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mantled shed. The martin welcomes the first solar ray, and from this time it is difficult to mark the priority of our wakers: if in summer, an universal tuning and piping confounds the first notes of awakening pleasure; if in winter, their voices rarely detect them; a twit or a short chirp, when disturbed, alone is uttered.
The tenants of the air are, in this month, busily employed in forming their temporary habitations, and in rearing and maintaining their offspring.
About the middle of April, the bittern (ardea stellaris) makes a hollow booming noise during the night in the breeding season, from its swampy retreats.
The song of the blackcap (motacilla atricapilla) is heard towards the end of the month, and affords great delight to the lovers of rural harmony. The time of the arrival of the male bird is often the most enchanting part of our spring; the grove resounds with that gratulation and harmony which are so particularly exhilarating at this season, after the long silence and deprivation of winter. The most eminent of the choir is the blackcap, and his fine clear melody is easily distinguishable. Immediately upon his arrival he begins to make a nest which he soon abandons, and commences another; and thus often makes a third or a fourth essay before he is satisfied with his labours or his site: during the period of incubation he is timid and restless to a degree; when the summer fruits become ripe, his timidity ceases, and, repairing to our gardens with all his progeny, commences his ravages: the antwerp raspberry is his delight, and he clears away the crop in our very presence with a boldness he at no other time possesses. The garden fruit becoming scarce, he retires from the scene of his plunder, and leaves the kingdom. very early. A gentleman once tried the experiment of having a considerable number of the spring flight destroyed previously to the hatch, but with no success: the depredation on his fruit was not lessened; he lost his harmony, and saved no
di the blach of wintescason, which ar
fruit: the experiment was not repeated. A ripe jargonel pear is one of his prime delights.
The progress of vegetation is general and rapid in this month.
The thirsty salix, first, daring amidst
The birch, with silvery bark conspicuous
Deliberate to his genial breath. The blossoms of trees now present to the eye a most agreeable spectacle, particularly in those counties which abound with orchards. The blackthorn (prunus spinosa) is the first that puts forth its flowers; a host of others follow, among which may be named the ash (fraxinus excelsior), ground-ivy (glecoma he
· Arthur; or the Pastor of the Village, p. 12 (Payne and Foss). The notes to this poem (of which we have made frequent ase) are replete with curious facts in natural history, narrated by a diligent observer of the minuter works of Creation. To the intelligent author of these observations we are also indebted for many pleasing descriptions of the varied appearances of nature in the several months.
deracea), the box-tree (buxus sempervirens), the pear-
The ELM TREES.
Perpetual spring enwreathe them,
And lovely flowers beneath them!
No biting winds impair them;
Pass ever by, and spare them!
When not a care molested ;
On summer eves I rested.
So sweet and far departed
They mock the broken-hearted!
To view the woodlands yellow,
Waved Autumn's harvests mellow :
To feel that we must sever
Despairing, and for ever!
This well-knowu view is raising,
As thoughtful I am gazing!
No biting winds impair it;
Pass ever by, and spare it'! The beech (fagus sylvatica), and the larch (pinuslarix rubra), are now in full leaf. The larch also
* Blackwood's Magazine, vol. vii, p. 490.
o the Duarden-potout into the they com
exhibits its red tufts, or flowers, which soon expand into cones, and the fir tribe show their cones also. The first larch trees ever seen in Scotland were sent to the Duke of Athol at Dunkeld, in the year 1738, in two garden-pots. They came from Switzerland, and were at first put into the green-house. By degrees it was discovered that they could bear the winter in Scotland without injury; they were, therefore, planted in the Duke of Athol's park at Dunkeld, Very near his house. There they may be still seen, having grown in the course of 81 years, which have elapsed since they were planted, to the size of very large trees. Their circumference, about a foot above
the ground, is nearly 18 feet; and at the height of - 8 feet, the circumference is nearly 14 feet. Thus in
81 years they have produced as much wood as an oak would in the course of several centuries. From these two parent trees have sprung all the larches which abound so much in Scotland. The reproaches of Doctor Johnson turned the attention of the Scottish landlords to planting; and in many parts of Scotland, particularly in Perthshire, the defect of which the Doctor complained has been completely removed. The two greatest planters of trees in that county, and perhaps in Scotland, are the Duke of Athol and the Earl of Breadalbane; each of these noblemen, it is said, having planted at least sixty millions of trees.
That magnificent and beautiful tree, the horsechesnut (hippocastanum), now displays its honours of fine green leaves and its handsome spikes pyramidal of white and red flowers. It is quite the glory of forest trees. The common laurel is in flower.
Many and lovely are the flowers which are showered, in profusion, from the lap of April : among them may be named the jonquil, anemoné, ranunculus, polyanthus, and the crown imperial. Other flowers which adorn our fields, at this time, are the checquered daffodil (Fritillaria meleagris); the prim
rose'; the cowslip (primula veris); the lady-smock (cardamine pratensis), and the hare-bell (hyacinthus non scriptus). The yellow star of Bethlehem (ornithogalum luteum) in woods; the vernal squill (scilla verna) among maritime rocks; and the wood sorrel (oxalis acetosella), are now in full flower. The leaves of the wood-sorrel abound with acid, which is, extracted, and, when crystallized, forms the salt of lemons, useful for removing stains in linen. This and the wood-anemoné (anemone nemorosa), now in flower, have both white blossoms, and inhabit shady woods. The word anemone has been adopted into our Flora from Theophrastus and other Greek naturalists. Pliny says it never thrives but when the wind blows; and hence the name, anemone nemorosa, here alluded to, adorns most of our woods, prettily tinged with a pale blush colour; but when the winds of March and April cease, and the warmth of May commences, it fades to a pallid white, and dies away. :- The early part of this month, in backward springs, affords a great advantage to the curious botanist; for the barrenness of the hedges leaves exposed many plants which thrive in thickets; and the early stages of some, and the entire growth of others, are often hidden from view by the tangled bramble and thick foliage of the hawthorn. Of this kind is the spurge
Dead matted leaves of ash and oak, that strew
The every lawn, the wood, and spinney through,
How much thy presence beautifies the ground!
And where thy fairy flowers in groups are found,
Plucking the fairest with a rude deliglit:
To gaze a moment on the pleasing sight;