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Salmontrout of the Kalispelm or Lake Pend d'Oreille; Suckley, Report on Natural History of Washington Territory, under S. Gibbsii (?).* The first of this splendid salmontrout we met with were at the mouth of St. Regis Borgia creek, which flows down the east slope of the Ceur d'Aleñe Range, and joins the Bitterroot, where the road crosses and leaves that river. The large specimen was brought to camp by Indians. An old mountaineer who keeps the ferry, said that they could be caught with a book baited with a small fish, but these two had evidently been speared. We saw several of them in this stream, but all refused to bite at a fly or any common bait. Those caught in the Cæur d'Aleñe, on the west slope, seemed to be identical, and I preserved a small one (No. 110, in alcohol). No. 95 was evidently about spawning, the ova being as large as peas, like those of the large salmon. Its colors were pale olive above, with irregular greenish patches; sides yellowish, beneath silvery white; fins and tail tinged with red; spots on back carmine, large and few; tail a little emarginate ; length 294 inches. The other was slightly smaller, otherwise like this. No. 110, young, was darker above, and colors brighter.
Dog SALMON (Salmo canis Suckley). Below the forks of the Spokan, the Indians were catching myriads of this salmon, and curing even those washed ashore, in their exhausted, diseased condition, without scales, and presenting all the appearances described in our report of 1853, relating to the salmon of the Upper Columbia.
* This query in Dr. Cooper's manuscript we suppose means that he did not have the book at hand, and was not sure that the specimen he refers to was mentioned by Dr. Suckley under S. Gibbsii. As we cannot find a reference to the locality given under S. Gibbsii, we think that Dr. Cooper intended to refer to the following paragraph by Dr. Suckley under Salmo spectabilis Gir. (Nat. Hist. of Washington Territory and Oregon, page 343). “In Lake Pend d'Oreille, a sheet of water formed in the second chain of the Rocky Mountains by a dilatation of the Clark River, of much the same size, shape, and general character as Lake Geneva in Switzerland, I have seen a very handsome species of red-spotted lake trout. The spots along the flanks are of the size of large peas, and are of a beautiful rose color. The length of the adult fish will average twenty inches. Its form is slender, and the dorsal profile but slightly arched.” Much valuable and interesting information relating to the Salmonidæ of the northwestern part of America is contained in Dr. Suckley's chapter on this family in the Natural History of Washington Territory, etc.- EDITORS.
THE FLOWERS OF EARLY SPRING.
BY REV. J. W. CHICKERING, JR.
THERE is perhaps a nearly equal charm about the notes of the first robin, and the sight of the first Mayflower. It will be the object of this article to enumerate, with a few notes upon each, some of our earlier floral visitors, in wood and meadow, in New England.
The list opens, not very attractively, with a plant well known to all, under the mal-odorous name of Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus fætidus), but whose flower is by no means so familiar, save to the observing botanist, and even he must be on the alert to obtain this first gift of Flora, in full perfection of color and aroma. Early in April, or even in March, almost before the ice is fairly melted, may be found in low marshy ground, this flower, clumsy in form, repulsive and snaky in color, dark purple with yellowish blotches, and disgusting in odor; soon to be followed by the clump of large fleshy leaves, conspicuous during the rest of the summer. Like Stramonium, and most other noxious and unsightly weeds, it has been tried as a remedy for asthma, and with about as much effect.
In very pleasing contrast comes next Epigwa repens, or as it is sometimes miscalled Trailing Arbutus, better and more appropriately known throughout New England as the Mayflower.
This, among the very earliest, is also the choicest gift that Flora has in this latitude to offer us, alike for its beauty of form and color, its delicious fragrance, and its charming habit of peeping out, almost from the edge of the retreating snowdrifts. To find the first bunch of Mayflowers is the ambition of many a boy and girl, as well as not a few children of larger growth. The finest specimens ever seen by the writer were from a mountain in Camden, Maine. It has also been used as a medicinal agent, but with no better nor worse results than many others. It is a true wild flower, resisting all attempts at domestication. Closely associated with this is found the Hepatica, in its two forms of triloba and acutiloba, one with rounded, the other with pointed leaves, probably merely varieties. The little clump of flowers pushes its way through the ground, often in advance of the leaves, and with the varying shades of pink, blue and white, seen in different plants, is a welcome addition to our spring bouquet, though lacking the fragrance of the Mayflower.
About this same time the southern aspect of rocky hillsides begins to whiten, with the cheerful, though not specially graceful or showy flowers of the Early Saxifrage (Saxifraga Virginiensis), and in forest marshes the inconspicuous little Golden Saxifrage, with a name longer than itself (Chrysosplenium Americanum). Soon in the meadows the carpet of living green is embroidered with the golden flowers of Caltha palustris or the English Marsh Marigold, improperly called Cowslip, and whether correctly or not, associated with creamy milk and yellow butter, while a little later are seen in the morning sun, the white stars of the Bloodroot ( Sanguinaria Canadensis), as fragile as they are beautiful, generally lasting but for a day. Its orange-colored juice is much used in medicine as an emetic, an expectorant, and a liniment. This plant readily bears transplanting, increases in size under cultivation, and becomes one of the most attractive ornaments of the early flower border. In some parts of the country is found a somewhat similar flower, the Twin-leaf, or Rheumatism Root (Jeffersonia diphylla), also well repaying cultivation.
Meanwhile the pastures are beginning to whiten (last year remarkably) with the modest little Houstonia, or Innocence (Oldenlandia coerulea), while a host of violets are making their appearance. Viola blanda, a wee, white, sweet-scented species, in the woods ; cucullata, with its large blue flowers
and hood-shaped leaves, with their curious palmate variety ; rotundifolia, with yellow flowers and shiny leaves; and on the hillsides and in the pastures the widely varying sagittata. Claytonia Virginica, well named Spring Beauty, must not be neglected in its moist and generally shady bed.
Along streams in open woodlands, we may find the Spring Cress (Cardamine rhomboidea), with large, white flowers; and just shooting up its green stalk, its first cousin the Winter Cress (Barbarea vulgaris).
Nor should the floral efforts of trees and shrubs be disregarded. Among the earliest indications of spring the Hazelnut (Corylus rostrata) shakes its long catkins along the roadsides, before any signs of swelling leaf-buds are visible, while the Willows (Salix), whose name is legion, begin to burst their warm wintry covering. The Savin (Juniperus Virginiana) is covered with its curious little flowers. The Hemlock (Abies Canadensis) is early in flower, as also the American Yew (Taxus baccata). All these require close examination to detect their inflorescence, but well repay it. The two maples, Acer dasycarpum (the Silver Maple) and Acer rubrum (the Red Maple), hang out their showy pendants very early. The Sweet Gale (Myrica Gale), along the edges of swamps, and the Sweet Fern (Comptonia asple. nifolia), whose dried leaves are the basis of juvenile attempts at smoking, are now in flower; and Dirca palustris, well named Leather-wood from the marvellous toughness of its bark, such that it is frequently used in default of leather or twine in repairing broken harnesses or sleds, hangs out its little yellow bells in advance of any leaves.
We close the list with the fragrant Sassafras (S. officinale), well known by its aromatic bark and curiously lobed leaves, not so well by its early clusters of yellow flowers, somewhat resembling those of the Sugar-maple; and the Spice-wood, or Fever-bush (Benzoin odoriferum), also highly aromatic, and possessing, like the Sassafras, medicinal value as an aromatic stimulant. Such are the earliest flowers,
which in forest, field or fen, invite the search of the botanist and the lover of nature.
Perhaps subsequent articles may give some notes upon the flowers of later spring, summer and autumn, with a floral calendar, and possibly an enumeration of some plants and shrubs well worthy of a place in garden or shrubbery, but hitherto neglected. If this shall succeed in leading any to a closer study of nature's beauty, and the goodness and glory of the Creator, its object will be answered.
THE FRESH-WATER AQUARIUM.
BY C. B. BRIGHAM.
The art of preserving water animals alive and in good condition, as pets or as objects of study, is not of recent date ; but the principles of what is now commonly known as the aquarium, were not until lately brought into general notice. The Romans had their tanks of game fish, the English and French gardeners their vessels for the growth of tender water-lilies or other valuable aquatic plants, yet the happy thought of uniting the two, - fishes and plants, so that the one should balance the other, each aiding in the others support, making withal a collection of such proportions as to be conveniently kept indoors, is the production of comparatively late years.
Dr. Johnstone, of Liverpool, has the reputation of having been the first to apply practically the principles of the aquarium ; he made experiments with the Corallina officinalis, Starfish, Conferve, and some small plants of the Ulva latissima, and found that they flourished for eight weeks without being disturbed ; this led him to try some fresh-water fishes and larvæ, and they succeeded even better than the saltwater specimens. Since then Gosse, Hibberd, Warington