Friday, 30 December 2011

Some Ants and their Ways

Hyatt Verrill wrote about ants a number of times including the science fiction story, “World of theGiant Ants”. The illustrations for this story are his own and resemble the illustrations used in that story. (I notice the blog linked story does not contain those images, sorry.)/drf
Some Ants and their Ways
By A. Hyatt Verrill
Everyland magazine, Nov. 1916. Everyland Nature Club column. Digitized by Doug Frizzle Dec 2011.
YOU all know what busy little creatures the ants are, and no doubt many of you have watched them as they hurry about hither and thither as if intent on some very important business. So, too, you may have seen an ants' nest and wondered what was inside of it and how the ants lived.
But if you could watch the ants at their every-day life, you would be filled with wonder, for in many ways ants are most intelligent creatures and many of their actions and habits seem as if inspired by reason, while in some things the ants have really improved upon man's ways.
Even the commonest ants have very wonderful habits, and one of the most remarkable of these is the manner in which the ants keep cows. Of course they are not real cows like ours, but tiny insects known as aphids or plant lice; but to the ants these creatures serve the purpose of cows and they are just as carefully tended and cared for and pastured as are cattle kept by human beings. The aphids give forth a sweetish substance known as "honey dew," of which the ants are very fond, and it is to secure a supply of this substance that the ants keep their little six-legged cattle.
To protect the aphids from the rain, the ants build little sheds over them and if the plant, on which the aphids are feeding, wilts or dies the ants pick up their cattle and carry them carefully to a strong plant where they may be sure of plenty of good food. When cold weather approaches, the ants carry the eggs and pupæ of the aphids into their own snug nests. Here they are carefully guarded and watched throughout the winter and in the spring, when the aphids hatch out, the baby cattle are carried out of doors and placed on plants where they may find plenty of fresh sap on which to grow big and strong.
But the aphid cattle are not the only insects which live with the ants in their underground homes. Several kinds of beetles, as well as spiders and wasps, may often be found in the ants' nests and on the best of terms with the owners. Funnily enough some of these make their meals off the baby ants and nobody has ever been able to explain why the ants, which are so wise in most ways, should allow these unwelcome guests to remain in their homes. Not only do these strangers live with the ants, but their young depend upon the ants to act as nurses for them. When one of the baby beetles is hungry, he strokes and pats the face of an ant in a very funny way and the ant at once gives the hungry youngster a drop of honey-like liquid from its own mouth.
Another funny thing about the ants is that they have slaves; and the queerest thing about these slave-keeping ants is that they are red while their slaves are black!
When a nest of ants finds that it needs slaves a regular army is formed, skirmishers are thrown out, and scouts go here and there and search about until a nest of black ants is found. Then the red army of warrior ants rushes on the city of black ants and a very fierce and bloody battle is fought. But the red soldiers are always stronger and fiercer than the blacks and very soon all the black fighting ants are killed or wounded and the victorious army loots the nest and carries off all the eggs and pupæ and takes them to the red ants' city.
When they return, laden with their prizes, all the other red ants come out to meet them and act as happy and joyful at the safe return of their army as do human beings when they have won a battle.
All the eggs and pupae of the black ants are then taken into the red ants' nest and are guarded carefully until they hatch out and grow up. Oddly enough the black slaves raised in this way are very willing and obliging and do all the hard work of the red ants' city without trying to escape or shirk. The slaves even feed the baby red ants, as well as the full-grown ones, and some species of slave-holding ants have become so accustomed to being fed by their slaves that they cannot feed themselves and would die of starvation if it were not for their black servants.
Some ants do even more remarkable things than these, however. In Texas there is a kind of ant called the Horticultural Ant, which raises regular crops of certain kinds of grass on the seeds of which the ants live. Not only do they plant and weed the young grass but they also carry manure to their gardens, keep the soil loose, and free from other plants and, when the seeds are ripe, they gather them and store them away in regular granaries.
In tropical America there is a remarkable species of ant known as the Army Ant. These little creatures travel in such immense numbers and are so ravenous and fierce that nothing alive can withstand them. Wherever they go they devour every particle of food they find, and as their armies are often half a mile wide and extend for miles and miles, they create great havoc when on the march. No obstacle will turn them aside and they even cross streams and rivers and if they come to a house or a village the people are obliged to leave until the ants have passed. But the natives don't object to this very much for the ants eat every roach, bug, rat, mouse or other vermin in the houses and leave them clean. Sometimes they come upon a house in the night and before the people can escape from the ants they too are devoured. In many places where the army ants are numerous the people sleep in hammocks with rough ropes over which the ants will not crawl and in such cases the people sometimes wake up in the morning and find an army of ants has passed by during the night and has cleaned the houses of every edible thing, even the cat or dog being eaten and nothing but a few bones are left to tell the tale.
A relative of the army ant, and which is found in the same countries, is known as the Umbrella Ant. These little chaps march along in single file and each one carries a triangular bit of green leaf over his head like an umbrella. These pieces of leaves are used in building the ants' nests and also for cultivating a species of fungus on which the ants feed. As only one kind of leaf is used the ants are sometimes obliged to travel for several miles to obtain them and the endless procession of tiny green umbrellas, winding up hill and down dale, along the well-worn ants' roads is a very funny sight. Of all the funny habits of ants, however, the most curious is that of a little chap from Asia. This ant builds its home between leaves which it gums together with sticky silk, and where do you suppose it obtains the glue-like substance? Not from its own bodies and not from any plant, but from its own young, for the young ants spin out the silk for making their cocoons. When their parents wish to make a nest, two or three ants hold the edges of the leaves together and another grasps a young ant in its jaws and rubs the baby ant's mouth along the seam to be joined, just as if the little chap were a mucilage bottle. As soon as the sticky silk from one baby is used up another larva is brought and used in the same way until all the leaves are glued firmly together and the nest is complete.

How Fish Sleep

How Fish Sleep
By A. Hyatt Verrill
From Everyland magazine, Everyland Nature Club column, Oct. 1916, digitized by Doug Frizzle, Dec. 2011.

DOESN'T it seem funny to think of fish going fast asleep? Most people think of fish as always being wide awake and swimming about, but, strange as it seems, fish sleep just like other animals, and some of them even make beds in which to sleep.
Still other kinds sleep upon the surface of the water and rest just as comfortably, when tossing about on the-waves, as their cousins resting in their beds on the bottom.
Some kinds of fish change their clothes before going to bed and put on night-dresses which are so very different from their everyday clothes that you would never recognize them, while others never bother about such matters, but doze off wherever they happen to be when sleepy.
But the funniest thing about fish sleeping is that they never shut their eyes, for fish do not have eyelids like most animals, and so they couldn't close their eyes if they wanted to. For this reason fish are all very light sleepers, and wake up at the least change of light, or at a shadow moving past them. This is why it is so hard to catch a fish asleep, for even in an aquarium the finny creatures wake up as soon as any one goes near.
Some fish sleep much more soundly than others, however, and nearly all we know about sleeping fish has been learned by watching these heavy-sleeping species.
I said some fish made beds, and any boy or girl who lives near a fresh water pond or stream in the United States may find some of these with a little search. The common "pumpkin seed," or "sunfish," is a fellow who makes these beds, which look like little hollows lined with sticks and pebbles upon the bottom of the pond or stream. If you approach very cautiously you may be able to find one of the fish resting in its "nest," and fast asleep, for fish doze in the daytime as well as at night. Another kind of fish, also known as the "sunfish," is a great giant of a fish found in the open ocean, and this sunfish is one of the kinds which love to sleep on top of the sea. This funny sunfish, which looks as if he were all head, is one of the largest of all fish, and when he sleeps he lies in a nice comfortable position with his big fin sticking up in the air. This big sunfish is a very sound sleeper, and sometimes one may be seen with half a dozen seabirds perched on his fin while he slumbers on without knowing he is the resting place of his feathered friends.
But the funniest fish are those which wear nightclothes. One of these is the common "blackfish," or "tautog," and as the blackfish are very sound sleepers, one may watch them very easily when they are kept in an aquarium. During the day the blackfish is dull colored, dark brown or nearly black, with faint blotches or stripes, but when he goes to bed he changes his colors and sleeps in a suit of silver and black. Like many other fish, the blackfish rests on the bottom, and lies on one side, or propped up against some rock or weed. If you should see a blackfish sleeping in this way you would certainly laugh, for, resting on his side with his mouth half open, he looks as if he were actually snoring.
Illustrations by the Author
Another common fish who puts on a night-dress is the "scup" or "porgy." During the day the scup is plain silvery gray, but when he feels sleepy he puts on a coat of brown and gray stripes. Then he searches about until he finds a nice comfortable spot among the eel grass or seaweeds where he goes to bed and sleeps soundly, for he knows the striped nightgown will make it very difficult for any enemy to see him among the shadows of the weeds. It is for this very reason that the sleeping fish change their colors, for if dressed in their daytime clothes some prowling shark or other foe might come along and gobble them up before they were half awake. This is known as "protective coloration," and while the commonest fish—such as the blackfish and scup, protect themselves in this way, yet some of their cousins are much more remarkable in their manner of changing color to protect themselves while asleep.
One of the commonest and most wonderful of these is the green parrot-fish, found along the southern coasts of the United States and in tropical waters.
During the day and when awake, the parrot-fish is a beautiful clear turquoise green, but just as soon as he goes to the bottom to rest or to sleep, his colors change to a dull olive covered with spots and blotches of brown. In this costume you would never recognize him. But the funniest part of it is that he knows when to change his coat and when not to, and if he is placed in an aquarium with a plain green bottom he will go to sleep in a coat of plain green. Then, if some stones or other objects are placed in the aquarium he will make the brown spots appear on his body, and unless you look very closely you will find it impossible to distinguish the wise little fish as he snuggles down among the pebbles in his piebald suit.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Insects that Build Submarines

Insects that Build Submarines
By A. Hyatt Verrill
Everyland magazine August 1916. Column, ‘Everyland Nature Club’; digitized by Doug Frizzle, Dec. 2011.
THAT sounds funny, doesn't it? Perhaps you think it's a joke, for we're so accustomed to think of submarines as wonderful inventions of our own that it's hard to believe such tiny things as insects made and used submarines ages before man first thought of building a boat of any kind.
But, queer as it seems, insects do build and use submarines and moreover they are very common, and any reader of Everyland who lives near a pond or stream—in temperate America, at least—can find these interesting little chaps and can watch them as they move about beneath the water. Even better, you can catch them, carry them home in jars or pails of water, and keep them in your own home in an aquarium where they'll be just as happy and interesting as ever.
But you musn't expect to find these insects rushing about in tight steel submarines and destroying other insects by torpedoes or mines. No, indeed! The submarines built by the insects are used for very different purposes and are made very differently from those which men use for the purpose of destroying ships and killing their fellow men.  The insects use their submarines for their homes and to protect themselves from enemies; and comfort and convenience, as well as safety, are far more important to the insects than are speed and destructiveness. But the insects' submarines are very cleverly and neatly built and are upholstered with the finest of silk. And the insect owners don't need periscopes nor machinery in their tiny submarines, for they are moved about by means of their owners' strong feet and never have to come up to the surface of the water for air or to have a look about. If they did that, some hungry bird might see them and gobble them down, submarine, insect and all, and, moreover, it isn't necessary, for these queer insects can breathe and can see at the bottom of the water just as well as when they're at the top; which is something we humans cannot do with all our brains and science and inventions.
But now you must be curious to know what these funny insects are like, and what they are, and how they live, and so we'll take a stroll to some shady pool or sparkling brook and see them for ourselves.
Place your face close to the surface of the water and look carefully at the sandy bottom beneath. At first you may not see anything but a few pebbles, some little bundles of sticks and some funny little cylinders of sand. But don't be discouraged, and in a moment you will be surprised to see some of these objects move about upon the bottom. Take them out and they are apparently dead and inanimate and, unless you know the secret, you would never guess that these ordinary looking things are insects' submarines.
But if you should break one open you would find it a hollow tube lined with soft and shining silk and with a pale, whitish, caterpillar wriggling about inside and very excited and indignant at having his snug home destroyed.
But it is much easier and kinder to watch the funny insects in a glass jar or aquarium, and in this way you may learn just how the caterpillar builds his submarine, how he makes it travel here and there, and, best of all, what happens when his short life is over.
If the little fellow thinks he's safe he'll cautiously move his head out from his silk-lined submarine home; then he'll look about and, if nothing frightens him, he'll crawl out until his little legs can grasp the object on which he rests, and then he'll walk about pulling his funny submarine with him.
And if you have sharp eyes and are interested in nature, and bugs, and live things, you'll notice that there are many different forms of these submarines. Some are little cylinders made of tiny sticks, or bits of grass or straws placed lengthwise side by side; others are like little log huts of the tiniest sticks or straws fastened together criss-cross; others are made of dainty little shells stuck together, and others are made of bits of moss and leaves, but most are made of tiny pebbles or grains of sand. But even these are of many different shapes. Some are like straight tubes, others are coiled like snail-shells, others are like little balls, and some are pointed at one end and look like the tusks of fairy elephants.
Although you cannot see any difference in the various caterpillars which make these submarines and live within them, yet each form of home contains a different kind of owner; and while they are all known as caddis-worms, there are many different species. Each specie always builds a certain kind of submarine house, each has distinct habits, and each is the larva of a pretty, winged insect known as a caddis-fly.
Some of the submarine caterpillars are carpenters, some are masons, and, in addition, many of them are expert fishermen and spread silken nets between the stones to capture their prey. Their tiny nets are funnel-shaped with the larger end pointed up the stream, but another kind of caddis-worm weaves little oval cups which are fastened to rocks on the edges of falls and cataracts. Both kinds of nets are kept open by the current and any minute creatures which are so unfortunate as to enter them are devoured by the hungry little builders of the submarines.
But the nets catch all sorts of dirt and rubbish as well as live things, and you often may see rocks completely covered with dirt which has lodged in the insect fishermen's nets and has hidden them completely out of sight.
By and by, when the caddis-worm has grown to full size, he feels dull and sleepy and drawing himself inside his submarine he closes his odd home with a silken door, leaving a tiny window for the water to enter, and then goes sound asleep. As he slumbers he wriggles out of his skin and changes to a shiny brown pupa or chrysalis. Then at last his sleep is over and the pupa bursts open and a queer little insect, very different from the caterpillar, gnaws through the silk door. It is a funny, damp creature with two long legs, and, using these legs for oars, the little fellow swims up to the surface of the water toward the nearest rock or stick.
Somehow he seems to have forgotten all about submarines and fish-nets, and, anxious to get to the open air, crawls up out of the water. Then a very wonderful thing happens, for two little pads upon his back swell up and change as if by magic into four delicate, hairy, brown wings. All his life this insect has lived at the bottom of the pond or brook; all his life he has crawled about, dragging his submarine house, or has slept inside a brown pupa. Never before has he been out of the water, never before has he possessed wings, and no doubt you think he'll have trouble learning to use them. But in that you'll be greatly mistaken, for no sooner do the little pads unfold than the caddis-fly spreads his new wings and flies away as gaily as though he'd used them all his life.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

My Funny Pets is a website that catalogues the worlds books and periodicals. There is not a great description of Everyland magazine, so I have created a PDF of one complete issue of the July “Philipino” issue. In the process of digitizing ‘My Funny Pets’ by Verrill, the story of the Big Brown Bear on PEI was a remainder, since digital, it is published as well./drf

My Funny Pets
By A. Hyatt Verrill
Everyland magazine, July 1916 from the column ‘Everyland Nature Club’ Care of Everyland, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York City, digitized by Doug Frizzle Dec. 2011.

NEARLY all boys and girls are fond of pets, and ever since I can remember I've owned odd and curious birds and animals; and whenever I've been in queer, out-of-the-way places I have managed to obtain peculiar furred or feathered companions. I would like to tell Everyland readers all about the many strange, funny, and interesting creatures I have had in tropical lands, but as this is not possible I'll try to tell the Nature Club about some pets I had in Central America.
My first was a native deer named Pepito. He was given to me when he was a little spotted fawn, and as he grew older and larger he became so tame he would follow me about like a dog. When we lived in the town, Pepito was kept in the open court or patio of the house, where he ran about at will among the flowers and grass and could drink or bathe at the fountain in the center. But we often made long trips into the country and Pepito always accompanied us. On the train he was perfectly at home, running up and down the center of the car, making friends with the conductor and passengers.
When at last we reached the little village where we stayed, a red or blue ribbon was tied about Pepito's neck and he was free to go where he pleased. All about were mountains covered with forests full of wild deer and other animals, and every morning Pepito would trot off into the woods to spend the day with his wild cousins. Often, when out hunting, I would see a herd of deer and would be surprised to see Pepito come running from among them to greet me. Sometimes, when the others saw how fearless he was and that I did not molest them, they too would come close and would follow a short distance away as I walked along with Pepito.
When the deer was about half grown a young peccary or wild pig was brought to us by a native hunter. These animals are usually fierce and vicious and hard to tame, but this little chap, which we called Chico, was an exception and from the first was very docile and affectionate. He would jump to my lap to be scratched, grunt at our door to wake us in the morning, and followed us everywhere we went.
He and Pepito soon became fast friends and inseparable comrades, and it was a funny sight to see the two trotting up the mountain path side by side on their way to the woods. All the hunters knew Pepito by his ribbon and took care not to shoot him by mistake, and to protect Chico we tied a bell about his neck.
Several months after Chico was added to the family a friend gave us a tame white-faced monkey named Tito. He was a very comical, inquisitive chap. His favorite toy was an old, battered doll, and he would carry this about for hours at a time and was most dejected if it was taken away or mislaid. But Tito's funniest trick, and the one which gave him the greatest pleasure, was to wait in the doorway and, as the peccary ran by, spring on the latter's back and have a free ride. Chico did not mind this, and in fact I think he really enjoyed it as much as the monkey did.
One day the monkey caught sight of the deer, and thinking Pepito would prove a better mount than the peccary he sprang on his back. The deer had never experienced such a sensation before and was frightened almost out of his wits. Evidently his first thought was to make for the woods, and he dashed off with the delighted monkey clinging fast to his back and chattering with joy at his fine ride.
Around the house there was a barbed wire fence, and when Pepito reached this he sprang through between the wires without the slightest hesitation. There was plenty of room for him but there was no space for his rider, and the poor monkey was swept from his seat and left hanging on the sharp barbs. He was badly cut, but he had learned a lesson, and from that time on Pepito's appearance threw him into a fit of rage and fear.
Perhaps the oddest of all the pets I had in Central America was a queer creature known as a kinkajou, or fruit bear. This animal grows to be three feet or more in length and has a little round head, solemn black eyes, sharp teeth, and strong claws. The hair is thick, woolly, and dull yellow in color, but the most remarkable things about the kinkajou are its tail and its tongue. Both are very long and both are prehensile, or, in other words, they can be used like hands.
Kinkajous are very fond of honey, and if they cannot get it in any other way they will reach their long tongues into the bees' nests and lick the honey from the comb. You can imagine that such a creature would make a very interesting pet, and I can't begin to tell you all the funny, unusual things our pet kinkajou did. He was just as curious as a monkey and was forever getting into mischief, but after licking out the contents of an ink-bottle or pulling over the furniture with his tail, he would climb up on my shoulder in such an innocent way and cuddle down in such a confident manner that his misdeeds were always forgiven.
But his curiosity and his "handy" tail proved fatal to him at last. One night he pulled a bottle of jam from a high shelf and with his ever-ready tongue licked up the jam and broken glass together. Even a kinkajou's tough stomach cannot stand such a diet and the following day he died.
Besides these pets we had many others; such as sloths, macaws, parrots, toucans, raccoons, foxes, and even a young jaguar. The last would follow me about like a dog and was very gentle and affectionate with us, but his strength was so enormous and he used teeth and claws so freely on strangers or any one to whom he took a dislike that finally I was obliged to put him in a cage and send him to a menagerie.

The Story of a Big Brown Bear As I Heard My Mother Tell It
By Regina F. Cowan
THE northern end of Prince Edward Island was sparsely settled in the year 1834, when my father leased a farm at Sea Cow Pond. There's a legend that the place derived its name from a herd of sea-cows which were driven ashore during a terrific storm and perished there.
My mother went to housekeeping in a log cabin of two rooms. The front door opened by pulling a thong attached to a latch on the inside, and a wooden button secured the door at night. The upstairs was a small unfinished loft, reached by a ladder. A hatch covered the entrance to the loft. Crude cod and whale oil in tin lamps and home-made tallow candles were used for illuminating. The house was heated by an open fireplace. Part of the cooking was done on a crane and roasts were prepared in a Dutch oven in front of the fire. An unfailing spring well furnished what seemed the most delicious water on this continent, with its old oaken bucket.
My father was out on business one evening, and baby Margaret was asleep when Mother heard something moving outside. She looked out of the window and there stood a big brown bear, his fore paws resting on the window-sill and his wild eyes fastened on the sleeping babe. Mother trembling with fear rushed to the cradle, tenderly pressed her treasure to her breast, and with haste and all the strength she could command climbed the ladder and laid the baby on a sheepskin mat. She came down again and looked for something to give the hungry animal. A box of dried codfish was found, and removing the small window mother threw out a large supply to Bruin, who at this time was trying to break through the door. The bear tore the fish in pieces and ate ravenously and picking up the remainder started off.
When my father returned, he found a very frightened mama. He vowed that he would not rest until he could get a shot at old Bruin. He did not have long to wait. Within a week Mr. Bear called to pay another visit and my father saluted him with an English rifle, and —Mother slept that night.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Béche and the Stranger

The last blog entry introduced this new magazine(source) to the publications that Hyatt Verrill wrote for. He was still a teen when he first travelled to Dominica, and we know he visited the island at least three times. His first visit was before 1900 and from the visit in 1948, we know that he wanted to ‘retire’ to Dominica. He presented two paintings to the library. We gifted the Library in Dominica with four books from our collection./drf

Béche and the Stranger
By A. Hyatt Verrill
Everyland magazine, September, 1916. Digitized by Doug Frizzle Dec. 2011.
This is the last of the Béche storiesfor Béche has grown up. The earlier stories in this series appeared in January and March, 1915.

SEVERAL years had passed since Béche the Carib boy had flown his leaf kites, sailed his palm boats, and caught his first fish. He had grown and had learned much. No longer was he afraid to go fishing with his father, but every day sailed far out to sea in the canoe. In fact, for a boy he was noted as a fisherman, and his father promised that soon they would go into the forest and cut down a gommier tree to make a canoe for Béche's own. Béche loved the woods and often he borrowed his father's old muzzle-loading gun and wandered through the forest in search of parrots, ramiers (wild pigeons), and agoutis (a small brown animal like a large guinea-pig). Béche never tried to kill anything. Once he had succeeded in killing a great purple ciceroo (a giant parrot), the wildest and shyest of game, and wonderfully proud he had felt when he brought it home.
And then one day a stranger came to the Caribs' village. He was a white man, and, although Béche had seen many white men, they were not like the newcomer. All those he had seen before were British officials or planters, men whose duties or interests brought them to the out-of-the-way village, and who thought it a great nuisance, and fumed and fretted and swore at the simple ways and food of the Indians, and thought them scarcely better than animals, and who hurried away just as soon as their business was over. But this man was not an Englishman and he was neither a magistrate, who wearily fined the people in the little court, nor a planter seeking for land, nor an excise officer looking for smugglers. Béche's father said he was an American, but this meant nothing to the Carib boy, for he had never heard of such a country as America. The stranger did not act like the other white men, either. He seemed to like the Indians and ate the food they offered and lived in the hut given him, and made no complaint. In the evenings he would talk with the Carib men and would listen to their fairy tales and legends and ask many questions of the old men and women, some of whom still spoke the language of their ancestors. Béche often saw the man take a queer package of white sheets from his pocket and make marks upon these with a pointed stick, and this interested the Carib boy greatly. He wondered if it were some sort of witchcraft or magic, and then one day the white man saw the Carib boy watching and tried to explain what he was doing. He told Béche he was writing, and then he pointed to one of the marked sheets and repeated a story Béche's uncle had told several days before; but Béche couldn't understand that the man was making notes or reading what he had written, for he had never heard of such things before. Then the man laughed and with his pointed stick made a few lines and Béche was almost frightened, he was so surprised, for there on the paper was the little village, with the canoes drawn upon the beach, the waving palms, and the high mountain beyond. Béche looked at the picture a moment and then ran out and stared about to see if the palms and mountains and canoes were still there, for he thought it must be "obi" and that the stranger had really made all the things about go on the paper. Then he surprised Béche still more by drawing a picture of Béche himself and of his old father and mother, and the Indian boy stood spellbound while the white man covered sheets of paper with birds, and trees and fishes. To Béche these were very wonderful, and, when the man gave the pictures to him and he might have them, the little Carib felt very rich and proud. Then the white man handed the boy the paper and pencil and told him to make a picture, and Béche, very shy and nervous, tried to draw a picture of the white man, and when it was done his new friend roared with laughter to see how funny he looked in the Indian boy's eyes, and Béche tried to explain that he didn't really look like that and that the triangular body and long crooked legs and skinny arms and round eyes and three-cornered head and huge ears were not at all like the white man's, but just "made themselves" that way on the paper.
But these were not half as interesting as some of the things the stranger had and did. He had guns,—wonderful shining guns, not at all like those of the Caribs, and, instead of pouring powder and shot into them, all the stranger had to do was to open the gun and slip in a little bright box; and in a chest the white man had ever so many queer and interesting things. There were little knives and scissors and tools and a funny glass that would make fire when held in the sun, and more fish-hooks than Béche had ever seen in all his life. There were cans of powder and bags of shot and papers of pins and dozens of needles and spools of thread and many other objects Béche had never seen or heard of, and the Carib boy thought the stranger must be very rich indeed to have all these things. When he saw Béche looking longingly at the fish-hooks and the powder and shot, he gave the boy a full dozen of the hooks and a whole bag of shot and enough powder to last for months, and Béche was so glad and grateful and thought the stranger such a wonderful man that he vowed blood-friendship from that moment and followed his new friend about like a dog. And the stranger did such mysterious and wonderful things. He could kill the parrots from the tallest trees, and could shoot the ramiers as they flew overhead, and this was so marvelous to the Carib boy that he almost worshiped the stranger and looked upon him in awe as a superior sort of being.
But after he had shot the birds he didn't pick off the feathers and then cook their bodies. Instead he used his bright little scissors and knives and took the skins off, feathers and all, and filled them with cotton and placed them in little paper wrappers in a chest, for this white man was a naturalist, and had gone to the Carib village to collect the rare birds and other creatures in the woods. But of course Béche had never heard of a naturalist, and he couldn't understand why any one should want birds except for food. Then he saw the stranger catching bugs and beetles and butterflies, and he wondered still more. He knew that some bugs were good to eat; many a time he had eaten the roasted grubs from the palm trees which are called groo-groo-worms, but he had never known any one to eat beetles or butterflies. But the white man put all these away in papers or bottles, and, although Béche was puzzled, he realized that the stranger wished all these live creatures for some reason of his own, and so, as he wished to please his new friend, he too began to gather all the insects his sharp eyes saw, and these he brought carefully to his friend.
The white man seemed greatly pleased and he patted Béche on the shoulder and thanked him, and then he reached in his pocket and handed the Carib boy a big, round, shining two-shilling piece. Béche could scarcely believe his eyes. He never had had anything but a copper penny before, and here were two shillings! Presently the white man asked the boy what he would do with his money. Béche thought a long time. There were so many wonderful things he wanted, and so much could be bought with all this wealth, he was sure, that he could scarcely make up his mind. Then at last he decided and told his friend he would buy a shiny gun like the white man's. How the stranger did laugh at this, but soon he stopped and told the Carib boy that a gun would cost many times his two shillings. Then Béche decided he'd buy a wonderful "fire-glass," but this he found could not be had for two shillings. Then he decided he'd like some of the white sheets and a sharp stick to make pictures. At this the white man laughed again, and told Béche he need not spend his money for such things, and, opening his chest, he drew out two of the packages of paper and two pencils and gave them to him. Then, not knowing anything else in the world to do, Béche ran to his mother and gave her the two-shilling piece.
This was only the first of many shillings that Béche was to have, for he brought bugs and insects and birds to his friend, and one day, when he brought a lovely bird which none of the Indians had seen save once or twice, the stranger gave Béche the wonderful fire-glass. Now a still more wonderful thing happened, for the white man drew pictures on the paper and made strange marks under them. There was a picture of a fish and under it the funny marks like this — "P-E-C-H-E"; and under the picture of a dog, these marks—"C-H-I-E-N". Then the white man made the same marks without the pictures and asked Béche what they meant, and without hesitating the Carib boy looked at "P-E-C-H-E" and said "Peche," and at "C-H-I-E-N" and said "Chien," for Béche was learning to spell and read, without knowing it.
Soon the boy was able to make the same marks himself, and he covered sheets of paper with funny pictures marked "Chien" and "Peche" and other words he had learned to print. But the stranger soon began to have troubles he had not foreseen. Béche spoke and understood nothing but his native Creole patois, and, while this language does very well when one is speaking, it's quite a different matter when one wants to write it, and Béche's teacher discovered that names of various objects were about all he could teach the boy in this funny tongue. But the teaching did not cease on that account; and what do you suppose the stranger did to overcome the difficulty? Why, he began teaching Béche English! Of course it was slow work, but it wasn't so hard or slow as you might think. In fact it was quite easy at first and Béche soon learned the English names for many things. Under the word "Peche" the white man wrote “F-I-S-H," and under "Chien," "D-O-G," and so on with all the other pictures; and Béche was wonderfully proud to think he really knew English and strutted about saying "Dog," "Fish," "Bird," "House," and other words continually.
Béche knew there were such things as books, for often his father and the other men and women would bring old newspapers and magazines and catalogs home when they went to the distant town. But they didn't bring them to read, or to look at, and you would never guess what they did use them for. It was to paste upon the walls of their huts for wall paper! Some of the houses were quite covered with the pages, and one day Béche discovered that the marks on these were exactly like the marks he had learned to make. He was greatly excited, and went over the papers inch by inch, and when at last he found the words “Dog" and "Horse" and "House" and "Fish" and other words he knew, he danced and pranced about in perfect joy at his discovery.
The white man told him he was very bright, and gave him a shilling for his discovery; and for days Béche sat before the paper on the walls, copying the words; and then, taking them to his friend, he would ask what they meant.
One day he noticed the white man making marks on paper which were very different from those he knew, and he asked his friend what the new marks meant. The other told him they were figures, and that by them he could tell how many birds he had shot, how much money he had paid the Caribs, how many days he had been in the village, and many other things. Béche couldn't possibly understand this, for how could little black marks tell things that even his father must count up on fingers and toes over and over again? Then the stranger had a happy thought and sent Béche for a number of small sticks. Then he seated himself on the floor by Béche's side, and taking one stick he laid it on the floor and held up one finger, and made a mark on the paper like this—1. Then he took two sticks and placed these on the floor in this position — — and held up two fingers, and made this mark—2. Then he bent one stick and placed two others beside it like this, = <, and, holding up three fingers, made the figure 3 on paper. In the same way he made 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 out of sticks, using the number of pieces the figure represented in each. It was very interesting to Béche, really a sort of game; and, with the figures on the paper as a guide, the boy spent the whole day making the queer shapes with the sticks until he learned that each figure stood for a number. In a few days he had learned to add, for the stranger showed him that by taking the two sticks used in making the figure 2, and the one stick used for figure 1, and placing them together, he could make the figure 3. When Béche grasped the idea and realized that by drawing the figure 3 on paper it was just the same as adding the three sticks together, he fairly shouted with delight.
The stranger had now been at Béche's village for several weeks, and even the little naked children who ran away from him at first would clamber about his knees and would sit on his lap and try to tell him stories in their funny baby patois. The men liked him because he could hunt and tramp and sail as well as themselves, or even better. The women liked him because he was so kind to the children and also because he showed them how to do many things more easily and better than before. And the children liked him because he frolicked and played with them and taught them games and made them toys.
At last came the time when the stranger told the Indians he must leave them. This made the Caribs very sad and Béche was saddest of them all. Before he left, he gave the Caribs many presents, and the old chief almost forgot his sorrow at losing his guest in the joy at the gun and other useful things the white man gave him.
Perhaps you think that Béche continued to study and went to school and learned to read books and became a great man among the Caribs. Of course, that's the way all good stories should end, and I wish I could say that he did, but I'm sorry to admit that nothing of the sort happened. There was no school near, where Béche could go; he had no one to teach him, and he soon found that it was very tire-some, copying the letters and figures from the wall-paper without knowing what they meant; but he never forgot what the stranger had taught him and he always hoped tht some day his white-man friend would return.
All this happened many years ago, and when at last the stranger did go back to Béche's island home he found wonderful changes had taken place. There was a school at the village; white men had plantations and estates all about; many of the Caribs lived in board houses; and Béche had grown into a big, strong man, with a house and garden of his own, and with a wife and a whole flock of little Béches and their brown sisters. But big Béche knew his old friend just as soon as he saw him, and wonderfully happy he was to meet him again after so many years. After the excitement of the first greeting was over, Béche hunted about in his basket trunk and away down in the bottom found a little package. It was very carefully tied up in dry plantain leaves and rawhide, and what do you suppose was inside? The very first picture Béche had ever made, —the funny, ugly, misshapen picture of the white man himself!

Some Very Strange Plants
By A. Hyatt Verrill
Everyland Nature Club
Care of Everyland, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York City
IF you were walking through the woods and were very, very thirsty, what would you do for a drink? Why, you'd find a spring or a brook, you say. Of course, if there was a spring or brook near, you might, but suppose there was not a drop of clear, cool water to be found! In the north you might go thirsty for a very long time, but if you were in the tropics, or at least in some parts of the tropics, you could get a nice, refreshing drink of water from some of the plants growing all about you.
This may seem very strange, but there are many strange things in nature and some of the strangest are plants.
In nearly all tropical forests the trees are covered with hanging vines known as lianas. These are very useful things, although they are a great nuisance when traveling through the forests, for they are of all sizes, from tiny threads to huge ropes, and they are tangled and knotted and twisted together like a perfect network.
They are very strong, and the people where they are found use them for ropes and lines and call them "bush ropes." One kind is used to make rattan, and if you examine the ends of a piece of rattan you will see a number of tiny holes. These are really the ends of little tubes which extend the whole length of the vine and through which the sap flows. If a living liana is cut in two, a stream of sap will flow out of these holes and then it will soon thicken and form a scab across the end of the vine, just as your blood will form a scab when your finger is cut. Some of the lianas have sap which is bitter, but others have sap which is as clear and fresh as the finest spring water. It is from this that the traveler in the tropical woods can obtain a drink when thirsty, for all he has to do is to cut off a piece of one of these vines and drink the sap. But in many places there are still other plants at which the traveler may find cool, clear water. One of these vegetable fountains is so useful that it is called the Traveler's Palm; and by cutting off one of the long leaves close to the trunk a good drink may always be found stored ready for the thirsty traveler. Still another plant where a drink may always be obtained is known as the "wild pine," as it looks a great deal like a real pineapple plant. But instead of growing on the ground the wild pine grows high up on the branches of forest trees and on the vines which cling to them. At the base of each leaf of the wild pine there is a cup-shaped hollow which always contains fresh, cool water. Quite often mosquitoes breed in this water and so, in many parts of the tropics, man has been obliged to destroy all the wild pines in the vicinity to do away with the troublesome and dangerous insects. The wild pine is an "air plant" or parasite, for it grows in the air without requiring earth like most plants, and in the tropics there are a great many kinds of these funny air plants. There are orchids with beautiful and strange shaped flowers, wild pines, and many other parasites, and they are all wonderful and interesting, but of them all there are none more strange than the Lizard Tree and the Air Cabbage. The Lizard Tree, when growing, looks like a huge green lizard crawling up the trees, but I think "Centipede Tree" would be a more appropriate name. The stem is thick and jointed, like bamboo, with slender white roots and smooth green leaves growing from each joint. Every little while one of these joints breaks off and falls down, and wherever the joints land they take root and commence to grow until three or four feet long, when their joints break off and start still other plants. But oftentimes the pieces fall to the earth, where the joints cannot break away and take root, and when this happens the funny plant continues to grow until it reaches a tree, when it climbs up until its joints can break away and tumble down.
This is a very strange way for a plant to increase, but the Air Cabbage has a habit just as funny, although very different. This plant looks like a giant cabbage and deep down in the center of its leaves is a little cup filled with seeds. The roots are very slender, and when the big plant is fully grown it becomes top heavy and the first hard wind or heavy shower tips it over and thus allows the seeds to tumble out and fall to the ground, or to the lower branches of the trees.
All the funny plants of the tropics are not air plants and lianas, however. Sometimes when walking through the woods in the tropics, you may stub your toes against some hard object, and, looking down, you see a rusty cannon-ball lying half hidden among the leaves. Of course, it's very surprising to find cannon-balls in such a place, but it really isn't a cannon-ball at all, but the fruit of a tree, and when you look about and see the tree you will be more surprised than if it were a real cannon-ball. The tree is known as the Cannon Ball Tree and the funny fruits are borne on short stems sprouting directly from the bark of the trunk. The flowers are very odd and pretty but they are ill-smelling like the fruit. The tree has very few leaves and these all fall off at the season when the fruits ripen, and so you can imagine what a funny sight this tree presents with its bare branches and the great rusty-brown balls hanging to the trunk.
Still another strange tree is the Sand-Box Tree. The seeds of this tree are large, round, and nearly flat, and are held within a pretty scalloped shell about three or four inches in diameter. These seed pods are real vegetable firecrackers, for when they are ripe they explode with a loud noise and scatter or shoot the seeds far and wide. During the season when the sand-box seeds ripen a constant popping may be heard from the trees and the seeds fly about like rain or hail. The natives of the countries where the sand-box trees are found have a very pretty and quaint idea about the popping seeds, for they believe that whenever a seed-pod explodes it announces a lizard's wedding has taken place.
It is strange enough to think of cannon-balls and firecrackers growing on trees and of drinking water from vines and palms, but how would you like to he able to get the cloth and lace for your garments from trees? That is what many of the South American natives do, for where they live there is a tree called the Lace-Bark Tree. This tree has a wonderful inner bark which may easily be unrolled and appears like broad sheets of creamy-white lace.
This is known as Seda Virgin or Virgin Lace, by the Spanish Americans, and is used by them for draperies, curtains, shawls, mantillas, and garments. It is so tough and strong that it even is made into ropes, cables, and harness, and it is so common and so easily gathered that it is seldom washed, but when soiled is cast aside for a new supply.
These are but a few of the strange and useful trees and plants in the tropical forests and the native woodsman can find anything he requires for food, drink, shelter, fuel, weapons, and clothing. Even thread and needles are there, for if the Indian tears his scanty clothing he does not have to go to his home to have it repaired. Cutting a leaf from an Agave plant he pounds the fleshy pulp between two stones until only the sharp spine at the leaf-tip and the tough fibres are left, when lo and behold, he possesses a serviceable needle and a bundle of tough threads ready for use!
And this is not the only use to which the Agave may be put. To the native Indian it is as useful as the reindeer to the Laplander. From the juice he obtains drink; from the roots a coarse, but healthy flour, and from the leaf-fibers he weaves mats and clothing which he sews together with a needle and thread also made from the same plant.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Gull That Ate the Whale

Finding Everyland magazine was a bit of a search fluke. The magazine was published from 1909 to 1928; published by Interchurch World Movement of North America, it was ‘for boys and girls’. AHV not only wrote a number of stories including fables for the magazine but also edited a letters column for some time. This tale is the first received and prepared. Here are some of the pages in PDF format./drf

The Gull That Ate the Whale

This story is third in the series "Legends of the Northland." The illustrations are made by the author from the Eskimo drawings which he secured with the folk-tales from the Eskimos.

By A. Hyatt Verrill

From Everyland magazine June 1916. Digitized by Doug Frizzle December 2011.

IT was summer-time the Northland. The bays and coves were no longer icebound, but sparkled in the sunshine. Upon the vast, barren, rocky plains lichens and moss had taken on a tinge of green. About the pools formed by melting snow among the rocks coarse, grasslike sedges had sprung up, and only in the shadow of ledges and ravines were patches of gleaming snow to be seen.

Flocks of twittering snowbirds flitted here and there, hoarse-voiced ravens sunned their black plumage upon the rocks, baby sandpipers ran nimbly along the beaches, and snowy gulls and terns wheeled and uttered querulous cries above their nesting-places on the rocky cliffs.

Weeks before, the last of the igloos (snow houses) had been abandoned by the Eskimos, and close to shore the people were dwelling in their summer tents of skins. Upon the beach the kiaks (canoes) were drawn, and upon the racks the catch of salmon was being spread to dry.

Old Nepaluka, too feeble to work, dozed in the doorway of her tent while Kemiplu her granddaughter played with the shining pebbles at the water's edge. Presently she tired of her play and toddling to her grandmother tugged at the old woman's clothes and begged for something to eat.

"Ai, ai!" exclaimed Nepaluka, rising stiffly, "Thou art ever hungry, little daughter." From the tent she brought a strip of dried meat and handing it to the child again seated herself. As she watched Kemiplu eagerly devouring the tidbit, a smile flitted over her brown, wrinkled face.

"Take heed that thou dost not choke, thou little glutton," she remarked, laughing. "Remember Nudlauk the gull!"

Her appetite appeased, the child snuggled close to her grandmother with a sigh of satisfaction. "O tell me of Nudlauk, Ananating (grandmother)," she begged.

"Very well, little daughter," replied the old woman. "When thou art older thou mayest see the lake and the bones of Nudlauk and the whale and will know that the tale is true.

"A great many ages ago," she continued, "before even the Eskimos lived in the land, there was a great gull named Nudlauk who flew daily across the hills and seas. So large was she that seals and walruses were her prey, and even the bears and wolves and reindeer were to her as but mice and partridges to the great white owls. From the sea, far toward the setting sun, would Nudlauk carry her prey, for to her giant wings the two days' journey was but an hour's flight. Then, standing with one foot on each of two hills, she would tear and eat the creatures she had caught and would feed them to her young.

"At last the seals and bears and walruses were all but destroyed, and, learning wisdom from the fate of their fellows, they would dive beneath the waves or hide among the crevices of the rocks upon the first sight of the gull or the first sound of her beating wings. Unable to get food,—for Nudlauk was slow and clumsy and of little wit,—the great gull became lean with hunger, and each day went farther on her hunting, for far and near all creatures knew her and hid themselves in fear.

"At last, alighting on a mighty iceberg far out upon the sea, she saw, spouting in the waves, a school of whales. Now Nudlauk in all her wanderings had never seen a whale before and she was filled with wonder at sight of the great creatures. 'Ah!' she thought, 'What fine great ogjugs (seals) are these. I will catch one and have a fine feast!'

"So, watching her chance, she swooped and grasped the largest whale in her beak and flapping heavily, for she was weak with hunger, she rose in the air and started homeward.

"But the whale was filled with water and very heavy, and soon the tired gull was forced to stop and rest. As soon as the whale felt himself upon the land he spouted great streams of water, which formed a little pond among the rocks. Again the gull grasped him and started onward for her home beyond the hills.

But ever and anon she stopped and laid her burden down, and at each spot the whale spouted and formed a pond, and one may still see all these little ponds about the country, even to this day. "At last, weary and worn, she reached her home and cried aloud to tell her hungry young that food was at hand. But in her absence the wolves and bears had come, and finding the young gulls weak and helpless, had killed and devoured them; so now, at Nudlauk's call, there came no answer, and soon she saw the mischief that had been done.

"Then in anger and sorrow she screamed aloud until the hills shook and the waters were ruffled as by a wind and the wolves and bears shivered and whimpered with fear within their lairs. But Nudlauk, always a glutton and now very hungry with her long flight, soon forgot all about her young and only a desire to eat filled her foolish brain.

"Grasping the whale by the head she tossed him upward and gulped him down, whole and living, even as do the little gulls to-day when they swallow fish. But the whale, seized with terror, spouted and squirmed and struck out with his mighty flukes and opened wide his great jaws, which stuck in Nudlauk's throat and choked her.

"Gasping for breath and deathly sick the great gull fluttered and struggled, splitting the granite ledges and tearing up the ground, until, unable to get the whale either up or down, she at last fell dying to the earth.

"There between the hills lie her bones and those of the whale which caused her death, and beside the pond that the whale made by his spouting one may see them bleached and white among the black rocks."

Monday, 19 December 2011

A Boys Museum 4

A Boy's Museum Part IV. The Insect Collection.

Popular Science Department

A Department of Interest to Young and Old

Edited and Illustrated by Professor A. Hyatt Verrill

The American Boy magazine, May 1910. Digitized by Doug Frizzle December 2011.

WITH the first warm breath of spring the multitude of insects will commence to stir and soon a number of kinds will be visible to the stroller through woods and pastures. Insects of many kinds are very particular as to the season of the year when they appear and hence, to have anything like a complete collection, you must be ready to collect them at any and all times. During the early spring many beetles, wasps, bees and flies are very common, which later on in the summer will disappear entirely. Moths and butterflies, however, are few during the spring but increase in numbers with the advance of warm weather. Insects as a whole are a most important group, for among them are found some of the most injurious as well as the most beneficial of creatures.

You will be greatly surprised to find what an infinite variety of insects you can obtain, even in a small district, or in a city and the more you collect and examine them and the better you understand their odd and interesting ways, lives and habits, the more you will wonder and the more interested you will become.

For collecting insects you will require comparatively few tools or implements, and these are all easily made at home or may be bought at trifling cost.

The things required for collecting are as follows: A good insect net, a small trowel, a pair of forceps, a stout, strong-bladed knife, cyanide bottles, some empty tin boxes (old tobacco boxes are good), a tin box with perforated cover, a lot of square pieces of smooth, rather stiff paper.

The net should be of stout, thin cloth, or bobinet, and should be at least ten inches in diameter and eighteen inches deep. The hoop can be easily made of stiff iron or brass wire bent as shown in Fig. 1. The two ends A,A, should be placed in a tin or brass ferrule (which has been previously stuffed half full of sand), and melted lead poured around the ends. The bag of the net can then be sewed on to the hoop, a handle fitted to the ferrule, and all is ready. Any old garden trowel and an old jackknife will do for these tools; the cyanide bottles have been described in a previous article; the tin boxes should be of various sizes and the one with perforated cover should be quite large and roomy, as it is intended to hold live caterpillars. The square pieces of paper should be of assorted sizes and these are intended to hold freshly killed butterflies and moths. To use these papers they should be folded as shown in Fig. 2, and the butterfly placed within as in Fig. 3 and the edges folded over as in Fig. 4. The papers with contained specimens are then placed in your tin boxes and are safe until ready to mount. In addition to these, a small phial of benzine or gasolene and a small bottle of 40% alcohol (wood alcohol will do) should be carried. It is often easier to kill insects, (especially butterflies in a net), with benzine than by cyanide bottles and many kinds such as wasps, beetles, ants, etc., are more easily preserved in alcohol than any other way until needed for mounting. Formaline is better than alcohol, as the colors of the insects are not so likely to fade, but if only kept in the bottle temporarily there is little trouble on this score. It is always a good plan to carry one or two small boxes and a bottle of alcohol or formaline with you in the woods, whether hunting for insects or other things, for oftentimes one comes across rare or interesting things at most unexpected times.

In order to succeed as an insect hunter you must learn the haunts and habits of each kind of insect and must know just the likely sort of places to hunt in; the flowers and trees that the larvae or adults live on, and the localities most favored by each kind. Beetles are easy to collect as they are usually rather helpless and only a few species, such as the Tiger beetles, take flight when alarmed. Under rocks and stones, in decayed wood and under old bark and logs are the best places to hunt for the various beetles. Some species, such as the boring beetles, (Fig. 5), feed on the flowers of wayside plants, and milkweed, golden rod, asters and burdock are excellent places to collect many species of these honey-loving beetles. Others feed on decayed fruit and by placing old apples, pears, etc., in certain spots you may reap quite a harvest of beetles, flies, wasps, bees and many butterflies. The ground beetles mostly live under stones and old logs and it is really lots of fun turning over such things in the woods and finding what a variety of creatures live concealed under these objects Many beetles live in decayed, or partly dead, wood and here you can use the old knife and the trowel to great advantage. In such places you will also find many species of boring larvae and although these are very difficult to raise to maturity they should be preserved as illustrating the general appearance and habits of these creatures. If possible try to cut out a section of some old dead tree or limb that you find riddled with borers' holes. This will make an interesting exhibit in your museum and the beetles and larvae (after preparation and mounting) should be placed in their natural attitudes and positions in the wood. Formerly the large museums avoided all natural styles of mounting and preparation but nowadays they strive to make their birds, animals, insects, etc., look as natural as possible and instead of mounting them singly on stiff, painted stands, they are mounted in groups among all their natural surroundings and accessories. It is, therefore, a good plan to make notes of the surroundings and situations where the specimen is obtained so that later on you can duplicate it as nearly as possible in your museum.

Although most insects, with the exception of wasps and bees, are harmless, it is always a good plan to handle any doubtful thing with forceps; moreover, by doing this they are less likely to be injured or broken.

Many fine, rare specimens of beetles, wasps and flies may also be obtained by "sugaring." This is done in two ways. One is to make a thick, syrup-like mixture of sugar, molasses, vinegar and water and paint it on tree trunks in woods and orchards. The other method is to use a thinner mixture and hang bottles and jars half-filled with the mixture in various places in the woods. By visiting the coated trees at night with a lantern a great number of fine things may be obtained and many night-flying moths are only secured in this way. The jars will catch many beetles, wasps, flies, etc., but moths that get in them are usually ruined. All specimens caught in the jars should be thoroughly cleaned in fresh water before mounting or drying. Of course in the case of the sugared trees a net must be used to catch the insects hovering about. By placing a bright light in the woods many insects will be attracted and can be readily captured, while a bright light in an open window will attract great numbers of insects on summer nights. Another good place to get beetle specimens is on the shores of the sea or large lakes. Many species fly out over the water until through fatigue they drop down and are drowned and are subsequently washed up among the flotsam and jetsam of the shores. I have taken many rare beetles in this way that I have never obtained elsewhere. Butterflies are found mainly in open fields and pastures and about flowers, but many kinds always hover over mud puddles or swamps, while other kinds are easily attracted to within reach by rotting fruit or decaying meat. Butterflies should be caught by the net and although this sounds easy you will be surprised to find how often you miss one. Approach carefully, make a quick, sharp side sweep with the net and at once turn the handle sharply so as to fold the bag of the net on itself, thus imprisoning the butterfly. The net should then be gathered carefully up and the butterfly grasped firmly between the thumb and finger. A slight pressure on the body at base of wings will render him unconscious and he can then be removed from the net and either dropped in a cyanide bottle or killed with a drop of benzine. It is often a good plan to kill with benzine before removing him from the net. No matter which method you follow, the specimen should be at once placed in the folded paper with wings folded carefully and you should be very particular to see that there are no folds or creases in the wings when placing him in the paper.

Caterpillars are a very important thing to look for and collect, for by rearing these you may secure absolutely perfect specimens of many moths and butterflies that are difficult to obtain in any other way. When a caterpillar is secured he should be placed in the perforated-covered box with some of the leaves of the plant on which he was found. When you get home the leaves should be placed in a bottle of water, paper or cotton stuffed in around the stems, and the whole placed in a breeding cage with the caterpillar. The breeding cage may be merely a box with thin cloth or wire netting cover or it may be made quite elaborate with growing plants, earth floor, etc. For single caterpillars a flower pot covered with a wire fly cover,—such as is used for covering cake,—may be used. If you are keeping a number of caterpillars together you should have the leaves that each feeds on in the cage and these leaves should be changed daily. You will find that a healthy caterpillar devours an immense amount of foliage but you should aim to always keep enough on hand to satisfy their appetites with some to spare and all dead or wilted leaves should be thrown away each day. Give the larvae plenty of fresh air, light and food and provide a pot or box of earth if they are of the kind which pupates in the ground. Handle your larvae as little as possible and after the pupae, or cocoons, are made do not disturb them in any way until they hatch out. The moths or butterflies will be very soft and juicy when they first come out, but you should wait until they are fully expanded and dry before killing and preserving them. Moths should be taken out and killed in the daytime and butterflies at night, for at these times each is sluggish and inclined to rest quietly.

In preparing your specimens you will require a few tools and other appliances, but all are cheap or easily made. Insect pins of several sizes are important, but as these cost only a few cents for a paper of one thousand, the item is small. Mounting boards are also very essential and these should be made as shown in Fig. 6. If you can not obtain sheet cork you can use pieces cut from old bottle corks or a strip of corrugated pasteboard, such as is used for mailing pictures. The mounting boards should be of several widths to accommodate insects of all sizes. In preparing beetles, moths, butterflies and other hard-bodied insects these are all that is required except some long slender needles mounted in sticks for handles, a few bits of smooth, thin cardboard,—old visiting cards are good,—and your forceps. For preparing caterpillars you will need an oven, a pair of fine scissors and some straws. The oven (illustrated in Fig. 7) is easily made from tin, but joints should not be soldered as they will soon melt apart when in use. To prepare a moth or butterfly, hold the specimen firmly by the sides of body, press a pin down through the thorax (the hardest part of body back of head to which wings are attached) allowing a little over one-half of pin to project below the body. Pin the insect in the groove of a mounting board so that top of body is level with the two sides. Then with a needle point press the wings down on the board, spread them into a natural position and pin them temporarily with fine pins inserted close to, or through, the large vein or rib at edge of wing. Proceed in the same way with the wings on the other side and be sure that the wings are exactly even and spread alike on both sides. Now take some strips of cardboard a little longer than wings are wide and lay them carefully across wings as In Fig. 8. Pin these down outside of edges of wings with common pins. Lift up and spread the antennae or feelers and secure them with another strip of card and if possible lift and spread at least one pair of the legs. Your specimen should now be set away in a safe place to dry. If the insect has been kept some time after killing he will be quite dry and stiff and must be softened before mounting. To do this a box of wet sand or sawdust to which a few drops of oil of cloves or formaline has been added should be ready. Place a sheet of clean paper over the sand or sawdust and place your dry insects on this. Cover them tightly and in a few hours you will find they are soft enough to mount. Wasps, bees and flies are mounted in the same way as the moths and butterflies but beetles,—if to be mounted in boxes merely as specimens,—should be pinned through one side of the body back of the thorax, Fig. 9). If they are to be mounted in groups or in natural attitudes, the pins should be placed along the sides and should not be run through the specimen at all. Beetles do not require a mounting board for wings, but the legs should be spread in a lifelike position. In preparing caterpillars quite a little skill and practice are required. Place your specimen on a piece of clean blotting paper, make a small incision between the two hind legs with the scissors (Fig. 10), and then with another blotter press firmly on the caterpillar, working from head backwards until all the contents of body are expelled. The oven should now be placed on a small stove or over a lamp until quite hot. Now place a straw in the incision in your caterpillar and blow gently until the body fills out plump and naturally. Now place the caterpillar within the oven through the round opening and blow gently and turn about until he becomes perfectly dry and stiff, watching the process through the glass top. He should then be placed on soft cotton in a safe spot for future use.

In placing your specimens on exhibition you can use a number of different methods. Moths, butterflies, beetles, etc., may be merely pinned in trays or glass-covered boxes with cork bottoms and each specimen numbered and labeled on a slip through which pin is passed, or they may be arranged in independent glass-covered mounts either in a plain, mounted position or arranged with dried and pressed flowers and leaves, Fig. 11. This style of mounting may also be used to good advantage with the dried larvae and very attractive mounts may be made by mounting the adult insect, the larvae and the pupa together in a glass-covered box with leaves and flowers. The best mounts for this purpose are known as the "Riker Mounts" and are very cheap, but they can be made by any boy with some old pasteboard boxes, some soft, smooth cotton and some old glass. The box is filled with layers of smooth cotton, the specimen laid carefully on it and the glass cover pressed firmly down over all and fastened in place by gummed strips of paper around the edges. This method prevents ravages of moths, allows the specimens to be examined carefully and freely handled and keeps them free from dust or injury. Oftentimes a moth or butterfly exhibits very different appearances on the upper and lower sides of wings and in such cases it is well to mount two specimens together,—one right side and the other wrong side up as shown in Fig. 12.

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.