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make nature subservient to their habits and caprice, every where, and in every thing; and who, not content with bringing summer in January into their painted and gilded saloons, by rare shrubs, flowers, plants, and the expensive contents of their conservatories, added to the forced fruits and other articles of ruinous luxury with which their boards abound, madly expect to transmit town enjoyments, and dissipation, into the country, in order to lead the same unvaried course of voluptuousness and riot all the year round. In contradistinction to what we hear of rus in urbe,' it is with them urbs in rure; and not satisfied with turning day into night, and night into day, in town, they convert summer into winter, by passing it in London, or at some watering place, where they only go as an adjournment of the London spring, and then travel down to the country, to view leafless trees, fields clad in snow, and to be either confined to the house, or to brave bad weather for a short time for form's sake.
Wedded to the London system of rising in the evening, riding at dusk, and dressing by taper-light, they carry the same unnatural and unwholesome arrangements to scenes which would have furnished a retreat full of charms, if visited in the spring or in the summer. For them the feathered choir chaunts in vain, for them the flower expands not: all is haze, fog, and darkness, unless perchance the rising sun blushes at their orgies, or reminds them that the day has opened ere they retire to a feverish bed'. On this bed then we will leave them, a prey to restlessness and ennui, while we pursue our rural observations, and mark how
Each silvered hedge, each arboar, newly blown,
· The Hermit in the Country, vol. i, p. 196, where is also the Life of an Exquisite in the Country,' an excellent illustration of the above
osalis stathich the The cater which
The latest species of the summer birds of passage arrive about the beginning of this month. Among these are the goatsucker, or fern-owl (caprimulgus Europeus), the spotted fly-catcher (muscicapa grisola), and the sedge-bird (motacilla salicaria). In this and the following month, the dotterel is in season.
The insect tribes continue to add to their numbers; among these may be named several kinds of moths and butterflies (papilio atalanta, cardamines, ageria, lathonia, &c.)
A few butterflies that have passed the inclement season in the chrysalis state, are seen on the wing early in May; soon after which the female lays her eggs singly on the leaves of nettles. The caterpillar, immediately on being hatched, sews the leaf on which it finds itself round it like a case; the effect of wonderful instinct, to preserve itself from a particular species of fly called the ichneumon, which otherwise would destroy it, by depositing its eggs in the soft body of the caterpillar. But, as the caterpillar must have food as well as shelter, it feeds on the tender part of this covering, till the leaf becomes in too ruinous a state to be longer inhabited; then crawling to another, it again wraps itself up; and this happens till it is nearly full grown, and so much increased in size, that one leaf will not serve it both for food and raiment. It therefore becomes more ambitious, and, reaching the top of the nettle, connects several leaves together to make its house and supply its appetite; till being at length full grown, it suspends itself from a leaf, and puts on the armour that nature directs it to assume before its last and complete state of existence, which happens in sixteen or twenty days, according to the temperature of the air. Then the ugly deformed caterpillar is metamorphosed into the beautiful butterfly.
reflections. A poetical description of a London May is given in T.T. for 1820, p. 144.
To a BUTTERFLY in a WINDOW.
C. SMITH. Other insects now observed, are field crickets (gryllus campestris), the chaffer or may-bug- (scarabæus" melolontha), and the forest-fly (hippobosca equina), which so much annoys horses and cattle. The female wasp (vespa vulgaris) appears at the latter end of the month.
About this time, bees send forth their early swarms'. Nothing can afford greater amusement than to watch the members of this industrious community in their daily journies from flower to flower”. We have al
• A hive of bees, belonging to the Rev. John Jones, in the Vicarage garden of Guilden Morden in Cambridgeshire, threw off its prime swarm on the 23d of May, 1820 :- this prime swarm afterwards threw off three virgin swarms; the first on the 19th of June, the second on the 29th, and the third on the 3d of July. This is a very extraor. dinary circumstance. Mr. Huish mentions a prime swarm throwing off tuo virgin swarms as a very uncommon occurrence.
2 See T. T. for 1816, p. 149.
ready given a list of trees, plants, and flowers, from which the bees extract their honey and wax ': the following poetical catalogue is from Dr. Evans's elegant poem of the ‘Bees,' already cited in pp. 84-85 :
The past'ral Primrose 2 now, that whilom smiled,
'T. T. for:1817, p. 149.
2 The common Primrose, when transplanted to a rich soil, acquires à deep red or purple colour, and again degenerates to its original pale yellow, if removed to poorer ground. Some of the highly cultivated varieties are scarcely inferior to their brilliant congener, Primula polyanthus.
3 The double Violet is preferred by florists, not merely from its fuller bloom, but as producing a richer scent.
4 Though the white Lily is highly fragrant, the orange-coloured specięs is entirely scentless. Thus, even in the vegetable world, nature slows the same impartiality as in the animal creation; where she bestows splendour on the hoarse peacock, and the sweetest melody on the anadorned nightingale.
The numerous assemblage of anthers in the flower of the hollyhock (alcea rosea) afford the bees abundant farina. But they also collect the balsamic varnish, which coats the young blossom buds, to protect them from the weather. The author has seen one of these insects rest at least ten minutes on the same bud, moulding the balsam with its
And Helianthus ', like the god of day,
fore-feet, and transferring it to the hinder legs. It is probably the glue with which they stop the vent-holes of their hive.
The sun-flower (helianthus annuus) is much frequented by bees, and derives its name from resembling the radiant heams of the sun. But its constantly turning to that luminary, appears a vulgar error, for GERARDE says he never could observe it; and the author can confirm Mr. MARTYN's assurance, that he has seen four flowers on the same stalk pointing to as many cardinal points.
2 Mignionette (reseda odorata) is doubly valuable to the apiary, both affording abundant food, and continuing its bloom till the autumnal frosts. Its honey is peculiarly white and delicate.
3 The honey-cup of the Crown Imperial (fritillaria imperialis) is truly singular, being a glandular hollow at the base of each petal, holding a drop of clear nectar. LINNÆUS observes, that'no plant, belianthus alone excepted, abounds so much with honey, yet the bees do not collect it.' This, however, is not strictly true; these insects being sometimes seen upon the flower. Perhaps it is merely the disagreeable fox-like smell, and no instinctive aversion, that renders them so shy of approaching it.
4 Mr. MARTYN believes the Martagon, or turncap Lily, to have been the Hyacinth of the antients; and says he has sometimes seen the dark spots on its petals so ruo together, as to represent the letters A 1, forming half the name of Ajax, and expressing Apollo's grief for the loss of his favourite, who, as well as the hero, was changed into that flower.
s The bright crimson bloom of the Mezereon (daphne mezereon) is one of the first and most fragrant harbingers of spring; and its scarlet berries, crowned with tufts of glossy leaves, render it ornamental throughout the summer. It is now discovered to be a native.