Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/856

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836
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

inclosing the ruins of a town one quarter of a mile wide and more than a mile long. At this point the railroad enters the Jequetepeque Valley. For eight miles it crosses a barren sand-plain of more than fifteen miles in length, covered with ruined walls, water-courses, dead algaroba and espino trees, with fragments of pottery and sea-shells, even to nine feet in depth, mixed with the sand. The bases of the mountains have, in a good state of preservation, many thousand feet of an old watercourse, while their sides to the perpendicular parts are lined with terraces. This watercourse, now dry, can be traced for the distance of forty-five miles.

 

Important Discovery in Entomology.—Mr. Gray, of Albany, has been engaged in the study of our diurnal Lepidoptera for many years. He has made the discovery, as published in the "Canadian Entomologist," that our Eastern species of Liminitis, four in number, are not distinct. They belong to a single plastic genetic group, of which arthemis is the most northern, proserpina intermediate between arthemis and ursula, and the red disippus the most southern. He has collected them in vertical altitudes on hills in the Middle States and New England, and has intermediary specimens half bluish and red between the two most strikingly contrasted species of the group ursula and disippus. This discovery is the most remarkable in the group announced since the recognition of the female form of diana by Mr. W. H. Edwards. In general interest it far surpasses that discovery, and we expect will be more generally noticed.

 

California Climates and Consumption.—The conditions requisite in a health resort for consumptive patients are relative dryness of atmosphere and an agreeable and equable temperature throughout the year. There are in the State of California a number of localities in which these conditions are happily combined, and which afford to the consumptive opportunity for living out-of-doors at all seasons. In the "Alta California Almanac" is published a table setting forth the mean relative humidity, and mean temperature, summer and winter, of the most noted sanitaria in the State, from which we make a few selections. The places which have the least humidity are Atlas Peak and Blakes, the former 1,500 feet above sea-level, and the latter 2,100, and both situated in a mountain-ridge east of Napa Valley. This ridge is thirty miles from the sea, is seldom covered by fog, is beyond the reach of the cold sea-breezes, and is warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the valleys on each side. At Atlas Peak the relative humidity is in summer 39°, in winter 51°—"summer" standing for the "dry season" from May to October, and "winter" for the "wet season" from November to April, inclusive. The mean temperature for January at Atlas Peak is 50° Fahr., and for July 74°. At Blakes the relative humidity for summer is 39°, and for winter 60°; and the mean temperature for January is 45°, for July 73° Fahr. These two localities are only a few miles distant from one another, and are within five or six hours' travel from San Francisco, Other localities are represented in the table as follows:

STATIONS. RELATIVE
HUMIDITY.
MEAN
TEMPERATURE.
Summer. Winter. January. July.
Camp Apache. 57° 56° 38° 84°
Visalia. 42 72 45 80
Anaheim 64 60 50 68
Fort Yuma. 58 68 56 97
Los Angeles. 66 64 52 75
Santa Barbara. 71 67 53 68
San Diego. 75 69 51 72
San Rafael. 65 83 48 67
 

Resurvey of Yellowstone Park.—A good summary of the work done by Hayden's Survey of the Territories during the season of 1878 is published in the "Naturalist," from which we learn that the personnel of the Survey was divided into four parties: one for the extension of the primary triangulation northward, two for topographical and geological work, and one for photography and special work in geology. All the parties left the Union Pacific Railroad at Point of Rocks and Green River stations about July 25th, and proceeded northward toward the Yellowstone National Park. To the second division was assigned the duty of making an exhaustive survey of the park and its surroundings, and to the third the exploration of the Wind River range and the Snake River country. The primary tri-