« EelmineJätka »
LEFT BY THE TIDE.
Here, too, were living flowers,
And now in open blossom spread,
F any one will be able to refer the querist to the present number
take the trouble for an answer, whilst they, reclining in dreamy to visit which wakefulness, can survey in peace the flight of a he pleases of solitary seagull, or watch the waves dashing and the fashionable splashing over the sunken rocks, rehearsing to watering -places themselves, meanwhile, the lay of “The Ancient
on the coast Mariner,” or the ballad of “ The Inchcape Bell.”
* during the pre Localization has its advantages, even when the sent season of the year, un- commonest objects are to be described, and we may less convinced by the de as well confess at once that the objects to illustrate mands made upon his purse this chapter were picked up on the beach at at every turn, a stroll on the Hastings-a place no naturalist need be ashamed beach will afford conclusive of visiting, for it has other charms beside sea-air, evidence that humanity has mermaids, and fishy odours. Romance may cling its migrations as well as to the Lover's Seat, and take no note of the stray feathered bipeds. Some wanderer below, cracking the old thistle stems, and mature specimens will in- | looking for a rare beetle which he might seek in dulge in ablutions, others in vain elsewhere. It's of no use that he offers halfinglorious sprawlings upon a-crown apiece for specimens of another coveted the beach, and juveniles will rarity, which he hopes will parade the streets of St.
rush deep into the mysteries Leonards. It's low water, and everybody is off to of sand-pies, shovels and pails, when and where the beach, regardless of beetles or butterflies, and sand is to be found. One and all seem to be bliss thither we follow. fully ignorant or indifferent to everything but draw. | Here, there, and everywhere lies the Sea Wrack, ing in as much fresh air as will be equivalent to which we have figured and described in a former their railway fare-plus their lodgings, and a few volume (SCIENCE-GOSSIP, 1866, page 204). Most items in the way of “extras." Yet children will common is the Serrated Wrack, and scarcely less so be inquisitive-they will demand of parents and the Black Tang, or Bladder Wrack. Of other seaguardians replies to all kinds of unconnected queries, weeds, the long furbelows of Laminaria saccharina for which the said parents and guardians are not at are extremely common, and at every few steps a all times prepared. The subject of many such queries fragment or two of Carrageen (Chondrus crispus), or are the strange-looking objects which lie scattered Irish Moss (fig. 207), as it is sometimes called. It up and down upon the beach, “left by the tide.” | is one of the most useful of seaweeds, and when We cannot suppose that the intelligent parents carefully washed to remove the salt-water, may by whose eyes habitually scan our pages are unable to boiling be made into a very palatable article of satisfy the demands made upon them relative to food. Seaweeds are much used as food by the objects so common as those we are about to allude Chinese and Japanese, especially the Agar-agar of to, but it may afford them some gratification to the Malays, a species not found on our coasts.
The rocks left uncovered at low water are green with two species, either of which is suitable for a marine aquarium. The narrow kind is Entero
thin that they cling to the fingers like a film when any attempt is made to lift them from the water. The little pools on the rocks are often fringed with the interesting Corallina officinalis, long believed to belong to the animal pa kingdom, from the quantity of lime which it secretes (fig. 209). Bleached specimens cast upon the beach are of a chalky whiteness, but when living it is of a purplish tint.
But the shore has other spoils of the ocean which have been left by the tide beside seaweeds, and much more likely to attract attention. There are the pixy-purses, or egg-cases, of the Fig. 209. Spotted (Dog-fish, and the common Corallina offici
nalis (mag.) Skate, described and figured in this work (for 1865, page 182); and there are also those common but puzzling objects the tufts of egg-cases of the common Whelk (fig. 210), which roll and blow
Fig. 207. Carrageen (Chondrus crispus).
Fig. 211. Eggs of Cuttle-fish.
Fig. 208. Rhodymenia palmata.
like bunches of black grapes (fig. 211), of the eggs of the cattle-fish, of the same kindred as the Octopus, so graphically described by Mr. J. K. Lord in a former number (1865, page 50), and the original of the “Devil-fish ” of Victor Hugo's "Toilers of the Sea.” Apropos of the cuttle-fish, the white oblong plates commonly called “cuttle-fish bone,"
palmata (fig. 208), and the delicate wavy purple fronds of the laver Porphyra laciniata, which are so
which constitute the solid framework of the Cuttle water. The surface of these rocks contains nume(Sepia officinalis), and the transparent plates of the rous hollows or pools, some no larger than a handCalamary (Loligo vulgaris), sometimes called “ Sea- basin, fringed or lined with mussels, which latter pen,” will occasionally be seen on the beach near are covered with green seaweeds. If a handful of the fisherman's quarter. The dead cuttle-fish may these mussels are torn from their moorings, and themselves be seen there, but often more offensive separated from each other, scores of this little starto the nose than pleasing to the eye.
fish will be found amongst the threads (byssus), by The common Star-fish, or “Five Fingers” (Uraster rubens), is too well known on the beach to need description, and our woodcut will be a sufficient introduction to those who stay at home (fig. 212). A very pretty little star, not exceeding an
means of which the mussel attaches itself to the rock. To preserve these little animals in a dried state, they should be plunged into fresh water, which kills them at once with the arms expanded. They may then be dried by exposure to the air, and are beautiful little objects. Specimens of the Common Sun-star (Solaster papposa), with twelve or more rays, are sometimes cast upon the beach at Hastings, and less commonly the Egg-urchin
Fig. 213. Ophiocoma neglecta. (a. natural size.) Ophoicoma neglecta of Forbes (fig. 213). Just by the outlet of the drainage excavations at the base of East Cliff, a cluster of rocks is left bare at low
(Echinus sphæra). Though both of them are things before. Well, we have all of us a world of designated “common,” they are certainly neither of our own, and theirs had certainly not the same them common, according to our experience, in the locality alluded to.
Of Molluscs, thousands of mussels are attached to Of Zoophytes and Polyzoa, dead specimens are the rocks, and the Dog-whelk (Purpura lapillus) plentiful enough. There is the Oaten Pipe Coralline crawls amongst the seaweed. The conical shells of (Tubularia indivisa), and the Branched Pipe Coral the Limpet (Patella vulgata) are almost as numerous line (see SCIENCE-Gossip, 1865, page 177); still more (fig. 215), and the little Yellow Perriwinkle (Litcommonly the Sickle Coralline (Plumularia falcata), | torina littoralis) is quite at home amongst the seaand the Sea Fir (Sertularia abietina), both of which are figured in a former number (August, 1865). One of the most frequent of Polyzoa is the Sea Mat (Flustra foliacea), and, nearly as common, the Paper Sea Mat (Flustra chartacea), to say nothing of the parasitic species on sea mat, coralline, or seaweed.
Of all the strange objects which a high tide leaves stranded, there is one not at all attractive by any beauty which it possesses, but which is sure to raise a host of inquiries (fig. 214). It has a most variable
Fig. 215. Limpet. form and size, ranging between two or three inches and a foot in length, of a colour resembling sponge, wrack. The common shells of the beach are conthe substance tough, fleshy, and somewhat firm; fined to a few species, such as the Scallop (Pecten and the odour nothing in particular when fresh, but particularly undesirable as it becomes stale. This is the “Dead Man's Fingers” (Alcyonidium gelatinosum, fig. 212), a republic of "low life.” Under the microscope, the whole surface will be found covered with teat-like projections; and should the specimen be really alive, an animal resident within each of these projections will protude its tentacles. It is most probable that the specimens picked up on the beach will be past all exhibition of vitality.
We must not forget the sea-anemones, which the receding tide will leave exposed to the stroller's
Fig. 216. Scallop. gaze like little lumps of jelly adhering to the rocks. No great variety will be found here; but, especially varius, fig. 216), and the pretty little elongated shells on the rocks near the old town, marked by the of the Donax politus (fig. 217). The larger and remains of old piles, their tops worn to cones and covered with green seaweed, hundreds of smooth anemone, of all shades and sizes, may be collected. This species is figured under the name of “Beadlet” (Actinia mesembryanthemum) in our volume for 1865 (page 157, fig. 10). Its chief beauty resides in the turquoise beads which surround the disc; otherwise the colours are usually some shade between brown and green.
Towards the other end of the town, a little to the east of the Infirmary, when the water is very low,
Fig 217. Donax politus. as at new and full moon, a few Daisy Anemones (Sagartia bellis) may be seen, with an occasional - more rounded shells of the Trough-shell (Mactra very occasional—"crass,” or Dahlia Wartlet (Tealia stultorum, fig. 218) are also numerous. The shells crassicornis). To see them is one thing, but to get of the mussel, limpet, rocks, stones, iron drain-pipes, them, if required for an aquarium, is another. This &c., are profusely covered with the Acorn Barnacle applies particularly to the Daisy Anemone, which of (Balanus balanoides), and the rocks are perforated all others is the most desirable for a small aquarium. in all directions by Pholas dactylus, one of the most Our hostess had never seen such creatures until we wonderful of Nature's excavators. established a temporary tank in a hand-basin for There are other objects besides those which we their reception; and her brother, although seventeen have enumerated thus briefly, each of which has a years resident, had neither seen nor heard of such history, and possesses an interest; but had we at. tempted more than this barren enumeration, the present number of SCIENCE-GOSSIP would have contained but a single chapter—"a consummation not
we may come to a termination. As for their elders (like "the three clerks" in the ballad)
Sauntering down the shady hollow,
Strolling o'er the sunny sands,
Steamers bound for distant lands;
Vessels standing out to sea,
Fig. 219. Æolis coronata.
MERMIS NIGRESCENS. forgotten, and of these the pretty little Æolis
By R. T. LEWIS.* coronata (fig. 219) is very attractive. Annelids, or THE subject of the following remarks-Mermis
sea-worms, must also be 1 nigrescens—is a creature concerning which passed by, with an al- there has of late been much discussion, both of a lusion to the tubes of scientific and of a speculative character. The facts a species of Terebella,
of its recent appearance have gone the round of the found either attached to newspapers and serials, and it has been a topic of or drifted amongst the conversation at several meetings of learned societies. seaweed. These tubes It will no doubt be remembered that the first two are about the thickness of days lof last June were unusually hot, with light a tobacco-pipe (fig. 220), wind from the S.W.; and that during the night and composed of sand, of the 2nd a remarkably heavy rain-fall took place little stones, and minute accompanied by lightning and thunder. On the shells, or fragments of following morning much surprise was created in shells, agglutinated toge the districts over which the storm had passed by ther into a flexible tube,
the appearance of great numbers of bair-worms on somewhat after the man
the leaves of plants, bushes, and, in some instances, ner of the cases of the
of trees. They were chiefly observed to be hanging caddis. The mouth of
by one extremity, and waving their slender bodies the tube is fringed with
to and fro in the air, seeming at first sight to be so a number of smaller hair
many threads of silk; but on being taken into the like tubes of a similar hand, they immediately coiled up in that peculiarly construction. Lively intricate manner which originally suggested a name crustaceans “left by the
for the family to which they belong. Mention was tide " consist of crabs of made of them at the meeting of the Entom Fig. 220. Tube of Terebella. all sizes, hermit crabs |
Society on the evening of June 3rd, but they were -shrimps, and sand- then thought to be Gordius aquaticus; and at the hoppers. It is expedient to furnish the juveniles meeting of the Linnæan Society on June 22nd,
meeting of the Linngan Society with small hand-nets, and send them off to the shallow pools on the sands to catch shrimps, so that * Read at the Quekett Microscopical Club, Aug. 23rd.