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Somersetshire, and Devonshire, are busily employed in cider-making. Perry is made from pears, and is extremely grateful, being preferred by many persons - to cider. Hazel-nuts are now ripe. The oak begins to shed its acorns, and the beech nuts fall; both of which are termed mast. A luxurious pasturage is af forded for such hogs as are kept on the borders of forests, for about six weeks, from the end of Sepa tember.
From oak to oak they run with eager haste,'.
BLOOMFIELD. The autumnal equinox. happens on the 22d of Sep, tember, and, at this time, the days and nights are equal all over the earth. About this period, heavy storms of wind and rain are experienced, as well as at the vernal equinox. .
The chimney or common swallow (hirundo rus. tica) disappears about the end of the month. '
There is, perhaps, no subject. in natural history: which has more engaged the attention of naturalists, in all ages, than the winter retreat of the swallow, neither is there any subject about which more various and contrary opinions have been entertained. Some writers suppose that they do not leave this island at the end of autumn, but that they lie in a torpid. state, till the beginning of summer, in the banks of rivers, in the hollows of decayed trees, in holes and crevices of old buildings, in sand- banks and the like.
Some have even asserted that swallows pass the winter immersed in the water of lakes and rivers, where they have been found in clusters, mouth to mouth, wing to wing, foot to foot; and that they retire to these places in autumn, and creep down the reeds to their subaqueous relreats. In support of this opinion, Mr. Klein very gravely asserts, on the credit of some countrymen, that swallows sometimes assemble in numbers, clinging to a reed till it breaks, and sinks with them to the bottom; that their immersion is preceded by a song or dirge, which lasts more than a quarter of an hour; that sometimes they lay hold of a straw with their bills, and plunge down in society; and that others form a large mass by cling. ing together by the feet, and, in this manner, commit themselves to the deep,
While we consider such statements as the above as ridiculous, and unworthy of refutation, it must not be denied that swallows have been sometimes found in a torpid state during the winter months ; but such instances are by no means common, and will not support the inference, that, if any of them can survive the winter in that state, the whole species is preserved in the same manner'. .,
A single swallow has been observed so late as the latter end of October; and some assert that these birds have been seen near Christmas. Mr. White mentions having observed a house-martin fying about in November, long after the general migration had taken place. Many more instances might be given of such late appearances, which, added to the well
1 That other birds have been found in a torpid state, may be inferred from the following curious circumstance recorded by Mr. Bewick: "A few years ago, a young cuckoo was found in the thickest part of a close furze bush; when taken up, it presently discovered signs of life, but was quite destitute of feathers : being kept warm and carefully fed, it grew and recovered its coat of feathers. In the spring following, the cuckoo made its escape, and, in flying across the river Tyne, it gave the usual
authenticated accounts of swallows having been found in a torpid state, leave us no room to doubt, that such young birds as were late hatched, and consequently not strong enough to undertake a long voyage to the coast of Africa, are left behind, and remain concealed in hiding places, till the return of spring. On the other hand, that actual migrations of the swallow tribe do take place, has been fully proved, from a variety of well-attested facts, most of which are taken from the observations of navigators who were eye-witnesses of their fights, and whose ships have sometimes afforded a resting-place to the weary travellers,
To the many on record we shall add the following, which was communicated to Mr. Bewick by a very sensible master of a vessel. While sailing between the islands of Majorca and Minorca, his attention was arrested by great numbers of swallows flying northward, many of which alighted on the rigging of the ship in the evening, but disappeared before morning.
But, after all our inquiries into this branch of na. tural economy, much yet remains to be known, and we may conclude in the words of the ingenious Mr. White :-- that while we observe with delight, with how much ardour and punctuality those little birds obey the strong impulse towards migration or hiding, imprinted on their minds by their great Creator, it is with no small degree of mortification we reflect, that, after all our pains and inquiries, we are not yet quite certain to what regions they do migrate, and are still farther embarrassed to find that some actually do not migrate at all.' E Amusive birds ! say where your hid retreat,
When the frost rages, and the tempests beat;
Many other of the small billed birds that 'feed on insects disappear when the cold weather commences. The throstle, the red-wing, and the fieldfare, which migrated in March, now return; and the ring-ouzel arrives from the Welsh and Scottish Alps to winter in more sheltered situations. All these birds feed upon berries, of which there is a plentiful supply in our woods, during a great part of their stay. The throstle and the red-wing are delicate eating. The Romans kept thousands of them together in aviaries, and fed them with a sort of paste made of bruised figs and flour, &c. to improve the delicacy and flavour of their flesh. These aviaries were so contrived as to admit but little light; and every object which might tend to remind them of their former liberty was carefully kept out of sight, such as the fields, the woods, the birds, or whatever might disturb the repose necessary for their improvement. Under this management, these birds fattened to the great profit of their pro- ; prietors, who sold them to Roman epicures for three denarii, or about two shillings each of our money.
Towards the end of September the leaves of trees begin to put on their autumnal dress. Mr. Stillingfleet remarks, that, about the 25th, the leaves of the plane tree were tawny; of the hazel, yellow ; of the oak, yellowish green; of the sycamore, dirty brown; of the maple, pale yellow ; of the ash, a fine lemon-colour ; of the elm, orange ; of the hawthorn, lawny yellow; of the cherry, red; of the hornbeam, bright yellow; of the willow, still hoary. Yet many of these tints cannot be considered complete, in some seasons, till the middle or latter end of October.
When the harvest is gathered in, the husbandman prepares for seed-time; and the fields are again ploughed up for the winter corn, rye, and wheat, which are sown in September and October. The entrances to bee-hives are straitened, to prevent the access of wasps and other pilferers.
IN a garment of yellow and carnation, upon his head a garland of oake leaves, with the acornes ; in his right hand the sign Scorpio; in his left a basket of servises, medlers, and chestnuts, and other fruits, that ripen at the later time of the year; his robe is of the colour of the leaves and flowers decaying. This moneth was called Domitianus in the time of Domitian by his edict and commandment; but after his death, by the decree of the Senate, it took the name of October, every one hating the name and memory of so detestable a tyrant.' (Peacham, p. 420-21.)
October had the name of wyn-monat; and albeit they had not antiently wines made in Germany, yet in this seson had they them from divers countries adjoyning.' (Verstegan, p. 61.)