Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/878

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856
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

States, by the common liming process, which keeps them fit for every purpose except that of boiling; and in China, by covering them with a paste of lime, salt, and ashes, from which they come out, however, rather the worse in appearance and smell. All eggs brought to Paris must be examined before being offered for sale; and sorted, by being passed through rings of three centimetres eight millimetres in diameter for the small, and four centimetres for the average size. An ordinary fowl's egg weighs from one and a half to two ounces; the egg of the duck from two to three ounces; those of the seagull and turkey from three to four ounces; that of the goose from four to six ounces. Eggs of wild birds are esteemed on account of the flavor that is given them by the food of the birds, and on account of the larger proportion of the more nutritious yellow that they contain. The ostrich is beginning to take rank as a valuable egg-producing domestic fowl. Each female bird will lay from twelve to sixteen, even, according to some, from twenty-five to thirty eggs, in August and September; and, as several couples will sometimes unite to hatch together, it often happens that as many as sixty eggs may be found in and around a single nest. Each of these eggs is considered equivalent to twenty-four eggs of the domestic hen; so that, as single domesticated birds have been said to lay eighty-two eggs in a season, we have the possible product of one ostrich represented by 2,624 hens' eggs. The eggs of the Australian emu, which are nearly as large as those of the ostrich, and green, are eaten by the settlers with much relish, although they are somewhat strong in flavor. The eggs of the Rhea ostrich of the South American pampas, of which forty, fifty, or seventy may be found in a nest, form a staple article of food during the spring months. The eggs of seafowl are largely consumed in many places, and those of the gull give rise to a considerable trade. A business of this kind is actively carried on off the coast of Northumberland, where prodigious quantities of eggs are collected; at the Pedro Keys, near Jamaica, where several kinds of sea and land birds resort; the coasts of Norway and Labrador; Funk bland, near Newfoundland; parts of the African coast, and islands generally. Eggs of water-fowl form an important part of the food of the Faroe Islands; the eggs of the dusky petrel are sent, in immense quantities, from Bass's Strait to Tasmania and Australia; incredible numbers of auks' eggs are collected on the coast of Labrador; the eggs of the malee-bird of Celebes are esteemed a great delicacy, and will each fill an ordinary tin cup, and form, with bread or rice, a very good meal.

 

The Yellows in the Peach-Tree.—Mr. W. K. Higley has given in the "American Naturalist" an account of the observations he has made to learn the cause of the yellows in the peach-tree and the manner in which it is disseminated. He is satisfied that the disease is due to a fungoid growth, but not to a noemaspora, as Mr. Taylor, of the Agricultural Department at Washington, believes, for that form occurs on other trees that receive no harm from its presence; nor to a fungus in the tissues of the roots, for no fungus has been recorded as occurring there. He worked, in his examinations, upon the theory that the fungus must be natural to the tree, enjoying the same conditions of development as are favorable to the growth of the tree. Hence, he took no pains to cultivate the plant, but examined specimens as they were gathered from diseased trees. Nothing was found in the roots. Mycelia were found in sections of the trunk, on the under side of the inner bark next to the cambium layer, with many of the filaments penetrating and ramifying through that layer, and, in some specimens, mycelia between the layers of wood. In some of the smaller branches and the growing ends of the larger branches, the tissues seemed to be completely filled with mycelia, and in one case the bark appeared to be split. Filaments of fungus were found in the leaves of the abnormal branches characteristic of trees affected with the yellows, and the chlorophyl in all such leaves was completely disorganized. The most satisfactory results were obtained from the examination of the fruits, in which mycelia were abundantly found just beneath the skin, extending for a short distance into the fleshy parenchyma. The form was the same as that which was found in other parts