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that dates are ripened even when the tree is so young that the clusters may easily be reached from the ground, but the sharp bristling leaves would most effectually prevent any one from walking under the tree. In Egypt the heavy clusters hang down from the base of the leaves, and even in mature trees may be picked by a man on horseback. The fruit ripens separately on the cluster, and the process goes on for some weeks. The date-palm is by no means a shade tree, and not a pleas:unt tree to walk under, as the dead and persistent leaves hang and project at various angles, and even where these are trimmed away, the stem remains rough and spiny.-WM. T. BRIGHAM.

J. S., New Albany, Ind. - Your specimen is a portion of a growth of some sort of suberose, or corky fungus, such as grows out of the dead or living, but old and hard bark of living trees. It consists, as you will find on macerating a bit of it, of a compact mass of libres or threads once alive, and which is called mycelium;' and this par: tienlar kind can be found frequently between the layers of the timber of the solid trunk, and by its presence the wood is finally destroyed. It is known to botanists as Racodium Xylostroma of Persoon, the first word signifying "like a rag, " the second “ Woody-bed,” or bed in the wood. It has another name given it by Tode, Xylostroma giganteum, or the great woody bed,” and may be found in the timber of the oak, beech, etc., both in this country and in Europe. There are also other species of Racodium, some of which from resemblance, are called "Mouseskin," and the like nanies. -J.L.R.

CORRECTIONS.- Mr. Dall desires us to correct his statement in the March NATORALIST that “no snake of the genus Elaps is poisonous," as some of the species are poisonous.

Prof. S. D. Cope writes us that the dislocation in the jaw of the ally of mosasaurus (mentioned on page 55) is normal, and not the result of an accident, - our own interences were incorrect. – EDS.

BOOKS RECEIVED. Practical Floriculture; A Guide to the Successive Cultivation of Florist's Plants, for the Amateur and Professional Florist. By P. Henderson. Illustrated. New York: Orange Judd & Co. Price $1.50.

Library of Education. Some thoughts concerning Education. By John Locke. New York: J. W. Schermerhorn & Co. 1869. 32mo, pp. 192. 15 cents.

The Pampas and Andes. A Thousand Miles' Walk across South America. By N. A. Bishop. Boston: Lea & Shepard. 1869. 12mo, pp. 310.

The Record of Zoological Literature, 1897. Vol. IV. Edited by A. C. L. Günther. London, 1868. John Van Voorst. 8vo, pp. 678.

Scientific Opinion (Weekly) for January, 1869. London.

Journal for the Popular Diffusion of Natural Science. Edited by C. Fogh, C. F. Lütken, and Eug. Warming. Series iii. Vol. I, Part 1. Copenhagen, 1869. 8vo.

Archiv für Anthropologie. Vol. II, Part 3. Braunschweig, 1868. 4to. Cosmos (Weekly). December 19– February 6, 1869. Paris. 8vo. Canadian Naturalist and Geologist. Second series. Vol. III, Nos. 1-4. The Field. December 19-February 20. London. Journal of Travel and Natural History. Vol. I, No. 4. London. 8vo. Land and Water. November 28 - February 6. Popular Science Review. January, 1869. London. Quarterly Journal of Science. January, 1859, London. American Bee Journal. February, March, 1869. Washington, D. C. $2.00 a year. Bulletin of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers. Jan., 1859. Boston. 870. Le Naturaliste Canarlien, Bulletin des Recherches, Observations et Decouvertes se rapportant a l'Histoire Naturelle du Canada. Tom. I, No. 2. Janvier 3, February, 1869. 8vo, pp. 25. $2.00 a year.

Report of the Commissioners of Fisheries for the year ending January 1, 1869. Boston, 1869. 8vo, pp. 71.

The Canadian Entomologist. February 15. Vol. I, No. 7. Toronto.

The American Entomologist. March, 1869. St. Louis: R. P. Studley & Co. $1.00 a year.

One Thousand Objects for the Microscope. By M. C. Cooke. With five hundred figures. London, 1869. 12mo. Price $1.00.



Vol. III.-MAY, 1869.-No. 3.



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In the summer of 1860, the U. S. Exploring Expedition under the command of Capt. William F. Raynolds, U.S.A.,

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by the PEABODY ACADEMY OF SCIENCE, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. AMER. NATURALIST, VOL. III. 15


crossed over the Wind River Mountains into the valley of the Columbia River. The writer was connected with that expedition as Geologist and Naturalist. May 30th, we camped at the foot of the eastern slope of the mountains, at the source of Wind River. It was a beautiful, locality, and at this time the spring had fully come. Myriads of flowers covered the valley, and the trees and shrubs were clothed with foliage of the peculiar bright green color characteristic of this mountain scenery. On the north side of this valley were the rugged basaltic ridges of the western end of the Big Horn Range, where it united itself with the Wind River Range, and on our left were the forest-covered, gently descending slopes of the Wind River Range. Fine springs issued from the sides of the mountains everywhere, and all the little branches were full of trout.

On the morning of May 31st, we ascended the eastern slope, and gradually the vegetation dwindled down in size, so that it presented an Alpine character, and before reaching the summit, we were pushing our way through ten or fifteen feet of snow. Upon the summits of these mountains quite large areas are covered with perpetual snow, portions of which melt away in midsummer. Every few moments the clouds dropped down rain or snow, and then the sun shone out as bright as ever. We were obliged to spend several days on the summit of these mountains. So far as I could ascertain the fauna on the west side of the Wind River Mountains is quite distinct from that on the eastern side. One day I noticed a group of singular tracks on the snow which seemed different from any I had ever observed in the West, and they appeared to belong to an enormous species of hare. Descending the western slope about a third of the way from the summit, we saw a number of these animals in the little patches of pine forests, and succeeded in capturing several of them, old and young. I saw at once that it was a species not previously observed by me, and most probably undescribed. The following is a brief description of this hare :

Lepus Bairdii Hayden, Baird's hare. -Summer dress : General color gray, glossed behind, especially on the rump, with sooty black; feet and tail, and the edges of the ears white, the latter not darker at tip. Nape sooty. In winter pure white. Length to base of tail about sixteen inches (tail mutilated). Ear three inches high; hind feet six inches long.

This interesting new species of Alpine hare, as far as our observations extend, is confined to the Wind River Mountains, where it is by no means rare, and forms a characteristic feature of the landscape, its unusually broad feet expanding with each step, forming a set of veritable snowshoes, enabling it to pass rapidly over the surface of the snow without sinking. It is readily distinguished from Townsend's Hare, or the Missouri Jackass Rabbit by its smaller size, much shorter ears, and different colors. It is considerably larger than L. sylvaticus and artemisia, with disproportionately large feet and sooty nape,ʻbeing neither chestnut nor reddish. In some respects it resembles Lepus campestris of the Hudson Bay country, which, however, is more like L. sylvaticus, although much grayer, and like L. Bairdii, with a sooty nape. It is, perhaps, with the true Polar Háre (Lepus glacialis) that it is to be compared the most properly. Its summer dress is much the same, but it is much smaller, and lacks the black tips of the ears. The hind feet are, however, of nearly the same size.

This hare seems to be restricted to a comparatively small area on the summits of these mountains, near Fremont's Peak, about longitude 110°, and latitude 43°, so far as our present knowledge extends; and its natural habitat appears to be among the perpetual snows, from which it descends at pleasure to the little open spots on the slope for its food. If it were widely distributed it could not so long have eluded the observations of so many travellers who have crossed these mountains before and since 1860. But at this immediate

. locality it appeared to be abundant. It subsists on grass, but is very fond of the bark, buds and leaves of small


shrubs, especially the pine buds. Its meat is very white and tender, affording the most delicate food for the traveller. For tenderness and fineness of fibre, the meat of this hare not only differs from, but surpasses all others of the West. It holds a similar position among the hares that the Dusky Grouse does among the Western Grouse ; both have white and very delicate meat, and prefer to obtain their food from the pine shrubs.

Descending the western slope of the mountains into the valley of the Snake Fork, we were again surrounded with all the indications of spring. The trees were clothed with fresh green foliage, and myriads of flowers were in bloom, and all signs of winter had passed away. In the course of a single day one may ascend to the region of perpetual snow, and descend again to that of spring and summer.



The Sand Martins (Hirundo riparia) visit their accustomed breeding-places in Essex County, Massachusetts, usually the first week in May, in companies sometimes to the number of fifty pairs. They select the bank of some river, or the sides of any large excavation, in which they dig a hole from one to three feet below the surface of the ground in a straight, horizontal direction. The holes are

a usually from two to three feet in length, and often within a few inches of each other; the entrance and passage-way to the nest being of an elliptic form. They prefer the most perpendicular banks, with a stratum of sandy loam below the soil. They live together in the most social manner, and unlike the White-bellied Swallow (Hirundo bicolor) are seldom seen to quarrel with each other. If at any time one of them should, in digging his hole, intrude upon the passage

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