this journal will be prepared to add a little to our the horse from galloping away from the bull, which, I knowledge should they encounter any of the little turning nearly as rapidly as the horse, charged, and creatures about to be alluded to, during their striking the horse on the point of the shoulder sent summer rambles. us both rolling on the plain. I was terribly There are probably about twenty different species frightened and shaken, but adopting Falstaff's of this genus described, and a few only of them maxim, 'that the better part of valour is discretion,' ' have as yet been certainly known to inhabit the I lay still to await the issue of events. The mus- British Isles. Several have the singular habit of tang had by this time regained his legs, and was, living in very large communities, and the history of with evident difficulty, limping away as fast as his one species, as described by Dr. Milner Barry in a damaged shoulder permitted. That the bull was letter read before the Entomological Society of badly wounded I could see by his rolling gait, London in 1855, will serve as an introduction to heavy breathing, and the bloody froth besmearing the rest. his nostrils and lips. I do not think he saw me, “When strolling across Rusthall Common this for his glaring eyes were directed towards the horse, afternoon, I noticed some red powder lying in thick which he made a vigorous attempt to follow ; but it cobwebs entangled in the furze. I took up some of proved a signal failure. The wounded beast seemed the powder, and found it was living and moving, and to be perfectly aware that if once he fell to the consisted of myriads of vivacious red insects, ground all hope for him was at an end, so bracing resembling Acari.” When the mass reached my his muscles firmly, and planting his massive legs hands, it was of the size and shape of a sparrow's wide apart, the powerful animal seemed determined egg, the Acari running over it in all directions, and to stand up to the last. Hurt and frightened as I each adding to the bulk by leaving behind him a was, I felt sorry for him; the eyes lost all their fire, continuous thread of the finest conceivable silk. I and a saddened expression took its place. He tried subsequently sent the mass to Mr. Meade, the to get glimpses of his comrades, by this time nearly Arachnologist, who has carefully examined it, and lost in the distance; and I know that dying buffalo | kindly sent me the following information :-“The was quite aware that he should never see them minute animals inhabiting the curious cocoon you again. His great chest was heaving convulsively, I sent me are Acari, belonging to the genus Tetranychus of Dufour, the type of which is the little red which had the trunks and branches entirely or spider so injurious to plants in hothouses and partially covered with a very delicate web, upon rooms, the Acarus telarius of Linnæus; most of which myriads of a small Arachnidous insect were the species live in societies, on plants, and possess running to and fro, extending their webs rapidly the power of forming webs.” Koch says, when along the branches. The web was so fine as to speaking of an allied species, Tetranychus socius, appear like a thin compact layer of varnish upon “It appears in certain years in such numbers that the stems of the trees, and from the vast number of it covers the trunks and the branches of the lime-| the insects, the grey web appeared dusted with a trees which it frequents, with such a thick web that reddish powder, the insects being of a light orange they look as if clothed with glazed satin. I cannot colour, inclining to brown. From the web so comfind any description of the species sent by you, pletely enveloping the tree and obstructing the vital although it is closely allied to the common Tetrany. | influence of the atmosphere, the leaves became chus telarius, and I never before saw or found any. | withered and fell. This was especially the case thing like the curious nest which it inhabits." | with the plane-trees, the elms and horse-chestnuts Since the receipt of Mr. Meade's note, I have paid being free from them. The weather for several days some little attention to the Tetranychus telarius, previously and subsequently was fine and sultry, and find that the network of infinitely minute but in the course of a few days a heavy fall of rain, silken threads is admirably adapted to its singu accompanied by a thunderstorm, put a stop to the larly formed feet, and these are equally well adapted injury by destroying the insects. On placing a porto the office of holding on while it perforates the tion of the web with its inhabitants in a bottle, Mr. cuticle of the leaf with its rostrum; its hold is so Wilson observed that in about an hour a beautiful secure that no amount of washing by means of a | transparent cylinder had been spun within the garden engine seems to have the effect of removing bottle, from the base to the top, impinging against it. As I have no doubt whatever that these little the side of the bottle at about half its height; and it creatures are exclusively vegetable feeders, the web was remarkable that there was not a single thread cannot serve, as in spiders, the purpose of securing stretched across the inside of the cylinder, nor was prey, and it is, moreover, never accompanied by the a single insect enclosed within it. Having comglutinous particles which render the web of spiders pleted their first cylinder, they threw a second so adhesive. As a matter of course, if the Acari around it, more slender than the former, leaving can resist the action of a water-engine, they have only a small interval between them. little to fear from the effects of rain."
Fig. 91. Tetranychus telarius.
Fig. 92. Tetranychus tiliarius. The “red spider,” as it is called by gardeners, having been alluded to in the above communication, Mr. White considered the species to be Tromas forming the type of the present genus, it has bidium tiliarum, or an allied species, and distinct been figured in this place, although too well known from Acarus telarius, L., and Trombidium socium, to all who are associated with greenhouses and the habits of which, as described by Hermann, were conservatories (fig. 91) to need further description. I mentioned by Mr. White.
Ten years prior to the above communication by The species described and figured by Hermann and Dr. Milner Barry, the plane-trees in Regent's Park Koch under the name of Tetranychus tiliarius, or were observed by Mr. George Wilson to be infested the “Lime-tree Mite,” is engraved (fig. 92) forthe by “sociable mites," of which occurrence the follow- benefit of my readers. It must be observed that ing account was transmitted to the society already bright colours characterize the majority of the named :
members of this genus, although that feature is At the beginning of September, Mr. Wilson's omitted in the woodcuts. attention was directed to the trees, several of ! Careful readers of the past volumes of SCIENCE
given (fig. 96). It is of a pale colour, and also prefers to consort in colonies.
The “Plum-tree Mite” (Tetranychus prunicolor) is said by Gervais to be found in the months of
GOSSIP will remember that allusions have been made to a curious little red mite which deposits its white eggs on stones, and similar substances. This “Stone Mite" (fig. 93) is Tetranychus lapidus, and the extract from the Entomologists' Monthly Magazine alluding to it, which was quoted (SCIENCEGOSSIP, 1865, p. 22), need not be repeated here. Gervais states that the eggs may be seen in autumn on the stones of the public promenades in Paris. These eggs (fig. 94) were observed and figured in one of the earliest numbers of Loudon's excellent Magazine of Natural History.