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and green calyx), is a great favourite in our cottage opportunity occurs (it will be too late this year garders, and goes by the name of “King Charles | when this is read), I fancy we should arrive at some in the Oak.” It is a very showy plant. With valuable and certainly interesting results.—Robert respect to the form of primula intermediate between | Holland. the primrose and the cowslip, when first I began botanizing, I, of course, labelled it “Primula

The OXLIP.— The view entertained by your cor

respondent "B." in reference to the consanguinity elatior," but I learned after awhile that it was not the true oxlip (which plant, however, I have never

of this plant with the primrose, rather than with

the cowslip, requires confirmation, and his observahad the good fortune to see), and for a long time I

tion of the facts on which that view is based bave looked upon the cowslip (Primula veris), the primrose (P. vulgaris), and the spurious oxlip (P.

assuredly does not agree with my own. In this dis

trict of East Sussex, where the soil is cloggy, the intermedia, if I may so call it), as varieties of one

primrose flourishes most luxuriantly, but I have species, but I feel quite convinced now that what I

never once met with the oxlip here, nor even venture to name intermedia is a true hybrid between the other two species. My reasons for arriving

the cowslip; and I have heard aged labourers

say they have never seen the oxlip growing here, at this conclusion are that I have found it in every imaginable stage of development between the

but it is common enough on the calcareous soil

of the South Downs. cowslip and the primrose. Amongst cowslips,

In Dorsetshire the which, however, are not very common with us, I

cowslip is very abundant, and I have often found

the oxlip growing with them. The primrose does have sometimes found individual plants having the flowers cup-shaped like a cowslip, deep yellow,

not grow so luxuriantly there as it does in this soil.

Some years ago I sowed some garden polyanthus with an orange centre; cowslip-scented, sometimes

sced which produced cowslips, oxlips, and polyandrooping, but sometimes erect, and considerably

thuses, but no primroses.-S. larger than ordinary cowslip flowers. These, certainly, may be a development of the cowslip, and RusT AND SMUT IN INDIA.-At our request, not hybrids at all; but then the development goes Dr. Stewart, Officiating Conservator of Forests at on, and I find oxlips with the flowers still deep Lahore, has just forwarded to us specimens of rust yellow in colour, but flat like a primrose (some and smut on Indian Graminaccæ. These include times slightly cupped), and almost as large as a the common smut (Ustilago segetum) upon Cymbo. sbilling. And, again, I find oxlips liaving the pogon Iwaruncusa, upon wheat, and upon a species flowers quite like a primrose in colour, shape, and of Saccharum and of Eragrostis, in the latter mixed size; but a specimen of this kind now before me with a kind of Macrosporium, with a singularly hard has the unmistakable couslip odour very strongly, compact form on barley from the Jhelum district; while a yellow one, also before me, has very little also the glume rust, Trichobasis glumarum, on wheat. perfume at all, and what it las is more like Together with these was a species of Tulostoma from primrose than cowslip. I have no particular notes Montgomery District. It is allied to Tulostoma on the subject, but I am under the impression mammosum, but appears to differ in the depression

have frequently seen oxlips amongst cow- | around the stipe at its junction with the globose slips where the latter were plentiful, and I fancy | head, at which point the head easily separates from that Professor Buckman will remember and cor the stem. Undoubtedly the common red rust and roborate the fact that we found oxlips amongst the corn mildew occur on grain in Northern India, cowslips in a small wood at Eren, near Cirencester, but of this we have at present no evidence. We many years ago, and that there were sometimes I wish that some of our Indian correspondents would on the same root oxlips and cowslips, sometimes | send us the ergot on rice which is said to occar in oxlips and primroses, but not primroses and cow

Bengal. slips. I take it that the hybrid will most resemble

WINGED SEEDS.-- In the seed of Lophospermum the cowslip when a cowslip has produced the seed,

erubescens, in which the thin membranous wing and that such a plant will occasionally send up

surrounds the entire circumference of the seed, the umbels of both oxlips and cowslips, but that the hybrid will be most like a primrose when the

cells, with their spiral fibres, are well shown. The

most remarkable specimen of wing, however, and primrose has been the female parent, and that it

one in which this tissue is largely developed, occurs will then have a tendency to send up umbels of oxlip and single-flowered scapes from the same

in a plant from the East Indies (Calosanthes Indica), root. What I have written does not prove anything,

the wing being more than an inch in length on each but the subject seems worthy of investigation, and

side of the seed.Quekett's Lectures on His. I hope during the next few days to begin some

tology." experiments by impregnating cowslips with primrose BITTER-VETCH CLUSTER CUPS (Æcidium Orobi, pollen, and primroses with cowslip pollen, and saving D. C.).—A correspondent has sent us this rare the seed, and if others would do the same, when parasite from Shefield.

GEOLOGY. Toome BRIDGE EARTH AND Flint FLAKES.Toome Bridge is a small village on a branch of the Northern Counties Railway, between Randalstown and Castle Dawson-about five miles from Randals. town, and three from Castle Dawson. It is situated in the county Antrim, but is close to the boundary of the county Londonderry. The bridge from which the locality takes its name was a curious old nine-arch structure that formerly crossed the river Bann, which at this spot divides the counties. The bridge was removed some time ago, and the County Road deviated; and now the County Road crosses the river by an iron bridge at a short distance from the site of the former old stone bridge. The river thus crossed is called the Lower Bann, to distinguish it from the Upper Bann, which, after rising in the Mourne Mountain of the county Down, falls into Lough Neagh at its south end, near the town of Lurgan. The Lower Bann leaves the Lough again at Toome Bridge, and falls into the sea a little to the north of Coleraine. Some fifteen years ago extensive works were carried on at Toome with the view of improving the navigation of the Lower Bann. During the progress of those works, a large number of stone and bronze implements were found, the majority of which are now in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy, in Dublin. At this time also a bed of earth was cut into, which is now known as Toome Bridge earth, and mounted specimens of it are to be found in the cabinets of most microscopists, few of whom know anything of its whereabouts. The land at both sides of the river, particularly at the western side, is very low for hundreds of acres, and doubtless at one time was covered by the water of Lough Neagh; indeed, previous to the alteration of the bed of the river, the adjoining lands, and even the County Road, used to be fre. quently submerged during winter. From indi. cations given in several directions, it is probable that the diatomaceous earth occurs over the whole of the extensive flat country, and when it has been cut through it shows a thickness of from three to five feet. All the bedgerows along the roads, and dividing the fields, are built of it; and even bricks have been manufactured from it, and it is so often turned up in the fields that the farmers returning from their work look as white all over as if they had been working in lime all day. An excellent section is exposed all along the river banks. This white earth is well marked, and it seems to rest upon a sunken peat moss. At low water during the summer the peat is exposed, and trunks of trees project from the peat up into the diatomaceous earth, so that the earth itself is newer than the peat. The latter forms in some places the bed of the river. A second iron bridge carries the railway across the river between the above County Road bridge and the

Lough, and the peat forms the bed of the river between the railway bridge and the Lough. On this peat there occurs a bed of gravel, and in this gravel there are vast quantities of flint flakes similar to those found in the valley of the Somme, and the ossiferous caverns of England and the Continent. The boys in the locality wade out into the water in the summer, and collect the flakes, many of them very well formed, although mere flakes, there being no chippings upon them. With these flakes, however, there are some arrow:heads and stone celts found, and in some of the adjoining bogs inland flakes, arrow-heads, and celts liave been found, similar in every respect to those found in the bed of the Bann.-W. Gray.

THE PETRIFIED FOREST.—This celebrated forest, or rather plain of prostrate trees, is about an hour's ride from Cairo. The fragments are scattered about in all directions as far as the eye can reach; the hills all round and the valleys of the desert are strewed with them. There you see branches in one place, trunks in another, roots in another. Some of the pieces are split up, as if they had cracked from age or the heat of the sun. Many of the pieces are evidently of the palm tree. All the fragments are as hard as the hardest flint. Petrifactions of this kind are found in other parts of Egypt, but not to the same extent. Many speculations and suggestions have been offered as to the cause of these petrifactions, but it is beyond doubt that the trees were at one time under water. It cannot now be known whether they grew where they lie or whether they were brought there by a flood (or rather the flood) from a distance. The place, though now a howling wilderness, might have been in the earlier ages of the world a land of great and luxuriant vegetation. There is no doubt, however, that these trees date from the time of the deluge. They may indeed have been uprooted in some distant land, brought by the advancing flood, and deposited where they now lie. Many of these trees measure from 40 to 60 feet in length, and several are above 3 feet in diameter. The small fragments may be counted by millions, and thousands lie buried under the sand. They are capable of a high polish, and might be used as ornaments of various kinds.-E. St. John Fair. man.

Rocks OF THE AQUEOUS DEPOSIT BEHIND THE CITADEL, CAIRO.-Immediately behind the citadel at Cairo there is a small range of mountains called the Mokattam mountains, which is almost entirely composed of shells, roots of various vegetable substances, and small branches and roots of trees, all petrified and forming a solid rock. Besides these, sharks' teeth and crabs have been found in these | mountains. There is no doubt that these rocks

have been deposited by water, and, taking into con. sideration the evidence of other phenomena equally

strange to be met with in various parts of Lower Egypt-as, for instance, the existence of sea-water

MICROSCOPY. shells in different portions of the desert, and above all the petrified desert-it is evident that the whole

FEATHERS FOR MOUNTING.–The feathers from of this part of the country was at one time covered

the drake's head form a very interesting object by the sea. The Mokattam mountains are of a light

under the microscope. Under a power of 80 diayellow colour; the summits are quite free of any sort

meters they appear to be divided into rectangular

cells. Their colour, when viewed opaque, is beauof vegetation, and various parts are covered with loose blocks of stones of the calcium species.

tiful. Can any one tell me if there is mention of

There is in these mountains a very remarkable rock of a

them in any work on the microscope? The cells

are best shown when mounted in balsam.-A. W. reddish colour, called by the Arabs Ghebel Achmar, which means literally red mountain. It is of a

Cooper. very soft nature, and closely resembles red ochre. CENTERING OBJECTS. — As hardly any hint in In this range there are also immense caves, in each microscopic manipulation is too trifling to be of of which a regiment of soldiers might easily be use, at least to beginners, I venture to send the folquartered. The whole of Upper Egypt might be lowing device, which I have used for some years, as said to be a vast mass of granite, but Lower Egypt, from the excentric position which objects sometimes at all events the Delta, having been probably formed occupy on the slide it is evident that some mounters by the clay and sand brought down by the Nile, trust (vain confidence !) to the eye alone. Cut a shows no visible traces of this rock. The centre of piece of card the exact size of a slide, draw two the earth is a vast crucible in which materials of lines diagonally from corner to corner, the point of which we have no precise knowledge are fused or intersection will show the centre, where a small hole melted together, and then forced up to the surface, should be punched or cut out. To use the coneither by the intense heat or by a sort of centri. trivance, place it carefully on a slide, and with a fugal force. The composition called granite is formed pen put a dot of ink on the glass through the hole; and forced upwards in this manner, and as it cools the object is of course to be mounted on the other and bardens bursts its way through the softer strata side of the slide, and the ink-spot is easily scraped until it appears above the surface, assuming in many off afterwards. The dot on the glass is preferable places the forms of stupendous mountains. Some to any loose mark placed underneath while mount. times the force is only sufficient to raise the strata ing, as it cannot possibly shift its position.-George above to a certain height, while the granite itself

Guyon. remains concealed underneath. This may account for aqueous deposits being found in the shape of

Mounting OBJECTS. — As I continually see in mountains, as in the instance of the Mokattam SCIENCE-Gossip discussions on the relative merits mountains in question. They once probably formed of various fluids for mounting microscopic objects, the bed of the ocean, and in the course of ages were I would say a word on behalf of a very simple raised to their present height by the upheaving of one, viz., distilled water. I have now lying before igneous rocks from below.-E. St. John Fairman. me on my table two specimens which were among

my earliest attempts at mounting, and which were AGE OF NIAGARA. — Many eminent geologists

| mounted at least eighteen years ago. Out of these affirm that the eroding power of the swift rolling

eighteen years they have passed more than fourteen waters of the Columbia, Potomac, and Missouri

with me in the tropics, and yet they are as green could not, on an average, effect the stupendous

and as fresh, and as perfect for microscopic examinaerosions alluded to in less than 40,000 years; and

tion as they were on the day they were mounted. Sir Charles Lyell asserts, after personal study, and

The objects are Nostoc vulgare and Jungermannia close searching and accurate observation of the

tomentella. They are both mounted on slips of glass nature and properties of the Silurian rocks of the

of the usual size, viz., 3 inches by 1. In one case Niagara bed, and of the average annual rate of the

the cell in which the object lies was built up of red erosion at present, that the strength of the eroding

sealing-wax dissolved in spirits of wine, and the power, great though it be, could not possibly have

thin glass cover cemented with the same. As the effected the retreat of the cataract to its modern

sealing-wax was laid on in a broad band (nearly site in less than 35,000 years.-The Twin Records of

three-tenths of an inch) no air at all has got in, and Creation.

the specimen is in every respect as perfect as it was FossiL DORMOUSE.-At the mceting of the eighteen years ago. This is the more surprising as Zoological Society of London, 9th May, Dr. A. ! sticks of the very same sealing-wax brought out to Leith Adams read a communication respecting a this country, and laid in a drawer, in consequence new fossil Dormouse from the quarternary forma of the heat, soon ran together, and flowed out into a tions of Malta, proposed to be called Myoxus flat circular cake. The effect of dissolving it in melitensis,

spirits of wine seems to have been to enable the wax to preserve its hardness and brittleness, for that on glass until all underneath must be flat—which gave it the specimen in question is extremely hard, and as a curious appearance. In the ordinary mode of sharp at the edges as at first. In the other case seeing these minute objects, there appears when the object was mounted in a cell ground out of alive, as every one has seen, a central spot, and the glass, and the thin glass cover cemented with a minute ring at either extremity. Our friend black asphalte cement, which also has stood re- viewed sideways, gave me apparently the idea markably well, though, as it was laid on in a very that the two rings might be the orifices of two narrow band, a large globule of air has got in, which tubes, and it struck me that the Ruthven prospoils the appearance of the slide as a mounted peller, in which water is sucked in at one end of the specimen, but has not affected the object in the least vessel and ejected at the other, might really be the degree. Distilled water, having thus stood the principle upon which our Pleurosigma get along. test of eighteen years, is, I think, shown to be a If this is anything very old, let your humble servant suitable fluid for, at least, vegetable tissues. down as lightly as possible. I mention it purely as

While on the subject of fluids and cements, I gossip. I saw no motion, but I think my specimen may take the opportunity of stating that marine was defunct. Does the central ring exercise any glue (which answers so admirably for fastening | influence upon the two tubes in contracting and glass rings to slides) when kept in the lump, loses expelling the fluid, or otherwise? The powers used its properties after two or three years in a hot were a good 4 and š. The { would not go through country. When strips of it are laid on a slide and the thickness of glass and water necessary to keep held over a spirit lamp, or if a piece of it be held in the object in position. I bring this forward simply the flame, instead of melting, it burns and smoulders because it is likely some of your readers may have away into a dry ash, and is therefore useless. It is seen the same sort of thing, and at the same time, the same, also, with ordinary English sealing-wax, with that feeling of diffidence that makes those who so that it is impossible to seal a letter with it. - work long at the microscope not always to believe C. S. P. P., Moulmein.

their own eyes.-John Bockeit.

Fatty Acids.-E. Histed speaks of spermaceti

GLENSHIRA Sand.-In answer to J. W. W.’s as a good polariscopic object : I, to the same effect,

inquiry respecting the method employed by the recommend the fatty acids, either by E. H.'s process

| late Dr. Gregory with Glenshira sand, I have or otherwise in the ordinary way.-S. D.

• pleasure in informing him that, in a letter written

by the Professor to an acquaintance of mine, he MOVEMENTS OF Diatoms. --SCIENCE-Gossip is,

directed him to have four or six glasses, each about I apprehend, a publication in which I may quietly

twelve inches high ; into the first, nearly filled with buttonhole your own proper person, and relate what

water, to pour some of the sand, and to allow it

one minute to settle, the fluid to be then carefully I have seen recently in our instrument of instruments, the microscope. Now, although I possess a

poured into the second glass, and two minutes to few books relating more or less to all subjects which

be allowed previous to the fluid being decanted

from the deposit into the third glass, and here come under the said instrument's glass eyes, I am not aware of any which clear up the question of

four or five minutes were to be allowed; the process “How do the navicula force their way through

to be thus repeated, doubling the time for the the water?” Neither do I for one moment suppose

sediment to settle in each glass; the deposit will that a humble individual like myself is going 'at

consist almost entirely of sand in the first glass, in

the next of sand and the larger diatoms, the finest once to solve it. I shall, however, relate (if you will kindly lend your ear) what I have lately seen.

kinds being found in the last glasses. After a trip last Saturday, May 1lth, to Swanscombe, If J. W. W. is desirous of exchanging Glenshira which somehow or other is not now what Swans sand for other diatomaceous material, the writer combe was formerly (speaking from a microscopic

will be glad to hear from him.-- Joseph B. Bodman, point of view), I found that I had got Surirella, Custor, Peterborough. P. angulata, Nitzschia, R. elongata, P. fasciola, P. quadrata, Amphiplura, &c., &c., not to mention | Mounting DIATOMS.-How must I proceed in any quantity of ciliated and non-ciliated animalcules. order to make diatoms stick on the slides after they With regard to the means of viewing them, I cou are arranged ? I have succeeded in arranging small sidered my Ross compressorium the best, and conse- groups, but all trials to make them stick have been quently transferred from my soup-plate (into which in vain; the diatoms float away as soon as the all the gatherings had been as usual turned) a drop balsam is put on them, and yet it is possible to fix from the surface. For the first time in my life I them, as is proved by the beautiful preparations found a quadratum on edge--not having, as in ninety. which are sold in England.-E. W. Schoenebeck, nine cases out of a hundred, screwed down the top Prussia..

appear well-authenticated instances of this: one NOTES AND QUERIES.

of a thrush belonging to a clergyman at Stanwix,

near Carlisle, wbich was visited and examined by AQUARIUM PEST.--I last year collected from my

many when the change was going on; another near

Whitehaven, &c. The matter has been brought under aquarium several pieces of the V alisneria spiralis, on which were deposited the ova of the Planorbis

my notice now on looking through the library of a corneus, and put them in a small glass jar containing

deceased friend of mine who was a very close water, which I placed in a window with a south

observer of nature. At the end of “Swainson's Birds" aspect, and let it remain there several weeks, when

he has made the note, “A thrush kept in a cage at on examining its contents I found upwards of one

Lyneside (Kirklinton), said to be about ten years hundred minute molluscs, some of which I now

of age, has recently acquired a new pair of legs, the have in an aquarium; they vary in size from three

old ones drying up and dropping off. The first time sixteenths to seven-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.

I saw the bird, the new feet were protruding from

the front of the knee joint, and looked soft and If your correspondent L. H. F. will adopt the same course, and keep the jar where the sun can act upon

light-coloured. On my second visit they had it, I have no doubt he will be satisfied that the

lengthened considerably, but were not of any use to “nests ” he names are the eggs of the snail, and

the bird. Afterwards I saw it when the new feet that “something will come from them.-H. M.,

were used, and the old ones shrivelling up, soon Sheffield.

after which the old feet dropped off.” I have heard

him speak of the circumstance, and express regret EGGS OF THE LACKEY MOTI.-Mr. H. H.

that he had not secured the cast-off legs as an O'Farrell inquires if any of the readers of SCIENCE

evidence for unbelievers.-Wm. Dodgson. Gossip have met with the eggs of the Lackey Moth

[We suspect that the unbelievers are legion.laid in a patch, and not a ring. I believe it is a Ed.] very common occurrence, as I myself have frequently

AQUARIA.-All who are in contemplation of stock. found them so.-E. F.

ing fresh-water aquaria during the ensuing summer SKELETON LEAVES.—Your correspondent J. S. S.

months, will do well if they introduce a greater numwill have no difficulty with her skeleton leaves if

ber of plants of a floating nature than of those which she removes them from the water on blotting paper,

require to be set in soil, as the fish will then have and she may detach them from it with dry blotting

greater scope and room; whilst oxygen, which is

essential to their preservation, will still be supplied paper and a careful use of her fingers. The same paper may be dried and used several times.-A. S.

in sufficient quantity. The thick foliage of many

subaquatic plants is calculated to considerably retard PRIMROSES.-In SCIENCE-Gossip for May 1st,

the free movements of the fish, especially when the your correspondent B. mentions having found

aquarium in which they are kept is small. Of course Oxlips amongst Primroses, but never among Cows

under-water vegetation should not be entirely dislips; it may therefore be interesting to state that

carded, for if sparingly introduced it affords a here, on the Mendip Hills, in fields which are almost

grateful shelter to newts and some species of fish covered with Cowslips, we frequently find very fine

which are fond of seclusion. As a rule, it is advisspecimens of the Primula elatior growing amongst

able to have plenty of space, in order that the living

objects can be more easily observed. It is by no them.-J.

means advantageous, for the same reason, to have [Is our correspondent certain of its being Primula too great a display of rockwork, and in fact there elatior ?-ED.)

ought to be hardly any, unless the aquarium is of

large dimension.-J. H. F., Harleston. IMPRESSIONS OF LEAVES.-Could you inform me what is the best method of obtaining exact nature PERFORATING SQUIRRELS.-In the very interestprinted copies of the leaves and impressions of leaves ing and able article on the flint-flakes of Devon, found in the Lower Bagshot pipe-clays? I have a &c., by Mr. Tate, in the April number of the great many obtained from the Lower Bagshot beds Popular Science Review, there is, I think, a slight about here-.R. C. C. L.

error in regard to the habits of the Squirrel. At

p. 173, it is stated that “perforation in the nuts MICE AND COCKROACHES (p. 119).—It is very demonstrates that Squirrels skipped among the likely that the common mouse will feed on cock branches of the trees that greu there.Now, whilst roaches: that they do feed on insects, we bad I have no doubt that Squirrels did skip among the positive proof down here. In the roof of this | branches at the time referred to, I do not think that house-i.e., between the ceiling of the upper rooms they made the perforations found in the nuts, but and the slates—we have small apertures in the gable that these were the work of the common Dormouse. for ventilation, which are filled up with perforated | I have kept both Squirrels and Dormice, and so far zinc, and the larger flies all draw towards tbese | as my observation goes the latter always nibble a apertures, especially on a sunshiny evening; but nearly circular hole in the nut, whilst the former, they cannot get out through the perforated zinc, having first rapidly cut an irregular opening, insert and I was at first somewhat surprised to see mice the lower incisors into it, and break off one side of running up the zinc and catching these flies in vast || the shell before beginning to eat the kernel. This numbers. I find they eat all but the wings, which may be thought a trifling matter, but in natural they manage to clip off as clean as if cut with a history, as in all other departments of science, we pair of scissors; but mice and rats are nearly cannot be too exact in relation to the facts on omnivorous, according to circumstances.-W. P.' which we base the reasonings by which we advance

into new fields of knowledge. I have hence deemed LEG LEGENDS.-Is it a recognized fact amongst it well to call the attention of your readers to this naturalists that thrushes acquire new legs, and cast point; and possibly others, with wider opportunities the old ones when about ten years old ? A great than I possess, may show that Squirrels do leave many persons in this neighbourhood give what perforations in nuts.-Fras. Buckell, M.R.C.S.

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