Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/445

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ored fashion, with a little stick or her thumb-nails; places the rude vessel thus formed—a kind of bowl or cup—in the strong heat of the sun, or before the blaze of the peat-fire, and so produces a rough, unglazed craggan, out of which she drinks her milk, and in which she infuses her tea. And all the while—let it be noted with all the emphasis at our command—several of her neighbors, with whom she is in daily intercourse, and with whom her teacher has been in daily intercourse, possess and use some of the finest ware that Leek or Burslem can produce. All round here, even in Tiree, are products of advanced art; but this native artist goes on her way unheeding all change and all advance, and turning out her unglazed ware as her ancestors had done—though probably in a superior style of art and workmanship—for perhaps thousands of years." Another fact to be noticed about these prehistoric remains is "that, of existing 'Celtic' brooches and penannular rings exhumed from great depths, the most highly finished, both in form and ornamentation, design and workmanship, are certainly the oldest," all showing that there has "at least been a relapse in a particular art."

Birds in Cold Weather.—M. F. Lescuyer has published some interesting observations concerning the power that was shown by the birds of his district of the valley of the Marne, France, for resisting the severe cold of the winter of 1879–'80. The sparrows, finding shelter and food around the houses, passed the season fairly well, but some of them perished in the roads and gardens; they became more scarce toward the end of the winter, and lost all their liveliness. The partridges gave way under sixty-one days of cold and hunger, and those that survived fell an easy prey to the hawks. A private watchman caught more than thirty with his hands, warmed them up, and let them loose again. The owls in the lofts and steeples could not resist the cold, and fell dead to the ground, or took refuge in the houses, where they were captured. The stomachs of all these birds were empty or nearly empty. The crows, which range over a larger extent of land than the former birds, which may be called sedentary birds, came nearer to the houses when the cold was at its worst, and considerable numbers of them were seen during the whole winter in the barn-yards and fields. Some of them came into the court-yards to eat with the pigeons, but many were frozen to death on the limbs where they roosted. The few birds of passage that staid in the country to winter showed very unequal powers of resistance. The bullfinches and grossbeaks did not seem to suffer, but the larks, yellow-hammers, greenfinches, robin-redbreasts, magpies, blackbirds, and jays were decimated. Never were so few birds seen in the woods at that season as in the following spring. Birds of passage, coming from the north to seek a milder climate in France, were disappointed. Domestic birds would have suffered greatly but for the shelter and feeding they enjoyed; fowls were worse affected than web-footed birds. The winter to which these observations relate was one of the severest ever experienced in France, and was very much like one of our Northern winters.


Dr. D. E. Salmon has pursued parallel investigations with those of M. Pasteur, of the microbe of hen cholera, and has conclusively satisfied himself of the accuracy of the results announced by the latter. He regards his researches as demonstrating that the virulent liquids of the fowl's body contain micrococci, that these can be cultivated, and that liquids in which bacteria are cultivated produce the disease by inoculation. His experiments indicate that the activity of the virus is destroyed at a temperature of 182° Fahr.

George H. K. Thwaites, Director of the Royal Botanic Garden at Peradeniga, Ceylon, died September 11th. He was appointed to the position in 1849, and in connection with it published in 1858–'64 an enumeration of the plants of Ceylon ("Enumeratio plantarum Zeylaniæ"). He was active in introducing to the island the cultivation of cinchona, tea, cocoa, Liberian coffee, and the India-rubber tree.

According to Mr. G. Macloskie, the elm-leaf beetle hibernates in cellars and attics in countless numbers. Three broods are brought forth in a season. This destructive insect is found only in the Eastern States and parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Poison is the most complete remedy for it—one pound of London purple to one hundred gallons of water, squirted up into the tree.