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Title: Birds and All Nature, Vol. VI, No. 1, June 1899 - Illustrated by Color Photography
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Birds and All Nature, Vol. VI, No. 1, June 1899 - Illustrated by Color Photography" ***

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  Birds and All Nature







  JUNE, 1899, TO DECEMBER, 1899


  203 Michigan Ave.




  VOL. VI.           JUNE, 1899.            NO. 1


  MY NEIGHBOR IN THE APPLE TREE.                              1
  A DAY IN JUNE.                                              8
  WESTERN YELLOW-THROAT.                                     11
  CHARLEY AND THE ANGLEWORM.                                 12
  THE MYRTLE WARBLER.                                        14
  TAFFY AND TRICKSEY.                                        17
  A SUGGESTION TO OOLOGISTS.                                 20
  THE BLUE-WINGED YELLOW WARBLER.                            23
  INDIRECTION.                                               23
  OUT-DOOR SCIENCE.                                          24
  THE GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER.                                 26
  PET ANIMALS AS CAUSES OF DISEASE.                          26
  A FLY-CATCHING PLANT.                                      29
  TREES AND ELOQUENCE.                                       30
  BATS IN BURMESE CAVES.                                     32
  A METAL BIRD'S NEST.                                       32
  THE MOURNING WARBLER.                                      35
  THE RAVEN AND THE DOVE.                                    36
  THE MAYFLOWERS.                                            37
  THE CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER.                                38
  JOHN'S HAWK.                                               42
  CURIOUS TREES.                                             44
  THE BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER.                           47
  THE EMPEROR'S BIRD'S NEST.                                 48



Tropical portions of the American continent, rich in an endless variety
and beauty of bird-life, have shared with New England but a single
species of Trochilidæ, _Trochilus colubris_, the ruby-throated humming

This "glittering fragment of a rainbow" adds a decorative feature
to our gardens, its nest so protected through diminutive size and
perfect adaptation to the surroundings that it rarely comes under one's

It is commonly asserted that the male is an arrant shirk, that he
leaves the entire labor of building and furnishing the house as well
as the heavy duties of housekeeping to the faithful mother, being in
the fullest sense a _silent_ partner either from choice or otherwise, a
mere apology for a husband and head of a family.

Nor does he redeem himself when the prospective "twins" arrive and
slender bills are lifted appealingly for food! No thanks to him that
the naked, squirming little atoms replacing the two white eggs become
gradually stronger, that some hint of plumage duly covers their
nudeness, or that bye-and-bye they become birds in reality.

Two years ago this "little lady in green" made her nest upon an apple
tree branch, concealing it so deftly that the gardener at work near by
was unaware of the distinguished guests until the brooding was nearly
over. When the little birds had flown the lichened residence, becoming
a family possession, was considered the daintiest souvenir of the

Being anxious to know if this rare, interesting episode would be
repeated, the following summer I watched carefully for its repetition.
Promptly in June I found that a humming bird was again "at home," this
time upon a horizontal maple branch, twelve feet from the ground and
directly over the sidewalk. This nest was soldered upon a long slender
bough half an inch in thickness at the intersection of another, a mere
twig a quarter of an inch through, the latter inwrought with, and
concealed for a full inch in the structural fiber. Upon the 22d of the
same month, by the aid of a ladder I found that two eggs "the size of
yellow beans" were lying inside the downy cup shaped nest. Before this
luckless visitation the tail of the brooding bird could be seen from
the ground, but during the next two days there was no sign of life

In the afternoon of the third day my bird was in the maple, darting
hither and thither like a swallow, plunging into the insect swarms and
securing several before they realized her presence. Then she came to
the honeysuckle beside me, hovering over it in a bewildered, irresolute
manner as if debating whether she could safely probe its scarlet cups.
Just at this moment a big miller flew by and off she went in close
chase, capturing it upon the wing. Then she rested upon a maple twig,
leisurely preened her feathers, drawing each one gently through her
beak, and after a second visit to the honeysuckles darted toward the
nest. Now, I thought, is the time, if ever, to decide if she is still
housekeeping, and following quickly, I saw her standing upon the edge
of the silken cradle. Her head moved rapidly from side to side as she
regarded its contents, after which she rose lightly in the air, dropped
upon the nest with the airy grace of a thistledown, and spread above it
the feathered blanket of her soft, warm breast. For several minutes she
ignored my presence, drawing her beak across the leaves or springing
into the air for a passing insect which was captured and apparently
given to her family. Once I detected a "squeak," and her head was
instantly thrown to one side in a listening attitude. If it was the
note of the mate he did not approach the nest, the thick leaves hiding
the tree-top from which the sound proceeded.

There was a furious wind that night and the warm days were followed by
a sudden fall in temperature.

From that time the nest was deserted; I could only conjecture that I
had presumed too much upon her defenselessness, or, that the young, if
young there were, were dislodged by the wind. This abandoned homestead
was as round and perfect as a new coin just issued from nature's mint,
a marvel of elegance in which all the instinctive gifts of decorative
art united.

There were no visible signs of rebuilding during the twelve days that
followed; casual trips to the honeysuckle, hovering over the flowers
like some gorgeous insect with colors scintillating in the full
sunshine, alone gave evidence of further interest or intention.

Upon the thirteenth day there was a marked change. Again she flew
excitedly about the lawn, stopping abruptly to wheel about and dart
off in an opposite direction, a vitalized complement of the spirit of
the trees, mingling with and pervading the garden as freely as did
the light and air. She threw herself against a summer warbler almost
knocking him off his perch and, not content with this treatment, drew
him from the lawn, which, by the way, was his own harvest field where
he had gleaned diligently for several days.

Then the bird poised before me in mid-air, circled about my head before
plunging into an apple tree in whose leafy mazes she disappeared. Just
at that moment an accommodating breeze displaced the leaves; there was
a flutter within, a flash of wings, an unusual agitation that told of
something quite beyond the ordinary. As the breeze died away the leaves
resumed their place thus preventing all further inspection. From the
parlor windows, fortunately, there was less obstruction,--she was still
twisting about, going and returning, dropping within the foliage and
going through the most singular antics.

An opera-glass revealed the meaning; she dropped into a half-finished
nest that had all this time been directly in range of vision. The
tiny tenement was so deftly concealed, blending in color and apparent
texture with the bough that held it, and so sheltered by overhanging
leaves that it was still difficult to locate a second time.

With unbounded delight I watched her come and go a dozen times in less
than that number of minutes, bringing at each arrival a quantity of
vegetable fiber soft as a silken cobweb, adjusted invariably while
standing inside the nest and turning completely around several times
as if shaping the interior to her better satisfaction. She reached
far over and pulled the fluffy cotton into place, beating it here and
jerking it there, sinking her little breast into and shaping it to fit
the soft contours of her body; or, covering the outside with trailing
wings, beat them rapidly against the felted foundation which at these
times was entirely hidden beneath their iridescence. Though still
unfinished the delicate structure was lichen-decorated, simply perfect
so far as it went, in this case defying the assertion that humming
birds' nests are always completed before this ornate decoration is

  [Illustration: The changes a Feather undergoes in turning from Green
                   to Yellow.
                 COPYRIGHT 1899,
                 NATURE STUDY PUB. CO., CHICAGO.]

In the succeeding weeks--weeks in which I entertained an angel, not
unawares, her two ways of approach were unvaried; either passing the
nest entirely to rise from beneath, or, hovering over and over, drop
down as lightly as a snowflake or the petal of an apple blossom. And
such a pretty proprietary air--the complacence and importance for which
great possessions are often answerable! As if the trees were there for
her alone, the garden made simply for her convenience!

After working rapidly for two full hours she paused to rest upon a
dead twig, opening and closing her wings in the twinkling fashion of a
bluebird, an exercise prefacing a breakfast taken in the nearest tree
as she poised beneath the leaves.

With appetite appeased she dropped upon the unfinished cradle and sat
so still for twenty minutes that I was certain an egg was deposited.
Doubtless the misfortunes attending previous nesting had interrupted
the even tenor of life, the second housekeeping was more urgent than
was anticipated.

For ten minutes more her form was motionless though her head moved from
side to side in a ceaseless surveillance--a warbler lunching in the next
tree glanced casually in her direction, and was evidently just wild
with curiosity.

The situation was too much for him; he left his post hurriedly, flew
over her and looked down, flew under and looked up, peered at her
from an airy poise, still undecided as to who was rocking in that
wonderful cradle. Craning his neck he hopped along the branch till
he stood beside her, so near that his yellow coat literally brushed
her garments, his attitude a quick pantomime of his thoughts, half
paralyzed with questioning surprise as to what this remnant of a bird
might be, not by any means to be bought _cheap_ because it was a

A quick thrust from the hummer's beak brought him to his senses; he
took leave for a few seconds, returning cross-lots to stare again from
the same near point of view, which unwarranted impertinence was borne
without flinching or changing her position. Later on these tours of
inspection were thoroughly resented, the right of territory contested
in many a battle when the defendant advanced and retreated with the
rapidity of lightning, making furious thrusts at her adversary, and
chasing him about till sheer exhaustion compelled her to desist. Then
she would drop upon the nest still regarding him with undistinguished
contempt till he took her to the tree-top, keeping an eye upon her as
he dropped a song or swallowed an insect.

A young woodpecker came one day to her door; two quarrelsome robins
stopped to say good morning; and goldfinches lisped their soft love
notes, while she only hugged her eggs more closely with the dear,
delicious shyness of affection.

When my little house-builder left that morning I was sure that the
edge of a white egg rose above the low rim of the nest. From the attic
window it was plainly visible, the cradled egg rocking in the wind,
but, though the warbler was close by, to his credit be it said he did
not once trespass upon other people's property.

Twice that afternoon my lady buzzed through the trees without halting
to look in at home, nor when night came down did the wanderer return.
She was busy about the next morning, all work being done in the early
hours, and by eight o'clock a second egg lay beside the first. By nine
o'clock the following morning the regular brooding began, the finishing
touches being given to the nest long before the breakfast hour.

It was a noisy location, what with the clatter of lawn mowers, the
drumming of pianos, and the singing of canaries, to which she listened
with neighborly interest. In that chosen place, directly over the path
leading from the sidewalk to the door, it was impossible to find even
a degree of seclusion. The weather was fine, the piazza rarely vacant,
and there were few hours in the day but someone passed the nest.

Nor did the trouble end with daylight; bicycle parties made the yard a
starting-point for evening excursions, lanterns flashed while parting
guests halted beneath the little house-beautiful, until I trembled for
poor "Queenie" thus barred away from her own door.

Though she unvaryingly left the nest, the persons passing were never
once conscious of the nearness of bird or nest, swinging breezes often
bringing the latter so near that it almost touched their faces.

I could see it hourly from my window, the overhanging leaf, the
opalized lustre of the brooding bird, as if a store of sunshine was
shivered, and falling over her feathers, then momentarily hidden as the
swinging leaf intervened. More solid pursuits were forgotten or for the
time regarded as of little importance; each delicate outline became
familiar; the brooding leaf assumed a personality; it was a guardian
of the home, vitalized, spiritualized, protective. It seemed to change
position as the sun made the need apparent, shielding the little one in
the long waiting days, so patient and passive in the sweet expectancy
of nearing motherhood. My memory pictures her still, while a more
tangible photograph upon my desk gives permanence to my "bird of the
musical wing" as she brooded over the apple-tree nest.

With this home as a focus, lawn and garden seemed to hold the sunshine
in suspension; uplifted grasses gave it recognition in smiling
approval; shadows were invested with humane and beneficent attributes,
and the very air was radiant with scent and gracious influence.

Sometimes the bird came to my window, her beak clicking against the
glass in a vain effort to probe the flowers within.

There were visits, too, to the piazza, when the family were gathered
there, poising above the embroidered flowers upon a lady's slipper and
trying persistently to taste their illusive sweetness.

Thrice upon the fourth day of sitting she improved the nest with an
extra beakful of cotton, holding it firmly for five or ten minutes
before it was inwrought. This was repeated after two weeks when there
was a decided change--the little, warm breast was pressed less closely
against the nest treasures. Some amazing instinct, directly opposed
to that dear experience by which _we_ find a short path to a long
wandering, taught her that their increased fragility would yield to
her full weight, and her touch was of exquisite softness.

When three full weeks had passed a homely baby no bigger than a honey
bee lay in the nest, a one day's advantage kept to the end, and
noticeable in both size and strength. The next morning this mite was
duplicated, their whole bodies trembling with every heart beat.

Life became now a problem of supply and demand, only a clearer
expression of the one that has from all time agitated humanity. Then
began that marvel of marvels, the feeding of the newly hatched birds.
It was hardly worth while to question the wisdom of the process, though
I confess that after each feeding I expected only two little mangled
corpses would remain!

The food, partially digested in the mother's stomach, was given by
regurgitation, her beak being thrust so far down their throats that I
surmised it would pierce the bottom of the nest, to say nothing of the
frail bodies churned violently up and down meanwhile. The great wonder
was that the infants survived this seemingly brutal and dangerous
exercise in which they were sometimes lifted above the nest, the food
being given alternately at intervals of half an hour to an hour. They
thrived, however, under a treatment that gave strength to the muscles,
besides aiding in the digestion of food.

From the first, the comparative length of beak was their most
noticeable feature, the proportion becoming less marked by the fourth
day when fine hairy pin-feathers appeared, these increasing in size and
reinforced by a decided plumage seen above the rim of the nest before
the second week ended.

By the ninth day they attempted their first toilet, drawing the
incipient feathers, mere hairs, through the beak, and on the tenth day,
more surprising still, they had found their voices. Several times daily
the branch was pulled down to the level of my eyes, the twins regarding
me with the surprise and innocence of babyhood, sinking low into the
nest meanwhile, and emitting a plaintive cry almost human in its pathos
and expression.

So far as I know no observer has recorded this pleading, pathetic note
from the infant hummers so noticeable whenever I came too near. The
branch replaced and the disturbing element removed, they reappeared
above the nest's rim, the slight form of the mother palpitant as she
hovered near. Early in their lives when a cold rain followed the long
drouth, her enforced absences were brief; hasty trips merely to the
flower garden in the rear of the house, or to the flowering beans
in the next yard, a favorite lunch counter patronized every hour

The leaf that served to so good purpose in the sunny days became heavy
with raindrops, tilted to one side, and little streams trickled down
upon her back and ran off her tail, while big drops splashing down
from the higher branches threatened to annihilate the whole affair.
Undaunted still, my Lilliputian mother hugged her precious charges,
with drooping tail hanging over the edge of the nest, head drawn into
her feathers, her whole appearance as limp and bedraggled as a hen
caught out in a shower. When the infants had seen two weeks of life
they refused to be longer brooded. From this time on they matured
rapidly, filling the nest so full that my lady found no place for the
sole of her foot, and often alighted upon their backs to give them
food. In four days more their baby dresses were quite outgrown. These
were replaced by green graduating gowns of stylish texture and fit,
and, as my bird book stated that young hummers left the nest when a
week old, I was watching eagerly for their debut.

Long before this the nest proper began to show signs of hard service.
Before its occupants left it became a thing of the past, positively
dissolving to a mere shelf or platform, and one side falling out
entirely, the imperturbable twins sitting or standing upon what
remained, content in the silence that all completed tasks deserve.

As I have said before, one of these little grown-ups surpassed the
other in size and vigor, insisting gently or forcibly upon the best
standing-place, and vibrating its wings for several seconds at a time.
Plainly this one would be the first to launch upon the world.

Twenty-two days after hatching it spread its wings without apparent
effort and alighted upon a neighboring twig. Clearly, life was regarded
from a mature standard as it preened its plumage and looked about with
an undaunted air.

Two days later the smaller twin followed the example, reaching the
upper branches as easily as if flight were an every-day occurrence,
both birds flitting about the familiar tree, and fed by the parent,
until after the third day, they were seen no more.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is something noble, simple, and pure in a taste for trees. It
argues, I think, a sweet and generous nature to have this strong relish
for beauties of vegetation, and this friendship for the hardy and
glorious sons of the forest. There is a grandeur of thought connected
with this part of rural economy. It is worthy of liberal and freeborn
and aspiring men. He who plants an oak looks forward to future ages,
and plants for posterity. Nothing can be less selfish than this. He
cannot expect to sit in its shade nor enjoy its shelter, but he exults
in the idea that the acorn which he has buried in the earth shall grow
up into a lofty pile and shall keep on flourishing and increasing
and benefiting mankind long after he shall have ceased to tread his
paternal fields.--_Washington Irving._


    Bright is this day of smiling June,
    When nature's voice is all atune

    In music's swelling flow, to sing
    Sweet songs of praise to nature's king.

    From azure heights the lark's loud song
    Is borne the balmy breeze along;

    The robin tunes his sweetest strain,
    And blithely sings his glad refrain

    Of summer days and summer joys;
    The tawny thrush his voice employs,

    In chorus with the warbling throng,
    To fill his measure of the song.

    The river, too, with rippling flow,
    As it winds through its banks below,

    And leaps and plays in merry glee,
    O'er rocky bed, 'neath grassy lea,

    Or silent glides through sylvan shade,
    To laugh again in sunny glade,

    Sends back its murm'ring voice to swell
    The music of each lovely dell,

    Where Flora decks with brilliant sheen
    The virgin sward of velvet green.

                  --_From a forthcoming poem by Geo. H. Cooke, Chicago._

                 FROM COL. CHI. ACAD. SCIENCES.
                 COPYRIGHT 1899,
                 NATURE STUDY PUB. CO., CHICAGO.]


(_Geothlypis trichas occidentalis._)

    The birds are here, for all the season's late.
    They take the sun's height, an' don' never wait;
    Soon's he officially declares it's spring,
    Their light hearts lift 'em on a north'ard wing,
    An' th' aint an acre, fur ez you can hear,
    Can't by the music tell the time o' year.--_Lowell._

This common, but beautiful resident of the western United States begins
to arrive about the middle of April and leaves during the month of
September. It is one of the most conspicuous of the warbler family, is
very numerous and familiar, and is decked with such a marked plumage
that it cannot fail to be noticed. The adult male is olive-green
above, becoming browner on the nape. The female is duller in color
than the male without black, gray, or white on head, which is mostly
dull brownish. The yellow of throat is much duller than in the male.
The young are somewhat like the adult female. This is said to be the
prevailing form in Illinois and Indiana, the larger number of specimens
having the more extensively yellow lower parts of the western form,
though there is much variation.

This little fellow is found among the briars or weed-stalks, in rose
bushes and brambles, where it sings throughout the day. Its nest,
generally built between upright weed-stalks or coarse grass in damp
meadow land, is shaped like a cup, the opening at the top. The eggs
vary from four to six, and are of a delicate pinkish-white, the larger
end marked by a ring of specks and lines of different shades of brown.
The western yellow-throat inhabits the Mississippi valley to the
Pacific coast. It is found as far north as Manitoba; south in winter
from the southern United States, through central and western Mexico to
Guatemala. With a few exceptions the warblers are migratory birds, the
majority of them passing rapidly across the United States in the spring
on the way to the northern breeding-grounds. It is for this reason that
they are known to few except the close observers of bird life, though
in season they are known to literally swarm where their insect food is
most plentiful--"always where the green leaves are, whether in lofty
tree-top, by an embowered coppice, or budding orchard. When the apple
trees bloom the warblers revel among the flowers, vying in activity
and numbers with the bees; now probing the recesses of a blossom for
an insect which has effected lodgment there, then darting to another,
where, poised daintily upon a slender twig, or suspended from it, he
explores, hastily, but carefully for another morsel. Every movement is
the personification of nervous activity, as if the time for the journey
was short; and, indeed, such appears to be the case, for two or three
days, at most, suffice some species in a single locality; a day spent
in gleaning through the woods and orchards of one neighborhood, with
occasional brief siestas among the leafy bowers, then the following
night in continuous flight toward its northern destination, is probably
the history of every individual of the moving throng."



Charley was going fishing and he took great pride in the quantity of
squirming bait he carried in the tin box.

He was quite a small boy, only eight years old, but country boys learn
to take care of themselves sooner than city children.

When he reached the little stream where he meant to fish, he found some
one before him. It was a stranger whom Charley had seen once or twice
at a neighbor's, where he was boarding during the summer.

The old mill was the best place in miles for fish, and Charley wished
that the city boarder had chosen some other spot in which to read his

He gave a shy, not very cordial reply to the stranger's pleasant "Good
morning!" and began to arrange his line. In a few minutes one of the
largest earthworms was wriggling in the water at the end of Charley's
hook, and he himself was sprawled out upon the ground at the end of a
long beam projecting from the mill intently regarding the water.

"No luck, my boy?" asked the stranger, watching Charley work with the
struggling worm that was as hard to get off the hook as it had been to
put on.

"No, sir," replied the little boy. "The fishes don't seem to bite."

"Not hungry to-day, eh?" said the stranger. "I should think that would
be a good thing for the worms."

Charley opened his eyes. It had never occurred to him to consider the
worms in the matter. They were to him nothing but ugly, stupid things,
which, his father said, injured the roots of plants.

"Don't you think the worms are as fond of their life as you are of
yours?" went on Charley's new friend. "In their little underground
earth houses they are very comfortable and happy."

Charley smiled. This was a new view of the case to him, and he edged
nearer to the stranger to hear what more he would say.

"They's on'y worms," said Charley.

"And a worm is a very good sort of creature in its way. They are
harmless, cleanly animals. See, I can take that one of yours in the
palm of my hand and it will not harm me in the least. Let me put
it down on the ground and see how it hurries to get away. It is
frightened. Now it is trying to force a way into that damp earth. I
wonder if you know just how the worm makes its way through the ground."

Charley shook his head, and the stranger said:

"You have often noticed the shape of the worm, I dare say. One end of
its body is much thicker than the other, which runs to a point. The
thicker end of the body is the head. The body itself, you will see,
is made of many small rings, held together by tiny muscles and skin,
making it possible for the worm to bend and curl and wriggle in a way
that is impossible for you and me, whose bones are fewer and fitted
tightly together, so that they move about less easily.

"Now, if you will take this one in your hand," said the stranger, "and
run your fingers very gently down its sides from tail to head, you will
find that the body of the worm is covered with fine hooks. If you run
your fingers along the worm in the other direction, you will think the
body perfectly smooth. This is because all the hooks point in the other

"When the worm wishes to enter the earth, it pushes its blunt head
through the soil, lengthening its body by means of the muscles that
hold together the soft, cartilage-like rings. At first only a few rings
go into the ground. Master Worm then draws up his body into a thick
roll by shortening his muscles. In this way he forces apart the soft
earth to make room for his body, the points on the sides holding it
there while he again lengthens his head, pushing more earth apart. It
is in this way, by alternately or in turn lengthening or shortening his
body that he makes his way through the earth, which is pushed aside to
give him passage through its dark depths.

"As his home is underground, eyes would not be of much use to him, so
Mother Nature, whose children we all are, has given him none. One of
her laws is that none of us shall have what we cannot or do not make
use of. He has a strong mouth, however. It is placed on the second ring
of the body. His food is earth, which he swallows to obtain the organic
particles contained in it. This makes him especially interesting, for
nearly all animals obtain their food from the soil quite indirectly.
Some get it from plants, the plants themselves having gathered theirs
from the earth through their roots. Certain animals depend on other
creatures, which in turn get food from the plants.

"The life-giving particles which go to build up all bodies come
directly or indirectly from the earth itself. It seems odd that a man
who is starving, no matter where he may be, starves with the very food
which he needs directly beneath his feet, only he does not know, nor
has the wisest man yet learned, how to convert it into food which will
directly sustain and give health to the body. Yet the little earthworm,
which you despise as stupid, has this wonderful secret, which day by
day it puts into operation for its own benefit. Worms also eat leaves,
which sometimes they drag into their homes.

"The worm has no feet as we understand them, but moves along the ground
by sticking its sharp claws into the ground and by in turn lengthening
and shortening its flexible body.

"The young worms grow from eggs, which are deposited in the earth in
the autumn. They have to look out for themselves. During the winter
they burrow deep into the ground, coming to the surface with the warm
rains of spring. Worms also come to the earth's surface at night. If
you look carefully in the garden with a lantern some evening, you may
see them."

Charley was looking at his bait box with a good deal of respect.

"I guess I'll let the worms have another chance," he said, and he
dumped them in a heap upon the ground, when, I regret to say, two
hungry robins promptly pounced upon them and flew jubilantly home with
two of the fattest in their beaks for a meal.

The stranger smiled kindly upon Charley.

"Never mind, my boy. Old Dame Nature meant the worms for food for the
robins and perhaps bait for your hook when you really need fish for
food, but she never meant any of us to needlessly harm any living
creature, for when you are older and have learned to read well in her
great story book you will find that after all, from earthworms to
kings, we are only brothers and sisters in wise old Mother Nature's
great family.

"I once knew a little boy like you who used to salute every living
creature he met with 'Good morning' or 'Good afternoon' or 'Good
evening.' He said it made him feel more friendly toward them. In his
spare moments he loved to watch the woodland creatures and learn the
secrets of their busy, useful lives."

"Where does he live?" asked Charley.

"Well, when he is not rambling over the earth hunting for curious
insects he lives in a big city, where he sometimes writes books about
butterflies and moths and other insects, and people, who as a rule
know very little about the humbler children of nature's family, give
him credit for being a rather wise man; but he really knows very
little--there is so much to learn. Some day, when you are a man, if
you keep your eyes open to what goes on around you, you yourself may
know how little. That boy is a man now and takes great pleasure in
having introduced you to Master Chætopoda, one of the humblest but most
interesting members of Mother Nature's household."

And then Charley smiled, for he knew the stranger was talking about


(_Dendroica coronata._)

C. C. M.

One of the most interesting facts concerning this beautiful warbler
is that, though not common, it is a winter sojourner, and therefore
of perpetual interest to the student of birds. About the last of
March, however, multitudes of them may be seen as they begin to move
northward. By the middle of April all but a few stragglers have left
us, and it is not till the last of September that they begin to return,
the majority of them arriving about the middle of October. The habitat
of the myrtle warbler includes the whole of North America, though it is
chiefly found east of the Rocky Mountains, breeding from the northern
United States northward into the Arctic regions; and, what is regarded
as strange for so hardy a bird, has been found nesting in Jamaica. Its
winter home is from about latitude 40° south into southern Central

The adult female myrtle warbler is similar to the male, but much duller
in color. In winter the plumage of the sexes is said to be essentially
alike. The upper parts are strongly washed with umber brown, and lower
parts more or less suffused with paler wash of the same. The young have
no yellow anywhere, except sometimes on the rump. The whole plumage is
thickly streaked above and below with dusky and grayish white.

The places to study these attractive warblers are the open woods and
borders of streams. In their northern winter homes, during the winter
months, spiders, eggs and larvæ of insects constitute their principal
food, though they also feed upon the berries of the poison ivy, and in
the early spring, as they move northward, upon "insects that gather
about the unfolding leaves, buds, and blossoms." Col. Goss says that
in the spring of 1880 he found the birds in large numbers on Brier
Island and other places in Nova Scotia, feeding along the beach, in
company with the horned lark, upon the small flies and other insects
that swarm about the kelp and debris washed upon the shore. "They
utter almost continually, as they flit about, a _tweet_ note, the males
often flying to the tops of the small hemlocks to give vent to their
happiness in song, which is quite loud for warblers--rather short, but
soft and pleasing."

These birds usually build their nests in low trees and bushes, but
Mr. MacFarlane, who found them nesting at Anderson River, says they
occasionally nest on the ground. Mr. Bremer says that in the summer
of 1855, early in July, he obtained a nest of the myrtle warbler in
Parsborough, Nova Scotia. It was built in a low bush, in the midst of
a small village, and contained six eggs. The parents were very shy,
and it was with great difficulty that one of them was secured for
identification. The nest was built on a horizontal branch, the smaller
twigs of which were so interlaced as to admit of being built upon them,
though their extremities were interwoven into its rim. The nest was
small for the bird, being only two inches in depth and four and a half
in diameter. The cavity was one and one-half inches deep and two and a
half wide. Its base and external portions consisted of fine, light dry
stalks of wild grasses, and slender twigs and roots. Of the last the
firm, strong rim of the nest was exclusively woven. Within the nest
were soft, fine grasses, downy feathers, and the fine hair of small

The eggs are three to six, white to greenish white, spotted and
blotched, with varying shades of umber brown to blackish and pale
lilac: in form they are rounded oval.

In autumn, when the myrtle warblers return from Canada, they mostly
haunt the regions where the juniper and bayberries are abundant.
The latter (_Myrica cerifera_), or myrtle waxberries, as they are
frequently called, and which are the favorite food of this species,
have given it their name. These warblers are so restless that great
difficulty is experienced in identifying them.

  [Illustration: MYRTLE WARBLER.
                 FROM COL. F. M. WOODRUFF.
                 COPYRIGHT 1899,
                 NATURE STUDY PUB. CO., CHICAGO.]



A few of my readers may know who Taffy and Tricksey are, but as more
will not I think it best to introduce them.

Taffy is the handsomest tiger cat I have ever seen, and as he has the
crook in his tail, he belongs to the Tabby breed. Taffy is very large,
usually weighing fourteen pounds, but he has a very small head, and
very small, finely shaped paws. The under parts of them look like black
velvet. In color he is jet black and the other fur very much like a
raccoon's, light tan at the ends shading into yellow, then into drab.
As the sun strikes him every hair seems full of light and he is one
mass of iridescent colors. His marking is most beautiful. The top of
his head is black branching out into five narrow black stripes down
his neck. A black stripe three inches wide (without one light hair)
going all the way down the back and to the end of the tail and under
two inches; of course, on the tail the stripe is much narrower. Then,
narrow black stripes go down each side of his back and tail. His tail
is not long, but very bushy like a nice boa. I never saw more exquisite
coloring and marking than Taffy has underneath, from his throat to his
tail. His coat is beautifully soft and thick, and shines like satin,
and his eyes are very green. He is particular about his toilet, but
insists upon my helping him to keep it glossy. His own comb is kept
on my dressing-table, and he asks me to comb him twice a day, and
sometimes oftener.

I can tell you nothing of Taffy's antecedents, as I found him one
morning in our back yard starved almost to death, and about as thick
through the body as a shingle. At first I thought he had dropped down
from Heaven, but I soon learned from his sayings and doings that he
must have been quite intimate with the inmates of the lower region. I
tempted him with chicken but it was some little time before I could
put my hand on him; and to tame any animal you must be able to touch
it with your hand. After two or three pats he seemed to realize that
I was a good friend. Soon I had him in the house and for three years
we have been devoted to each other. I have had a great many cats, but
never one who had so much of the wild animal in him. All of my friends
said I never could tame Taffy and it was many weeks before I had much
influence over him, and I never feel quite sure now whether I am to be
loved or scratched, as he still has the temper and the actions of a
tiger when anything goes the wrong way.

He usually lies down like a tiger with legs straight out in front, tail
straight out behind, and when I speak to him he will always blink his
eyes and speak to me. If you touch him in passing he will grab at your
feet and spit and growl. He never mews when he wants anything to eat,
but will chase me or my maid, and grab at our feet. If he does not like
what is given him to eat, he will walk all about his plate, and scratch
as if he were covering it up.

I am the only one Taffy ever shows much affection for, but to me he is
very loving. He will lie as long as I will let him with his paws about
my neck, and head on my shoulder. If he is sound asleep anywhere, and I
begin to read aloud, sing, or whistle, he will get directly up, jump on
my lap, put his paws about my neck, his face close to mine, and begin
to purr. As he always looks very pleasant I flatter myself he likes the
tone of my voice.

When I had my bird, Little Billie, it would make Taffy simply furious
if I put him out of my room and closed the door. One morning he was so
ugly my maid did not dare open the door to come in. After that when I
wanted him to go down stairs, I had my maid come to the bottom of the
stairs and call "Taffy!" then there was never any trouble. When he is
in a tearing rage I can always quiet him, by taking tight hold of his
paws, and kissing his eyes. I have told all of these things about Taffy
so my readers will appreciate what I have been able to do with him. It
is needless to say that when Little Billie went away, Taffy was the
happiest cat in town. His devotion increased daily to me and he lived
in my room, only going down to get something to eat.

I think by this time you are very well acquainted with Mr. Taffy, and
I will present Tricksey to you. Of all the canary birds I have ever
seen Tricksey is the prettiest, daintiest little bird you can possibly
imagine. His color is light yellow with a much deeper shade between his
wings, shading into almost an orange. His wings and tail are white with
just a line of yellow on some of the feathers. His eyes are unusually
large and bright, and his little legs and claws are very pink, and so
slender they do not look strong enough to support his finely shaped
body. Tricksey came from George H. Holden's, New York, so you will all
know he is a very superior bird and sings like an angel.

Tricksey had never been out of his cage when he came to me, but before
I had had him a week, he came out, perched on my finger, took things
from my finger or mouth, would kiss me, and go all about my room on my
finger, and very soon went all about the house with me. He was very
fond of sweet apple, but I never let him have it inside his cage, but
made him come to me for it. I kept a piece in a little dish on my table
and he soon found out where it was and would help himself on the sly.
I also kept on my table in a little china cup, some hemp seed which I
gave to Tricksey as a great treat. Every time I would tap on the cup
and make it ring, Tricksey would come out of his cage, down from a
picture frame, or wherever he was, for a seed.

One day he had had his one hemp seed, and teased for more, but I said
"no" and he went flying about the room having a fine time. Soon he
flew back on the table, hopped over to the cup, gave it two or three
taps to make it ring, then hopped on to the top, reached down and
helped himself to two seeds. Tricksey is a very vain little bird and
likes nothing better than to go over on my dressing table, walk back
and forth in front of the mirror or sit on my pin cushion and admire

Tricksey came to me one afternoon and Taffy knew nothing about his
arrival until the next morning. When he came upstairs and saw a little
yellow bird in a house of gold, he was like the little girl's Bunnie,
who "was not a bit afraid, but awfully much surprised," when she heard
firecrackers for the first time. His eyes were like balls of fire,
while his mouth opened and shut making a hissing sound, and his tail
going at the rate of a mile a minute. He walked into my room like a
wild tiger, with an air as much as to say, "If this is Little Billie
come back dressed in yellow, die he must," and sprang at the cage. I
took him firmly by the paws, looked straight into his big angry eyes
and said in a soft, firm voice, "Taffy, this is Tricksey, and he is
not to be eaten or hurt any more than my Little Billie who went away."
I let go of his paws, he walked out of my room and downstairs without
looking back. In about an hour I looked out into the hall, and there
sat my dear old Taffy on the top step looking very meek and wishful. I
spoke kindly to him and asked him to come in and see his new brother
Tricksey. After a few moments he came in very slowly and went behind my
bed. Soon he came from under the valance, (the cage sat on a chair and
I in front of it) never looked at the cage, jumped into my lap, put his
paws about my neck and began loving me. I took him to bed with me and
he never moved until Tricksey began to sing in a most delightful way,
then he looked at him and listened very intently. I talked to him, and
"smoothed his feathers," and soon he snuggled down in my arms and went
to sleep. When he got out of bed he never glanced at the cage, but went
directly downstairs, and I felt I had made a good beginning. Everyone
said I could never teach Taffy not to catch Tricksey, and the reason
his catship did not kill Little Billie was because he was afraid of
him, and so carefully watched. I knew there was not a place in the
house I could hang the cage where Taffy could not get at it if he made
up his mind to do so. Of course for days and weeks I felt anxious, and
did not mean to leave them alone together. I never turned Taffy out
of my room. If he went up to the cage and put up his paw I would say
"Taffy, you must _not_ put your paw on the cage," and as he always
minds he would take it right down, sit by the cage, and I would talk to
him kindly. Fortunately Tricksey was not at all afraid of Taffy.

Taffy always wears a yellow satin collar with bells all around. Often I
would hear him coming upstairs when I was lying down and I would keep
very quiet to see what he would do. Sometimes he would come over to the
cage, look at Tricksey pleasantly, then lie down by the fire and go to
sleep; more often he would lie down without even looking at him. But
the moment he heard me talking to Tricksey he would get up and come to
me to be petted, and I always gave him a great deal. One day when Taffy
was in another room I let Tricksey out, and tried to be very quiet.
I was sitting on the floor with Tricksey hopping about me. Before I
hardly knew it Taffy was in my lap, and soon I had Tricksey on my knee
eating seeds. If I took the cage on my lap with Tricksey inside Taffy
would immediately jump up and crowd in between the cage and me.

Taffy was very much afraid the first time he saw Tricksey take his
bath, and ran under the bed and peeped out from under the valance.

One morning the cage sat on the floor, and Tricksey was ready for his
bath, when Taffy came in and sat close to the cage. Tricksey took a big
drop of water into his bill and threw it into Taffy's face, Taffy moved
back a little and looked all about to see where it came from. While he
was looking Tricksey went into his bath, and splashed the water all
over Taffy's face in a very roguish way. To say Taffy was surprised is
speaking mildly. He turned to me with an angry cry and went out of the
room. The next morning the same thing happened; but instead of going
out of the room, he went on the other side, out of reach of the water,
but where he could see all that went on.

After that he became so interested he did not mind if the water was
splashed all over his face and would sit as close to the cage as he
could get. While Tricksey was eating his breakfast he would lie down
close to the cage and go to sleep. As I previously said I never meant
to leave Taffy in the room with Tricksey, but he was often there hours
before I knew it. When I found him he was always asleep in front of the
cage or by the fire.

One morning after the bath I put the cage up in the window. Taffy did
not seem to like it at all. He looked at me most wishfully, and began
talking cat language, and I knew he was saying, "Please put Tricksey
back on the floor." I did so, and Taffy began to sing, lay down with
his back close to the cage, stretched out and went to sleep. He had
been lying that way for an hour when some visitors came. It seemed too
bad to disturb Taffy so I left him, and thought I would risk it.

Two hours passed before I went back, and you may imagine my delight
when I found my two boys (so different in color, size and disposition)
as happy as two kittens. Tricksey was singing merrily. Taffy had
wakened, changed his position, and looked as if he felt very proud,
being left to take care of his small brother. His eyes were as soft as
velvet, and he spoke to me in a soft, cooing tone. Since then I have
never felt there was any danger in leaving them together. I regret to
say Tricksey has a strong will of his own and almost as bad a temper as

At different times I had three wee baby birds brought in to me, but
they all died. Tricksey was very jealous of them, and when he saw me
feeding them he would become very angry, beat his wings against his
cage, and beg for me to let him out. One day I put one of the little
strangers on the floor and let Tricksey out. He flew at the waif and
tore feathers out of the top of his head. I took the poor little
frightened thing in my hand. Tricksey flew on my finger and pecked at
him. I put him in my other hand and Tricksey flew at him more angry
than ever. Then I put him on the floor, and Tricksey was so happy he
flew on my head, hopped about my shoulders and kissed me in the mouth.
In the middle of the performance in walked dignified Mr. Taffy with a
look which plainly said, "What more are you going to bring into this
room?" He sat by my side looking at the newcomer and, before I knew
what he was going to do, reached out his paw, and gave him a good slap
which sent him off my lap onto the floor.

Early in the fall before I had any fire in my room I would bring
Tricksey down in the morning and keep him until evening, and for two
weeks Taffy never went near my room during the day, but stayed down
there with Tricksey. The first day I had a fire in my room I did
not bring Tricksey down as usual. After I gave Taffy his luncheon I
missed him, but did not go to my room until five o'clock, and there was
faithful Taffy sound asleep close to Tricksey's cage, and now he stays
in my room all day. He has plainly shown that if Tricksey stays there
he stays too.

I find that animals want to be treated very much like children. The
more intelligent they are the easier it is to influence them, and the
quicker they are to read you. First give them a great deal of love
and kindness, always be firm, very patient, and above all _never_
deceive them in the most trivial thing. I hope this little sketch of
Taffy's and Tricksey's life may be of some help to those who love cats
and dogs, but have felt they could not teach them to live in harmony


FRANK L. BURNS, In Oberlin _Bulletin_.

Before we enter upon another active campaign of bird-nesting, it is
fitting that we should pause a moment to reflect upon the true aim of
our toil, risks, and trouble, as well as delight and recreation. How
many of us can define the phrase "collecting for scientific purposes,"
which, like liberty, is the excuse for many crimes?

If it is true, as has been asserted, that oology as a scientific study
has been a disappointment, I am convinced that it is not on account
of its limited possibilities, but simply because the average oologist
devotes so much time to the collection and bartering of specimens that
no time is left for the actual study of the accumulating shells. In
other words, he frequently undertakes a journey without aim or object.

The oologist has done much toward clearing up the life-history of
many of our birds, but as observations of this nature can often be
accomplished without the breaking up of the home of the parent bird,
it alone will not suffice as an excuse for indiscriminate collecting.
After preparing the specimen for the cabinet his responsibility does
not end but only begins. A failure to add something to the general
knowledge is robbing the public as well as the birds. He who talks
fluently of the enforcement of strict laws for the preservation of our
wild birds, their nests and eggs, and fails to protect and encourage
those about his premises, falls short of his duty; and if his cabinet
contains bird skins or egg shells which might just as well have
remained where Nature placed them, he is inconsistent, demanding that
others abstain that he may indulge.

In conclusion I would say that when an oologist constantly keeps in
mind and acts under the assumption that the birds are his best friends
and not his deadly enemies, he cannot go far wrong, and the means he
employs will be justified in the light of subsequent study and research
of data and specimens. If any of us fall short in this we have only
ourselves to blame. Let us then collect with moderation and fewer eggs
and more notes be the order of the day.

                 FROM COL. CHI. ACAD. SCIENCES.
                 COPYRIGHT 1899,
                 NATURE STUDY PUB. CO., CHICAGO.]


(_Helminthophila pinus._)

Not a great deal is known about many of the warblers, and comparatively
little has been observed of this member of the very large family,
comprising more than one hundred species. This specimen is also
recognized by the name of the blue-winged swamp warbler. Its habitat
is eastern United States, chiefly south of 40 degrees and west of the
Alleghanies, north irregularly to Massachusetts and Michigan, and west
to border of the great plains. In winter it lives in eastern Mexico and

It has been pointed out that the name of this bird is misleading,
as the blue of the wing is dull and inconspicuous, and not blue at
all in the sense in which this color distinction is applied to some
other birds. When applied to the warblers, it simply means either a
bluish-gray, or slate, which seems barely different from plain gray at
a short distance.

In half-cleared fields which have grown up to sprouts, and in
rich open woods in the bottom-lands, where the switch-cane forms a
considerable proportion of the undergrowth, the blue-winged yellow
warbler is one of the characteristic birds, says Ridgway. The male is
a persistent singer during the breeding-season, and thus betrays his
presence to the collector, who finds this, of all species, one of the
easiest to procure. His song is very rude. The nest is built on the
ground, among upright stalks, resting on a thick foundation of dry
leaves. The eggs are four or five, white, with reddish dots. The food
of the warbler consists almost wholly of spiders, larvæ, and beetles,
such as are found in bark, bud, or flower. The birds are usually seen
consorting in pairs. The movements of this warbler are rather slow and
leisurely, and, like a chickadee, it may sometimes be seen hanging head
downward while searching for food.


"We hear, if we attend, a singing in the sky."


    Fair are the flowers and the children, but their subtle suggestion
          is fairer;
    Rare is the rose-burst of dawn, but the secret that clasps it is
    Sweet the exultance of song, but the strain that precedes it is
    And never a poem was writ, but the meaning outmastered the meter.

    Never a daisy that grows, but a mystery guideth the growing;
    Never a river that flows, but a majesty scepters the flowing;
    Never a Shakespeare that soared, but a stronger than he did enfold
    Never a prophet foretold, but a mightier seer hath foretold him.

    Back of the canvas that throbs, the painter is hinted and hidden;
    Into the statue that breathes, the soul of the sculptor is bidden;
    Under the joy that is felt, lie the infinite issues of feeling;
    Crowning the glory revealed, is the glory that crowns the revealing.

    Great are the symbols of being, but that which is symboled is
    Vast the creation beheld, but vaster the inward Creator;
    Back of the sound broods the silence; back of the gift stands the
    Back of the hand that receives, thrills the sensitive nerve of

    Space is nothing to spirit; the deed is outdone by the doing;
    The heart of the wooer is warm, but warmer the heart of the wooing;
    And up from the pits where these shiver and up from the heights
          where those shine,
    Twin voices and shadows swim starward, and the essence of life



Principal Central High School, Buffalo.

The first step to take in teaching science to young people and in
popularizing the study among older people is to throw away much of the
traditional polysyllabic phraseology and use a little common sense and
good old Anglo-Saxon now and then--to teach nature, instead of science.

There is not only great danger in being too technical, but in telling
too much. We all like to talk on our pet subjects. We rattle along,
airing our opinions and pouring out big volumes of knowledge, and
expect the poor pupils, like great dry sponges, to absorb the gracious
gift. But they don't absorb; it isn't their business; they belong to
quite another sub-kingdom; and while we are just about to congratulate
ourselves on our facility of expression and wise beneficence, we are
rudely made aware that our eloquence was all lost; and, worse still,
we have been guilty of repression, of stifling natural curiosity, and
crushing what might become a priceless, inquiring, intellectual habit.

Is it any wonder that so few ever go on with this geology, mineralogy,
botany, or zoölogy, after they leave school? What is our object as
teachers? Is it to cram geology and botany down passive throats in one
or two school terms, or is it to lead our students so gently and awaken
so keen a desire that they shall study these sciences all their lives,
to be a never-ending joy, a pure pleasure and a solace amid coming
cares and darkening days? Oh, I, too, have been guilty, and may heaven
forgive my exceeding foolishness! The remainder of my days are being
spent in penance, in propitiating the office of the recording angel by
a more humble and righteous way of life.

So much for the language of the teacher, and now for the means of
giving reality to his teaching efforts. This can only be done by the
laboratory method or investigation in the field. With the latter,
out-door work only does this paper especially treat.


While I do not for a moment decry the use of books, either for
collateral reading or for text-books--in fact, I plead for a wider
reading and profounder study of the best scientific writers--still, I
feel just as you must feel, that there is something radically wrong in
much of our science teaching, and that we have come to regard books
as more real than the earth, the sky, the rocks; the plants, and the
animals, which are all about us.

Just why this is so, I am unable to understand. Nature is so lavish!
On all sides, easy of access, are the phenomena and the realities,
while the school-room is artificial, and the teacher, alas, in perfect
keeping with the school-room.

Can it be that pupils are averse to actual contact with nature? Not
at all. From the earliest childhood throughout life there is in most
persons a remarkable turn toward curious investigation, and thorough
understanding of the things of nature. That I know from my own
experience while teaching in the grammar schools.

One day I asked the pupils to bring me in any specimens of stones they
might find in the vacant lots and the fields; and then I promised to
give them a talk about these stones. I expected perhaps twenty or
thirty specimens. What was my amazement and secret horror when, the
next day and the next came dozens and dozens of specimens until, in
a few days, I had over a ton and a half, containing 3,000 specimens.
There were granites, gneisses and schists and quartzes; there
were sandstones, slates, shales, limestones, glacial scratchings,
marbles and onyx; there were geodes, crystals, ores, stone hammers,
arrow-heads, brickbats, furnace slag, and fossils. I took everything
smilingly, and at night the janitor and I buried many duplicates and
the useless stuff in a deep hole where they wouldn't be likely to get
hold of it again.

We soon possessed an excellent cabinetful, and had fine times talking
about the making of stones--the crust of the earth--former inhabitants,
the great ice age, and such simple geology as they could understand;
and they did understand; that did not end it. We studied plants in the
same way; physics and chemistry, with home-made apparatus. Of course,
it all took time, and a good deal of it; and there wasn't any extra
pay for it, either; but there are labors whose recompense is far more
precious than dollars and cents.

And so I find enthusiasm also for out-door science, among secondary
pupils and among the great body of intelligent people of our cities;
and if nature is so accessible, and pupils are so eager for its
secrets, and we still worship books and ignore the visible objects
and forces so freely at our disposal, there is no other conclusion
to arrive at, except that the teacher himself is either too ignorant
or too indolent to make proper use of them. It takes time; it needs
enthusiasm; it needs a genuine love for the subject in hand, and a
profound interest in and sympathy with the student.

The subjects in which field work may be made very useful are geography,
geology, botany, and zoölogy, and the objects are, of course, apparent
to all. First, it cultivates a familiarity with nature, which is
wholesome and desirable. We are living in an artificial age. Children
nowadays get too much pocket money; there is too much theater; too much
smartness; too much flabbiness for the real business of life; too much
blasé yawning; too many parties; too much attention to dress; the color
of the necktie; the crease of the trowsers, or the make of a gown. The
only meaning science has for many of the richer classes is the curved
ball of the pitcher, the maneuvers of the quarterback, or the manly art
of self-defense.

I know of nothing that will counter-act the indifference of parents and
lead the young mind back to a simpler and more humanizing condition of
life than to make it familiar with old mother earth, the stream, the
valley, the tree, the flower, and the bird.

Another object of field work is to develop habits of correct
observation. Pupils ordinarily take too much for granted. They will
swallow anything that is printed in a book, or that the teacher may
choose to tell, always providing the pupil is sufficiently awake to
perform the function. It is hardly an exaggeration that they would
believe the moon was made of green cheese, providing the statement came
with august solemnity from the teacher's chair. There is too hasty
generalization and a prevailing unwillingness to careful examination.
Careful field work opens the eye and corrects much of this slovenly
mode of thinking, creates honest doubt, and questions an unsupported
statement. The pupil wants to see the pollen on the bee before he
believes in cross-fertilization; he wants to see rocks actually in
layers before he will believe they could have been deposited in water,
and he pounds up a fragment of sandstone to get at the original sand;
he wants to see the actual castings before he will believe all that
Darwin says about his wonderful earthworms; and few things escape the
eye of the pupils who go out with the understanding that it is business
and their duty to observe and take notes.

Another object of field study is to see life in its environment.
Stuffed birds and animals in cases are all very good; shells look
pretty behind nice glass doors, and herbaria play a very important
part; yet, after all, how much better to see a thrush's flight; to hear
the pewee's song; how much more satisfactory to watch a snail creep and
feed; how much more delightful to study the blossoming hepatica; to
note its various leaves, its soil, its surroundings, and discover why
it blooms at the very opening of springtime.

More can be learned from a handful of pebbles on the beach than a whole
book written upon the same subject.

Yet another object is to acquire specific information not contained
in books. The feel of a leaf, the odor of the honeysuckle, or the
pine, the cry of the kingfisher, the locomotion of a horse, and the
locomotion of a cow, the formation of miniature gorges in a rain
storm, and the wearing of a shore under the action of the waves, these
and countless other manifestations can never be described in mere
words.--_The School Journal._

                 FROM COL. CHI. ACAD. SCIENCES.
                 COPYRIGHT 1899,
                 NATURE STUDY PUB. CO., CHICAGO.]


(_Helminthophila chrysoptera._)

This member of the large family of warblers is considered rare, or only
common in certain localities of its range, which is eastern United
States in summer and Central America in winter. Its common names are
blue golden-winged warbler, and golden-winged swamp warbler. It makes
its appearance in May, when it may occasionally be seen about orchards.
It soon retires into dense underbrush, however, and few persons who are
not woodsmen ever get more than a glimpse of it. It breeds all through
its range, but only casually north of Massachusetts. It builds its nest
on or near the ground, in a plant tuft. It is made of grass, and is
deep and bulky. The eggs are four or five, white, with reddish dots.

Ridgway says that June, 1885, he found these birds breeding along the
southern edge of Calhoun Prairie, Richland county, Illinois, and Mr.
H. K. Coale states that on May 11, 1884, in a wood on the Kankakee
river, in Starke county, Indiana, he found the golden-winged warbler
quite common. Eight were seen--all males, which were singing. Some were
flushed from the ground and flew up to the nearest small tree, where
they sat motionless next the trunk. The locality was a moist situation,
overgrown with young trees and bushes.


Papers presented last summer at the French Congress for Tuberculosis
at Paris demonstrate, says _The Medical News_, what has hitherto been
very doubtful, that aviary and human tuberculosis are essentially the
same pathologic process due to the same germ modified by a cultural
environment, but convertible under favorable circumstances one into the
other. An Englishman has found that more than ten per cent. of canaries
and other song birds that die in captivity succumb to tuberculosis, and
parrots have come in for a share of condemnation in this connection.
By far the larger number of monkeys who die in captivity are carried
off by tuberculosis, and while, fortunately, the keeping of monkeys as
house pets is not very general, at the same time there is some danger
of contagion. Nocard, the greatest living authority on tuberculosis in
animals, and the man to whom we owe the best culture methods for the
tubercle bacillus, found in a series of autopsies on dogs that out of
two hundred successive autopsies on unselected dogs that died at the
great veterinary school at Alfort, near Paris, in more than one-half
the cases there were tubercular lesions, and in many of them the
lesions were of such a character as to make them facile and plenteous
disseminators of infective tuberculous materials.

Parrots are known to be susceptible to a disease peculiar to
themselves, and a number of fatal cases in human beings of what was at
first supposed to be malignant influenza, pneumonia was traced to the
bacillus which is thought to be the cause of the parrot disease. Cats
are sometimes known to have tuberculosis, and that they have in many
cases been carriers of diphtheria and other ordinary infections is more
than suspected. There is not at present any great need for a crusade
on sanitary grounds against the keeping of pet animals, but they are
multiplying more and more, and it does not seem unreasonable that
greater care in the matter of determining the first signs of disease
should be demanded of their owners, and then so guarding them as to
prevent their being a source of contagion to human beings. Attention
should be paid to this warning as regards children, as animals play
more freely with them and the children are more apt to be infected.


WILLIAM KERR HIGLEY, Secretary of The Chicago Academy of Sciences.

    Queen of the Marsh, imperial Drosera treads
    Rush-fringed banks, and moss-embroidered beds.

                        --_Erasmus Darwin, in The Botanic Garden, 1789._

Some of the most interesting forms of nature are not the most
showy and are not easily observed by the untrained eye. Many of
their characteristics can only be known by carefully conducted
investigations, both in the field and in the laboratory.

The advance of science has shown us that it is as natural for some
plants to obtain much of their nourishment from the animal world, by
a true process of feeding, as it is for animal forms to obtain their
sustenance, either directly or indirectly, from the vegetable world.

There are many species among the lower orders of plants that are well
known animal parasites, but there are also, among our more highly
organized flowering species, forms that improvise a stomach and secrete
an acid fluid for the digestion of nitrogenous food which is afterwards
absorbed and used in tissue building. These are in no sense of the term

Such a plant is our common round-leaved sundew (_Drosera rotundifolia_,
L.). The generic name Drosera is from the Greek, meaning dew.

This rather insignificant, but pretty little plant is distributed
nearly throughout the world, and is usually found in bogs, or in wet
sand near some body of water. The flower stalk is seldom more than six
or eight inches in height and bears very small white or pinkish-white

The interesting feature of this species, however, lies in the rosette
of about five or six leaves growing from the base of the stem. These
leaves lie upon the ground and are usually about one-fourth to one-half
of an inch in length, and are generally nearly orbicular in form. The
upper side is covered with gland-bearing tentacles. The glands are
covered by a transparent and viscid secretion which glitters in the
sunlight, giving rise to the common name of the plant. There are
usually over two hundred tentacles on each leaf and, when they are
not irritated, they remain spread out. The viscid fluid of the glands
serves as an organ of detention when an insect lights upon the leaf.
The presence of an insect, or, in fact, any foreign matter, will cause
the tentacles, to which it is adhering, to bend inward toward the
center of the leaf and within a very short time all the tentacles will
be closed over the captured insect, which is soon killed by the copious
secretion filling its breathing apparatus.

Though these sensitive tentacles are not excited by either wind or rain
they are by the repeated touchings of a needle, or any hard substance.
It is said that a fragment of hair weighing but 1-78,740 of a grain
will cause a perceptible movement.

By experiment it has been shown that a bit of hard-boiled egg, or a
fragment of meat as well as an insect will cause not only an inflection
of the tentacles but also of the edges of the leaves, thus forming
an improvised stomach, the secretion of the glands then increasing
and becoming acid. At this stage the secretion is not only capable of
digesting but is also highly antiseptic.

This power of digesting and absorbing nitrogenous food is absolutely
necessary to the existence of the sundew, for it usually grows in a
poor soil and its few and not greatly elongated roots are of little
service except to absorb water, of which it needs a large amount for
the production of the copious secretion. Specimens may be developed by
planting in moist cotton and furnishing with plenty of water.

The length of time that the tentacles will remain inflected depends on
the vigor of the leaf and the solubility of the material causing the
excitement. The time varies from one to seven or eight days.

Easily dissolved and readily absorbed food in too large an amount seems
to cause overexcitement and overtaxation, and frequently results in the
death of the leaf.

The large number of insects, especially flies, captured by these plants
would lead one to believe that they are attracted by the odor of the
plant, or the purplish color of the tentacles, rather than by the
desire to use the leaves as a resting-place.

The sundew belongs to the natural order _Droseraceæ_. This contains
about one hundred and twenty-five species, of which one hundred and ten
belong to the genus Drosera, and are chiefly natives of Australia,
though the round-leaved species is common throughout the United States,
Europe, and Asia.

Closely related to the sundew is the Venus fly-trap (_Dionæa
muscipula_, Ellis). This is a native in the eastern part of North
Carolina only.

The leaf of this plant is provided with two lobes, which close quickly
when the sensitive hairs, which are situated on the upper surface of
the leaf, are irritated by an insect. The acid secretion flows out and
the leaves remain closed till digestion and absorption are completed.

Dr. Asa Gray has referred to this species as "that most expert of



Forty years in the pulpit of Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Henry Ward
Beecher stood and poured forth a stream of eloquence which shook
the world. During the stress of civil war he stemmed the current of
English sentiment with his peculiar powers and brought about a change
of feeling which was the salvation of our Union. This greatest of our
pulpit orators was a lover of trees, and some of his finer passages
were inspired by them.

Without doubt, better trees there might be than even the most noble
and beautiful now. I suppose God has, in his thoughts, much better
ones than he has ever planted on this globe. They are reserved for the
glorious land. Beneath them may we walk!

To most people a grove is a grove, and all groves are alike. But no two
groves are alike. There is as marked a difference between different
forests as between different communities. A grove of pines without
underbrush, carpeted with the fine-fingered russet leaves of the pine,
and odorous of resinous gums, has scarcely a trace of likeness to a
maple woods, either in the insects, the birds, the shrubs, the light
and shade, or the sound of its leaves. If we lived in olden times,
among young mythologies, we should say that pines held the imprisoned
spirit of naiads and water-nymphs, and that their sounds were of the
water for whose lucid depths they always sighed. At any rate, the first
pines must have grown on the seashore, and learned their first accents
from the surf and the waves; and all their posterity have inherited the
sound, and borne it inland to the mountains.

I like best a forest of mingled trees, ash, maple, oak, beech, hickory,
and evergreens, with birches growing along the edges of the brook that
carries itself through the roots and stones, toward the willows that
grow in yonder meadow. It should be deep and sombre in some directions,
running off into shadowy recesses and coverts beyond all footsteps. In
such a wood there is endless variety. It will breathe as many voices
to your fancy as might be brought from any organ beneath the pressure
of some Handel's hands. By the way, Handel and Beethoven always remind
me of forests. So do some poets, whose numbers are as various as the
infinity of vegetation, fine as the choicest cut leaves, strong
and rugged in places as the unbarked trunk and gnarled roots at the
ground's surface. Is there any other place, except the seaside, where
hours are so short and moments so swift as in the forest? Where else
except in the rare communion of those friends much loved, do we awake
from pleasure, whose calm flow is without a ripple, into surprise that
whole hours are gone which we thought but just begun--blossomed and
dropped, which we thought but just budding?

Thus do you stand, noble elms! Lifted up so high are your topmost
boughs that no indolent birds care to seek you, and only those of
nimble wings, and they with unwonted beat, that love exertion and
aspire to sing where none sing higher. Aspiration! so heaven gives
it pure as flames to the noble bosom. But debased with passion and
selfishness it comes to be only Ambition!

It was in the presence of this pasture-elm, which we name the Queen,
that we first felt to our very marrow that we had indeed become owners
of the soil! It was with a feeling of awe that we looked up into its
face, and when I whispered to myself, "This is mine," there was a
shrinking as if there were sacrilege in the very thought of _property_
in such a creature of God as this cathedral-topped tree! Does a man
bare his head in some old church? So did I, standing in the shadow of
this regal tree, and looking up into that completed glory, at which
three hundred years have been at work with noiseless fingers! What was
I in its presence but a grasshopper? My heart said, "I may not call
thee property, and that property mine! Thou belongest to the air. Thou
art the child of summer. Thou art the mighty temple where birds praise
God. Thou belongest to no man's hand, but to all men's eyes that do
love beauty, and that have learned through beauty to behold God! Stand,
then, in thine own beauty and grandeur! I shall be a lover and a
protector, to keep drought from thy roots, and the axe from thy trunk."

For, remorseless men there are crawling yet upon the face of the earth,
smitten blind and inwardly dead, whose only thought of a tree of ages
is, that it is food for the axe and the saw! These are the wretches of
whom the scripture speaks: "A man was famous according as he had lifted
up axes upon the thick trees."

Thus famous, or rather infamous, was the last owner but one, before me,
of this farm. Upon the crown of the hill, just where an artist would
have planted them, had he wished to have them exactly in the right
place, grew some two hundred stalwart and ancient maples, beeches,
ashes and oaks, a narrow belt-like forest, forming a screen from the
northern and western winds in winter, and a harp of endless music for
the summer. The wretched owner of this farm, tempted of the devil, cut
down the whole blessed band and brotherhood of trees, that he might
fill his pocket with two pitiful dollars a cord for the wood! Well,
his pocket was the best part of him. The iron furnaces have devoured
my grove, and their huge stumps that stood like gravestones have been
cleared away, that a grove may be planted in the same spot, for the
next hundred years to nourish into the stature and glory of that which
is gone.

In many other places I find the memorials of many noble trees slain;
here a hemlock that carried up its eternal green a hundred feet into
the winter air; there, a huge double-trunked chestnut, dear old
grandfather of hundreds of children that have for generations clubbed
its boughs, or shook its nut-laden top, and laughed and shouted as
bushels of chestnuts rattled down. Now, the tree exists only in the
form of loop-holed posts and weather-browned rails. I do hope the
fellow got a sliver in his fingers every time he touched the hemlock
plank, or let down the bars made of those chestnut rails!


Interesting caves exist at Hpagat, twenty-six miles up the Salween,
from Moulmein. They are hollowed out in the base of an isolated
limestone hill about 250 feet high, rising precipitously from the
river. Capt. A. R. S. Anderson, the surgeon-naturalist, gives an
interesting account of these caves in an Indian government report which
is abstracted by "Natural Science." The entrance is about twelve feet
high and is much ornamented by Buddhistic sculptures. As the sun was
setting the party took their stand on the sand-spit facing the entrance
of the caves and soon saw a pair of falcons leave their perch on the
trees and fly to and fro over the river. They were speedily joined by
other birds, including common kites and jungle crows, and the entire
flock, to the number of sixty or a hundred, flew to the entrance of the
caves, close to which they remained wheeling about in mid-air. A few
minutes later the bats began to issue in ones and twos, and were soon
pursued by the birds of prey, but appeared to have no great difficulty
in eluding capture by their rapid and jerky flight, and their pursuers
made no very determined or long-sustained efforts to capture them, but
soon returned to their vigil over the cave. A minute or two passed and
a sudden rush of wings was heard, and the bats were seen to emerge
from the cave in a dense stream which slowly became more and more
packed, and continued of about the same density for some ten minutes
and then gradually thinned away, until, at the end of twenty minutes,
the last had emerged. The stream of bats when at its maximum was ten
feet square, and so dense as to closely resemble smoke pouring from
a chimney in a gale of wind. This resemblance was increased by the
slightly sinuous course pursued by the bats as they flew off into the
afterglow. They were so densely crowded that they frequently upset each
other and fell helplessly into the river below, where they succeeded in
reaching the bank only to fall a prey to the expectant crow. When the
great rush occurred the falcons, kites, and crows entered the stream
of bats and, flying along with it and in it, seized as many bats as
they required for food. Capt. Anderson, by throwing his walking-stick
into the stream of bats, obtained six specimens. During the last twenty
years the bats appear to have considerably diminished in numbers,
owing to the depredations of their bird enemies and to their constant
disturbance by collectors of bat manure.


In the Museum of Natural History at Soleure, in Switzerland, there is
said to be a bird's nest made entirely of steel. There are a number of
clockmaking shops at Soleure, and in the yards of these shops there
are often found lying disused or broken springs of clocks. One day a
clock-maker noticed in a tree in his yard a bird's nest of peculiar
appearance. Examining it he found that a pair of wag-tails had built
a nest entirely of clock springs. It was more than four inches across
and perfectly comfortable for the birds. After the feathered architects
had reared their brood, the nest was taken to the museum, where it is
preserved as a striking illustration of the skill of birds in turning
their surroundings to advantage in building their nests.

  [Illustration: MOURNING-WARBLER.
                 FROM COL. CHI. ACAD. SCIENCES.
                 COPYRIGHT 1899.
                 NATURE STUDY PUB. CO., CHICAGO.]


(_Geothlypis philadelphia._)

Baskett, in his valuable "Story of the Birds," says that the warbler
forms feed variously, but they use little vegetable matter. Some have
ground-haunting, and even swamp-haunting habits; others have fringed
tongues hinting of juices and nectars, while tree-trunk exploring, as
in creepers, nuthatches, titmice, etc., also prevails. They have been
described as at once the most fascinating and the most exasperating of
birds. In the spring they come with a rush and although the woods may
be full of them, only a faint lisp from the tree tops gives note of
their presence, and unless you are a very good observer you will not
know they are about at all. If you listen to other birds, instead of
resolutely devoting yourself to warblers, you will lose the opportunity
of the sight of a diminutive bird disappearing in a tree top. Some of
the warblers dash about among the leaves on the ground hunting for
gnats, others hunt over the branches of the trees, though some of them
hop gaily on the ground, while others walk sedately, bobbing their
heads or tilting their tails. The majority of the tribe fly northward
to nest in pine forests. A few, however, remain and build in our parks,
gardens and shrubbery. They are all insect-eaters, destroying ants,
flies, caterpillars, larvæ, plant lice, canker-worms, and May flies.
They are therefore of great value in the protection of vegetation.

The mourning warbler, whose common name is black-throated ground
warbler, has its habitat in eastern North America, breeding from
northern United States northward; more rare in the Atlantic states.
It winters in south-eastern Mexico, and Costa Rica, and thence south
to Colombia. During the spring migration this bird is very common.
Early in May, 1881, they were found in abundance near wheat lands in
Indiana, most of them being observed about brush piles in a clearing,
and along fences in the immediate vicinity. In the early part of June,
1871, a pair were seen in a thicket along the border of Fox Prairie,
in Richland Co., Illinois, and it was presumed at the time that they
were breeding there, but they may have been merely late migrants. It is
known to breed in mountainous portions of Pennsylvania, New England,
New York, Michigan, Minnesota, and eastern Nebraska, northward. It
has been found nesting in Illinois south of latitude 39. Its nest is
built on or near the ground in woods. One discovered by Burroughs in
the state of New York was built in ferns about a foot from the ground,
on the edge of a hemlock wood. It contained three eggs. The nests are
usually composed of fine strips of bark and other fibrous material,
lined with fine hair. The eggs are white, with a sprinkling of reddish
dots near the larger ends.

       *       *       *       *       *

The feeling that all life is one life slumbers in the child's
soul. Only very gradually, however, can this slumbering feeling be
transfigured into a waking consciousness. Slowly, through a sympathetic
study of nature and of human life, through a growing sense of the soul
and meaning of all natural facts and of all human relationships,
and through recreating in various forms that external world which is
but the objective expression of his own inmost being, the individual
attains to a consciousness and unity of life and to a vision of the
Eternal Fountain of Life.--_The Nest._



"Yea, master," croaked the raven, "I understand," and spreading his
sable wings over the waste of waters he flew, anxious, as was Noah, for
a sight of dry land.

The day passed, evening fell, and the raven had not returned.

"An ill-omened bird," gloomily said Shem, "so black and uncanny
looking. His croak, even, hath to mine ear an evil sound."

"What thou sayest is true, brother," returned Ham. "Verily the raven
hath a wicked look. A bird of more cheerful aspect, it seemeth to me,
might well have been chosen. The albatross, so majestic, with powers of
flight excelling all other creatures of the air; the eagle, or better
still the stormy petrel, so light of body, its webbed feet enabling it,
with expanding wing, to rest at will upon the face of the waters."

"Coo-o-o," came a low, plaintive call from a far corner. "Coo-o-o."

"Ah, my turtle dove," responded Japheth, "so loving, so true! Had the
choice of a messenger been left to me, my brothers, verily would I have
chosen the dove. Naught but death would have kept it, believe me, from
its mate and us."

Noah turned from the window and gazed sternly upon his three sons.

"What signifieth the complexion of bird, beast, or man," he demanded
gravely, "when one standeth in need of courage, intelligence, strength?
Among all the winged creatures of the air within the ark, canst thou
name one with instinct more subtle than the raven's? Black and uncanny
looking, forsooth! Witness his speech, I tell thee," decisively, "the
bird hath understanding."

As Noah ceased speaking, there came a low, faint tapping at the window.
With a glad countenance he hastened to open it, and in flew the raven,
quite exhausted.

"Water, water, everywhere," croaked the bird, and after wearily eating
the food Noah gave him, tucked his head beneath his wing and was soon
fast asleep.

Upon the morning of the next day, Noah again sent the raven forth, also
the next, and the next.

"Water, water, everywhere," croaked the raven, as before, upon his
return, and after wearily eating of the food which Noah gave him,
tucked his head beneath his wing and was soon fast asleep.

"Verily," sneered Ham, who with his brothers had grown very impatient,
"the sable-plumaged bird which thou dost insist upon sending forth
daily, knoweth naught, to my mind, but the words which he so glibly
speaketh. Surely he hath heard them uttered an hundred times."

Noah reflected. "What thou sayest, my son, may be true," he responded,
"for of a surety when gazing from the window these many, many months,
those words of our speech have been the daily burden. To-morrow, then,"
his gaze fixed upon the stormy petrel, "we will send forth----"

"Coo-o-o" came a plaintive call from the corner. "Coo-o-o."

"The dove," finished Noah, thoughtfully, "for verily it doth seem to
answer me. Though devoid of speech, its affectionate nature may yet
prompt it to devise some way by which its message may be interpreted."

And so upon the morning of the next day Noah opened the window of the
ark and, the dove, poising upon his finger, spread her beautiful wings
and over the waste of waters took her joyful flight.

The day passed, evening fell, and the dove had not returned.

A dark frown was settling upon the brow of Ham, when a faint tapping
was heard at the window.

"Water, water, everywhere," croaked the raven, maliciously, as Noah
hastened to open it and draw the exhausted bird within. "Water, water,

"Verily, oh, raven!" despondently said Noah, "it doth appear that the
dove, not more than thou, didst find a place for the sole of her foot.
I will wait yet another seven days," he added thoughtfully, "ere I send
her forth again."

And Noah waited seven days, and on the morning of the eighth he sent
the dove forth again in quest of dry land.

The day passed, but ere evening fell the bird returned, bearing in her
bill, as a token that the waters had abated, a freshly-plucked olive

"Thou art God's own messenger," joyfully said Noah, tenderly caressing
the dove. "Verily something more than instinct guided and prompted thee
in thy flight this day."

And Noah waited yet another seven days ere he again sent forth the dove.

This time, to the ark, the dove returned no more.

"Coo-o-o," more plaintively than usual, called her mate the next
morning. "Co-o-o-o."

"He mourns for his lost love," pityingly said Japheth, the youngest
son. "Verily, something hath befallen the bird!"

"Nay," responded Noah, "liberty is sweet. After long captivity in a
dark, close house-boat, freedom might well try the fidelity of e'en a
turtle dove. She awaits his coming, perchance, in the nearest pine or
willow tree. Open then the window and let him forth."

And Japheth did as his father commanded, but sorrowfully, for it
chanced that in close companionship, lo, these many days, with these
innocent children of nature, Japheth had come to acquire a tender love
and care for both beast and bird.

"Go, thou mourning dove," he said, unconsciously bestowing a fitting
name upon the gentle bird. "Go!" And, spreading his beautiful wings,
off the dove joyfully flew, following with unerring instinct the path
in the air yesterday taken by his mate.

And yet a few days and Noah removed the covering from the ark and
looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.


(The trailing arbutus, or Mayflower, grows abundantly in the vicinity
of Plymouth, and was the first flower that greeted the Pilgrims after
their fearful winter.)

    Sad Mayflower! watched by winter stars
      And nursed by winter gales,
    With petals of the sleeted spars
      And leaves of frozen sails!

    What had she in those dreary hours,
      Within her ice-rimmed bay,
    In common with the wild-wood flowers,
      The first sweet smiles of May?

    Yet, "God be praised!" the Pilgrim said,
      Who saw the blossoms peer
    Above the brown leaves, dry and dead,
      "Behold our Mayflower here!"

    "God wills it: here our rest shall be,
      Our years of wandering o'er,
    For us the Mayflower of the sea
      Shall spread her sails no more."

    O sacred flowers of faith and hope,
      As sweetly now as then
    Ye bloom on many a birchen slope,
      In many a pine-dark glen.

    Behind the sea-wall's rugged length,
      Unchanged, your leaves unfold,
    Like love behind the manly strength
      Of the brave hearts of old.

    So live the fathers in their sons,
      Their sturdy faith be ours,
    And ours the love that overruns
      Its rocky strength with flowers.

    The Pilgrim's wild and wintry day
      Its shadows round us draws;
    The Mayflower of his stormy bay,
      Our Freedom's struggling cause.

    But warmer suns ere long shall bring
      To life the frozen sod;
    And through dead leaves of hope shall spring
      Afresh the flowers of God!


                 FROM COL. F. M. WOODRUFF.
                 COPYRIGHT 1899,
                 NATURE STUDY PUB. CO., CHICAGO.]


(_Dendroica pennsylvanica._)


For one reason or another we come to think of this or that bird as an
exquisite. This may be due to color pattern, form, carriage or song,
but whatever it be, the bird's presence adds color and beauty to all
our surroundings. It is not easy to tell why the chestnut-sided warbler
impresses me as an exquisite. His colors are not so bright, nor their
pattern in either the contrast or harmony that may be found with other
warblers, but there seems to be something about the bird that makes
the day brighter, the wearing field-work easier, and hours of fasting
forgotten when he flits into view. I have sometimes half suspected
that he was more than half conscious of my admiration from the manner
in which he displayed his pretty colors and trim form. But no doubt
this is base slander. The slightly opened wings, spread tail, and
quick movements give an alertness to the little fellow which adds to
his otherwise bright appearance. The females and fall birds lack the
distinct contrasts of color found in the male in his spring dress, but
they usually have some trace of the chestnut on the side of the body,
which, with the small size, will serve to distinguish them from all

The tree-tops seem to possess few attractions for this warbler, but in
village parks he may often be found well up among the branches gleaning
from the buds and new leaves for insects and their eggs. In the woods
he gleans much nearer the ground, but I have never seen him upon the
ground searching among the fallen leaves. Many times he may be found
among the low underbrush, preferably not at the edge of the woods, but
usually a few rods in. He seems rather partial to damp woods, but may
often be found among the uplands as well, where insect life is abundant.

The song is uttered while feeding, the bird seldom arresting his search
for food, but turning his head this way and that scanning each leaf
and stem. It is often a less spirited song than that of many other
warblers, seeming to be a sort of soliloquizing accompaniment to the
pressing duties of sustaining life, but it is none the less a pleasing
song. There is a somewhat close resemblance to some phrases of the
yellow warbler's song in the rendering of the chestnut-side, but a
little attention and a discriminating ear will readily distinguish the
difference both in quality and in quantity. The song is more often
heard on the college campus here than in the woods, and there it sounds
something like this: "_Wee-chee wee-chee wee-chee-e-e-e_," with the
accent on the first syllable of each phrase. This, in common with other
warbler songs, cannot be well represented by a whistle, but rather
by hissing or whispering the syllables between the closed teeth. The
pitch is too high for my whistle. In the woods a common form of the
song is, "_te te te te wee chu_;" and occasionally, "_to wee to wee to
wee tee e-e-e_." In the woods the song seems to be far more spirited
than in the village, as well as being different. This difference may be
rather due to the fact that the first migrants are those that visit the
village, while the later ones are found in the woods. It is well known
that with many of the warblers the first singers, or at least the first
songs heard, are often different from the later ones.

In the vicinity of Oberlin, Ohio, this little warbler makes his
appearance about the fifth of May and does not leave for the north
until the last week of May. It can not be called common at any time,
some years not being seen at all, but may usually be found in the
shrubbery fringing woods, or in the shade trees in the village. None
have been found during the summer months, and it is doubtful if any
remain to nest. The winter is spent in the Bahamas and Mexico, and from
there southward. The species ranges north to Manitoba, Ontario, and
Newfoundland, and west to the plains, being a bird of eastern North
America. It breeds from New Jersey and Illinois northward. I once found
it breeding in central Iowa.

The nest resembles that of the yellow warbler, both in situation and
composition. It is usually placed in the fork of a bush or shrub from
two to eight or nine feet from the ground, made of the fibrous bark
of the milk-weed, or some other hempen material, grass and sometimes
leaves, lined with some sort of plant down and long hairs. The bark
fibers are wound about the bush twigs, securely lashing the nest into
the crotch. The four or five eggs are of a creamy-white color, with
a wreath of reddish and dark brown spots and dots around the larger
end, the spots becoming smaller and less numerous both ways from this
wreath. They average about .66 × .50 of an inch.

In the fall they are among the first warblers to appear, often being
seen early in August, and continuing in the region for several weeks.
At this time of year their bright colors are wanting, but they are the
same birds for all that, and may be readily recognized by their trim
form and animated carriage.



The knowledge of nature that comes easy, that comes through familiarity
with her, as through fishing, hunting, nutting, walking, farming--that
is the kind that reaches and affects the character and becomes a grown
part of us. We absorb this as we absorb the air, and it gets into
our blood. Fresh, vital knowledge is one thing; the desiccated fact
is another. Do we know the wild flower when we have analyzed it and
pressed it, or made a drawing of it? Of course this is one kind of
knowledge and is suited to certain minds; but if we cannot supplement
it with the other kind, the knowledge that comes through the heart and
the emotions, we are poor indeed.

I recently had a letter from the principal of a New England high school
putting some questions to me touching these very matters: Do children
love nature? How shall we instil this love into them? How and when did
I myself acquire my love for her? etc. In reply I said: The child,
in my opinion, does not consciously love nature; it is curious about
things; about everything; its instincts lead it forth into the fields
and woods; it browses around; it gathers flowers; they are pretty; it
stores up impressions. Boys go forth into nature more as savages; they
are predaceous, seeking whom they may devour; they gather roots, nuts,
wild fruit, berries, eggs, etc. At least this was my case. I hunted,
I fished, I browsed, I wandered with a vague longing in the woods, I
trapped, I went cooning at night, I made ponds in the little streams,
I boiled sap in the maple-woods in spring, I went to sleep under the
trees in summer, I caught birds on their nests, I watched for the
little frogs in the marshes, etc. One keen pleasure which I remember
was to take off my shoes and stockings when the roads got dry in late
April or early May, and run up and down the road until I was tired,
usually in the warm twilight. I was not conscious of any love for
nature, as such, till my mind was brought in contact with literature.
Then I discovered that I, too, loved nature, and had a whole world of
impressions stored up in my subconscious self upon which to draw. I
found I knew about the birds, the animals, the seasons, the trees, the
flowers, and that these things have become almost a grown part of me. I
have been drawing upon the reservoir of youthful impressions ever since.

If nature is to be a resource in a man's life, one's relation to her
must not be too exact and formal, but more that of a lover and friend.
I should not try directly to teach young people to love nature so
much as I should aim to bring nature and them together, and let an
understanding and intimacy spring up between them.--_The Outlook._



John came home one evening from a ramble in the country with a
peach-box under his arm. He set the box very carefully on the back
porch and then sat down himself on the top of the box.

His mother was watering some geraniums in a bed near by and paused in
her work to look at the lad.

"Where did you get those peaches, John?" she asked, coming toward him
with a pleasant smile.

John gave a low laugh. "This is a peach _box_, mother," he said, "but
if what is in it is a _peach_, it belongs to a new variety, I think.
Look at him, he is a beauty!"

"John Bonham, I hope you have not brought another pet to this house!
Where in the world are we to stow away all these creatures on one
little town lot? There is your groundhog, your owl, the crow, the coot,
the tub of fish, the big dog, the little dog, and three Christopher
Columbus cats."

"Now, mother, please stop; poor Chuck stays most of the time in his
hole under the corner of the house, and the owl keeps the mice out of
the cellar, and Jim Crow has not stolen anything for a month except
that half dollar and your piece of lace and sister's red ribbon. You
said I might have the wash boiler to make a swimming-pool for the coot,
and I am going to feed the fish to him, so they will soon be gone and
you can have your tub again. I heard you tell Mrs. Bland that our
dogs guarded the whole neighborhood from burglars, and my Christopher
Columbus cats are cute enough for anyone to be glad to have them. Mrs.
Goodall says she 'wants one of them real bad.' You see, mother," said
John, persuasively, "this fellow was such a beauty I just had to bring
him home. Jake Timmons shot him through the wing as he was carrying
off a dove; he was going to wring the hawk's head off, but I told him
I would give him ten cents for it, for I wanted to try an experiment
with the bird. I know I can tame him and make a pet of him; see, he can
move around even if his wing is broken."

John's mother looked through the bars of the peach crate and saw a
full-grown hawk with a beautiful brown head, eyes with blood-red rims,
a strong, hooked beak, and long talons which he struck angrily into the
stick John thrust at him through the bars.

"I never saw a more fierce, cruel-looking bird," she said. "See him
tear at that stick! He will be tearing you next."

"I shall give him no chance to tear me, mother, for I intend to tame

"You might as well try to tame a tiger."

"Well, I am going to try taming him," said John, in a low, determined
tone. When his mother heard him speak in that way she knew his mind was
made up to succeed, and he had never yet failed in taming any of his

John put the hawk in his dog-house, the front of which was formed of
strong iron bars, and the next day his mother saw him sitting before
this improvised bird-cage, going through some fantastic motions with
his hands and gently chirping to the bird. No accident happened to the
young naturalist in his care of the hawk, and gradually his mother
ceased to think of it.

One afternoon, about three weeks after this, the family were seated
on the piazza when they were startled at seeing John come around the
corner of the house bearing the hawk on his wrist. Over the bird's head
was drawn a gay-colored hood adorned with tiny bells and tassels--John
had read how hawks were dressed in medieval times, and had made the
hood himself. A long string was tied to one of the hawk's legs, and,
setting the bird down gently, the boy tied the string to a small tree.
All were watching him to see what he would do next, and all kept
silence as he lifted a warning hand and uttered a low "H-u-s-h!" He
then removed the hood from the bird's head, when it immediately began
tearing at the string, snapping viciously at objects near it, and
running to and fro in an excited and angry manner.

John seated himself on the ground before the bird and began clucking
to it softly, with the index finger of his right hand extended and
pointing straight at the bird's eyes; then he turned quietly in
whichever direction the bird moved, slowly waving his hand round and
round in a circle and never taking his eyes off the bird's eyes.

Gradually the hawk ceased to run about, then stood still gazing
steadily, as though fascinated, at John's finger. It would shut its
eyes slowly, then open them suddenly, only to shut them again more
slowly than before. At first the bird stood perfectly erect; then
its head began gradually falling over on its shoulder, and, without
any warning, it tumbled backwards, its eyes shut, its legs sticking
straight up in the air, its body perfectly rigid. John continued for
a time to wave his hand in a circle with the index finger extended;
then he walked over to the porch leaving the hawk on the ground,
where he lay for nearly thirty minutes, when he gradually returned to

A number of persons walking by had stopped in the street to look at
John and the bird, and now exclamations of surprise were heard as they
saw the actions of the hawk.

"What did you do to that bird?" asked a gentleman of John; "I never in
my life witnessed so strange a performance."

"I call that hypnotism," said the lad. "I have been working with him
every day since I brought him home, and for a week I have never failed
to bring him under my influence and put him to sleep in this way. If I
go to the cage to feed him, he flies at me in a great rage at first,
but if I pass my finger in a circle before him several times he becomes
quiet, and will take a mouse from my hand without biting or tearing me
with his talons. Sometimes I partly hypnotize him and lay the mouse at
his feet, and although he may be very hungry he will not touch the
food until I let him out from under the influence of my finger. When he
is over being hypnotized he is as fierce as he was when I brought him
home, and I do not believe he can ever be made tame like other birds.
Perhaps if I had captured him when he was young, with the down still on
him, I could have tamed him, but now he is too old and fierce."

"Well, my lad," said one of the men, laughing, "if he is not tamed you
have him pretty well under your thumb and finger at least."

John's wonderful hypnotic influence over the hawk was soon known
throughout the town and crowds of people often gathered to see him go
through this truly wonderful feat of hypnotizing the fierce hawk.

The hawk belongs to the family of the _Falconidæ_, which is so called
from the Latin word _falcis_, meaning a scythe, the talons of the
_Falconidæ_ being curved in the form of a scythe, thus giving the name
to the species.

The wings of the hawk are so short they do not extend to the tip of
the tail, for which reason it is called an ignoble bird of prey, to
distinguish it from the true falcon, the wings of which extend to the
tip of the tail and which is called a noble bird of prey. The hawk's
bill is short, curved from the base, often terminating in a sharp point
called a tooth. They have rather short, exceedingly strong legs and
long incurved talons with which they tear their prey.

The species are numerous and widely distributed over the world; the
goshawk and the sparrowhawk are the best known and most important. The
hawk is a diurnal bird of prey, which means that it hunts in the day
time. It flies with exceeding swiftness, having been known to travel a
distance of 1,350 miles in twenty-four hours.

The hawk has very acute vision; hence the expression, "Keen-eyed as a
hawk." It soars to a great height, always endeavoring to get above the
bird it is pursuing in order to swoop down upon it from above. It soars
in a series of arcs and against the wind, which helps it to rise as it
does a kite. The hawk does not attack its prey with its beak, as is
generally supposed, but with its talons. After securing its prey by
swooping on it and fastening its claws in its victim it gently descends
to the ground.

The young hawk yet in the nest is called an eyas, one that can hop is
a brancher, and a young hawk able to catch game is called a soar hawk.
Young hawks taken in flying are called passage hawks, and the training
of these is called reclaiming.

Hawking was for many years a sport followed by kings and the nobility
in Europe. It is of very ancient origin, having been followed in Asia
and Europe before the time of the Christian era.

The hawk builds its nest in the forks of a tree or on some inaccessible
cliff. The female is larger than the male and lays two or three eggs.


1. In Malabar, a tree called "the tallow tree" grows; from the seeds
of it, when boiled, is procured a firm tallow which makes excellent

2. The "butter tree" was discovered by Park in the central part of
Africa; from its kernel is produced a nice butter which will keep a

3. The _palo de vaca_, or "cow tree," grows on rocks in Venezuela,
South America. It has dry and leathery leaves, and from incisions made
in its trunk a kind of milk oozes out, which is tolerably thick and of
an agreeable balmy smell. At sunrise, the natives may be seen hastening
from all quarters furnished with large bowls to receive the milk.

4. A tree of Madagascar, called the "traveler's tree," yields a copious
supply of fresh water from its leaves, very grateful to the traveler.
It grows in the most arid countries, and is another proof of the tender
care of our Heavenly Father in supplying all His creatures' wants. Even
in the driest weather a quart of water can be obtained by piercing
a hole at the bottom of the leaf stalk, and the liquid is pure and
pleasant to the taste. The leaves are of enormous size, varying from
ten to fifteen feet in length.

5. The date tree is a species of palm, and almost every part of it is
valuable. Its fruit is delicious and it is also esteemed for the palm
wine drawn from its trunk. Its leaves are made into hats, baskets,
fans, and many other articles, and the fibres of the leaf stems are
made into cord and twine. A department store might almost be furnished
from this tree.

6. The "sorrowful tree" is found on the island of Goa, near Bombay. It
is so called because it flourishes in the night. At sunset no flowers
are to be seen, but soon after it is covered with them. They close up
or drop off as the sun rises. It has a fragrant odor, and blossoms at
night the year round.

7. There is a tree in Jamaica called the "life tree," whose leaves grow
even when severed from the plant. It is impossible to kill it save by
fire.--_Normal Instructor._

                 FROM COL. F. M. WOODRUFF.
                 COPYRIGHT 1899,
                 NATURE STUDY PUB. CO., CHICAGO.]


(_Dendroica cærulescens._)


The bird-lover has many red-letter days in his calendar, particularly
when the birds are moving northward. The earliest arrivals, while snow
still covers the ground, give their own peculiar thrill of delight, and
waken in him new energy and great anticipations for the coming season
of bird study. But these early arrivals soon become a part of the
landscape and cease to lend any peculiar delight. Not so with the host
of warblers, for they are here one day and may be up and away the next,
not to be seen again for two or three months or even a year. One must
be on the alert during warbler time if he expects to catch a glimpse
of the passing host. But there are distinctively "warbler days" during
this warbler time. These vary in different years with the weather and
the advance of vegetation, from late April to the second or even third
week of May, in northern Ohio and central Iowa, and proportionately
later or earlier north or south of that latitude.

The subject of our sketch is not among the early migrating warblers
nor yet among the later ones. He usually travels with the second large
flight, and may then be expected late in April or early in May. The
earliest Oberlin, Ohio, record falls on April 27, 1896, and the latest
on May 10, 1897. Whether the birds arrive early or late they usually
remain in the vicinity two weeks, the males being present during the
first week and the females during the second. I have never found the
two sexes present on the same date. The species cannot be said to be
common even during the height of the spring migration, nor yet are
they rare. Few are seen during the fall migration at Oberlin, and
they during the last week of September and the first week of October.
Further west in the Mississippi valley the fall migrants seem greatly
to outnumber those of spring.

This is not a tree-top inhabiting species, but seems to prefer the
middle branches of the trees or the tops of shrubbery, often descending
to the ground and gleaning there much after the fashion of the Maryland
Yellow-throat. In the higher woods free from underbrush he seems to
prefer ground gleaning, but where low underbrush affords a place for
low gleaning he is seldom seen on the ground. In village parks he is
fond of a much higher perch, and must be looked for there well up in
the trees, even to the topmost branches, where he gleans among the
bursting buds and new leaves. On the Oberlin College campus he is a
regular spring visitor in early May, and here seems to appreciate
his environment and rare opportunities, for he sings his best to the
accompaniment of the medley of pianos in the Conservatory of Music
across the way, and the deeper tones of the great pipe organ in the
chapel hard by. Here I have heard him singing at all hours of the day,
while in the woods his song is less often given. One is at a loss to
assign a reason for the decided preference for the college campus,
which is in the center of the village activities. Rumbling wagons and
tramping feet cause the birds not the slightest alarm, but swiftly
moving bicycles act upon the birds' nervous system much as upon that of
an elderly woman.

The song of this warbler is variously rendered by the various writers
upon bird songs. None of these renderings seems to describe the song
as I hear it on the college campus. It is singing as I write: "_Tu euu
euu e-e-e-e-e!_" A variation sounds, "_C'weu, c'weu, c'wee-e-e-e_;"
sometimes "_c'weu, c'weu, c'w', c'w', c'wee-ee-e-e-e_." There is
also often a single phrase which sounds more like a scolding note
than a song. It is: "_Tw', tw', tw', tw', twee'e-e-e-e-e_," or even
"_Z-z-e-e-e-e_," rarely it may sound simply "_Z-z-z-z-z-z_." The song
is uttered in a spirited manner while the bird is feeding and flitting
about in the foliage, it interfering with the feeding only as a sort of
after-thought, causing a momentary pause as the bird raises his head
and straightens his body for the effort. It is one of the warbler songs
that are easily recognized and not readily forgotten.

Were it not for the white spot or patch on the wing of both male and
female at all seasons of the year and in all plumages, this warbler
would easily escape the notice of all but the alert ornithologist. His
black throat and breast, white belly and blue back and wings and tail
are not conspicuous in the trees and foliage.

The black-throated blue warbler spends the winter months in Guatemala
and the West Indies, and migrates north to Labrador and Hudson's Bay,
nesting there and in the northern parts of the United States. It ranges
west to the border of the plains.

The nest is placed in low shrubs or bushes from a few inches to two
feet above the ground, and is composed of dry fibrous bark, twigs, and
roots, lined with black rootlets and hair. The outside is often more or
less covered with cocoons. The thick swampy woods with an undergrowth
seems to be the favorite resort for the nesting birds. The four eggs
are buffy-white to greenish-white, rather heavily blotched with varying
shades of brown. They average about .69 × .50 of an inch.


    Once the Emperor Charles of Spain,
      With his swarthy, grave commanders--
    I forget in what campaign--
    Long besieged, in mud and rain,
      Some old frontier town of Flanders.

    Up and down the dreary camp,
      In great boots of Spanish leather,
    Striding with a measured tramp,
    These Hidalgos, dull and damp,
      Cursed the Frenchmen, cursed the weather.

    Thus, as to and fro they went,
      Over upland and through hollow,
    Giving their impatience vent,
    Perched upon the Emperor's tent,
      In her nest, they spied a swallow.

    Yes, it was a swallow's nest,
      Built of clay and hair of horses,
    Mane or tail, or dragoon's crest,
    Found on hedge-rows east and west,
      After skirmish of the forces.

    Then an old Hidalgo said,
      As he twirled his gray mustachio,
    "Sure this swallow overhead
    Thinks the Emperor's tent a shed,
      And the Emperor but a _macho_!"

    Hearing his imperial name
      Coupled with those words of malice,
    Half in anger, half in shame,
    Forth the great campaigner came
      Slowly from his canvas palace.

    "Let no hand the bird molest,"
      Said he solemnly, "nor hurt her!"
    Adding then, by way of jest,
    "Golondrina is my guest,
      'Tis the wife of some deserter!"

    Swift as bowstring speeds a shaft,
      Through the camp was spread the rumor,
    And the soldiers as they quaffed
    Flemish beer at dinner, laughed
      At the Emperor's pleasant humor.

    So unharmed and unafraid,
      Sat the swallow still and brooded,
    Till the constant cannonade
    Through the walls a breach had made
      And the siege was thus concluded.

    Then the army, elsewhere bent,
      Struck its tents as if disbanding,
    Only not the Emperor's tent,
    For he ordered, ere he went,
      Very curtly, "Leave it standing!"

    So it stood there all alone,
      Loosely flapping, torn and tattered,
    Till the brood was fledged and flown,
    Singing o'er those walls of stone
      Which the cannon-shot had shattered.


  +----------------------------------------------------------------- +
  | Transcriber's Note:                                              |
  |                                                                  |
  | Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.     |
  |                                                                  |
  | Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant |
  | form was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.    |
  |                                                                  |
  | Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.            |
  |                                                                  |
  | Mid-paragraph illustrations have been moved between paragraphs   |
  | and some illustrations have been moved closer to the text that   |
  | references them.                                                 |
  |                                                                  |
  | Italicized words are surrounded by underline characters,         |
  | _like this_.                                                     |
  |                                                                  |
  | The Contents table was added by the transcriber.                 |

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