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may be seen with their young, in pastures and in woods, searching for food, and are very noisy. The lark is seen towering on high, and pouring forth bis melodious strains, while the blackbird and thrush warble in the thorny brake. The nightingale yet occasionally pours his music “ on the night's dull ear." A certain writer observes, “ The nightingale is the most celebrated of all the feathered race for its song. The poets have, in all ages, and most European countries, made it the theme of their verses. It visits this country in April, and takes its departure in August, as it is said ; but I suspect not so soon. We still want a knowledge of more facts to make us completely acquainted with the natural history of this bird. Montagu, who appears to have been a very accurate observer, says that, if by accident the female is killed, the male resumes his song again, and will continue to sing very late in the summer, or till he finds another mate. It is rarely found in Scotland, the west of Devonshire, or Cornwall; and, I conclude, not in Ireland. Its usual habitation in this country is within the segment of a circle, Dover being the centre, whose radii do not exceed in length two hundred miles. Its time of singing, in its natural state, is from its arrival till about Midsummer ; but it will, it is said, when domesticated, sing nine months in the year.” The singularity of the nightingale never having been heard in Ireland, produced the following beautiful lines :
“O Philomela! many a rhyme
I've read of thee, from Albion's clime;
“Why dost not visit Erin's isle ?
“O come, and hither wing thy flight,
The brown argus butterfly, the ringlet butterfly, the meadow brown butterfly, the privet hawk-moth, the poplar hawk-moth, and the scarlet tiger-moth, may all be seen, chiefly on the wing, in their various peculiar haunts, in fields and gardens, with numerous
other insects. The glowworm (lampyris noctiluca) shines beautifully in the early part of the night, on mossy banks, heaths, &c.
The gardens now assume the most pleasing appearance of any period in the year. The plants in flower at this time are too numerous to specify: the principal, however, are the garden and Indian pink, sweet-william, sword-lily, night-smelling rocket, with various species of roses, the hues and fragrance of which arrest every person's notice.
“ Behold those brightly tinted roses,
The last half of the month.--Sheep are now shorn and washed. The frogs (rana temporaria) leave the water for the adjacent fields, especially after rain. The salmon and sea-trout appear in the young state in rivers, and are called pars. The tench and dab deposit their spawn.
The sedge-warbler, white-throat, blackcap, and garden-warbler, among our summer visitants, continue partially in song. The insect tribes are now very busy: butterflies and moths abound: the fragrant musk-beetle is at this time common: the Midsummer chafer appears at sunset, when the mighty stag-beetle is seen hovering in the air, and the lover of nature walks out to meditate on the works of the divine Creator.
" Who has not wander'd to inhale
Howitt's Forest Minstrel.
Towards the end of June the golden-green beetle is seen, and several species of the gadfly make their appearance.
The larvæ of the dragon-fly, after a two years' submersion in stagnant water, ascends the stalks of plants, and burst their coverings. Tadpoles at this time swarm in ponds and ditches. It is amusing to put a few of these in a basin or glass, and watch their transformations. When they first emerge from the frog-spawn, they seem like little fishes with great heads, and long tails. Legs after a little time make their appearance; the tails fall off, and the young frogs forsake the water and leap about.
Wild plants in bloom are now abundant: the blossom of clover regales our olfactory senses with its delightful fragrance : pimpernel thyme, bitter-sweet nightshade, white bryony, and the foxglove are in full blow; the dog-rose and elder are in flower; and the forget-me-not, on the margins of rivulets, exhibits its beautiful bright blue blossoms.
“Sweet nurslings of the vernal skies,
Bathed in soft airs, and fed with dew,
To fill the heart's fond view?
Memorials prompt and true."
Among the cultivated plants that ornament our gardens may be found in flower, the marvel of Peru, candytuft, Canterbury-bells, Virginian iris, carnation-poppy, heart's-ease, &c., &c.
BRIEF ASTRONOMICAL NOTICES,
FOR JUNE, 1843.
“How beautiful is night! The balmiest sigh
“The motion of the earth presents before us a most sublime and august object of contemplation. We wonder at beholding a steamcarriage, with all its apparatus of waggons and passengers, carried forward on a railway at the rate of thirty miles an hour; or a balloon sweeping through the atmosphere with a velocity of sixty miles in the same time. Our admiration would be raised still higher, should we behold Mount Etna, with its seventy cities, towns, and villages, and its hundred thousand inhabitants, detached from its foundations, carried aloft through the air, pouring forth torrents of red-hot lava, and impelled to the continent of America in the space of half an hour. But such an object, grand and astonishing as it would be,
could convey no adequate idea of the grandeur of such a body as the earth flying through the voids of space, in its course round the sun. Mount Etna, indeed, contains a mass of matter equal to more than eight hundred cubical miles; but the earth comprises an extent of more than two hundred and sixty-three thousand millions of solid miles; and consequently is more than three hundred millions of times larger than Etna, and of a much greater density. The comparative size of this mountain to the earth may be apprehended by conceiving three hundred millions of guineas laid in a straight line, which would extend four thousand seven hundred miles, or from London to the equator, or to South America. The whole line of guineas throughout this vast extent would represent the bulk of the earth, and a single guinea, which is only about an inch in extent, would represent the size of Etna, compared with that of the earth. Again, Etna, in moving from its present situation to America in half an hour, would only move at the rate of one hundred and thirty miles in a minute; while the earth, in its annual course, flies with a velocity of more than one thousand one hundred and thirty miles in the same space of time, or about nine times that velocity.
“How august, then, and overpowering the idea, that during every pulse that beats within us we are carried nearly twenty miles from that portion of absolute space we occupied before ; that during the seven hours we repose in sleep, we, and all the inhabitants of the world, are transported four hundred and seventy thousand miles through the depths of space; that during the time it would take in reading deliberately from the beginning of the last paragraph to the present sentence, we have been carried forward with the earth's motion more than four thousand five hundred miles; and that in the course of the few minutes we spend in walking a mile, we are conveyed through a portion of absolute space to the extent of more than eighteen thousand miles. What an astonishing idea does such a motion convey of the energies of the almighty Creator; especially when we consider that thousands of rolling worlds, some of them immensely larger than our globe, are impelled with similar velocities, and have, for many centuries past, been running without intermission their destined rounds! Here, then, we have a magnificent scene presented to our view, far more wonderful than all the enchanted palaces rising and vanishing at the stroke of the magician's rod, or all the scenes which the human imagination has ever created, or the tales of romance have recorded, which may serve to occupy our mental contemplation when we feel ennui, or are at a loss for subjects of amusement or reflection. We may view in imagination this ponderous globe on which we reside, with all its load of continents, islands, oceans, and its millions of population, wheeling its course tlırough the heavens at a rate of motion every day exceeding one million six hundred thousand miles; we may transport ourselves to distant regions, and contemplate globes far more magnificent, moving with similar, or even greater, velocities; we may wing our flight to the starry firmament, where worlds unnumbered run their ample rounds, where suns revolve around suns, and systems around systems, and the whole around the throne of the Eternal; till, overpowered with the immensity of space and motion, we fall down with reverence, and worship Him who presides over all the departments of universal nature, who created all worlds, and for whose pleasure they are and were created.'”— Dr. Dick.
The Sun rises at London on the 1st at fifty-one minutes past three, and sets at three minutes after eight: on the same day he rises at Edinburgh at twenty-five minutes past three, and sets at thirty-one minutes after eight. The Sun rises at London on the 21st at forty-four minutes past three, and sets at eighteen minutes after eight: on the same day he rises at Edinburgh at fifteen minutes past three, and sets at forty-seven minutes after eight.
The Moon sets on the 1st at a quarter before eleven, and on the 4th at midnight: she is half-full on the 5th, and on the 7th is due south at ten minutes before eight in the evening. The Moon is full on the 12th, at eleven minutes past seven in the morning, and rises on the 13th at half-past nine in the evening: she rises on the 15th at half-past ten, and on the 18th at twenty minutes after eleven, at night. The Moon enters on her last quarter on the 19th, and rises on the 20th about midnight: she changes on the 27th, at twenty minutes past seven in the evening, and exhibits her crescent to view on the 30th, and sets at twenty minutes before ten at night. Whether the Moon shines as a crescent, or sheds from her full orb floods of glory, she leads the Christian philosopher to contemplate the wisdom and goodness of God.
“O thou bright orb! whose pure and placid beams
Enchantment throws o'er nature's seenes sublime;
And brightly shines amid the storms of time:
On hope's exulting wing his spirit flies;
And whispers peace beyond the azure skies.
That whispers peace when time shall be no more ;
When this vain scene and life's poor play are o'er !
MERCURY is visible in the evenings at the beginning of the month: he sets on the 1st day, in the north-west, at twelve minutes before ten.
VENUS appears near the eastern horizon in the mornings: she rises on the 1st at twenty minutes before three, and on the 25th at a quarter past two.
Mars, being now at his least distance from the earth, is a conspicuous object low in the southern skies towards midnight: he is