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sive thick roots, marked, like the Sigillaria of the coal measures, with the scars of former leaves, which were in September either left high and dry, or in very shallow water, and from the under side of whose leaves we picked water-snails, together with a small crustacean (Hyalella dentata Smith), are now entirely covered by the water, and we can no longer grope our way among the long blades of the tule (Scirpus lacustris) sufficiently far to frighten out the grebes (Podiceps californicus) that make their home there. In revenge, we will gather flowers on our way to the ocean, and take notes on the vegetation of February. The blue nemophila (N. insignis), a garden favorite in England, abounds among the grass, the yellow sanicle (Sanicula arctopoides) is coming into flower, the blue lupine is budding, we pass a bush of the flower· ing currant (Ribes sanguineum) gay with its fragrant pink racemes, and the Californian poppy (Eschscholtzia californica) flaunts its yellow blossoms in the shelter of the bushes of Rhamnus croceus, whose blackberries are still abundant. The soft blackberries of the Rhamnus have each two large seeds, flat on one side, convex on the other, and not unlike a coffee-berry in shape; this resemblance has deceived many good people who know the roasted coffee-berry better than they do the coffee-plant, and has been the cause of oft-repeated stories in the Californian papers about the “Discovery of the coffee-plant in California.”
The poisonous liliaceous plant, Anticlea fremonti, is thickly spread over the hillsides in many places, but its spikes of paleyellow flowers do not attain half the height of their kindred on the eastern side of the bay. The common storks-bill, "alfileria" (Erodium cicutarium), is everywhere, and, in wet places, another introduced plant, Cotula coronopifolia, crowds out the natives. But we are now approaching the ocean, and it is low tide, so we must hurry on if we wish to gather from the rocks the chitons, limpets, barnacles and other marine forms. Among the sanddunes, near high tide level, is a small pool of perfectly fresh water, overgrown with duckweed and the pretty Asolla caroliniana, which dots the pool with spots of brownish-red. Here we gather Hyalella dentata in abundance, and we know there are some fresh-water snails here also, but cannot stop to gather them. The shore, where we reach it, is sandy, but close by, to the left, commences the sinuous line of cliffs, enclosing several small coves, which terminates to the south-west of us at Point Lobos.
Below this line of cliffs lie detached masses of rocks of various sizes, and some of the smallest of these, near to us, are exposed at low tide sufficiently for our inspection.
Upon the farthest away and largest of these detached rocks (out of our sight now, hidden by the southern cape of the bay), is the home of the sea-lions ; sea-wolves or Lobos marinos of the Spaniards. On our right the sandy shore continues for about three quarters of a mile, when the rocks again approach the sea, fringing it as far as Fort Point, where stands the brick fort built to defend the Golden Gate, but superseded now by extensive earth-works on the hills above. We can see also the fortifications of Lime Point, on the Marin county shore of the entrance to the harbor.
The rocks nearest the water are literally covered with stalked barnacles (Pollicipes) in bunches the size of the fist, and among them, conspicuous at a distance from their bright coloration, are groups of the common five-rayed starfish of the coast (Asterias equalis Stm). This stoutly-built starfish is remarkable from the fact that about half the individuals are of a bright purple tint, while the other half are an equally bright gamboge yellow. Out of several hundreds that I have seen, none were intermediate between these two types of color, and none, so far as I remember, showed spots or blotches of the two colors. Inside the harbor of San Francisco this starfish is abundant, and another species, Asterias gigantea, which attains a diameter of two feet, is also occasionally found, but I am not aware that the common pentagonal starfish of the coast, Asteropsis imbricata, has ever been taken within the heads, and the large twenty-armed Pycnopodia helianthoides does not occur so far south. On the rocks near Fort Point, adhering to the surface and of the same green tint with the seaweed around it, I have found a small Asteroid which I believe has not yet been scientifically described. It usually has six arms but some specimens have fewer, its surface is more even than that of A. ochracea, and in size it is a very dwarf, measuring about an inch across the arms.
But we must return to our examination of the rocks or the tide will soon bar our access to them, We secure several specimens of two species of chiton, Mopalia hindsii and Katherina tunicata, but it takes close looking to find them, as they lie close in crannies and among mussels and barnacles, and, moreover, are not unlike the rock in color. In the last-named species the valves of the shell are almost entirely hidden by the thick mantle; nothing is visible but a row of little black bucklers along the median line of the animal.
The sculpturing of the surface of Mopalia hindsii is, like that of many of its relations, very delicate. Its nearest congener, Mopalia muscosa, and its gigantic relative, Cryptochiton stelleri, which when alive measures nearly a foot in length and is fully four inches wide, are not to be found on the peninsula of San Francisco, though they occur a few miles to the northward.
As we step upon the rocks we are saluted by numerous little jets of water, which take their origin from soft and seemingly shapeless masses beneath our feet. A more careful glance at these shows us that they are sea-anemones, for we catch sight of some that are partially expanded, and on searching a little farther we come upon a rock pool containing numerous individuals in a state of complete expansion. Beautiful objects they are, bright green tentacles on a bright green disc, and fully four inches across. It is curious that this large sea-anemone, together with two or three smaller species common in and around the Bay of San Francisco are still undescribed, unless they should prove identical with species described by Prof. Verrill from points northward or southward of our locality.
Two species of sponge gathered from the under sides of the rocks, some limpets (Acmea), Purpura saxicola, Chlorostoma funebrale, and a small Litorina make up our total catch at this spot before the rising tide drives us back to the cliffs, where, in a recess damp with percolating water, we may capture four or five specimens of the rare Isopod, Lygia dilatata Stm. Everywhere upon the rocks, and in many places among the débris cast up by the tides, darting about swiftly in the sunshine and hiding in the crannies on our approach, we find its near relative Lygia occidentalis Dana; but L. dilatata is rare even in this locality the only one in the neighborhood where I have met with it.
The stream running from Mountain Lake is made use of by the Spring Valley Water Co., and the flume conveying its water to San Francisco is carried along the face of the cliffs, bridging the ravines to Fort Point, and forms a convenient though narrow footpath. Along this route, a little later in the season, the sloping portions of the cliffs will be covered with the sweet-smelling wild
wall-flower, Cheiranthus capitatus Dougl., and the pretty red rockcress, Arabis blepharophylla, but now, the rains just over, we only find green leaves.
In a hollow between the hills, where a tiny rillet is bordered with willows and dwarf shrubs of the blue ceanothus (C. thyrsiflorus), we see a flock of blue-birds, and pick up several redbellied salamanders (Diemyctylus torosus) as they awkwardly sprawl among the wet herbage.
Descending to the beach at the fort we pick up among the débris cast up by the tide two species of those little jumping amphipodous crustaceans commonly called sand-hoppers, one kind (Orchestia californiensis Dana) is stoutly made, and is not. found except near high tide level where it burrows in the sand in great numbers and hides beneath the wet débris; but the other species (O. traskiana St.) is more terrestrial in its habits, and may be found under heaps of dried grass and straw, dry horse-droppings, etc., at some distance from the beach.
On the under sides of the flat stones, wriggling along the wet surface and jumping actively when touched, we find a much smaller amphipod, less than half an inch in length, some of these we place in a bottle of sea-water, and on examination under the microscope at home are struck with the beautiful plumes of hairs which adorn the under side of the joints of the antennæ, and know that it is Allorchestes plumulosus Sb.
Along the edge of the rising tide we pick up two small jellyfishes. They have little beauty and apparently little life when picked up, but after a few minutes in a large bottle of sea-water they begin to expand and contract their bells, a circlet of bright purple spots (ocelli) becomes conspicuous around the margin of the bell, and the tentacles all contracted when we pick them up, lengthen out until they reach from two to three times the height of the bell, which is about an inch. It is Polyorchis penicillata A. Agass., one of the loveliest of jelly-fishes. Large specimens of Aurelia labiata, a Discophorous medusa fully a foot across, with large purplish ovaries showing through the transparent bell, are floating upon the tide or stranded on the shore.
Leaving the shore wę walk along the edge of a large pool in the salt-marsh between the Presidio and the sea; here a large flock of gulls is swimming; there are two species, one is the common yellow-billed Larus occidentalis, but the other, conspicuous from
the pure black and white of its plumage and its black bill, is Chræcocephalus philadelphia or Bonaparte's gull. The long slender bill and long pointed wings of this species give it a great resemblance to the terns, or sea-swallows, which it rivals in grace and beauty. From the farther end of the salt lake rises a beautiful large snowy-white bird, with long bill and lengthy legs trailing behind, this we believe to be Herodias egretta var. californica Baird. We watch its flight to the other end of the lake, where it alights and recommences its business of feeding on small crustacea, etc.
Evening is now closing in as we approach the cars at Harbor View, the little grebes scud homewards over the bay in squads of eight or ten, the brown pelicans flap heavily towards their roosting places, and the cormorants, one after the other, form a retreating line as they make off to their haunts on a more wooded part of the bay.
BY MRS. V. O. KING.
within certain limits, as to impart to its processes an apparent character of permanency. Whenever, therefore, we first observe any one of its phenomena which is beyond our experience, the curiosity is excited at what is rare, and we are led to inquire whether this new feature is anomalous, or whether it is not rather an exponent of capabilities hitherto dormant, but agreeably to law responding at the proper time to given conditions in the animal economy. The remarks of Mr. Wollaston, a few years since, on the relations existing between the apterous forms of insects and their atmospheric surroundings, and the further elaboration by Mr. Darwin of the method by which such results as the gradual modification of structures, etc., are attained, naturally occur to the student of these apterous phases of metamorphosis.
Among articulata representing the apterous types, there are probably no species more interesting than those embraced in the family of Lampyrida, since they exhibit great diversity in their metamorphic traits. By their phosphorescent habit they enable