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month, or later in some seasons, this bird, at other times wary and shy, becomes uncommonly bold and fearless, and few birds are more injurious to the countryman than he is.
In this month, trouts begin to rise; blood-worms appear in the water; black ants (formica nigra) are observed; the blackbird and the turkey (meleagris gallopavo) lay; and house pigeons sit. The greenfinch (loxia chloris) sings; the bat (vespertilio) is seen flitting about; and the viper uncoils itself from its winter sleep. The wheatear (sylvia oenanthe), or English ortolan, again pays its annual visit, leaving England in September. They are found in great numbers about East Bourne, in Sussex, more than eighteen hundred dozen being annually taken in this neighbourhood. They are usually sold at sixpence a dozen.-See T. T. for 1816, p. 88.
Those birds which have passed the winter in England now take their departure for more northerly regions. The fieldfares (turdus pilaris) travel to Russia, Sweden, and Norway, and even as far as Siberia. They do not arrive in France till December, when they assemble in large flocks of two or three thousand. The red-wing (turdus iliacus), which frequents the same places, eats the same food, and is very similar in manners to the fieldfare, also takes leave of this country for the season. Soon after, the woodcock (scolopax rusticola) wings its aërial voyage to the countries bordering on the Baltic. Some other birds, as the crane and stork, formerly natives of this island, have quitted it entirely, since our cultivation and population have so rapidly increased.
On the 20th, the vernal equinox takes place, and all Nature feels her' renovating sway, and seems to rejoice at the retreat of winter. The general or great flow of sap in most trees takes place in this month; this is preparatory to the expanding of the leaves, and ceases when they are out. accordingly, birch is tapped for its sap to be converted into wine,
and the maple, in North America, for its juice, to be evaporated for sugar; every 200 lbs. of sap yielding 10 lbs. of very good sugar. The gooseberry and currant bushes now show their young leaves; the ash its grey buds; and the hazel and the willow exhibit some signs of returning life in their silky enfolded catkins. The camellia japonica' is the chief ornament of the green-house in this month, bearing very handsome and justly admired clusters of beautiful flowers.
Our gardens begin now to assume somewhat of a cheerful appearance. Crocuses, exhibiting a rich mixture of yellow and purple, ornament the borders; mezereon is in all its beauty; the little flowers with silver crest and golden eye,' daisies, are scattered over dry pastures; and the pilewort (ranunculus ficaria) is seen on the moist banks of ditches. The primrose too (primula veris) peeps from beneath the hedges.
To the PRIMROSE.
Fearless of the falling snows,
Passing sweet the Primrose blows.
Milder gales and warmer beams 2 2 .. May the gaudier flow'rets rear.
Bat to me the Primrose seems
Proudest gem that decks the year.
Fortune's bleakest blasts despise ;
Nor past regret nor future fear. The equinoctial gales are, usually most felt, both by sea and land, about this time.
The leaves of honeysuckles are now nearly ex
The leaves of a plant belonging to the genus camellia are said to be used by the Chinese for the purpose of giving a peculiar fragrance to the finer and more expensive kinds of tea.
panded: in our gardens, the buds of the cherry tree
prunus cerasus), the peach (amygdalus persica), the nectarine, the apricot, and the almond (prunus armeniaca), are fully opened in this month. The buds of the hawthorn (crataegus oxycantha) and of the larch tree (pinus larix) begin to open; and the tansy (tanacetum vulgare) emerges out of the ground; ivy-berries are ripe; the coltsfoot (tussilago), the cotton-grass (eriophorum vaginatum), wood spurge (euphorbia amygdaloides), butcher's broom (ruscus aculeatus), the daffodil (pseudonarcissus) in moist thickets, the rush (juncus pilosus), and the spurge laurel (daphne laureola), found in woods, are now in bloom. The common whitlow grass (draba verna) on old walls; the yellow Alpine whitlow grass (draba aizoides) on maritime rocks; and the mountain pepper-wort (lepidum petræum) among limestone rocks, flower in March.
The sweet violet (viola odorata) sheds its delicious perfumes in this month.-(See our preceding volumes for poetical illustrations of this universal favourite.)
The barren strawberry (fragaria sterilis), and the yew tree (taxus baccata), are now in flower, and the elder tree (sambucus nigra) begins to put forth its flower buds. The hepatica (anemone hepatica), unless the weather be severe, gives brilliance to the garden with its bright pink flowers; and the hounds-tongue (cynoglossum) with its more modest flowers of pink or light blue. Nor, in this picture of renovation, must we forget that beautiful contrast, the bay (laurus nobilis) with its ever-during foliage.
And sweet the laurel grew-that hallowed tree,
The smelt (salmo eperlanus) begins to ascend rivers to spawn, when they are taken in great abundance. The gar-fish, gar-pike, or horn-fish (esox belone), appears in this month. The general length is from two to three feet, the body slender, and the belly flat. The jaws are very long and slender, and the edges of both armed with numerous short thin teeth. The back is of a very fine green, beneath which is a rich changeable blue and purple cast, while the sides and belly are of a bright silver colour. It is a native of the European seas, arriving in shoals on the British coasts, preceding the mackerel. The spine and bones acquire a beautiful transparent green colour by boiling, notwithstanding which it is eaten with perfect safety. It is much esteemed in Devonshire and Dorsetshire, though not upon the Essex coast and in London.
The gannets or Soland geese (pelicanus bassanus) resort in March to the Hebrides, and other rocky isles of North Britain, to make their nests and lay their eggs. ? Much amusement may be derived in this month, as well as in the last, from watching the progress of worms, insects, &c. from torpidity to life, particalarly on the edges or banks of ponds.-See T. T. for 1817, p. 53.- In the latter end of March, a brimstone-coloured butterfly (papilio rhamni) appears.
LINES øn a BUTTERFLY,which came from its Chrysulis in a Lady's Hand.
Born in Aspasia's fost'ring band,
My finished form I first displayed,
While gazing on the beauteous maid.
With kindly warmth those wings to dry; "
Beneath the lustre of her eye, i
But, fanned by fair Aspasia's breath, ..
The zephyr's gale I well might spare. .
No rose or lily near me grew
On which my downy limbs might rest;
Upon the virgin's cheek and breast.
Propitious graced my natal hour;
· The gale, the sunshine, and the flowr! . . Bees may now be seen in the garden, culling their various sweets, with never-ceasing industry, and seizing every hour of sunshine and of mild weather to pursue their task of collecting materials for their honied condiment, so grateful to the palate of man. For the mode in which this botanical plunderer commits his depredations, and for a poetical catalogue of those flowers which yield materials for honey of the best quality and in the greatest abundance, consult our last volume, pp. 82-85. It is not known, perhaps, to many of our readers, that in some parts of Great Britain the bee is considered by the superstitious and the ignorant to have a presiding faëry or demon, called Browney. In some places, the assistance of Browney is still invoked, when the bees begin to swarm; and, in conjunction with the tinkling of a pestle and mortar, it is believed they will be induced to pitch in the vicinity of the parent hive. In some parts of Ireland and Scotland, the character of Browney is well known. He is supposed to be a kind of benevolent demon, than whom a spirit less impure fell not from heaven. He is presumed to befriend the human race, to assist them in their labours, to promote their interests, never to do any one the least harm, and to preside over the bees. His form, when visible, bears some resemo blance to that of a bear; his hair is long and shaggy, his legs are short, and his aspect presents a melancholy gloom. Sometimes he has been reported to speak; but his language is always that of pathetic