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Full text of "Quarterly Magazine of the High Wycombe Natural History Society"






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CORYTHORNIS CO ERULEOCEPHALA, (J & j.jv. 



II 



THE 



(Duartjrlij JElagasiiip 



OF THE 



MQi) Sisa^comlie liatural M^tovSi ^otittn* 



A 



VOL. I. 



" HE PRATETH WELL WHO LO^'ETH WELL 
BOTH MAN, AXD BIRD, AND BEAST; 
HE PRAYETH BEST WHO LOVETH BEST 
ALL THINGS BOTH GREAT AND SHALL; 
FOB THE DEAR GOD WHO LOVETH US, 
HE MADE AND LOVETH ALL." 



PRINTED FOR THE SOCIETY BY W. BUTLER, CHURCH SQUARE J 

AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS. 



OEIGINAL ARTICLES. 



PAGE. 

♦Additions to the Wycombe Flora, 1866-7 65,153 

Amongst the Grass (illustrated) 61 

Autumn 27 

Birds, The, of Cookham and the Neighbourhood ... 123,147,173 
Branched Clavarias (illustrated) 81 

Chiltern Country, The 18,36,86,131 

Clerks of the Weather 106 

Folk-Lore 165 

Instinct f. Reason 109,129 

Introductory Address 3 

Large Wood Wasp, The (tW««<m^e<^ 41 

Migiation 32 

'Mosses 40 

Notes on Buckinghamshire Plants 171 

November Ramble, A 51 

On Fascination 88 

* On Incredulity with respect to Geological Facts 54 

* On the Destruction of Birds 99,134 

* On the Seeds, or Spores, of Fungi (iW««<raie<£) 179 

* On the Study of Natural History 6 

Ornithological Notes 162 

♦Our Ferns 156 

* Our Migrants 184 

* Pleasures, The, of Moth Hunting 78 

Resources 75 

Snake, The, and Adder 29 

Useful Books 70 

Weather, The, in the British Isles 33 

What we found 21 

Winter Life, The, of a Cuckoo in England 189 

Wycombe Birds 68 

Wycombe Butterflies : — 

i. Our Vanessidae 43 

ii. Our Argynnidae Ill 

iii. The Red Horns 163 

Wycombe Hawkmoths 45 

Wycombe Wild Flowers: — 

i. The Nightshade Family 11 

ii. Our Violets (illustrated) 90 

* The Papers marked thus have been read before the Society. 



Proceedings of the Society 23,46,69,94,113,137,168,191 

* Second Annual Address of the President 115 

* Second Annual Report of the Secretary 139 

Notices of Books 143 



NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE. 



PAGE 

American Blight, The , , . . 35 
Angle Shades Moth, The . . 74 

Beech Leaves 48 

Birds, The, of Berks and Bucks 1(59 

Biu-nham Beeches 194 

Butcher's Broom, The ., ..190 

Caterpillars 26 

Chantarelle, The 50 

Clerks of the Weather . . . . 145 
Clouded Yellow, The . ..140 
Ciu-ious Place for a Bird's Nest 73 

Dr, Johnson at Favdt . . . . 26 
Duke of Burgundy, The . . . . 145 

Edible Fungi 73 

Flora of Bucks, The . . . . 169 

Funeral of a Bee 49 

Future Life of Animals, The . . 74 

Good Old Times, The . . . . 122 
Green Woodpecker, The . , . . 73 

Hawkmoths 50 

Hebenon . . . . 48, 72, 98, 121 

Hedgehogs 98, 1G9 

Humming Bird Moth, The . . 49 

Instinct v. Reason 25, 26, 48, 49, 74 



PAGE 

Is Geology a dry Study f . , . . 26 

Land Efts 25 

Large Tortoise-shell, The.. .. 72 
Late Martins 170 

Mai-tins 26 

Mezereon, The 194 

Moles 49 

Morell (illustratecr) 194 

On Preserving the Colour of Dried 

Flowers 145 

Phosphoric Centipede, A . . 146 
Plant new to the District . . 25 

Reason in Animals 133 

Scarcity of Common Lepidop- 

tera 170, 193 

Sea Currents 17 

Small Elephant Hawkmoth, The 74 
Stoat, The 170 

Uses of Animals 47 

Water Crowfoot 194 

Wheatear, The .... 146, 169 
■\Vhiteflowered Wood Violet . . 25 
White Sand Martin 146 



QUAKTERLY MAGAZINE 

OF THE 

NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY. 



jxjL"^", isee. 



ADDRESS. 

4 

A CCEDIXG to the expressed •wishes of many lovers of Natiire, the above 
Society has resolved on issuing a periodical. As in the case of old 
John Bunyan's book, there -will doubtless be many varied opinions concerning 
its venturing to do so. But if any apology be needed, we can only state 
that our simple desire is to spread abroad a knowledge of the things which 
lie around us, and to increase that love for such things which dwells 
naturally in the human breast. The district around High Wycombe is one 
peculiarly rich in natural treasures, both botanical and zoologicjd, and at the 
same time is one which has been but very cursorily examined. There are 
flowering plants to be found in our woods, of sufficient rarity to induce bot- 
anists to make a journey from London to see them in bloom ; there are 
many animals in the ^-icinity which inhabit but a few favoured spots in the 
island : the geology, if not of very varied aspect, is still highly interesting, 
many curious fossils having been obtained here, while the scenery in the 
vaUey is especially tranqiiil and soothing. To the numerous objects in these 
dififerent branches of study we desire to draw attention, and also to spread 
any information in owe power concerning them. In each number we hope to 
give two or three original articles on our local Fauna and Flora, to notice the 
progress of the study of Nat\u:al History generally, and by means of a page 



or two for Notes and Queries, to afford an opportunity to all who desire it, 
of asking for, and receiv-ing information. All notices of the appearances of 
migratory birds, and hybemating animals, of the occurrence of rare and un- 
common plants, will be thankfully received and inserted ; we hope to make 
the work a reliable natm-al history of the neighboui-hood, and to this end we 
ask all and everybody to contribute their quota, remembering that nothing 
is too trivial to notice, there is no telling what missmg link in the chain it 
may prove to be : all that is necessary is a plain, truthful mamier of telUiig 
it, omitting all romance, and never allowing imagination to supply the place 
of fact. For the science is peculiarly an inductive one ; conclusions must 
not be dra^^"n from one or two observations ; if they are, we shall in all 
probability have to cancel them ; patience and personal observation, however, 
will prevent tliis. 

Should the Magazme meet -with a favourable reception, we hope to issue 
it oftener than its present title would imply, and also to increase its size : 
for the present we must leave it to stand or fall on its own toerits. 



m m mk ^ i»*«»'»l ii^toyy. 



A PAPER READ AT THE ANNUAL CONVERSAZIONE OF THE 
SOCIETY IN APRIL LAST, BY THE SECRETARY. 



T 



" God fulfils Himself in many ways." 
HE study of Natural History may be looked at from two 
points of view ; we may regard it either as affording pleasure 
to the senses and gratification to the mind ; or as tending to be 
practically useful in the economy of our Hves. It is now closely 
foUowed up by the holders of each of these views, and none of 
either class have ever repented the study. Nature herself is so 
infinite and varied in aU her productions, that though she has had 
disciples ever since man appeared on the earth, she retains, even 
now, after the lapse of thousands of years, the same freshening 
influence, the same charm hanging about her works, which acts 
with such an irresistible force upon the neophyte, and urges him 
to travel onwards. It is not my intention now to refer at all to 
the advantages derived from the study by those holding the 
second view ; we are assembled here as we have been at other 
times, simply from a love of Nature, with a desire so to look upon 
created works, that we may find "life and food for future years." 
To many I may say nothing new ; to some I may probably be 
able to place some old facts or thoughts in a new light ; but I 
shaU be amply repaid if I succeed in making only one more eager 
in his or her pursuits in the woods and fields— more desirous of 
following out thoroughly that which at present is taken up only 
in a desultory manner. 



6 ON THE STUDY OF NATURAL HISTORY. 

I believe the love of created works to be inherent in the human 
mind — that it is not so much an acquired love as one that wUl 
spring up involuntarily ; we have it in us naturally ; it may lie a 
long time dormant, but when some flower of spring, or animated 
"thing of beauty" shall appear, at a moment perhaps when the 
heart is peculiarly open to its influence, it will implant itself in 
our memories, and become a "joy for ever." Few indeed are 
they, who, having once set foot within the porches of the great 
palace of nature turn round and retrace their steps. And the 
farther they advance the greater is their wonder and delight — 
the more keen is their sense of enjoj-ment. When LiNNiEus, after 
years of study, came to England, and for the first time in his life 
saw the yellow gorse in flower, he fell on his knees, and thanked 
God for the sight. No one can understand this who has not dis- 
covered a rare plant or seen some beautiful animal for the first 
time, that he has long wished to find. 

Just as in childhood, as the years — nay, as the weeks — roU by, 
we make fresh discoveries in the world around us, feel ourselves 
growing wiser — feel an expansive power at work within us, pro- 
duced by the very objects which that power enables us ta apprer 
ciate — so do we, in maturer years, among the domains of nature, 
feel sources of new pleasxires ever opening to us, and we make 
continually new discoveries. The things which delighted us in 
childhood, yield us little delight in manhood— then 

" Earth, and every common sight, 

To us did seem 
Apparelled in celestial light, 
The glory and the freshness of a dream." 

But a sort of wearisome familiarity began to cling to them, 

" Shades of the prison-house begin to close 

Upon the growing boy. 
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows, 

He sees it in his joy ; 
The youth who daily from the East 
Must travel, still is nature's priest, 

And by the \'ision splendid 

Is on his way attended ; 
At length the mun perceives it die away, 
And fade into the light of common day." 

So, says the poet, is it with the ordinary experiences of life. If 

it could be shown then, that there was any one subject of study, 

which, beyond all others, and with less trouble, coiild afford us a 



ON THE STTIDY OF NATtTRAl HISTOKT. 7 

never-ending experience otnew pleasures— pleasures, •which should 
not pall our satiated appetites, which have the very least alloy of 
disappointment in them, is it not worth while to pay a little atten- 
tion to it? I may be said to be exaggerating, to be enthusiastic in 
my own mode of recreation; but I appeal to all naturalists to bear 
me out in what I have said, and I confidently leave it to the ex- 
perience of others. 

The subject is one, not so much for the Library and the study, 
as for the theatre of Creation itseK — you wUl bear in mind the 
view with which I am now regarding it — we shall learn most by 
personal examination, and what we so learn we shall seldom 
forget. 

Nature probably is most fascinating, subjectively, in the season 
of youth, the mind being then most capable of pure enjoyment, 
for its own sake ; all things then wear a fairy garb ; it was then, 
says Wordsworth, that 

" The sounding cataract 
Haunted me like a passion : the tall rock, 
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, 
Their colours and their forms, were then to me 
An appetite ; a feeling and a love 
That had no need of a remoter charm 
By thought supplied, or any interest 
"Unborrowed from the eye." 

And as riper years steal upon us the same love retains its hold, 

but there is a change in the mode of regarding it ; we, Hke the 

poet, learn 

" To look on Xature, not as in the hour 

Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes 

The still, sad music of humanity, 

Not harsh nor grating, though of ample power 

To chasten and subdue. And we have felt 

A presence that disturbs us with the joy 

Of elevated thoughts ; a sense sublime 

Of something far more deeply interfused, 

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, 

And the round ocean, and the living air. 

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man : 

A motion and a spirit that impels 

All thinking things, all objects of all thought, 

And rolls through aU. things." 

To come to something practical: let us draw a comparison 

between a lover of nature and one who thinks nothing of her. 

Take the case of a simple ramble through the fields : most people 

are in the habit of "doing a constitutional" occasionally. This 



8 ox THE STUDY OF NATURAL HISTORY. 

walk is very often quite aimless, and is only undertaken as a 
matter of duty, out of regard to one's liealtli. A man takes a 
certain number of steps every day ; lie feels a sort of satisfaction 
after it, and goes to his work again until the time returns for its 
repetition. All well and good perhaps, but I ask, is it not also 
our duty to keep our minds in health, as well as our bodies ? The 
above individual grows no richer, mentally, for his labour. How 
different fi-om the case of another, who tells you he never comes 
home from a ramble without having discovered something fresh : 
he goes out to escape from his daily routine of business ; he knows 
that nothing rests the mind so much as change, and that when it 
is thoroughly wearied out by continued concentration on one sub- 
ject, it is better to occupy it with another than to suffer it to be 
idle. And therefore in his wallc he notices the flower and the 
animal, their habitats, and their times of appearing; ho discovers, 
without the aid of books, that there is "a time for everything" — 
a set time, and that in the beautiful regularity which pervades 
nature, nothing appears out of time or order ; the caterpillar is 
not hatched before its food-jilant is putting forth its leaves ; the 
butterfly and the bat do not wake from their winter's sleep when 
there is nothing for them to eat ; everything is arranged. He 
notices, with scarcely an effort, tlie peculiarities of the beasts of 
the field, and the birds of the air ; he discovers the marvellous con- 
nection between one species and another, between one family and 
another, and the dependence of aU upon the Creator, so that 

" The whole rotind earth is every way 
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God." 

In the Spring his eyes first see the swallow, his ears are fu-st 
greeted by the cuckoo, he is gratified by the bursting forth of the 
vegetation into the most lovely green ; in the Autumn, while tints 
stiU more lovely objectively, array themselves before him, his de- 
light is tempered with sober thoughts of the great change which 
is one day to be wrought in himself. In Summer he beholds the 
triumphant reign of all living things, and in Winter— generally 
thought to be dull and cheerless in the country, — he knows where 
to find the squirrel and the dormouse snugly domiciled ; he can 
find )-ou the chi-ysaHs of many a moth and butterfly marvellously 



ON THE STUDY OF NATUKAI. HISTORY. 9 

entombed in the earth, or slung in a hammock ; he can shov/ you 
luxuriant beds of mosses— those children of the winter that flourish 
when all around is asleep; And even if he could not sliotc you 
aU this, think what marveUous stores of information he has laid 
up, thJt shaU afford him food for thought when he is lonely, or 
from which he can draw fairy lore to wile away the winter evening; 
what tales he can tell you of the wonderful things he saw in the 
summer— how he found the boat of eggs floating about in the 
pond, so curiously and perfectly formed by the gnat, that it could 
not be upset -a veritable Ufe-boat ; again, how he drew from the 
water a thing monstrously strange, armed mth jaws that could 
unfold themselves upon its prey while yet afar off, how with un- 
relenting stedfastness it destroyed and devoured the other in- 
habitants, and after a few months of such enjoyment it climbed 
up a tall reed, and sphtting itself down the back, took unto itself 
wings and flew off to continue its carnage among the inhabitants 
of air. Or our naturalist may give you more pleasing accounts of 
the nests of the wren and titmouse, the beautiful spotted eggs of 
the thrush, and the pearly eggs of the azure halcyon -how one 
bird assaUed him with a torrent of abuse as he approached her 
ofifepring, and another suffered liim to lay hold of her, sooner 
than she would forsake her nest : again, of the banks of flowers 
upon which he lay and pondered— the bed of happy violets, the 
golden cowslips, the "jocund company" of daffodils, the delicate 
wood son-el, the wind flower ; he teUs you how he saw the faee of 
wintry nature turned into a perfect paradise of lovehness, and says 
" Though ahsent long 

These forms of beauty have not been to me 

As is a landscape to a blind man's eye ; 

But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din 

Of to-sras and cities, I have owed to them, 

In hours of weariness, sensations sweet." 

These are the stores upon which the lover of nature can draw. 

The poets of nature have been many, and I must not take up 
your time in quoting what is most likely familiar to you. I have 
tried to show what a charm there is around us if we like to ex- 
perience it— what an infinite variety there is for the mind to study. 
It is this infinite variety which gives the superiority to Natural 
History as a means of recreation : there is no fear of exhausting 



10 ON THE STUDY OF NATURAL HISTORY. 

the subject. Alexander the Great was sorely distressed when he 
had conquered aU there was to conquer ; but it cannot be so with 
Tis, Creation knows no- limit. I remember reading in some "wild 
dream of a German poet" that a human being was conducted 
over the imiverse to view God's worlds, and that after sweeping 
past innumerable orbs, — planets, satellites, and comets, the 
mind of the man sank into itself, and shuddered with the over- 
powering effects, begging to be shown no more. If it were so 
with the thought of the infinity of worlds, what would it be, could 
he have but a dim comprehension of the infinitude of infinities 
that exists in each separate world. 

Here then is provided for our delectation a goodly storehouse 
of knowledge ; volumes upon volumes He open before us ; take 
them up and reverently turn over the leaves, they make up the 
Book of GOD. i i ^ a. >; 



Not only is the past history of each being written in every 
particle of which its material frame is constructed, but the 
past records of the universe to which it belongs, and a prediction 
of its future. God can make no one thing that is not universal in 
its teachings if we would be so taught ; if not, the fault is with 
the pupils, not with the Teacher. He writes His everliving 
words in all the works of His hand ; He spreads this ample book 
before us always ready to teach if we will only learn. "VVe walk 
in the midst of miracles with closed eyes and stopped ears, dazzled 
and bewildered vrith. the Light, fearful and distrustful of the 
Word ! It is not enough to accumulate facts as misers gather 
coins, and then to put them away on oiir bookshelves, guarded by 
the bars and bolts of technical j>hraseology. As coins, the facts 
must be circulated, and given to the public for their use. It is no 
matter of wonder that the generality of readers recoil from works 
on the natural sciences, and look upon them as mere collections 
of tedious names, irksome to read, ^unmanageable of utterance, 
and impossible to remember. Oui*8cientific libraries are fiUed with 
facts, dead, hard, dry, and material as the fossil bones that fill 
the sealed and cavemed libraries of the past. But true science 
will breathe life into that dead mass, and fill the study of Zoology 
with poetry and spirit. — Eev. J. G. Wood. 



11 



^X^cmht mm 3mvm. 



I.— THE NIGHTSHADE FAMILY {Solanacece). 



^^ IT came to passe that three boyes of Wisbich in the He of 
-*- Ely did eate of the pleasant and beautiful fruit hereof, two 
whereof died in lesse than eight houres after that they had eaten 
of them. The third child had a quantitie of hony and water 
mixed together given him to drinke, causing him to vomit often : 
God blessed this meanes and the child recovered." 

The "Thi'ee Boyes of "Wisbich" — especially the Two who died — 
seem to us worthy of exaltation to the very highest pinnacle of 
the Temple of Shocking Examples erected by the nurses of Great 
Britain for the benefit and warning of those under their care. 
Children, we are all aware, have in them from birth almost, a 
predilection for testing the quality of every object which they see 
around them, by selecting a small portion thereof for immediate 
consumption. Shem, Ham, and Japhet, ■with their wives and 
cattle (we allude to their representatives in the " Noah's Arks " 
of infancy), are all very well while what we may term the suck- 
ing stage of childhood lasts : but when the gnawing epoch suc- 
ceeds, accompanied by the acquirement of the rudiments of 
walking, a wider sphere opens before the young and inquiring 
mind J out-door objects — earwigs and ants, for example — are 
devoured with relish, and herbs of various properties serve as 
sauce. A nursemaid in herself is powerless to prevent this : but 
arm her for the occasion with the tragical tale of the Three, and 
the horrible fate of the Two "Boyes of Wisbich;" let her be 
taught to narrate it in simple, but forcible language ; and the 
infantile imagination must shudder at the scene presented to it, 
and the varied diet may be desisted from. 

Does this seem a strange way of beginning a paper upon 
Wycombe Wild Flowers ? Let us then, without further delay, 
proceed to our subject, to which the above is not wholly 
c 



12 WYCOMBE WILD FLOWERS. 

irrelevant, leaving, for the present, conjectures (in wluch we 
confess we feel great interest) as to why the "meanes" which 
were blessed to the recovery of the third chUd, were not at least 
tried upon the other two. 

Our readers' cui'iosity must be — or at any rate ought to be — by 
this time excited as to the name of the plant, the "pleasant and 
beautiful fruit " of which brought such fatal consequences to the 
youthful Wisbichians. Quaint old Gerarde, who is our authority 
for the above statement, tells us that it was Dwale, or Deadly 
Nightshade, and advises his readers to banish it from their 
gardens, or from any place near their houses, "being a plant so 
furious and deadly." It belongs to the order Solanace^ — the 
Nightshade Family, to the few British representatives of which 
— all of them wild flowers of the "Wycombe district — we would 
now direct attention. 

The Deadly Nightshade rejoices in the Latin name of Atropa 
Belladonna, but is perhaps usually known by that of Belladonna 
only, which we should anglicise as "Beautiful Lady;" given to 
it from the fact that it is used as a cosmetic by Italian dames. 
The name Atropa refers very strongly to the fatal properties of 
the plant, Atropos being the mystic Fate whose office it was to sever 
the thread of life. Its English names also point to the poisonous 
nature of this species: they are — Deadly, or Sleepy, Night- 
shade ; Dwale — a word which is a corruption of the French word 
dcuil, moiUTiing — to which is frequently added the prefix Deadly; 
Hogsbean — a name which is also applied to the Henbane; — and 
Dwayberries. 

The Deadly Nightshade is a very large and handsome plant, 
from three to eight feet high, and very shrubby ; the stems are 
often thicker than an ordinary walking-stick ; the leaves are 
large and smooth, of a somewhat dark green, egg-shaped, pointed, 
and uncut. The flowers are also somewhat handsome, the 
calyces being green, and the corollas lurid purple ; the latter are 
very numerous, growing singly, or occasionally in pairs, upon 
rather long stalks ; and are pendulous, bell-shaped, and mono- 
petalous, i.e., one-petalled, all in one piece; each containing five 
white stamens, and one pistil. But it is in fruit that our Bella- 



■VTYCOMBE 'WTLD FTiOWERS. 13 

donna appears most to advantage, when each, blossom, is succeeded 
by a lustrous purplish-black berry as large as a cherry, the juice 
of which gives a briUiant and permanent purple dye to paper ; 
and the slender boughs bend to the earth with their beautiful but 
deadly freight. Each berry contains a great number of small 
black seeds, and is seated on the five-pointed calyx, which re- 
mains after the coroUa has fallen ofi". "We may here remark that 
the corolla is that part of the blossom which is usually coloured, 
and which is commonly called the flower; the calyx is the cup in 
which the coroUa is placed, and is usually green. In some plants, 
as in the Buttercup, the calyx falls ofi" as the coroUa expands : but 
in others, as in our Deadly Nightshade, it is persistent, remaining 
even when the fruit is matured. 

Many suppose that it is to the Belladonna that Shakespeare 
alludes, when he says, 

" Have we eaten of the insane root 
That takes the reason prisoner ? " » 

and this supposition is borne out by the old authors, who tell us 
that " this kind of Nightshade trouhleth the minde, Iringeth mad- 
nesse if a few of the berries be inwardly taken, but if moe be given 
they also kiU and bring present death." Nevertheless, when 
judiciously employed, Belladonna is a valuable remedy in many 
diseases, especially in such as affect the eye. 

The Deadly Nightshade is a rare plant of chalky districts, and 
is also found among ruins : in some places it is very abundant, as 
about the ruins of Furness Abbey, whence that neighbourhood is 
said by "Withering to have obtained the name of " Vale of Night- 
shade." Our own district produces it in several localities : it 
grows in profusion among the undergrowth in the little wooded 
patch which faces the middle lodge in "Wycombe Park, and was 
formerly foimd on Keep Hill, as well as in a small wood above 
Hedge Mill, near Loudwater. A fine specimen grows in the 
Hughenden woods ; and in the woodlands near Marlow and 
Medmenham it is of frequent occurrence, being especially luxuri- 
ant in some parts of Bisham "Wood, Berks. The blossoms expand 
in June and July, and the berries are in perfection during Sep- 
tember and October. 



14 ■WTCOMBE "WILD FL0"W1ERS. 

The Henbane, oi* Hogsbean {Htjoscyamus niger), shares the 

poisonous properties of the Deadly Nightshade in a very marked 

manner : its English name would point to its ill effects upon 

birds and nearly all living beings are susceptible of its influence. 

Shakespeare speaks of the "juice of cursed Hebenon," (not un- 

fi-equently rendered " Ebony ! ") 

"Whose effect 
Holds such an enmity with blood of man 
That, swift as quicksilver, it courses through 
The natiiral gates and alleys of the body ; 
And, with a sudden vigour, it doth posset 
And curd, like eager di-oppings into milk, 
The thin and wholesome blood." 

And Gerarde tells us that " the leaves, seed, and juyce taken in- 
wai-dly, cause an unquiet sleepe like unto the sleep of drunken- 
nesse, ^vhich continue th long, and is deadly to the party." Like 
the Deadly Nightshade, however, Henbane is a valuable plant in 
medicine, -when used with judgment and care. The following 
anecdote, for the accuracy of minute particulars of which we can- 
not vouch, but the main facts of which are to be foxmd in various 
works, ehow the striking effects produced by Henbane when 
taken unintentionally in large quantities. 

The Abbot of Jenesaisquoi had presented to his brother of 
Ehinon a salad, which was all that a salad should be — hot and 
strong, and plenty of it ; little wotting, good man ! that the lay- 
brother to whom the gathering of the herbs was entrusted had, 
with a lamentable ignorance of Botany, substituted the root of 
the Henbane for that of the bitter, but innoxious Chicory. At 
collation, full justice was done to the salad : its flavour was 
piquant and savoury withal. The monks went to bed, and slept 
heavily : when Brother Ambrose rang the bell for Prime, they 
thought that the time for that office had come roimd apace. But 
worse took place when they had somehow or other assembled 
themselves in chapel: the prior and chanters vied with each other 
in singing ridiculous nonsense : Brother Cyprian was with 
difficulty restrained from violently assaulting Brother Patrick, 
while the characters in Brother Gregory's book took unto them- 
selves the form of flies, and kept the worthy soul fully employed 
in attempting to brush them off. Brother Maurus was absent 



WYCOMBE "WTXD PLOVERS. 15 

altogether, and was found fast asleep in a corner of his cell, 
emitting such, groans the while, that extreme unction vrould have 
been administered forthwith, had any brother been steady enough 
to perform the service. But the worst case of aU was that of 
poor Lay-brother Francis, the tailor in ordinary to the monastery, 
who saw three needles when he should have seen but one, and 
occupied his time for more than a week in endeavouring to thread 
the two imaginary ones ; during which time we can readily con- 
ceive that the robes of the Brotherhood got somewhat out of repair. 
However, we are told that the holy men aU recovered, each, 
doubtless, resolving to be cautious ere he tasted a salad, the 
composition of which was unknown to him. And from this tal© 
we may deduce a moral — Don't eat of made dishes unless you 
know what's in them. 

Henbane may be recognised, when seen, by its somewhat 
large, pale green leaves, which are usually much cut, and being 
viscid, support a large quantity of dust: the whole plant is 
extremely clammy and downy, emitting a peculiar and offensive 
smell. The woody stem, which in fine specimens is much 
branched, varies in height from one to two feet, but is frequently 
shorter. The calyces are large, becoming upright after the fall- 
ing off of the corollas : they are composed of strong fibres, and 
may usually be noticed in gi'oups of " skeleton flowers." The 
monopetalous corollas are somewhat bell-shaped: those which 
first appear seem quite embedded in the topmost leaves, but as 
the stem elongates, we observe that they are really seated on 
short stalks in the axils of the leaves — i.e., where these join the 
stem. They are of a pale straw-colour, or brownish yeUow, 
exquisitely veined with lurid purple, which hue also tinges deeply 
the centre of each. There are five stamens and one pistil ; the 
seeds are black and very numerous, of about the size of a mustard- 
seed. The Henbane has a great partiality for waste ground, and 
may usually be seen springing up where a portion of woodland 
has been cleared : in newly made gardens it is sometimes a trouble- 
some weed. Preferring a chalky soil, it is seldom to be found 
in the same place for two successive seasons : we know but one 
permanent locality for it near Wycombe— about the rubbish heaps 



i6 "WTCOMBE ■WILD FLOWERS. 

on Totteridge Common, where it has held its ground for many 
years, and grows to a large size. On waste ground and rubbish 
heaps it has been seen in aU parts of the district — Great Marlow, 
Little Marlow, Bourne End, Cookham (Berks), Wycombe Marsh, 
Downley, Bradenham, Bledlow Eidge, &c. ; and each year it is 
observed in some fresh locality. Last season, the Henbane was 
pai'ticulavly fine and abundant in the large pit at Littleworth, 
near Downley. The blossoms expand from May till September. 

Our two remaining British Nightshades belong to the genus 
Solanum, from which the order takes its name. To mention all 
the useful and ornamental species of Solanum would take up too 
much space, but before proceeding to the description of the two 
indigenoiis ones, we may briefly draw attention to one or two 
which are especially noticeable. First among these comes the 
Potato (S. tuberosum), one of the discoveries of unfortunate Sir 
"Water Ealeigh ; how would he stare, could he behold the mani- 
fold varieties of his Peruvian protege now cultivated in this 
coimtry ! The Tomato or Love-apple {S. lycopersicum), loved of 
goiu-mands, comes from Mexico and other countries ; the curious 
Egg-plant {S. esculentum), too, is a member of this genus ; and so 
is the Apjile of Sodom {S. Sodomeum). Besides these, the number 
and variety of Nightshades now cultivated in what are termed 
*' sub-tropical gardens," would baffle the description of any but 
their cultivators. 

Our own British species are the Bittersweet, or Woody (mis- 
called Deadly) Nightshade {S. dulcamara), and the Black, or 
Garden Nightshade {S. nigrum). The former of these needs no 
description : any one who cares to know what Woody Nightshade 
blossoms are like, is requested to go to the nearest potato patch, 
and gather a bunch of potato-flowers, which Woody Nightshade 
blossoms resemble as closely as anything small can resemble any- 
thing large. The aforesaid " any one " will have no difficulty in 
finding S. dulcamara ; its long branches creep up nearly every 
hedge, or trail along by rubbish heaps and waste ground. It is 
most conspicuous in the late autumn and winter, when the 
flowers are succeeded by clusters of bright scarlet berries, beau- 
tiful but dangerous. The Garden Nightshade is much less 



TTTCOMBE -WTLD FLOWEES. tf 

common, occurring as a weed in gardens at Wycombe and Gkeat 
Mariow, and also on waste ground in the latter locality. It is a 
shrubby plant, usually of small size, with white potato-like blos- 
soms, which are succeeded by black berries, and entire, some^ 
times toothed leaves, and is altogether insignificant in appearance. 
In a dried state (hear it! herbarium makers!) its appearance 
is miserable in the extreme. It shares the poisonous properties 
of S. dulcamara ; and its flowers expand from July to September. 

The following useful or interesting plants also belong to the 
Solanacem : the "Winter Cherry {Physalis Alkeheng), a pretty gar- 
den plant which seems to have gone out of fashion ; Capsicum 
annuum, from which Cayenne pepper is obtained ; the Mandrake 
{Mandragora officinanim), which our ancestors fabled as shrieking 
when pulled from the gpround; the Thorn-apple {Datura Stra- 
monium), with large white trumpet-shaped blossoms, and thorned 
seed-vessels, occasionally found on rubbish heaps ; and the two 
species of Tobacco-plant {Nicotiana virginica and If. rustica), the 
leaves of which, in conjunction with those furnished by the 
delightful, though himible. Dock, and the Cabbage-fields of the 
Metropolis supply the sterner sex — and occasionally, it is said, 
the tceaTcer one — with the means of "making chimneys of their 
mouths." 

In this age of sensation, we fear that our article may have 

proved somewhat "slow." We regret, but cannot obviate, the 

fact. Let us conclude, then, by presenting as a peace-offering to 

the Genius of Sensationalism, the name of Solanum anthropopJia^ 

gorum, which was exhibited at a recent meeting in London, as 

"the plant eaten with man-meat by the Fijis!" 

James Beitten". 



Sea-ctjreents. — How much solid matter does the whole host of 
marine plants and animals abstract from sea water daily ? Is it 
a thousand pounds, or a thousand millions of tons ? No one can 
say. But, whatever be its weight, it is so much of the power 
of gi-avity applied to the dynamical forces of the ocean. And this 
power is derived from the salts of the sea, through the agency of 
sea-sheUs and marine animals, that of themselves scarcely possess 
the power of locomotion. Yet they have power to put the 
whole sea in motion, from the equator to the poles, and firom top 
to bottom. — Matjet. 



18 



Ette milium (KoMntrjj. 



WE tear often of the " Chiltern Hills," and the "Chiltern 
Hundreds," occasionally of the " Chiltern Forest," but little 
seems to be known of the name, its origin, or meaning. The 
following sketch is written in the hope of throwing some light 
on the early history of the tract of country represented by these 
names, whose hills and dales are so familiar to the members of 
our society through our numerous pleasant excursions. 

The " Chiltern Hills" are usually taken to mean the ridge of 
lofty hills which separate South Buckinghamshire from the Vale 
of Aylesbury; but the name of Chiltern properly applies to the 
whole of the hUly district of which the Chiltern hundreds, of 
political celebrity, form a portion. This district is called in the most 
ancient records by the simple name of Ciltern or Chiltern, and in 
later times, the Chiltern forest. Physically it may be defined as 
the tract of table land, broken tip by numerous valleys and 
coombs, and marked by lofty peaks which serve as landmarks for 
many miles round — which stands up in bold relief between the 
vales of the Thame and bf the Thames. This tract was covered 
by an almost impassable forest of beech woods, from which it 
acquired its ancient name; for the element CIL is common to 
all primitive European languages, and universally signifies in 
geography country that is or formerly was thickly wooded; and 
has found its way in more modern times back into our own 
language, from the Latin, in the word " sylvan."* 

The name of Chiltern was bestowed upon the forest by its 
earliest inhabitants, the Celts ; and a considerable portion of the 
names of the natural creatures of the district are Celtic, though in 
a Saxonisod form. Such are the names of the springs and streams ; 
the names of several hiUs — Penn, Coles-hill, Knaphill, Keep-hill, 

• The Cil is softened in Anglo-Saxon into Chil by a process peculiar to 
tbe latter tongue. The element is traceable in many names in Italy, Spain, 
Germany, Bohemia, France, and Greece — wherever, in short, the Celtic 
tribes made permanent settlements. 



THE CHILTEEIf COTJUTRY. 19 

Haveringdon-hill ("West Wycombe), &c. All these the Saxons 
must have fotmd in use, and incorporated into their own language, 
like many elements in common names. The district is described 
by the name of Ciltem in the earliest known division of Saxon 
England, given by Camden (Magna Britannia, in Jansson's Novus 
Atlas, vol. 4, p. 65), on the authority of the celebrated jurist 
Francis Tate. This singular list probably dates not many 
years posterior to the Saxon invasion; and -the precise meaning 
of the several strange names by which the divisions are de- 
nominated is not yet determined by antiquaries; but we find 
among them plainly and unmistakeably that of Ciltcrn-setna, 
which is stated to contain seven thousand hides.* Here, then, 
we have the earliest documentary evidence of the name. Probably 
the whole of the district now called Buckinghamshire was in- 
cluded in it; and no one will deny that for harmony, propriety, 
and convenience, the ancient name is to be preferred before the 
modem, or its vulgar abbreviation into Bucks. 

But how came the old name to be cast out? What reason 
induced the siirveyors who settled the county boundaries and 
fixed the county names by order of Alfred the Great, to exchange 
the ancient and significant name of Chiltem for one borrowed 
from a little town in a remote corner of the district? The reason 
is, that the Chiltem forest was of little political importance — it 
had no towns or villages to speak of till a long time after the 
neighbouring vales had become thoroughly populated. And such 
importance as it possessed, was rather of a negative than a 
positive kind ; for after the Danish invasions had ceased it was 
in the worst possible reputation as the stronghold and hiding- 
place of innumerable thieves, murderers, and scoundrels of all sorts. 
Thither retired all the vagabonds whom the peace threw out of 
employment — the discontented and disaflfected — who together with 
the numerous original members of the most ancient trading 
company in the world, the freebooters, acquired for the name 
of the ChUtem forest an odour which was many centuries 

* The list only includes the cis-Humbiian part of the island, which is 
divided into thirty-four districts, the largest, Wessex, containing 100,000 
hides, and the three smallest only 300 hides apiece. The only names besides 
Chiltem which I can identify with existing di-visions are those of Kent, 
Essex, Sussex, and the Isle of "Wight. 
D 



20r THE CHILTERN COTINTEY, 

lingering about it. So late as the time of Queen Elizabeth 

Drayton could wi-ite, in his Polyolbion — 

" Here (in the Chiltern hills) if you beat a bush, 'tis odds you start a thief." 

The ancient office of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, though 
useful for political purposes, is now of the smallest possible im- 
portance to the Chilterners themselves. The original steward 
was some valiant knight — some sturdy cavalier who willingly 
resio'ned the glorious career of a soldier abroad for the less 
honourable but more useful life of a poHceman at home; whose 
duty it was to jirotect peaceful citizens who had occasion to 
journey through its recesses, and to keep in check the marauding 
villains who infested it. He and his myrmidons, however, seem 
to have made little head against the nuisance. The Abbot of St. 
Albans was at last obliged to take the matter in hand, for the 
security of travellers to and from his Abbey. First, he i^roceeded 
to cut down as much of the forest as possible — more, I imagine, 
in his own vicinity than in South Buckinghamshire; then to 
make convenient roads, and then to hand over one of his manors to 
two stout soldiers (I forget their names), to be possessed by them 
on condition of their assisting the Steward of the Hundreds in 
his exertions to preserve the peace of the neighbourhood.* 

Such is the story as you read it in the "Lives of the Twenty -three 
Abbots,'^ by Matthew Paris. There is abundant confirmation of 
the main facts which the old chronicler relates of the Chiltern 
district from other sources ; but I am a little sceptical as to the 
additional inhabitants whom he avers to have shared the posses- 
sion of the forest with the marauding parties aforesaid — namely, 
wolves, boars, and wild boars, whom these feudal police were 
also bound, as far as possible, to exterminate. So late as 1368, 
wo find a tenure in the Five Eolls for the destruction of " wolves 
foxes, martrons, cats, and other vermin " in the county of Buck- 
ingham; but it is probable that wolves had been extinct long 
before that period, in this portion of the island. A wild boar, 
I believe, was hunted and killed near Ponn as late as the last 
century; but I am not ablo to give any authentic particulars. 

E. J. Payne. 
{To be continued.) 

• The abbot was Lcofstan ; the knights (there ■\\-erc three instead of two), 
Thiirnoth, Waldcr, and Thurnian; and the manor, Flamstead, in Herts. 
William the Conqueror took it away from them, and gave it to one of his 
own adventiirers. 



21 



mat vet iomL 



IF we ■wisli to convince ourselves of the infinite varietj-- which, 
nature so lavishly spreads before us, we cannot do better 
than narrowly examine, at the various seasons of the year, one 
locality, easily "come-at-able," and of definite limits ; we shaU 
be astonished at finding how many species of Flowering Plants 
alone may be gathered in a comparatively small area. Most of 
our readers know the straight piece of road, about two and a half 
miles in length, which extends from High to West "Wycombe. 
On the right hand side is a hedge, high in some parts, and very 
dusty ; on the left, a lower hedge, between which and the road 
is a narrow grassy patch. While walking along this road on the 
11th of June last, it occurred to iis to gather a specimen of each 
plant then in blossom on the right hand side of the road alone ; 
and on arriving at West Wycombe we found that our bouquet 
numbered fifty-eight species! Besides these, there was at least 
an equal number, the blossoms of which had either not yet ex- 
panded, or had already withered ; and we do not in the least 
exaggerate, when we state that one hundred and twenty species 
of British plants flower, at different times of the year, in this 
dusty hedge, all widely varying one from the other in manj^ im- 
portant particulars. The number on the other side of the road 
would doubtless have been far greater. The railway, on one 
side, which produces the rarer species of Salad Burnet (Poterium 
muricatuni) and the Woad {Isatis tinctoria), has its own distinct 
class of plants; and so has the river, on the other side of the road: 
all of them interesting, many of them beautiful, some of them 
rare. We may mention that among the fifty-eight species 
gathered were the Long-stalked Crane's-bill {Geranium colum- 
linum) and Buxbaum's Speedwell ( Veronica Buxhaumii), neither 
of them common, and that the Yellow Stonecrop {Sedum acre) 



22 WHAT "WE FOUND. 

appears truly wild at the foot of tlie hedge between Bird-in-hand 
and West Wycombe station. Let none, therefore, imagine that 
they need go far afield to increase their botanical lore : they will 
learn more from the careful examination of the plants on a single 
acre of ground, than they will by scampering hastily over 
miles of country in search of rarities. To such of our Wycombe 
friends as desire to commence studying our Wild Flowers for 
themselves, we would say — Go to Hollow Lane at least once a 
week for a year; bring home specimens of every plant, common 
or rare, which you may perceive : count them up, study them, 
watch them expand, you cannot fail to find a never-ending source 
of pleasure and amusement which will supply you with food for 
reflection for many days. And if, in any of your rambles, you 
find a rare plant, take no more of it than is necessary for your 
purpose, leaving the rest for any one else who may want it, re- 
membering that an Exterminator is unworthy the name of a 
Botanist. 



Tot: must not say that this cannot be, or that that is contrary to 
Nature. You do not know what Nature is, or what she can do ; 
and nobody knows. Wise men are afraid to say that there is 
anything contrary to Nature, except what is contrary to mathe- 
matical truth ; for two and two cannot make five, and two 
straight lines cannot join twice, and a part cannot be as great as 
the whole, and so on (at least, so it seems at present) : but the 
wiser men are, the less they talk about "cannot." There are 
dozens and hundreds of things in the world which we should 
certainly have said were contrary to Nature, if we did not see 
them going on under our eyes aU day long. If people had never 
seen little seeds grow into great plants and trees, of quite different 
shape from themselves, and these trees again produce fresh seeds, 
to grow into fresh trees, they would have said, " The thing can- 
not be ; it is contrary to nature." And they would have been 
quite as right in saying so, as in saying that most other things 
cannot be. — Key. C. KuiGsley. — ^'Water Babies.'''' 



23 



^t0(m\m^$ of tfte J^orirti}. 



May 19th. — ^The members met on Keep JSill for their first 
field day this year. Some little time was spent in examining the 
chalk-pit, but scarcely any fossils were found, and they then 
rambled across the hill. Among the many flowers just appearing 
were the Milkwort {Pohjgala vulgaris), the Cross-leaved Bedstraw 
{Galium cruciatiim), the Horse-shoe Vetch {Hippocrepis comosa), &c. 
Orchis mascula was in fuU bloom; 0. maculata had only put in an 
appearance of leaves. The Barberry {Berleris vulgaris) was 
covered with its lemon-coloured blossoms at the foot of the slope. 
Among the insects were seen a few specimens of the Holly Blue 
{Lyccena Argiolus), which is rather rare in this locality; Lacon 
murinus, Cicindela campestris, and several other beetles were fly- 
ing about, while the body of a hedgehog yielded several CaralidcR 
or Burying Beetles. From Keep Hill the members passed into 
Dane Garden Wood, where they noticed the Coralwort {Bentarta 
lulhifera) in flower, and several Orchids just appearing. 

June 9th. — Eamble in Hollow Lane. An hour or two passed 
very pleasantly in this curious old lane, which has attracted 
the attention both of the archaeologist and the geologist in no 
small degree; the former looking upon it in the light of an 
ancient road for packhorses, &c., from the neighbouring settle- 
ments on the hills to the more populous valley; the latter as a 
still more ancient watercourse, along which a torrent rushed 
to join some larger body of water in the present Hughenden 
vaUey. Probably both are right, at any rate the views are not 
opposed to each other, since there is many a similar ravine in 
Devonshire at the present day which is used for traffic in summer, 
but is impassable in winter. Hollow Lane is famous alike for 
its flowers and its insects — the botanist or entomologist who has 
not examined it has a treat yet to come. In the course of the 
ramble the members found several larvae of Sawflies, a fine 
specimen of one of the Chrysomelidai, larvae of Oak Egger {Bomhyx 



24 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

Quercus), Drinker Moth ( Odonestis potatoria) with, a few Loopers. 
The spindle tree was in one or two spots one mass of webs of the 
little Ermine Moth {Tponomeuta euonymella) which were now 
deserted, and a nest of the larva) of Eriogaster lanestris — the 
Small Egger Moth, not very common in the neighbourhood until 
this year, was found on a sloe bush. Curiously enough there 
appear to have been but a very few seen here before, one was 
found by the Society in a ramble last summer, and another a 
year or two before, but a fortnight ago the Secretary in a walk 
to Marlow saw on one side of the road only no less than seventeen 
nests, each crowded with inhabitants. 

LIr. Britten exhibited a curious specimen of the Eibwort 
Plantain {Plantago lanceolata) from Oakridge, having seven or 
eight spikelets at the base of the usual spike. In the lane were 
Geranium cohimlinum, and one or two commoner species, and the 
Eock Rose, which excited great admiration from its size, and the 
irralibility of the stamens : at the top were found the Squinancy- 
wort {Asperula eynanchica), the Cathartic Flax [Linum catharticum), 
and the Tufted Horse-shoe Vetch [Hippocrepis comosa). Various 
grasses in flower were also pointed out. 



Besides their mere scientific value, these pursuits offer in them- 
selves alone a precious reward. They beguile the dull routine of 
professional and other employments, cherish gentle thoughts and 
calm desires, and multiply and refine our enjoyments; they 
endear many a rural walk with delightful associations of "each- 
lane and every alley, dingle, or bushy dell, and every bosky 
bourn fi'om side to side ;" they may soften solitude or affliction ; 
they must impress us with meek and touching lessons of the means 
of happiness so bountifully spread before us, and of how cheaply 
some of our best pleasures may be purchased. And, above all, 
while thus teaching us to look for the good and the beautiful in 
suiTOimding objects, and helping us to the true riches — those 
large and best possessions — of contentment and thankfulness, 
they may incline our minds to the grateful habit of " looking 
through Natui-e up to Nature's GOD." — Professor Gulliver. 



25 



(Soxxs^pnkmt. 



All communications rclatint] to adcciiisemcnts, coutriliutions, or the supply 
of this magazine, should he addressed to the Editor, care of Jfi: Ulli/ctt, High 
Wycombe. Contri/nitioHS must be sent in, be/ore the 15tk of the month pre- 
ceding the date of publication. Tlie Editor mill he glad to receive notes con- 
cerning any of our local plants and animals, tJieir times of appearing, their 
popular names and traditiotu, abnormal forms and colours, Sic; tloese must be 
authenticated by tJie writer's name and address, but not necessarily for 
publication. 



White-flowered "Wood (Dog) 
Violet {Viola sylratica). — Three 
specimens of this somewhat rare 
variety were gathered by Mr. Frank 
Wheeler on the 30th of April last, 
in Adder's Lane, leading down from 
Totteridge to the London Road. 
The petals were much narrower 
than is usually the case, and, as 
well as the spur, were quite white : 
in shape they resembled those of V. 
Seichcnbachiana. (a narrow-petalled 
form with nnhranched veins, not 
hitherto observed in the district) 
rather than those of our common V. 
Siriniana; but the total absence of 
coloured veins renders it impossible 
to state positively that our plant 
belongs to the former sub-species. 
The blossoms emitted a faint sweet 
scent, quite different to that of the 
sweet violet (F. odorata). 

James Britten. 

Plant New to the District. — 
On May 18th, I found in a field of 
TrefoQ near Oakridge, several fine 
specimens of the Field Mouse-ear 
Chickweed {Cerastium. arvense), 
which has not been previously ob- 
served in the district. Its situation 
precludes me from supposing it to 
be truly wild there ; but, as it is by 
no means unlilcely to occur on 
banks, I may mention that it may 
be distinguished fi-om the Common 
Mouse-ear Chickweed {C. trit-ialc) 
by the size and whiteness of its blos- 
soms, somewhat resembling those 
of the Great Stitchwort {Stellaria 
Holostca). 

Id. 



Land Efts. — Some boys a short 

time ago were finding these creatures 

in Wycombe Park, and were gravely 

cautioned by a man against getting 

bitten by them, as "there was no 

cure iox it." . 

A. 

Instinct ?'. Reason. — The follow- 
ing anecdote of a Crow found in 
Ceylon {Corviis spUndens), which 
resembles our Magpie in its habits, 
is given by Sir E. Tennent: — "One 
of these ingenious marauders, after 
vainly attitudinising in front of a 
chained watch-dog, that was lazily 
gnawing a bone, and after fruitlessly 
endeavoui-ing to divert his attention 
by dancing before him, vsith head 
vcwxy and eye askance, at length flew 
away for a moment, and returned 
bringing a companion which perched 
itself on a branch a few yards in the 
rear. The crow's grimaces were now 
actively renewed, but with no better 
success, till its confederate, poising 
itseK upon its wings, descended with 
the utmost velocity, striking the dog 
with all the force of its strong beak. 
The ruse was successful; the dog 
started with surprise and pain, but 
was not quick enough to seize his 
assailant, whilst the bone he had 
been gna\raig was snatched away 
by the first crow the instant his 
head was turned. Two well-authen- 
ticated uistances of the recurrence of 
this device came witliin luy know- 
ledge at Colombo, and attest the 
sagacity and powers of communi- 
cation and combination possessed 
by these astute and courageous 
birds." 



26 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



"It was about the middle of last 
April, when I observed a young 
lamb entangled amongst briars. It 
had, seemingly, struggled for liberty 
until it was quite exhausted. Its 
mother was present, endeavouring 
with her head and feet to disentangle 
it. After having attempted in vain, 
for a long time, to effect this purpose, 
she left it, and ran away bleating with 
all her might. We fancied there 
was something peculiarly doleful in 
her voice. Thus she proceeded 
across tliree large fields; and 
tlirough foiu- strong hedges, until 
she came to a flock of sheep. From 
not having been able to follow her, 
I could not watch her motions when 
with them. However she left them 
in about five mhiutes, accompanied 
by a large ram that had two power- 
ful horns. They returned speedily 
towards the poor lamb, and as soon 
as they reached it the ram im- 
mediately set about liberating it, 
which he did in a few minvites by 
dragging away the briars with his 
horns." — Loudon's 3Iagazine for 
1831. 

Dr. Johnson at Fault. — "Swal- 
lows," said he, "certainly sleep aU 
the winter. A number of them con- 
globulate together, by flying round 
and round, and then all in a heap 
thiow themselves under water, and 
lie in the bed of a river." 

Is Geology a Dry Study? — "In 
the course of the first day's employ- 
ment I picked a nodidar mass of 
blue limestone, and laid it open by 
a stroke of the hammer. Wonderful 
to relate, it contained inside a beau- 
tifully finished piece of sculpture, — 
one of the volutes, apparently, of 
an Ionic capital; and not the far- 
famed walnut of the fauy tale, had I 
broken the shell, and found the little 
dog lying therein, could have sur- 
prised me more. Was there another 



such curiosity in the whole world ? 
I broke open a few other nodules 
of similar appearance,- — for they lay 
pretty thickly on the shore, — and 
found there might be, for in one of 
these there were what seemed to be 
the scales of fishes, and the impres- 
sions of a few minute bivalves , prettily 
striated; in the centre of another 
there was actually a piece of decayed 
wood. Of all Nature's riddles, these 
seemed to me to be at once the most 
interesting and diflicult to expoiuid. 
I treasured them carefullj' up, and 
was told by one of the workmen to 
whom I showed them, that there 
was a part of the shore about two 
miles farther to the west, where 
curiously shaped stones, somewhat 
like the heads of boarding pikes, 
were occasionally picked up. I 
went, and found the place a richer 
scene of wonder than I could have 
fancied even in my dreams." 

Hugh Millek. 

Martins. — The martins [Ilirundo 
ttrhica) appeared in this neighbour- 
hood about the sixth of April, and 
by the end of the month they were 
to be seen in great numbers. The 
first of May Mas, however, an un- 
happy day for them ; seldom do we 
recollect a more cold and chil- 
ling commencement of the "merrie 
month."' The poor martins were to 
be seen huddled together in dozens, 
cold and miserable, shriioking from 
contact with the cutting easterly 
wind and cold driving raiii. In the 
morning numbers of them were 
found dead — \'ictims to the in- 
clemency of the season. 

T. Marshall. 

Caterpillars. — The caterpillars 
forwarded to us were the larvae of 
the "Drinker," a very handsome 
moth {Odonestk potatoria), one of 
the Bonibycidae. 



27 



^utttuur. 



THE cliilly mornings of autumn are begmning to prevail, 
although, as yet, they are only the forerunners of bright 
sunny days ; and nature is doffing her cheerful robe of green for 
a motley garment of gold and brown, gayer perhaps on the ex- 
terior, but a sign of decay within. 

" There is a beautiful spirit breathing now 
Its mellow richness on the clustered trees." 

Look at our glorious woods, as the beams of the Autumn sun 
gild their summits, and say is not the year lovely in its decay ? 
Look at those splendid masses of green foliage, crowded on the 
lower branches of the elm, dying away upwards into a lighter 
hue ; see the glowing red of the beech, the bright yellow of the 
chestnut, set oflf here and there by the sombre green of the firs. 
The old age of the year is to us ever a lovely season, and j^et, we 
confess, it is sad withal, for it speaks so plainly of Death, that it 
cannot be misunderstood. Wiaat say ye who profess to believe 
in the " Eeligion of Nature " only ? Does she not speak in plain 
words ? There is a death of all things around us every y-ear, but 
a resurrection follows ; we see it in every living thing ; there is 
nought but change, yet there is no destruction, the same elements 
reappear in a new form, nothing is lost, it comes back again 
clothed anew in finer apparel. 

Our autumn rambles may not perhaps be so productive as 
those we took in the summer, yet they will be none the less in- 
teresting. We may note the retii-ement of each bird and beast 
to its winter quarters, and we may also hail the arrival of our 
northern visitors. The martins are to be seen now congregating 
on our roofs, and exercising for their long journey ; among the 
osier beds or aits of the Thames they may be found roosting by 
hundreds every night, appearing when disturbed in the dusk like 
a thick cloud. The Swift left us by the middle of August ; his 
stay is always short, he is the first of his family to come, and the 



28 ATTTUMN. 

first to go; •the Sand Martin we never see at Wycombe, there 
being no suitable places for nidification. The song of the bird is 
hushed in the fields, the Robin only continues to enliven us with 
his cheerful warblings, and this he will do the winter through, 
joined occasionally by a Skylark. Strange that the feathered 
tribes should only send out their joyous caroUings through such 
a short period of the year — that of rearing their young ; it would 
seem that love is then " the lord of all," and is thus shown ; for 
when their duties are finished the love and the song cease too. 
The insects flit lazily about, the bee and the wasp put in an oc- 
casional appearance, and a few stridulous sounds from the grass- 
hopper and cricket emerge from warm grassy banks ; the dor- 
mouse and the squirrel are hoarding up their supply of winter 
provisions, and snails are congregating in colonies under the 
tangled roots of the trees ; all the busy hum and music of summer 
are dying away. 

But fresh sights of beauty meet the eye as we ramble along 
our lanes ; festoons and bunches of ripe fruit of every colour 
decorate the fading masses of leaves — the dark berry of the Dog- 
wood shadowed by the purple foliage and " ensanguined " stems, 
the shining black berries of the Privet, the brilliant fruits of the 
Woody Nightshade, and the Eed and Black Bryony, the dark 
purple of the Guelder Kose — all looking so very beautiful that we 
feel tempted to try their flavour. But beware ; many of them 
are forbidden fruits, and may bring on a sleep that knows no 
waking. More harmless are the "scarlet hips and stony haws " 
that cover the rose and hawthorn — the food of many a truant 
schoolboy since Cow[)er's days. 

Yery soon we shall have the mosses out in all their beauty, 
and as we hunt among them we shall tvu-n up many a beetle and 
caterpillar, snugly ensconced for the winter, abiding marvellously 
witliout food during the long months when vegetation would 
yield them nothing : these, and hosts of other things will pass 
under our notice only by our exercising a moderate amount of 
observation. So let no one sink into despondency from an idea 
that there is nothing for the Naturalist to see, and nothing to do 
till next Spring. 



29 



®h^ ^mU m\& %Mtv. 



As most of the readers of this magazme are aware, we have in 
this coiintry three species of reptiles of the ophidian or serpent 
tribe, viz., the common snake {Natrix torquata), the viper {Pelias 
berus), and the smooth snake {Coronella Imvis). The last, how- 
ever, is very rare and local, while the other two are pretty gener- 
ally dispersed. 

From the dread with which these creatures are commonly looked 
upon, their habits are not much studied or observed ; I therefore 
propose to give a few particulars of the habits of the two common 
species, premising that the viper, which is our only poisonous 
reptile, is at once distinguishable from the snake by the deep 
black chain which extends the whole length of the spine. 

The Snake, {Natrix torquata,) although seldom seen unless 
Bought after, is yet tolerably abundant in most parts of the 
country in damp woods, and the reedy margins of ponds on un- 
frequented commons, but about Wycombe it appears to be almost 
unknown.* In order to get a sight, or at any rate, a chance of 
catching this, or any other serpent or lizard, perfect quiet is ne- 
cessary. The snake feeds exclusively on frogs and toads. As far 
as my experience goes, they do not seem to have any preference 
for the former. When caught they generally throw up their last 
meal, and those which I have captui-ed have quite as often thrown 
up toads as frogs. The skin of the snake is shed entire about 
once a month in summer, and for some days before the event the 
reptile is perfectly blind. AU reptUes (excepting, of course, the 
Batrachia) are excessively fond of basking in the sun, but all do 
not bask in a similar manner ; for instance, the snake lies coiled 
up in a pyramidal form, while the viper lies stretched out at fuU 
length. When first captured snakes hiss loudly. The unpleasant 
smell that they^ also make does not arise from their breath as 

* It is to be found however by close searching ; we have known it caught 
on 'Wycombe Heath and at Penn. — Ed. 



80 THE SNAKE AND ADDER. 

Beems generally supposed, but from a white excrementitious sub- 
stance which thoy emit. The viper, relying on his formidable 
fangs for defence, makes no unpleasant smell. The country folk 
about Wisley, ia Surrey, — my most frequent "hunting-ground" 
for reptiles, — say that a snake's cast skin bound tightly round 
the head is a remedy for headache. These cast skins, which may 
frequently be found about their haunts, are very curious, as even 
the hard transparent substance with which aU reptiles are pro- 
vided for the defence of the eyes when swimming is shed with the 
ekin. This transparent substance can be put up at the creature's 
will, and when not in use is folded in the lower eyelid. The 
glossy black tongue of the snake is rather longer than that of the 
viper. I need not insult readers by saying it is not a " sting." 
I fancy it is of use as a feeler, since the animal has no Hmbs.* 
The distance between the two extremities of the fork is about 
equal to the thickness of the reptile's body, and may be of use, 
like the whiskers of the cat, in letting it know whether it can get 
into a hole or not. The usual length of the snake is about three 
feet, but they often exceed this. 

The YiPER, or as it is almost always called by country people, 
the Adder, inhabits dry heaths, glades in woods, and upland 
copses. It is seldom to be found near water. Its average length 
is twenty-three inches. I have often found them where 
furze has been latelj"^ cut, and it is hard to tell them from the 
furze stalks lying about. They evidently choose such places to 
sun themselves in, from the difficulty of being distinguished in 
them. Were we as well acquainted with their habits as we 
ought to be, we should doubtless know of many similar proofs of 
sagacity, which would enable us to appreciate our Lord's command 
" Be wise as serpents." The adder is plentiful in the woods 
round Wycombe, and on the neighbouring heaths and commons. 
Mr. Ullyett has met with it most frequently in Dane Garden 
wood, and on what, alas ! tvas Wycombe Heath. Adders vary 
much in colour, but the coloui's do not denote different species, 
and even seem to change periodically in the same individual. 

• Although serpents have no exterior legs, their rihs are moveable, and are 
not fixed to the breast bone, so that they are, in fact, interior legs. 



THE SNAKE AND ADDER. 31 

Last May I brought up from Wisley, and deposited in the Zoo- 
logical Gardens, Regent's Park, one with an almost perfectly 
white ground-colour. This specimen is now quite a dark brown. 
The food of the adder consists chiefly of shrews and field-mice. 
One which I caught last j^ear — the original of the illustration in 
Mr. M. C. Cooke's work on British Eeptiles — threw up three full 
gi'own mice, so that adders are of use in keeping down vermin. 
The fangs of the adder, neai-ly half-an-inch in length, are situated 
in the upper jaw. They move on a hinge, and when not in nse 
are folded along the palate. They are hollow, and at the root 
of each is a little bag of venom, so that the fangs make 
punctures, and at the same time poison is introduced into the 
wound. The venom is hurtful from being thus introduced into 
the blood ; it might be swallowed without causing the least 
injury. It is just to add that the adder 7iever attempts to attack 
a human being except in self-defence. It always glides away 
into the nearest thicket on hearing any one approach. There is 
therefore no reason why the creature should be persecuted. This 
reptile is capable of almost incredibly long fasts. Mr. Ullyett lately 
kept a couple for six weeks, during all which time they touched 
nothing but water, although mice, &c., " all alive " were supplied 
ad lilitum : yet, when set at liberty, they seemed as lively as 
when first caught. The adder can climb well, and is not unfre- 
quently found in nests, into which they climb for the sake of 
Bucking the eggs, of which they are very fond. Three were this 
spring found in a blackbird's nest in Enfield Chase, Middlesex. 
Adders' fat is in great request among the peasantry as an ointment 
for cuts, and it is the best remedy for the creature's own bite. 
There is in serpents, as in all other living creatures very much to 
admire in the wonderful adaptation of their structure to their 
mode of life ; much to make us acknowledge that the Hand that 
made them is Divine. W. E. Tate. 

Grove Place, Denmark Hill, London. 



" No scientific truth can possibly be too trifling or imimportant 
to be worthy of preservation." — Sir J. E. Smith. 



32 



IT is the pride of Englishmen that their country is open to all 
the world, that every one, be he a king flying from Revolution 
or an exile proscribed for his political opinions, finds rest and 
safety here, so long as he conforms to our laws, and lives peace- 
ably within the pale of our institutions. We welcome all these, 
and extend to them the hand of fellowship and hospitaUty — and 
this although they come here merely for peace and security and 
not from sympathy with us as a people, or from love or attach- 
ment to our national character and constitution. They feel this 
is not their home, and they live and perhaps die amongst us as 
mere sojourners in a foreign land. On the other hand, if there 
be an amnesty for political offenders, or a new. era of politics in 
their own unhappy country, back they stream, sometimes without 
a tear of regret at leaving us, without a thought of the protection 
they have received, and often, sad to say, with prejudices only 
confirmed by the very benefits which should have dissipated them. 
How different it is with those humbler beings that visit the 
shores of England with the regularity and precision of the seasons, 
and impelled only by the mysterious workings of an infalhble 
instinct. The migration of birds is indeed a wonderful theme for 
study and reflection. Our feathered friends come among us, the 
heralds of spring, or harbingers of winter, exemplifying the 
beautiful working of Nature's laws, and the harmony and regu- 
larity subsisting in all the works of God. Our summer visitors 
stay their allotted time, make England their home, build their 
nests, rear their young, cheer us with their joyous song, and 
then, with a silent but thankful farewell, take their family back 
to their winter quarters with the promise, certain of fulfilment, to 
come back with the bright sunshine of the following year. And 
yet the migration of birds is with many a subject of little moment, 
and our feathered friends come and go unnoticed and unknown. 
This is not as it should be, for the more we study these things. 



THK WEATHER IN THE BRITISH ISLES. 33 

and notice the wonder, and beauty, and harmony of all creation, 
the more we are led to ponder and reflect with amazement on the 
works of the Lord and the operations of His hands. 

T. MakshaUi. 



J^t Wsntktv itt t\u gritisib isiUsi. 



THE British Isles enjoy an exceptional position on the earth's 
surface, as regards temperature ; in other words, the English 
climate would be as extreme and steady both in its cold and hot 
fits, as other countries lying under the same latitude are (such 
as parts of Canada, Siberia, Central Russia, and Northern Ger- 
many), but for some peculiarities in the Ocean around it which 
affect the British Isles, but not these countries. 

This favourable condition of the temperature is owing to th e 
operation of the Great Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic Ocean 
This vast current of water after having basked under the tropical 
sun in the Gulf of Mexico and so become intensely heated, rushes 
out of that Gulf northward, until, turned aside eastward by the 
projecting cliffs of Newfoundland, glancing off, it runs across the 
Atlantic to Norway, dispensing its high temperature to the air 
and adjoining waters. 

As in this its course it passes north of Ireland and Scotland, it 
interposes a perpetual broad belt of warm sea between Great 
Britain and Iceland, and the frozen wastes of the Polar Seas. 

The benefit derived by the British Isles, in winter, is that they 
are surrounded by a sea of temperate warmth. 

In summer this ocean current arrests all the floating ice and 
icebergs that break loose and drift down from Iceland and Green- 
land, melts them and sweeps their dissolving masses away so that 
they never cross it to reach and chill our coasts : hence above 
England northward they never come down so low as the Shet- 
land Islands. 



34 THE WEATHER IN THE BRITISH ISLES. 

But as the Gulf Stream runs obliquely across the Atlantic, ice- 
bergs from Baffin's Bay float down undissolved as low as tlie 
latitude of Paris, off Newfoundland, before they fall into it. 

So that, far away in the Ocean, from a point westward from 
the Land's End, to a point northward from Scotland, icebergs 
many or few may be and generally are floating along and melting 
during the early summer months. 

Although the solid iceberg is thus prevented from reaching us, 
still the products of their liquefaction diffused in vapour through- 
out the atmosphere, and the effects of the cold disengaged from 
them, as they melt under the sun and in the warm Gulf Stream, 
are swept over England by the wind, in rain, mist, fog, and chil- 
ling blasts, not only causing winter to linger in the lap of spring 
but also dashing summer. 

To exemplify these effects in oui* own seasons, we may instance 
the weather of this present year, 1866. 

The swallow came earlier than usual, in mid-April ; and it was 
summer weather for a fortnight. The ice that encased Iceland 
broke up, parted, and drifting down into the Gulf Stream 
loaded the Northern atmosphere with mists and cold ; the 
winter having been imusually severe in Iceland. 

Throughout May the cold vapours from the North kept 
sweeping over England, till the end of May ; when the crop of 
Iceland ice was exhausted, and the atmosphere brightened, and 
through June and early in July great heat prevailed. 

About the middle of July the setting sun went down in a misty 
fiky, and high above the sun a halo slightly prismatically 
coloured indicated plainly a mass of vapour over the Atlantic. 
The Great Eastern, dropping the telegraph cable in mid- 
Atlantic, telegraphed to England, then parched and glowing in 
the sun, that the ship was in the midst of cold blasts and torrents 
of rain ; ships off Cape liace fell in with large icebergs, and a few 
days after high winds and chilling rain from the west prevailed 
in England and "Western Europe for a month. 

Such being the history of the last spring and summer, and such 
the undoubted cause of it, it is difl&cult to persuade one's self that 



THE WEATHER EN THE BRITISH ISLES. 35 

any rule can be framed by wMch the greater or less quantity of 
ice that ■will be detached from the Arctic Regions, and the times 
when it will be detached in any year, can be calculated, though 
it may be reasonably supposed that the earlier and warmer the 
summer in the Arctic Seas, the more ice will be detached, and 
consequently the wetter will be the summer in England. 

England and Western Europe not only enjoy in the Gulf 
Stream a power that tempers the coldness of the sea around them ; 
an analogous effect on the air above those countries is produced 
by the ever glowing surface of the Great African Desert south- 
ward. The air which is heated over those burning sands and 
rocks expands and diffuses its glow over Europe. Its most 
violent effects are exerted eastward in the Simoon and Samael or 
" wind of death " of the Arabs, and towards the north-east in the 
Sirocco of the Levantines; only its milder effects are felt in 
Western Europe. S. 

August 23, 1866. 



American Blight. — This common insect {Aphis lanigera) which 
infests apple trees, produces in the course of a season eleven 
broods of young. The first ten broods are viviparous, or are 
brought forth alive, and consist entirely of females. These never 
attain their full developement as perfect insects ; but being only 
in the larvae state, bring forth young, and the virgin aphides thus 
produced are endowed with similar fecundity. But at the tenth, 
brood this power ceases. The eleventh does not consist of active 
female larvae alone, but of males and females. These acquire 
wings, rise into the air, and sometimes migrate in countless 
myriads, and produce eggs, which, glued to twigs and leaf-stalks, 
retain their vitahty through the winter. When the advance of 
spring again clothes the plants with verdure, the eggs are hatched, 
and the larva, without having to wait for the acquisition of its 
mature and winged form, as in other insects, forthwith begins to 
produce a brood as hungry, and insatiable, and as fertile as itself. 
Supposing that one aphis produced 100 at each brood, she would, 
at the tenth brood be the progenitor of one quintillion of de- 
scendants (1,000,000,000,000,000,000).— H. Paterson. 
r 



36 



"ilu (t\n\imx (Kountrij* 

(Cjntinued from page 20.) 



TAKE Sheet No. 7, of the Ordnance Survey of England and 
Wales, and cut it in half by a north and south line, and the 
"western moiety will include nearly the whole of the district which 
I describe as the Chiltern Country. Two portions of the map, 
however, are still superfluous, and should be shaved off, namely, 
the triangular corner of the vale of Aylesbury, N.W. of the 
Icknield way, and the whole of the southern third of the sheet, 
following the course of the old Bath Eoad through the villages of 
Iver, "Wexham, Earnham, Burnham, and Hitcham, and thence the 
course of the Eiver Thames as far as Henley. The Eoad and the 
Eiver taken in this way will form the Southern boundary of the 
Forest. 

The old road crossed the river Thames, as far as I can make 
out, by a ferry in the jDarish of Taplow, near the island of Formosa. 
The place is or was called Babham End. Thence the road passes 
through the village (once ranking as the town) of Cookham, and 
winding up the hill enters the long waste of open country which, 
goes under the names of Pinkneys Green, Maidenhead Thicket, 
and Stubbings Heath, and then the tract of woodland called the 
Frith, passing through the villages of Shottesbrook, the Walthams, 
Euscombe, and Twyford. The Berkshire Frith, as we loai'n from 
Lelaud and other early travellers, was in as bad repute as the 
Buckinghamshu-e Chiltern. It merged southwards in the wide 
forest of Windsor. 

Here we have our map of the forest ready for use. About the 
centre of the map the ancient towns of Missenden, Amersham, 
Wycombe, and Beaconsfield form a sort of Quadrilateral. 

The Chiltern forest seems to have consisted principally of beech 

woods, of which extensive remains are still left. The valleys were 

• ERRATA in No. 1. First portior of this paper, page 18, third line from 
the bottom, for creatures Tea.i features, i'age 20, sixth Ime fi-om the bottom, 
for Mve Itolls read Mne Rolls. 



THE CniLTERX COUNTRY. 37 

mostly in a marshy state, and probably subject to floods. It ap- 
pears to have been peopled by the Celts or ancient Britons, who 
may have enjoyed possession of it for many centuries previous 
to the Roman Invasion. 

Besides the few worn remnants of the Celtic tongue found in 
local names, there is evidence of this in the numerous earthworks 
which are still traceable in the forest, and in the roads or drift- 
ways which lead up and along the hills, which are of the type 
usually recognized as Celtic. The Wycombe and Amersham 
valleys afford numerous examples of these roads, each leading to 
some mill on the stream, or to some place where a mill formerly 
stood. From this one may infer that the water-mill was known to 
the Celts. 

The roads or drift-ways in the forest appear to have been of 
local origin, and to have had no other object than that of ready 
communication between hill and valley. With one exception, my 
endeavours to make out continuous routes through the forest have 
been fruitless. This exception is a long, straggling road, which 
for distinction's sake, I call by what appears to have been one of 
its names. Hollow Way. I first noticed its peculiar formation in 
Piper's Wood, in the parish of Amersham, where it crosses the 
Amersham vaUey, whence I easily traced it to Penn Street (a name 
which decidedly confirms the notion that it is an ancient thorough- 
fare road). Prom Penn Street it leads to Beaconsfield, of which 
town it forms the main north and south thoroughfare ; and a 
farm which stands near it, a mile or two beyond Beaconsfield, is 
stiU called Hollow Way farm. Here it leaves Burnham Beeches 
on the right, and enters the tract of now enclosed land which was 
formerly Farnham Common. 

Northwards from Piper's wood the road leads by way of Weedon 
Hill, to the town of Chesham, of which it forms the main street. 
Next it passes along Chesham Bottom and by the village of 
Hawridge to Cholesbury Common. Leaving the church of Choles- 
bury, and the large Celtic circular camp on the left, it proceeds, 
■winding between the woods, for two or three miles, till it crosses 
the Turnpike road from Aylesbury to Tring and London. Here 



88 THE CHTLTERN COUNTRY. 

it severs the Counties of Buckingham and Hertford (a sure sign 
of its antiquity as a road dating from before the time of Alfred 
the Great), and is best known as Shire Lane, from this circum- 
etance. Crossing the turnpike road, it strikes directly through 
the village of Drayton Beauchamp, where it is stiU well-known as 
Hollow Way. Beyond the point where it crosses the Aylesbury 
canal, in the parish of Drayton, I have not endeavoured to trace 
it ; but I make no doubt it was intended as a line of communi- 
cation from the vale of the Thames to the vale of the Ouse, and 
•was so used by our Celtic forefathers. It is accompanied by 
several circidar intrenchments, which were the settlements {oppida, 
as Csesar calls them) of the inhabitants. Besides that at Choles- 
bury, there is a remarkable one at Hawridge, and there are two 
in the parish of Great Missenden, within a few hundred yards of 
the road. The road may perhaps have terminated at or near the 
enormous entrenchment or oppidum in Bulstrode Park, in the 
parish of Fulmer. 

This remarkable camp is believed by some Buckinghamshire 
archaeologists to be the identical town or oppidum of the Britons 
which Julius Caesar took and sacked. Verulam or St. Albans 
contests this honour with it. The principal objection made to the 
claims of the Chiltem forest is, that Csesar specially excepts the 
heecJi and the fir from his list of the trees which grew in Britain : 
all sorts, he announces, are to be found, "prater fagum et 
ahietem." Hence, the argument proceeds, Caesar evidently could 
never have visited Buckinghamshire. This, however, we get over 
easily enough, by replying that the fagus means, not fagus silvatica 
of the Chiltem hills, 'h^xifagus castanea or Spanish chestnut ; and 
the ahies the silver fir, or foreign deal, neither of which is indi- 
genous to our island, though they floiu-ish abundantly when 
planted. Whitaker, in his History of Manchester, states that 
the Romans found the fir in Britain, but imported the Beech 
— probably in the same vessel which introduced the Cuckoo ! 

We have positive arguments in favour of Buckinghamshire and 
the Chiltem forest being the scene of Julius Caesar's invasion and 
sojourn in Britain. Caesar teUs us he crossed the Thames. The 



THE CHILTEEN COimTET. 89 

Celts under Cassivellanus had driven rows of sharp stakes along 
the bank of the river to impede his passage. The Romans, 
however, forded the stream, and the Britons fled in terror and 
confusion. The historian Polysenus, gravely avers that the 
Britons were strangely affrighted by the additional terror of the 
castled Elephants of the Orient, which the Eomans brought with 
them. The Elephants, according to the only construction of 
which his account seems capable, dashed into the bed of the river, 
and aided materially in the rout and chase of the natives to their 
forest stronghold. The truth of this is a matter of opinion. With 
or without Elephants, Csesar and his legions did cross the Thames. 

Antiquaries differ as to the place where this took place. The 
old opinion was in favour of Shepperton (the principal authority 
being the possession on the part of Lord Onslow of some dessert 
knives and forks, the handles of which were made from the stakes 
found in an old wear at that place). But it appears that these 
stakes were placed across the bed of the river, instead of longi- 
tudinally, to prevent the passage ; and Mr. Daines Barrington, 
who examined the place to ascertain the truth, was convinced 
that they had been placed there by fishermen. The Venerable 
Bede asserts that they were to be seen in his time, and that they 
were at least as thick as a man's thigh, and immoveably bed- 
ded in lead ! Sir E. C Hoare argues in favour of Richmond. 

Caesar expressly says that he crossed the river into the terri- 
tories of Cassi-vellanus, or of the Cassii (Cassi-vellanus meaning 
King of the Cassii.) The tribes described by the Roman Geo- 
graphers as Cassii or Cattieuchlani, are understood to have oc- 
cupied the part now forming Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, 
and perhaps part of Middlesex. This fixes the place of crossing 
at any rate to some spot at no great distance from the camp of 
Fulmer. This camp was evidently an important Celtic stronghold 
— the largest in the district, and in all respects the likeliest to 
become the immediate refuge of the retreating Britons. 

E. J. Payne. 
(To he continued.) 



40 

A LTHOUGH Mosses are among tlie minute and seemingly in- 
•^^ significant of Nature's works, they, in common -with, other 
cryptogamic forms of vegetation, deserve a share of attention even 
from those who may not make them objects of scientific study. 
The moss growing upon the wall-top is looked on by many with 
an eye of indifference, if not of contempt ; but to those who will 
take the trouble to examine its structure, it affords a source of 
infinite admiration. We presume that none of our readers, in this 
enlightened age, think that because objects are small, they are on 
that account unworthy of investigation : otherwise, as has been 
remarked, " The horse is superior to its rider," and one of old — 
Solomon, the wise king of Israel, has set us an example in this 
very particular, by being conversant with the "Hyssop " on the 
wall, which by Hassalquist is regarded as a minute Moss, still 
found on the walls of Jerusalem. 

Mosses are no less numerous and varied than beautiful ; they 
abound all over the kingdom, and some may be found at all 
seasons of the year ; affording in our daily walks a fund of in- 
struction and pleasant amusement. Let our readers then not be 
satisfied with the perusal of these brief remarks, but let them at 
once proceed in their riiral walks to collect these objects of study, 
which may be examined at home by the aid of a good pocket-lens, 
a penknife, and a pair of scissors. The chalk hills and cliffs of 
our own beautiful Buckinghamshire abound in mosses : they are 
to be found on tree, rock, and stone, in damp places, by the side 
of brooks and rills ; indeed, they are so numerous that it has been 
calculated that one-fourth of the vegetable kingdom is composed of 
them. In addition to the pleasing recreation afforded by the 
study of these interesting objects of creation, the soul may also be 

led to look from nature up to nature's God ! 

Nellie Atty. 



i 



41 



» Wm^ '^^00^ ^^a!5p. 




TX7E have liad several specimens of tliis insect "brouglit to us the 
' ' last year or two, with special requests to know its name, and 
whether it was English or Foreign. In answer to the former we 
said it was a "Wood Wasp, and to the latter query we said "Both." 
It is met with most commonly perhaps in grocers' shops among 
the sugar, sometimes alive and sometimes dead ; it emerges oc- 
casionally fi'om the floor of a room, having spent a portion of its 
life in a wooden prison ; but wherever it is seen it causes some 
little terror froni its great size, and the length of its ovipositor. 
A short account of it may not Be uninteresting to our readers. 

It belongs in the first place to that order of insects, called the 
Htmenoptera, from the fact of their possessing four transparent 
membranous wings : in this order are included the bees, wasps, 
ichneumons, sawflies, &c., from which it wiU be seen that the 
highest order of insect instinct is comprehended in it. In the next 
place it is included in the family Siricidce, and it rejoices in the 
scientific name of Sirex gigas, the Giant Wood Wasp, Sawfly, or 
Ichneumon, It is, as we before said, a formidable looking creature, 



42 THE LARGE WOOD WASP. 

of a deep yellow hue, having the thorax and a band round the 
abdomen jet black. The wings and antenna) are yellow, the latter 
being of very great length : the long pointed weapon, commonly 
looked upon as a sting, is the instrument with which the female 
bores holes in living wood, in which to deposit her eggs. There 
is an interesting account of this process, in Science Gossip for 
August, written by a gentleman who watched it, waiting with a 
true naturalist's patience for tu^enty-three minutes while a lady 
Sirex deposited her eggs in a new larch telegraph post. This 
ovipositor is of a complicated nature when examined under the 
microscope, but not so much so as that of some of the true sawflies. 
The insect is able to give a shght wound with the weapon, irritant 
in, its nature, but not envenomed. The eggs hatch into grubs 
which feed upon the soft moist wood, and doubtless when present 
in any considerable numbers, they do much damage. Many are 
imported from abroad, both in the larva and pupa state, in deal, 
and from this in due time, they escape as winged inhabitants of 
air. When this happens in a nursery, we may excuse the alarm 
of the non-naturalist nurse and her progeny. We have caught 
them ourselves among the fir trees in Whittington Park. 

*^* "We are indebted for tte accompanying engraving to Mr. Hardwicke^ of 
192, Piccadilly. 



" Some folks have a great liking for the poor little Efts. They 
never did anybody any harm, or could if they tried ; and their 
only fault is, that they do no good — any more than some thousands 
of their betters. But what with ducks, and what with pike, and 
what with sticklebacks, and what with water-beetles, and what 
with naughty boys, they are "sae sair hadden doun," as the 
Scotsmen say, that it is a wonder how they live ; and some folks 
can't help hoping, with good Bishop Butler, that they may have 
another chance, to make things fair and even, somewhere, some- 
when, somehow. — Eev. C. Kingsley. — " Water Babies." 



43 



Iftjjcjjiutr^ ^niM\U$. 



OTJE VANESSID^. 



THE butterflies in this family are the most gorgeously coloured 
of any found in Great Britain ; and with one exception they 
are very plentiful. These two considerations lead me to believe 
that a short account of such species as are to be seen in this locality 
cannot fail to be interesting to the readers of the Wycombe 
Quarterly. Who has not gazed with interest and wonder at the 
lovely lo, fanning its peacock wings in the sun as it sits on a 
flower and extracts its nectar, or at the stately Atalanta, the 
Red Admirable, with its magnificent contrast of scarlet and 
black sailing along the pathway and then disappearing over the 
high hedge ? The boy is filled with the ardent desire to possess 
the treasure ; the thoughtful man desires to know something of 
the life history of these living gems. 

The early part of their lives, however, is not what we might 
expect ; to the general observer they are then unsightly looking 
creatures, devouring the foliage of the elm, thistle, or despised 
nettle. They are passed by as if they were worthless, neglected 
because of their more than homely garb, and when you assure him 
that they will one day be gaily coloured butterflies he starts, and 
says "impossible." But the naturalist knows the interest at- 
tached to the shunned caterpillar ; he takes it home, provides it 
with food, watches it with delight and astonishment day by day, 
as it passes through its various changes and the little " ills that 
flesh is heir to ;" and he is rewarded at last by seeing it emerge 
from its chrysalis case a bright and happy thing of air. Let me 
assure my readers that there is nothing that will prove so inter- 
esting and fascinating to them as lovers of nature than the rearing 
of butterflies through all their stages ; it is so easily done, and 

G 



44 ■WYCOilBE BUTTERFLIES. 

there is comparatively so little trouble attached to it, that no one 
can complain of having no time for it. 

There are seven British species of the genus Vanessa ; of these 
three are always common round Wycombe, one is occasionally 
very plentiful and another has been found but a few times ; two 
we do not possess at all. I will take them in the order of their 
relative abundance. 

The Peacock. V. lo. There is not the slightest need to de- 
scribe this, as every one has seen it. It is found on the wing 
most plentifully in August and September, but many individuals 
■wUl be seen in the spring ; these are not in such good condition, 
having slept away the winter in some snug corner in an outhouse 
or a stack of wood, and now reappear to lay their eggs and then 
to die. The caterpillar is black, sprinkled with very minute 
white dots, and is covered with short branched spines ; it feeds 
on the nettle in companies ; in 1865 I found them by hundreds in 
Hollow Lane, but they have not been nearly so plentiful this 
summer. 

The Small Tortoise-shell. V. TJrticm. This is a smaller 
butterfly than the last, but very prettily coloured with black, 
orange, blue, and yellow. There are two broods of it every year, 
one in May and June and another in August. They hybernate 
like lo, and there is an interesting account in the Zoologist, 
p. 5000, of the capture of a hundred of them at Christmas, 1855. 
The larva is of a yellowish grey colour, but the depth of shade 
varies veiy much, there is a broad dark line down the back, and 
the whole of the body except underneath is covered with spines. 

The Eed Admie^\j3le. V. Atdlanta. This species, known com- 
monly as the Eed Admiral, is distinguished at once by the bril- 
hant scaidct bands across its front wings, and a border of the same 
on the hind wings, and surpasses every other British butterfly in 
the combined simpHcity and vividness of its colom-ing. The 
under side is most exquisite, and entirely baffles description. The 
caterpillar feeds on the nettle, and the perfect insect emerges in 
August. 

The Painteo Lady. V. Cardiii. This is not nearly so com- 
mon as the former species, and sometimes one is not seen for a 



■WTTCOilBE HAWK MOTHS. 45 

wliole season. It was pretty plentiful in 1865 on Downley Com- 
mon, and I have seen it two or tliree times much nearer Wycombe. 
The colouring is very beautiful, consisting of marbhngs of black 
and a rich rosy red, with white spots in the fore corners rather 
smaller than those of Atalanta. The caterpillar feeds on thistles 
and nettles. The perfect insect appears in August — sometimes 
earher. 

The Large Toetoise-shell. V. Pohjchloros. I have not had 
the good fortune to meet with this at Wycombe, but the Eev. T. 
H. Browne had a colony of the larv:© in his garden on an elm 
tree, from which he reared images. The colouring much resem- 
bles that of Urticse, but there is no fear of confounding the two 
if notice be taken of the outermost spot on the front wings — it is 
yellow like the others, while the same spot on Urticse is pure 
white. Polychloros is generally much larger than Urticse. 

The caterpillars of all tlie above species are thorny and very 
sombre in their colouring ; the chrysalises are angular, suspended 
by the tail, and generally adorned with golden spots ; I have 
seen those of Urticse completely washed in gold. The imagos of 
all hybernate occasionally. Hy. Ullyett. 



f iist tui l%omk ^ml ilotlt^. 



Eyed Hawk Moth Smerinthus ocellatus , , Plentiful, 

Poplar S. popuU ,, 

LniE S. tilice ,, 

Death's Head . . Acherontia atropos . . Common in 1865. 
CoNVOLVOLxrs .... Sphinx convolvuli .... Very rare. 
One specimen taken to Mr. T. P. Lucas in 1863. 

Peivet S. ligustri Very common. 

Elephant Chcerocampa Elpenor. . Not very plentiful. 

Larvae in the Park, 1865. 

Small Elephant. . C. porcellus FoimdbyMr.GaviUer. 

Humming Bebd . . Macroglossa steilatarum Common tiU this year. 

Hy. Ullyett. 



46 



^xmu\l\\0 tfi t\u ^odctif. 



Jidi/ nth. — The members liad an evening ramble for tbe sake 
of tbose to wbom it is inconvenient to attend in an afternoon. 
They went by train as far as West Wycombe, where they alighted 
and commenced exploring. Mr. Britten joined them here, and 
showed a bunch of Cuscuta TrifoUi, a vegetable parasite on clover, 
cordially detested by farmers ; also some SeK Heal {Prunella 
vulgaris), with pink flowers. In the yard by the station, a con- 
siderable quantity of Vervain ( Verbena officinalis) was growing ; 
this is the sole British representative of the gay verbenas of oiir 
gardens. Haveringdon HiU was then ascended, and the Mauso- 
leum and old British earthwork examined. On the walls of the 
former were some well-developed specimens of Asplenium ruta- 
muraria, the Eue-leaved Spleenwort ; it also grows on the walls of 
the church, but does not there reach such perfection. The view 
from this hill, both east and west is exceedingly beautiful, and to 
the geologist, particularly interesting, the high yet gently sloping 
hiUs pointing out in an unmistakeable way the shores &f an 
ancient sea. The south side is almost covered with numerous 
very old Yew trees, which appear to have been planted here 
many years ago. The Stemless Thistle ( Carduus acaulis) is plen- 
tiful on the slopes, and Calamtniha officinalis — the Common Cala- 
mint in the ditch at the summit, and on the banks at the foot. 

Underneath the hill is an artificial cave cut in the chalk, for a 
length of about a qiiarter of a mile : into this the members de- 
scended, and were much gratified. No traces of fossils could be 
detected anywhere, but a "faiilt" was noticed in one place where 
there had been a slip of about a couple of feet or more. On an old 
piece of wood was found a quantity of microscopic fungi. The 
cave is a great resort of bats in the winter, among which has been 
found the Lesser Horseshoe {RMnolophos hipposideros) ; but of 
course none were "at home" now. The members returned on 



\ 



PROCEEDIXGS OF THE SOaETT. 47 

foot along the high road, where they found the Cat-mint {Nepeta 
cataria) locally abundant. 

The unfavourable weather has preTented the Society arranging another 
field day since the above. 

* , * The fii-st of the winter evening meetings wiU take place on Tuesday, 
October 9th, when the President has in^ited the members to meet at his 
house. A paper will be read, and objects of interest exhibited. 

Uses of Animals.— The following facts will give us some idea 
of the way in which the abundance of animal life affects human 
industry : — , ... ^ 

In 1855 we imported 26,500,000 goose and swan quiUs. in 
1856 we imported 2.188,737 squirrel skins. No monkey skma 
were worn as muffs before the Exhibition of 1851 ; now we im- 
port hundreds of thousands. This is bringing the African races 
more into contact with Europeans, and so furthering the work oi 
civilisation. (It augiu-s ill however for the monkeys. ; 

Upwards of 100,000 ermine skins are imported annually; 
15 000,000 leeches are annually used in this country, and 500 
tons of bees wax : 12,000 bears are kiUed every year for the sake 

of their skins. , _ 

Dr. Lankestee's Lectxtres. 

It would appear from a comparison of the observations of 
Messrs. Bousingault and Humboldt, separated by an interval of 
thirty years, that South America is gradually sinking, and if this 
process be continued, at some distant epoch it may even be sub- 
merged. The observations show that the altitudes of the Andes 
were less when taken the second time ; and these results are con- 
firmed by the fact that the snow-Hne in this range of mountams, 
has, in the interval referred to, apparently risen. 

Dr. Lardner. 

The system of the universe forms one grand complicated piece 
of celestial machinery ; circle within circle, wheel within wheel, 
cycle within cycle ; revolutions so swift, as to be completed in a 
few hours ! movements so slow, that their mighty periods are only 
counted by milUons of years. Are we to believe that the Divine 
Architect constructed this admirably adjusted system to wear out 
and to fall in ruins, even before one single revolution of its com- 
plex scheme of wheels had been performed? No; I see the 
mighty orbits of the planets slowly rocking to and fro, their 
figures expanding and contracting, their axes revolving in their 
vast periods ; but stability is there. Every change shall wear 
away and after sweeping through the grand cycle of cycles, the 
whol^pystem shall return to its primitive condition of perfection 
and beauty. Orbs of Heaven. 



48 



(&ovtt,^pai«U«('<j. 



All commnnlcatlom relating to adrcrtisements, contributions, or the svpjjly 
of this Tnagazine, should he addressed to the Editor, care of Mr. Butler, High 
Wycomhe. Contributions must le sent in before the \oth of the month fre- 
ccding the date of publication. The Editor n-ill be glud to recrire notes con- 
cerning any of our local plants and animals, their times of a2)pcaring, their 
popuhir names and traditions, abnormal forms and cidours, S'c; tltcse must be 
autlienticated by the writer''s name and address, hut not necessarily for 
publication. 



Hebenon. — " Not unfrequently 
rendered ' Ebony ' ! " says Mr. 
Britten (p. 14 of No. 1 of this Maga- 
zine), with a note of exclamation. 
But ebojiy is the right rendering, and 
not merely the best, but the only 
possible rendering into the English 
language of the word hebenon, sup- 
posing this latter to be a botid fide 
word, and not a monster in classical 
form, corrupted by some transcriber 
or dictator from the commonplace 
English henbane. The word is 
Oriental (originally Semitic, I be- 
lieve), being fomid in the Hebrew 
Bible (Ezeluel xx-\ii. 15.) as luibenim, 
plural, accordmg to Gesenius and De 
Wette, from the word being imported 
from foreign countries in the shape 
of planks, Id^e oiu- deals. It appears 
in the Greek as hebclos and hebenos, 
in the Latin as hebenus and hebenxun 
or hebenon, and in the modern Euro- 
pean languages as ebony, ehene, ebano, 
&c., &c., all which signify the black 
hard heart of the Diospyros hebenum, 
originally, as we learn from Virgil, 
to be foiuid only in India. 

" Sola India nigrum 
Pert hebcmim." 
Though the modem languages have 
dropped the h, it found in the form 
of heben in our old English poets. So 
it appears reasonable and natui-al to 
interjjret hebenum or hebenon, ebony. 
!Mr. B. as I understand him, takes 
hebenon to be a mistake for henbane. 
But do tlie symptoms described by 
the poet agree in any one particular 
with those detailed in Mr. B.'s amus- 
ing little monastic fiction ? ^^^ly not 
allow Shakspere to make use of the 



black, ill-smelling, deadly-looking, 
" cursed " tree as a poetical poison ? 
On the other hand, only fancy the 
royal victim of this solemn tragedj', 
meeting his death by — henbane! 
Is it possible that he, of that more 
than mortal ' form and combination,' 
Where every God did seem to .set his seal. 
To give the world assurance of a man — 
could have been such a miserable 
chicken as to succumb to a small 
quantity of this contemptible bii'd- 
poison ? I am under the impression 
that the ebony is the " tree of death" 
of the Persian paradise ; but in eon- 
sequence of the confused and index- 
less state of the German tomes, 
which are the authorities on Oriental 
archaeology, cannot verify this. 

E. J. P., , 

I THINK it is a fact worth knowing, 
that beech leaves are an excellent 
substitute for feathers in beds, and 
in this part, they may be gathered 
with little trouble and expense. 
Gathered about the fall, and some- 
what before they are much frost- 
bitten, they form the best and easiest 
mattresses in the world, instead of 
straw; because, besides their tender- 
ness and lying loosely together, they 
continue sweet for seven or eight 
years, long before which time straw 
becomes musty and hard. 

Beech Leap. 

" An immaterial principle, similar 
to that which, by its excellence, 
places man so much above animals 
does exist unquestionably in the 
latter, and whether it be called soul, 
reason, or instinct, it presents in the 



COBRESFONDElfCE. 



49 



■whole range of organized beings, a 
series of phenomena closely linked 
together, and upon it are based not 
only the higher manifestations of the 
mind, but the very permanence of 
the specific differences which charac- 
terise every organ. Most of the argu- 
ments of philosophy in favour of the 
immortality of man, apply equally 
to the permanency of this principle 
in other living beings." 

Professor Agassiz. 

" No one can doubt that the roots, 
as it were, of those gi-eat faculties 
which confer on man his immeasur- 
able superiority above all other 
animate things, are traceable far down 
into the animate world. The dog, 
the cat, and the parrot, return love 
for our love, and hatred for our 
hatred. They are capable of sham.e 
and sorrow, and though they may 
have no logic nor conscious ratioci- 
nation, no one who has watched 
their ways can doubt that they pos- 
sess that power of rational cerebra- 
tion which evolves reasonable acts 
from the premises furnished by the 
senses — a process which takes fully 
as large a share as conscious reason 
in human activity." 

Professor Owen. 

Moles. — The Cosmos relates an in- 
teresting experiment, which proves 
the service rendered to agriculturists 
by moles, and the impolicy of de- 
stroying these little quadrupeds. In 
a commune of the Canton of Zurich, 
the municipal council were lately 
about to proceed to the selection of 
a molecatcher, when JI. Weber, a 
distingtiished natiu-alist, laid before 
the board the follo\\-iiig facts. M. 
Weber had carefully examined the 
stomachs of fifteen moles caught in 
different localities, but failed to dis- 
cover therein the slightest vestige of 
plants or of roots ; whereas they 
were filled by the remains of earth- 
worms. M. Weber, not satisfied by 
this fact, shut up several moles in a 
box containing sods of earth on 
which fresh grass was growing, and 
a smaller case of grubs and earth- 
womis. In nine days two moles de- 
voured 3il white worms, 193 earth- 
worms, 25 caterpillars, and a mouse, 



skin and bones, which had been en- 
closed when alive in the box. M. 
Weber next gave them raw meat, 
cut up in small pieces, mixed with 
vegetables ? the moles ate the meat 
and left the plants. He next gave 
them nothing but vegetables ; in 24 
hours two moles died of starvation. 
Ajiother naturalist calculated that 
two moles des&oyed 20,000 white 
worms in a single year. These facts 
ought to convince fanners that to mul- 
tiply the moles would be much better 
than to destroy them, and the earth 
they turn up enriches the land, so 
much so, that the produce is often l, >». 
doubled. R. M.Br (f -l''^*^" 

FuxERAL OF A Bee. — A Corres- 
pondent transmits the following : — 
" On Sunday morrung last I had the 
pleasure of mtnessing a most in- 
teresting ceremony, which I desire 
to record for the benefit of your 
readers ; and if Dr. Gumming, the 
Times' beemaster, happens to be one 
of them, I would particularly com- 
mend it to his notice. ^Miilst 
walking with a friend in a garden 
near Falkirk, we observed two bees 
issuing from one of the hives, bearing 
betwixt them the body of a defunct 
comrade, -ndth which they flew for a 
distance of ten yards. We followed ■* 
them closely, and noted the care with 
which they selected a convenient hole 
at the side of the gravel walk — the 
tenderness with which they com- 
mitted the body, head downwards, 
to the earth — and the solicitude with 
which they afterwards pushed against 
it two little stones, doubtless 'in 
memoriam.' Their task being ended, 
they paused for about a minute, per- 
haps to drop over the grave of their 
friend a sympathising tear, when 
they flew away, and, as John Bunyan 
says in his dream, ' I saw them no 
more.' " — Glasgow Herald. 

The HfMMiNG Bird Moth. — Is it 
not rather remarkable that the Hum- 
ming Bird Hawk Moth has not yet 
appeared ? After such a super-abun- 
dant supply of them last season, it 
seems strange that none are about 
now. They were out very late last 
year too. I saw one on Bledlow 
Ridge in November. 

A Young Entomologist. 



50 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



Many of tlie Lepidoptera appear 
in munbers only in some particular 
seasons, and the phenomenon is not 
at all satisfactorily accounted for yet. 
It is one of those many problems in 
Natui'e wliich continually remind us 
of the immense amount of labour yet 
necessary to discover an explanation 
of some of her commonest mysteries. 
The above moth has been seen in 
Wycombeonceortwicetliisyear. No 
doubt the continual wet weather last 
winter and this summer destroyed 
many of the pupae. Ed. 

Hawk Moths. — The caterpillars 
of some of the Hawk Moths have 
been very abimdant this year ; I have 
had about twenty of the PrivetHawk, 
eight of the Poplar, two of the Lime 
Hawk, and two of the Eyed Hawk. 
Many more have been found, but as 
far as I can discover, none of the 
Death's Head, which were so abun- 
dant last year. The boys call all 
these caterpillars "locusts," 'because 
they hare a horn on the tail. I am 
unable to explain the logic involved. 
The lai-va; of the Buff Tip Moth may 
now be found in colonies on the lime, 
beech, elm, and other trees. 

Hy. Ulltett. 

The Chantarelle {Cantlmrellus 
ciha7'his). " What be yer a goin to 
do with they things ? " said a son of 
the soil to me the other day. I had 
in my hand a basket of golden Chan- 
tarelles, to which allusion was thus 
unceremoniously made. " I am 
gomg to eat them," I replied. "To 
eat 'em ! Why they're toadstools ! " 
responded my fi'iend : whereupon I 
gave hmi a short, and, I flattered 
myself, able account of the various 
edible fungi which sui-round us at 
this season. He listened — looked 
on mc with evident pity — and then 
turned away in lofty contempt. A 
year ago, I should have been as un- 
likely to eat fungi fi'om the woods 
as he' — but expericntia docet — and I 
am now an ardent admirer of Chan- 
tarelles from a culinary, as well as 
from an a>sthetic point of view. Last 
Autunan, I sent a box of our wood- 



land fungi to a friend in town, who 
is "well up" in such things. He 
retui'ned me a rough sketch of one, 
to which he appended a short de- 
scription, wdth the practical remark, 
" Eat it." Tliis was the Chantarelle. 
Accordingly, I collected sufficient 
for a dressing, and, after they had 
been well washed and trimmed, 
had them stewed, with butter, 
pepper, and salt, after the manner of 
mushrooms, and served upon a slice 
of toast. On this occasion, they 
were stewed somewhat too rapidly ; 
and the result might be briefly de- 
scribed as tough, and I was the only 
partaker of the dish. During the 
last month, however, three dishes 
of Chautarelles have appeared upon 
oiu- breakfast table, and have' been 
thoroughly appreciated by the fa- 
mily. Their flavour is similar to 
that of a mUd mushi-oom. Those 
who feel mclined to taste for them- 
selves, may find Chautarelles in 
almost every one of oui' Wycombe 
woods, from the latter end of August 
tUl the end of October or beginning 
of November. They are easily re- 
cognisable, being of a rich yellow 
colour- all over ; the stem is very 
thick, gradually expandmg into the 
top, or J) lie US, which is funnel-shaped, 
and smooth, thus differing from the 
umbrella-form assumed by the mush- 
room, and many more of oiu- common 
fungi. The gills are very thick, and 
look more lilie veins ; and the whole 
plant is sometimes imbedded iix 
leaves, the top only appearing. 
Chanturelles grow sonietinies singly, 
and sometimes in patches ; they 
have a peculiar scent, which is said 
to resemble that of apricots, though 
I confess myself unable to discover 
this likeness. A great deal more 
information regarding this and other 
edible fungi, may be found in a little 
illustrated book, price 6s., entitled 
"A Plain and Easy Account of 
British Fungi," waitten by Mr. M. 
C. Cooke, and published at 192, 
Piccadilly, to wliich I beg to refer 
my readers. 

James Britten. 



ERRATA in No. 1. Page 16, line sixteen from the top, for "Water" 
read " Walter." Page 17, lineten from top, for "Alkekeng " read "Alkekengi." 



51 



gt ^oKtwibtv gamftU. 



I BELIEVE it is a prevalent idea that in a late Autumn or 
Winter walk there is little or nothing to be found to interest 
or admire ; this is a mistake, for there is no season of the year in 
which Dame Nature does not furnish us with some ohjcct of 
attraction. As a true lover of Nature, finding fresh beauties in 
every wood, lane, and hedgerow, I am anxious to make others 
participators in my pleasure, and will ask them to accompany me 
in imagination in a lovely ramble which I have this day enjoyed 
with a friend. 

The neighbourhood of Wycombe abounds in charming walks of 
varied beauty, — hiU, dale, and wood, forming scenery of no com- 
mon order ; and our ramble of to-day is by no means the least 
beautiful among them. Passing through West Wycombe and 
under the hill, where the bright sun shining on the velvet sward 
and rich old yew trees formed a picture of exquisite beauty, we 
ascended the long hill leading to Wheeler End. In the lane we 
noticed many tufts of the Male Fern {Lastrea Filix-mas), and tlie 
gnarled roots of many of the trees overhanging the road, " bearded 
with moss," were decorated with the lovely golden-fruited Polypody 
{Polypodium vulgar e) ; on the banks were the elegant Long-stalked 
Cranesbill {Oeranium columhmum) and the Herb Robert [G. 
Rohertianum) blossoming in great profusion, with here and there 
a root of the Soft Dovesfoot {G. molle). The Common at Wheeler 
End is fast losing all claim to the title, large portions of it being 
already enclosed ; these encroachments on the ancient rights of 
the geese, donkeys, &c., are very painful to every lover of 
Nature, the commons being some of her richest treasuries. The 
Furze ( Vlex europceus) is here at all seasons more or less gaily in 
bloom. I was greatly amused on this Common in the Spring 
by the eccentric conduct of a pair of Blackcaps (^Curruca atri- 
capilla), which followed us the whole time, scolding in the most 



52 A NOVEMBER BAMBLE. 

emphatic manner, and constantly %ing down close to our dogs, 
venturing almost to beat them with their tiny wings. 

Wending our way homeward by a field path we passed a small 
farm, where I lingered awhile at the gate and watched the arrange- 
ments for the nightly comfort of the various animals, each appear- 
ing to be kindly cared for ; even the donkey, usually so oppressed, 
was here uuhai'nessed by loving little hands, and, with a gentle 
pat and a kiss, turned into the orchard to feed with those busy 
vegetarians, the geese — altogether forming a pretty and peaceful 
picture. Near the field path we found hosts of old friends still 
lingering on the sunny hillside in almost undiminished beauty, 
among them the three Geraniums before named ; Buxbaum's 
Speedwell ( Veronica Buxhaumii), with its large brilliant blue 
flowers ; Field Scabious {Knautia arvensis) ; Shepherd's Needle 
{Scandix Peden-veneris) ; Chicory (^Cichorium Intylus); Wild 
Ivadish [Raphanus Raphanistrum) ; with a few plants of the pretty 
but troublesome Corn Crowfoot (i2rtW!<«ei<?«s arvensin). In a field 
of turnips we saw a fine plant of the Garden Marigold ( Calendula 
arvensis) in full bloom. Many of the trees were wreathed with 
graceful climbing plants, the Black Bryonj' {Tamus communis), 
with its brilliant crimson berries, being most conspicuous. Our 
path in the woods lay through deep beds of leaves, the crisp 
rustling of which under our feet reminded me of the murmur of 
the sea upon a soft sandy shore ; here we were frequently startled 
by a rabbit or other small animal springing up and bounding 
away over the leaves. 

From Toweridge the path leads above West Wycombe Park, 
whence the view is remarkably pretty; passing near a wood 
•where, in Spring, we find one of our sweetest and lovliest wild 
flowers, the Lily of the Valley ( Convallaria majalis). Near Chapel 
Lane, into which our path leads, is a small triangular wood, 
almost surrounded by M'ater, where the earliest Primroses (Primula 
vulgaris) are ever found. Thence our route led through a narrow 
lane, past Desborough and Co})y Farm to Newland. This lane 
in Spring is full oi floral treasures, and even now is bright with 
the varied hues of the Autumn leaves, red, purple, and rich golden 



A NOVEMBER RAMBLE. 53 

yellow, wticb, with the fruit of the Hawthorn ( Crataegus Oxya- 
cantha), and the Hght feathery seed of the Traveller's Joy 
{Clematis Vitalba), veil the departing year in a robe of beauty. 
The sun having now disappeared, our observations were 
brought to a close ; while the remainder of our walk was 
brightened by myriads of stars, so beautifully called by Long- 
fellow, "the forget-me-nots of the angels." 

E.G. 

High Wycombe, Nov. 10, 1866. /J , 

In giving up discovery, one gives up one of the highest enjoy- 
ments of Natural History. There is a mysterious delight in the 
discovery of a new species, akin to that of seeing for the first 
time, in their native haunts, plants or animals of which one has 
tni then only read. Some, surely, who read these pages have 
experienced that latter delight ; and, though they might find it 
hard to define whence the pleasure arose, know well that it was a 
solid pleasure, the memory of which they would not give up for 
hard cash. Some, surely, can recollect, at theii' first sight of the 
Alpine SoldaneUa, the Ehododendron, or the Black Orchis, 
growing upon the edge of the eternal snow, a thrill of emotion 
not immixed with awe ; a sense that they were, as it were, brought 
face to face with the creatures of another world ; that nature 
was independent of them, not merely they of her ; that trees 
were not merely made to build their houses, or herbs to feed their 
cattle, as they looked on those wild gardens amid the wreaths of 
the untrodden snow, which had lifted their gay flowers to the 
sun year after year since the foundation of the world, taking no 
heed of man, and all the coil which he keeps in the valleys far 
beneath.— Eev, C. Kjngsley. — " Glaucus.'" 

•' Might not the very admiration of Nature have been an act 
of worship," continue! Lancelot. " How can we better glorify 
the woiker than by u. lighting in his work?"— "F^flsi;." — Eev.C. 

KlNGSLET. 



54 



#tt iwatMitij w'ltu vt^ptt U <^tt\0^\al iMt$* 



THE parent of incredulity with, regard to scientific truths is, in 
the majority of cases, ignorance. People refuse to believe 
a statement because the fact to "which it refers is beyond the 
range of their experience, and they cannot understand how it is 
ascertained. The most commonly accepted doctrines of Geology 
were once rejected with an amount of contenipt and even of pity, 
quite equal to that with which the ideas of Solomon de Cans and 
the Marquis of Worcester, concerning steam, were heard. To a 
certain extent this principle may be a good one ; but when it ex- 
tends to a resolute refusal to believe the statements of persons 
whose experience is much greater than our own, it becomes 
reprehensible. And for this reason, that anyone may, if he chooses 
to exercise the powers imparted to him, examine into these things 
for himself, and so become capable of judging about them: when 
he refuses to do this, in addition to refusing to believe, the very 
utmost we can do for him is to leave him in his wilful ignorance. 
What numbers of people there are who firmly beheve the earth 
to be still in the same state in which it first came from the hands 
of the Creator ; who laugh when you assert that the dry land upon 
•which they stand was once covered by the sea ; who smile in 
pity for you when you revive the tale of an old Atlantis, and say 
it is not at all improbable : they forget how our mighty rivers are 
constantly wearing down their banks, deepening their channels, 
and occasionally seeking fresh beds ; how waterfalls grind down 
rocks ; how ice and frost cause them to crumble away ; how the 
restless dash of the sea wears away the shore, while in other 
places the mouths of rivers are filling up. You remind them of 
these, you refer them to a new island lately sprung up during an 
earthquake in mid ocean, to the action of volcanoes and floods of 
lava century after century — and you startle them ; they begin to 

* Read before the Society at the first Eveiiing Meeting (October 9, 1866) 
of the Second Winter Session, 1866-7. 



ON INCfijiDULITY "WITH RESPECT TO GEOLOGICAL FACTS. 55 

think they were wrong ; but still they make a dead stop at the fact 
that the Wycombe Valley, e.g., was once at the bottom of the sea. 
You then take them to a chalk quarry, show them its nature, ask 
them how the fossils came there '? Tlie general reply, when any 
thought is exercised at aU, is, that the Deluge left them thei-e ; and 
. this, although a deception, is at least a point gained, for it makes 
them acknowledge that the Deluge wrought a change on the earth's 
surface. But what are we to say to a man who declares, in spite 
of all you tell him, that he does not believe these fossils ever 
were living animals, but that God created the quarry with them 
in their present state embedded in it ? Is he any better than un- 
believing philosophers who referred them to an abortive attempt 
of Nature — a soi't of trial of skiU before she attempted to make the 
perfect being ? With such a person we cannot argue, since he 
does not inherit the ground which we ought to possess in common, 
on which to base our premises — I allude to the use of his senses 
in connection with his reflective faculties. Though the number 
of such people is decreasing it is stiU considerable ; and they are 
to be found mostly amongst those who make the greatest religious 
profession : they fancy that the Bible teaches them differently ; 
but ask them where, and they are lost ; they will not however 
yield their belief any the more for that. Few educated people, who 
have honestly looked at both sides of the question, would now 
affirm that the earth is scarcely 6000 years old, — I say if they have 
loolced at loth sides, — because there is a certain section of educated 
persons who will not look at the opposite side for fear it should 
prove to be the right one ; they will tell you that they have con- 
scientiously examined one side and found it to be true, and they 
refuse on principle to examine the other. As these will not argue, 
they must go into the same class with the man who believes in the 
plastic attempts of the Creator. 

I thought of taking just one or two of the common facts of 
Geology that are more or less appalling to such persons as those I 
have mentioned, and of showing the simple grounds on which 
they are to be received and believed. 



56 ON IN^CEEDULITY WITH RESrECT TO GEOLOGIOAL FACTS. 

As regards the explanation given by tliem of tlie appearance 
of fossil shells and skeletons — that the}' M'ere so created — I would 
say very little in deference to the common sense of the true en- 
quii'ers, since thej'' would themselves demolish it. A skeleton 
found on the snowy sides of the Alps, or in a chasm at the foot of 
the Andes, is at once said to be that of some living being : if we 
find one embedded in stone, why may we not di-aw the same con- 
clusion ? In fact, not to be allowed to draw it, as I heard a friend 
say once, is to attribute to the Creator an intention to lead us 
astray by the right use of our faculties. 

But I will take one of the very first assertions of Geology, the 
formation of our hiUs under water — the statement, for instance, 
that the hills on which we ramble were once under the sea — they 
were in fact constructed there — there was a period of time when 
they did not exist, although the other parts of the earth did. To 
the sceptic in Geology this is tantamount to denying the truth of 
the Bible — an ideal Bible, mind, not the one we commonly under- 
stand as the Bible. " "What," he says, " do you mean to say that 
the earth was formed piecemeal? — that these Wycombe hills were 
put here after the other part was finished ? Absurd." " Gently," 
we reply, "don't be so hasty in drawing conclusions ; the hills 
were not j92<< here ; you do not understand the groundwork of the 
science ; let us give you a few illustrations. Have you ever 
noticed the little channels by the side of the road after a heavy 
shower of rain ? Have you seen how the sweep of the water has 
laid the sand in streaks, how the materials are assorted according 
to their gravity, the rubbish in one place, the heavier i)ebbles in 
another ? Have you noticed how, where the action of the water 
was most violent, the bed of the channel is waved and ridged with 
regular layers of sand? Should you have any hesitation in 
ascribing all this to aqueous force, even if you were not informed 
that such was the case ? A.nd if you saw on the sand an impres- 
sion resembUng a bird's foot, would you not say at once that a bird 
had walked over it? Now we find all these appeai'ances in our 
geological excursions — we split open a slab of stjno and find its 
surface in waves and ridges exactly like those we saw in the 



OK INCREDULITY WITH. RESPECT TO GEOLOQICAIi FACTS. 57 

channel ; we look at another and it is crossed in two or three 
directions by tracks apparently of birds ; but when we ascribe 
these to the same cause you disbelieve it — why ? Why does the 
impression of a foot on sand signify that an animal has walked 
over it, while the same imjiression on stone signifies nothing ? 
Well, the hardness of the material puzzles you. Now listen 
again. Suppose that your wayside channel, down which the rain 
sent a miniature torrent, was filled thereby with clay instead of 
sand — it is immaterial which, but we say clay to make the 
illustration more evident — and that the same impressions were 
made upon it, waves, ridges, hollows, footmarks ; suppose that it 
remained undisturbed by any agency whatever, under a hot July 
sun for a week, the identical marks would stiU remain, though 
they are on a harder sui-face ; is there any reason now to doubt 
their cause ? What then if it lay undisturbed for many hundreds 
or thousands of years — or wliat if, when it was partially hardened, 
fresh layers of sand or clay were thrown down, and aU the little 
hollows filled up, and then many ages elapsed and it was hardened 
into stone ? Would it not easily split in the direction of the 
plane of all the markings, and exhibit those markings almost as 
distinctly as at first ? You see clearly that the thing is not such 
an impossibility — that there is, at any rate, some probability in it. 
Look at this mass of shells I have brought from Lane End, it is 
almost as hard as iron ; but when I took it from the ground it was 
soft claj', and would scarcely hold its own weight together ; am I 
not warranted in concluding that these shells once contained 
animals? If they did. I know from the character of the shells, 
that they were marine animals ; if so may I not conclude, either 
that they have been brought from the now distant sea and buried 
here, or that the sea itself was once here, and that here they lived 
and died ? The former conclusion is too unlikely to be entertained 
for a moment. As regards our own chalk hiUs there is not much 
difiiculty if the foregoing conclusions are accepted. Difi'erent 
rivers and seas carry away different kinds of mud or sediment 
with them, and, therefore, when it is deposited, different kinds of 
stone are formed ; the sea washing the chalk cliffs of Dover, 



58 ON INCHEDTTLITY TnTH RESPECT TO GEOLOGICAL FACTS. 

carries away a very diiferent burden to that washed by the Atlantic 
off the rocky coast of Ireland. As a more practical illustration 
we may point to the fact that a great deposition of chalk is now 
going on in the channels of the Bermudas, whore the ship anchors 
come up covered with white lime mud." 

Our friend is willing to allow now that there may be some 
foundation for M-hat we advanced, and the next question probably 
will be, Might not all the shells found fossil have been left by the 
Deluge ? We reply, No ; and a very little consideration will show 
us this. We find fossils in every variety of situation, from the 
surface to depths of hundreds and thousands of feet. Now of 
course these shells were there lefore the enclosing substance— chalk 
or whatever else, — and if we find them at the bottom of chalk 
masses several hundred feet in depth, it follows that this thickness 
of chalk has been laid over them since. Is it at all probable that 
the forty days of aqueous tumult produced tliis ? If so, how can 
we account for the alternate layers of flint and clialk ? But the 
greatest objection is this. We find one particular class of fossils 
in our chalk hills, a totally different class in the oolitic Jiills of 
Gloucestershire, and another amongst the coal bods of Lancashire : 
how could the waters of the Deluge be so discriminating ? How 
happens it that the different classes of animal remains are never 
confusedly mixed ? And the chalk in England yields the same 
fossils as that in Europe — the coal of Lancashire and that of North 
America gives us the same — in fact each particular formation, in 
whatever part of the world it may be, yields its own peculiar 
class of fossil: this could not have been brought about by a 
chaotic flood, but by some agent, regular in its action, and obedient 
to certain laws. The same kind of reasoning will apply to the 
fact that the various formations are as regular in the order of 
superposition as the fossils; if tlie Flood brought them about, 
how is it that eacli occupies a certain determinate relative position 
— that the Lane End clay has never yet been found beneath chalk 
— that chalk always lio;; above green, — coal always below 
oolite and lias? I tliir.lc that these questions are sufficient to 
show our wavering friend that he must give way a little. 



ON rNTCEEDULIXy ■WITH RESPECT TO GEOLOGICAL FACTS. 59 

Next, I may mention the geologic age of the earth. None of 
us T'ould affirm, I presume, that this can be obtained from tlio 
Bible. " In the beginning " the heavens and earth were created 
— and that heginning may have been 6,000 or 6,000,000 years ago 
for what the Scriptures tell us. If you once allow that the hills 
were formed in the bed of the sea by sediment regularly and 
therefore sloivly deposited, the idea of immense periods of time at 
once takes possession of the mind : we can, however, form no 
definite ideas of these, because we do not know the rate of deposi- 
tion. Try to imagine how long one of our own hills — Keeji Hill 
— would take in its formation : the white sediment dropping 
slowly to the bottom, year by year, as each animal died, and its 
shell sank and decayed, or was covered up : then think tliat the 
cretiiceous formation in its greatest thickness has been set down 
at 1,200 feet —that the thickness of many formations beneath it is 
as great — that there have been several bods of clays and .sands 
deposited over it manj' hundreds of feet in depth, — how manv 
ages would thus be consumed? EecoUect that the chalk mass 
itself is made up of animal remains, chiefly microscopic, whoso 
tenants must have flourished he/ore the chalk was formed into 
ranges of hiUs — must have belonged to this earth when peopled by 
different animals to those now roaming about — how long did they 
exis: as a class ? Omitting the Oolite, Lias, Trias, coming next in 
order under Cretaceous Eocks, let us notice the Coal Measures 
several thousand feet in thickness : they consist of beds of pure coal 
stratified between beds of clay and sandstone ; the coal itself con- 
sists of vegetable matter; how long did the plants and trees 
flourish before they were embedded ? how long did it take to form 
a bed of sandstone over them ; how long for another period of 
vegetation? another bed of sandstone? a third and perhaps a 
fourth ? The mind recoils from the calculation. 

The Falls of Niagara are often appealed to as a proof of a greater 

age for the earth than that generally allowed. Thej- are situated 

at the farther end of a goi'ge or passage seven miles long. The 

proofs are perfect that the Falls were once at the lower end of this 

gorge — that the river, falling over this ancient escarpment, by 
I 



60 ON INCEEDULITY WITH EESPECT TO OEOLOGICAL FACTS. 

degrees has worn for itself a channel 1 60 feet deep, backwards 
and backwards through, the strata. Of course some parts of the 
strata were softer than others and were more quickly worn awaj^ 
but Professor Huxley considers that a probable calculation shows 
that something Hke 10,000 years have been employed in forming 
the gorge. 

Then there is an astronomical proof of the earth's age, which 
was brought forward by Mr. Lucas in a lecture he once gave in 
Wycombe, which I think very important. Let it be granted 
first that the earth and all the planets and stars were created at 
the same time. We learn this from the Bible ; and it is easy to 
see that the earth being a portion of the Solar System, that system 
coidd not exist as it is without it ; the insertion of the earth (had 
it not pre-existed) or the abstraction of it (now it does exist) 
would disturb the " harmony of the spheres." Similarly our 
Solar System is an integral portion of one vast assemblage of 
systems, the destruction of any one of which must bring about the 
destruction of the whole. All, then, were created at once. Now 
there are certain stars, or masses of stars, so distant that the light 
travelling from them takes 60,000 years to reach this earth: many 
people who do not know how this is found out refuse to believe 
it, but no student of astronomy or of trigonometry would disbeUeve 
it. We can see these stars, their light has reached us ; i.e., the 
rays of light now entering the eye through the telescope started 
from these stars 60,000 years ago; therefore the stars were then 
in existence, and as the earth was also, the earth must be at least 
60,000 years old. Grant this, and there is no limit we can put to 
its age. 

Time prevents me taking up other points on which people are 
incredulous ; I trust, however, that sufficient has been said to 
show that geologists have sufficient grounds for at least the pro- 
bability of their theories, however startling they may at first 
iipj)ear. Geology does not, and cannot, contradict the Bible when 
rightly studied ; the earth is just as much the work of God as the 
Bible ; both are occasionally misread, but that does not prove the 
study of either to be unlawful ; both tell the same wondrous tale 



AMONGST THE GRASS. 61 

with respect to the display of His power ; but, as tlie study of the 
crust of the earth would never enlighten us with regard to 
spiritual truth, so no amount of biblical study will ever teach us 
Geology or Astronomy. ^^ Ulltett. 



g^mong^t n\t (SfasiSi. 



WHEN Mr. H. C. Watson produced his invaluable work, 
'«Cybele Britannica," he found it so difficult to procure 
positive information of the flora of some districts that, under the 
head of Sellis perennis, he enumerated several counties in which 
he had no evidence that even the common Daisy was to be 
found. If this was the case with flowering plants we must expect 
it to be even worse with such obscure organisms as fungi, indeed, 
in half the counties of Britain we do not know that the common 
mushroom or the corn-mildew is to be found. Buckinghamshire 
is one of the counties concerning the inferior flora of which we 
know ahnost nothing, and in the hopes of adding to our knowledge, 
I am about to give a short account of one small gi'oup of fungi, 
in the hope that it may lead some stray reader to hunt for them, 
identify them, and record how many belong to this county. 

Amongst the grass in autumn the close observer of nature wiU 
not have overlooked some httle white or yellow bodies, growing 
either singly or in tufts, and only conspicuous from the clearness 
of their white, or the brightness of their yeUow colour. Com- 
monly only from one to two inches in height and not thicker than 
a crow-qum, it may be expected that hundreds of people, even in 
Bucks, have walked over them, or sat down upon them, many a 
time and oft, and never noticed them. These belong to a genus 
of Fungi bearing the name of Clavaria, from the club-shape of 
many of its members ; and as we have upwards of thirty British 
species, it behoves us to write of them in some kind of order, and 
for that purpose, those which are more or less clavate or simple, 
shall occupy the first place. Indeed it is doubtful whether space 
will permit us on this occasion to enumerate the branched species 
at all. 



62 



AMONGST 7HE GRASS. 



SECTION I. SOLITARY. 

lui'st and foremost is the king of all our Clavarias, C. pistiUarig 
(fig, 1 .), if size constitutes any claim to kingly dignity ; and having 
received from lligli Wycombe a native specimen of this some- 
what rare species,* its right to a first place is indisputable. 

Fig. !• In size this 'club' exceeds our 

figure, for it will attain a height of 
more than six inches, and a thickness 
of nearly an inch at the thickest part ; 
externally it is smooth everyv\^htre, 
and though at first of a tawny colour 
becomes browner by age. Inter.ially 
it is white and fleshy. This and the 
four succeeding species always grow 
singly and distinct, and not in Cufts, 
as those of our second group. 

A very rare species (C. Ardtnia) 
has been found in the southern 
counties, in which the clubs are much 
more slender and attenuated, always 
of a redder brown or rust colour, and 
with the clubs hollow. 

Almost equally rare is a twisted 
and contorted species ( C. contorfa), of 
a dirty white colour, which is oc- 
casionally found bursting through 
the bark of fallen branches. Indeed 
both C. Ardenia and C. contorta differ from the majority of their 
feUows in selecting fallen branches on which to vegetate. 

A smaller species ( C. jimcea), with slender thread-like hollow 
clubs is sometimes abundant in certain localities amongst dead 
leaves in woods. The stem is hoUow, and at first pale externally, 
becoming ultimately of a reddish-brown. 

• It was gathered in 1865 in Ileamton Wood, West Wycombe; and last 
year in the Bo.kcr Woods. — Ed. 




Fig. 2. 




AMONGST THE GEASS. Oo 

A slender, delicate, little white Clamria will 
often make its appearance on tlie soil in garden 
pots. This is C. acuta (fig. 2), usually the tops 
of the clubs are pointed, but occasionally they 
are somewhat blunt. 

The fifth and last species of this group 
(C uncialis) grows on the dead stems of umbel- 
liferous plants, and bears some resemblance to 
the last, but is always blunt at the apex. Its 
general height is about an inch. The substance 
is white and tough, and not at aU fragile, as in 
some species of the following group. 

SECTION II. C.E3PIT0SE. 

In this section the clubs are still simple or unbranched, but 
they grow in tufts, which are more or less fused together or 
united at the base. These differ much in colour, for in one 
species it is purple, in another it is rose-coloured, in three it is 
yellow, in two it is clay-coloured, and in two it is white. 

The purple species {C. purpurea) has elongated hollow clubs, 

and grows in pastures amongst grass. It is by no means common. 

The rose-coloured species (C. rosea) also loves the grass, but is 

decidedly rare ; the substance is brittle and the tips of the clubs 

Fig. 3. become yellowish. I have never been 

fortunate enough to find either of these. 

Of the three yellow species, C. fusifm-- 
mis is common in woods.* It grows in 
rather dense tufts of dehcate spindle-shaped 
clubs varying from one to two or three 
inches in height, which are ultimately hol- 
low, the tips of the clubs are generally of a 
darker colour*. The acute ends character- 
ize this species. (Fig. 3.) 

The second yeUow species, C. ceranoides, 
also has the tips of a darker colour, but the 
clubs are unequal and not pointed, but 
Is ftequent also on commons ; Naphill Common, &c. — Ed. 








64 AMONGST THE GEASS. 

often divided a little way down. It is difficult to determine the 
line whicli separates it from C. fusiformis. 

The other species ( C. incequalls) is very variable in form, some 
of the clubs being simple and others forked, but none of them dis- 
coloured at the tips. Its substance is more brittle, and the clubs 
do not become hoUow. It is not uncommon amongst grass, es- 
pecially in woods. 
Fl. 

Of the clay-coloured species C. argillacea is the 

largest, and the brittle clubs have a shining yellow 
stem ; whereas C. tenuipes has inflated and wrinkled 
clubs (fig. 4.), and a very slender stem. Altogether 
the latter species scarcely exceeds an inch in 
height. Both are found on heaths. 
Finally the two white species are C. vermiculata and C. fragilis. 
The first of these is very common on lawns and pastures and al- 
ways white.* The clubs are cylindrical and rather attenuated at 
the tips, not exceeding three inches in length. They certainly 
resemble a tuft of fairy candles, and would make a very good stew 
if they were not so small. The clubs are never coloured or hollow, 
whereas in C. fragilis, the clubs are cylindrical and hoUow, often 
yellowish, with a white stem, exceedingly fragile. Both are rather 
common, but the latter prefers meadows to upland pastures, and 
there is very little difference in their relative sizes. It would be 
difficult by means of woodcuts to give a distinct notion of the speci- 
fic difi'erence in some of these little plants, as so much depends 
upon the colour, but by the exercise of a httle care and patience 
it may not be impossible to recognize them by the brief characters 
here given. 

This chapter having already attained its Umit, the branched 
species, belonging to this genus, must form the subject of a future 
communication. 

M. C. Cooke. 



* Gathered last autumn on Naphill Common.— Ed. 



65 



Prtitious to m %^(mht |IotH— 1S66. 



ALTHOUGH every branch of Natural History has ever some- 
thing new to set before us, and although we can never ex- 
haust the marvellous stores of information presented to us in each 
natural object, it is, of course, self-evident that just in proportion 
as we become more acquainted with any one subject, we have 
just so much the less to find out about it. In other words, 
to speak more particularly of our own district, each plant or 
insect that we find for the first time leaves one less for future 
discovery. The careful inventory which has been made during 
the last few years of the botanical productions of our woods 
and fields has left room for but few additions : and it is 
therefore with great pleasure that I record the discovery during 
the past season, of seven species of flowering plants hitherto un- 
recorded for the Wycombe district. 

I may hero remark that the area comprised in the district to 
the examination of which our Society is especiall}' devoted is a 
radius of five miles from the parish church of High Wycombe, — 
this being the extent to which the labours of local naturalists are 
usually confined : and my forthcoming Flora of Wycombe will be 
arranged in accordance with this generally adopted plan. I will 
now briefly mention the seven species recently added to our list 
in the order of their discovery. 

The Fielu Mouse-ear Chickweed {Cerastium arvcnse) was 
duly recorded at page 25 of the Society's Magazine. It has not 
yet been observed in any other locality than that there mentioned, 
and we must consequently consider it, for the present, as merely 
a visitor to the district. 

Tue Fine-leaved Heath {ISrica cinered). Although by no 
means a rare plant, had not been recorded among us until the 
23ra of Juue last, when I had the pleasure of finding it in great 
plenty upon Wooburn ComniDu. The same observations also 
apply to 



66 ADDITIONS TO THE WYCOMBE FLOS,A. 

The Ttjited Water Scorpion-grass {Myosotis cmpitom), whicli 
grows in damp places and by the edges of ponds in the same 
locality, and has since beon observed near Whittington Park. It 
is an insignificant little plant, with small blue flowers, and much 
resembles its relative, the Forget-me-not {M. pdiisiris) in general 
appearance. 

The Slender Tare ( Vicia gracilis), is a muc'i rarer species than 
any of the following — indeed, it may be considered as the princi- 
pal botanical discovery of the year. The sub-})rovince of "West 
Thames (comprising the counties Berks, Bucks, and Oxon) was 
not known to produce it, until it was discovered, on the 23rd of 
June, by Dr. Bowstead, growing in some plenty at the foot of the 
field side of the embankment, on the right hand side of the road, 
at the beginning of the ascent of White Hill, as you go to 
Beaconsfield. In general appearance it resembles the Hairy 
Tare ( V. hirsuta), but the flowers are much larger and more con- 
spicuous, of a delicate purplish blue. 

The Acrid Lettuce [Lactuca virosa) I found growing very 
plentifully among the Furze on the gravelly embankment on the 
left-hand side of the road going up White Hill. It is a tall 
plant, with a thick stem, which has small but sharp thorns, and 
when broken, exudes a wliite milky juice ; the flowers are 
yellow, resembling those of the Garden Lettuce. 

The Cotton Thistle {Onopordum Acanthium). Two fine plants 
of this, the handsomest of our Thistles, were observed in a hedge 
adjoining the Ham Farm, near West Wycombe ; they may, how- 
ever, have originated in the adjoining garden. 

The Lesser Dodder {Cuscuta Epithymtim). This pretty para- 
site was discovered on Wooburn Common by Miss Chandler, 
growing upon Furze and other plants ; although a frequent 
species, it is not known to occur on any other of our commons. 

In addition to this list of plants new to our district, it may be 
interesting to enumerate a few of the rarer species, already 
known to occur with us, for which additional localities have been 
discovered. Tlie Woad {hatis tinctoria), which was in 1865 
noticed among the Saintfoin by the railway near the Bird-in- 



ADDITIONS TO THE "WTCOMBE FLORA. 67 

Hand, was last year pretty plentiful, appearing at intervals 
between that place and Bradenham. The Annual TeUow Cress 
{Nasturtium palustre), an insignificant little plant, which has hither- 
to been noticed only at Lane End and Marlow, has been gathered 
near the Marsh Green : and the Hairy Eock Cress {Arahis hir- 
suta) has been found in Wycombe Park, and several other locali- 
ties. The rare Coralwort {Dentaria hulhifera), has been noticed in 
the little wood at the foot of White HiU. ; and Mr. Marshall has 
traced it beyond our district as far as to Amersham. The Bar- 
berry {Berleris vulgaris) the claims of which to be regarded as a 
native of our district rested solely on the specimen on Keep HUl, 
has been observed sparingly in the neighbourhood of Marlow by 
the Eev. Bernard Smith. Wooburn Common, already mentioned 
as the locality of two or three new plants, produces the elegant 
TeUow Cow-wheat {Melampyrum pratense) in great abundance : 
the absence of this species from our neighbourhood generally was 
commented upon by Mr. Mill, in his list of Marlow plants pub- 
lished in 1850 ; and although Mr. Melvill noticed it in the Mar- 
low vicinity in 1 865, it was still almost unknown to the district. 
The lovely Bee Orchis ( Ophrijs apifera) has been gathered during 
the last season in FenneU's Wood, Loudwater, in a wood near 
Bradenham, and on a bank near White Hill: and the little 
Musk-scented Orchis [Herminium Monorchis) was abundant on Keep 
Hill. Many of the localities given in a list kindly supplied me 
by Mr. GaviUer have also been examined and verified. The 
Solomon's Seal (^Polygonatummultifloi-um) mentioned by Withe ricg 
as growing "about High Wickham, Bucks," has not yet been 
noticed in our district ; and we have been equally unfortunate 
with the Eed Campion {Lychnis diurna). which, although included 
in Mr. Mill's Marlow list, has, at present, entirely escaped our 
observation, although Mr. Marshall gathered a single specimen 
on the road to Amersham about 5 J miles from Wycombe. The 
Shepherd's Eod {Dipsacus pilosus) which it was feared woiild be 
destroyed by the clearing of the hedges in its only Wycombe 
locality, between Cressex Farm and Handy Cross, has apparently 
benefited thereby ; having been finer and more abundant during 



fig ADDITIONS TO THE WYCOMBE FLORA. 

the past season tlian it ever was before. Last but by no means 

least in importance, the Mezereon {Daphne Mezerewni) has been 

found this year both in Dane Garden Wood and in Fennell's 

Wood ; and a specimen has also been observed in a previously 

unrecorded locality, namely, in the small wood at the foot of 

White Hill. 

These are, I think, the principal additions to our knowledge of 

the plants of this neighbourhood which have to be recorded for the 

past season. If in themselves trifling, they are to a certain extent 

of importance as rendering more perfect the flora of a locality 

which, form the rarity of the species which it embraces, presents 

features of especial interest.* 

James Britten. 

* Read before the Society at the first Evening Meeting (October 9, 1866) 
of the Second Winter Session, 1866-7. 



Pst 0t m\im\t iiwl^, So. 1. 



Falconid/E, 

Sparrow Hawk Falc9 nisus Not very common. 

Kestrel F. tinnunculus . . Plentiful ; known as the 

Red Hawk and Little Hawk. 

Stiuqidm. 

Barn Owl Strixflammea . . . .Common. 

Brown Owl S. aluco ,, 

Laniad^. 
EsD-BACKED Shrike, .Lanius colluris. . . .Called Butcher-bird. 

MUSCICAPEDJE, 

Flycatcher Muscicapa grisola . .Common. 

MERTJLIDiE. 

Missel Thrush Tmdm viscivorus. .Tolerably plentiful. 

Song Thrush T. mmieus Common. 

Blackbird T. merula ,, 

FiELDTARE T. pUorts Called Felts and Pigeon 

Felts. 

Eedwinq t..,T. iliacus. 

Hy. Ulltett. 



69 



^vmtiin^ iof tfie 3otxttxj, 



SECOND WINTER SESSION 1866—7. 



FiEST Evening Meeting, Oct. 9. — ^This was held at the house 
of the President, and was very largely attended. Tea and coffee 
were provided at six ©'clock ; after which the business of the 
evening was opened by the President, who, in a short introductory 
address, alluded feelingly to the loss which the Society would sus- 
tain in the approaching departure of the Secretary. Mr. Ullyett, 
then read an interesting paper " On Incredulity with respect 
to Geological Facts," which will be found entire at p. 54 of the 
present number ; after which he formally resigned his office as 
Honorary Secretary of the Society. 

It was proposed by Mr. John Parker, jun., and seconded 
by Mr. E. J. Payne, that Mr. Britten be elected to the vacant 
post. This resolution was put to the meeting, and was car- 
ried unanimously. 

A short paper, illustrated by specimens, on the additions to the 
Wycombe Flora during the past season, was then read by Mr. 
Britten : it will befoimd at p. 65. The objects exhibited, which 
were very numerous, were inspected; among them may be 
specially mentioned — casts of the eggs of the two gigantic extinct 
birds, the Binornis giganteus, of New Zealand, and the JEpyornii 
maximus, of Madagascar ; fossils from the Qault at Folkestone, in- 
cluding several Ammonites ; some scarce fossil Crabs ; and Kent- 
ish fossils from the Thanet sand, etc. : these were all lent by the 
President. Mr. Britten also exhibited several specimens of wild 
flowers in blossom, among which may be mentioned the Penny 
Eoyal {MentJia 2}ulegium) from Naphill Common ; the fruit of the 
Deadly Nightshade {Atropa Belladonna) from Hughenden ; and 
the Fine-leaved Heath {Erica cinerea) from Wooburn Common. 
The meeting terminated with the usual votes of thanks. 



70 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOOIETT. 

Second EvENiNa Meeting, Nov. 13, lield by kind permission 
at the house of Mr. John Parker, jun. A vacancy having oc- 
^jUrred in the Committee by the removal of Mr. Britten to the post 
of Secretary, Dr. Bowstead was unanimously elected in his place. 
A paper on " British Eeptiles," kindly forwarded by Mr. "W. E. 
Tate, of London, was read by the Secretary. The orders Sauria 
and Batrachia, as illustrated by British examples, were selected 
for especial notice ; and the remarks upon each species were gath- 
ered, in a great measure, from personal observation. The Presi- 
dent then delivered an instructive address upon "Diatoms and 
Desmids," illustrated by diagrams and coloured drawings. The 
physiology of these minute vegetable organisms was explained ; 
and the narrow line which separates them from the animal world 
was clearly and concisely drawn. Various Diatoms were exhibi- 
ted under the microscope, as were also fossil specimens of their 
sporangia, from flint. Among the subjects exhibited was a 
collection of Butterflies, and another of Beetles (chiefly local), 
exhibited by the President, the former containing the only speci- 
mens of the rare Clouded TeUow ( Colias Ednsa) which have been 
taken in the Wycombe district. Various Reptiles, British and 
foreign, preserved in spirits, were also on the table ; as also was 
a copy of Morris' " British Birds," lent by Dr. Bowstead ; and a 
series of coloiu'ed engravings of WUd Flowers. The approaching 
Meteor-showerformed, as mightbeexpected,thesubjectof much con- 
versation ; after which, the usual votes of thanks having been pro- 
posed and acceded to, the meeting broke up. 



"MtinA ioo^^. 



r' has been suggested to us by a contributor that a small portion 
of our space might be profitably occupied by a list of useful books 
as may be usefuUy consulted by those who are desirous of increas- 
ing their knowledge of Natural History. We have great pleasure 
in acceding to this proposition : and have selected the following, 
which, while giving sound reliable information on the subjects of 



trSEFTTL BOOKS. 



71 



which they treat, are free from technicalities which might puzzle 
the uninitiated. 

The Animal Kingdom, as represented in Great Britain, is treated 
of in the world-famed " Natural History of Selborne," of which 
many editions are published; a very good one, copiously illustrated, 
and annotated by the Eev. J. G. "Wood, may be obtained of 
Messrs. Eoutledge for 3s. 6d. The same publishers also issue 
some admirable books at the low price of Is.: "The Com- 
mon Objects of the Country," by the Eev. J. G. Wood, 
"British Birds' Eggs," and " British Butterflies," are all weU 
illustrated; and the first named is most pleasingly written. 
Mr. Hardwicke publishes "British EeptUes," by Mr. M. C. Cooke; 
and " Slugs and Snails," by Mr. Ealph Tate ; both are written in 
plain language, and the latter is a handy introduction to British 
Conchology : both are illustrated (48. plain, 6s. coloured). 

The Vegetable Kingdom is also well represented in the following 
works: ""Wild Flowers of the Tear," published at Is. by the 
Eehgious Tract Society ; " Flowers of the Field," by the Eev. 
C. A. Johns, a valuable introduction to the classification and 
description of British Plants, published by the S. P. C. K., illus- 
trated, 7s. : " A Manual of Botanic Terms," by Mr. M. C. Cooke, 
fuUy illustrated, 2s. 6d., published by Hardwicke, as is also 
" A plain and easy Account of the British Fungi," by the same 
author, with coloured plates, price 6s. ; while Messrs. Routledge 
supply "British Ferns" and "Our "Woodlands, Heaths, and 
Hedges," for Is. each, and " "Wild Flowers " for 28. All of these 
are fully illustrated : and the last-named contains a good explana- 
tion of botanical phraseology. 

This list, at present very incomplete, woidd be more so did we 
omit to mention Hardwicke's "Science Gossip," with which 
many of our readers are doubtless already acquainted. It is admir- 
ably arranged and illustrated ; and its price is but 4d. monthly. 
We hope to return to this subject on a future occasion, when 
works on other branches of Natural History will come under 
consideration; as well as some of a more advanced style than 
those above mentioned. 



72 



(ftmtm^&tm. 



All comvmnieations relating to advertisements, contnlutions, or the sfupply 
of this magazine, sJwvld be addressed to the Editor, care of Mr. Butler, High 
Wycombe. Contributions mvst be sent in before the 15th of the montJi pre- 
ceding the date of publication. The Editor Tvill be glad to receive notes con- 
cernuKj ainj of our local p)lants and animals, tlieir times of appearing, their 
popular iKiiiu's and traditions, abnormal forms and colours, S'c; these must be 
authenticated by tlie ivriter's name and address, but iiot necessarily for 
publication. 



Hebenon. — Henbane v. Ebony. — 
Although quite unable to equal the 
amount of learning displaj'ed by Mr. 
PajTie at p. 48, I still adhere to my 
opinion that by hebenon, Shakespeare 
most certainly intended Henbane. 
In this opinion I am supported by a 
great majority of Shakespearian com- 
mentators. But if the Ebony was 
indeed intended, we are forced to 
believe that our great poet did not 
know what he was talking about ! 
Mr. Payne seems to think it almost 
impossible that a king could " suc- 
cumb " to the action of Henbane, 
which he humorously terms " a con- 
temptible bird-poison;" but as- 
suredly it would be more unlikely 
that the juice of a tree, perfectly in- 
nocuous, in its effects, could in any 
way tend to such a result : and if we 
admit that Icings are, after all, but 
ordinary desh and blood — it seems 
to me that a monarch is as lilvoly as 
a peasant to fall a victim to the 
effect of a poison. Again, Henbane 
produces different effects upon dif- 
ferent people ; and the sjTnptoms 
given in my " amusing little monas- 
tic fiction " (which, however, rests 
on a solid basis of fact) ; although 
they may not exactly coincide witfi 
those of the poet, may be quite as 
correct as his. The 'rendering' to 
which I referred lias been given, 
more than once, at a village pemiy 
reading : and I am quite willing to 
allow Mr. PajTie to cite this as an 
authority, should he think fit. The 
conclusion to which we must come 
is briefly this : if Shakespeare knew 



what he was talking about, nothing 
but Henbane could have been inten- 
ded by him ; but, if on the other 
hand, we allow that he was exer- 
cising Ms right of ' poetical license ' 
in no ordinary degree. Ebony, or 
anything else, might have been selec- 
ted for his purpose. I cannot help 
thinking that the former supposition 
will be most generally assented to. 
James Bbitten. 

The Large Tortoise-shell ( Va- 
nessa Polychloros). (See p. 45.) — 
This fine butterfly is not unfrequent 
all round Marlow. It appears about 
the end of July, and almost imme- 
diately enters into its state of hyber- 
nation. For a few days only it may 
be observed in the sunshine, basking 
on the bole of some tree, and flying 
about it when disturbed. We only 
saw one last summer, and it was just 
outside a wood at Fingest. In April 
and early May it is more easily 
found, flying in the open walks of 
our woods ; but the specimens are 
then worn and should not be cap- 
tured, as they are laying the eggs of 
a future brood. I have taken the 
larva just ready to turn, on palings 
in tliis town, and the perfect insect 
appeared about a fortnight after. 
Although called by Harris in his 
" Aurelian " the " Nettle Butterfly," 
it is well known to feed on the ehn, 
as stated by Mr. UUyett. It is gene- 
rally called "The Large Tortoise- 
shell," and is regarded as a prize 
among our yovmg collectors. 
Rev. Bernard Smith, Qreat Marlow. 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



73 



CuRioTJS Place for a Bird's 
Nest. — One day in the spring of 
1805, while at the Grove, Booker, I 
was requested by Mr. Morris to go 
into the garden and take do-svn care- 
fully a watering pot, which had been 
hanging to the branches of an apple 
tree all the winter ; I removed it 
from the branch, and on looking into 
it, I saw the whole of the bottom 
covered with soft moss, in the middle 
of which was, sitting on its nest, a 
Tomtit (Paints major). Although 
the bird shewed some surprise at the 
sight of me, it did not fly away : I 
replaced the watering pot on the 
branch, when the bird suddenly 
started out and flew into a neigh- 
boirring tree. I looked again into 
the nest, which contained four little 
eggs. What astonished me most 
was the great quantity of moss which 
had been collected by the little bird 
for its nest, for the whole of the 
bottom of the watering-pot was 
covered two inches deep with the 
moss, which appeared loose, but was 
woven loosely with horsehair. The 
nest itself was more closely woven, 
and quite maintained its hollowed 
appearance thereby, being lined -with 
hair and small feathers. The dia- 
meter of the watering-pot was about 
a foot, and it would have held more 
than a gallon of water. The good 
lady of the house was very kind to 
the little bird, and took a great in- 
terest Ln its welfare, and she told me 
that it afterwards hatched its young 
safely. The great quantity of moss 
was doubtless to absorb moisture, the 
bird being able to judge by some 
unknown power that no drainage 
could take place through such a 
dense substance as tin ; otherwise it 
might have been saved much trouble 
and many journeys to and fro by 
simply building its nest in one 
comer. Does this exhibit reason or 
instinct? 

R. M. BOWSTEAD, M.D. 

The Green Woodpecker {Pieces 
vb'idls). — This, the largest of the 
British Woodpeckers, is also one of 
the most beautiful of our British 
Birds. Any one who wanders 
through the wooded parts of Buck- 
inghamshire may often detect it by 



its jerky flight, and by the peculiar 
scream which it utters when alarmed. 
The rich green and yellow of the 
back, and the deep crimson of the 
back of the head, are equal in colour- 
ing to the plumage of the Kingfisher. 
It is a shy bird, but not uncommon, 
and is widely distributed. It is 
kno'\\Ti by various provincial names, 
most of them indicating its habit of 
boring trees: " Woodspite," "High- 
hoe," "Hew-hole," " Pick-a-tree " 
— also in Northumberland, " Raui- 
fowl," from its habit of being noisy 
before rain. From the same cause, 
the old Romans called them Pliiviw 
Aves. The local name in Bucks is 
Wetile ( Witwall ■) . Old Christopher 
Merrctt, in his valuable PhiaxRemm 
Naturalium Britaunicarum, pub- 
lished 200 years ago, calls them 
" Witwoll," whUe Bewick gives this 
name to the Large Spotted Wood- 
pecker {P. major). Is " Wetile " 
(of the spelling of which I am doubt- 
ful) a corruption of this word, or 
does it really indicate the character 
of the bird as the herald of rain ? I 
find, too, that its local name here is 
Hickall. This is no doubt a corrup- 
tion of Hickwall, but, according to 
Bewick, this is the name of the Lesser 
Spotted Woodpecker {P. minor). 
Perhaps some of your readers can 
tell me whether "Wetile" is the 
correct mode of spelling the name, 
and whether it is a corruption of 
" Witwall " ? 

T. Marshali.. 

Ediijle Fungi. — " I have this 
autumn myself witnessed whole 
hundredweights of rich, wholesome 
diet rotting under trees ; woods teem- 
ing with food and not one hand to 
gather it; and this perhaps in the 
midst of potato-blights, poverty, and 
all manner of privations, and public 
prayers against imminent famine. I 
have, indeed, grieved when I have 
considered the straitened condition 
of the lower orders this year, to see" 
pounds innumerable of extempore 
beefsteaks growing on otir oaks in 
the shape of MstuUna kepatica; 
Agaricnsfusijjes, to pickle, in clusters 
under them ; Pufi'-balls, which some 
of oiir friends have not inaptly com- 



74 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



pared to sweetbread, for the rich 
delicacy of their unassisted flavour ; 
Jhldna, as good as oysters, which 
they somewhat resemble in taste ; 
Afjaricns dcliciosus, reminding us of 
tender lamb kidney; the beautiful 
yellow Chantarelle, that KaUn Ka- 
'(jathon of diet, growing by the 
bushel, and no basket but our own 
to pick up a few specimens in our 
way ; the sweet nutty Boletus, in 
vain calling lumself edvlis, where 
there was none to believe him ; the 
dainty OrceUa, the Agaricus hetero- 
pJiylliis, which tastes like the craw- 
fish when grilled ; the red and green 
species of Affaricus to cook in any 
way, and equally good in all."— i>?'. 
Badham's ''Esculent Funguses of 
Great Britain." 

Ancle Shades Moth.— I saw a 
good specimen of this moth {I'Mogo- 
pfiorametichlasa) clinging to the land 
side of a large block of gault on the 
beach on November 30th. Was not 
this very late in the year for it ? The 
day was very cold, and a high wind 
was blowing. 

Entomologicus. 

[It was rather late in the season, 
but they are generally out till the end 
of October.— Ed.] 

Instinct v. Reason. — A bee, 
which Huber watched while solder- 
ing the angles of a cell with propolis, 
detached a tliread of this material, 
with winch she entered the cell. 
Instinct would have taught her to 
separate it of the exact length re- 
quired, but after applying it to the 
angle of the cell she found it too long, 
and cut off a portion so as to fit it for 
her purpose. 

Hy. Ullyett. 

Small Elephant Hawkmoth 

( Clucrocampa pcrcellvs) . Three 

specimens of this beautiful little 
Hawkmoth were taken during the 



past season at honeysuckle blossoms 
at Bradenham, by Mr. Kennedy. 

" If we A\-ish rural waUis to do our 
chddren any good, we must give 
them a love for rural sights, an ob- 
ject in everv walk ; we must teach 
them to find wonder in every in- 
sect, sublimity in every hedgerow, 
the records of past worlds in every 
pebble, and boundless fertility upon 
the barren shore ; and so, by teach- 
ing them to make full use of that 
limited sphere in which they now 
are, make them faithful in a few 
things, that they may be fit hereafter 
to be rulers over much." ^ 

Rev C. Kingslet.— " Glavcus. 
The Futtjbk Life or Animals. 

" Will the creature, will even the 

brute creation always remaiii in this 
deplorable condition? God forbid 
that we should affirm tliis, yea, or 
even entertain such a thought ! 
While the whole creation f/roanetA 
toqetlier (whether men attend or not) 
their groans are not dispersed in idle 
an, but enter into the ears of Him 
that made them. ^Vliile His crea- 
tures travail together in 2>ain, He 
knoweth and is bringing them near- 
er and nearer to their bii-th, which 
shall be accomplished in its season. 
He seeth the earnest expectation 
wherewith the whole animated crea- 
tion wait eth for that final manifesta- 
tions of the sons of God : in wHch 
they themselves also shall he delivered 
(not by annihilation : annihilation is 
not deliverance) from the present 
hondage of eorrxpiion into a measure 
of the glorious lihertij of the children 
of God. Nothing can be more ex- 
press. Away with vulgar prejudices, 
and let the plain word of God take 
place. They sMll he delivered from 
thehondageof corruption into glorious 
lihertg : even a measure, according as 
they are capable, of the liheHy of the 
children of God." 

Rev. John Wesley. 



Erratto.-No. 2., p. 27. first line from the bottom, for "first" tead 
■last." 



75 



HAPPY the man wlio has some resources beyond the ordinary 
routine business employment of life. One-idea-people are 
never agreeable people, especially to those whose minds unfortu- 
nately are not bent at aU in the course of the one idea. The 
deliem of entire change from the engrossing task of life are known 
so well to most intelligent men and women, that one can only 
compare such a change to the feeling of him whose life is spent 
in the fen country, where 

" For leagues no other tree did mark 
The level waste, the rounding gray," 

finding himself by the Lake of Lucerne on a clear summer day, 
the bright blue waters at his feet, and, rising from the Lake, the 
glorious green mountains, ridge above ridge, tiU his eye rests 
on the distant sparkling outline of the eternal snows. The 
colours of this simile may to some be too bright ; I pray you, 
therefore, my friends, tone them down with your own brush and 
in harmony with your own fancy. This Magazine attests the 
resoui'ces of the Naturalist, the Microscopist, the Geologist, and 
the Antiquarian ; and I wiU now venture to put in a word for my 
own humble resources. A reverence, though by no means a super- 
stitious one for antiquity, and a love of architecture, have led me, in 
company with a kindred spirit, to find recreation in leisure hours in 
pleasant pedestrian trips, easy marches from this ancient town, 
to spots bearing familiar names, yet full of antiquarian interest. 
A fresh walk amid hill and vaUey in this Chiltern district, with 
good health and an object before you, who can describe such 
a combination of enjoyments ? George Borrow would certainly 
well perform the task, did he fr-om " Wild Wales " take his next 
walk through our county. 

To recount the numerous objects of interest within compass in 
this neighbourhood would be beyond my purpose : I will only 
mention a few that at the moment strike me. There is the almost 



76 RESOTJECES. 

deserted village of Fingest, its church tower rising up like a 
spectre in the valley ; that Norman tower makes the lonely vale 
quite worthy of a visit. This pilgrimage should bo taken first, 
then will be appreciated the better the rude grandeur of the tower 
of St. Alban's church, reared, not improbably, by the same hands 
that built the little tower of Fingest. Pray do not be offended, 
my reader, if in my simplicity I treat you as amongst the unini- 
tiated in Ai'chitecture. Whilst on the Norman style, I might 
mention there is an interesting Norman doorway to the restored 
church of Bradenham; a delightful afternoon's walk is that across 
the high ground of Downley and Walter's Ash, down into the 
Bradenham Valley, and back to High Wycombe. Nothing how- 
ever, can be finer in Norman work in this neighbourhood, than 
the pillars and arches that remain to attest the early foundation 
of the Hospital of St. John, now the Wycombe Eoyal Grammar 
School. 

Then, nest we have, here and there, interesting specimens of 
the early English style. A walk over Keep HiU to Little Marlow, 
would afford an opportunity to visit the village church; the 
north windows and the tower are well worthy of examination ; in 
another direction, a walk to the secluded village of Little Missen- 
den wotild reward the admirer of Eaidy English woi-k, there being 
at the east end of this church a triplet window with double plane 
of tracery ; whilst, though beyond the limits of this locality, the 
beautiful tower of Haddenliam chm-ch, with the arcading sur- 
rounding the belfry story, ought not to be left unnoticed. 

It is by carefully examining these humbler details and by be- 
coming acquainted with their distinctive beauties that we are able 
to realise the glories of the minster ; that in visiting such churches 
as Lincoln, Salisbuiy, or Beverley, — those triumphs of Gothic in 
its purest and most lovely forms, — we do not take a mere bird's-eye 
view of the biulding, and content ourselves with a few empty ex- 
clamations, but we are at first sight overpowered with the vast 
work of art before us, specially in our earliest and happiest 
days of travel, and then we gi-adually acquaint ourselves with 
the entire design— the grandeur of the proportions to the ex- 
quisite finish of th^e scxilptuxe. 



RESOTJKCES. 77 

I have been travelling very rapidly through the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries in search of the art of those periods in our 
neighbourhood, and now arrive at the early part of the foiu-teenth 
century, in which the decorated stylo flourished ; and there are 
some good examj)les of that style to visit within easy distance. 
Shottesbrooke church, beautifidly situated amid the richly wooded 
country around Maidenhead, is a perfect specimen of decorated 
work ; no busy perpendicular workman, nor, far more serious, 
imtutored churchwarden has marred the design of its original 
architect ; the spire is, I understand, being now rebuilt strictly in 
accordance with the fii'st model. Burnham church, with its fine 
roof, and Hitcham church, are fair examples of the decorated 
period, and nearer home the manorial chapel at Widmer, 
near Marlow, now forming pai't of a farmhouse, and described 
in an interesting chapter of the Records of Buckinghamshire 
for 1865, by the late Eev. W. H. Kelke, has its east and 
south windows of the early fourteenth centiiry period. 

We now come to the last or perpendicular age. "We have left 
behind us the graceful shafts, the pointed arch, and the high- 
pitched roof: great and grand were — if we only take York Minster 
as an example — the works of the perpendicular builders, and 
most industrious and popular builders they were ; hardly any 
cathedral or parish church escaped their industrious hands, but 
we see in their designs the unmistakeable signs of the decline of 
Gothic art, and when they had chiselled the last pinnacle to 
Henry the Seventh's chapel at Westminster, its reign was over ; 
the art itself died only to be revived in modem days. The nave, 
clerestory, and tower of our parish church, also the nave and 
transepts of Thame church, would be classed with this order ; but 
as I have before hinted, there is scarcely any village church near 
us that does not present some specimens of this style. Grateful as 
we should be that the sacred buildings throughout the land have 
very generally been reverently preserved, it is to be lamented 
that — at least, in our own loeaHty — so Httle is left us of the 
domestic art of the Middle Ages. No doubt many houses in the 
present day and in this ancient borough from their numberless 
mutilations disguise their antiquity ; still we look in vain for the 



78 EESOtTECES. 

ancient market house, the home of the Lord of the Manor, and of 
the inferior magnates, and find notliing but the peasant's cottage 
in unfrequented spots to remind us of the dwelling-places of our 
forefathers. 

It is not by reading of the strifes and loves, the rise and fall of 
kings, that we can really become acquainted with the history of 
any period, but it is by seeing with our own eyes the monuments 
and memorials left us of the past that we can know the habits 
of thought of bygone generations ; as an instance with reference to 
the mere customs of a certain age, a recent examination of the 
beautiful tapestry work at Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, gave me 
more idea of how people amused themselves, how they dressed, 
in fact what resources they had, than tlie most elaborate de- 
scription of volumes. John Parker, Jtjnb. 

High Wycombe. 



Wiu W^mnm of llotit iuntiu^.* 



ALAEGE white sheet, a dark lantern, a good stick, and a box 
of Calmar Tandstickor. Also a bottle of chloroform, some 
entomological "sugar," and pillboxes ad infmiium. Time about 
nine p.m. Thus equipped W'e start for Dane Garden Wood on a 
cloudy night in June or July. Did you say what for ? Well, to 
catch moths, and possibly, a cold. Not a tempting occupation at 
such an hour you may think ; a snug room with a glass of some- 
thing cheerful woidd be preferable. We will not argue the 
point ; euflB.ce it to state that there are people ready to forego the 
latter for the chance of capturing something good between the 
hours of nine and throe, when Morpheus reigus supreme over all, 
excepting entomologists. It is, jierhaps, cold work fur the first 
hour, but by the end of that time you begin to warm to your 
work, and as the " game " appears you are lost in the excitement 
of hunting. Up we go, over Keep Hill, stumbling over the 
juniper bushes, startled every now and then by a motli dashing 

* Read before the Society at the Sixth Evening Meeting (March 5th, 1867), 
of the present Winter Session. 



THE PLEASTTEES OF MOTH HTJKTING. 79 

at our bull's eye, or vainly gazing after one that sailed across the 
gleams into the darkness like a winged ghost : we make frantic 
dashes at them -with the net, but in vain : perhaps "we catch one 
out of every thirty — ah ! -n-hat is this ? A Magpie ; no, not a 
bird, not Pica caudafa, but Abraxas grossulariata, Tvhich you 
must acknowledge to be a prettier name ; a very common species, 
but we retain it because it is our first capture to-night. Forward ; 
we do not want to wait on the hdl, let us get to the wood at once. 
Here we are ; how gloomy it looks at night. We think of the 
cosy little room we left, and the contrast is painful : yet we dare 
not return without accomplishing our errand, having been guilty 
of several vain boasts relative to what we should take home. On 
these tree trunks at the edge of the wood, and also on the old 
gate posts, we spread some of our liquid "sugar" to entice the 
moths that may come by. It gives out a rich odour (we speak as 
moths), and cannot fad. to draw a host of gay young Nocturni. And 
leaving this for a time we seek an opening in the interior of the 
wood ; here we suspend our sheet, with a lantern to throw a strong 
light on it. Light possesses a wonderful attraction for moths, 
and this mode is a favourite one with some entomologists. They 
(the moths, not the entomologists) settle on the white sheet and 
are pill-boxed. This again we may leave to itself for a time and 
go and seek our fortune with the net : ah ! what a lot of great 
creatures come fluttering round us just in this one spot ; we must 
see what they are : only the TeUow Underwing, Triphena pronuha ; 
we reaUy cannot spend time in catching them. Fronxiba and grossu- 
lariata ai-e two of the moth-hunter's greatest torments, they are 
always getting into the nets ; if a curious looking moth rushes by 
you, it is sure to be one of them (if you catch it), and you get 
sold times innumerable. To return to our sugar— what luck ? 
Here on the gate post we have two very fine cockroaches, and a 
slug ; we did not certainly mix up our sweets for them. But here 
on the tree trunk we see some little sparkling beads thro win o- 
back the light ; we know them, the eyes of moths are very beauti- 
ful by lantern-light, and the little beads show that there are moths 
there. Here is the Angle Shades, Hdogopliora metindosa, nothing 
rare, there are four of them here, but still it is very pretty ; here 



80 THE PLEASTTRES OF MOTH HUimNG. 

ai'e also Xylophasia polyodon, X. hepatica, and yes, it is the lovely 
little Peach. Blossom, Tliyatira latis, but the shy creature was too 
quick for us, the gleam of the light soon drove it away. But 
look on the ground here at the foot of the tree — two Yellow 
Underwings, and one Ilepalica, positively intoxicated, perfectly 
helpless. Oh, sight for a Temperance Society ! Pick them up 
and preserve them as proofs of the fondness of moths for drink. 
The other tree trunks afford us a few choicer specimens, and now 
we wend our way to the sheet and lantern. Why, where can the 
spot be ? Surely this is near where we left them : we wander up 
and down, round and round, finding ourselves continually coming 
back to the same place, but no sign of a sheet, no friendly ray to 
guide our wildered steps. Lost, lost in a wood at midnight, and 
we cannot tell which way to turn, or where to look for a path. 
How very horrible ! And yet it makes one feel romantic, because 
you see there is no danger, only inconvenience ; we can wander 
about till the morning, and then we are certain to find our way out ; 
still we should prefer not to do this. Stay ; a " happy thought" 
strikes me ; let us make our way up to the highest ground, as 
straight as we can. What a rehef, here is the way out. Now a 
fresh start, and by the aid of a better path we find our parapher- 
nalia, but there is nothing on it, and as it is getting very early, 
we pack up, and start homewards. 

Beating the hazel and hawthorn buslies as we go, we find 
dozens of night-feeding caterpillars, letting themselves down by 
a thread, sjuder-like, as wo shake the branches, and crawling up 
again when they think the danger over. They are mostly Geome- 
tridoi, and by taking some home, and caging them, we may succeed 
in obtaining a moth or two that we do not often find in the per- 
fect state. 

These are some of the "Pleasures of Moth Hunting," and 
many of our readers no doubt will say, queer pleasures they are. 
We have, however, only told of a ramble during a summer night ; 
what would they say to an hour or two in a cold bleak uiglit in 
March or April, such as we have spent looking over the sallows 
by the stream at the Marsh, and picking choice specimens of the 
Hebrew Character, Tceniocampa Gothiea, and others of the same 



BKANCHED CLAVAKIAS. 81 

genus oflf their blossoms ? Or Low would you like to be out in a 
thick drizzling rain at 11.30 p.m. in October, throwing the gleams 
of your lamp on the ivy blossoms which then adorn the Park wall 
below the Eye, and detecting the little Chestnut Moths holding 
high festival ? We have done this often, and one night took 
home forty specimens, comprising sixteen or seventeen species. 
We have them now in our cabinet, and as we look them over, 
each tells its own tale, forms in fact, a little volume in a large 
library, and it speaks to us most of fi-iends that are gone, who 
shared with us the Pleasures of Moth Hunting. 

Hy. XJlltktt. 



irmwlJM d^Iavanaisi. 



TTAVING, in the last number, briefly characterised the British 
-'-'- species of Clavaria which have the clubs simple and undivi- 
ded, it will be expected of me that I render the account complete 
by an enumeration of the branched species. Nothing is so essen- 
tial for a satisfactory determination of the larger fungi as good 
faithful figures. In the absence of these I must endeavour to 
make the distinctions as plain as I can. 

If specimens of Clavaria are laid upon a piece of duU black 
paper over-night, in the morning the paper around the specimen 
wiU be found discoloured, frosted, or more or less sprinkled with 
the spores which the Clavaria has shed. These wiU either be 
quite white or yeUow, brown, or some similar tint. The larger 
number of British species have white spores. Let us accept this 
as a distinction whereby to separate the branched species into two 
sections. 

First, those which possess white spores, of which there are ten 
species ; four of these are white, two yeUow, two greyish or 
brown, one violet, and one whitish, with red tips. To commence 
with the largest group, the white species may be thus distin- 
guished. 



82 



BRANCHED CLAVARIAS. 



Chvaria coralloides and Clavaria ^«»2ze? are both very much and 
repeatedly branched, so as to form a dense coralline tuft; but in 
the former the base or stem is thick, and in the latter slender. 
In the former the branches are unequal, and dilated in the upper 
portion ; whilst in the latter the branches are equal and compres- 
sed at the axils. Both are found in woods, but C. Minzei is very 
rare. 

Both the above species are brittle, and both the following are 
tough. This may serve as a Httle guide in their discrimination. 
Clavaria nigosa (Fig. 1) is usually quite white, but sometimes of a 
dingy colour. 

It has a character peouHarly its own, in its 
wrinkled surface, and in the clubs being nearly 
simple, often but sKghtly branched, enlarging 
upward, and occasionally more than four inches 
in length. Each club grows by itself, be it 
simple or forked ; and the tips are always blunt 
and rounded. It grows in woods, amongst grass, 
or on shady banks. 

Clavaria cristata, though often white, is quite 
as often of a dingy, dirty colour. The branches 
are less numerous than in the two species first 
named, and are flattened, spreading, with a 
crest-Uke appearance, being sharply notched at 
the apes. It is to be found in woods. 

The more i^ersistently dingy species are Cla- 
varia cinerca and Clavaria umbrina. The first of 
these is of a greyish colour, very much divided 
' „**»'^^ ^^^ subdivided so as to form a dense tuft, pro- 
ceeding from a short, thick, tough stem. 
The other species has a slender stem, is of a pale umber colour, 
only slightly branched, and is certainly rare, whilst C. cinerea is 
common in woods and on shady banks. 

The yellow species are represented by Clavaria fastigiata and Cla- 
varia muscoides, both of which occur in pastures. The first is very 
much branched, the branches are short, and again divided in a 




BRANCHED CIAVABIAS, 83 

digitate ov clustered manner.* The last is less divided, slender, 
forked, and with the branches cui'ved. It is the less common of 
the two. 

The violet species is Clavaria amethystina. It is very brittle, 
variable in size, and much branched. We have no other species 
with which it can be confounded. 

Clavaria hotrytis has a thick fleshy stem, the upper portion divi- 
ded into a number of swollen branches, which are red at the tips. 
It has been found in woods, but is very rare. 
This ends the white spored species. 

Those having coloured spores are eight in number. One of the 
rarest and most beautiful is Clavaria erocea, which is of a bright 
saffron yellow, small in size, slender with crowded branches, and 
has only been found in Somersetshire. 

Clavaria grisea has a dirty white, thick stem, divided above 
into a few thick, blunt wrinkled branches, of a dingy grey colour. 
It is not at all a handsome or attractive species, and is rather 
uncommon. It may be known by its brownish spores from other 
species of a similar colour. 

Yi'y, 2. Clavaria alietina (fig. 2) has a ver}' 

characteristic habit of its own, and is 
not uncommon under fir trees. It is of 
an ochrey colour, resembling Scotch 
snuff, very much branched and sub- 
divided, but the branches and branch- 
lets are all erect, giving the plant a 
verj' neat appearance. It sometimes 
turns green when bruised. 

Another species possesses in a less 
degree this erect habit. It is Clavaria 
stricta, a species which has occurred in 
Buckinghamshire, found by Mr. Britten, and is not uncommon 
in gardens.f It is of a pallid yellowish colour, very much 
branched, turning brown when bruised. 

* Extremely plentiful on our Commons during the late autumn ; ^'ap- 
hill Common, &c. — Ed. 

t Occurred in great abundance in the autumn of 1865 on the earth siir- 
rounding an old sawpit in Hearnton Wood, West Wycombe; and ii\ 
1866 in the Hughenden Woods.— Ed. 
L 




84 BRANCHED CLAVAIIU.S. 

The yellowest of the Clavarice in this group (with the exception 
of C. crocea) is Clavaria aurea, which has a thick pallid trunk, 
divided into stout forking branches. It occurs in woods, but is 
considered rare. 

There are two ochraceous species still to be mentioned, both of 
which are uncommon : Clavaria flaccida, which is flaccid, as its 
name indicates, with a slender smooth trunk, and numerous con- 
verging branches ; and Clavaria crispula, which is not at all flac- 
cid, has a slender woolly trunk, and many spreading branches. 
The former occurs amongst moss in woods, and the latter at the 
base or in the hollows of trees. 

The most recent addition to the list of British Clavarice is 
C. formosa. It is a large thick stemmed species, divided into 
numerous long, thick, erect branches, each of which is again 
much subdivided at the apex. The colour is yellowish. It was 
found by C. E. Broome, Esq., near Bristol. 

Uninteresting as this bare enumeration of species may be to 
the general reader, one feels some satisfaction in the ho^^o that it 
may prove useful, and be the means of inducing those to look for 
Clavarias who never looked before, and those who always looked 
to look the more. Should only half a dozen Clavarice not known 
at the present to flourish in this county be hereafter identified 
thi'ough the medium of these two chapters, that alone would 
recompense the writer for his little effort. 

M. C. Cooke. 



Does it not seem to you, that there must surely be many 
a thing worth looking at earnestly, and thinking over earnestly, 
in a world like this, about the making of the least part 
whereof God has employed ages and ages, further back than 
wisdum can guess or imagination picture, and ujiholds that 
least part every moment by laAVs and forces so complex 
and so wonderful, that science, when it tries to fathom them 
can only learn how little it can learn ? — Rky. C. Kinoslet, 
— " Gkucus:' 



J 



85 



Wit MlUm tetttnj, 

(Contiimed from page 39.) 



THE Chiltem Country is divided into parishes, most of which 
resemble very roughly the form of a square. Now the 
parishes in the lowlands adjoining the great roads on the North- 
West and South of the forest uniformly take a decidedly oblong 
shape, often run up into the hilly forest region, and sometimes take 
to themselves detached portions of land in the very thick of the 
forest. It is easy to see that these lowlands were at some time 
past thickly populated (compai-atively speaking), and sufficient 
proof of this is contained in the unusually quick succession of 
old parish chiu-ches as we traverse either the Icknield Eoad 
or the old Bath Eoad. On the former, we find, at an average dis- 
tance of about a mile apart, Ellesborough, Great Kimble, Little 
Kimble, Monks and Princes Eisborough, the two Saundertons, 
Horsenden, Bledlow, Chinnor, Orowel, Aston, Lewknor, &c., 
and so on in the same proportion, till we arrive at the place where 
the Chiltern range crosses the Thames, at Goring. So along the 
old Bath road, we have Iver, Wexham, Stoke, Farnham, Bum- 
ham, Hitcham, and Taplow, then the Walthams, Shottesbrooke, 
and Buscombe. All these villages being closely packed together, 
their corresponding parishes naturally take an elongated oblong 
shape, extending generally in this way at right angles on either 
side of the principal road, to an extreme length of perhaps six or 
seven miles, with a breadth of only a mile, or a mile and a half. 
The Chiltern parishes are considerably larger than these, in 
consequence of the great area of unavailable woodland contained 
within their boundaries, and the absence of any important road 
to induce settlements. That they are of more recent formation 
than those adjoining, just mentioned, is seen from the numerous 
detached hamlets and patches of land within the forest, reputed 
to belong to, and still claimed by these lowland parishes : e.g., 
the hamlet of Seer Green, belonging to Farnham, and the hamlet 



86 Taa emt^tvim oovntry. 

of Coleehill, belonging to some manoi- in the adjoining county of 
Hertford: that of Ackhampstead, belonging to Lewknor, in the 
county of Oxford, &c., &c. These portions seem to have been 
occupied by a kind of colonisation, before the whole forest 
was thought worth entire occupation and regular division into 



This division took place in or before the reign of Alfred the 
Great, whence all old English parochial names date. In some 
not exactly known year, in his time, the name each village or 
town then bore was distinctly ascertained, or a name given to it, 
if it had none, and its boundaries were fixed : and thus the first 
official survey of the island took place. 

The names of the Chiltern parishes enable us to look for a 
moment with the eyes of our Saxon-German forefathers over our 
hills and vales. A list of these names, and a few remai'ks by 
way of explanation, may be both useful and interesting, especially 
as the subject has never before been systematically attempted. 
To ascertain the signification of the names, we must generally 
recur to some earlier spelling, in consequence of the corruptions 
produced by many centuries of tradition. Doomsday Book, the 
oldest authority, is generally most correct in this particular, and 
the best guide to deciding the meanings. 

Amersham. The first name on our list presents a singular 
difficulty. Tracing it from the earliest, we find it successively 
called Almondesham, Agmondesham, Aniondshani, Amersham, the 
two last being easily corrupted from either the first or second, 
one of which is evidently incorrect. Notwithstanding the 
authority of the spelling Agmondesham, which has been in 
use from the XIII'*' century to the present time, though cor- 
rupted in pronunciation, I take the first, as being in Doomsday 
Book ; Almond's ham — the place of the Almann, Almand, or 
Almanian {Lat. Alemanni), i.e., (1) a German or Germans of the 
Alemannic nation, as distinguished from the Saxons, Franks, 
Frisians, or (2) generally, a German or Germans as distinguished 
in the later times from the Danes of the adjoining jjarish of Chal- 
font. The word was constantly used in this second sense.* It is 
• Schilter, Thesaurus Antiq. Teut. iii. 21. 



««8 esffifSfiif e»?MTa?. 87 

originally derived from alle nianne, i.e., all the men, the nation, and 
is found in the modern French words for Germany and the Ger- 
man, Allemagne, Allemand. 

Agmondes-ham, though written during many years, was 
never in oral use, as is shown by the endorsement of one of 
the earliest documents (XIII"' century), in which it is spelt 
Amundesham, though Agmundesham is in the body of the 
deed. The ff is probably an error altogether. 

BsAcoifSFiELD. From the obvious Beacon — the field of the 
Beacon, a station on the ancient telegraph line which conveyed 
to the whole country the news of invasion and piUage. 

Bledlow. Bledelnw = Bloody hill; a relic of the battle 
fought there between the Christian Germans and heathen Danes 
is seen in the chalk cross on Bledlow Down, not far from 
the better known cross of Whiteleaf. 

Beadenham. Breda or Irada means a flat open place, derived 
from the old form of our word Iroad. 

Burnhaji. Village by the buen, or rather among the burns, 
or brooklets. 

Chalfont. This name is reducible to no Saxon elements 
known to me, and appears to be of Danish origin. 

Chenies. See Iselhampstead, hereafter. 

Chesham, or properly Chestee-ham. The well-known word 
Chester is the Sasonised Eoman word for a town or military 
settlement, and points to the existence of such in the times of 
the Eoman dominion.* 

Cholesbxjey, properly Chelwald's-buey, contains the name 
of its Saxon possessor. 

Denham, properly Dane-ham, was certainly a Danish settle- 
ment, and so named by the Saxon neighbours. 

DoRNEY, properly Thokn-ey, signifying low uncultivated 
ground near a river. Very many places in low situations have 
this name ; among others, it is the old name of the present site 
of Westminster Abbey and Palace. 

Ellesboeoxjgh. In a corrupted form, compounded with the 

* Which is confirmed by the discovery of important Roman remains found 
here in the year 1864. 



88 ON- FASCINATION. 

name of some Saxon possessor ; probably tbe same name as 
Aylesbury. 

Eton. Eton and Upton once evidently formed but one parish ; 
a glance at the maps placed together will show this. For the 
sate of distinction, the little suburb which had grown up near 
the town of Windsor, was called Eton, or properly Ey-ton, 
meaning town by water, and the original village Up-ton, or 

■UPLAND TOWN. 

Eabnham. Here for the first time we have a genuine botanical 
name. Farnham is so called from the Feen which grows or 
once grew abundantly in its neighbourhood. 



E. J. Payne. 



(_To be continued.') 



(Dtt lirisdttatiou. 



THE power of fascination, as possessed by certain animals, is 
very remarkable. We are all familiar with the stories 
which tell us how birds or small animals are fascinated by 
snakes : but it does not appear to be equally well-known that 
the same power is shared by other creatures, and those natives 
of our own country. As an illustration and in evidence of this 
fact, I will just narrate one or two circumstances which have 
occurred within my own sphere of observation. 

In the winter of 1848, while spending my holidays with a 
school-fellow at a farm-house in Warwickshire, two hens were 
carried off by a Fox in a somewhat mysterious manner. They had 
been seen to go to roost the night before upon a long ladder, 
which lay across the beams of an open waggon-shed : and how 
Eeynard could possibly have got to them, was a matter of 
conjecture. The next night, my companion and I stationed our- 
selves in a little outhouse attached to the shed, whence we could 
see all that passed inside, by means of a hole in the wall. At 
length our attention was aiTested by a short snappish bark, fol- 



oir FAScmATioir. 89 

lowed by a cackle among the poultry ; and, looking through the 
hole in the wall, saw Eeynard sitting with his head directed up 
to the fowls. My companion was very eager to shoot, but I 
advised him to wait until the Fox began to move off ; when a hen 
fell suddenly down from the perch, and was instantly seized by 
her adversary. Before he could get away, the contents of the 
gun had finished his career. This incident leads me to believe 
that Foxes are, in this way, more destructive than poachers in 
pheasant-preserves. 

Another case, somewhat allied to the foregoing, although per- 
haps exhibiting reason rather than fascination, I had an oppor- 
tunity of observing, some three years ago, as I was walking by 
the side of a large wood and noted fox-cover. Looking through 
the hedge into a wide grassy ride I saw at a little distance a 
Eabbit feeding, when a Fox crept quietly out of the wood, and, 
perceiving the Eabbit, threw himself down on his back, with his 
legs in the air, and lay perfectly motionless. The Eabbit in turn- 
ing round saw this strange object, and ran into the wood ; but soon 
came out again, and sat up to take a better survey. Apparently 
satisfied with its observations, it came a little nearer and com- 
menced to eat, but was again startled by a slight noise caused by 
the Fox having struck the ground with his tail. This seemed to 
excite the Eabbit's curiosity still further; it approached until 
within ten yards of Eeynard, when the seemingly inanimate 
object suddenly came to life, and seizing the unfortunate 
Eabbit, which appeared too frightened to move, scampered off 
with his prey. 

• I have also reason to believe that the power of fascination is by 
no means confined to Snakes and Foxes, and the following cir- 
cumstance tends to support this opinion. About five years ago, 
while driving along Chapel Lane, near West "Wycombe, I heard 
a peculiar cry, and on arriving opposite tlie lane which leads to 
Copy Farm, I saw in the mirklle of the path a Water Wagtail 
{Ilotacilla Tarrellii), its wings drooping by its sides, uttering 
piercing shrieks, and apparently in an agony of fear. At the 
same time I became conscious of another sound, something be- 
tween a grunt and a hum. On nearing the bird, which seemed 



90 OTTK VIOLETS. 

unable to move, I found tliat this proceeded from a Stoat, in the 
hedge-bottom, -which had evidently fascinated the Wagtail, for 
as soon as I drove the Stoat away, the bird flow oflP, glad to be 
released from the power of its foe. 

I trust that these few remarks may lead to farther corres- 
pondence upon this subject, which appears to me to bo one of 
considerable interest to naturalists. 

E. M. BOWSTEAD. M.D. 



SiVuromlr^ WM ilmtx^. 



II.— OUR VIOLETS iVtolaceie). 



ONCE more the season of spring is approaching ; once more 
* ' the winter is past — the flowers appear on the earth ; the 
time of the singing of birds is come; " and the naturalist, who 
has been eagerly watching each faint foreshadowing of the 
resurrection, as it were, of plants and insects, now begins to 
prepare for a full enjoyment of the dailj^-increasing beauties of 
Nature. Not that he is weak enough to believe in the "ethereal 
mildness," with which the poet invested spi-ing ; he knows 
full well that cutting winds, and heavy rain, and chilly frosts 
make that season at the best a changeful one ; but in spite of 
all these, there is a development in Nature which nothing can 
entirely check, and which each day brings a step nearer to per- 
fection. 

Among the avant-couriers of the floral train, the Violets claim 
a foremost place, and demand at least a passing notice as their 
right : we will, therefore, give a few moments to their inspection. 
We cannot here, as at Mentone, wander forth into valleys filled 
with double-blossomed Violets, where the air is literally laden 
with the fragrance they give forth ; nevertheless, one of our own 
species is sufficiently sweet and loveh', and we value it none the 
less because we have to search for its blossoms among its beds of 
gi'een leaves. We have in the neighbourhood of Wycombe, at 






OTJE VIOLETS. 91 

least five species of Vtola. People generally recognise but three : 
the Sweet Violet, the Scentless, or Dog Violet, and the Pansy, or 
Heart's-ease. But in the second of these, we may readily discover 
three forms with distinguishing characteristics which can scarcely 
be overlooked if we exercise our powers of observation in an 
ordinary degree, and to these our remarks will be chiefly devoted. 

The Sweet Violet ( Viola odorata) is so universally known and 
admired, that we wiU not insult our readers by attempting a de- 
scription of it. We find it with white, pale blue, or purple 
flowers : and near Buckingham a variety occurred with deep 
clai'et-coloured blossoms : occasionally very pretty specimens are 
found, having white flowers striped with purple. It may be re- 
marked, that in a wild state, the white Violets are usually much 
earlier than the purple ones : and about Wycombe both are equally 
common, although in some parts of the country a white Violet is 
accounted a rarity. Two points, however, connected with this 
species demand special attention, since it is by them that the Sweet 
Violet is distinguished from the next species, the Hairy Violet. 
If we pull up a root of V. odorata we shall notice that from its 
centre proceed one or more runners, which are technicallj', and 
without the slightest reference to Ritualism, called stoles ; these 
stoles, at intervals, take root in the ground, and throw up leaves 
and flowers. In the Hairy Violet these stoles do not exist. 
Again, if we pluck a Sweet Violet, we shall notice that, 
ahove the middle of the flower-stalk, are two tiny light-green 
appendages, called bracts, which are really small leaves ; in the 
Hairy Violet, these are situated helow the middle of the flower- 
stalk. 

The Hairy Violet ( Viola Mrta) is not uncommon upon our 
chalky banks ; and — with the two following species — shares the 
name of Dog Violet, a name given, probably, in contemptuous 
allusion to its want of scent. In many respects, it resembles 
the Sweet Violet, from which it is distinguished by the afore- 
mentioned pecuUarities. The leaves are hairy, and their under- 
sides very pale green ; in outline they are somewhat more tri- 
angular than those of V. odorata ; the leaf-stalks are longer, and 
also very hairy ; the flowers are of a paler blue than those of the 



92 Otm VIOLETS. 

preceding. White-flo\rered varieties are of rare occurrence ; and 
tlie blossoms, althougli occasionally slightly scented, are usually 
inodorous. In th.e immediate neighbourhood of "Wycombe, this 
Violet is plentiful in Hollow Lane, and it appears to be frequent 
in other parts of the county where a chalky soil prevails : we 
have records of its occurrence at Hedgerly, Wendover, and 
Drayton-Beauchamp. 

The Woob Violet ( Viola s'jlvaticd) is the most ornamental 
species which we possess. Differing widely from its predecessors 
in the smoothness and general appearance of its leaves, which aro 
but slightly hairy, it far surpasses them in the size and brilliancy 
of its blossoms, which are, however, scentless. The two first- 
mentioned species have scarcely any stem — both flowers and 
loaves springing from the crown of the root : but in V. sylvatica 
we find a real stem, from which the flowering shoots branch off. 
Modern botanists divide the "Wood Violet into two species : and 
it is chiefly with a view of ascertaining whether the second of 
them is found witliin our limits, that this paper has been written. 
We would therefore direct especial attention to the following brief 
description of the differences existing between the two forms : 
and also to the annexed figures, engraved, by Mr. Hardwicke's 
kind permission, from " English Botany." 

■^^S- !• \. V. Mmniana, Eeich. (fig. 1.) This is 

our common scentless Violet, which, as on 
the terrace-walk at Hughenden, produces 
such S2)lendid masses of rich, purple-blue 
flowers : it is common everywhere, in woods 
or on hedgebanks. The chief distinguish- 
ing mark between this and the next 
species lies in the black veins which streak 
the lowermost petal : in V. Riviniana these arc numerous, and 
uniformly branched at the base. In the other form, 

2. V. Reichenlachiana, Bor. (fig. 2), which is not, as yet, 
known to occiir in our county, the petals are somcwliat longer, 
and] much narrower ; while the veins of the lowermost one are 
comparatively few, parallel, and scarcely, if at all, branched. 
This is a much less common form in England : but hopes aro 





OUK VIOLETS. 93 

Fig. 2. entertained tliat by diligent seai'ch. it may 
be detected in the coimty, if not in our own 
immediate neigbbonrhood. It may be remarked 
tbat Professor Babington describes the flowers 
of V. Reichenbachiana as "Hlac;" wbile tbose of 
V. Riviniana are "blue." The aggregate species, 
V. syhatica, is the Violet to which, the name Dog 
Violet is most usually applied. A white-flowered 
variety was found near Wycombe last year by F. Wheeler, Esq., 
and is described at p. 16; but this form is of rare occurrence. 

The Dog Violet ( Viola canina) is a somewhat puzzling species, 
and in very many respects resembles V. syhatica. The flowers 
have less of the purple tinge than those of that species ; and the 
spur is yellowish-white. The only form which I have seen in our 
district is V. flavicornis, Sm., which grows, or at any rate, used to 
grow, in great plenty on Wycombe Heath ; I believe I have also 
noticed it on Keep HiU. In the New Botanists' Guide, it is stated 
to grow " near Hitcham, Dropmore, and Bumham Gore Lane," aU 
in the county. It seems to prefer dry, open places, and is not very 
common. Professor Babington characterises V. canina as having 
the "primary and lateral stems flowering and lengthening;" 
while in V. syhatica the flowering branches are " axillary from a 
short flowerless central rosette of leaves." Careful investigation 
wUl, in nearly aU cases, render the seemingly slight difierences 
between the Wood and the Dog Violet sufficiently spparent. 

The Heaet's-ease oe. Pansy ( Viola tricolor) is the last of our 
Violets, and must be almost as familiar as the Sweet Violet to 
our readers. Its habit is, however, very difi"erent from that of 
the preceding species ; and it also differs from them in being an 
annual : in short, were it not for the blossoms, we should hardly 
recognise the Heart's-ease as a true Violet. The flowers, in order 
to bear out the specific name, should be of three coloui's — purple, 
blue, and yellow, or blue, yellow, and white : but this form is 
comparatively rare with us, although occasionally to be met with 
in cornfields. The variety termed V. arvensis is the more common 
with us, ia which the petals are small, and either yeUow or 
white ; but it is difficult to lay down any differences of sufficient 



94 PROCEEDINQS OF THE SOCIETY. 

importance to distinguish it from tlie true V. tricolor, the one form 
passing almost imperceptibly into the other. The true V. tricolor 
is, however, a stouter plant than V. arvensis, and is often hiennial, 
or even perennial: both flower from spring until very late 
autumn. 

Thus we conclude our chapter on Violets. Much could be said 
on the various references made to them by the poets — their " old 
associations" — their properties, real and imaginary: but space 
for this is wanting. We may mention that we shall be very glad 
to receive specimens of either V. syhatica or V. canina from any 
part of the county, in a fresh state, for examination : and should 
these few remarks lead to the discovery of V. Eeichenbaohiana, we 
shall, indeed, have our reward. 

James Britten. 



'^xmtM^% of tto^ 3tsmi\i. 



Third Evening Meeting, Jan. 15. — Held by kind permission, at the 
house of John Parker, Esq. Tea and coifee were, as usual, kindly provided, 
and there was a large attendance of members and friends. The President 
read a short paper, furnished by the Rev. W. H. Painter, on the remarkable 
cave at BrLxham^ Devon, which the ^vl•iter had recently visited. The length 
of the cavern is estimated at 500 yards, wliile the height now averages 5ft. 
lOLn. : in it were discovered bones of the Cave Bear, Hyena, and Rabbit, 
with a large antler of a Deer, and some Hint Icnives. This paper was followed 
by one from Mr. Ullyett on "The Mammalia of High Wycombe." This 
was read by the Secretary ; in it our few vnld animals were enumerated, 
and short descriptions of, and notes upon, the more interesting of them were 
given. After an interval for conversation, the President concluded his 
paper on Diatoms, which was illustrated by coloured diagrams ; various 
natural substances were mentioned, into the composition of which the»e 
minute organisms enter very lai'gely, as guano, &c. The objects exhibited 
were then inspected ; the President, besides his ever-attractive microscope, 
had brought a ooUection of I^and and Freshwater Shells, a collection of 
Spiders, a stuffed specimen of the Iguana, and several books. Miss Chandler 
exhibited a valuable collection of Madeira Ferns, and dried specimens of 
the local LeguminoscB and Scrojylmlariacea, which were much admired. A 
fine sttiffed Stoat {Mustcla Ermijiea) was shown by Dr. Bowstead, and 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 95 

some curious CHnese Insects by the Secretary. The usual votes of thanks 
terminated the meeting at about 10 p.m. 

Fourth Evening Meeting, Feb. 5. — Held by kind permission at the 
house of the late E.. "\\Tieeler, Esq. The principal feature of the evening 
was a paper (very kindly forwarded by the author, Robert Holland, Esq., of 
Mobberley, Cheshire), " On some Resemblances between Plants and Animals," 
of which the following is a short summary : — " The life of a plant is subject 
to a great many of the same changes as those which attend that of an animal. 
External circunustances affect it in the same way ; e.g., neither a fish nor a 
water plant can flourish out of their native element. Again, both animals 
and plants are similarly influenced by various poisonous substances : like 
animals, too, plants breathe, their leaves corresponding to the lungs of the 
former. Plants, as well as animals, grow by the accumulation of matter 
deposited from food, which food is drawn by the roots from the soil ; or, when 
the plant first germinates, from the supply of sugar formed by the action of 
heat and moisture from the starch contained in the seed. Many plants seem 
to have, to a certain extent, the power of motion, the stamens and pistils of 
some changing their positions at various stages of their development. 
Most of our Orchids have, in a measure, the power of locomotion, the bulb 
dying away each year, and a new one forming at one side of it, so that the 
plant appears each year perhaps half an inch distant from the place where it 
last came up. The long winter sleep of plants is analogous to the sleep of 
animals, enabling them to start with fresh vigour when the genial spring 
sunshine calls them to life again. Plants mimic animals in their habits of 
life ; we have solitary and gregarious animals, and we have solitary and 
gregarious plants. In the same way we have animal parasites, and we have 
vegetable parasites, closely resembling them in their method of obtaining 
food from their foster-parents : and as some members of the animal world 
perform the office of scavengers, by devouring or otherwise removing 
decaying matter, so do fimgi convert such refuse into soil." The writer con- 
cluded by drawing attention to the Sundews and the Venus' Flytrap, as 
special examples of carnivorous vegetables. An interval for conversation 
ensued, after which the Secretary, in a brief paper, urged upon the members 
the necessity for more active work during the coming season, expressing a 
hope that the out-door meetings of the next summer session would be 
more largely attended than has hitherto been the case. An inspection of 
the objects exhibited succeeded : among which were the following : — A 
tray of Fossils, lent by E. Wheeler, Esq.; a collection of Minerals, by the 
President ; the local species of Geraniacece and Vmhelliferce, by Miss Chand- 
ler ; the Spurge Laurel {Daphne Lavreola) and Shepherd's Needle {Scandix 
Pecte?i-Veneris) in blossom; and several illustrated works on various 
branches of Natural History. The President's microscope was, as usual, in 
requiaition. Among the more interesting objects shown were — a section of 



96 PBOOEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

the noee of a mouse (injected), the web of a Spider, and a wing of the 
Bmnet Moth {Anthrocera FHqje^ididcp) ; after which, the usual votes of 
thanks haA-iug been proposed, and cordially acceded to, the meeting 
terminated. 

Fifth Evening Meeting, Feb. 26. — Held at the house of the President, 
at liis kind invitation. This meeting was very largely attended, upwards of 
thirty members and friends being present. "W". G. Smith, Esq., of London, 
had forwarded a paper, " On Toadstools," to the Secretary, which was read 
by him. The author dilated largely upon the pleasure and instruction 
derivable from a close study of the Fungus tribe, proceeding to explain the 
structure and development of various members of this marvellous class. 
The varied forms, odours, coloiu-s, and size of the different species was 
exemplified, and many of the edible Fungi were commented on in terms of 
high praise. I*Ii'. Smith, however, judiciously warned his hearers against 
indiscriminate Fungus-eating, and concluded his paper with a detailed 
account of the alarming and AveU-nigh fatal results produced upon liimself 
and his family, from the partakmg of Agaricus fertilis, a poisonous species. 
The paper, which gave both instruction and amusement, was illustrated by 
a large sheet of engravings of the Edible Fungi, also by Mr. Smith ; both 
vnll shortly be published by Mr. Ilardwicke. The objects exhibited were 
very numerous : the President contributed various bones, among which were 
the skull and lower jaw of a young Indian Elephant, vnth teeth in situ ; also 
two large teeth of a mature specimen; the upper jaw with long and perfect 
tusks, of the African "Wart-Hog {Pluicochcerus JEthwpicus), a portion of the 
jaw of the common Boar, showing the long tusks ; and a tooth of the fossil 
Elephant, or Mammoth [Elephas jirimigeniits), fomid at Deptford. The Rev. 
W. Hunt Painter showed several trays of Fossils ; some (among which were 
Trigonia cordata, Ostrea conica, and Cyprinia angulatd), from the Upper 
Greensand, at Teignmouth, Devon ; and others (mcluding lAmneus longis- 
catus, Keritina concava, and Fusns labiatus), from the chalk at Freshwater, 
Isle of Wight. Miss Chandler exhibited dried examples of the orders 
Caryopliyllacem and Compositce. A somewhat novel feature was the exhibi- 
tion by the President, in smaU saucers, of various inhabitants of our 
streams, in a living state ; including small Water Spiders {Hydrachna) ; 
Water Molluscs, comprising Planorbis spirorbis, Physa fontkialis, and 
Paludina similis ; various species of Caddis worms (Phryganida), in their 
curious dwellings ; the fresh- water Onisous, an analogue to the common 
Woodlouse ; and fresh- water Shrimps of large size, small specimens of which 
are very common in the wells of this tovvm. Living specimens of the Green 
Hellebore {JJelleborus viridis). Hairy Violet {Viola MHa), Cowslip {Primula 
veris), and other plants now in blossom, were brought by the Secretary. 
The Kev. W. H. Painter then gave a brief address, descriptive of his recent 
visit to the iuterestiug caves in the Carboniferous Limestone in the vicinity 



PEOCEEDINGS OF THE SOOIETY. 97 

of Ingleborough, Yorkshire. One of these, Nethercoat Cave, is entered by 
a narrow doorway, whence a flight of steps leads into the cavern, a distance 
of 70 feet. The galleries have never been explored. A beautiful arch of 
limestone, and a waterfall of 70 feet, are among the more remarkable features ; 
and in the neighbourhood of the cave are several chasms. In Clapham Cave 
the stalactites and stalagmites are of imusual beauty ; in it is a large chamber 
20 feet high. Bands of BeUerophons (" Rams' -horns ") extend through the 
cave. The meeting concluded -with the usual votes of thanks. 

Sixth Evening Meeting, March 5. — Held (by kind invitation) at the 
house of T. Wheeler, Esq. The first paper was by Mr. UUyett, on " The 
Pleasures of Moth Hunting," which will be found at p. 78. This was 
followed by a Geological paper, by Evan Hopkins, Esq., which was read by 
T. Wheeler, Esq. ; it will be published in the Transactions of the Victoria 
Institute, before which it was originally read. The author advocated a some- 
what novel theory, viz., that the criist of the earth was nio\'ing bodily, 
although very gradually, in a northerly direction. In support of this, the 
existence of fossilised tropical trees in latitudes now northern, was adduced ; 
and it was stated that the position of the earth with regard to certain fixed 
stars was known to have changed. These remarks gave rise to considerable 
discussion ; and several members expressed their non-concurrence in the 
\'iews of Mr. Hopkins. An inspection of the objects exhibited followed ; 
among them were trays of fossils, lent by E. Wheeler, Esq., recent Elephant 
bones, from the Gaboon River, West Africa, by Dr. Bowstead ; dried 
Wild Flowers, by Miss Chandler ; Microscopic Objects, by the President ; 
and some living Wild Flowers, by the Secretarj-, as well as the Bear's-foot 
{Helleborus fcetidus) which, howCTer, is not truly wild in the district. The 
President then delivered a short address on " The Mouths of Insects,'' 
illustrated by diagrams and coloured drawings ; various illustrations were 
afterwards sho-mi vi-ith the aid of the microscope. The usual votes of thanks 
terminated the meeting. 



The finding of a new species is " rescuing, as it seems to you, one more 
thought of the divine mind from Hela, and the realms of the imknown, vm- 
classified, uncomprehended. As it seems to you : though in reality it only 
seems so, in a world wherein not a sparrow falls to the ground unnoticed by 
our Father Who is in heaven. The truth is, the pleasure of finding a new 
species is too great ; it is morally dangerous ; for it brings -n-ith it the 
temptation to look on the thing foiuid as your o^ia. possession, all but your 
own creation : to pride yourself on it as if God had not kno^^•^l it ages since ; 
even to squabble jealously for the right of having it named after you, and of 
being recorded in the Transactions of I-know-not-Avhat Society as its first 
discoverer : — as if all the angels in heaven had not been admirmg it, long 
before you were born or thought of." — Rev. C. Kingsley. — " Glaucus," 



98 



^mxt^mUm. 



Hebenon. — Mr. Britten has given 
no substantial answer to the objection 
raised against interpreting Hebenon = 
henbane. The question depends on 
the l'ollo-\ving points : — 1 . Shakespere, 
"knowing what he was about," wrote 
and printed hehenon, a word posses- 
sing, as has been pointed out, a 
poetical and terrible significance, if 
not representing a practical agent 
from the poisoner's pharmacopoeia. 
The superstitious and fancifvil contem- 
poraries of the poet, throughout the 
civilised world, in those palmy days of 
poisoning, attributed deadly virtue to 
many an innocuous article, and nu- 
merous fictitious poisons, of which 
acqua tofana is a notorious instance, 
were the terror of the powerful and 
illustrious. The selection of whatever 
is obscure and repulsive in nature was 
the obvious work of the poet for the 
business of murder, necromancj', en- 
chantment, &c., though the objects 
themselves, as in the case of the absurd 
pharmaca of the witches of Middleton 
and Shakespere, may for the most part 
be perfectly innocuous, or even medical 
in their nature. The supernatural, 
and that wild middle region between the 
supernatural and the physical, so often 
traversed by the poet, must not be 
tested by natural science : much less 
should the natural philosopher outrage 
the work of the poet to illustrate his 
discoveries, when the great poets 
afford plenty of legitimate examples 
of most accurate and constant ob- 
servation of the lower forms of nature. 
2. If the juice of henbane or of any 
English plant, poured into the human 
ear, were known actually to produce 
general cutaneous irritation and mor- 
tification, and to end by the death of 
the patient, the above would go for 
nothing. Unless this can be shown, 
the account of the poisoning must be 
admitted to bo poetical, i.e., fictitious : 
and in the absence of evidence we 
must assume this negative position, 
notwithstanding Mr. Britten's pro- 
foundly scientific remark that the 



plant " produces different effects upon 
different people." j,_ j_ p^^.^^_ 

IIedgehocs. — During a summer 
afternoon's ramble last year, my atten- 
tion was arrested by the barking of my 
dog in the midst of a thick plantation. 
I soon found that the cause was a 
Hedgehog, of rather a large size, 
which, having rolled itself up, bid 
defiance to its antagonist. I drove 
the dog off, took up the Hedgehog, 
and placing him in my pocket handker- 
chief, brought him home, and put him 
down in the shrubbery aiijoiniug my 
kitchen garden, where I hoped he 
would be of some advantage in destroy- 
ing slugs, beetles, worms, &c. In a 
few days I missed him : soon after- 
wards there was a report that a sitting 
hen had been disturbed, and her 
eggs scattered, some of which were 
hatched, and the yotmg taken away 
for a few days mirsing until the whole 
should come off. Some eggs never 
produced young, having been dis- 
turbed by (as it was supposed) a 
rat. The nest was a hundred yards 
from the garden. All that were likely 
having been hatched, the hen and her 
eight chickens were duly cooped in 
a small courtyard near the garden. 
Next morning the maid came in with 
a doleful countenance, " There's been 
something and killed one of the 
chickens." The dead body was ex- 
amined ; it had been mumbled and 
scratched about, but little eaten. AU 
pronounced it must bo a rat : so 
" George " was sent for, and the price 
of sLxpeuce was placed on the head of 
the marauder. The following morning 
another, and one of the best chicks, was 
dead, and was much in the same state 
as the former. The ratcatcher was 
sent for, and the price raised to a 
shilling. "I'll have him," says 
"George;" " I'll set more traps:" 
these were baited with the dead chicks. 
Next morning the real thief waSj 
caught, — it was my pet Hedgeliog ! 
G. 



Erratum, — No. 3, p. 70, fifth line from the bottom, for " useful " read " such.'n 



99 



m tUt §t$ttn(iim ot ^M^** 



This is a subject which engages the increased attention of all 
naturalists, and a great deal has been written during the past 
few years to enlighten the public mind on the real influence which 
these small creatures have in maintaining the balance of creation ; 
and assuredly it is a topic woi-thy of notice, the more so, that 
imtil lately the delusions of the public mind have been such that 
our common birds and other animals, instead of finding an 
admirer and protector in man, have had the greatest difficulty in 
holding their own, in consequence of the ruthless persecutions 
they have constantly met with and experienced. Now, I am not 
going to contend that small birds are unqualified friends of the 
farmer and the gardener: no doubt their services are, as oiir 
lamented friend, Artemus Ward, would say, " a little mixed ;" but 
stiU I maintain that the observations of naturalists do show, when 
guided by reflection and intelligence, that the benefits which are 
woi'ked out by small birds far outweigh the damage which they 
commit, and that they are on the whole necessary to maintain the 
balance of creation, and to keep under those smaller creatures 
which, without them, would soon become intolerable pests. Now, 
unfortunately, casual observers don't look very far ahead. They 
judge the value of God's gifts as they seem to them, and as they 
appear chiefly to affect their own immediate interests. They 
don't reflect fully on the nature and purpose of these, nor 
observe the daily life and habits of our common birds, and hence 
they quite under-estimate the value of them, and set them down 
at once as the enemies of the farmer, and the foes of the gardener. 
It is my object in the following observations to sh,ow that the 
popular and too common ideas on this subject are nothing more 
nor less than sheer delusions unfounded on fact, and unwarranted 

* Read before the Society at the Seventh Evening Meeting (April 9th, 
1867) of the Second Winter Session. 



loo ON THE DESTETrCTION- OF BIRDS. 

by observation. I don't seek to contend that in special instances 
considerable harm and damage may not be committed by small 
birds ; but to show that the blind and indiscriminate destruction 
of them, as in the case of that wicked and stupid institution 
called a Sparrow Club, is based on nothing short of ignorance and 
total want of ordinary observation. The habit of decrying the 
value of these, God's creatures, is not, however, confined to the 
subscribers to Sparrow Clubs. The gardeners commonly believe 
their worst foes to be the Blackbirds, Thrushes, Sparrows, Finches, 
and Tomtits. The farmer commonly regards aU creatures with 
wings, specially Eooks and Sparrows, as his bitter enemies ; he 
shoots them, traps them, poisons them, makes scarecrows of them, 
and, in fact, does all he can to get rid of them. The game- 
keeper goes to work in a more business-like manner — he kiUs 
everything, it does not matter what, " quite promiscous ; " every- 
thing to him is vermin (except perhaps foxes); Cats, Hawks, Owls, 
Stoats, Weasels, Polecats, Hedgehogs, Magpies, Jays, Squirrels, 
may all be seen exhibited in his museum — a strange medley — 
those that kill game, those that prey on the smaller vermin, all 
hanging together on the same rail. There is no discrimination, 
no classification, no reflection on the purposes for which these 
varied creatures are sent into the world ; all are sacrificed for the 
sake of preserving tame pheasants which are nursed, and watched, 
and fed, till their natural instinct of self-preservation is nearly 
knocked out of them. As to the Hawks the gamekeeper scarcely 
ever troubles to distinguish between them ; a Hawk is to him 
simply a Hawk — no distinction being made between the per- 
fectly harmless and useful Kestrel, and the more powerful Sparrow- 
hawk. The difficulty one always has in obtaining real and valu- 
able information from gamekeepers and others, whose oppor- 
tunities of studying the nature and character of the various species 
of Avild birds are abundant, alone shows how little as a rule they 
value these creatures — shows indeed that they regard them simply 
as a nuisance, and an obstacle to the preservation of game. I 
heard a short time ago that in a part of Norfolk a Magpie had 
not been seen for 15 years ; and I was informed at the same time 
that in a part of Surrey the Magpie is an " extinct bird." 



ON THE DESTRUCTION OF BIKDS. 101 

There is, then, a ruthless and indiscriminate persecution carried 
on, and a constant war waged, against the fer<e tiatura of this 
island. Gamekeepers, gardeners, farmers, schoolboys, are all 
pitted against them ; while it is sad to know that, among our 
countrymen generally, there is a strongly-rooted impression that 
all are foes to the farm and the garden. True, they say "It is 
pleasant to hear birds sing, and to see them flying about, and there 
is no doubt they destroy grubs and insects ;" besides, " theBobins 
covered tlie children in the wood with leaves." But all these 
considerations weigh as nothing against the conviction of the 
great damage that they commit ; and, therefore, they must be put 
down as foes to the farm and garden, not recognised as at all 
necessary, but only tolerated on account of their beauty and their 
song; the idea that they are at all essenti; 1 to maintain the 
balance of creation, being one that scarcely enters the heads of 
half of even those who like and admire them. Now, we will take 
up the cudgels on behalf of our feathered friends, and first of all 
let us notice the Eook. That he does some harm there is no doubt, 
but who amongst us does not? If you were to shoot a Eook in 
March or April probably you might find in his crop a few grains 
of newly-sown spring corn ; but shoot one every day in the year 
and examine his crop, as is recommended by our old friend 
Gilbert White, of Selborne, and you will see that although he 
does some amount of harm at times by devoitring corn and turnips, 
yet that his food consists chiefly of grubs, wire worms, cockchaflfers, 
and other destructive insects. Indeed, any one possessed of 
ordinary observation can at once prove this. See an army of 
Eooks scattered over a large pasture field and working perse- 
voringly with their bills ; what are they searching for and 
devouring ? The grubs of the cockchaffer, which are most 
destructive to pasture lands, and occasionally will quite destroy 
a garden lawn. You may often have noticed in the Eye the 
Eooks tearing up the turf, and doing apparently a great deal of 
damage ; well, they are doing all this in their search for grubs, 
and specially the larvfe of the cockchati'er, which is, as I have 
said, very destructive both in its larval and perfect states. This 
was specially the caoe during the dry summers of 1858 and 1859^ 



102 ON THE DESTRrCTION OP BIEDS. 

when in places the Eye was for a time quite withered where these 
active birds had been tearing up the turf. The well known 
practice of Books following the plough, and devouring the grubs 
thrown up, is one which is noted by even the most casual 
observers. Often have we seen an army of hundreds of the mem- 
bers of the corvine family scattered over a park or pasture ground 
in winter for hours together, and reflected on the wonderfid part 
performed by these birds in keeping within due bounds insect life 
of the most injurious kind. A well known popular writer thus 
refers to the destructive nature of the cockchaffer grubs. " Pur- 
suing their destructive labours unseen, and never appearing above 
the surface of the ground until they take their adult form, these 
larvae are more formidable enemies than even the slug, the snail, 
and the caterpillar, creatures which can be detected and destroyed 
by man. Neither human eye nor touch can discover the subter- 
ranean larvtB as they silently consume the very life of the plants 
on which they feed, cutting away the tender rootlets, and causing 
a blight, as it were, to fall on the herbage. Many an acre of 
grass, many a fine crop of vegetables has been blighted from no 
apparent cause ; the plant ceases to grow, the leaves lose their 
fresh, healthj' colour, they become limp and droop, the vivid green 
fades out of them, and changes to yellow, the edges crumple up, 
and the plant dies. There is no external sign of injury, and until 
the plant be uprooted, and search made below, no destroyer is 
visible ; but in the earth, or entangled in the roots of the dj'ing 
plant, will bo found an inconspicuous, brownisb, smooth-skinned, 
sharp-jawed grub, whose sleek condition shews the extent of its 
feeding, and whose trenchant teeth have eaten away the sources 
of life. Hidden, however, as tliey ai'e from human view, they 
cannot conceal themselves from the senses of the Rook." So 
much for the Rook : at least to shew that Jio does a wondrous 
amount of good. I will leave his evil deeds to the discovery of 
his enemies, having every confidence that they will, in the course 
of their investigations, find that these arc far outu'eiglicd by his 
good ones. 

Let us next notice the House Sparrow. Our old friend, Gilbert 
White says — Chaffers are eaten by the Turkey, the Rook, and the 



ON THE DESTHTJCTION OF BIRDS. 103 

House Sparrow. Now, we all know that House Sparrows have 
been generally considered as embodying in their small persons 
all that is mischievous and destructive ; and this is no doubt 
partly owing to the impudent conduct of the bird, and his great 
familiarity with man, and the abodes of man. He is always 
hopping about and chirping, making himself perfectly at home, 
whether in the farm yard, or in the dingy streets of London. 
His colour is altered by the atmosphere of the metropolis, but he 
is just the same chirping, cheeky creature everywhere. Can the 
Sparrow do any good? It seems, indeed, presumptuous, weighing 
the prejudices that have been instilled into our minds from our 
earliest youth, to say he can : but true it is, and it can easily be 
proved. People are so apt to look just beyond their own noses ; 
and our gardener, because he sees a few peas pulled up, or seeds 
eaten, condemns the poor birds at once and destroys them ruth- 
lessly. But, let him look beyond ; let him watch the Sparrow all 
the year round, let him see him in the earlj- morn pecking away 
at the insects on the gi-ass, or devouring the grubs of the goose- 
berry fl)', or swallowing the wireworni ; let him only reflect on tlie 
enormous number of insects he must destroy in the course of tho 
year, not only for his support, but to maintain his young ravenous 
brood . Let him examine the crop of a dead bird ; let him do 
aU this and even more, and then he must come to the conclusion 
that, of all the societies organised on the basis of ignorance and 
stupidity, that institution called a Sparrow Club is alike the 
most wicked and insensate, and calculated to effect results 
the very reverse of what is intended. In a township near 
Liverpool, gi-eat complaints were made of the small birds. 
Dead birds and eggs were liberally paid for; thousands of 
the latter were destroyed, the Sj^arrows were pretty nearly exter- 
minated, and a plague of grubs and caterpillars was the result. 
A correspondent of the Eev. J. G. "Wood writes that he found in 
the crop of a Sparrow that was shot as it was coming from his 
fruit ti'ees, 20 green caterpillars and a number of aphides. In- 
stances can be multiplied. In the Field newspaper of a late 
date it is recorded by a correspondent at Melbourne, in Victoria, 
that the grounds of the Acclimatisation Soqiety were ridded of a 



104 ON THE DESTRUCTIOlf OF BIRDS, 

plague of caterpillars by tlie Sparrows and small birds which had 
been introduced from this country. "What do the Sparrow Clubs 
say to this ? In one instance the annual meeting of a Sparrow 
Club recorded the destruction of 7000 small birds in one year in one 
loculit}^ and it is calculated that these birds would have destroyed 
20 millions of grubs, caterpillars, and insects, during the breeding 
season. Mr. Wood remarks on the ignorance and inconceivable 
folly which dictates these bird murders ; and he suggests that it 
would be quite as rational a proceeding to give prizes for smut in 
wheat, for diseased potatoes, the most fly-devoured turnips, or 
the most wireworm-blighted corn. 

Now, no one wovdd be disposed to contend that the Sparrow 
does no harm ; but that he is judged too much for the harm he 
does, and gets little credit for the immense services he renders, 
it requires but a small amount of observation to discern. 
Watch him feeding his young, and you will soon find out that 
caterpillars and insects are their staple food ; and this process, 
mark you, goes on for hour after hour ; each pair of birds working 
in its own beat, and ridding gardens and orchards of insect pests, 
in a way that it is useless for man to emulate. I cannot dwell 
longer on the daily walk of the Sparrow — I have selected him 
because he is generally in bad odour, because he is too generally 
regarded as a very desperate character, and as the embodiment 
of all that is useless and destructive. Now if it has been, or can 
be, shown that he is really a most useful creature, and that his 
services to man are most important, then I can fairly ask for a 
merciful consideration of the claims of our other English birds to 
our protection, and a fairer estimate than is usually given of the 
great and wonderful part they are all acting in maintaining thej 
balance of creation. True, — there is nothing of unmixed good ; I 
each small bird docs its share of good and harm, the fjrmer, Ij 
believe much counterbalancing the latter ; it does it quietly and! 
unostentatiously ; unfortunately, the bad only is usually noticed,] 
and hence the persecutions small birds are subjected to ; but re- 
flection on the purpose of these small creatures, aided by clos 
observation of tlieir daily habits, will soon dispel the prevailing 
impression that they do nought but harm. At Walton Hall, thai 



ON THE DEBTBUCnON OF BIRDS. 105 

abode of the late Charles AVaterton, not a bird was destroyed, nor a 
nest taken, and the result was, not that his gardens were laid waste, 
but that his crops were plentiful and abundant. Mr. EUis, of 
Leicester, writes thus to the Eev. F. 0. Morris, in January, 1864 : 
— "At Walton Hall the co-existence of many birds of prey with 
game and wild fowl is remarkable. "When last spring at Mr. 
Waterton's, the Lapwing was in friendly intercoiu'se with the 
Carrion Crow, while Magpies and Hawks were close at hand. 
The presence, too, of a great number of Herons does not prevent 
the lake from supplying plenty of fish." Again he writes: — 
"This summer we have had two broods of the White Owl in tho 
midst of a game preserve ; in the f Ining their habitation, 

and in which they nightly search f , the covej's of Partridges 

were full and undisturbed." On .±i4 other hand the destruction 
of the smaller birds has proved in its results this : that if man 
attempts to regidate the operation of creation after his own 
fashion, he must certainly make a mess of it. At the present 
day this is the case in France, where the dearth of small birds 
is severely felt. The colonists of Australia and New Zealand are 
wiser in their generation ; for they are doing all they can to im- 
port the small birds from England, and large numbers are now 
taken out by returning colonists. I heard an instance some 
time ago where a settler at Canterbury, in New Zealand, took 
back with him a number of Blackbirds and Thrushes ; and in the 
garden of the Yictoria Acclimatisation Society, Sparrows, Eooks, 
Thrushes, Yellow Ammers, Blackbirds, Finches, &c., have been 
set at liberty. It seems strange that the colonists value these 
small creatures, and that we fail to do so generally in England. 
Even the little Titmouse, when it appears to be destroying the 
buds of trees, is really feeding on the insects within them. It 
has been calculated that in the breeding season this small bird 
destroys some 500 of insects and caterpillars daily. I wiU not 
now stop to allude to our other English garden birds in detail ; 
the Starling, Blackbird, Thrush, — the first an especially useful 
bird ; the two latter simply atoning by the beauty of their song 
for any damage they may commit in fruit gardens for a short 



106 CLEIUIS OF THE WEATHER. 

period of the year. I trust tliat in future better and truer ideas 
may prevail ; that the Hawks and Owls, the Jays, Magpies, and 
other trophies may no longer disgrace the gamekeeper's rail — 
that the value of our English birds will be taught in every school 
in the country, and birds nesting discountenanced to the fullest 
extent. It is chiefly amongst the young that we must look for 
the reception of more rational views on this important subject. 
A change is, however, I am glad to say, taking place in the popu- 
lar mind, an increased interest is being shown, and more en- 
lightened views are being entertained. We have, then, good 
hope that this vnil continue, and that the time is not far distant 
when a Sparrow Club will be unknown, and the Gamekeeper's 

Museum a thing of the past. 

THqg. Mabshaix. 



(&\nl$ of Wxt ^^afltcv. 



^' TS it going to be a fine day?" is a question which, at this 
J- season of out-door enjoyment, is frequently upon our lips. 
If we have made arrangements for a pic-nic, or for a no less en- 
joyable ramble in search of wild flowers or insects, it is, to say 
the least of it, unsatisfactory, when our fii-st morning peep out of 
window is met by a dull sky or a heavy bank of clouds. If it 
rained we should feel disappointed ; but the uncertainty is even 
more trying. Now, in such cases, we doubtless feel how useful 
would be the infox-mation obtainable from the Clerk of the 
Weather Office, did that functionary exist ; but as that source 
of weather-knowledge is denied to us, we must look around 
and see if Nature, tlie truest Lady Bountiful extant, has not in 
some measui'e supplied the deficiency. As usual, we find pro- 
vided for us the very things we require : and these little black 
imps, sluggish though they seem now, are Clerks of the Weather 
in good sooth, known though they be by the less dignified name 
of Leeches. 



CLERKS OF THE WEATHER. lOT 

Now, having given our Leeches an important designation, we 
must endeavour to show that they deserve it ; and this we must 
do on the principle recommended by Ingoldsby, "Crede experto — 
trust one who has tried." An esteemed correspondent having sub- 
mitted to us the following facts, all recorded by herself during 
five years' careful observation, we gladly publish them for the 
benefit of those to whom the query, with which this article com- 
mences, frequently occurs : — 

The apparatus necessary for the purpose is very simple: it 
consists of a glass jar, holding a pint and a half of water, 
with stones and a shell or two at the bottom, and a few sprays of 
Anacharis ; the water must not reach the top of the vessel by at 
least two inches. A tight-fitting wirework cover m i^t be placed 
over the top, as the Leeches soon escape, especially in stormy 
weather. The water should be changed once in ten days during 
the summer ; and once in three weeks during the winter. 

As a rule, during fine and wet weather, the Leeches remain at 
the bottom of the vessel. When a change is slotcly approaching 
they move upwards, twenty-four hours, or, at times, thirty-six 
hours in advance of it. When a storm is rapidhj approaching, 
the Leeches become very restless, and rise quickly ; while before 
a thunder-storm they pass entirely out of the water. When the 
change occurs, they become still, at the bottom of the vessel ; but 
if, under such circumstances, they rise again or keep above the 
water, length or violence of storm is indicated. 

If the Leeches rise during a continuance of east wind, wind 
rather than rain is to be expected. When a storm comes direct 
from a distance, we shall observe the rapid rising and restlessness 
alluded to above, but much shorter notice — from four to sixhours — > 
will be given. When heavy rain or high wind is to be expected, 
the Leeches are also restless and keep out of the water, but their 
movements are much less rapid. 

It is advisable to keep the vessel in a temperature as even as 
possible. When the temperature falls below 18°, the Leeches 
cease to indicate any change ; they become quite torpid, or, in 
in other words, hybernate pro tern. In a small jar at a temperature 

St 



108 



CLERKS OF THE -VTEATHER. 



above 75°, the excessive lieat may cause them to rise ; other- 
■wise they ■would be quiet. 

"We must bear in mind that, should the Leeches seem to indicate 
wrongly, the mistake does not lie in their indication, but in our 
obsei-vation, or mode of interpretation of the same. Nature 
cannot err ; and all mistakes are ours, not liers : so wliere ise find 
apparent contradictions, we must humbly believe that we are in 
the wrong. 

To insure certainty of observation, it is advisable to follow the 
plan annexed, of keeping a daily record of the doings of the 
Leeches, and of the state of tlie weather. After a time this will not 
be so essential ; as careful observation will enable us at once to 
determine what weather is indicated. We shall then be able 
readily to answer the oft-repeated question, "What is the 
weather going to be ? " for the Clerlis of the Weather Office will 
never fail to supply us with an answer. 

TABLE SHOWING OBSERVATIONS FOR A WEEK. 



1S67 


HOUR. 


LEECHKS. 


WR.\THF,K. 


WIND. 


DESCRIP- 
TION. 


ODSEK- 
VATIONS. 


Apl. 
9 


10 a.m. 
7 p.m. 


\ Two nearly 
) at top. 
At bottom. 


Fine ; cumuli. 
Thun derstorm . 


NW. 
N.NW. 


Fresh. 
Stormy. 


Storm from 

SW. I.i.'^tcd 

20 mill. 


10 


1 1 a.m. 
6 p.m. 


At bottom. 


Fine; clouds high. 


W.NW. 


Calm. 




11 


10 a.m. 
7 p.m. 


At bottom. 


Fine ; cumuli. 


NW. 


Moderate. 




12 


11 a.m. 
4 p.m. 


\ Half way 
) up in water. 
Nearly at top. 


Fair; clouds liigh. 


W.NW. 


Calm. 




13 

14 


12 p.m. 
6 p.m. 

10 a.m. 
6i).m 


i Two out oi 
) water. 

At bottom. 

\ Nearly out 
) of water 


Heavy rain. 
Fine rain. 

Heavy rain. 
Fine. 


sw. 

SW. 

sw. 


Fresh. 

Moderate. 




Gale. 
Ilali-galc. 




15 


12 p.m. 
10 p.m. 


\ One out ol 
) water. 
At bottom. 


Heavy .sliowers. 
Fine ; clouds low 


Squally. 
Moderate. 





Elizabeth Woollams. 



109 



%n$tmtt V, %mo\i. 



TT is said that animals have Eeason ; and a question has been 
J- raised by one of our correspondents as to whether we at- 
tribute to Eeason or Instinct the method by which animals and 
birds provide for their own safety and the comfort of their off- 
spring. Now, in the first place, before we determine any pro- 
position, and make known to the world an opinion somewhat new 
or contrary to generally received notions, we should be certain 
that the terms and words we make use of to express that opinion 
are understood by our readers in the same sense that we intend 
them. If there is doubt about the meaning of any word we em- 
ploy, we should give a definition of it and state the sense in which 
we employ it. Words have so many significations, they convey to 
minds so many different ideas, according to the general or par- 
ticular way in which they are intended, that we cannot be too 
particular in the words we select to express our notions, to de- 
fine clearly and distinctly the sense in which we take them. Mathe- 
maticians in general, when the least doubt arises as to the sense 
in which they intend a tenn to be understood, give the meaning 
which they themselves put upon it, which is no doubt the cause 
why they differ so little in their general propositions. Theologians 
and their disputants, on the contrary, give no definition of the 
words they use in their arguments, which consequently leads to 
endless controversy. Let us see then in what way we understand 
the Avord Eeason, and determine if we all receive the sense and 
meaning alike. Philosophers, great writers, and custom have 
made a distinction between Eeason and Instinct ; and that dis- 
tinction is, as we have been taught, the difference between the 
human mind and that of the animial. Eeason, I believe, as 
generally understood, is the action of the mind upon knowledge ; 
that knowledge, received through the sense of sight, hearing, &c., 
is said to know the difference, or relations, between cause and 
effect, and it is that which regulates our general actions. If the 



110 INSTINCT V. REASON. 

mind were constantly to yield to external impulses and its current 
of ideas, without this particular quality called Reason to regulate 
our action and moral conduct as rational and immortal beings, 
we should be no better than the animals themselves. Now, if 
we understand Eeason in this light, which I believe is the proper 
meaning, I do not see how, or in what way, we can say that 
animals are possessed of Eeason. It is true that animals perform 
operations in various ways, which to us appear wonderful, in- 
ducing us to believe that they must have some forethought or 
knowledge of cause and effect ; as, for example, the bird builds its 
nest with every degi-ee of care and comfort for its young; at least, 
some birds, not all, for the Wood-Pigeon, Peewit, Partridge, and 
some others, scarcely make any nest at all. Then take the Bee, 
which constructs its honey-comb on the highest mathematical 
principles : the Ants — cut into one of their small hillocks and see 
the extraordinary and beautiful manner in which it is arranged 
both for a summer and a winter habitation : the Spider — look 
at the subtilty with which it weaves its web ; and a thousand 
others equally marvellous : and yet we cannot say that they have 
any knowledge of what they are doing ; if they had, we may, to 
employ our reason, ask why they should not all alike use the same 
care for their young ? Hares make little or no nest ; Eabbits, au 
contraire, burrow deep into the ground, and exercise the greatest 
care for the warmth and protection of their young. Again, if we 
say they have knowledge of what they are doing, why, we may 
ask, do they not make their nests in the best position to be found 
in the locality in which they are placed, and not in the most ex- 
posed and dangerous places, which is very frequently the case ? 
Again, if animals are possessed of Eeason, and are conscious of 
what they are doing, why is not man himself possessed of Eeason 
without tuition ? I think it will not be denied, that if man were 
not educated, taught, and brought up amongst rational beings, he 
would not be considered a rational being himself; and would, as 
I have before stated, be little better than the animal in actions 
and moral conduct. We can, therefore, only attribute this 
mode of operation in the animal to a particular faculty, or innate 
quality, which we call Instinct ; for it is quite clear that they are 



WYCOMBE BrrTTEKTLIES. Ill 

unconscious instruments of what they perform, or that it Is an in- 
nate quality given them by the great Creator for the propagation 
of their several species, their self-protection, and for the use of 
man. I conclude then that Eeason is one of those faculties which 
relate to knowledge, as I have said, and therefore it is a mistake in 
the meaning or sense of the word when we differ in our opinion 
as to animals being possessed of Eeason. It is very clear that 
the mind, to reason well, must be in possession of some previous 
knowledge, and reasons from that knowledge comparing ideas 
and notions. Can we, then, say that the little bird reasons 
from a previous knowledge when it builds its nest, when we know 
for certain that it had never seen a nest so constructed ? 

Nellie Atty. 



W^j^cmht ^Mttn1lws» 



II.— OUR ARGYNNID^ {IHtillaries). 



THE colouring of these butterflies, though not so gorgeous as 
that of the Vanessidce, is yet very rich in tone, and the sight of 
any of them on the wing will always incite the young naturalist 
to attempt a capture. They derive their common name from the 
fact of their resembling the fl.owers of Fritillaria Meleagris, both 
butterfly and blossom having the surface chequered with dark 
marks on a lighter ground. The under surface of the wings vies 
with the upper in beauty, being in most of the species washed 
with sUvery streaks, or studded with spots of the same radiance. 
The presence or absence of these marks shows whether the species 
belong to the genus Argynnis or to Ilelitcea. Of the latter we 
have no representatives in the neighbourhood, at least to my 
knowledge : the former contains six species, and of these I have 
seen three in the district, and Mr. Gaviller vouches for two others 
on Marlow Common.* 

* The reader will recollect that fi " district " is the area comprised 
■within a radius of five miles from the I arish Church; I cannot now recol- 
lect whether Marlow Common falls witnin this area. [It does. — Ed.] 



112 WYCOMBE BTITTEBFLIES. 

The Pearl Bordered Feitillary {Argynnis Euphrosyne). — 
This is the commonest of all, and may be seen in the openings in 
woods, and in lanes, from the end of May till the end of July. 
The wings, like those of all the species, are of the hue known to 
entomologists as fulvous — a very rich light brown, and are 
marked with black spots and bars. The under side of each hind 
wing has one silvery spot in the centre. 

The Silver Washed Fritillary {A. Paphia). — This is one 
of our mo'st magnificent butterflies, and the sight of one seated 
on a bramble flower is never to be forgotten. A worn and battered 
specimen in the autumn of 1864 was the first I chanced to see ; 
it was flying lazily about in "Winch Bottom. I waited till the 
following summer, r.nd looked anxiously for its reappearance, but 
for some time was disappointed. In the month of July, however, 
I asked a friend to go one very warm day, and he brought back 
five or six specimens. I then set off myself, and succeeded in 
tracing them to a wood some distance up the lane to the right, 
where colonies of them were holding high festival over the 
bramble blossoms. This wood I found to be the " metropolis " 
of these insects ; they are plentiful in it every year. If any of 
our readers would enjoy a sight of natural happiness and beauty, 
I would recommend them to pay a visit this month to the spot, 
and it will serve them with remembrances for their winter 
meetings. Many a time have I sat down and watched Paphia 
sailing majestically down some avenue in the wood, or up the 
lane till the temptation of the blackberry flowers overcame it, and 
it would sit upon one with its bright wings outspread, till it had 
imbibed its fill. It is a far greater pleasure to watch them than 
to catch them. The female has the upper surface suffused with 
an olive green tint ; both sexes have the under side of the hind 
wings, washed with silvery streaks. They occur plentifully 
Also by the woods on Naphill Common. 

The Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary {A. Selene). — I 
first made the acquaintance of this species on the late Wycombe 
Heath. Early in June it was flying about in considerable 
mumbers. 'V\'hcn on the wing, it can scarcely be distinguished 



"WTCOIIBE BUTTERFLIES. 113 

from Euphrosyne, except by a deeper tiut of colouring. The 
markino-s axe very similar in. both, species, but Selene is known by 
having a row of silver spots on the hind wings where Euphrosyne 
has but one. When AVycombe Heath was destroyed, I gave up 
all hopes, for I had not seen Selene anywhere else : but in 1866 I 
caught several in a wood at Lane End, so it is still a denizen of 
our neighbourhood. 

The two species which Mr. Gaviller took are Adippe and Aglaia, 
occurring on Marlow Common ; both have large isolated silvery 
spots underneath the hind wings. I was unable to pay mure 
than one visit to tlie spot, and then I was not fortunate enough 
to see either of them. A specimen of Aglaia was once brought 
me, said to be taken in the neighbourhood of Abbey Barn, but I 
was not satisfied about it. 

The caterpillars of all the species feed on different species of 
Viola, especially V. canina, the Dog Violet ; they are very dark 
in colour, and covered with spines. They arc seldom seen except 
by those hunting expressly for them. 

There is a very small butterfly liable to be mistaken for a 
Fritillary, and occurring very plentifully in Dane Garden Wood : 
it is The Dr:KE of Burgundy {JVemeobius Lucina), and belongs to a 
different family altogether. Collectors look upon it as a prize, 
since it is only locally plentiful. It is said that the caterpillar 
has never been fovmd in England, though it is known to feed on 
the leaves of the pi-imrose. 

Hy. Ullyett. 



^tmtiWm^ of tH« ^mtix^. 



Seventh Evening AIeeting, April 9. — Held at the house of 
John Parker, Esq., by his kind invitation. The chief feature of 
the evening was a paper by Thos. Marshall, Esq., "On the 
Destruction of Birds," which will be found at p. 99 of the present 
number : this was listened to with great interest, and at its con- 



114 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

elusion a conversation ensued, ir wbicli our feathered friends were 
ably and warmly defended. j\Ii-. Sliarpe was prevented by illness 
from delivering bis paper "On the British Tits;" its place was 
supplied by a discussion on the subject of the Future Life of 
Animals, in which so much interest was evinced at the meetings of 
the First Winter Session. The objects exhibited were, as usual, 
numerous ; among them were the four ear bones of the Rabbit, 
with the ear bones of several birds, illustrating the difference of 
structure between the ear of the bird and that of the mammal ; 
casts of the bones of the Dinornis, by the President ; a tray of 
fossils ; several cases of stuffed birds ; and many wild flowers in 
blossom, those of the greatest interest being the Yellow Star of 
Bethlehem {Gagea lutea), from Charlbury, Oxon, and the Mezereon 
{Daphne Ifezereum), and Lent Lily {JVarcissus pseudo- Narcissus), 
from our own neighbourhood. The microscope, which it is in- 
tended to present to Mr, TJUyett, the late Secretary, was on the 
table. The iisual votes of thanks terminated the meeting. 

Annual Conversazione, April 30. — The success which last 
year attended the Conversazione held in the Council Chamber, 
induced the Committee to engage the Town Hall for this occasion ; 
the greatly increased interest manifested in the well-being of the 
Society leading them to believe that such a step would be gene- 
rally appreciated. That their ideas were well founded, the very 
large attendance amply testified. Every intimation was given 
that there would be no charge for admission ; it being felt that 
rich and poor alike should have an opportunity of admiring the 
works of Nature. The kind co-operation of many friends of the 
Society tended greatly to the success of the evening, and we take 
this opportunity of thanking those ladies who so kindly asssisted 
in arranging the objects for exhibition. Our appeal for assistance 
met with a warm response in every respect. At seven o'clock the 
company began to assemble, tea and coffee (kindly provided by 
friends of the Society) being handed round ; after which, the 
objects exhibited having received a share of attention, the 
Secretary, the Mayor, and some other members of the Society 
ascended the platform, and the President (the Eev. T. H. Browne) 
delivered the following 



PE0CEEDING8 OF THE SOCIETY. 115 

ANNUAL ADDRESS. 

" The retrospection of the year thai is past is once more assigned to myself. 
It is my painful duty to announce that, since our last Annual Meeting, we 
have lost by death a valuable and esteemed member— the late Robert Wheeler, 
Esq. He was present with us last year, and took, a lively interest in the pro- 
ceedings on that occasion. His character and worth is too well known to 
you all to require anything like a eulogium from me ; I should not, however, 
be doing justice to the Society, or to the esteemed and honoured memory of 
our departed friend, without this passing notice. 

" I think we«have reason to congratulate ourselves upon the present con- 
dition and future prospects of our Society. Our numbers have increeised 
beyond our most sanguine expectations ; and, as it is not unreasonable to con- 
clude, that, when any join a Natui-al History Society, they have already a 
taste for natvu'al science, or are desirous of possessing and cultivating that taste, 
from the increase of numbers may we not augur well for the future ? Our 
Evening Meetings have been well, and, in some cases, numerously, attended. 
If we may judge from what we have seen and heard, an interest has been 
awakened, and on some occasions much scientific gratification has been ex- 
perienced. At these remiions the members have used tlie privilege, to which 
they are entitled, of introducing friends. Many of those who came as ^dsitors 
have enrolled themselves as members. We welcome aU who can sympathise 
with us in our appreciation of the wonderful works of God. Many and 
varied branches of natural science have engaged oiu- attention during the last 
Winter Session. Sometimes these subjects have been broached in general 
conversation, sometimes in the shape of colloquial addresses, and sometimes 
in the more set form of ■v\Titten papers. Four of these papers were intended 
to illustrate Geological science. Our late Secretary, Mr. Ullj'ett, sent us a 
communication on the Mammalia of our neighbourhood, which elicited much 
interesting conversation, as well as important information from the members 
present. We have had four papers on that very fascinating branch of natural 
science — Botany. One was written by our Secretary, on the Phanerogamic 
Plants of our neighbourhood. One was sent us from a gentleman at a dis- 
tance, on the Cryptogamia — the Agarics — called in popular language. Toad- 
stools. It is not a very attractive name, but the writer of the paper most 
logically proved that a viilgar prejudice has hitherto prevented a most valu- 
able gastronymic gratification. Two other botanical papers treated of those 
most beautiful, and to those who are acquainted with them, most interesting 
objects- — the Desmids and Diatoms. An extremely interesting and very 
scientific paper was forwarded to us by Robert Holland, Esq., of Jlobberley, 
Cheshire, " On some Resemblances between Plants and Animals." The writer 
set forth some very striking analogies existing between these two great 
provinces of the natural kingdom. Mr. Marshall favoured us with a very 



116 PROCBEDISGS OF THE SOCIETY, 

practical and useful paper, on the folly and sin of a reckless destruction of 
our native birds. We wish that those who distui'b the balance of creation b y 
this wholesale destruction of the feathered race could become indoctrinated 
with the spiiit of that communication. We might then hope that our fields 
and trees would be cleared of the grub and caterpillar which now endanger 
both, and pleasant sights and sweet sounds from above would oftener gladden 
every lover of nature. One paper on Reptiles and two communications on 
Entomology complete our list. 

" The geological papers were foUoAved by discussions on that most im- 
portant and interesting subject — the age of the physical world. It is a 
question from which in the present day we cannot turn aside. It is con- 
tinually coming before the mind. Every observation only confirms the 
great principle of the geologist, as now entertained by the thoughtful and 
observant mind — that creation was very slow and gradual in its develop- 
ment, and that our globe is indeed hoary in years, or rather, hoary in ages. 
Perhaps we are not saying too much if we affirm that human language would 
faU to describe how ancient is the earth — that though the mathematician 
might calculate the diu-ation of its past existence, the liuman intellect in its 
present state would faU to comprehend its meanmg. 

" It would be difficult m a popular assembly to bring this matter dowui to 
the comprehension of those to whom the subject is almost a new one. None 
can expect to have scientific conclusions on this subject, without much read- 
ino-, thought, logical reflection, and arduous observation of facts as recorded 
on the stony pages of God's book of natui-e. ISIere reading will not make 
a geologist. Of course, we proceed in investigating the subject, by reasoning 
from the operation of physical laws known now, to the operation of those 
laws in ages long since gone by. 

" Analogy iir reference to Jehovah's worlvs is a safe principle of reasoning. 
When we have once traced the connection between efiects and causes in tlie 
physical world, we may with certainty conclude that a like cause has been 
in operation where we can trace a similar effect. According to this principle 
— from what w-e now see going on in the formation of hills and valleys — from 
the action of air and rain — of river and sea — we think we are safe in reasoning 
back to w^hat these important agencies accomplished through ages past. I 
see nothing in the volume of revelation that is opposed to this important con- 
clusion. Not that I think that the inspired word was intended to teach man 
science. Inspiration, according to the knov.m laws that are in operation now, 
is a miracle. The word of God as now given to us is a miracle of divine 
Idndness to mankind. But miracles are not v\Tonght by Ilim when the 
known laws which He Ins established can accomplish tlie desired result, or 
man, by his unaided intellect and observation, can elicit facts or work out 
principles. 



PEOCEEDmGS OF THE SOCIETY. 117 

" When God made man, He left him, even in a state of innocence, to 
develope the fruits of the earth by his O'wn intelligence and industry. They 
(20uld have grown up spontaneously if the Creator had ^\-illed it. God has 
placed us in a world of wonders, where facts abound on every side, and 
tnighty laws are operating. But in the great volume of nature, wTitten as in 
tables of stone, Jehovah is teaching us of facts that have transpired, and of 
laws that were operating in ages long since past away. These facts were 
like what are kno-n-n now, these laws are analogous to what are working now. 
Why did God write these records of His doings in ages past ? He might 
have given them all by inspiration. No — He wrote them thus for us to 
read — for us to work out, and learn how steadily and how gradually He has 
been developing creation untU now. Revelation was not designed to teach 
us this, wliich the great book of creation is able to teach, and the mind of 
man can, by patient labour, learn for itself. But revelation does not contradict 
this conclusion ; on the contrary, it seems to confirm it. It teaches us that 
this law of gradual development prevails through all God's dispensations. 
It is seen in God's providential dealings with mankind. It is illustrated in 
civilization, the arts and sciences, the gradual overthrow of ignorance, super- 
stition, and ungodliness ; in the spread of divine truth and real religion upon 
earth. Even the history of redemption was very slowly and gradually 
unfolded to the minds of mankind. 

" It is the Mosaic account of creation that prevents many from receiving, 
as a matter of faith, these statements respecting the world's antiquity. 
There are three modern interpretations of the inspired narrative which I can 
only notice, without attempting to prove or disprove either. Indeed, the 
subject is by far too important and recondite to admit of its being discussed 
in the popular address of an Annual Meeting. We may be sure of one 
position — that whether we can harmonise to our satisfaction the book of 
revelation, and the opening book of the geologic world — there can be no 
contradiction, — the hand that wTote the revelation of heaven, laid the 
foundations of the earth. We venture also to advance that the bible is a 
popular book. The authors -wrote as those who belonged to the popular 
part of the community, and for those who knew nothing of science. If it 
had been wTitten on strictly scientific principles, then, for ages and genera- 
tions past, all would have been wrapped up in mysterj-. The origin of the 
world — the part which Jehovah took in His o^vn creation, wo\ild have been 
unknown. 

" In the first verse of Genesis we have the grand opening of the Divine 
revelation: " In the beginning God created the heavens aiid the earth." So 
far we might have expected the Eternal Father to have revealed Himself and 
His works to His creatures. Between that great event and what transpired 
since then, a part of which, so far as we are concerned, is narrated in the 



118 Proceedings of the society. 

following verses — may have intervened a space of which millions of ages may 
have been hut units. The work of creation in connexion with our own globe 
and the solar system is narrated in the following verses. Here, then, is 
started the enquiry, Are we to understand this literally— six days of twenty - 
four hours each ? or does the term day, according to a common usage of 
Scripture, express a very long though definite period of time ? or have 
vre here the utterances of a prophetic mind — the nairations of the prophetic 
historian's mental apprehensions and visions, when he was under the poM'er 
of Divine inspiration ? That is to say. Did he see, as it were, the work of 
creation commence, and go on unto completion, when under the influence of 
the prophetic ecstasy, as probably the other prophets of God did when they 
were under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost ? They saw facts ui \ision as 
if to them they were realities, and as some think, pictorial views, in which 
objects that were near and those which were afar off, were present to the 
mind like the wide expanse of a glorious landscape, in which the near and 
the distant appear to the eye at the same time — and were written as thus 
seffli. So God made the mental perception of the prophetic historian to take 
in, during six days' revelation, all things which transpired from the com- 
mencement of creation to the placing of man on earth. Thus the leturn of 
morning and evening would be literally true — but true in relation to the 
prophet's divine ecstasy rather than as expressing the period of the Creator's 
operations. 

" Thus onl)' shall we enter on the true course of progress, when 
we feel such a divine impulse to go forward — for only as you advance can 
you be happy or wise. Go forward — all things around are moving, and 
every thing in creation is developing into a higher and higher state of being 
— and thus they say to us, Go forward. Let " Excelsior " be our motto — 
let progress be our aim. 

There is a firefly in the southern clime. 

Which shineth only when upon the wing ; 

So is it with the mind, — when once we rest 

We darken. On ! said God unto the mind. 

As to the earth, for ever. On it goes. 

Rejoicing native of tlie infinite — 

As a bird of air — an orb of heaven. 

Go forward, but with all your study of creation, ignore not creation's God. 
Tlie German has said that we may see in nature all that we bring an ej'e to see 
it with. Christ has said the pure in heart shall see God. Let us not be of 
the number of those who see there everything but God, but of those who see 
God in everything. The universe is Jehovah's temple : let us not admire 
the temple, for the solidity of its foundation, or the grandeur and beauty of its 
structure, but see no God there ; rather let our admiration of the created 
fill us with adoring thoughts of the great All in All. Then indeed shall 
creation seem refulgent with the glories of the Eternal King, and all things 
around be vocal with His praise." 



PKOCEEDINeS OF TSE SOCIETY. 11& 

A paper " On Buttercups" was then read by the Secretary, in 
which the land species of the genus Ranunculus were described in 
a popular manner ; the localities in our own neighbourhood 
where each species may be found being given, with notes on the 
" vertues " attributed to them by our ancestors. The paper was 
illustrated by plates of each species, from Hardwicke's ' English 
Botany.' The third paper, read by the Secretary in the unavoid- 
able absence of its author, E. B. Sharpe, Esq., was '*0n the 
British Titmice {Parince)" each speciesbeing technically described, 
and popular notes on its habits being added ; Mr. Sharpe strongly 
condemned the bird-murder unfortunately so popular among un- 
educated persons. A beautiful collection of the Titmice illustrated 
this paper, the male and female of nearly every species being 
shown, as well as the eggs, and, in one or two cases, the nests. 

After the reading of the papers, the President briefly explained 
several of the more interesting geological specimens, especially 
the bones of the Dinornis, the fossil Bugs, and the Ammonite and 
Nautilus tribe. Many interesting objects were afterwards ex- 
hibited under the microscope, and it was not till it grew late that 
the concluding votes of thanks were moved. The Mayor proposed 
the thanks of the meeting to the Eev. T. H. Browne for his un- 
wearying exertions to promote the interests of the Society and for 
the interesting paper he had read ; this was seconded by Thomas 
Wheeler, Esq., and heartily responded to. F. Wheeler, Esq., 
moved, and Mr. Butler seconded, a similar vote to the Secretary, 
which was carried by acclamation, and responded to by Mr. 
Britten. The friends then began to disperse, and we believe 
that every one departed greatly delighted with the pleasant and 
profitable evening which had been spent. 

The following were among the principal objects exhibited : — 

Osteology was represented by a beautiful and perfect skeleton of the 
American Crocodile {Oroeodtlus Amencanus) ; a skeleton of the Oyster 
Catcher (bird) {RcBtnatopus Ostralegus) ; carefully prepared bones of the two 
British representatives of the Salamanders, commonly called the Water 
Newt {Triton eristatus, and Lophinvs or lAssatriton punctatus) ; the skull of 
a large bear from Thibet ; portions of the skuU of the Ethiopian Wart-Hog 
{Phacochterus uEthioj>icus), with enormous tusks ; the jaw of a Boar, with 
fully-developed tusk ; two scapulae, or shoulder blades, of a Whale ; the 



120 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

skull and lower jaw, with teeth, of a young Indian Elephant ; two 
femurs, and a humerus of a laige African Elephant from the Gaboon 
coiuitry ; organic remains, illustrating nearly every division and sub-division 
of geological science, from the Lower Silurian up to the Glacial periods and 
time of Coal deposits ; casts of rare fossils, amongst which especially may be 
noticed Eomalonotus delpliinocephalus and Asaphus tyrannus, two very large 
forms of Trilobite ; casts of six species of the New Zealand Moa, or gigantie 
Ostrich, including Binornis ffir/anteiis variety maxlmns, D. gracilis, D. 
erassus, and other forms ; casts of the eggs of the large extinct birds Dinornis 
and (Epyor'nis, and eggs of the large Ostrich, Emu, and Cassowary, to con- 
trast with these giant forms. There were five different kinds of Ivory used 
for economic i)iu-poses, viz., the tusks of the Elephant, Walrus, and Hippo- 
potamus, the tibia of the Giraffe, and the albumen of the Ivory Nut, the 
fruit of a species of Palm tree {Phytele2)hns macrocarpa) . 

In Gbolocy, besides the fossil bones mentioned above, the President ex- 
hibited fossil wood from the Gault, Upper and Lower Greensand, Wealden, 
and Coal measures : also several species of Ammonite, one of which, 
Ammonites gigavtens, from the Portland Oolite, deserved special notice. 
Two very large specimens, Nmitilus elegans and N. pseudu-elegans from the 
Upper Greensand, at Warminster, were much admired ; a number of other 
specimens were also exhibited, including some from the Red Crag ; and a 
variety of sponges from the Upper Greensand, with recent species for com- 
parison with the extinct forms. Trays of Chalk Fossils, many from our own 
neighbourhood, were lent by E. "Wheeler, Esq. 

CoNCHOLOGY was represented by a collection of Land and Freshwater 
Shells, arranged according to Turton's ' Manual,' contributed by the 
President ; also a collection of Marine Shells, by the same ; and another of 
those found at Teignmouth, Devon, by Miss Chandler. 

Entomology was illustrated by the President's valuable collection of 
Hymenoptera, including the Bees, Wasps, Ants, Ichneumon Flies, and Saw- 
flies ; a case of Marlow Lepidoptera was exhibited by J. B. Mathison, Esq. ; 
Coleoptera and Lepidoptera were also shown by the President ; a case of 
Wycombe Insects, arranged by Mr. Ullyett, and others of foreign species by 
G. Vernon, Esq., and T. Wheeler, Esq. 

Ornithology, in addition to Mr. Sharpe's collection of Titmice, was re- 
presented by various rare Birds from that gentleman's musemn, among 
which were the Golden Oriole {Oriolns galhula), the Rose-colom-ed Pastor 
{Pastor roseiis), and the Red-winged Starling {Agelavs 2ihwnieens). Cases of 
Birds were also lent by Messrs. Simmonds, Vernon, Thurlow, B. Lucas, and 
others. 

Botany was fully illustrated. A conspicuous object, and one which 
attracted much attention, was a table covered with living Wild Flowers in 
blossom, arranged by Miss Chandler. Among them was the rare Coralwort 



COREESPOKDENCE. 



121 



{Dentaria hnlhifera). Specimens of the beautiful Pasque-flower {Aneiiwne 
Puhatilla), in a living state, were sent from AJdbury Nowers, near Tring, by 
the Rev. H. Hai-pur Crewe. Miss Chandler's valuable hoHus siccus was duly 
appreciated, as was the herbailum of Mr. Stubbs. of Henley : this gentleman 
also sent a collection of Ferns, and some very beautiful groups of dried 
flowers and leaves, arranged on cardboard, the natural colours being 
admirably preserved, which received much commendation. 

In addition, it may be added that a selection of valuable illustrated works 
was provided, as well as a portfolio of plates illustrative of British Botany ; 
and some beautiful sketches of Fungi, by the Rev. Bryant Burgess. The 
walls were decorated with coloured diagrams, some lent by J. Rutty, Esq., 
others by J. Slade, Esq., Secretary to the North London Natm-alists' Club. 
The tables were decorated with flowers, cut and in pots. One very interest- 
ing object was a glass containing specimens of living Furaminifcra, Hydra 
tuba, Entovwstraca, and Infusoria, developed in an aquarium, the water not 
having been changed for six years. Mrs. WooUams, by whom these 
interesting specimens were exhibited, has been singularly fortunate in 
maintaining that balance of life upon wliich the success of an aquarium so 
greatly depends. 



(ffontisi|JO)wUna» 



Hebenon. — I have followed the 
friendly controversy on this subject 
wth some interest, and hold entirely 
■with Mr. Britten that Henbane and 
not Ebony is meant. I tliink the 
word "juice" is decisive. Ebony 
could only be known to Shakespeare 
and to those he Mas writing for, as a 
dry, sapless wood : how then could 
he speak of such a thing as a phial 
of its juice r Whereas, the clammy, 
fetid nature of Henbane was just 
such as to suggest itself to the poet's 
mind, and to be understood by his 
audience as a fitting instrument for 
the piirpose. I grant that the ex- 
pressions of our poets are not always 
to be tested by scientific truth. An 
amusing catalogue might be com- 
posed of their ludicrous mistakes, at 
the head of which might stand Dr. 
Watts and his " busy bee," that 
" Loads with yellow wax her thighs, 
With which she huilds her cells," 

whereas the pellets on the bee's 



thighs are not wax at all, nor are 
they used in the construction of the 
comb. But, if such assertions are 
not scientifically true, they always 
agree with the popular opinion ; and 
Henbane was universally held poison- 
ous — Ebony not. Dryden speaks of 
the " poisonous Henbane," and fiom 
Dioscorides downwards there is a 
terrible array of authorities for its 
poisonous effects. Besides, how 
could Shakespeare (who seems to 
have been well acquainted with 
Scripture) introduce as a cursed 
poison that which the prophet had 
enumerated among the precious 
commodities contributed by the mer- 
chant-princes of Dedan to the luxu- 
ries of Tyre r Mr. I'ayne brings 
forward a gi-eat amount of learning, 
but he does not seem to have one 
single argument to offer, except the 
unproved assertion that Ebony was 
called the Tree of Death of the 
Persian Paradise ; and even if this 



122 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



were so, it might be from its black, 
funereal colour, and not from its 
poison. It is true there is the greater 
similarity of the name, but poets are 
fond of sounding words, if they vary 
not too much from the correct mode 
of spelling. Horace allows that 
poets have the right to use novn ficta- 
quc verba parce dctortu, and Milton's 
" Euphrasy " is an anglificd term, 
though so near the original that it 
could not be mistaken. Mr. 1'. need 
not have sneered at what he calls 
" Mr. Britten's profoundly scientific 
remark ' ' about the diflerent effects 
of Henbane upon different persons ; 
it was a fair answer to his objection 
about the symptoms enumerated by 
the poet ; and certainly the effects 
of Henbane seem most diverse — 
blindness-delirium-madness-death. 
Shakespeare might well add leprosy 
without any material increase of the 
catalogue. One great point in de- 
termining the matter is " Did Shake- 
speare wish to use such language as 
would fall in with the pre-conceived 
notions of his audience, and was 
Ebony or Henbane more likely to do 
this ?" My own opinion is in favour 
of the latter. 

Rev. R. Wood. 

Westward, Cumberland. 

The Good Old Times. — About 
the year 1809 I was introduced to a 
residence amidst the beech timber 
and underwood and commons which 
abounded on the Chiltern Hills of 
Buckinghamshii-e. At this time 
very many animals and reptiles were 
denounced as common enemies, and, 
as such, a price was set upon their 
heads, decided upon by the vestry 
and paid by the churchwardens, as 
shown by the following items as 
charged in the churchwardens' ac- 
counts of the period: — •" A viper, 
a slow or blind worm, 6d. each." 
These were supposed to sting the 
sheep while at feed. The tongue of 
the former was supposed to be its 
sting, and the latter effected its injury 
by some other process; and many 
ailments amongst the domestic farm 
animals were attributed to the above 
causes. The general specific was 
an ointment made by frying the body 
of either viper, or slow-worm, in 
lard ; and many a good housewife 



would pay the stipidated reward, 
thus to become a kind of Lady 
Bountiful, bj' a gift she bestowed of 
the grand specific to an}'one reqiiir- 
ing it in the neighbourhood. Six- 
pence WIS also the price set on the 
poor hedgehog. He was charged 
with sucking the milch cows as they 
lay down during the night, thus pro- 
ducing a disease called " the gargut," 
— being no other than an inflam- 
mation of the udder, generally then, 
as now, produced by cold. The 
grand specific for this was an oint- 
ment of hedgehog fat. Another 
charge was for the destruction of 
sparrows. In the spring of the year, 
the price, regulated by the annual 
March vestry, ■was, for sparrows' 
eggs, ahalfpenny a dozen, young spar- 
rows, a farthmg each, hen sparrows, 
a penny each, cock birds a halfpenny 
each. Thus, without taking into con- 
sideration the good arising from the 
destruction by them of innumerable 
insects, pests of garden and field, they 
were denounced for inj ury done to 
wheat just on the edge of harvest. I 
am not aware of any kind of parochial 
rewai-d for foxes, as the slayer of a 
fox considered himself amply re- 
warded by carrymg it to all the 
farmers in rotation, a shilling being 
the expected reward ; but a good 
poultry wife would often make an 
addition of a bit of victuals and a 
pint of beer. After having done duty 
in the neighbourhood of its death, 
it would be sold by its cunning 
possessor to some mate in another 
district, who would pass it off as 
fresh killed till decomposition would 
render it past endurance, and the 
trick was " smelt out." Things are 
now changed : vipers, whose bite is 
venomous, and who would rather glide 
away than attack, are almost e.xtinct. 
The slow or blind worm neither bites 
or stings ; and the hedgehog, whose 
small mouth renders it incapable of 
sucking the mammal of a cow, and 
whose prickles would soon render 
its company cUsagreeable even to a 
sleeping cow, is now petted by the 
London bakers for the purpose of 
devoiiring the beetles which infest 
their bakehouses ; and is equally use- 
ful for the same purpose against those 
that infest the gardens. G. 



123 



BY R. B. SHARPE. 

HAVING been requested to write a paper on the birds which, 
have been observed in the neighbourhood of Cookham, I have 
great pleasure in presenting the following sketch of the ornithology 
of the district. The beautiful collection formed by Mrs. De Vitre 
at Formosa has been the basis of the accompanying list ; I have 
further included such species as are in my own collection, or are in 
the possession of private individuals, and I have taken every pains 
to render the Hst as complete as possible. To Mrs. De Vitre I must 
return my best thanks for her kindness in allowing me to examine 
the specimens in her collection, and also for her assistance and en- 
couragement in the preparation of the present essay, while I am 
fortimate in obtaining the help of Mr. Briggs, the head-gardener 
on the estate, who has, from his earliest youth, studied the habits 
and economy of our British birds, and is well known in the 
neighbourhood of Cookham, as an enthusiastic naturalist and a 
clever taxidermist ; nor must I omit to mention Mr. Joseph Ford, 
to whom I am likewise indebted for much interesting information. 

Order Accipitres. 

Sub-order I. Accipitres Diueni. 

Fam. Falcoiod^. 

Suh-fam. Aqtjilxn^. 

Aquila. 

1. Aquila chrysaetos. The Golden Eagle. 

Before he came to Cookham, Mr. Briggs was employed as a 

keeper at Bulling Bare, a place about ten miles distant, and 

while there he had an opportunity of recording the occurrence of 

this rare British bird from his own personal observation. He 

was one day walking in company with another keeper near the 

outskirts of a plantation on the estate, and in the adjoining field 

o 



12-1 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOtTEHOOD, 

several pheasants -were feeding. Theso suddenly began to sttow 
some signs of alarm, and a great many flew up quickly and took 
refuge within the cover. Before, however, they could all gain a 
place of safety, a large Eagle swept down upon an unfortunate 
individual, and carried him off. Mr. Briggs's fellow-keeper at 
once set a trap near the place, and had the good fortune to 
ca^ature the marauder three days afterwards. He proved to be a 
fine Golden Eagle, the only one, I believe, ever observed in the 
coimty. 

Pandion. 
2. Pandion haliceetus. The Osprey. 

In the iV«i!<r«Z;s^ of November the 1st, 1864, I recorded the 
occurrence of the Osprey at Cookham. On the 6th of October in 
that year Mr. Briggs was engaged in the garden at Formosa, 
when his eye was attracted by the appearance of a large bird 
flying slowly along the outskirts of Lord Boston's wood. As he 
stood watching, the bird sailed directly over to the spot where he 
stood and circled round his head at about the height of thirty 
yards, turning its eye downwards, and apparently taking stock of 
him. He called to one of the men near him to fetch his gun, 
but by the time it arrived, the Osprey was out of the reach of sliot, 
and was pursuing its course down the river with the same easy and 
graceful flight. A gentleman, however, who was on the water, 
saw the bird approach, and shot it in the wing when it fell into the 
water and was killed with the boat-mop. For some days previous 
a large Hawk had been observed in the neighboui-hood of Hedsor, 
and three days afterwards another Osprey was seen near the same 
place by a man named Stanniforth, who used to attend to the 
Lock at Cookham. We heard that there was one kiUed about 
this time near Windsor, which we conclude was the above- 
mentioned bird. Similar instances have been recorded of the 
occuiTence of the Osprey inland, and Mr. Harting in his interesting 
work on the 'Birds of Middlesex,' has mentioned its appeai'ance 
at Uxbridge in 1863, and again in 1865 at Southgate, where a 
pair remained for some days. 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEMHBOTmHOOD. 125 

Sul-fam. BuTEONiN^. 
Buteo. 
3. Buteo vulgaris. CommoTi Buzzard. 
A very fine male of this species was shot at HoUyport in 1862, 
and ^as sent to Mr. Briggs for preservation. The way in which 
it was captured was rather curious. A man named Wells was 
trying to shoot some woodpigeons, and had placed on the ground 
a little distance off a stuffed bird for a decoy. He had not waited 
long before the above mentioned Buzzard swept down and was 
carrying off the stuffed bird, when he shot it. 
Sub-fam. Milvin^. 
Milvus. 
4. Milvus regalis. Kite. 
This bird is now of very rare occurrence in England, and it is 
hard to imagine the former abundance of the species. A friend 
of mine informs me that about six or seven years ago a specimen 
was captured on the roof of a large warehouse in London, and 
lived for some time in confinement, and in the Zoological Gardens 
there is a Kite, presented by Howard Saunders, Esq., of Eeigate, 
which was taken in England, being one of three nestHngs he had 
received. With regard to its appearance at Cookham instances 
are wanting of late years, but in the memory of several of the 
inhabitants, the Kite used to be ^uite a common bird at Pinknoy's 
Green, an unenclosed heath about four miles distant. 
Sub-fam. EALCONiNiE. 
Hypotriorchis. 
5. Hypotriorchis subbuteo. The Hobby. 
The Formosa coUection contains a beautiful male Hobby shot 
at Cliefden in 1860, and we have also occasionally observed it 
sailing over the woods in the neighboui-hood. The courage of 
this pretty little Hawk has always been a favourite theme both 
with naturalists, and the lovers of Falconry, and I am able to 
give a striking instance of its pluck which came under Mr. 
Briggs' own observation, when at Bulling Bare. He had found 
a neS; of tHs species in one of the plantations on the estate, and 
only waited till the young ones were fledged, to take them. 



126 THE BIEDS OV COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOtTBHOOD. 

Accordingly, lie mounted to the nest, and was immediately 
greeted with loud cries from tlio young birds. The male Hobby 
hearing the screams of the nestlings, sailed over to the spot, and 
surveyed the scene of action from a considerable height. Suddenly 
as Mr. Briggs was preparing to descend with his captives, the bird 
darted down from above with immense velocity, his wings cleaving 
the air with a loud whish-sh-sh as he shot down to within a foot 
of the intruder's head, and then carried up by the impetus of 
his descent, he mounted as swiftly as he had stooped, and only 
paused a second ere he recommenced the attack. This was 
renewed in quick succession as Mr. Briggs descended, causing in 
his mind no small apprehension lest the courageous bird should 
Btrike at his face. Having reached the ground in safety, and 
wishing to obtain the old bird, he carried the young into the 
middle of a neighbouring field, and having made thom scream, 
stood readyj with his gun. No sooner did the parent-bird 
hear the young cry, than he again appeared, and from an im- 
mense height swooped at Mr. Briggs with the same astonishing 
velocity that had characterized his former descents. So sudden 
was the attack that tliere was no time to fire, and the bird ascen- 
ded like lightning. Would that I could now add that the Hobby 
escaped, but alas ! love for its nestlings impelled him to make one 
more stoop, and in the midst of his next descent, the gun 
was fired, and the poor Hobby fell to the earth "like a 
thunderbolt." The difference between the mode of attack of the 
Sparrowhawk and that of the Hobby in defence of their young is 
also noticed by Mr. Stevenson when writing on the former bird in 
his ' Birds of Norfolk.' The Hobby seems always to descend 
from above, while the Sparrowhawk dashes backwards and for- 
wards, sometimes even striking at the intruder. 

6. Hypotriorchis oesalon. The Merlin. 

Although neither Mrs. De Vitre nor myself possess a specimen 
of this bird actually shot at Cookham, still the sj)ecies has 
occasionally been observed by Mr. Briggs flying in the neigh- 
bourhood, and I have received eggs from a man named 



THE BIEDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 127 

Grace from "Wooburn, a village about two miles to tbe north- 
east of Cookham. At Bulling Bare Mr. Briggs teUs me it was by 
no means uncommon, and he was once witness to a remarkable 
specimen of this falcon's audacity. He was standing near a 
thick bush at the above estate, when a chafl&neh, closely pursued 
by a male Merhn darted into the thicket Hke a flash of lightning. 
Nothing daunted by his presence the Hawk dashed in, and 
dragging the unfortunate chafl&nch out, was carrying him ofP, 
when Mr. Briggs put an end to his career by a well aimed shot 
In this instance the chaffinch was quite dead (perhaps killed by 
the shot) but he tells me that in many instances when he has 
seen these hawks flying with a bird in their talons, he has fired 
at them, though far out of shot, in order to make them drop their 
prey, and several times he has seen the birds fly away unhurt 
when released by the hawk. I have recently purchased four 
Merlin's eggs taken near Ongar Wood on the 2nd of July. 
They were found on the ground, and were much incubated, and 
I hear from Mr. Davy, of the Highgate-road, that about ten years 
ago he also received a nest of young Merlins from the same 
neighbourhood. 

Tinnunculus. 
7. Tinnunculus alaudarius. The Kestrel. 

The Kestrel is a very common bird at Cookham, and breeds in 
large numbers in Cliefden "Woods, sailing over which I have 
sometimes seen six at once. Some time ago, this species bred for 
two successive years in some tall fir trees at Formosa, where the 
nest was discovered by Mr. Briggs, and the bird is often seen in 
the neighbourhood of the tall elm trees on the estate. Last year 
it was especially common, and I saw several specimens in Mr. 
Burrow's grounds at " The Elms." As regards its food a curious 
instance came under my notice the other day, when a friend of 
Mr. Briggs sent him a male Kestrel "just as he shot it." It was 
grasping a slow-worm in its claws, and so tightly, that when it 
arrived at Cookham from Eeading its feet then held its victim, 
which was still living. The food of this bird I believe to consist 
chiefly of email birds ; and although it may be in pursuit of mice, 



128 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 

"when observed hovering over the stubble fiehls, which is the 
general opinion of authors, I am inclined to think it is more 
probably attracted by the sparrows which collect in such numbers 
in the stubble. At least, this is my opinion, for on many occasions 
I have pursued these flocks of Sparrows to get for myself a 
" Sparrow-pie," and on one occasion, I remember well, having 
crept close up to a flock, I was about to fire from behind the 
hedge, when I saw a brown thing jumping about on the ground 
in the midst of them. I thought at first it was a stoat, but I soon 
saw it was a Kestrel, and I stood watching it. What surprised 
me most was, that the Sparrows did not fly, but were dodging 
about like mice on all sides of the Hawk, apparently aware that 
if once on the wing, the Hawk would soon overtake them, where- 
as, on the ground their smaller size and superior agility enabled 
them to elude his grasp. The Kestrel, however, concj^uered, for 
I heard a squeak, and then the whirr of the flock as it took flight, 
and immediately after the Hawk flew over my head with a 
Sparrow in its claw. I had never thought of fii-ing till he was 
out of reach, but I followed the direction he took, and he finally 
darted out from under a plough-share, where I found the Sparrow 
with his head eaten ofi". The Kestrel is also an enemy in winter 
to the Siskins, Redpoles, and Goldfinches, which at that time of the 
year frequent the alder-trees. When one day I had shot into a 
number of Siskins, and the flock had resettled on the tree again 
while I was reloading, a male Kestrel sailed over my head and 
carried off a victim in my presence. Mr. Briggs has also seen 
them glide quietly along the edge of the trees and seize the 
Siskins, which, when feeding, always hang at the outermost tips 
of the branches. I am very fond of keeping this species in con- 
finement, and was speaking to a London bird-fancier lately about 
some young birds, and asking if they could feed themselves. In 
proof that they could ho produced the smallest bird out of five, 
which had been kiUed by the others, who had begun to devour 
it. Who would have thought of the Kestrel being such a 
cannibal ? 

{To he continued i) 



129 



guistittft V. ^mm. 



I HAVE used tke same heading as that of the article in the 
July number, but I must protest against it, since it shows 
that the subject in dispute is not rightly ajiprehended. Al- 
though I am prepared to cite some of the greatest names in 
support of the view that the lower animals possess Eeason, I 
am not aware that any naturalist has, as yet, denied that they 
possess Instinct. Therefore it is not " Instinct v. Eeason," but 
it is this : we believe that they possess Eeason in addition to 
Instinct, even as we, the " nobler" part of creation do. With us 
Eeason predominates ; with them. Instinct ; but both qualities are 
present in the whole animated world. It is quite as necessaiy that 
this should be perfectly understood, as that the words themselves 
should be properly defined. The "distinction between Eeason 
and Instinct," given by your fair con-espondent, is rather misty, 
the said " distinction " being " the difference between the human 
mind and that of the animal; " this appears to be a distinction loith 
a difference. But I am quite prepared to fall in with her definition 
of Eeason, given immediately aftei-, viz., " the action of the mind 
upon knowledge," or rather the power of the mind to act upon 
knowledge : and, having this definition, I cannot see how Eeason 
is to be denied to the lower animals. How can there be a mind 
without Eeason? And the above "distinction" gives the animal 
a mind. This is simply one of those instances in which a dis- 
putant tacitly acknowledges the truth of that which he is opposing 
by the unconscious use of a word implying it all. 

But as my intention is simply to answer the article in your last, 
and not to write an essay, I will take up the arguments therein 
supposed to be advanced. 

I do not think it has ever been said that any reasoning faculty 
was exercised by a bird, bee, or ant, in the construction of their 
several dwellings, so we may put all reference to these on one side : 
the first statement to be aoticed is that iu connection therewith, — 



130 INSTINOT V. EEASON. 

"We cannot say that they can have any knowledge of what they 
are doing." Why cannot we? And if it comes to that, can we say 
that they have not ? As far as I can see, we have not so much 
right to make this assertion, as we are justified from analogy in 
making the opposite. Did not the Crow on p. 25, and the Sheep 
on p. 26, know what they were doing ? When a dog goes to the 
fire on a cold night does he not know he is doing so ? does he not 
know that he will be warm there ? And when he whines to be 
let into the house, is he ignorant not only of the reason but also 
of the fact of his whining ? I am sure if anyone told your cor- 
respondent that her pet dog or pony was only an ignorant, 
unconscious mass of animalised earth, she would feel highly 
indignant. 

Again, she asks, " If they had any knowledge of what they were 
doing, why should not all alike use the same care for their young ? ' ' 
I ask, in reply, Is it necessary ? Are all their young equally sus- 
cej)tible ? Her question throws discredit on the Creator of the 
animals. But do all human mothers use the same care for their 
infants ? The same argument applies in this case. 

Once more I quote — Why are the nests not always placed in the 
best and safest locality ? Supposing they are not, does this be- 
token lack of Eeason ? Surely the question puts the argument 
wholly into my hands ; were it simply Instinct, they always would 
be 80 placed, since this quahty is said to be " unerring." Do we, 
the " nobler " creatures (I am fond of this phrase), always put 
oxir domiciles in the best and safest places ? If we do not, and if 
your correspondent adheres to her style of argument, then, we are 
destitute of Eeason. 

In conclusion, I cannot but admire the naive and artless manner 
in which my fair opponent says " It is quite clear that they are un- 
conscious instruments of what they perform," when not a single 
line beyond bare assumption has been brought forward to support 
such a statement. 

Hy. UlJiiYETT. 

Since I -wTote the above I find that some one has -WTitten an article in the 
Intellectual Observer, sho-wing that there is something more than Instinct 
employed by birds even in nest-building. I have not read it, and it would 
not invalidate anything I have advanced. 



131 



(Continued from page 88.) 



FAWLEY. {FaUe-ley.) Fallow or arable land. 
FiNGEST. This curious name appears in Domesday Book 
as Dile-hurst, and is properly spelt Ding-hurst or Thing-hurst, in- 
dicating the place where the Thing, or Court of the Hundred, was 
held. 

FuLMER means foul marsh : and every one who has seen it in the 
early months of the year, and heard the stories of old inhabitants, 
can readily imagine how appropriate the name must have been in 
days when drainage and roads were unknown. 

Geebard's Cross CoiijroN is distant a very short way from 
Fulmer ; and over this common, avoiding that village, pass the 
principal highways of the neighbourhood. Who Garrard was, 
and why he was immortalised by linking his name with this 
pleasant spot, no one appears to know for certain. The country 
people teU you that he was the younger of two brothers, who 
fought with swords at the cross roads, and that the elder fell ; 
also that at twelve o'clock, on certain nights of the year, they may 
still be seen fighting over again their unnatural combat. The 
peasants of the Harz mountains in Germany have a very similar 
legend, which has been elegantly versified by Heine.* 

Hambleden ( Hamel-den) means the village in the valley, Hamel 
being equivalent to hamlet, and the diminutive of ham. 

Hampden appears to be named from the hemp which once grew 
there abundantly. 

Hedgerly (properly Hedg-ley) is simply " enclosed land." 

Hedsob. The termination over contracted into or is most com- 
mon in Danish names. Medda was probably a Dane, and Sedda's 
over would mean his residence or estate. The name does not 
occur in Domesday Book, though it dates from an earlier period. 
* Komanzen, No. 3. 



132 THE CHILTERIT COTJKTE.Y, 

HiTCHAM means village by the brook. The same element 
occurs in liitcliemlen, the proper name of the picturesque parish 
■which bounds that of Wycombe on the north. The late pro- 
prietor of that place, Mr. John Norris, performed the curious 
feat of transmuting it into Hughenden, a name utterly impossible 
to be pronounced by Saxon lips, and in every respect nonde- 
script and unmeaning. The name was indeed occasionally spelt 
•w'ith u, as Entchcnden, and Hugenden (in which the g was soft, and 
not differing really from cli) but the guttiu'al gh is quite unknown 
and inadmissible in the Anglo-Saxon language, common though 
it is among our Celtic neighbours of Wales and Ireland. Hitchen 
is thus discovered to be the original name of the stream which 
joins the Ouse on the Oxford Boad of Wycombe, and is identical 
with that of the river on which the city of Winchester stands — 
the Itch en. 

HoESENDEN is Horsa^s toivn. Horsa was an undeniable Saxon, 
as every schoolboy knows. 

Ibstone. Ibstone is properly spelt Mibe-sfanes, meaning the 
high stones which here bounded the counties of Buckingham and 
Oxford. 

Ilmer. This name is properly spelt Eel-mer, and means Eel- 
marsh. If our Society numbers any fish-fanciers, perhaps they 
can inform us how it happens that the eel, once so plentiful in our 
upland valleys, is now no longer to be found ? I suppose that as 
our marshes have been drained, the mud on which the eel fattens 
has disappeared ; and as the stream grows cleaner, the eel can no 
longer find feeding ground. The muddiest rivers in Europe pro- 
duce the best eels. In Domesday Book several Chiltern parishes 
(West Wycombe, Hitcham, &c.) are rated to produce as many 
eels as those on the river Thames (Taplow, Marlow, Eton, &c.). 
IsENHAMPSTEAD, or IsELHAMPSTEAD, is the name of two adjoin- 
ing villages, called for distinction Iselhampstead Chenies and 
Iselhampstead Latimers, and now better known by these dis- 
tinctive epithets than by their native names. Isen or Isel means 
river, and is one of a very large family of names of Celtic stock, 
signifying the same thing. 



THE CHILTEEN COUNTBT. 133 

Kimble. This is properly spelt Kine-hell. Whether this 
parish was distinguished for possessing a church bell before others, 
and received this whimsical name in consequence, I cannot say ; 
but I know of no more certain explanation. To say that Kimble 
derives its name from the fabulous King Cymbehne, or Cuno- 
beline (had that worthy ever existed) is like deriving the name 
of Lutlier from the Lutherans. 

LouDWATER. Loud, lude, lade, lede, lide, with several other 
variations, mean channel or course of water. "TheXiyde" of 
Bledlow is a curiosity well worth visiting for the geologist. 

Maelow. Mar has already been explained to be equivalent to 
inoor or warsh : the name means precisely the same as Marstou, 
Merton, Moreton, &c. 

MEDiiENHAM, more properly JfcdcnJiam or Mcydcnham, means 
place of horses. It is not generally known even among antiquaries, 
that meyden is one of the numerous Saxon names for horse, and 
that Maidenhead signifies Maidenhythe or Horse- wharf ; between 
which place and other parts of the neighbourhood trade was carried 
on by means of horses. The ancient inn sign of the Maidenhead 
was probably represented origimilly by a horse's head. In the 
same way are to be explained numerous local names like Maiden 
Castle, Maiden Camp, &c., which occur in many parts of the 
countrj\ 

MissENDEN means, so far as I can make out, dirty town. 

Pexn is a Celtic remnant, and perhaps the purest form of any 
element found all over Europe, signifying a high hill. 

E. J. Payne. 
(jTo be continued.) 



Eeason in Animals. — Schiller puts the following into the 
mouth of a Swiss peasant, in the play of Wilhelm Tell : — 

And brutes have reason, too; 
We know that well, who rise to hunt the chamois ; 
The cunning creatujres, when they go to feed, 
Put some one up on guard, who cocks his ear 
And pipes a warning when the sportsmen near, 

E. J. P. 



134 



®« ilxt Hc^tntrtiou of ^ivrtsi. 



[The following forms an admirable pendant to Mr. Marshall's article in 
our last ; and we trust that it will tend still further to increase the good 
opinion of " our feathered friends," which is happily growing up amongst 
us. — Ed.] 

IN bygone days, thousands of acres of furze and underwood 
furnished happy homes for many a bird, and the sparrows re- 
velled in the then prevalent thatched buildings ; and herein we 
have something that partly justified, at that time, the war of 
extermination declared against birds ; but now, times are changed. 
The forest and the common are gone, so are the thatched 
buildings : while the hedges are grubbed, and the poor birds 
driven into a very limited space. The parks and shrubberies, 
the church towei*, and the chimney top, are the only places left 
in which tlie feathered tribe may build and rear their young : 
while, on the other hand, their mortal enemy, man, is ever 
anxious to play the sportsman, ajiid practise on the poor remnant 
that is left. Hence the very proper cry against the destruction 
of small birds, and of the good they do in keeping under the insects, 
whether caterpillar, grub, or liy, which destroy crops of fruit and 
corn wholesale, and increase as their foes decrease. 

When, four years ago, I came to my present residence, the 
shrubberies teemed with the feathered tribe, in consequence 
of the encouragement of birds by my predecessor. Wanting fruit, 
I declared war against the birds ; "from early morn to dewy 
eve," there was I with my gun, till I reduced my supposed enemies 
so much that my garden was as still as the grave, except when 
I chanced to walk there : when some Sparrow or Finch would give 
the warning to his mates, for birds and beasts can talk to one 
another as well as my readers can ; indeed, the language 
of bird and beast is now so familiar to me that I can always tell 
pretty well "what's up" ; but more of this anon. The gooseberry 
trees put forth a goodly promise, and I looked forward with hope : 



ON THE DESTEUCTION OP BIRDS. 135 

but a fevr weeks more, and the caterpillars came rapidly ; the 
leaves disappeared from each tree in succession, the fruit shrivelled, 
and notwithstanding I tried lime, and salt-and-water, the 
caterpillars finished them off, and then, dropping from them, took 
up another form of existence. Then came chaffers in their turn, 
and instead of soDgs I had plenty of buzz. The cabbages were 
eaten up by the green caterpillars, and the beans and roses by 
aphides. I determined to alter my tack for another year by 
vowing never wilfully to destroy another bird about my ground ; 
and I have had my reward. I have not had mischief from the 
grub and caterpillar tribe for the three last seasons ; I have 
plenty of company and plenty of song. My plan is to procure 
some of the smallest shot, and with this shoot flying, just as 
you find the birds have caught the flavour of the fruit you wish 
to preserve ; you will soon find that they can confabulate ; and 
if you pay attention, you may soon understand their language as 
you slyly attempt to repeat the warning. Like boys, they will 
try it on a short time, but finding you are in earnest, the fruit 
will remain unmolested on the trees, and your conscience free 
from the thought of having destroyed a friend. But leave the 
fruit unguarded, and a combined attack is sure to follow. This 
is all settled in a council of birds ; for they, like an attacking 
ai-my, know that scouts are necessarj', Avho give the alarm on the 
least appearance of danger. 

Of the good birds do in the destruction of noxious insects a few 
anecdotes will suffice. One day seeing a cock SpaiTow actively 
emploj'ed about fifty yards from me, near a large stone in the 
road, I was curious to know his business. Hy the aid of a 
small telescope I brought him close to my eye ; he had a large 
cockchaffer, and this he took up and dashed with all his might 
against the stone. I saw part of the chaffer's mailed coat fly off 
at every blow, and the soft body, when wholly divested, was borne 
off as a choice morsel for the Sparrow's young. I then went and 
examined the fragments ; they consisted of tho broken wings 
and shield of the luckless chaffer. 



136 ON THE DESTETJCTION OF BIEDS. 

This summer just opposite a window, a pair of Sparrows have 
hatched successive broods under the shelter of a broken slate ; 
morning and noon are the pair busily engaged in supplying their 
hungry familj' with food, and as they pause and carefully look 
round before they enter, I am enabled to see that their beaks are 
crammed with what are familiarly called '•' Daddy long-legs," and 
other flies. In March last, when the snow lay thick and long on 
the ground, my attention was directed towards a tapping just 
outside the room window near where I stood. Peeping through 
the half-drawn blind I saw a Blackbird with a large garden snail, 
which he was busily engaged in smashing against a large stone. 
By repeated blows the shell was removed, and the snail soon 
became a choice feast for the sorely-pressed bu-d. Just after my 
park was mown it was found to be unusually full of new colonies 
of ants, their hills raising great impediments to the operations of 
my mowers. Tlio hay being carried the rooks came for several 
days and seemed extremely busy. I was curious to know what they 
were after ; and on searching I found the anthills pecked open and 
destroyed ; the eggs were devoured, except in a few places of long 
standing, which formed fortresses defying all attacks. Some 
amateur sportsman, tempted by a good shoot from the road, gave 
warning to my friends to quit, since which they have not visited 
me. Partridges are real farmers' friends ; their food, when young, 
consists wholly of insects. Small birds are evidently on the 
decrease, and many birds formerly known in this district, as the 
White or Screech Owl, and the Brown Owl, are seldom seen ; 
whereas 50 years ago there was not a barn or steeple without its 
inhabitants, and nightly were they seen flitting silently round the 
fields in pursuit of mice. The numerous flocks of Pigeons that 
formerly visited the beech woods of this locality each winter have 
disappeared. One thing is clear, — the unlimited destruction of 
birds will assuredly hand us over to a worse enemy in the shape 
of aphides, grubs, and flies. 

Henrt Gibbons. 

Loxboro' House, 

Bledlow Kidge. 



137 



THIRD SUMMER SESSION— 1867. 



First Eamble, Mat 14. — On this occasion Hollow Lane was 
visited ; the attendance was but limited, owing, doubtless, to the 
inclemency of the weather. The Secretary exhibited specimens 
of the Fly Orchis {Oj)hri/s imiscifera) from Quarry Wood, near 
Marlow ; and of the Early Spider Orchis ( 0. aranifera) , sent by 
Mr. UUyett, from Folkestone. The usual spring flowers were 
noticed in the lane, as well as the Blood Beetle {Timarcha lavigata). 
Much dissatisfaction was expressed at the alterations which have 
lately been made in this interesting locality, the hedges having 
been lowered in a most unsparing manner. In returning across 
the fields towards the Cemetery, a very large fungus, Polyporus 
squamosiis, was observed growing on the trunk of an old ash tree. 

Second Eamble, June 4. — Heavy showers in the earlier part 
of the day doubtless intimidated many from accompanying the 
Society on this excursion ; those present proceeded to Marlow 
Eoad Station by the 3.50 p.m. train. They then walked along 
as far as Cores End, the Great Celandine {Chelidonium majiis) 
being noticed by the way ; after which they retraced their steps, 
and visited the gravel-pit at "Well End, the President enlivening 
the walk by an account of his recent excursion into Devonshire 
and Cornwall. On arriving at the pit, the Secretary directed 
especial attention to several plants which are, in our district, 
almost confined to this locality ; among them were the Soft 
Knotted Trefoil {Trifolimn striatum), the Subterranean Trefoil (71 
suhterraneuni), the elegant Bird's-foot ( Ornithopus perpusillus), the 
Spring Vetch ( Vicia lathyroides), the Trailing S. John's Wort 
{Hypericum humifusum), the Knawel {Scleranthus annuus), and 
the Buck's-horn Plantain {Plantago Coronopus). Specimens of 
most of these having been collected, the President pointed out 
traces of the action of water and that of ice. Various plants 



138 PROCEEDINGS OP THE SOCIETY. 

vreve noticed in returning to tlie station, -svlience tlie members 
returned by tlie 6.3 p.m. train to Wycombe, pleased with tbeir 
ramble, and regretting that others had not shared in their enjoy- 
ment. 

[The continuance of wet weather caused the postponement, 
and eventually the omission, of the Eambles fixed for July 13th 
and July 30th respectively ; while that arranged for August 20th 
was postponed until August 25th.] 

Third Eamble, August 25. — Owing to a slight want of 
punctuality in the time of starting, the Society on this occasion 
was divided into two sections ; one, under the direction of the 
President, proceeding to Totteridge, in accordance with previous 
arrangements ; the other, accompanied by the Secretary, prefer- 
ring to visit Downley. The former slowly wended its way along 
the Totteridge road, examining every bank, and capturing with 
the net many interesting insects. The President directed atten- 
tion to the Turnip Fly {Haltica nemorum), one of the Halticid^, 
a gi'eat pest to the farmer. Yarious other Coleoptera and Diptera 
were taken, each receiving a share of attention. Several mem- 
bers gathered from the hedge specimens of the curious vegetable 
excrescences produced on leaves by the puncture of the ovipositor 
of the Gallfly. The fungi at Totteridge Green and Wood 
were examined, and specimens of the Pufiball {Lycoperdon Bovista), 
Mushroom {Agaricus campestris), and Chantarelle {Cantharellus 
cibarius), were gathered. Totteridge Green is one of the localities 
in the district in which the Henbane {Uijoscyamus niger) is per- 
manently established. Towards the close of the evening the 
members returned by the lane leading down to the London road ; 
the conversation throughout the walk having a general or special 
bearing upon subjects connected with natural history. 

The Secretary and party proceeded to Downley ; in the corn- 
fields on the way were noticed the pretty Toadflaxes {Linaria spuria, 
L. Elatine, and L. minor), with the Hemp Nettle {Galeopsis 
Ladanuni), Knotted Bur Parsley {Torilis infesta), and other plants. 
A white-flowered variety of the Field Thistle ( Carduus arvensis) 
was gathered near Plomer Hill. From Downley the members 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 139 

proceeded to the Hughenden Woods, where the great number of 
fungi was very remarkable : among those observed were Agarieus 
{Clitocyhe) giganteus, Boletus edulis, Sussula frag ill's, and Can- 
fharellus ciharius : while the presenca of Phallm impudicus was 
betrayed by its disagreeable odour. The Winter-Green {Pyrola 
minor), just out of blossom, and the Lady's Mantle {Alchemilla 
vulgaris), were seen in the woods ; and the elegant fronds of the 
Lady Fern {Athyrium Jilix-fcemina) were much admired. The 
Deadly Nightshade {Atropa Belladonnu) still remains in its old 
locality : the plant has this year attained the height of about eight 
feet, and was covered with the lustrous purplish-black ben-ies. 
The members returned home at about 8 p.m. 

ForRTH Eamble, Sept. 12. — Arrangements had been made for 
a ramble to the Hughenden Woods, but owing to the very Hniited 
attendance, and a slight confusion in the time and place of meet- 
ing, it was considered better to proceed to Green Street. The 
President's net was in great requisition ; and much interesting 
entomological information was given by him. The various wild 
flowers which abound in Green Street were noticed ; conspicuous 
among them being the Autumnal Gentian ( G. AmareUa) with the 
larger form, G. germaniea,\^'\]l<l., the beautiful fringe of the corolla 
being much admired. The members returned to Castle HUl at 
5 p.m., where they were joined by many who had not accompanied 
them. Tea and coffee were kindlj' provided by J. Edwards, Esq., 
at whose invitation the subsequent meeting was held. The mem- 
bers then walked about the grounds, the site of the old castle being 
explored, and a short description of it given by Mr. Payne. 

The A^'^^:AL Gexer.\l Busixess Meeting then commenced, the 
President, the Eev. T. H. Browne, taking the chair. The Secre- 
tary opened the proceedings by reading the following 

AXXVAL REPORT. 

" Let me not be considered to be encroaching on the pro^dnce of our 
esteemed President, when I commence my report by quoting the words with 
which he opened his address at our Annual Conversazione on April 30th 
last : I merely echo his sentiment in his own words when I say that ' I 
think we have reason to congratulate ourselves upon the present condition 
Q 



140 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

and futm-e prospects of our Society.' We now number sixty-five members, 
of which number twenty are ladies, and forty-five, gentlemen ; eleven are 
resident at a distance beyond our radius of five miles, while the remainder 
live within it, although several are not inhabitants of the town. In 1865 
we numbered but thirty members ; last year we raised our list to forty-four ; 
so that it is plain that the interest taken in our Society is increasing, while 
we may now consider it firmly established, this being its third year of 
existence. 

" Subject to the consent of the members, I would propose a slight alteration 
in the wording of our third rule, by which the annual subscription becomes 
due upon the first of January in each year. As we have followed the example 
of other Societies, and divided our year into two Sessions — a Winter Session, 
and a Summer Session, — it seems to me that we might with propriety so 
arrange our subscriptions that our year might include a Summer and 
Winter Session, each complete : instead of embracing as at the present time, 
a portion of two Winter Sessions in one year. This difficulty might 
easily be obviated by appointing May 1st as the day on which annual sub- 
scriptions should be payable. 

" Our proceedings during the past year, ending on April 30th last, maybe 
thus briefly summarised. During our Summer Session, but three Rambles 
were taken — to Dane Garden Wood, Hollow Lane, and West Wycombe, — 
the very wet weather which then prevailed having prevented the accomplish- 
ment of a larger number. The attendance at these was but small. Seven 
Evening Meetings, besides the Annual Conversazione in the To^A^l Hall, 
were held during the Winter Session : at which the following papers were 
read :— 

* On Incredulity with respect to Geological Facts Mk. Ullybtt. 

* Additions to the Flora of Wycombe The Secretary. 

On British Reptiles (communicated) Mn. W. R. Tate. 

On Diatoms and Desmids (two papers) The President. 

On the Cave at Brixham, Devon (comnmnicated) . .Rev. W. H. Painter. 
On the Mammalia of High Wycombe (commvmicated) Mu. Uilyett. 
On some Resemblances between Plants and Animals 

(communicated) R. Holland, Esq. 

On Toadstools (communicated) W. G. Smith, Esq. 

* OnthePleasuresofMoth Hunting (communicated) Mr. Ullyett. 

A Geological Paper (communicated) Evan Hopkins, Esq. 

* On the Destruction of Birds T. Marshall, Esq. 

* Annual Address The President. 

On Buttercups The Secretary. 

On the British Tits {Parince) (communicated) . . . .R. B. Sharpe, Esq. 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 141 

It is gratifying to be able to state that each of these Evening Meetings 
was well attended. Five of the above-named papers (marked thus *) have 
been published in full in the Quarterly Magazine of the Society, and a 
brief summary of the remaining has also been given. At all the Evening 
Meetings there has been an exhibition of objects, to wliich each has con- 
tributed according to his or her ability, and discussions on various subjects 
have occurred. I must not omit to mention that our local Flora was 
increased by seven Flowering Plants.* Mr. UUyett, also, shortly before his 
departure, added two Butterflies to the list of those of our neighbourhood — 
one, the Brown Fritillary {Argytin'a Aglaia), which had previously been 
taken on Marlow Common; the other, the Brown Hairstreak {Thecla 
Betulai), quite new to the district. This will show that, as a body, we have 
not been idle : at the same time, there is yet ample room for discovery and 
investigation. Before quitting this subject, I beg, in the name of the Society, 
to tender our best thanks to those ladies who so kindly presided at the tea 
vrith which our Annual Conversazione commenced. Although their kind- 
ness has not been overlooked, it has not hitherto been acknowledged. We 
are also grateful to the many Mends who lent objects for exhibition on that 
occasion, as well as to those who assisted in arranging them. 

"As it was felt that we were mainly indebted to our late Secretary, Mr. 
TJllyett, for the organisation of the Society, a subscription was raised among 
the members for his benefit, mth which a microscope was purchased and 
presented to him. 

" I will now proceed to lay before you a short statement in connection with 
the Society's Magazine, first directing attention to our Cash Account. On 
April 30th last, I had the sum of £5 14s. 5d. in hand, after all expenses for 
the year had been paid: and I have since received £1 12s. 6d., while £3 53, 
is still due, so that we may consider our balance to amo\int to £10 lis. lid. 

"At theGeneral Business Meeting held on May 1, 1866, it was resolved that 
a Quarterly Magazine of Natural History should be established in connection 
■with the Society. The reasons for this were then fully entered into, and 
need not now be dwelt upon : suffice it to say that the first number 
appeared in July 1866, that five numbers are now before the public, and that 
the magazine has been favourably reviewed in various periodicals and news- 
papers. Of course, the idea that our magazine would be financially a suc- 
cess was never entertained ; works depending chiefly upon local support and 
appealing to but a small class of readers, seldom, if ever, pay ; but a hope 
was felt that it might possibly just cover its own expenses. Such, however, 
has not been the case. (I must not omit to mention that Mr. Butler very- 
kindly offered to takeuponhimself the responsibility of the first four numbers.) 
"When I ascertained positively that a loss would occur, I called a meeting of 
the Committee (ou March 14th ult.) and laid the matter plaiuly before them, 
* See p. 65. 



142 PBOCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

stating that I feared a loss of between £2 and £3 ; but at the same time 
directing attention to the balance at the Society's disposal. After a long 
discussion, it -was decided that the magazine should be continued, it being 
felt that the Society's funds could not be employed in a more appropriate 
manner : while it was also resolved that the deficiency arising from the first 
four numbers should be supplied to Mr. Butler from the funds of the Society. 
This deficiency will, I believe, amount to £2 16s. 9^d. when all subscriptions 
are paid, but of these £3 Os. 6d. is still impaid. May I therefore urgently 
request that our friends will, as soon as possible, pay the sums clue for 
magazines ? Of the merits of the magazine it is not for me to speak : others, 
whose opinions are of considerable value, have alluded to it iir terms of 
praise : and the list of subscribers is on the increase. If our members would 
push its circulation mth a little more energy, we should doubtless have little 
or no deficiency at the end of another year. Our pages have been well 
supplied : in fact, each number has announced the unavoidable postpone- 
ment of several communications. Stating, in round numbers, our loss on 
Nos. 1-4 as £3, the funds of the Society will still annoiuice a balance in our 
favour of £7 9s. 5d. 

" I will now conclude by thanking you for the very kind support you have 
given me since I have filled the post of Secretary. Although an unworthy 
successor of Mr. Ullyett, whose general information we all valued, I have 
endeavoured to the best of my ability to advance the Society's interests, and, 
I trust, not altogether without success. That we may year by year enter 
more into the study of the wonders around us is my earnest ^^ish : each is a 
line in the great book of Nature, that book which is ' more interesting than 
all the books, save one, that ever were written upon earth.' 

" I now resign into your hands the Secretaryship, and will ask you to proceed 

with the election of ofticeis. Those now retiring are — Eev. T. H. Browne, 

President; R. M. Bowstead, M.D., T. Marshall, Esq., F. Wheeler, Esq., 

Committee." 

"James Beitten, Hon. Sec." 

John Parker, Esq., proposed, and Mr. Butler seconded, that the Secretary's 
Report be accepted : and that the alteration in Rule 3, suggested by hun, be 
adopted. Carried unanimously. 

John Parker, Esq., then proposed the re-election of the Rev. T. H. Browne 
as President of the Society, remarking that no one better could possibly be 
found to superintend its affairs. Seconded by Mr. Britten : carried unani- 
mously. 

Mr. Butler, in a complimentary speech, proposed that Mr. Britten be 
re-elected Secretary. Seconded by Miss Chandler : carried unanimously. 

The Secretary proposed the re-election of the Committee : Dr. Bowstead, 
T. Marshall, Esq., and F. Wheeler, Esq. Seconded by Mr. Tottle : carried 
unanimously. 



BOOKS RECEIVED. 143 

The President, in a brief address, acknowledged the flattering terms in 
which he had been re-elected : and made a few remarks relative to the 
desirability of forming a Museum in connection -with the Society. 

The formal business of the evening being concluded, an inspection of the 
objects exhibited ensued. The President showed several entomological 
specimens, including the Clouded Yellow {CoUas Edusa) taken at Wycombe 
five years ago, and referred to its recent reappearance in the district. Liv- 
ing specimens of many local wild flowers were on the table, including the 
Great Burnet Saxifrage {Pimpinella magna) new to the district, Cat-mint 
{Xepeta Cataina^i, Calamint {Calctmintha officinalis), &c. ; plants of the Grass 
of Parnassus (/*ar»a«*iaj7aZi/rfn^), and Dwarf Centaury {Erijthraa pulchella), 
from Liverpool, were much admired. Miss Chandler brought two /asciculi 
of dried plants : and dried specimens of the small, but rare, Waterworts 
{Elatine hexandra and E. hydropiper), and Cyperusfuscus were sho-mi by 
the Secretary. A short address, " On the Stomachs of Lisects," was given 
by the President in the course of the evening : those of the Beetles, Cricket, 
Mole Cricket, and Grasshopper being selected for illustration. A vote of 
thanks to J. Edwards, Esq., and Airs. Edwards, for. the kind reception given 
to the Society, brought a very pleasant meeting to a close. 



The following from Mr. UUyett, in acknowledgment of the microscope pre- 
sented to him by the Society, has been received by the Secretary: — 

" S. Mary's Schools, Folkestone, 

" September 20th, 1867. 
" Dkar Sir, — Please to convey to the members of our Society my warmest 
thanks for the valuable present they have forwarded. They could not have 
chosen any thing more useful to me, and it ■\^'ill always serve to remind me of the 
pleasant rambles and conversaziones I enjoyed in their company while I was 
at Wycombe. I heartily wish the Society a long continued Hfe, and that 
the success now attending it may never decrease. I hope ere long to hear 
that they have established a Museum in the to^vn. 

" Believe me, my dear Sir, yours faithfully, 

"Hy. Ullyett." 



^oolns %mmL 



A Summary of the Occurrences of the Grey Phalarope in Great Britain 
during the Autumn of 1866. By J. H. Gurney, Jun. (London : Van Voorst.) 

This is a very neatly got up little pamphlet, and will prove exceedingly 
interesting to the ornithologist, especially to him who makes our Birds of 
Passage a favourite study. Phalaropus lobatui is a northern bird, and visita 



144 BOOKS RECEIVED. 

England only when the approach of winter renders its own clime too in- 
hospitable. The author of the Summary has taken considerable pains to get 
together all the notices he could of its occurrence last autumn in various 
parts of the country, and has been so successful, that, however scarce it may 
have been deemed fifty years ago, it deserves now, we should think, to have 
its name taken off the list of rare birds. The nearest locality to us, noticed 
in the book, is an eyot of the Thames, not far from Pangbourne, where one 
was sliot ; but we doubt not others might have been seen still nearer ; those 
sedgy ^\allow eyots that occur so plentifully in various parts of the river must 
harbour a great many birds, and would prove a world of discovery if 
well examined. Our readers will recollect that it was by one of them that 
the Little Bittern {Ardea minuta) was taken a year or two ago by one of our 
members. We cannot help regretting that the pamplilet bears such ample 
testimony to the general tendency to shoot everything that is at all rare ; 
the great majority of the specimens seen were killed, and we must protest 
particularly against the conduct of the gentleman who shot eighteen out of 
one flock ; we doubt whether the bird will be so common this year. Its 
natural tameness is much against it, as is evident from the number knocked 
down with hand weapons, and maimed with missiles from those arch-enemies 
of animals in general — boys : we trust the school-boy who " stoned " one at 
Stokes Bay will get a few lessons in Natural History. A very nice map 
accompanies the work. 

Tlie Naturalists' Circular, August and Septemher, 1867. (London: Henry 
Hall, 56, Old Bailey, E.G.) 

This little magazine, an enlarged form of one which has long been known 
among amateur naturalists, bids fair to take rank among the most useful of 
our serials. Its specialty is an Exchange List, in which appear the names 
and addresses of those naturalists who are willing to assist their brethren in 
the collection of the various objects of their study. Short practical articles, 
as those on " Lamps for the Microscope," " Larva-Rearing," &c. : papers on 
matters of general interest to the naturalist, and notes and queries, make up 
each number. The Naturalists' Circiilar seems likely to take the place of the 
lately- defunct Naturalist, but we trust will not share its untimely fate. Its 
price is 2d. monthly. 

Country Life : A Journal of Rural Pursuits and Recreation. (London : 
10, Bolt-court, Fleet-street, E.G.) Price 2d. weekly. 

AVe have received No. 4 of this new periodical ; and, if we may take it as 
a specimen of the whole, can give it our sincere recommendation. It is, as 
its name implies, a paper for dwellers in the country ; the gardener, the 
angler, and, what more immediately concerns us, the naturalist, wiU find 
each of their pursuits duly attended to. The principal article in the number 
before us is one on " The Gholera Fungus," by Mr. M. G. Cooke, a well-known 
authority on fungi in general. He carefully weighs the evidence for and 
against, and thus concludes : " The crime is not proved against the prisoner 
at the bar, and he is acquitted. Let us hope that the experiments will be 
continued, and that in the meanwhile no absurd cry will be raised about a 
' cholera fungus.' " Other interesting papers are those on "Fishermen's 
Flies," " Jottings by the Way," and " Poultry-keeping : " " The Garden" 
is well looked after. 

TJie Entomologist, Nos. 44 and 45.— There is no falling off in the interest of 
this periodical. Several good descriptions of larvte are to be found in these 
two numbers, and a lengthy note on the " Hop Insect." We commend it to 
the notice of all our entomological readers. 



145 



((^(fm^pMtnct. 



We shall he glad to receive articles on any tiatural ohjeets, the preference 
being always given to such as have a local interest. Notes on tlie jjopular 
names of, or traditions concerning, Animals or Plants, or on any subject con- 
nected with Natural History, will be Tcelcomc. 



"Cleeks of the Weather." — 
(See p. 106). — Mrs. Woollams writes 
as follows: — " I think I named three 
Leeches to a pint and a half of 
water. I venture to remind you of 
this, as it is somewhat essential; for 
not only is that number sufficient 
for the quantity of water, but a 
larger number is apt to puzzle 
beginners, as they do not always 
rise and fall together to the moment. 
My experience is not of jive, but of 
fifteen years, so I trust you will 
receive it with confidence." 

On Preserving the Colour of 
Dried Flowers.— (See p. 121). — I 
have been asked to communicate the 
manner of fixing the colour in the 
mounted groups of flowers which I 
sent over for the Annual Suirie. 
Some five years ago, a friend, who 
had been travelling in Norway, 
shewed some specimens which he 
had brought home to a dear child, 
who commenced experimenting to 
preserve the colour in drying. 
Ultimately she found the applica- 
tion of a heated flat iron the best 
mode of proceeding. It was her 
practice to pick the flower in pieces 
for the purpose of more evenly pre- 
serving the true proportions, and 
then, with the perfect flower before 
her, to make it up again. The 
medium used in fixing it on the 
card was isinglass in solution. The 
specimens sent to Wycombe were 
only a few of those produced ; the 
groups of wild flowers, which passed 
into the hands of valued friends, 
being especially natural. 

Henley. H. Stubbs. 

The Duke of Burgundy (i\e- 
meohius Liicind). — Mr. Ullyett, in 
his paper on the Wycombe Butter- 
flies, page 113, remarks that the 
larva of the "Little Duke of Bur- 
gundy Fritillary" {Nemeobius Lu- 



cina), is said never to have been 
found in England. Mr. U. will there- 
fore probably be interested to know 
th at I have taken both eggs and larvse 
somewhat freely in this neighbour- 
hood, and have bred the perfect 
insect. Some few years since, I hap- 
pened to be in a sunny field em- 
bosomed in beech woods, in this 
parish, where numbers of this pretty 
little butterfly were flitting to and 
fro, and I determined to have a hunt 
for the larva. I had read in West- 
wood's British Butterfiies that the 
larva fed on the Primrose {Primula 
vulgaris), and so to work I went, 
carefully examining the leaves of 
each primrose plant, but with no 
success. I noticed, however, that 
the field was covered with numerous 
plants of the Cowslip (Primula, 
vcris'), and to these I immediately 
directed my attention. I had only 
examined two or three plants, when 
at the back of the very lowest leaves 
among the long grass, close to the 
ground, I found some small hairy 
larvffi and a number of little white 
eggs, resembling those of Arrtia 
menthrasti, laid singly or in small 
clusters. These I took home, and 
in a few days they hatched ; the 
young larvEE fed up rapidly and soon 
assumed the pupa state, and the fol- 
lowing year produced the perfect 
insect. I subjoin a description of 
both larva and pupa for the benefit 
of your readers : Ground colour, 
dingy olive. Central dorsal line, 
blackish or very dark olive, much 
darker at the centre of the segments. 
Sub-dorsal lines slanting, dark olive, 
dotted posteriorly on each segment 
by a dull yellow spot. On each 
segment between the dorsal and 
sub-dorsal lines a largish orange 
tubercular spot, surmounted by a 
tuft of reddish orange hair. Between 



146 



COEEESPONDENOE. 



the subdorsal and spiracular lines 
a similar row of smaller spots and 
tufts. Spiracular line, indistinct 
anteriorly olive, posteriorly dull 
yellow. Spiracles, black. Head, red- 
dish yellow. Belly, dirty greenish 
olive, destituteofmarkiug.s. Hatched 
the beginuinpr of June. Full led, 
middle of July. Pupa pale straw 
colour. Along the centre of both 
thorax and abdomen a double row 
of largish black spots; on each side 
three similar rows, the intermediate 
row much smaller than the other 
two. Upper border of wing-cases 
black. On the head or extreme end 
of the thorax two transverse black 
bands. Suspended by a thread across 
the junction of the thorax and ab- 
domen. In form, colour, and general 
appearance, closely resembles the 
pupa of J/. Artemis, the "Greasy 
Fritillary." In hot summers there 
is a second brood of this butterfly 
in September. The year before last 
I fed up a batch of larvaj in July, 
and every pupa emerged in Septem- 
ber. H. Harpur Crewe. 
The Rectory, Drayton Beauchamp, 
Tring. 
[The larva has previously been re- 
corded from Bramham Moor, 
Yorkshire, feeding on Primula, 
veris. See NutiivaUsf i. 125. Ed.] 

White S.\nd Martin. — On the 
20th of August last a White Martin 
■was shot by Mr. F. Wheeler, on the 
Thames, near Marlow Road. The 
specimen is, apparently, an Albino, 
and of the species Sand Martin 
{Iliriindo 7-iparia). The length and 
general appearance agree with the 
figure and description in Bewick. 
The colour is almost entirely white, 
but in one or two places there are 
shades of a brownish tint. I am in- 
formed that there are in the British 
Museum many white varieties of 
English buds ; indeed, we have, 
most of us, seen, at times, partially 
■white Sparrows. Stailings, Black- 
birds, &c. : but I have never before 
seen a White Martm, and I imagine 
such an almost ]>urchj white variety 
of any English bird is seldom seen 
as in the specimen shot by Mr. 
Wheeler. — T. Marshall. 



The Clouded Yellow (CoUas 
Edusa). — This rare and beautiful 
Butterfly has this year again ap- 
peared in our district. The only 
specimens we had hitherto seen from. 
the neighbourhood of Wycombe 
were those in the collection of the 
Rev. T. II. Browne, by whom they 
were taken about t\\e years since. 
Nine have been seen this year by 
different individuals, within our 
radius of five miles ; and one was 
noticed near the Maidenhead station. 
The fact that only males have been 
observed in these instances suggests 
that Ihey may have been in some 
manner introduced. The Clouded 
Y'ellow seems to be of more frequent 
occui'rence this year than is usually 
the case : Mr. Ullyett states that 
it is very plentiful at Folkestone. He 
adds, " I took a very fine specimen 
of the rare variety Helice in August 
last, a few miles from here. Although 
not in your locality, this note may 
prove interesting to the entomo- 
logist." 

Phosphoric Centipede.- — Coming 
home rather late one night last 
August I saw on the Marlow Hill 
several of what I passed by as 
glowworms ; but on stooping downi 
to pick up one it moved away, and 
left a track of light behind it, both 
among the herbage and on the hard 
road. On seizing one, and boxing 
it, I found it to be a centipede. My 
fingers were covered with the 
phosphorescence after handling it, as 
if I had been rubbing them with 
lucifers. Can you tell me the 
scientific name of this creature ? 

[No doubt it Avas Anthronomahis 
hngicornis, figured in Wood's Nat. 
Hist., vol. iii. p. 693.— Ed.] 

The Wheatear. — I have noticed 
this year dui-ing the latter end of 
March, the occiu-rence of the Wheat- 
ear {Saivicula (Enaiitltc). This 
species is not common in this neigh- 
bourhood, but in one walk I noticed 
four instances of it. According to 
Jardine, it is one of the earliest of 
our summer visitants. 

T. MarshaiiL. 



147 



(Continued from page 128.) 

BY R. B. SHARPE. 

Sul-fam. AccipitiuNvT;. 

Accipitcv. 

8. Accipitur uisus. TJie SpiuTow Hawk. 

rpniS bird is not so often observod as tlie Kestrel, but is still 

J- of common occurrence, and breeds in tlio Duchess of 

Sutherland's w-oods at Cliefden. I cannot from uiy oi\n 

experience justify the trivial appellation of Sj?a)rotv-ha,\\\\, for I 

think that in most instances (especially as i^-gariis the females), 

it preys upon Blackbirds, Thrushes, Starlings, and Larks, while 

Mr. Briggs, who has had much experience in Cauibridgoshire and 

at Billing-bear ,''•" says that it justly incurs the animosity of the 

keepers by the ravages it commits among the young Partridges 

and Pheasants. Nor is its attack confined to tlie youny bird, fur 

'ilv. Burton, of "Wardour Street, London, tells mc he once marked 

a covej' of Partridges to the other side of a small ridge, and 

having crejjt unobserved to within range, was preparing to fluch 

them, when a Sparrowhawk darted down, seized one of the birds, 

and would have carried it off, had not a shot terminated his 

career. The present species gets remarkably bold when impelled 

by liunger, and has been known to carrj' off game in the face of 

the sportsman, several instances also being recorded of its having 

dashed through glass windows to seize cage-birds. These hawks 

often pursue flocks of Starlings, aud Mr. Briggs and I have twice 

been witness to a chase. The first time was on tlie 2nd of June, 

1867, when we were both in my father's garden, and were fust 

attracted by a commotion among tlie Swalhjws and Martins 

above our heads. Looking up, we perceived a Sparro\\liav>k 

sailing across towards Clicfden AVoods, surrounded on all sides by 

the screaming Hi, undines. Presently a flock of twent}' or thirty 

Stai'lings hove in sight, when the hawk darted oft' towards them, 

* This place was in the first part of the paper written Bulling Bare in 
error. — E. B. S. 



148 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAil AND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 

and both parties wheeled round and round, higher and higher, 
each apparently striving to get above the other, but eventually 
the Starlings succeeded, for the Hawk gave up the chase, and 
bore off in the direction of White Place, till he became finally 
lost to sight. The other time when we were witnesses to the 
attack of a Hawk was in the middle of last September, but on 
tliis occasion the encounter did not end favourably for the 
Starlings, as the bird of prey daslied out of the woods into the 
midst of the flock and struck down one, which fell headlong towards 
tbe ground, but before be had fallen twenty yards, tbe Hawk 
shot like lightning, caugbt bim up, and bore bim off to the 
woods. "We were close observers of the fray, whicb took place 
immediately over Formosa. Mrs. De Vitre possesses a fine old 
female, and it is curioUs that of the specimens shot near Cookham 
within the last five years, I have not seen one male bird. The 
latter is of more secluded and retiring habits than the female, 
and seldom ventures out from bis strongholds, leaving his larger 
and more powerful mate to run the risk. 

Suh-order II. Accipitres Nocturnt. 

Fam. StrigiDvE. 

Suh-fam. Syrniin^e. 

Syrnium. 

9. Syrnium aluco. The Tawny Owl. 

Cookham is one of the places where this species of Owl, now 

becoming scarce in England, can still be found. In the woods 

of Hedsor and Cliefden, and tbe opposite grounds of Formosa, 

the Tawny Owl pursues his noiseless flight and is heard hooting 

in the stillness of the summer night. I can quite understand 

this species feeding on fish, as it exhibits in confinement great 

partiality for water, and the birds in the Zoological Gardens, 

Eegent's Park, seem to delight in their bath, standing in the 

trough and splashing the water all over them. When thoroughly 

soaked they look most comical with their immense eyes, which 

seem larger than ever when the feathers round them are all wet 

and flattened. 



THE BIEDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOTTKHOOU. 149 

Otus. 
10. Otus vulgaris. The Long-eai'ed Owl. 
This bird is very rare at Cookham, but has nevertheless been 
observed by Mr. J. Ford, at Dropmore, where there are some 
fir trees, which are a favourite resort of the Long-eared Owl. 
The species is common in some parts of Cambridgeshire, whence 
several specimens have been sent, both to Mr. Briggs and 
myself, and where the bird often came under his observation. 
Mr. J. Furd had a young bird sent him from Norfolk, which 
lived for a long time ia confinement, till it met with an untimely 
death at the claws of a cat. 

11. Otus brachyotus. The Short-eared Owl. 
Mr. Darby shot a specimen of this Owl near Cockmarsh a few 
years ago, which was preserved by Mr. J. Ford, of Cookham. 
Its occurrence so far south is rare. 

Sub-fam. Strigin.s;. 

Strix. 

12. Strix flammea. The Barn Owl. 

Our harmless but persecuted Barn Owl is often met with at 

Cookham, and occasionally visits Formosa, where it meets wi th 

an asylum. It is also a frequent visitor to White Place, and may 

be often heard in Cliefden Woods. I have also heard and seen 

it in the ivy which envelopes the tower of Cookham Church. 

Order Fissirostee. 

Fam. HiEUNDiNiD^. 

Hirundo. 

13. Hirundo rustica. The Chimney Swallow. 

The present species presents at different seasons of the year 

distinct changes of plumage on the breast, but I am at present 

not in a position to make any remarks about them, as I intend to 

make my researches the subject of a separate paper. I question 

very much, however, whether the old bird at the time of feeding 

the young on the wing (as represented in Mr. Gould's plate in 

The Birds of Great Britain) is to be found with the reddish tinge 

on the breast, but as miy series of specimens is not yet as complete 

as I could wish, I must wait till next year to bring tne some more, 



l.jO THE BIRDS OF COOKKAAr AND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 

and I sliall then liope to be able to lay before my readers some 
more definite roraai-lcs on this si^ecics. I shall also, I hope, by 
that time be in possession of a move complete series of skins, so 
as to be able to boar ont mj' present conjectures by the actual 
observation and possession of specimens. SJiould any of my 
friends find any with a deep rufous colour on the breast, I shall 
bo glad at all times to receive them at the oIH.ce of the Zoological 
Society, Hanover-srpiai'e, London, W. 
Chelidon. 
14. Chelidon urbica. The Common Martin. 

The Martin may be distinguished from the foregoing 
species bj' the whito mark on the lower part of its back, which is 
very conspicuous when flying, and also by its mode of flight, 
■which is always swifter and less laboured than that of the Swallow. 
It also generally flies Ligh in the air, which is seldom the case with 
the Swallow, who skims along the ground after insects. Tho 
present species is very fond of frequenting the waterside, and may 
often be seen in groups of three or four together sitting by the 
side of the river and dipping themselves. The Martin is also 
very fond of dusting itself in the middle of the roads. 
Cot\le. 
15. Cot vie riparia. The Sand Martin. 

There are several gravel pits and other situations near Cookham, 

■which form suitable breeding-places for tho Sandmartin, and the 

bird is very common there in summer. It ai'rives sooner than 

the Martin or the Swallow, and departs before them. 

Fam. Cypselid/e. 

Cypselus. 

IG. Cypselus apus. The Common Swift. 

There is scarcely anyone living in the coimtry who is not 
acquainted with the Swift, or who does not -n^elcamo him as the 
harbinger of spring, and equally ri'grct his departure as the sure 
sign that winter is approachiiig. The Swift is one of tho latest 
birds to arrive and tho earliest to go. It breeds under the eaves 
of houses in tho village, penetrating far out of reach under the 
roof. I have taken its nest on Peterborough Cathedral, where 
thousands breed every year. 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAiT AND THE NEIGHBOXTKHOOD. 151 

Fam. CAPEiMTJLarD.i3. 
Caprirmilgus. 
17. Caprimulgus europaeus. The Common Nightjar. 

As early as March 3rcl this year (1867) a Goatsucker, as the 
bird is more commonly called, was shot at Cookham Dean, and 
sent to Mr. Briggs for my collection. This was considered by 
him to be considerably earlier than usual, and in my opinion is 
very remarkable, as they generally are first seen about May, 
which is also the date of their arrival given in John's British 
Birds in their Hmmts. About Formosa they are by no means 
uncommon, and all round Mr. Burrow's grounds, at the Elms, 
they may be seen towards the dusk of the evening. They are 
very fond of sitting on a railing which runs across one of his 
fields, and as we go through the lane which skirts the bottom of 
it, a Nightjar often flaps over the hedge on one side and 
disappears over the opposite hedge on the other side of the road. 
Mr. Briggs says he has often seen them settle in the road, and 
when disturbed, fly along about a foot from the groxmd, making 
a flapping noise, but whether this is caused by the bird striking 
its wings together over its back or underneath its breast, he has 
not yet been able to determine. We have not found the Nightjar 
breeding in the neighbourhood, though at BiUing-bear Mr. 
Briggs tells me he frequently found the nest. I may add that 
the bird has been also observed by him at Formosa this year very 
much later than usual, as he saw them in September. 

Fam. Meropidji;. 

Merops. 

18. Merops apiaster. The Bee-eater. 

In the summer of 1866 a Bee-eater made its appearance at 
Dropmore, on the estate of the Hon. G. Fortescue, and attracted 
the notice of Mr. Frost, the liead gardener. For several days it 
continued on the grounds, taking up its position on a bare bi'anch 
over a wasps' nest, and from this position it made short flights to 
catch any of the insects as they apj)roached or left the nest. Mr. 
Frost, to his great credit, would oti iio account have the biid 



152 THE BIRDS OF COOKJIAM AND THE NEIGHBOTTRHOOD. 

molested, and did all in his power to protect it, but at last it 
wandered from this friendly noighbourhool, and was at once shot 
by some less scrupulous person. 

Fam, Alcedimd^. 
Alcedo. 
19. Alcedo ispida. The Common Kingfisher. 

The introduction of salmon and trout hatching on Lord Boston's 
estate has visibly affected the welfare of this pretty bird, for no 
sooner did the small fry make their appearance, than the King- 
fishers found them out, and created great havoc. This, however, 
did not last long, for a fiery edict went forth, and the poor birds 
were shot down right and left by the fisherman in charge of the 
pr(iserves. Up to this time the Kingfisher was by no means rare 
near Cookham, and used to breed regularly in the bank of the 
stream opposite Formosa, but since the wholesale mux'der of every 
bird that could be seen, their numbers have much decreased, 
although I am happy to say a few are still left to gladden our 
eyes and enliven the beautiful scenerj' in the river Thames. The 
note of the Kingfisher is a very shrill one, which may be repre- 
sented by the words, pronounced very sharply, t'loee, fwce, 
fwee-e-e. When he flies, the bird always utters that note, but 
when frightened only gives vent to a shrill solitary sound. 
His ordinary flight is slow and steady, and when not alarmed, he 
glides along the sides of the banks of the river or up a brook, 
till he comes to a suitable place, genei'ally a post or dead branch, 
where he settles and waits patiently imtil the fish come within 
reach, and then like an arrow dives in and brings his prey up 
and flies with it to a perch, where he kills it with a smart rap, 
and swallows it head foremost. Eound Formosa the Kingfisher 
finds many suitable places for fishing, as there are numerous small 
streams and rivulets running through the estate, one of which is 
directly opposite the door of Mr. Briggs' cottage. Here he has 
often seen the birds sit for a long time, first turning their head 
on one side and then on the other, and keeping good watch on all 
sides. Suddenly like magic they are gone, a splash is heard, 
and the bird flies off with a fisli in his beak. 
(To he continued. J 



153 



^(lamott^ to tht Wxjtmht llova — 1867. 



OUR local Flora during the past season has been increased by 
four siaecies of Flowering Plants, while many species, pre- 
viously recorded for the district, have been observed in new 
localities. I will veiy briefly enumerate the more important of 
these discoveries. 

The four new species are as follows : — 

The Gkeat Buenet Saxifrage {Pimpinella magna), was 
observed on September 9, by Mr. J. C. Melvill, of Trin. Coll., 
Cambridge, in company with myself, in the lane below the 
Eoundabout, and between it and the Booker road. It had 
previously escaped notice, doubtless on account of its near 
resemblance to the common P. Saxifraga, but the difference 
in the root leaves is sufficiently marked. P. magna is recorded as 
occurring in two other localities in the county. 

The Creeping Scorpion Grass {Myosotis repens), grows in 
abundance in the large mill-pond at the Marsh Green, where I 
observed it on September 10. It very greatly resembles the 
Forget-me-not ; but has smaller flowers, and also differs in other 
particulars. It has not been previously observed in Buck- 
inghamshii-e. 

The Pale Blue Toadflax {Linaria repens) was first sent me 

by Mr. Daniel Avery, of Lane End. On investigating the 

locality in which he discovered it, I found it growing in great 

abundance in fields and hedges on the other side of Lane End, 

towards Fingest. I traced it for some considerable distance ; and it 

doubtless extends into the adjoining part of Oxfordshire. When 

we remember that Henley was the earliest recorded locahty for 

this species, and that it grows in that neighbourhood in great 

plenty, it seems probable that it is generally distributed over the 

district between Lane End and that place. The only other 

Buckinghamshire locality for L. repens is a "hedge near the 

* Read before the Society at the First Evening Meeting (November, 1867) 
of the Third Winter Session, 1866—67. 



154 ADDITIONS TO THE WYCOMBE FLORA. 

' Seftou Arms,' Stoke " {Phjtologist v. 367, n.s.) ; where it may, 
perhaps, have been introduced. This species is one of our 
prettiest Toadflaxes, the flowers being elegantly striped with 
purple, and very sweet-scented. 

The Primrose-leaved Mullein {Verhascim virgatum) I dis- 
covered in Hollow Lane on September 12. I had noticed i^lants 
which I believe to have been this species in the same neighbourhood 
two or three years ago, and again near AVell End ; but I did not 
then examine them sufficiently, and thouglit it possible that they 
might be hybrids between V. Thapsm and V. nigrum. The 
Hollow Lane plant, however, agreed exactly with the description 
of V. virgaUm. It is new to the county. 

Besides these four plants, which have never been ^jreviously 
recorded for our district, there are three jthers, which had been 
reported as belonging to it, but whicli, of late years, had not 
been observed, and these are deserving of special notice. 

Of the Field Pepperwort {Leiridium campestre), vhich Mr. 
Gaviller found in the neighbourhood of Loud water, I noticed a 
solitary plant in a cloverfield near Booker. I have never seen it 
elsewhere in the district, and suspect we cannot claim it as a 
genuine native, although generally distributed. 

The Solomon's Seal {Polygonatum muUiflorum), recorded by 
Withering as growing " about High Wickham, Bucks," which 
I last year remarked had not been seen recently in our district, 
has been discovered in the Booker Woods by Mr. Avery, growing 
in some plenty. Mr. Edward Wheeler informs me that he believes 
he has seen it in the Penn Woods, a very likely locaUty. 

The Flowering Fern {Osmunda regalis), which has been 
rumoured to occur in various places, has at length been seen 
gi-owing in the district. I purposely abstain from giving any 
indication of its locality ; human nature is weak, and the 
Flowerino- Fern a great temptation ; and remembering the raids 
made upon it in one of its best known places of growth, Burnham 
Beeches I deem it well to preserve a discreet silence on the 
subject. 



ADDITIONS TO THE WyCOMBE FLOBA. 155 

The very curious variety of tlie Water-cress {Nasturtium 
officinale) known as iV. siifolium, has been seen by the stream in 
the Eye. This form has leaves resembling those of the Marshwort 
{Helosciadium nodijlorum), very thick, erect stems, and small 
flowers with a pinkish tinge. It is well worthy of notice, 
differing widely in appearance from the typical form ; so much so 
indeed, that in the neighbourhood of Buckingham, where it is 
abundant, it is called " Brooklime," and considered as quite dis- 
tinct from the ordinary Water-cress. 

The Barberry {Berheris vulgaris) has been observed near 
Fingest by Mr. Daniel Avery, who also found the Columbine 
{Aquilegia vulgaris) in a wood near Lane End, in flower ; it 
seldom blossoms with us in a wild state. The Great Dodder 
( Cuscufa europcea) was found by Miss Chandler growing plentifully 
on nettles near Hughenden Park. The Mezereon {Daphne 
Mezereum) was again observed in its former localities : the Bog 
Pimpernel {Anagallis tenella) and Lady's Tresses {Spirant lies 
autumnalis) on Lane End Common. The beautiful Snowflake 
{Leucojum astivum) I had the pleasure of gathering, on May 8th, 
from the meadows by the Thames near Harleyford, in company 
with the Large Bitter-cress {Cardamine amara) ; this locality, 
however, is beyond our district. The Stinking L-is {Iris 
fostidissima) I found in a small wood near FlackweU Heath ; it is 
very remarkable that it has not been observed in any wood in 
our own immediate neighbourhood, as the locahty would appear 
conducive to its growth. The Good King Henry ( Chenopodiiim 
Bomcs-Henricus) was gathered, late in the season, at Forty Green, 
near Penn ; it has only one other station in the county. 

Thus, as each year comes round, it introduces fresh objects to 
our notice : season by season, the naturalist finds something to 
engage his attention. Natural History is the one study which 
we can never exhaust, for the more we advance in our knowledge, 
the more plainly we see how much we have yet to learn. 

James Bbitten. 
s 



156 



THERE are few pictures better calculated to arouse that love 
for Nature ■which exists in the human breast, than the 
sight of a rich bank of ferns. In a deep dell or a shady lane, 
■where one has sought refuge from the " all conquering heat " of 
summer — -where the slopes give forth to the eye a limpid green- 
ness — there the spirit of a botanist mny be, and often has been, 
evoked. It -was among the Devonshire lanes I fii'st fell in 
love -with ferns, and there are probably fe^w places in England so 
•well calculated to produce such an effect. On the slopes of the 
Blackdown hills — in roads cut through the humid sandstone, 
mosses and ferns reign supreme all the year round, and in -winter 
are specially beautiful. The desire to kno^w more of these green 
treasures soon extends itself, and is very readily gratified : ferns 
are easily pr- served, and the majority of them very easily culti- 
vated ; and a fern bank may be established in the garden -with 
but very little trouble. 

Ferns belong to the class of plants called cry2)togamia, from the 
fact that flo^wers are absent from them, the fructification being- 
developed by another method: in the same class are mosses, 
lichens, algae, and fungi. Ferns and mosses belong to the higher 
cryptogamia, and have their mode of reproduction much more 
plainly apparent to the eye than seaweeds or fungi, but no 
flowers exist : the seeds, or as they are technically termed, the 
spores, of the former are scattered over the back of the leaf or 
fro7id ; their mode of arrangement, and the presence or absence of 
a covering to them (called the indusium), afford good points of 
dissimilarity, which serve to separate them into families and 
genera. They reach their greatest perfection in warm moist 
atmospheres, and are found thus in the present day in New 
Zealand and similar chmates, where they attain to the height of 

*Read before the Society at the Second Evening Meeting (December 10, 
1867) of the Third Winter Session, 1866-7. 



OUR FEENS. 157 

some of our trees. In past ages of the world, England was quite 
as mucli the home of gigantic and luxuriant ferns as the countiy 
just referred to ; this is attested by the innumerable fossil remains 
preserved in various formations, more particularly in coal. 

There are now in our country between forty and fifty different 
species, according to the fancy or ingenuity of species-makers ; 
some of these are very widely spread, others are only to be seen 
in favoured spots. 

Although chalky soils are said to be not particularly favourable 
to their production, we possess within a radius of five miles a very 
fair proportion for the locality ; and though we can never hope to 
obtain the diminutive Woodsias, which gi'ow only in the crevices 
of mountain rocks, or the delicate and pellucid Film-Ferns, which 
delight in more humid situations, yet we are not without rarities. 
Sixteen sj)ecies are now known to occur in our district, and 
probably more will " turn up" before long. 

The Polypodies {Pohjpoclium). — Of these we have two, but 
one is very rare. The Common Polypody (P. vulgarc), an ever- 
green fern, is found in all our woods, encircling the roots of the 
beech trees. In other localities it may be seen thickly covering 
the summits of old walls, high banks, &c. ; there is a small bed 
of very fine ones on the left-hand side of the lane leading to 
Plomer Hill, and another on the bridge in Chapel Lane. The 
spores form bright brown patches on the back of the fronds, and 
usually on the upper half only ; these spores have no skin or 
indusium over them — a mark which, taken in connection with 
the round clusters of spores, is characteristic of the genus. 
The Limestone Polypody (P. Mohertianum or edcareum) is very 
rare, occurring chiefly in the northern and western parts of the 
island, and preferring calcareous soils. It has been found in one 
locality in Oxfordshire, and I am glad to be able to record 
Wycombe as one in Bucks. I found two very good specimens in 
King's Wood, close to Hazlemoor, but with the most diligent 
search, have never been able to discover any more : it may, of 
course, still exist in some unexplored spot. It grows to the 
height of little more than six inches, and is rather three-branched 



158 OUR FEENS. 

in its appearance, but not so mucli so as an absent allied species 
{P. Dryoptoris) ; the fronds are of a delicate green colour, and 
the branches beautifully pinnate, or divided at the edge. 

TuE Shield Ferns (Foli/sfichnm).— Of tins gouus we have but 
one species— the Common Prickly Shield Fern {P. aculeatum), an 
evergreen when growing in a sheltered situation, but otherwise 
the fronds die ofif. It is one of the most graceful of our ferns 
when viewed in masses, jpresenting, when looked at from above, 
a beautiful feathered appearance. Although very plentiful in 
most of the Gloucestershire lanes, it is not widely spread here ; 
there are a few roots in "Water Lane, and it grows thickly on 
a bank in the wood, not far from Hazlemoor Church. The 
spores are covered with an indusium circular in shape, and the 
texture of the frond is more rigid than that of any other of our 
native ferns. When the spores have reached maturity, the skin 
bursts, and the fine dust becomes dispersed by the wind 
to othei', and perhaps far distant, localities. There is a variety 
called lohatum, much narrower in outline, and having the pinnte 
stunted and lobed ; it has been found here, but I do not know 
the spot. It is, however, merely a variety. \_P. angnlarc ought 
to be found in the ueiglibourhood, though I have not been 
fortunate enough to see it.] 

The Buckler Ferns {Lastrca). — These ferns are known by 
having the indusium indented on one side, making it horse-shoe- 
shaped. We have three fpecies. We can go into no wood 
without seeing the Male Fern {L. filix-mas). growing occasionally 
to the height of three feet. I found a curious variety of it in the 
Roundabout, having the pinnte divided into two and three 
branches. The Spiny Buckler Fern (Z. spinulosa), by some 
treated as a variety of the rare cristata, is plentiful in King's 
Wood and Whittington Park, preferring moist situations. The 
Broad Buckler Fern (Z. dilatata) is not quite so common, but is 
to be found in both locahties ; it is a verj' robust plant, yet the 
frond is beautiftilly curved or drooping, and is seldom seen erect 
like other Lastreas. [I believe Z. uliginosa was found in Whit- 
tington Park by Mr. T. P. Lucas, formerly resident at Wycombe.] 



OTJB FEENS. 159 

The Lady Fern {Athyrium). — Opposed altogether in appear- 
ance to filix-mas is A. filix-fmnina, which. " on account of the 
exquisite grace of its habits of growth, the elegance of its 
form, and the delicacy of its hue, claims precedence over every 
other British species." It is recognised at once hy these 
characteristics, as well as by the fringed indusium. In the deep 
glades of King's Wood it makes a pleasing contrast to the more 
robust forms ; in Whittington Park it is almost as plentiful as 
the Male Fern. 

The Spleenwoets {Asplenitan). — These have narrow single 
sori (lines of spores) running in the same direction as the veins of 
the frond. The Wall Eue {A. Eida-muraria) and the Common 
Maidenhair Spleenwort (^A. Trichomanes) were both to be found 
on a wall at West Wycombe. The Black Maidenhair Spleenwort 
{A. Adiantum-nigrutn) grows in several places, plentifully at 
Wooburn and Beaconsfield. 

The Hart' s Tongue (/StfoZc7Je?2(?nM»»). — This is an evergreen fern, 
delighting in moist situations, such as the banks of watercourses, 
sides of wells, &c., in which favourable spots the fronds will 
measure a couple of feet in length. The ordinary form 
{S. vulgar e) has the leafy portion of the frond entire; there are 
varieties that divide and subdivide, but none are found here. 
It was formerly very plentiful on the upper bank of the stream 
flowing from the east end of the Park, but has since been 
eradicated. Now it is to be found in a few of our lanes. 

The Scale Fern {Ccterach officinarum). — This, in company 
with the two Spleenworts before mentioned, is found only on a 
waU at West Wj'combe : the fronds are dwarfed, thick, and of a 
dull green colour, the back is covered with overlapping scales. 
All these wall ferns are difficult to transplant, and still more 
difficult to cultivate : it is therefore to be hoped that they may 
not be exterminated for that purpose. 

The Hard Fern [Blechnum loreale). — A plant deriving its name 
from its rigid appearance : there are two kinds of fronds, barren 
and fertile, the latter having the divisions long and narrow. It 
is abundant in Whittington Park, and occurs in other of our 
woods and hedges. 



160 OTJB FEEN3. 

The Bkacken {Pteris aquilina). — This exists almost everywhere, 
often rising in the hedges to the height of five feet. The sori lie 
along the edges of the divisions. If the thick portion of the 
stem close to the ground be cut through, it will present a rough 
outline of the two-headed eagle with outspread wings — hence the 
specific name of aquilina, given it hy Linna3us. 

TuE EoYAL Fern {Osmunda regalis). — This has been added to 
our list since I left Wj'combe. I long suspected it to grow in the 
locality in which it has at length been found — an opinion shared 
in by our Secretary, and we both made several visits in the 
hope of finding it, but in vain. It is often called the Flowering 
Fern, because when the spores are ripe the plant looks as if it 
were in flower, but this is a deception arising from the reflection 
of the edges of the pinnulm. It has been known for some time to 
grow at liurnham Beeches, but that is outside our district. 

The Adder's Tongue (Ojihioglossum vulgatum). — This curious 
fern has the frond divided into two branches, one leafy and entire, 
the other, the fertile one, erect and contracted, bearing the spores 
in its upper half. It loves humid situations. I first found it by 
the Thames at Marlow : it is plentiful also at Lane End. 

[The Moon wort ( Botrychium Ltmaria) is reported to grow in the 

same neighbourhood, but I never met with any one who had 

found it.] 

Hy. Ullyett. 

The following localised list of Buckiiigliainshiie Ferns may perhaps be of 
interest, as showing the extent of our present knowledge regarding tliose of 
tire whole county. The English name of each species will be found in the 
preceding article. The localities following the initial S are in South Bucks ; 
those preceded by N are in the North of the county. A species or localitj- in 
brackets requires confirmation. 

Polypodium vulgare, L. S. Wycombe, Beaconsfield, &c. N. Near 
Buckingham {^fr. W. Walher). 

P. Itobcrt'uiHum, Hoffm. S. King's Wood, Hazlemoor, Wycombe. 

Lastrea Filix-'mas, Presl, S. and N. Bucks. 

L. spi)iuh.ta,'Pves\. S. Whittington Park, near Wycombe ; llazkiaoor ; 
Loudwater ; &c. 



OTJB FERNS. 161 

L. dilatata, Presl. S. Whittingtoii Park ; Black Paik, Stoke {Phyt. 
V. 307, N. s.) ; Gerrard's Cross (-Rey. W. Bi-amley-Moore). 

[Z. vliginosa. S. T^Tiittington Park {Mr. T. P. Lvcas).'] 

Polystichiuti acuhatum, Roth. S. Not unfrequent about Wycombe ; 
Chesham [Rev. Bryant Burgess) ; Colnbrook {Mr. A. Pettigrew) ; Stoke 
{Phyt. V. 368, x.s.). 

/3 P. lobatum, Sm. S. Wycombe; Gerrard's Cross (i?fy. W. Bramley- 
Moore); Stoke {Phyt. vi. 528, n.s). N. Near Buckingham {Mr. W. 
Walker). 

P. angulare, Newm. S. London Road, Wycombe (J/j«« iV. Vernon); 
Stoke {Phyt. v. 368, n.s.). 

Athtjrium Filix-foemina, Roth. S. ^id N. Bucks. 

l^^ispleniiim fontamim, L. S. Recorded on old authority as growing on 
Agmondesham (Amersham) Church : in all probability an error.] 

A. Adiantum-ni^rum, L. S. Walls and banks, Wycombe, Beaconsfield, 
&c. ; Stoke {Phyt. v. 367, N.s.) ; Taplow {Mi: George Stanton) ; Bumham 
Beeches; Dropmore {Mr. A. Pettigreic). 

A. Trichomanes, L. S. Near Marlow {Miss M. Veriwn) ; West 
Wycombe and Bradenham ; Gerrard's Cross {Eev. W. Bramley-Moore) ; 
Amersham {Rev. Bryant Burgess) ; Stoke {Phyt. v. 3G6, n.s.) ; Bumhara 
Beeches (i/n G. Stanton). N. Near Buckingham (J/n IF. Walker). 

A. Ruta-mui-aria, L. S. Walls, West Wycombe, Bradenham, Amer- 
sham, Beaconsfield, &c. ; between Iver and Cowley {Mr. G. Stanton) ; 
Langley Park {Mr. A. Pettigre^v) ; Denham Bridge {Rev. W. Bramley- Moore). 
N. Near Buckingham {Mr. W. Walker'). 

Scoloj^endrium vnlgare, Sm. S. Wycombe Park ; Downley; Beacons- 
field ; Dinton, near Aylesbury {Rev. J. J. Goodall) ; Stoke {Phyt. v. 308, n.s.) ; 
Bumham Beethes {Mr. G. Stanton). N. Near Buckingham {Mr. W. 
Walker). 

Ceterach officinarum, WUld. S. Wall, West Wycombe. 

Blechnum horeale, Sw. S. Whittington Park and Hazlemoor Wood, 
Wycombe ; Burnham Beeches ; near Hampden ; Stoke {Mr. O. Stanton). 

Pteris aquilina, L. S. and N. common. 

. Osimtnda regalls, L. S. Within five miles of High Wycombe ; Bumham 
Beeches ; on Taplow Common, Mr. J. Raycr {Botanists'' Guide, i. 40) ; 
Langley Park, Stoke {Mr. A. Fettigrew). 

Ophioglossum vulgatum, L. S. Meadows near Marlow; Whittington 
Park ; Dinton {Mr. C. J. Ashfield) ; Latimers {Rev. Bryant Burgess) ; 
Taplow Marshes (A/?'. G.Stanton); Drayton-Beauchamp {Rev. H. Earjmr-- 
Crene). " In a clay field at Pulmer the spikes and leaves oi Ophioglossnm 
are more common than the grass " {Mr. W. Acton). 

James Britten. 



162 



(DtnutltoHoQical glotcsi. 



I NOTICED in No. 3 of the Magazine Dr. Bowstead'a 
account of the nest of a Tomtit in a common watering-pot. 
I remember, about eight years ago, seeing the nest and young of 
the Tree-creeper {Certhia familiaris) under an old frying pan by 
the side of the water in Wycombe Abbey Park, and the young 
were, I have every reason to believe, safely reared. Last year 
I saw a Eobin's nest in a hole in the wall of a dwelling- 
house made for ventilation, where, when a little trap door was 
opened, the nest and young might be seen from the interior of 
the house. I also saw last year, the nepts of the Eobin, Tomtit, 
and Golden-crested Wren within a few yards of each other, and 
of a dwelling house, the last nest being built in a deodar. I know 
too of a small house where, in a hole in the wall, the beautiful 
Eedstart, or Fire-tail, has built successively for several years. 
Many of your readers are aware that the Abbey at Wycombe is 
the favourite haunt of the White Owls, but I am sorry to say 
they are not unmolested, even there ; and hence they are not very 
common. The destruction of hawks and owls, especially the 
latter, is a great mistake, as their chief food is mice and small 
birds. Indeed, the White Owl does positively no harm, but very 
much good. Were it not for the stupid persecution of birds, 
specially by gamekeepers, and the destruction of their nests and 
eggs, they would not be so shy as they are. It is wonderful they 
don't avoid man altogether. But in truth, they like to build 
their nests in and about our dwellings, and I hope everyone will 
ere long raise his voice in favour of protecting them, and that bird- 
nesting will be regarded, even by boys, as a stupid and senseless 
amusement. We are told that Charles Waterton forbade the 
killing of a single bird or animal in his domain, and that he could 
point out an oak tree where there were, at the same time, the 
nests of the Barn Owl (with six young), a brood of Jackdaws, and 
a Eedstart's nest, and that aU entered at one hole. Again, there 
is an instance at Walton HaU, where a Heron's nest, a Crow's, a 



■VrtCOMBE BtrTTEBFLtES. 163 

Magpie's, an Owl's, a Blackbird's, a Eedstart's, and a Pheasant's, 
were all within 200 yards of each other. These and other 
instances show that the birds will get on well enough if man 
will let them alone ; and experience and observation show plainly 
enough that the balance of creation is perfectly adjusted unless 
men destroy it by their unreflecting interference. 

T. Marshall. 



III.— THE RED B.O'RyS—{BJwdoce7-ida). 

THIS family, which derives its name from the beautiful rose tint 
of the antennae, includes three British species, one of which is 
very common in our neighbourhood, the second exceedingly rare, 
and the third non est. 

The Bbimstone {^Gonepteryx Rhamni) is one of the first 
harbingers of Spring, often coming out on warm sunny days in 
February and March, enlivening the banks of resuscitating 
herbage, and even sometimes putting in an appearance in 
January, rousing pleasant recollections of last year's excursions, 
and filling us with hopes for the coming summer. The wings 
have a bold contour — the fore wings are angled at the extreme 
tip, the hind ones in the middle of the hind margin : the body is 
of a rich silvery blue on the thorax, the abdomen darker, the 
thorax is covered with silky hair rising to a ridge along the 
centre, and peculiarly beautiful in freshly emerged specimens. 
The wings of the male are of a strong brimstone yellow, with a 
bright saffron spot in the centre, showing much plainer on the 
under side; the female is much weaker in tint, and may easily be 
mistaken for a Large "White : both sexes are greenish on the 
under side. This species is fond of lanes and woody districts, and 
is very plentiful round High Wycombe. I have not seen it since 
I left the neighbourhood, and it was like missing a very old friend. 
It emerges from the chrysalis in Aug^ist, nearly always appearing 



164 WTCOMBE BUTTERFLIES. 

on the 1st, when it may be met with sporting over the richly 
adorned hedges in Hollow Lane. Those seen in the early part of 
the year are hybernated specimens, and are often in singularly 
good condition. The eggs ai-e to bo found in May on the Buck- 
thorn ; the caterpillar is pale green with a white stripe down 
each side. 

The Cloitoed Yeu.ow {Colias JEdusa). Several years ago our 
respected President took fine specimens of this handsome insect 
in a clover field by the Totteridge Koad ; since then, until the 
summer of 1867, it had disappeared, though Mr. Kennedy, of 
Bradenham, says he saw one flying about in 1866. This last 
year, however, it re-appeared at several places in our immediate 
neighbourhood, as many members of the Society will recollect. 
(See p. 146.) Formerly the butterfly was supposed to appear in 
the country only at intervals of five or six years, but lately it has 
been gradually getting more common, and was very plentiful in 
many places last season. I had the pleasure of taking several at 
Folkestone — no light task, I can assure my readers, for it is very 
strong on the wing, and delights (at least in that neighbourhood) 
to soar up and down the hills and clifi's, which slope at an angle 
of about 50°. In fact, all three members of this family are very 
rapid flyers, and cannot be overtaken in fair chase across country. 
Great caution and tact are necessary, more esj)ecially for Eclu&a. 
But the captor is well repaid when successful, for the contrast 
between the broad black border of the wings and the deep orange 
chrome of the middle is very magnificent. The border gradually 
narrows from front to rear ; in the female it is chequered with 
lighter orange spots, which the male does not possess. There is 
a black spot near the margin of the fi-ont wings, and a large cir- 
cular one of deep orange in the centre of the hind wings which 
are suffused with a delicate green shade. The caterpillar feeds 
on clover and similar plants. A variety of the female occurs, 
having the ground colour milk white instead of the usiial hue. 

Colias Hyale is the species not found in this district : it has 
been taken near Eton. 

Hy. Ullyett. 



165 



MhWm. 



PERHAPS tlie most amusing, and by no means the least 
instructive, of the many branches into which the study of 
local Natural History divides itself, is the one which directs 
attention to the cmious traditions concerning animals and plants 
which have been handed down from generation to generation, 
and which still retain their hold in rural districts. Closely con- 
nected with this subject is that of the colloquial, or vulgar, names 
attached to various natural objects, the derivation of which 
is interesting both to the philologist and the naturalist. We 
have already expressed our wish to receive and publish all the 
information obtainable in our own district on these points, and it 
may be as well to commence with the few notes we have at pre- 
sent collected, in the hope that others may be m-ged to contribute 
their quota for the general benefit. 

Snakes are ever fruitful subjects of rustic superstition. One 
of our members had killed a Slow- worm {Angiiis fragilis), and 
was carrying it home on a stick. A sagacious peasant, however, 
warned him to be careful, for the thing couldn't die until the sun 
set, "no, not if j-ou was to cut it in pieces." Of course, the popular 
errors regarding snakes are in full force here ; although, to his 
honour let it be recorded, one man confided to us his belief that 
" common snakes wasn't poisonous, only adders and vipers," 
which seem to be regarded as two different things. Even the 
Land Efts do not escape condemnation : there is supposed to be 
no cure for their bite ! (See p. 25.) Eeport says that a man at 
Flackwell Heath died from the effects of the bite of a Newt ! 
Further particulars are solicited. 

A curious distinction is made between the Common White 
Butterflies {Pieris) and the more brilliantly-coloured species. 
The former are called Butterflies, but the latter receive the 
remarkable designation of Hobhowchins ! 



166 FOLK-LOBE. 

The following treatment of epilepsy we commend to the 
medical profession. When other supposed remedies had failed, 
a travelling packman was consulted. He suggested two methods 
of cure, both of which were faithfully tried. The first was, that 
the afflicted person should procure a Jay ; every morning, fast- 
ing, she was to chew a piece of bread, and then give it the bird 
to eat ; on the death of the poor creature, the fits would cease. 
To make assurance doubly sure, another remedy was added, viz., 
a silver ring, to be worn on the ring-finger as an " amberlet " 
(amulet ?), to be subscribed for and presented to the patient with- 
out her previous knowledge ! The point of the joke lies in the 
fact that this mode of treatment was announced hy the invalid her- 
self. We regret that we are unable to state whether a cure was 
effected. 

Among our wild flowers, we find that the name "Cuckoo's 
Victuals" is applied both to the 'Woo^-soxvel^Oxalis Acetosella) and 
the Herb Eobert {Geranitcm Rolertianum). The former can trace 
its claim to the name back to the days of Gerai-de, who speaks of it 
as " Cuckowes meate, because either the Cuckow feedeth thereon, 
or by reason (that) when it springeth forth and floureth the 
Cuckow singeth most ; " both of these reasons would, however, 
apply equally well to the Herb Eobert. The latter is, indeed, a 
favourite with our villagers, who also call it " Cuckoo's Eye," 
" Billy Buttons," and " Eagged Eobin." The second of these is 
applied to the Eed Campion {Lychnis diiirna), in disti'icts where 
that plant is plentiful : the third is undoubtedly the property of 
L. Flos-cuculi, being admirably descriptive of its jagged, irregular 
flowers. " Cuckoo's Eye," "Bird's Eye," and " Cat's Eye," are 
names given to the lovely Germander Speedwell ( Veronica Chamee- 
drys) ; and they certainly are by no means inappropriate to the 
bright blue flowers of the prettiest, though, perhaps, com- 
monest, of our Speedwells. At Buckingham, the Marsh Mari- 
gold {Caltha 2}ah(stris) is known by the singular name of " John- 
Georges ; " why, we cannot even conjecture. The name " Devil 
o' both sides," applied to the Corn Qvo-^^riooi {Rammcuhis arvensis), 
although inelegant, is at least appropriate, when we consider 



FOLK-LOBE. 167 

the sharp spines with, which the ripe seed-vessels are beset. 
"Blackseed " is also well applied to the Nonsuch or Yellow Trefoil 
{Medicago Itiptilina). A herb in great repute for its healing pro- 
perties ia the Hedge Woundwort {Stachys sylvatica) ; medical 
skill sinks into insignificance by the side of the ointment pre- 
pared from its foliage : it is called " Cows' Weather (or Withy) 
Wind," the i in the last word being pronounced as in wine. The 
Bird's-foot Trefoil {Lotus corniculatus) is called " Cats-claws," and 
" Shoes-and-Stockings." Another spring flower which is con- 
nected with the Cuckoo is the Great Stitchwort {Stellaria Holostea), 
which is called " Cuckoo's Meat." The White Campion {Lychnis 
vespertina) claims the names of " Cow-rattle " and " Bull-rattle." 
The Mealy Guelder Eose ( Viburnum Lantana)ia named "Coventry." 
The Early Purple Orchis ( Orchis mascula) is called " Kingfingers." 

The Great Mullein ( Verhascum Thapsus) is vaguely said to be 
Vgood for colds," and bears the names " Eag-paper " and 
? Poor-man's Flannel." Gerarde says that " the root, boiled in 
water and drunke, prevaileth much against the old cough." The 
same old writer remarks of the Tutsan {Hypericum Androscemum) 
that " the leaves laid upon broken shins healeth them, and many 
other hurts and griefes, whereof it took his name Toute-saine, or 
Tutsane, of healing all things." Our Buckinghamshire people 
now call it " Touch-and-Heal," and consider it " a capital thing 
to put to cuts." It is curious to notice that the Mezereon {Daphne 
Mezereum) still retains a semblance of its proper name in ' ' Maza- 
lum ; " there is an idea that it can be budded from the Wood 
Laurel {D. Laureola) " by them as knows how." 

Here, for the present, wo will " hold our hand." Enough has 
been said to show how, in many cases, the traditions of our 
fathers have been handed down to the present time. We hope to 
return to the subject very shortly, and shall be glad to receive, from 
any ingenious reader, suggestions as to the derivation of those 
names which at present appear obscure. We have by no means 
exhausted our resources, and we hope that our readers will assist 
us to the utmost of their power in our journey into " Uldwivesr 
fabledom." 



|^'a.v^'\fVv^YT^<> 



168 



THIRD WINTER SESSION— 1867-18 



First Evening Meeting, Nov. 5. — Held by kind invitation at the house 
of the President, Tea and coffee having been xwovided at 6 p.m., the 
President opened the proceedings with an interesting and instructive address, 
in wliich he briefly adverted to the rise, progress, and present state of the 
Society, with some remarks on its aims and future prosj)ects. He then 
introduced the Rev. W. Bramley-Moore, who read an exhaustive paper on 
" Local Museums." This has since been published in pamphlet form, and a 
copy is issued -with the present number. At its conclusion a long discussion 
as to the practicability of establishing a Local Museum in Wycombe, took 
place, considerable interest being manifested in the subject. It was resolved 
that steps should be taken to ascertain how far such an object might be 
practicable : and the great hindrance — the want of a proper building — was 
alluded to. The d?sirability of making a commencement, however smaU, 
seemed to be generally felt. The Secretary then read apaper on "Additions 
to the Wycombe Flora, 1867," which will be found at p. 153. The objects 
exhibited were chiefly geological, many of them having been obtained by the 
President during a recent visit to Llandudno and other parts of North 
Wales. Living specimens of various fishes were exhibited in glass globes : 
and Miss Chandler's herbarium furnished a series of our local Gcraniacea: 
and FrwmlacecB, The President then produced his new binocular micro- 
scope, and exhibited, by its aid, many objects of interest. The meeting, 
wliich was very numerously attended, separated at about 9.30 p.m. 

Second Evening Meeting, December 10.— Held at the house of John 
Pai-ker, Esq., at his kind invitation. The Secretary read a paper from Mr. 
Ullyett, on "Our Ferns;" this was illustrated by cbied .specimens of the 
species enumerated, and appeared to excite general interest. In the course 
of conversation Mr. F. Wheeler remarked that he had noticed several 
specimens of the Clouded Yellow ( CoUas Edusa) near Saunderton, during the 
past season ; this locality is an addition to those previously named for it. The 
President gave an address on Geology, bearing upon the Antiquity of Man, 
illustrated by various fossil remains and diagrams. The objects exhibited 
included insects, shells, and fossils : some very beautiful living Diatoms and 
Desmids were shown mrder the microscope. The meeting, M-hich concluded 
with the usual yotes of thanks, did not break up until nearly 10 p.m. 



169 



CJarfi^iSpoutUm'e. 



T\'e shall be glad to receive ajiicles on any natural ohjects, the preference 
being always given to such as have a local interest. Notes on the popular 
names of, or traditions conceryiing. Animals or Plants, oi' on any subject con- 
nected with Natural History, nill be welcome. 



Flora of Bucks.— Having lately 
published a list of the plants at 
present recorded for the county of 
Buckingham, with a view to com- 
piling at some future period, a com- 
plete Flora of the county. I shall be 
glad to forward a copy to any one 
interested in the subject. I have 
enumerated 777 species and 22 
varieties ; additional localities for any 
of which, especially in the north of the 
county, will be thankfully received. 
Since the list was published, the 
follo^ving species have been added to 
it: Filago galUca, of which a speci- 
men exists in the British Museum, 
gathered near Iver, by Mr. Light- 
foot ; Potamogeton jwrfoliutus aiul 
P. pusillus, observed near Great 
Marlow in 1864, by J. C. Melvill, 
Esq., of Trin. Coll., Cambridge. 
Any information or co-operation, 
however slight, will be valued. 

James Bkittex. 

High Wycombe. 

The Birds of Berkshire and 
Buckinghamshire. — Mr Alexander 
Clark- Kennedy, a member of our 
Society, is about to issue, under the 
above title, " a description of the 
local distribution of all the British 
Birds that have ever (as far as the 
author knows) occurred in Berkshire 
and Buckinghamshire." We trust 
that many of our readers and con- 
tributors will use their endeavours 
to render this work as complete as 
possible. Mr. Alexander Clark- 
Kennedy -RTites : — " My book will 
probably be published next March, 
80 that, up to that time, any notes, 
however trivial, will be very accept- 
able to me. Notes on the occurreiice 
of rare visitors in your neighbour- 
hood, original anecdotes of birds, the 
dates of the arrival and departure of 
our migrants, will likewise be grate- 
fully received." It is hoped that 
this appeal may meet with a cordial 
response, as one great object of our 



Society is to bring together the 
observations of its members. The 
work will be illustrated by coloured 
photographs ; its price to subscribers 
being 6s. All communications 
should be addressed to Alexander 
Clark-Kennedy, Esq., Messrs. Ingram 
and Halton, Booksellers, Eton, by 
whom also subscribers' names will be 
received : or to the care of the Hon. 
Sec of the High Wycombe Natural 
History Society. 

The Wheatear {Saxicola 

ananthe). — In the Dctober number 
of your Magazine, Mr. T. Marshall 
notes the occurrence of the Wheatear 
at High Wycombe in the month of 
March. I have observed the same 
here in about the middle of that 
month. I generally see a few pairs 
on the Do^\Ti in March, and again in 
October ; they remain only a few 
days, and then disappear. I re- 
member once seeing nearly forty 
birds of this species in a field near 
Salisbury, they frequented the same 
spot for about four days ; afterwards 
not one was to be seen in the neigh- 
bourhood. This occurred in March. 
Anthony S. Bradby. 

Moundsmere, Hants. 

The Hedgehog. — Mr. Augustine 
Gaviller writes : " I do not forget 
standing up in the vestry of 
Wycombe Church at one of our 
meetings there, over twenty years 
ago, to object to the payment, by 
the then Churchwardens, of a sum 
of money for killing hedgehogs and 
sparrows : and that an old farmer 
then present took me to task for 
saying that hedgehogs were com- 
paratively harmless animals : he in- 
formed me that I was greatly 
mistaken, for they suched cows, and 
thus spoilt them. I told him I 
would pay any man a handsome 
reward who could give me clear 
evidence of this, that their teeth 



170 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



■were like cats' teeth, and that I 
much doubted whether a cat could 
be caught sucking a cow, however 
fond it might be of milk. On 
this the old gentleman was rather 
wrath, and thought I was wholly 
ignorant of country matters. Speak- 
ing of cats taking milk, I remember 
many times seeing a cat of mine 
stand up on her hind legs when my 
cows were being milked, and seeing 
her divert the stream of milk into 
her mouth with her fore-paws before 
it got to the pail." 

The following might well have 
caUed forth one of Gray's classical 
sonnets, had the poet's eye witnessed 
the incident. As I was sitting in 
my study one Sunday morning, a 
robin hopped near the window as he 
poured forth his song. The cat, 
who was inside the room, and some- 
what hidden by the ledge, sprang 
out and seized the songster. Her 
growls of satisfaction seemed to sing 
his requiem. For some cause or 
other, possibly to secure a better 
grip, she relaxed her hold, and the 
robin instantly flew off, perched 
upon my garden wall, and there 
finished his interrupted song. 

William Bramley-Moore. 

Gerrard's Cross. 

In the summer of last year I met 
with a singular instance of tenacity 
of life in a rabbit. Walking] in the 
wood above Wycombe Park, my 
attention was attracted to a rabbit 
which ran out into the open glade 
pursued by my dog. It doubled 
again and again in a feeble way, 
and I hastened to the rescue, believ- 
ing it to be wounded. I hastily 
secured it, folded it in my cloak, and 
carried it home ; on producing my 
prize a piteous spectacle met our 
view. The little creature had no eyes, 
and through the empty sockets we 
could see quite into the head, which 
appeared hollow and almost in a 
state of decomposition, while the 
body was plump and healthy. It 
appeared to me a singular incident, 
and worth recording. I should be 
glad to know if any of your corres- 
pondents have met with a similar 
one, and can explain the cause of it. 

High Wycombe. E, C. 



The Stoat. — I once had a very 
good opportunity of observing one of 
these animals in West Wycombe 
Park. It was hunting about among 
some dead leaves very assiduously, 
and by remaining perfectly quiet I 
was able to watch it through my 
glass for a good quarter of an hour. 
On hearing the slightest sound, 
however distant, it would instantly 
pause, and rearing itself on its hind 
legs, peep round in every direction 
to ascertain the cause. If satisfied, 
it would resume its search, but if 
another sound followed immediately, 
it darted into its hole. Here it 
would remain a minute or two, and 
then cautiously emerge, looking 
about to see if the coast was clear. 
At last it settled itself down on a 
bank, and drawing its forelegs under- 
neath its body, it went to sleep. 
The Stoat is much commoner than is 
general! \ supposed, but being very 
retiring in its habits, and very timid, 
it is seldom seen. A very fine 
specimen was taken two or three 
years ago at West Wycombe, 
measuring 16 inches in length : it is 
now in the possession of Dr. 
Bowstead. 

Hy. Ullyett. 

Scarcity of CommonLepidoptera. 
— The Brimstone Butterfly generally 
so very plentiful round High 
Wycombe, seems to have been very 
uncommon during the last season. 
I saw more hybernated specimens in 
the spring than freshly emerged ones 
in August. Can any of your readers 
suggest a reason for this ? Had the 
frosts of May anything to do with it ? 
The Small TortoisesheU and the 
Peacock have not been by any 
means so plentiful as formerly. 

A. 

[We should be glad to hear from 
other correspondents whether the 
same scarcity has prevailed in neigh- 
bouring districts. Ed.] 

Late Martins. — On Saturday, 
November 16th, I saw two Martins 
flying about over the Taplow road, 
near Maidenhead. The latest date 
on which I have observed them in 
previous years was on November 15, 
in 1863, at High Wycombe. 

T. Maeshah. 



171 



§<At^ ott ^utfeittQftamjshir^ ^\mi»,^l. 



IT is my intention to publish, at intervals, in our Magazine, 
short papers upon the various points of interest pre- 
sented by a subject which has engaged much of my attention, 
— the Flora of Buckinghamshire. The following is a list of 
plants which have been recorded as natives of Bucks, but which 
are not known to have been found in the county for at least sixty 
years. There is nothing improbable in the occurrence of any of 
those enumerated ; and one object which I have in view is to 
obtain, if possible, recent confirmation of the correctness of the 
localities assigned to the different species. All the plants named 
are recorded as natives of Bucks solely on the authority given. 
The principal of these is Turner and Dillwyn's 'Botanists' 
Guide,' published in 1805, to which I refer, for convenience, by 
the letters £. G. following the locality. 

Hellelorus fmtidus, L. ** Chalk hill near Hedsor Wharf, Mr. 
GotoleiV B. O. 

Turritis glahra, L. "Eoadsides and old gravel-pits near 
Burnham, Mr. Gotoled. About Denham, Mr. J. Eayer." B. G. 

Teesdalia nudicaulis, E. Br. " SalthiU (near Eton), Mr. 
Gotoled:' B. G. 

Dianthus deltoides, L. "On Mantham Hill, near Slough, 
about a mile and a half from "Windsor." Ray {Synopsis iii., 366). 
" On a wall at Langley, near Iver. Blachtone. On Salthill, Mr. 
J. Bayer:' B. G. 

Sagina suhulata, Wimm. " Dry banks on Iver Heath. M>\ 
Gotoled:' B. G. 

Erodkim moschatum, Sm. "On the rubbish near Salthill. 
Mr. Gotoled:' B. G. 

Radiola millegrana, Sm. " On Gerrard's Cross Common, near 
Bulstrode, in great plenty. Mr. Gotoled." B. G. 



172 NOTES ON BUCKINGHAMSHIRE PLANTS. 

Lathyrus Aphaca, L. "Among the corn near Denham." 
Blaclcstone. " Gravel pit near Bumham. Mr. Gotohed." B. G. 

Seseli Libanotis, Koch. " Inter St. Alban's et Stoney Strat- 
ford." Hudson. This station may be either in Herts, Beds, or 
Bucks. See Flora Hertfordiensis, p. 123. 

Tordylium maximum, L. "Hedges near Etonwick, in the 
greatest abundance. Mr. Gotohed." B. G. 

Filago gallica, L. A specimen in the Banksian Herbarium, at 
the British Museum, gathered near Iver by Mr. Lightfoot. 

Xanfhium Strumarium, L. "I found in the highway leading 
from Draiton to Iver, two miles from Colebrook." Gerarde. 

Jasione montana, L. " Lane between Denham and Iver 
Heath," Blachstone. 

Andromeda polifoUa, L. " On Iver Heath, iJ/r. J". i2«yer." B. G. 

Melampyrum cristatum, L. " In a field that goes off Moreton 
Green in the road from Wendover to EUesborough. Blach- 
stone." B. G. 

Mentha rotundifolia, L. "Between High and West Wycombe. 
Mr. J. Bayer." B. G. 

M. rubra, Sm. not Fr. "By the river side a mile below 
Denham. Blackstone." B. G. 

Centunculus minimus, Tj. " On Gerrard's Cross Common, near 
Bulstrode, in great plenty. Mr. Gotobed." B.G. 

Chenopodium olidum, Curt. "On rubbish at Eton. Mr. 
Gotobed." B. G. 

Thesium humifusum, DC. " Chalk banks near Marlow. Mr. 
Gotobed." B. G. 

Salix rubra, Huds. " In the osier-holt between Maidenhead 
and Windsor." Ray. 

Myrica Gale, Jj. " By Colebrooke." Gerarde. 

Habenaria viridis, E. Br. " Marlow Wood, rare. Mr. 
Gotobed." B. G. 

Carex Pseudo-cyperus, L. "Ditches near Eton, not uncommon. 
Mr. Gotobed." B. G. 

C. ampullacea. Good. " Chalvey-ditch, near Eton, Mr. 
Gotobed." B. G. 

Jakes Bbitten. 



173 



Wit iirdis ti CJaofettam m& i\tt ^liQUftrntrftoort. 



THE KINGFISHER.— Continued from page 152. 



FROM his -window opposite this point, he has watched them, 
and he tells me he has sometimes seen Kingfishers dive un- 
successfully five or six times, each time returning to the post. 
I would venture to suggest that the bird does not always dive for 
fish, but that he makes a commotion in order to attract them, for 
we all know how fish will assemble at any point where a stone has 
been thrown in or the water otherwise disturbed. Mr. Briggs 
concurs with me in this idea, and I well remember seeing a 
Kingfisher on Widbrook Common, near Cookham, dashing into 
a Little brook which traverses it, first one way and then the 
other, and making the water fly in all directions. Six times did 
it plunge, and it is obvious it did not catch six fish ; and as 
it took up its station on a wiUow immediately above the spot 
it had disturbed, I can only suppose it was attracting the 
fish to the spot by the commotion it had caused. When the 
bird has captured its finny prey, it does not always kill it 
on the branch from which it dived, but carries it further on 
to another resting-place, where it taps it sharply in order 
to kill it, and then swallows it whole. The favourite place 
for this purpose is the side of a boat or punt, and there is a 
boat moored in the stream running up one side of Formosa, 
towards Mr. Venables' Mill, which is a chosen resort for the 
Kingfishers. Here they alight and rest after swallowing their 
prey, and the bottom of the boat is often strewn with the 
pellets thrown up by them. Two birds are often seen seated 
close together on the boat's side ; and the rap they give the 
fish before swallowing it can be heard a long distance off. I 
have studied their habits round Cookham, and I believe that 
each bird has its own separate hunting ground, and its own 
favourite posts ; for after some weeks pursued in watching them 
round Odney Common, and thence through Miss Fleming's 
grounds at the drove, I used to know, when I had started 



174 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOUEHOOD. 

one, where it would settle next, and have proved this to my 
friends on several occasions. It is a quarrelsome bird, for if 
one Kingfisher intrudes on the hunting ground of another, or 
comes near the spot where one is already seated, the latter 
darts at the intruder, and then ensues a loud screaming, one 
chasing the other round and round, until it has driven the 
stranger off, when it settles again, and resumes its former 
perch. At these times the rate at which they fly is prodigious, 
and I think, for a small distance, for it is by no means a bird 
of long flight, the Kingfisher is the swiftest flying bird in 
existence. When fairly settled on a post, it sits " all of a 
heap," occasionally jerking its head up and down on its 
shoulders like Hawks do ; and so intent does the bird become 
on the pursuit of its prey, that it can often be surprised by 
any one walking along the bank of a stream. I know 
two instances within the last few years of the Kingfishers 
falling victims to cats ; for the finest specimen I ever saw was 
captured by a cat on Mr. Charles Venables' grounds at Taplow, 
while Stanniforth, who has been already mentioned in the 
account of the Osprey, had another, caught by his own cat 
near Cookham Lock. The Kingfisher does not always breed 
in the banks of a river, the enormous increase of rats having, 
no doubt, contributed to thin their numbers and drive them 
away. A pair built in a bank in Mr. Goulden's garden at 
Maidenhead, last year, although there was no water near. 
The brood was hatched, but the young birds were devoiu*ed 
by a cat or by rats. The bones composing the nest can even 
now be taken out with the hand. Mr. Briggs tells me that 
he has met with several instances of the breeding of this 
species away from the water, a pair having reared their young 
in a chalk pit at Taplow Court, for several successive years; 
while at Billing-bear he found a pair breeding in a gravel pit, 
the nearest stream being four miles off, and no water near 
the place except a tiny rivulet, containing a scanty supply of 
sticklebacks. Lately, some correspondent in Land mid Water 
Called attention to the fact of this epscies breeding away froni 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOtTRHOOD. 175 

the water, and immediately instances were quoted in reply. As I 
am particularly interested in the Kingfishers, being now engaged 
in a monograph of the Alcedinida, I should be glad of any notes 
or specimens of any species, and for this purpose would ask 
any of my readers who may have the opportunity of com- 
municating with friends abroad, to endeavour to obtain speci- 
mens for me, in spirits; all such help will be gratefuUy 
acknowledged in my work. 

In conclusion, I may remark that I believe the powers of 
flight in the Kingfisher to be greatly underrated, for I am 
convinced that it is migratory to a great degree, coming south 
as the winter approaches. I have always noticed (and Mr. 
Briggs also) that a decided increase always takes place in the 
number of Kingfishers towards the end of October, and as 
regards its powers of flight, my friend Mr. J. E. Harting 
tells me he has seen Kingfishers fly straight out to sea imtil 
lost in the distance. If then our estimate of the Common 
Kingfisher's power of flight be under the mark, we ought not 
to be sui'prised at the Belted Kingfisher's appearance in 
Ireland, as the bird might have rested on floating spars or 
seaweed on its passage across the ocean fi'om North America, and 
thus have been able to reach Europe. The only cause of wonder 
is on what can it have fed aU the time, and why have no 
more been observed in Europe before or since ? 

Order Scansores. 

Fam. Ctjculidje. 

Cuculus. 

20. Cuculus canorus. The Common Cuckoo. 

A curious fact occurred this summer in connection with a 

Cuckoo at the Zoological Gardens, which was duly noticed in 

Land and Water. In an aviary where a Cuckoo was living 

which had survived the winter, a hedge-sparrow {Accentor 

modularis) was seen. Whether he was put in or had entered 

of his own accord, is not known, but no sooner did the Cuckoo 

perceive the little bu'd than he immediately greeted it, flapping 

his wings, and with open mouth wantetl the hedge-sparrow to 



176 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM ANB THE NEiaHBOmHOOD. 

feed it. The bird was quite full grown, and Mr. Bartlett 
tells me he has often heard it cry " cuckoo." 

At Cookham the Cuckoo is plentiful in some years, but at 
other times scarce, and I have noticed a curious fact, that in 
those years when the bird is commonest, the "Wryneck, which 
is called the " Cuckoo's Mate " by the villagers, is seen only 
sparingly, and also when the latter bird is plentiful, the Cuckoo 
is comparatively rare. For instance, in 1865 Cuckoos were very 
numerous, and Mr. Briggs found four eggs in the gardens at 
Formosa alone, but in 1866 the bird was seldom seen or heard; 
while the Wryneck was very common, several being shot in the 
neighbourhood. Again, this year (1867) the Cuckoo was more 
common, but there were very few Wrynecks. According to 
Mr. Briggs's experience, and my own, the nest generally selected 
by the Cuckoo near Cookham is that of the Pied Wagtail 
(Jf. Tarrellii), and in nearly every instance the young birds 
we have noticed flying about towards the end of July or the 
beginning of August have been fed by this same bird. The 
egg deposited by the Cuckoo has always closely resembled those 
of the Wagtail, and I have more than once been inclined to 
disbelieve Mr. Briggs when he has shown me the eggs, as to 
there being a Cuckoo's in the nest, so ahke were they, and 
but for a sHght predominance in the size of the Cuckoo's egg, 
it would be almost impossible to distinguish one from the other. 
However, in every instance a young Cuckoo has appeared in 
due course, and the proper inhabitants of the nest having been 
ejected, has remained master of the field. Mr. Briggs thinks that 
the old birds, although they cease to call, do not leave the 
young ones until they are able to fly, when they all quit the 
country together, I have sometimes seen very late birds, and 
well remember watching a young Cuckoo catching flies in the 
grounds of the Grove. It was towards the middle of September, 
1865, and I was standing in the midst of a clump of fir and ash 
trees, when I saw the bird descend and catch an insect. It 
settled on a branch not twenty yards off, whence it again des- 
cended, and took a fly or other insect o£f the trunk of one of the 



i 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE IJEIGHBOtniHOOD. 177 

fir trees, clinging to the tree with both feet. It was full grown, 

evidently, but in the dark mottled plumage of the young bird. 

Fain. PiCLD^. 

Sul-fam. PioiN^, 

Picus. 

21. Picus major. The Great Spotted Woodpecker. 
This handsome bird is often heard round Formosa, and 

especially on the elm trees in Lady Young's grounds adjoining. 
It breeds in CHefden Woods, and towards the end of August 
and the beginning of September, both the Larger and Lesser 
Spotted Woodpeckers descend to the gardens at Formosa from 
the opposite woods, to feed upon the American blight, as Mr. 
Briggs calls it, which is then in such abundance on cankered 
apple trees. Its note may weU be represented by the words 
quick, quick. 

22. Picus minor. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. 
Most of my readers, no doubt, possess, or have seen, a copy 

of Mr. Gould's magnificent work on the Birds of Great Britain. 
In Part HI. will be noticed a beautiful illustration of the present 
and last named species. This pretty little Woodpecker is by 
no means rare at Cookham, and in the above work the author 
justly acknowledges the assistance of Mr. Briggs in procuring 
for him both birds and eggs. As P. major frequents the elm 
trees, so does P. minor the poplar, and it has reared its young at 
Formosa for several successive seasons. The enormous height at 
which the bird buUds successfully prevents any rash attempt at 
procuring its eggs, and at present I am content with a pair of 
birds and a portion of the branch containing the hole in which 
the birds bred last year. They always select the very rottenest 
branches, and the piece in my possession was blown off in one of 
the severe gales last year. Mr. Briggs is one of the most 
expert climbers I ever saw, and few men would have had the 
nerve to -mount to the dizzy height at which he procured 
the nest for Mr. Gould. The longest ladder in the village 
was fetched, but it did not reach one third of the distance 
to the hole, and the tree was most difficult to climb, 
Nothing daunted, however, he mounted up, with a saw in 



178 THE BIEDS OF OOOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOUBHOOD. 

his hand, and a coil of rope to tie himself to the tree, and 
to let down the branch. After great exertions he reached the 
nest, and having secured himself, he sawed off the branch, 
and let it down to the ground without breaking an egg. He 
was by this time nearly exhausted, and could hardly move, 
but at length he reached the ground whore his wife was waiting 
for him, having been dreadfully frightened at seeing the danger he 
was in. This was the most perilous climb he ever had, but he 
has procured several nests of this species for Mr. Gould, and I do 
not despair of having the eggs in my own collection before long, 
as they are not rare. Mrs. De Vitre has a fine pair of the birds 
in her collection, and I have a nice male and female in my own. 
Mr. Goxxld does not mention a peculiar habit of this bird in his 
Birds of Great Britain, which is, the way in which they call and 
answer each other. The note of the larger species can be heard 
a long distance off, and its voice is powerful ; but the present 
species has a very weak note indeed, though somewhat re- 
sembhng the cry of P. major. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker 
is one of the earliest birds to pair ; and at the period of nidifica- 
tion they are exceedingly busy, and constantly uttering their note. 
Now, as the tall poplar trees in which the birds breed are at 
either end of a very lai'ge field, separated from each other by 
about three hundred yards, the call note of the bird would not 
penetrate a quarter of the distance. It often happens that the two 
birds are at opposite sides of the field, so in order to call its mate, 
one of them runs up to the topmost and thinnest branches of the 
tree, tapping vigorously all the while, the tirr-r-r-r becoming 
shriller as the bird ascends. In this manner he can call his mate, 
for the sound can be heard a very long way olf, and he is answered 
in the same way by the bird from the other side of the field. 
This species is very restless in its flight, flitting constantly from 
bough to bough at the tops of the poplar trees. Mr. Briggs tells 
me that Woodpeckers, but more especially the present species, 
when shot, cling to the trunk of the tree in their dying grasp, 
and many, although quite dead, so that it sometimes requires a 

second shot to dislodge them. 

E. B. Shabpe. 
To ie contimed. 



A 



PIC .3 Fit .4 PIC .b 



<^ 




ic .6 



FIC .^ 





P"=-7 FIC.S 

00 a 



FIC . 12. 
FIC. II ^,--^ p,c.,3. 




(? 



K 





FIO. 16. 



179 



(Dtt tire ^uA^ or 3vm^ t>t litn^i.* 



THE varied forms and beautiful construction of the seeds of 
our flowering plants have long occupied the attention of 
observers of nature, but the seeds, or spores, of fungi, from 
their diminutive size, and the impossibility of investigating 
them -n-ithout the aid of a microscope, have been comparatively 
unnoticed. In this paper I shall endeavour to direct attention 
to the endless variety and beauty -which exists in these minute 
organisms, as in every object, small or great, in the vast kingdom 
of Nature. 

Some fungi-spores are smooth, dry, and polished, others are 
viscid and sticky ; some are very persistent, whilst a fourth 
are very evanescent, and speedily collapse and perish. Some 
possess highly poisonous properties, for Dr. Badham is said 
once to have suffered violently from simply tasting those of 
one of the Milk-mushrooms ! Indeed, many species are acrid 
and pungent to an extreme degi'co : some varieties at onco 
attack and inflame the mouth; whilst others are more quiet, 
with a taste at fii-st, sweet, mild, or inoffensive, but which 
after a time, causes violent pain, and in at least two species, 
constriction of the throat. It has more than once been suggested 
that the mysterious poison of the gipsies, the so called "drei,"' 
which is said to be a soft impalpable powder, is nothing more 
nor less than fungi-spores, gathered from some poisonous species. 

Such minute objects are, of necessity, light ; they are therefore 
ever present in the air, and are blown hither and thither by 
every breeze. When the seeds happen to alight on a suitable 
matrix, with favourable external conditions of light and moisture, 
they germinate, and form the so-called spawn ; if a large number 
aU germinate together, the spawn becomes confluent, and forms 

* Read before the Socletj' at the Fourth Meeting (Feb. 4, 1868) of th« 
Thh d Wintw Seanisni Wr«n i 

t 



180 ON THE SEEDS OR SPORES 01? FUNGI. 

one mass. It is from this spawn that the muslirooms arise, first 
appearing as mmiite points tlie size of a pin's lieacl, speedily 
increasing to tlie size of a pea, or of a marble, till at last the 
perfect plants appear, loaded with millions of spores, ready to 
continue the work of rej)roduction. The seeds, or spores, are 
found evei'ywhere, in towns as well as in the country, in houses, 
cellars, and indeed, within the human body itself, as they are 
constant^ met with during post mortem examinations ! How 
far diseases are aided, promulgated, or caused, by the germinating 
seeds of fungi it is very difficult at the present time to say. 

Some fungi-seeds, as in the common Truffle of our mai'kets, 
are entirely subterraneous, and never see the light. The truffles 
are found beneath the surface of the ground, and within them 
are the seeds, sculptured and ornamented ; of necessity these seeds 
are always underground, but on the death of the parent plant, they 
are set free, to form the spawn for succeeding generations. The 
seeds of some mushrooms never germinate elsewhere than on 
certain trees, as in the Elm Agaric ; it is therefore evident in 
this species that whatever number of seeds be strewn about, 
none will germinate but sucli as alight upon moist or damaged 
places on elm trunks ; every year in the autumn there is an 
abundance of these things on the elms in St. James's Park, 
near the Horse Guards. A great many will only germinate 
in rich dungy meadows, in dense woods, or on open downs ; 
some in cellars and cupboards ; whilst some varieties will 
only grow xipon oilier viuslirooinx, adhering to them and 
bearing them down, like the Old Man of the Sea on the back 
of Sindbad the Sailor. 

Inexperienced persons are apt to think that thei'e is no 
order in the arrangement and functions of these minute objects, 
and that the seed of one species may, under suitable conditions, 
produce the perfect plant of another, but all experience points 
in the opposite direction. Tor, after all, wliat is size in nature ? 
it is merely relative : one thing appears large only on being 
compared with something smaller. It is as impossible for the 
seeds of an edible mushroom on germinating to produce a 
poison^ite species as it is for a lamlb to give birth to a Uqu, 



ON THE SEEDS OR SPOEES OF FUNGI. 181 

Some seeds are a long time in germinating, and the produce 
lasts a considerable time ; other seeds (as of the ephemeral 
and fragile mushroom-like fungi which a breath destroys, so 
common on dunghiUs or dungy ground), germinate rapidly, 
produce the perfect plant, teeming with fresh seeds, and at 
once dissolve into a few drops of inky fluid. As a rule, all 
fungi seeds grow readily on decaying substances, such as the 
half rotten leaves of trees, dead grass, rotten wood, &c. ; the 
seeds of some half-dozen species never germinate elsewhere 
than on fallen fir-cones, others again on acorns or ash-keys, 
beech-nuts, or fallen and decaying twigs and branches. The 
perfect plants are evidently vegetable scavengers, whose chief 
office is to eat up and destroy all the (Uhris of the plant world. 

Many minute insects are very fond of fungi seeds, and eat 
them up eagerly. It is almost impossible to preserve some 
spores in the herbarium, they are so attacked by minute 
creatures, who ravenously devour the fungoid sweetmeats. 
The seeds of other fimgi, however, in their turn, attack insects, 
and sticking between the segments of their bodies, there germi- 
nate, transforming the juices of the insect into a spawn-like 
mass. When caterpillars bury themselves in the autumn to 
assume their chrysalis condition, the seed of a fungus finds them 
out and sucks their juices ; the fungus itself then appears alove 
the ground hke a small crimson club, which should be a warning 
to all caterpillars in the neighbourhood who may not yet have 
put on their chrysalis livery.* 

* By tlie kindness of Mr. Ilavdwicke we are enabled to give several 
fig\ires illustrative of this peculiar growth of fungi. Figs. 17, 18, 19, are 
British species, attached in the one case to the chrysalis, and in the other to 
the larvffi, of a moth : the iirst is Toirulia militaris, the second and third 
T. entomorrlnza. Some foreign species of this genus attain a great size : fig. 
15 represents one found in Tasmania (T. Gniinii). The most remarkable of 
all, however, is the New Zealand T. Eolerisii (fig. 16 c), parasitic upon a 
species of Swift moth {Ilepialus vircscens). It has been erroneously supposed 
that the horn, with which we are all familiar on the larvaj and pupee of the 
Spliinges or Hawkmoths (fig. 16 a andb), was in reality the germ of a fungus, 
but this is incorrect, as the Torrubia is not parasitic upon a Sphinx at all. 
"Withering speaks of T. entomorrlnza as having been found " on the dead 
larvee of insects in woods near Bulstrode, Buckinghamshire." For further 
information on these interestuig productions we refer our readers to Science 
Gostij} for 1866, pp. 127, 176.— Ed. 



182 ON THE SEEDS OR SPOEES OF FUNGI. 

The wliito seeds of the Clouded Mushroom germinate in woods 
(generally on old fir leaves), whilst the pink seeds of Lowe's 
Mushroom invariahhj germinate on the top of the former, and 
never grow elsewhere : there is even a third fungus, which attacks 
and destroys both. But although the arrangements of nature 
are sometimes involved and complicated, there is no such thing 
as confusion : confusion only arises in our imperfect compre- 
hension of her works. As regards the seeds of fungi, they 
each and all germinate at their proper seasons, and in their 
appointed places : each one is perfectly distinct from its neigh- 
bours, and many species of fungi can be recognised by the seeds 
alone. 

A word as to gathering mushroom-seeds : cut off the stem 
and lay the top, gills lowermost, on a sheet of paper or glass ; 
in the course of a few hours the seeds will have fallen away 
from the gills and be deposited on the paper or glass as a purple- 
brown stain ; they can then be readily transferred to an extremely 
thin sheet of mica, and on another thin layer of mica being 
placed over them so as to enclose them from the dust, they may 
be preserved for many years always ready for the microscope. 
Care should be taken not to mount too many on the sheet ; 
there should not be a distinctly visible quantity. 

Fig. 1 shows the spores of Polyporus ccesius : they are pale blue 
in colour, and of a very pure shade, oval in shape, and the 
smallest spores I ever observed ; the extreme length being only 
one ten- thousandth of an inch — if placed size by side, 200,000,000 
would be required to cover a square inch. As the parent plant 
frequently covers 12 inches superficial, it will be seen that one 
plant is capable of producing two thousand four hundred millions 
on its superficial surface alone ; but as these spores are, at least, 
ten deep, it is a moderate computation to state the number pro- 
duced by each plant at twenty-four thousand millions. The 
most wonderful consideration is, however, the fact that each of 
these spores is endowed with a minute spark of life, and is 
capable of reproducing the perfect plant. The parent is a woody 
Polyporui, not uncommon on old larch wood. 



03Sr THE SEEDS OR SPOKES OF FTJKGi, 183 

Fig. 2 shoM-s the largest spores I ever observed : they are pro- 
duced by Agariciis mucidus, an Agaric iivitli a top two inch.es in 
diameter, not uncommon on old beech trees ; its average diameter 
is one two-thousandth of an inch, and it requires 2,000,000 
placed side by side to cover a square inch, — so much for the 
largest spore ! 

On fig. 3 are the spores of Boletus parasiticus, of which the 
common Boletus edulis may be taken as the type. It is remarkable 
that all Boleti spores are S2)in(lle-sliapci ; they vary little in 
size, and the majority are brown in colour. 

On fig. 4 are the spores of Agaricus vaginatus, one of the 
commonest of our larger Agarics ; the apiculus shows the point of 
attachment to the parent plant. 

rig. 5 shows a very uncommon form of spore from Uydmim 
imhricatum ; it is peculiar to the genus Ilydniim, of which tho 
common Hydnum repandum may be considered the type. 

On figs. 6 and 7 are typical spores of the pinTc-spored fungi ; 
they are always irregular in shape, resembUng nodules of 
granite— the form is not caused by compression. Fig. 6 is from 
Agaricus pascuus, fig. 7 from A. nidorosm. 

On figs. 8, 9, and 10 are spores of the milk-bearing genus 
Lactarius : thSy are always more or less cui-iously paj)illatcd, and 
vary in colour from white to orange. Fig. 8 is from Lactarius 
llennius, fig. 9 from L. fuliginosus, fig. 10 from L. quiettis. 

Fig. 11 is a spore of the Meadow Mushroom, Agaricus cam- 
pestris. It is purple-brown in colour. 

Fig. 12 shows a slate-coloured spore of Gomphidius vitcidus, a 
handsome Agaric with purple gills, not uncommon in the autumn. 

Fig. 13, one of the jet black spores of Coprinus micaceus ; this 
is one of the black-giUed deliquescent fungi. The species in 
question is common on rotten stumps in tho autumn, and tho 
pileus is clothed with sparkling mica-like granules. 

The spores are uniformly enlarged to 1,000 diameters: 
a good idea of the size of all of them may be obtained by con- 
sidetijjg the dimensions of figs. 1 and 2. 

WoETHINGXON G. SmiTH. 



184 



(Dm* ltt{t}v««l,^,* 



fPHE migratiou of birds lias always been a favourite theme 
J- of ornithologists, and a few notes on this subject from a 
member of our Society would appear to be of a sufficiently interest- 
ing nature to engage the attention of all who are to any 
extent gratified with the study of Natural History, and with 
the reflections which must necessarily follow the pursuit of this 
study in all the varied forms which are everywhere presented 
before them. It can, indeed, scarcely be conceived that anyone, 
however deficient in education or intelligence, can fail to have 
wondered at and speculated on the character and nature of that 
mysterious knowledge or power, which, inherent in all animal 
life to a greater or lesser extent, supplies the want of the gift 
of reason and indeed would seem to be in many respects its 
superior, since the faculty of reason possessed by man would 
fail to serve the ends and purposes which are worked out by 
what is generally regarded as an inferior faculty. In no respect, 
probably, does the wonderful power of Instinct develope itself to 
us in a more remarkable or striking manner, than in the 
migration of birds. This subject has always been a source of 
wonder and dehght to all observers of natural objects. How often 
does it crop up in the delightful letters of Gilbert AVhite ! 
How much did this great student of nature watch the appearance 
and departure of our summer and winter visitants, and how much 
puzzled was he at times to account for the long and arduous 
journeys made by them, and for the powers which some of our 
smaller birds possessed to sustain them in their long and rapid 
flights to and from the British Isles ! The regularity and precision 
which attend their migration, not less than that of the seasons of 
the year, suggest an endless train of thoughts and reflections 
on the wonderful power which impels them in their flight — 

* Read before the Society at tlic Third Meeting (Jan. 7, 1868) of the 
Third AVinter Session, 18G7-68. 



OTO MiaRANTS. 185 

Tve cannot understand it, but we can at least admire tlae beauty 
and harmony Avliich pervade the -n-hole of nature in its every 
form and aspect. 

I purpose in these few notes to refer to some of our well-known 
British migratory birds — the period of their appearance and de- 
parture, and, 60 far as may be known, their habitat in foreign lands. 
Of all our summer migrants the Swallow tribe, known to orni- 
thologists as the Uininrlincs, would appear to occupy the prominent 
place : scarcely a schoolboy but looks out for the first Swallow, and 
notes the date of its arrival, watches with interest the new 
comers betake themselves to their accustomed haunts, the 
building of the wonderful nest of mud under the favourite eaves, 
the feeding of the young ones, the congregation of the species in 
autumn, and their apparently sudden departure for distant 
lands. The Swallow and Martin usually arrive in the beginning 
of April. Their sojourn during the English winter is made 
chiefly in Africa, but probably not further south than the 
Tropics. Here thoy remain till the changing seasons impel 
them northwards, their line of flight being across the Medi- 
terranean into France and Spain, and tlience across the English 
Channel to oiir own Island. During August and September 
they assemble together in vast numbers, and these are constantly 
being swelled by the young broods as they leave their nests and 
take to flight. The osier beds about the Thames are a favourite 
roosting place. In October the great exodus of Martins takes 
place ; silently they come to us, and suddenly they go, their 
numbers vastly increased since their arrival among us. A few only 
remain behind, and these soon vanish, so that a Martin in 
November is a great rarity. Last year I saw two as late 
as the 16th of November, which is one day later than I had pre- 
viously observed them. A few days after the general departure — 
and the great bulk of our summer visitants are flitting about the 
western region of Africa, insect hunting on the Niger's stream, 
or domesticating themselves among the j)eople of Timbuctoo. 
The favourite theory of Gilbert White, that vast numbers of tlie 
Swallow tribe remained in holes and hiding places, even under 
water, in ^ torpici §\o,\e, i§ t^ne y/H<ik ^Fsd? imh favour with 



186 OTJR UIQBJ^TB. 

modern ornithologists, and seems indeed too improbable to roc[uire 
present notice. 

The Cuckoo is so well-known that but a short notice of it is 
necessary. It arrives about April and leaves in July. It lays 
its eggs in the nests of other birds, and leaves to them the 
duty and burden of incubation and raising its young. The 
Hedge Sparrow is very often saddled with this burden, which 
occasions no slight domestic trouble ; for the young Cuckoo 
when he gets big enongh, as he soon does, elbows the young 
Sparrows right out of their nost. To say nothing of his voracity, 
his presence must be in all respects a great burden, and, as soon 
as ho can fly, off he goes, and his foster parents see him no more. 
The young birds remain after the older cnes^ and they all spend 
their winter in the sunny rogioua of Northern Africa. 

We will next notice the Wryneck, or Cuckoo's Mate. The latter 
name is given on account of its arrival about tho same time as 
the Cuckoo. This singular bird is provided with a long tongue, 
which it darts out on its food, chiefly ants and insects, which 
adhere to a glutinous secretion with which it is supplied. It 
breeds in the holes of trees. Last year I had a live one 
brougiit to me in a cage. According to Gilbert White the 
tongue of this curious bird is occasionally coiled round its head. 

Among our other simimer visitants we must notice prominently 
the Nightingale, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Eedstart, Landrail, and 
Flycatcher ; numerous other species can be enumerated, but space 
and time would fail to notice them all. The Nightingale arrives 
here about tho middle of April : its song continues until Juno. 
The distribution of this species does not extend to Ireland, 
Scotland, Wales, and many parts of England; it is not 
usually found north of Yorkshire, but seldom in Devon- 
shire, and is, I believe, unknown in Cornwall. It leaves us in tho 
Autumn, and passes tho winter in Northern Africa. The Black- 
cap is one of our latest visitants, and one of our sweetest songsters ; 
its note may be constantly heard as it sings cheerily to its mate, 
forming a part of the groat chorus of joyful sounds which delight 
us in our communion witli Nature. The Whitethroat arrives 
among U3 in Aprils and soon diati'ibutos itself throughout the 



OUE MIGRANTS. 187 

Uritish Islands. It is a bird common to Europe generally. It 
leaves ns in autumn for the milder regions of the south. The 
Eodstart, or Firetail, is a very beautiful bird. It arrives in 
April, and is not very common, although one seldom passes a 
summer without seeing a few of the species. It builds in 
holes in trees and walls. Gilbert "White says, " Sitting very 
placidly on the top of a tall tree in a village, the cock sings from 
morning to night; he aflfects neighbourhoods, and avoids 
solitude, and loves to build in orchards and about houses." 
The plumage of the male bird is far more bright and beautiful 
than that of the female. This species, like the last, leaves 
us in the autumn on its journey to a warmer clime. The 
Landrail is another of our summer visitants. Its curious note, 
or crake, may be heard during the morning and evening. It 
possesses the peculiar property of ventriloquism in so wonderful 
a manner as to give the idea of being first near and then afar 
off. This bird seldom flies, is with great difficulty flushed by 
the sportsman, and its wings being very short, and the flight 
low and clumsy, seems very poorly adapted for the wonderful 
work of migration, which, however, it accomplishes twice every 
year. The nest is buiit on the ground, and the eggs are from 
seven to ten in number. This species has been noted in Africa 
and as far south as Madeira. It would appear that they come 
over here in large numbers, and this indeed is probably the case 
with most of our migrants, which nevertheless on arrival soon 
disperse themselves throughout the land. The last of our 
summer migrants is the Flycatcher. It arrives about the middle 
of May, and soon makes itself at home amongst us. It courts 
the society of man, and builds its nest against the walls of a 
house, on a vine or fruit tree. It has no song, and is altogether 
a quiet and sober-looking bird, usually sitting on a bough, 
and then darting after the flies as they pass along. Insects 
are its staple food, although it is accused by the gardeners 
of a partiality for cherries. This indeed is, however, one of 
those curious charges which are being so constantly and 
wickedly trumped up to justify the slaughter of the feathered 
tribe by the gardeners during the Bum.mer. "Who can soe this 



188 on; ?jiGEA:>rT3. 

quaint, quiet-looking little bird seated on tlie top of a rail or on a 
small bough, darting oflf chasing and catching flies, and then 
returning to the same bough after each capture, without noticing 
the great part it is performing in the economy of Nature, and 
how silently it is aiding in the maintenance of the balance 
and harmony of creation. I have known this species build 
two nests in the same place dui-ing one season. The Fly- 
catchers leave us in the Autumn ; what their southern range 
is I do not know, but it is probably confined to the southern 
parts of Europe and the north of Africa. 

In addition to the birds I have noticed as among our common 
summer migrants, I should say that many of our common birds 
which are not usually considered migratory are indeed so to a 
great extent. Thus, large numbers of Goldfitiches, Greenfinches, 
and Wagtails collect on the southern shores of England in the 
autumn season and pass over the Straits of Dover into France, 
returning in the following spring. This ia well-known to the 
Brighton bird-catchers, by whom the Goldfinches from France 
are much valued on account of their gayer plumage, while those 
which sojoux-n here are contemptuously styled harbour-birds, 
their plumage being in early spring very inferior to that of 
the migratory birds. This is no doubt owing to the difference 
in climate. 

I cannot in this paper notice the various species of our winter 
visitants. This can, if thought desirable, be followed up in 
another paper. They consist of, amongst others, the Fieldfare, 
Redwing (which here only utters a harsh sort of note, but is 
celebrated in Norway for the beauty of its song), the Snijie, 
Woodcock, Crossbill, Wildswan, Wildgoose, and several others. 
They cannot possess in our eyes quite the interest which is claimed 
by those which come in summer, and take up their abode, cheer- 
ing us with their song, and rearing their young among us. We 
cannot, however, think for one moment of tlie long and marvellous 
nocturnal flight of the Woodcocks across the Gorman Ocean, 
without seeing the development of that wondrous instinct which 
guides them in such flight; nor can we gaze upon the meanest 
or commonest of our summer ov vvint v migrants— the little 



THE WINTEK LIFE OF A CUCKOO IN ENGLA^'D. 189 

Flycatcher or the common Redwing— without seeing what a 
secret power these little bii'ds possess — a power which man cannot 
understand, and cannot acquire, but which is to them an infallible 
guide in their journeys across trackless seas and untrodden lands. 

T. Mabshaix. 



W\u WmUv W^U o( H (S>\i(Ut> in (6mMA. 



IT seems to be a generally received opinion that our annual 
visitant the Cuckoo, whose cheerful note announces the 
arrival of spring and summer, must either leave our shores 
before the approach of winter, or share in the death common 
to so large a proportion of our insect and vegetable life. It 
is certain that few of our bird-fanciers have succeeded in pre- 
serving one alive during the winter months. That they may 
be kept alive is proved by the existence of one now in possession 
of the writer. 

This bird was taken, in a half-fledged state, from the nest 
of a hedge-sparrow, early in the month of June. The first 
food provided for him was a boiled egg, which pleased his 
juvenile palate, — bruised seeds and soaked bread were also 
given to him. After a few days, worms and raw meat were 
offered. These provisions were greedily swallowed, though for 
some time he declined the trouble of feeding himself. During 
the severe weather when worms could not be procured, raw 
meat was preferred, but cooked meat, vegetables, bread and 
butter, indeed, almost anything was devoured. ^ On Christmas- 
day he dined off turkey and plum-pudding. Hot buttered crumpet 
is a favourite dish. The bird is extremely tame, the feeling of fear 
towards any of the household seems quite unknown. As the door 
of his cage is frequently left open, the cat, attracted by the smell 
of meat, sometimes ventures to put her nose in, and is rebuked 



190 THE WINTEE LIFE OF A CUCKOO TW BNaLAND. 

with a peck from his beak. Whenever a clatter of plates, or 
knives and forks, is heard in the kitchen, an anyxvering note 
is heard from the cage : the Cuckoo descends from his perch, 
and should the door be closed, knocks his head against it until 
a friendly hand attends to his wishes. His eating is not confined 
to regular meal-times, but he is stuffing all day long : probably 
the reason so few have lived, is that they have never had enough 
given them to eat. The beak is long and appears adapted for 
picking out grubs and worms from the earth. The food is well 
shaken, passed several times through the bill, as if to soften 
it, then swallowed with a jerk of the head. These greedy birds, 
living on their natural food, must be of great use to the cultivator 
of the soil. 

The crop of the Cuckoo is not placed in the position in which 
the crop of a bird is usually found, but further back, near the 
tail. M. Herissant, a French anatomist, thought he had dis- 
covered this to be the reason why the bird does not hatch its 
own eggs, but a similar formation is known to exist in birds who 
perform their parental duties. White found it in the fern owl, 
and Blumenbach in some other birds. Though the Cuckoo 
whose history has been given still lives, the struggle of instinct 
at the usual time of departure, spoiled his beauty. At night he 
was constantly found with his wings spread, beating against his 
cage. Darkening the cage did not prevent it. The feathers of 
his long wings and tail were all broken. He has a cropped, 
queer appearance, and as the feathers show no sign of growth, 
the writer fears he will present a sad contrast to the brothers and 
Bisters who have spent their winter under brighter skies in more 
genial climates. S. E. B. 

High Wycombe. 



The Butcher's Broom {Ruscus aculeatus). — This interesting 
plant (of the order Asparagacecs) has been recently added to the 
Flora of the district of Wycombe. It grows in hedgerows near 
Cores End, Wooburn, where I saw it in blossom in February 
last. It is rather common at Hedsor and Cliefden, in the 
woods ; but this is outside the Wycombe district. 

T. Mabshall. 



191 



^mm\i\\(i$ oi lU^ ^wwtij. 



THIRD WINTER SESSION— 1867-1868. 



Thibd E^t:ning Meeting, January 7. — Held at the house of John 
Paxker, jun., Esq., at his kind invitation. T. Marshall, Esq., read a paper on 
" The Migration of Birds," which ^vill be found at page 181. This elicited 
much conversation, and some interesting facts were adduced. It waa 
followed by a paper "On the Order Leguminosa,'' by the Secretary, in 
which the marked characteristics of that important tribe were referred to, 
and several of its more common representatives described ; this was illus- 
trated by coloured engravings, as well as by Miss Chandler's dried speci- 
mens. The objects exhibited were : a case of Indian Butterflies, lent by 
Mr. Norris ; beautiful specimens of the Argua Pheasant of the Himalayas, 
brought by Mr. Beck ; dried specimens of New Zealand Ferns, brought by 
Mrs. Small ; Stax-fishes and other objects, by the President, etc. The 
microscope was then brought into use ; after which the meeting dispersed. 

Fourth Evening Meeting, February 4.— Held at the house of 
the Mayor, T. Wheeler, Esq., at his kind invitation. The Rev. W. Bramley- 
Moore read a paper " On the Stones of oiu* Fields," which, beginning with 
the question " What's in a Stone ?" proceeded to unfold some very interest- 
ing secrets relating to the origin of the common stones scattered at 
random over our fields ; in fact, he extracted a very good " sermon from 
stones," Having several specimens before him, he discussed their com- 
position and origin, and the mode by which they had been brought to our 
fields. Nos. 1 and 2 — flints, impure varieties of quartz, formed probably by 
the aggregation of siliceous matter round some nucleus, e.g., a sponge or 
shell, during the ages when the chalk was being deposited in the same sea. 
During the erosion of the chalk by the retiring waves these flints were 
washed out, and being better able to resist the action of the water were 
left behind on the ground thus left dry. The gravel pebbles so very 
numerous in the neighbourhood had all been thus washed from the chalk, 
and in most cases rounded by the action of water as No. 1 evidently was, 
whUe occasionally, like specimen No. 2, they retained their sharp angles, 
showing they had escaped this action. No. 3, a pebble, perhaps a fragment 
of some great nodule of flint, washed against others on the beach of a 
restless sea for ages until it achieved its present smoothness of form, then 
entombed in a deposit of Plastic Clay, and finally traasported to its present 



192 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

position by the action of water or ice. No. t, a piece of sandstone similarly 
treated. No. 5, a boulder. A boulder is a piece of rock lying on the 
surface of a deposit totally different to its own. It came from the neigh- 
boxu-hood of Warwick and Worcester — that is the nearest deposit of its 
own nature. No. G and 7, fragments of conglomerate whose history maj' 
be briefly summed up thus — masses of flint were deposited — metamor- 
phosed — extracted from their original birth-place, broken, rolled and 
ground — embedded in a fresh matrix, and bound up with natural cement. 
The lecturer then concluded with the hope that the history of wayside 
stones might prove of some interest to the members, and induce them to 
look with a more favoiu-able eye on things which perhaps hitherto they 
had passed by as worthless. At the conclusion of the paper, which our 
space will not permit us to print in extenso, conversation ensued, during 
which several additional particulars were given, and examples brought 
forward, in illustration of what had been said. A paper, communicated 
by W. G. Smith, Esq., " On the Seeds or Spores of Fungi," was then read 
by the Secretary ; it will be found at page 179 of our present number. 
This was illustrated by specimens and diagrams. A third paper, entitled 
" A Brief Summary of the Birds occurring in Bucks and Berks," was also 
read by the Secretary ; this was communicated by Alexander Clark - 
Kennedy, Esq., whose work on the same subject is on the eve of publication. 
There was, as usual, an exhibition of objects, which included dried local 
Wild Flowers {Crucifei-es and Lahiatce), fossils from the London Clay, shells, 
etc. The President exhibited various objects under the microscope, the 
^cidium on the leaf of the Dog Violet eliciting much admiration. The 
meeting, which was very well attended, separated at about 10 p.m., the 
usual votes of thanks having been given. 

Fifth Evening Meeting, February 25. — Held at the house of 
Mrs. Small, by her kind permission. The Secretary read a paper " On 
Forget me-nots," referring to the plants which had, at various times, been 
known as such, and describing the various species of the genus Nyosotis ■ 
this will be found in Science Gossijj for next month. This was 
followed by an amusing paper, " On the Folk-Lore of Frodsham, Cheshire," 
communicated by Mr. J. F. Robinson, of that place. Many of the super- 
stitions recorded are somewhat generally distributed : e.ff., ill luck attends 
spilling of salt, as well as the cutting of the finger nails on a Sunday. 
The President delivered an interesting addi-ess, " On Molluscs," in which 
he described the marvellous construction of the snail shell, and advocated 
the eating of snails as equal, if not superior in flavour, to the edible Fungi 
patronised by the Secretary. Among the objects exhibited were two cases 
of Land and Fresh-water Shells ; a collection of Seaweeds ; a case of 
Wycombe Ferns, and another of Butterflies : several books and papers were 



COEEESPONDENCE. 



193 



also on the table. Under a binocular microscope, broug-bt by the Rev. W. 
Bramley-Moore, were exhibited some yoimg trout, lately hatched, in ■svhich 
the circulation was shown. The President exhibited, among- other objects, 
the beautiful stellate hairs of Alyssuni spinosum, and other plants ; the 
Two-wheeled Rotifer (J?, vulgaris): the feather of a Humming-bird, etc. 
The meeting, which was very numerously attended, did not break up until 
nearly 10 p.m. 

Sixth Evesixg Meeting, March 10.— Held at the house of the 
President, at his kind iuvitation. The Rev. \V. Hunt Painter, who had 
promised to read a paper, was imavoidably prevented from attending ; and 
the only paper read was one by T. Marshall, Esq., " On the Migration of 
Birds," being an extension of one previously delivered : on this occasion 
the winter migfrants were chiefly referred to. The President gave an 
interesting Geological lecture, chiefly explanatory of the fossils on the 
table, which he had brought from the Isle of Portland, AVeymouth, etc. 
Some very beautiful living Sea- Anemones, from the same locality, were 
much admired. The Secretary exhibited a specimen of Daphne ^Iczereum, 
from the newly-di.scovered locality near Walter's Ash. The meeting 
terminated with an exhibition of the microscope. 



We sliall he glad to receive articles on any natural ohjects, the preference 
being alnmys given to such as liave a local interest. Notes on the popular 
names of, or traditions concerning. Animals oi' Plants, or on any subject con- 
nected with Natural History, will be welcome. 



Scarcity of Common Lepidop- 
TERA (see p. 1 70). — In the January 
number a correspondent, writing of 
the scarcity of Lepidoptera in the 
neighbourhood during the last 
season, invites observations from 
other localities. In this neighbour- 
hood the small number seen was 
equally remarkable. I saw a few 
fine specimens of the Brimstone 
Butterfly (G. lihamni), in the skirts 
of the Fawley Woods, and the 
Speckled A\'ood (Z. ^¥.(ieria) was 
plonldi'ul as ever in every wood and 
copse around up. Later, the some- 
what rare Painted Lady (<?. Cardui) 
appeared in greater numbers than I 
hh,ve seen for some j'eurs, and I 
could have secufed fiKe specimens 
in the lanes and hedgerows. Of 



others, usually more generally dis- 
tributed, the falling off was very 
noticeable. I have no doubt the 
cause was attributable to the un- 
genial spring. 

Henley. ' H. Stubbs. 

I see in the Correspondence pages 
a notice of the scarcity of common 
Lepidoptera last year. In September 
a friend wrote me from Hounslow 
that during his fortnight's holiday 
there he had scarcely taken anj'- 
thing : one Clouded Yellow, and two 
or three Small Tortoiseshells were, I 
believe, all, though, unfortunately, 
I have not preserved the letter. In 
July, however, I did not notice any 
scarcity at home (Fowlness, Essex), 
there being- the usiial numbers of 
Urtieee and Atalanta, also Janira, 



194 



COBKESPONDENCE. 



Tithontm, PamjMhiB, Alexis, and 
Linea. I did not see any PeacockvS, 
or Painted Ladies, or Walls, — these, 
with the Large, Small, and Green- 
veined Whites being our only Biurni 
as far as I know. But Fowlness is 
an island, so that there might be 
reasonably expected a paucitj' of 
Lepidoptera. W. II. D. 

Water Crowfoot. — We shall 
be much obliged to any of our 
Buckinghamshire readers who will 
forward us frci.h specimens, in 
blossom, of any of the forms of this 
ornament of our ponds and streams. 
Address : James Britten, High 
Wycombe. 

The Moonwort (see p. 16U).— 
In Mr. UUyett's paper " On Ferns " 
he speaks of the Moonwort {Botry- 
chbim Lunaria) being reported to 
grow in the neighbourhood of 
Wycombe, bvit not confirmed. It is 
found on Nuffield Common in our 
neighbourhood, but from its diminu- 
tive growth is hard to detect. I 
have tried unsuccessfully to grow it 
in my fern border, but although I 
cut out a considerable portion of 
soil with it, it has dwindled away. 

Henley. H. Stubbs. 

BuRNHAM Beeches. — A corres- 
pondent writes — " I shall be glad if 
you will call the attention of some 
of the membprs of your Society — 
especially those who devote them- 
selves to microscopical pursuits — to 
East Burnhani Common. On this, 
by the side of the Beeches, is a large 
pond, some eight or nine feet deep 
at the south end, and at the north 
gradually merging from marshy 
land into water. The north end of 
the pond is fuU of Bogbean 
{Menyanthes trlfoUatn) ; but what 
I especially noticed was the very 
great number of DiatomactcB and 
other low forms contained in the 
mud, etc. I brought away some of 
the sediment, with the intention of 
mounting some slides, but other 
matters intervened, and prevented 
me from doing so. I am siu'e, from 
the locality, that a very great deal 



might be done there by any earnest 
worker, — quite as much as at Keston 
Common, which has been so often 
noticed in Science Gossi2>." 

Tini'Mon-EL'L(_MorcJiell/iesc>dent/i), 
— At fig. 14 will be fomid a represen- 
tation of this delicious fungus, which 
Ave give in the hope that some of our 
readers may be induced to test its 
good qualities for themselves. It 
occurs in two or three places in our 
neighbourhood, but is uncertain in 
its appearance ; for the locality which 
in 1866 furnished a large supply, 
last year only yielded three or four 
.specimens. It may be cooked in 
various ways. We usually cut off 
the stalk, and then divide thepilevs, 
or top, into two or more pieces, 
according to the size of the specimen, 
carefuly washing it to remove insects, 
which, it must be admitted, have a 
great penchant for hiding in the 
holes and corners which present 
themselves ; then fry the pieces with 
butter, addmg pepper and salt ac- 
cording to taste, and serve on toast : 
a delicious breakfast dish is the 
result. 

New Locality for the Meze- 
REON. — On March 17th, while stay- 
ing at Walter's Ash, I wandered 
into the Bradenham woods, and 
having met mth a gamekeeper, I 
enquired of him whether the Meze- 
reon grew in the woods. He said he 
knew a place where he had seen it 
two years ago, and kindly took me 
to the spot, where I I'ound eight 
fine plants : one was quite as large 
as is usually found in gardens, and 
equally full of blossom. They were 
most conspicuous amongst the sober 
hue of the dead leaves and fresh 
budding spring flowers. The spot is 
very secluded, and no path being 
close, they have escaped the notice 
of the passers by. The Daphne 
Mczereum is found in several locali- 
ties about Wycombe, and being very 
rare, is a most interesting plant to 
the natiiralist ; the pretty spike of 
rich pink flowers tipped with the 
bright green loaves makes it one of 
the handsomest of the British Flora. 
R. M. BowsTE.vD, M.D. 




Vol. II. No. VII.] [Price Sixpenck, 

Or 2$. per annum, po^ free. 



QUARTERLY MAGAZIIS^E 

OF THE 




SOCIETY. 

Edited by James Brittex, Hon. Sec. 



N.B. As the issue of this Magazine tirill tertniiiate with the next number, 
it is requested that iio stihscriptions for another year may be sent tn. 
Tlwse already due should be sent to the Publisher without d^lay. 

The conchiding number will appear on June 1, and will contain title- 
page and index for Vol. 2. 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

The Effect of dry Weather upon Water Plants Robt. Holland U5 

The Ichthyosanrus Hy. Ullyett 148 

Hollow Lane it ^^^ 

Additions to the Wycombe Flora— 1869 James Britten 157 

Buckinghamshire Botany •> 1^7 

Proceedings of the Society l***' 

Notes, Correspondence, &c.: — Late Swallows, &c. — Wild Swans 
in Buckinghamshire. — Curious capture of a Tench.— Cats 
taking the water.— Plant new to the County.— Names of 

Animals 1^7 



MARCH, 1870. 



WYCOMBE: 
PRINTED FOR THE SOCIETY BY W. BUTLER, 
20. HIGH STREET; 
AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSEI-LERS. 



J 




^^ 



^ 



HI -It 

^uarterls iHasajine 

OF THE 

Msb iFiicomde i^atucal l^istorp ^ociet^. 



Two, or at most three, small plants, so insignificant that it 
would be quite a chance if anyone who was not a botanist 
should observe them, and, as far as we know, of not the least 
use to man, constitute the British representatives of the genus 
mricularia. 

The Natural Order to which they belong is a very small one, 
and contains, besides these Bladderworts, only three more 
genera, of which the Pingiiiculas, or Butterworts, are also British 
plants. The Order is best known by the pretentious name 
Lentihulariacem, but as this is derived from a discarded synonym 
of the Bladderwort, it would surely be better to call it after 
Utricula — TJtriailacece. 

Perhaps some one may think that if they are so very insignifi- 
cant, they are not worth writing a paper about ; but when wo 
come to know these little plants, we find that they re3ommend 
themselves even by their absolute beauty ; and when we come to 
study their manner of growth and their admirable structure, wo 
find that, like all plants in which there are special contrivances 
to ensure a special end, their history is far more curious and 
interesting than that of many larger and more showy plants. 

I intend, in this paper, only io describe our British Utricular ias, 
but I cannot help just mentioning one South American species, 
because its history is so very remarkable, and illustrates very well 
some of the peculiar habits of the tribe. In the Organ Mountains 
in Brazil, there are found large species of Tillanisia, plants of 
the Pine-apple Order. The large leaves of these plants, clasping 
around the stem, form natural reservoirs in which the rainwater 
collects, just as we see in the leaves of the teazel ; and one species 
of Utrimlaria is said to be found growing only in these watercups. 
In this strange situation the plant flourishes, and propagates 



2 BLADDER"WORTS. 

itself by sending out runners on all sides, wliicli take root in tlie 
cups of other Tillandsias growing near, uniting many of them in 
a network of Utricular ia. It is a plant much larger than our 
British species, and must be very beautiful, for it sends up long 
flower stems which support large blossoms of a purple colour. 

Our Utricularias are also waterplants— so truly waterplants, 
that they do not even take root in the soil, or mud, but float in 
water just below the surface. Books upon botany describe their 
"root " as being " much-branched," but for my part I have never 
been able to find any root at all, at any stage of their growth. 
The fact is they are root-less, and only float about as I have 
stated, deriving all their nourishment from the water by means 
of their finely-cut leaves. Probably the lower leaves of the 
plant, discoloured from incipient decay, have been mistaken for 
roots. It is quite poszille, however, and extremely likely, that 
all the leaves act by absorption precisely like roots, just as, in 
some leafless plants, roots are modified in appearance and 
structure to -serve the pm-posea of leaves. 

Three species are described, or perhaj)3 more properly two, 
with an intermediate one, which may be a variety, or, it may be, 
a hybrid, between the other two. They are all found in ditches 
or in deep pools, floating just below the surface of the water. 
The commonest and largest species, Utricularia vulgaris, may be 
taken as the type of the genus, as regards British kinds. It is 
of tolerably frequent occurrence, but I think, often overlooked 
from the fact that sometimes for several years it flowers so 
sparingly as to escape notice. It consists of slender, very brittle, 
trailing, branches, one or two feet in length, which are densely 
clothed with very elegant pectinated leaves. The leaves are, in 
fact, nothing more than the ribs and veins, for being altogether 
submerged, the plant has no necessity for breathing pores, nor 
for the fleshy portion with which the stomata communicate. It 
is therefore not developed in the ordinary form, but is converted 
into a number of very elegant little bladders, or utriculi (whence 
the Latin name of the plant), which contain air and arc supposed 
to be the organs by which the plant is buoyed up to the surface 



BLADDER-WORTS. 3 

of the water. The little bladders themselves are somewhat flask 
shaped and flattened, and are very beautiful when seen through 
a magnifying glass. They are placed upon very short stalks 
upon the secondary veins of the leaf, close to the mid rib, so that 
there are two rows of them on each leaf, one row at either side 
of the midrib. A vein of the leaf passes up the front of each 
flask, giving rigidity, and branching round the orifice, which it 
greatly strengthens, terminates at the sides and back of the 
opening in two or four bristles. The mouth of the flask is closed 
by an extremely delicate, almost invisible, membrane, having a 
minute slit in fi-ont, through which gases, no doubt, escape. 

The flowers are extremely pretty; they are bright yellow, 
growing four or five together in a raceme, which shoots up with 
a stalk some five or six inches above the water. In form they 
are not very unlike the flowers of a calceolaria, being two-lipped 
and having a short spur. 

Utricularia minor is a much smaller species, not by any means 
80 common, and generally found in small pools of water on peat 
bogs. The flowers are small and pale in colour, and as far as I 
have been able to observe, the plant is more frequently fouud in 
a flowerless state than even U. vulgaris. 

The third species, or variety, or hybrid, U. intermedia, I cannot 
describe from actual observation. It seems to be rare, and to bo 
characterized by the leaves being tripartite. The vesicles are 
are said to arise from branched stalks and not from the leaves. 

A strange misapprehension exists as to the economy of theso 
plants, and their method of propagation. Almost all authors 
have taken it for granted that the earlier observers were correct, 
and have copied ono from another, as is too often the case, 
without verifying for themselves ; and the history of the Bladder- 
wort has thus become invested with a halo of romance, very 
pleasant to read, but untrue in many particulars. The Intellectual 
Observer of October last publishes a translation of a paper by Dr. 
Schnetzler, in which he says of the genus TJtrictdaria, on the 
authority of Do CandoUe : — " These utricles are rounded, and 
furnished with a species of moveable operculum, or lid. 



4 BLADBEKWORTS. 

In the youth of the plant they are full of mucus heavier than water, and 
the plant, iveighed down by them, remains at the bottom. Toivards 
the season of flowering, the leaves secrete a gas lohicli enters the utricles, 
and drives out the mucus, opening the lid for its escape. The plant 
is thus supplied with a quantity of air-vessels, which elevate it 
gradually, and cause it to float on the surface. The process of 
flowering takes place in the free air ; and when it is finished, the 
leaves again secrete mucus lohich replaces the air in the utricles, weighs 
down the plant, and causes it to descend again to the bottom of the 
tvater, ivhere it ripens its seeds in the situation in tvhich they should be 
sown.'^ 

Ithink, if anyone will take the trouble to observe for themselves, 
they will find that the sentences in italics do not describe very 
accurately what really takes place. I cannot say certainly that 
the plant never produces seed, or that that seed never germinates 
at the bottom of the water, " in the situation in which it should be 
sown "; but it seems very unlikely that the seeds should gernii7iate 
in the mud, when at every other period they have no roots at all, 
nor any connexion with the soil. There are many years, too, in 
which the plant never flowers, and yet it will be quite as plentiful 
the next season ; and I am quite sure that in the majority of cases 
it is propagated, not from seed, but from the terminal buds, which 
remain dormant during the winter. These buds have been 
noticed by some authors. 

The branches of Utricularia grow rapidly at the point, and as 
each delicate leaf unfolds, the bladders, at first quite small, will 
be found at once filled with air. The lower part of the plant is 
constantly decaying away, and as the bladders are only composed 
of a thin membrane, they decay even sooner than the rest of the 
leaf, so that the lower discoloured leaves often look as if they had 
never supported bladders, and may easily be mistaken for roots. 
Thus the plant constantly increases at one end and dies at the 
other till the time of flowering, which is in July and August. In 
all probability the seeds are ripened sufficiently to germinate 
whilst they are exposed to the action of the sun. After flowering 
the plant ceases to grow, either on accojint of the increasing cold- 



BLADDERWORTS. 5 

ness of the Autumn nights, or because its energies are expended 
with flowering, and it decaj-s away very rapidly, leaving nothing 
hut the terminal buds, which consist of unfolded leaves and retain 
their vitality. As no more air-bladders are developed, the buds 
or gemma sink to the bottom and remain dormant and safe from 
injury from the weather during the winter. They are about the 
size of small peas, quite compact, and might easily, as no doubt 
they have been, mistaken for seeds sown in the "proper situation." 
About March or the beginning of April, the buds again begin to 
grow, and the leaves to open out, and as soon as sufficient air- 
vessels are formed, the plant rises to the surface of the water. At 
this time a sweep with a butterfly net will usually bring up some 
of the green buds, which grow well in an aquarium, where the 
opening of the leaves, and the development of bladders, and the 
rapid extension of the stem, are sights well worth watching. 

It is probable that the bladders also have another and very 
diflferent duty to perform, not less important, perhaps, than that 
of floating the plant in the water; namely, the capturing of 
insects which are destined for the plants to feed upon. Certain 
it is that very small water insects are often found imprisoned in 
the bladders — the opening allowing them to enter, but from 
its construction, preventing their escape. The Utrieularia 
it has been seen, cannot obtain mineral matter &om the soil, 
having no roots ; nor gaseous food from the air, having no stomata : 
and the animal food thus obtained may supply certain elements 
which it could not derive from the water; and the Utrieularia 
may be added to the list of the highly interesting carnivorous 
plants. 

Perhaps some of the readers of this Magazine may be able, 
during the present summer, to study the habits of the Bladder- 
worts — to ascertain whether they, as a rule, ripen any seed at all ; 
if so, how and in what medium the seed germinates, and thus to 
clear up a somewhat obscure point in the history of these beautiful 
and curious waterweeds.* Eobert Holland. 

* U. mlgaris is recorded as growing- in the ditch in the meadow by the 
Suspension Bridge at Mar low; and in the river ditch near Fawley Court; 
we have found it in the ditches and ponds at the foot of Winter Hill, Berks. 
TT. inffrmedin has heen doubtfully recorded from Burnham Beeches. Ed. 



THE neiglibourhood of Henley-on-Thames, with its noble river, 
and the long range of wooded hills ascending from the rich 
valley, offers much interest to the lover of nature. In the valley 
and on the stream may be found the Snow Flake, the Procumbent 
Marshwort, and Adder's Tongue, the Water Villarsia, Great 
Bladderwort, Water Violet, Frogbit, and Flowering Eush, and 
on its food plant the Willow Herb, profusely lining the banks, 
may be found the grotesque larva of the Elephant Hawk Moth. 
The Sphynges are fairly represented in this valley. In my 
cabinet, — the capture of many years ago, and marred by unskil- 
ful hand, — the rarest of my collection is C. Celerio, taken at rest 
on a window sill ; with B. Galii, which I bred from larvee found 
on Bedstraw ; S. Convolvuli, of which, some eight years ago, I 
obtained several fine specimens, and have never since heard ; S. 
Tilice, frequently found in the larva state on the noble lime trees 
of Fawley Court; S. Ocellatus, S. Fopuli a,uA. A. Airopos, ani-pvo- 
fusely C. Porcellua, C. Elpenor, and S. Ligustri. Nupta, from the 
prevalence of willow, is plentiful, as many as a dozen having 
been taken at "sugar" in the course of an evening. Colias 
Edusa abounded in the lucerne fields some years ago, but of late 
has not occurred ; and in one instance the scarce Hyale has fallen 
to my net. On the chalk hills which on the Berkshire shore 
commence the Chiltern range, P. Corydon and P. Agestis are 
found, and 8. Taget and C. Jacohcea swarm, the showy larvte of 
the latter denuding the golden Eagwort of the bottoms. Ascend- 
ing the hill on the west, and plunging into the backwoods of 
Lambridge, the entomologist will soon find ample use for his net. 
The Beprana are well represented here, three out of the four 
occurring, — B. Falcataria, B. Eamula, and B. Unguicula, the 
latter profusely in the limited sphere of their locality ; the second 
rare, — one only having come into my possession. The Fritillaries 
count half, A. Selene, A. Euplirosgne, and A. Papliia (tradition 



m THE HILLS ABOVE HENLEY. 7 

avers that A. Lathonia has occurred)— the graceful, floating, 
sweep of Pa])hia, and the golden glitter and silvery sheen of its 
■wings in the sunlight, are " things of beauty " to be remembered 
ever after. In the margin of this wood I discovered last year, a 
new locality for A. Galathea, and by the capture in successive 
seasons of Bloomerii, a wider range may be ascribed to this lovely 
Geometra. The best of the Flora of this wood consists of "Winter 
Green, Mountain Speedwell, and Upright Fly Honeysuckle ; the 
first of these in large masses, the last a single specimen and very 
doubtful native. Emerging from the wood we come on the old 
domain of Grey's Court, the gabled roofs and massive towers of the 
mansion crowning the broken ascent of the Park. The thorn hedges 
enclosing it are marvels of antiquity, and grey with the moss and 
lichen of centuries. The high-road to Eotherfield Greys leads 
between these hedges, and I well remember when driving through 
some ten autumns ago, the delight of my companions as cloud after 
cloud of the gorgeous V. Atalanta rose from the ivy blossom 
which clothes them, at our approach. In a copse at the head of 
the wood the earth is flecked in the early spring with the Snow- 
drop, and in the underwood above the park, 

" Thick as leaves in Vallambrosa," 
the Daffodils, in the clearings, dazzling the eye with their golden 
masses. Preferable, because more dispersed, is another habitat 
of this flower in the wood at High Moor ; passing across a se- 
cluded meadow hemmed in on two sides by woods, and with a 
dark pool overhung by trees in the centre, the scene of a darker 
legend, we enter this wood. In its green alleys and dells, and 
peeping out from amid the decaying herbage of the past year, the 
Daffodil is a graceful flower, the deUcate green of its foliage 
aiding its beauty. The late Miss Mitford, — whose magic pen 
could confer immortality on a tuft of early Primroses, or a patch 
of Woodsorrel, and who, like Gilbert White, has made a secluded 
village famous for all time, — writing some twenty years ago of a 
visit to these hills, enumerates, among their denizens, the Orchids 
and Fungi as extensively prevalent ; and also refers to the fre- 
quent occurrence of the strange compound, known as agglomerate; 



8 IN THE HILLS ABOVE HENLEY. 

It is even bo. I have obtained several blocks, and one remarlrable 
mass in the wood leading up to Stoke Eow Common is especially 
noticeable. It is in the vicinity of a public well, sunk some years 
ago by an Eastern Maharajah, for the benefit of the poor of this 
elevated spot, and the airy columns of the temple erected over it, 
and the tutelary elephant, contrast strangely with the old-world 
mass of hoary stone. 

North of this, in the short turf of Bix Common, we tread on 
the Buckshorn Plantain, and among the bushes around the Black 
Adiantum, the Hairy Green Weed, the Greater Dodder, and the 
rare Imperforate St. John's "Wort are found. In the tangled 
underwood hard by, startling, in the early year, by its contrast 
with the dead herbage of the past, the dark and sombre foliago 
of the ill-omened Green Hellebore is seen ; and further on, in 
Page's Bottom, I have obtained in successive seasons that most 
lovely and delicate of Ferns, the Oak Polypody. Above, on 
Maidens' Grove, — hiding under hazel bushes, the 

" Foiir round leaves and one green flower," 
of Herb Paris are seen. The Evening Primrose and the Oxlip 
flourish here ; and in the extensive Nettlebed woods, the Deadly 
Nightshade, the Lily of the Valley, Solomon's Seal, and the 
Columbine. A bank here, bearing its name, is gay in the early 
spring with the delicate peach blossom of the Mezereon ; in 
the old and disused clay pits, the Hard Fern obtains luxuriantly, 
and farther west on Nuttield Common the local Moonwort. In a 
paper where brevity is indispensable, I havp only briefly indicated 
the Flora of these hills ; the same exigency of space will be my 
excuse for the contracted record of Lepidoptera, and also the 
omission of the proper names of plants. 

Henley. H. S. 

Spawning of Frogs. — A friend tells me that he saw, about the 
middle of last month, frogs spawning on Erringden Moor (lat. 
53deg. 43min. N., long. Ideg. 62min. W.), 1200 feet above the 
sea level at Liverpool. Is not this somewhat peculiar, considering 
the latitude and altitude ? W. H. D. 



Witt iivdsi of (fi^oofeMm m\A t\xt ^n0bimv\mii, 

THE WOODPECKER.— Continued from page 178, Vol. I. 

T HAVE referred to the early breeding of the bird, and can add 
J- a curious fact which occurred lately. About the middle of 
last November the weather was very mild, and on the 11th, Mr. 
Briggs' attention was attracted by a vigorous ta^jping on a tree 
above liis head. Looking up, he perceived a Little Spotted 
Woodpecker hai'd at work, and noticed it on the two following 
days, still hewing out the hole. On the 13th the hole was made, 
and the birds passed inside. There they continued their labours, 
evcrj- now and then a little head appearing at the mouth of the 
hole, and dropping a piece of bark down. In this way the 
ground at the foot of the tree was soon strewn with chips, but a 
frost coming on on the loth, and more hard weather following, 
the birds were driven from the undertaking, and the male shortly 
after liappening to wander into Lady Young's grounds, was shot, 
and is at present in my collection. Mr. Briggs is of opinion that 
the female will find another mate, and will recommence building 
operations with the return of fine weather. Should this bo 
realised, I shall not fail to notice the occurrence in the Society's 
Journal. 

Suh-fam. GECiNiNiB. 

Gecinus. 

23. Gecinus viridis. The Green Woodpecker. 

This bird is very scarce ia the neighbourhood of Cookham, 

where it is known by the name of " Whitoll,"* or some such 

name, but it is difficult to understand the villagers, all of whom 

pronounce it in a different manner. It is occasionally observed 

on the tall elms at Formosa, whore a fine bird was obtained for 

Mrs. De Vitre"s collection. The species is particularly abundant 

in Huntingdonshire, where I have often counted as many as twenty 

in the course of an afternoon's walk. I have lately procured a 

very beautiful male with the red cheek-mark strongly dovolojie !, 

which I owe to the kindness of Mr. Lynn, the head gardener at 

Lord Boston's. It was shot, I beheve, at Billing-bear. 

• See vol. 1, p. 73. 



10 THE BHIDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOTJBHOOl). 

Suh-fam. Yuncinje. 

Yunx. 

24. Yuns torquilla. The Wryneck. 

As I have noticed under the head of the Cuckoo, this bird is 

much commoner some seasons than others. Mr. Briggs has often 

remarked the curious way iu which the Wryneck contorts his 

neck, but he says the most remarkable instance of this peculiarity 

ho ever observed was in a wounded bird, which twisted and 

elongated its neck in an extraordinary manner. He has found 

its nest at Formosa more than once. 

Fam. TJtvvibje. 

Upupa. 

Upupa epops. The Hoopoe. 

Mr. Briggs has seen one specimen of this bird killed in the 

neighbourhood some years ago. Another was shot at Walling- 

ford in June, 1867. 

Order Passeres. 

Fain. LusciNiD^. 

Suh-fam. Lxjscinin.'e. 

Luscinia. 

25. Luscinia philomcla. The Nightingale. 

The success which has of late years attended the efforts of 
those who have endeavoured to keep the Nightingale iu confine- 
ment has no doubt contributed to the increasing rarity of the 
species. Of the thousands sent annually to London, very few 
certainly live long, and of those who survive the period of the 
autumnal migration, by far the major part succumb to the first 
severity of the weather. We do, however, meet with birds who 
have managed to live through our English winters, and no one 
whom I have met with is more successful in preserving them 
alive than Lovegrove, the turnpike keeper on Maidenhead 
Thicket, at whose house there are almost always sure to bo some. 

There are some parts about Cookham where the Nightingale 
comes every year to enliven our ears with its beautiful song, and 
from Formosa they may bo heard in the Cliefden Woods any 
summer evening. I remember once standing in Mr. Burrows' 
grounds, and distinctly counting six nio-htina'alfis sinaing, some 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAil AND THE NEISHBOURHOOD. 11 

in Lord Boston's and the Ducliess of Sutherland's woods, one in 
the tall elms skirting the Pormosa estate, and one close to me on 
Odney Common. Often, when returning with Mr. Briggs from 
some ornithological expedition, we have heard quite late at 
night the Nightingales trilling sweetly, and answering each other, 
in the Cliefden Woods, when naught else broke the stillness of 
the evening, save the occasional hoot of the Tawny Owl 

At Formosa two pairs of Nightingales bred for several successive 
years in the laurels skirting the carriage drive, but the nests 
being taken by one of the garden boys two or three years ago, 
the birds have not built there since. The specimen in Mrs. De 
Vitre's collection was shot on the estate, but a very beautiful 
male in my own collection was sent to Mr. Briggs by Mr. Bye, 
then gardener to Mrs. Llewellyn, of Wooburn. The poor bird 
was picked up dead one morning, having flown against the glass 
window of the conservatory. He had been for several days on 
the grounds, dehghting everyone with his song. 

Statistics of the number of Nightingales and other summer 
warblers caught annually near London, and brought to the bird- 
fanciers there, would be very interesting. I know of one man 
alone who had upwards of 200, aU males, brought to him between 
the middle of April and the middle of May last year. 
EuticUla. 
26. Euticilla phoenicura. The Eedstart. 

The Eedstart is not common near Cookham, and I have myself 
never seen a specimen. There are, however, some nice ones in 
Mrs. De Yitre's collection, and Mr. Briggs has shot several in the 
grounds at different times. Mr. Gould also obtained a female, 
caught off the nest in an old apple-tree on the estate. 

When at Peterborough I often met with this species, having 
taken many a nest out of the old Cathedral walls; nor shall I 
easily forget the tiny holes they built in, and the trouble they 
gave us to get the eggs ; while the scene which ensued when one 
of my schoolfellows got his hand in the hole, but could not draw 
it out until rescued by a mason with his chisel, is still fresh in my 
memory. 



12 THE BIRDS OF COOKIIAM AND THE NEIGHBOUEnoOD. 

27. Euticilla titliys. The Black Eedstart. 
TliG Black Eodstart is a winter visitant to this country, and I 
am inclined to think, occurs more commonly than ornithologists 
generally are aware of, for at Mr. Kent's the taxidermist, at 
Hastings, I observed several pairs, all of which had been obtained 
in the neighbourhood. I have only one instance of its occur- 
rence at Oookham, but I think there is no doubt of the species. 
Mr. Briggs tells me that a few years ago* in the depth of winter, 
he was out shooting with Stanniforth early in the morning, when 
his attention was drawn to a female Eedstart (as he thought) 
sitting on a post close to them. It was snowing very hard at 
the time, and he pointed out the bird to his companion, remark- 
ing that it was the first time he had ever observed the Eedstart 
in winter. On mentioning the circumstance to Mr. Gould, 
shortly after, that gentleman told him it must have been the 
Black Eedstart. The female of this and the foregoing species do 
not differ so much as the males, and had it been the latter, no 
doubt could have entered Mr. Briggs's mind as to the species. A 
most interesting account of the habits and economy of the Black 
Eedstart is contained in Mr. Gould's Birds oj Great Britain, and 
will well repay the ornithologist who reads it. As it is too long 
to be copied here, I must give a little notice of the bird as 
observed by my friend, Mr. E. M. Young, of Formosa Cottage, 
which I extract from my paper on that gentleman's collection 
published in the Naturalist, vol. II. p. 186. Mr. Young observes : 
— " This little bird was not easily obtained. I shot it among the 
cedars of Lebanon, where its peculiarly shrill note attracted my 
attention. I had not seen it previously in Syria, but there seemed 

* Through the whole course of this paper, and also in my contributions 
to Mr. Clark-Kennedy's " Birds of Berkshire," many birds are recorded 
with no exact date. The reason of this inaccuracy is, that up to the time 
of my going to Cookham and interesting myself about its Ornithology, no 
one had taken the trouble (Mr. Gould, who is always most accurate in 
that point, excepted) to preserve dates or memoranda, so that beyond 
the fact that birds occurred a few years ago, I am unable to give the date 
with precision. As, however, most of the birds shot are in the Formosa 
collection, or my own, and therefore of undoubted occurrence in the 
locality, I must appeal to Ornithologists generally to excuse any inaccura- 
cies in the dates, great care having been taken in every instance to obtain 
the time of year, and particulars of the capture or observation of each 
species. — E. li. S. 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAil AND THE NEIGHBOTTRHOOD. 13 

to be several among tlie cedar-trees. Its cunning in keeping 
close to the tlaickest boughs, and dodging round them as often as 
I cauglit sight of its breast for a moment, was quite provok- 
ing. After a chase of about two houis, I was fortunate enough 
to secure the present specimen, not without a long hunt, for fal- 
ling from a lofty branch it was caught and hidden by a fork in 
the tree, and I had almost given up the search in vain. Mr. 
Tristram shot the bird, I believe, in the same neighbourhood." 

A female Black Eedstart was obtained near Hampstead in April, 
1868, and I saw it in Mr. Davy's shop in the Kentish Town road. 
He informs me that the bird-catchers had been aware of its pre- 
sence in the neighbourhood during the whole winter. It was 
accompanied by a male who, however, up to the moment of 
writing has eluded capture. It is very probable that they would 
have bred in this coxmtry, had they been undisturbed. 
Erythacus. 
28. Erytlmcus rubecula. The Eobin Eedbreast. 

The villagers of Cookham have a curious saying, that no Eobin 
ever sees a third winter, as the old birds are always killed by 
their young. This is a new phase in the economy of the Robin ; 
but as no one at Cookham has ever seen the young ones actually 
kill their parents, as far as I can ascertain, I hope very little credit 
is to be given to the assertion, which is, no doubt, an exaggeration 
arising out of the well known pugnacity of the species. It would 
seem almost preposterous to write another anecdote of the Robin's 
tameness, yet the following will, I beheve, vie with any yet 
recorded, as an instance of its docility. The little bird made its 
appearance soon after we went to live at Cookham, and used to 
come on to the verandah every morning for crumbs, and having by 
his familiarity become a great favourite, he in his turn became a 
tyrant, and would not allow a Sparrow, Water Wagtail, 
Chaffinch, or any other applicant to approach the verandah for 
food. lu the garden his excessive tameness became quite a 
nuisance, as he used to sit on the gardener's baskets, and take the 
fruit when it was thrown in, or if they were digging, he would sit 
on the spade and jniiip into the hole when the mould was turned 
out, and pick up worms. Once when Stephen was doing something 



14 THE BIRDS OF COOKnAM ATO) THE NEIGnBOXTRnOOD. 

to a frame, and was resting his arm on the side, the Robin 
perched on his arm, not in any way timidly, but with the utmost 
confidence, and there sat and sung. Thinking he would fly, the 
gardener got tired of waiting, so he began to move his arm, 
when the little fellow fluttered up on to his shoulder, and was 
carried some little distance in that way before he flew ofl^. The 
history of " Bobby's " pranks would fill pages, could I remember 
them all, but space "will not allow me to write more. As is usual 
with pets, he came to an untimely end, being maimed in one of 
my brick-traps, into which he had gone some fifty times without 
being hurt ; and as his broken wing did not heal quickly, wo fear 

he fell a victim to a cat. 

Fam. Oriolid^. 

Oriolus. 

Oriolus galbula. The Golden Oriole. 

This bird has been observed once in the neighboux'hood of 

Cookham by Mr. Briggs. He was walking on the estate at 

Billing-bear, when his ear was attracted by a note which he was 

convinced he had never before heard. Following the sound, he 

traced it to a thicket, where, by dint of crawling carefully along, 

he was able to come near the object of his search, and there sat a 

beautiful Golden Oriole, within a short distance of him. He was 

able to observe it undisturbed for two or three minutes, before it 

flew away. 

Fam. Ttjedid^. 

Turdus. 

a. Turdus. 

Turdus viscivorus. The Missel Thrush. 

The Missel Thrush visits Cookham in large flocks every 

October. On their first arrival, the birds betake themselves to 

the yew trees in the Cliefden Woods, descending in the early 

morning to the fields round Formosa. They are exceedingly shy 

and diflicult of approach, and even in the sharpest weather are 

the hardest to shoot. The Missel Thrush breeds sparingly in the 

neighbourhood, and is one of the earliest to build its nest. I saw 

one in the early part of March, 1866, with the hen bird sitting 

hard, and scarcely a leaf to be seen on the trees. 

To be contimted. R. B. SHARPE. 



15 



THIRD WINTER SESSION— 1867-1868. 



The concluding conversazione of the present Winter Session was held, 
according to custom, in the Town Hall, on Tuesday, May 5th, and was a 
great success in every respect. Every branch of Natural History was f uUy 
represented, and the arrangement of specimens was very good. It would 
be impossible to catalogue all the objects exhibited ; but the following 
were among the most noteworthy in their respective branches : — 

Zoology. — A live Hedgehog, captured by Miss M. Vernon in Whittington 
Park, attracted considerable attention ; a stuflFed Wliite Mole, lent by Mr. 
Wane, which was, we believe, taken in our district : bones of the African 
Elephant : a skeleton of the American Crocodile {Crocodilus Americattns) ; 
the head and jaws, with the molar teeth, of a young Indian Elephant ; the 
shoulder-blades of a whale : the leg-bones (casts) o£ the Dinoniis maximus, 
from New Zealand ; skuUs of the Bear, H^-ena, etc. 

Oexithologt. — This branch was one of the most fully represented. 
Stuffed specimens of birds in glass cases were lent by Messrs. Marshall, 
Simmonds, Browne, A. Lucas, Rutty, Saunders, and F. 'VMieeler : these 
included the Heron, Bittern, and Little Bittern, Kestrel, Green Wood- 
pecker, Goatsucker, Short-horned and Brown Owls, Sea Swallow, Gull, 
Snipe, Water-raU, etc. : a specimen of the Goshawk {Astnr palitmharinis) 
shot near Stone, deserves especial mention, as the species is not included 
by Mr. Clark-Kennedy in his recent work on the birds of Berks and Bucks. 
There were two collections of British Birds' Eggs. Foreign Ornithology 
was illustrated by specimens of the Argus Pheasant of the Himalayas, 
lent by Mr. Beck ; a case of Humming-birds ; and some of the remarkable 
nests of the Weaver Bii-d, brought by Mr. Small from the Western Coast of 
Africa. 

Entomology . — In this department our British Insects were far sur- 
passed in size and colouring by a collection of Himalayan Lcindoptera lent 
by Mr. Beck. British Butterflies, Moths, Bees, and Beetles were shown by 
the President : and a case of West Australian Beetles was lent by Miss 
Abbott, of Wycombe Marsh. 

BoT.'LN'Y.— A table of living Wild Flowers, arranged by Miss Chandler, 
attracted much attention by its elegant appearance, and by the number of 
species which had been pressed into the service, all collected in our own 
immediate neighbourhood. Among the most noteworthy were the Coral- 
wort {Dentaria hiilbifern), the Herb Paris {Paris quadrifolia), and the 
Wild Garlic {Allium vrsinum). W. G. Smith, Esq., of London, to whom we 
have been already indebted for two interesting papers, lent a large number 
of drawings of our British Plants : these attracted considerable notice, the 
accuracy of the colouring, and the natural appearance of the drawings, 
being much admired. Miss Chandler's valuable herbarium, and a collec- 
tion of British Ferns, were also on view. We must not omit to mention 
some very graceful bouquets, composed entirely of Wild Flowers, arranged 
with great effect by Miss Chandler and the Misses Giles. 

Geology.— This section was, as usual, chiefly represented by the Presi- 
dent's valuable collection. Representative Fossils of the Chalk, Upper 
Green Sand, Oolite, Lias, Gault, and Kimmeridge Clay were exhibited ; 
with Corals from the Carboniferous Limestone of North Wales, and from 
the Devonian. Mrs. Woollams, Mr. Rutty, and others, contributed to this 
section. 



16 PROCEEDINaS OF THE SOCIETY. 

The appearance of the Hall was greatly enhanced by some magnificent 
Azaleas, Deutzias, etc., kindly lent by the Eight Hon. Lord Cariugton, and 
arranged by Mr. Miles ; as well as by Cinerarias, etc., for the loan of 
which the Society was indebted to Mr. F. Wheeler. The bright hues of 
the flowers gave great brilliancy to the general effect. Many friends sent 
cut flowers in great i^rofusion, and some very pretty bouquets were 
arranged ; none, however, were more efEective than that brought by Miss 
M . Vernon, composed almost entirely of Lilies of the Vallej\ 

Besides the above named objects, we may mention the following :— A 
specimen of the curious Parrot Fish ; some beautiful Corals, lent by Mr. 
AVheeler ; a vessel of young Trout, hatched under the care of Mr. Saunders ; 
specimens of Cotton-pods, from West Africa, in various stages of develop- 
ment ; a series of British Reptiles, including the new snake, CoroncUa 
leevis, brought by the Rev. H. Rich, in illustration of his paper ; and many 
others, too numerous to mention. 

Among the books on the table may be named Morris's " British Birds " 
and " British Birds' Eggs," Wood's " Illustrated Natural History," Bewick's 
"British Birds," a volume of "English Botany," etc. Miss F, Charsley 
brought a copy of her recently published work " The WUd Flowers of 
Melbourne." 

By the kindness of some of the lady members, tea and coffee were pro- 
vided in the Council Chamber : after which, the President, the Secretary 
members of the Committee, and others, ascended the platform : and the 
more formal jiart of the proceedings was commenced by the delivery of 
the Annual Address by the President, which we give in extenso. This was 
followed by a paper by the Rev. H. Rich, of Hardwick, Ajiesbury, on 
" British Reptiles." The organisation of the class v»'hich they represent 
was carefully described ; and the members of the various orders were duly 
noticed. The Secretary then read a paper, communicated by Robert 
Holland, Esq., of Mobberley, Cheshire, on " Water Lilies," which, although 
somewhat long, was extremely interesting. We much regret that our 
space will not permit us to do more than allude thus casually to two of 
the most interesting papers read daring the Winter Session. 

The Mayor, T. Wheeler Esq., then proposed that the thanks of the Meeting 
be given to the President for his paper, as well as for his exertions on 
behalf of the Society since its establishment in 18()o. This was seconded 
by the Rev. J. Power, of Tyler's Green, and was carried unauimouslj'. 

A similar vote to the Secretary was proposed by J. Edwards, Esq., and 
seconded, in a flattering sijccch, by T. Marshall, Esq., and was likewise 
carried, ncm. can. 

Votes of thanks to the authors of the papers were also put and carried. 

Tlie President's magnificeut microscope was tlicu produced ; but the 
lileetiKg slispeiseO: ftlmost iinnic<i»Rtely .liter the eoncinsion of tjio papers; 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 17 

ANNUAL ADDRESS. 

At the close of our third winter session it is my privilege to congratulate 
the members of our society on its continued prosperity and increase. The 
attendance at our evening re-unions has been exceedingly encouraging. 
There are many indications of a gro'wing interest felt in the objects of our 
association. Our position is recognised in other towns besides our own. 
Our published transactions have a range wider than the confines of a small 
provincial town. 

Our winter session was introduced by an important and interesting paper 
on " Local Museums." The design of that paper was not merely to afford 
a transient gratification which might pass away "with the close of the 
evening's meeting, but to lead to an important and responsible undertaking 
— the establishment of a museum for the to'wn and neighbourhood. Though 
the members of our society could scarcely entertain the project of founding 
and supporting a grand institution by their own unaided resources, yet they 
were ambitious of instituting a movement which might lead to the formation 
of a nucleus of good things, around which might gather sufiicient interest 
and support that would eventually establish a prosperous municipal 
institution. 

Interesting papers on the migration of British birds have engaged out 
attention on two separate evenings. The subject deserves attention. To 
my own mind, the migration of animals remains amongst the unexplained 
mysteries of natural science. It is easy to say that these interesting 
visitants are moved by a law of their nature — that they are under the 
unerring power of instinct, which they are constrained to obey as the con- 
trolling principle of their being. That only shrouds our ignorance, and 
expresses the simple fact in other language. What is instinct ? AVe 
perhaps know what we mean when vre use the term. But is it sufficient to 
explain a very wonderful though common occurrence ? Instinct may 
constrain a bird when cold weather is approaching to desire a warmer 
climate. So instinct impels a hungry animal to desire food. But is it instinct 
that enables it to discriminate between food which it likes or disUkes r 
That is accomplished by it as by us, through the sense of taste. I can 
conceive of the Swallow, influenced by its instincts, feeling uncomfortable 
as the cold days approach. Instinct makes it restless. Instinct makes it 
gather with its fellows into companies. Instinct awakens within an over- 
powering appetency for warmer climates and more genial air. But is 
it instinct, or another sense, of which we are ignorant, that leads them 
towards the same quarter of the globe, that guides them with unerring 
certainty across a wide expanse of ocean, and lands them safe within the 
needed thermal zone. Analogous with the migration of birds, is that peculiar 
power possessed by the carrier pigeon of returning to its home. Far from 



18 rROCEEDTNGS 01? THE SOCIETY. 

its usual place of abode you let it fly. It ascends to a lofty height as if to 
make observations. It sweeps round with one grand and graceful curve, 
and then like an arrow ejected from some mighty bow, sails swiftly straight 
to its wishcd-for locality. "What is the impelling and guiding power in 
connexion with these remaikablc movements? Is it instinct? Is it that 
they possess in active exercise another and to us an unknown sense, 
operating through organisations wliich we have not yet discovered, which 
may be in ourselves, but not at present developed. Few that have 
thought upon the subject can doubt but that there are properties in matter 
of which we know nothing, simply because we have not in active exercise 
physical organisation by which the mind can come in contact with those 
unpcrceived properties of the material universe. May not the lower order 
of creatures have organs of sense Avhich to them are inlets of knowledge, 
but of which we at present know nothing ? They may have not only five 
senses, but the multiple of five. There are facts which present themselves 
to the intelligent observers of natural phenomena -which are difhcult to 
cxi)lain. But this would explain much. Many theories have been advanced 
in reference to sensation in the insect world. Microscopists and physiologists 
have bent their endeavour to find out the same number of senses as possessed 
by man. Sight we know they have. Touch they certainly possess. Scent 
and taste are probably developed in a very high degree. Do they possess 
the sense of hearing ? Acting on the assumption that the inferior order of 
creatures have the same, and only the same number of senses as men, some 
skilful microscopists have discovered or thought they have discovered in 
a small nucleoid cell at the base of the Bee's antenna?, an articulating 
membrane beneath which passes the antcnnal nerve, that connects that 
organ with the ganglionic mass of nerves which corrcsi^onds to the brain 
in the higher order of animals. Others have gone further, and have thought 
that the fan-like plates of the antenna; of the Chafer, which is covered over 
with these nuclei, is a kind of compound organ of hearing. Could Ave be 
sure, that the note of the Cicada, Cricket, or Grasshopper, Avas intended 
to bring the sexes together, it would demonstrate the fact, that they 
possess the sense of hearing. But do the five senses which man possesses 
seem sufficient to explain many facts in nature ? Is it the organ of smell 
that leads the Vulture so many miles as by an unerring power, to the 
carrion of the desert, which must be devoured or it Avill throw around 
the miasma of death ? Is it the sense of smell that brings the Moth with 
certain guidance to the sugar of the Entomologist or the honey of the flower? 
Is it the same cause that constrains and guides the Beetle or the Fl)- to the 
droppings of cattle, only a few minutes after it has been left t.^ion the 
ground ? Granting that the scent may extend to such a distance, it extends 
equally in all directions. But these creatures are drawn most certainly to 
that small spot in the wide circle from which the odour emanates. I 



PBOCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 19 

cannot help concluding that there is another sense possessed by them, 
•n-hich may be slumbsring in our physical nature, which may hereafter be 
developed, but which would be useless or injurious to us now, and therefore 
is not bestowed. Here then, I link, if not an argument, a theory, that 
the feathered migrants possess a sense which man does not ; that not 
possessing it we cannot understand it, or that in the outer world which 
through this unknown sense awakens perception in tlieir mind. Such a 
sense would guide it as surely and safely to its appointed summer or winter 
place of residence, as sight guides us to any wished-for object or jjlace. 
From Avhat is probable in the inferior creatures may we speculate to what is 
probably in man. Is our nature fully developed ? May there not come a 
time in man's future history, when instead of five senses he may have fifty, 
or five hundred, or more, and each of these senses would enable him to 
perceive and enjoy attributes and properties in the physical world to which 
we are now strangers, just as a man born blind is unacquainted with the 
glories and harmonies of colour. May not a sense or senses be developed in 
our physical nature hereafter, which may enable us not only to see distant 
worlds around, and so bring in faint enjoyment from those glorious orbs of 
heaven, but with superior o'ganisation we might bridge over the ocean 
of sijace between these worlds, and our o«-n, and bring them so near to 
ourselves, that we could enjoy them as if we stood upon them. Thus 
would God's imiverse be indeed linked together, and distant woilds 
would not appear made in vain for man, but as part of liis own inheritance 
they would seem intended as much for his personal happiness as the 
small planet that is now his home or his prison. 

Allow me to direct your thoughts to a very different topic. "These 
are very beautiful !" said a lady friend, in reference to the gorgeous 
colours of a beautiful Huraming-bird, " here I see attraction. But what 
beauty is there in these old bones ?" Objects are beautiful or not according 
to otir standpoint of observation. Xature's aspects are so varied, that 
minds vdih. everj' shade and complexion of taste maj- find the most intense 
gratification from almost evcrylhii-.g in creation. Is it mere external 
beauty that is sought for r '\\'hcLe is form or colour so exquisite as in 
the almost innumerable objects around us, — the golden tints of the insect, 
the inimitable hues of the bird, the exquisite beauty and graceful gentleness 
of the Fawn tribe. But is there no beauty that delights the mind besides 
that which is perceptible through the eye? Is there nothing that a mind 
enlarged and elevated can d^'iight to contemplate besides that of mere 
external form ? Are there no beauties of analogy or affinity ? Are there 
no mental pleasures in connection with suggestion ? Are there no great 
lessons of instructions ? Are there no great general principles which the 
mind discovers or learns : Are there not sources of gratification and moral 
enjoyment, with which the mere gratification of taste will scarcely bear 



20 PROCEEDINGS OP THE SOCIETY. 

comparison ? These old bones— this giant tooth, — not only do they suggest 
to the comparative anatomist kindred forms, or to the imagination times 
long since gone by, when beings fierce and fearful had the rule of our 
world ; but they help to establish our belief in the unity of creation, the 
oneness of the great all-creating Mind. While to the uninitiated all things 
around appear as a confused multitude of unlike and unlinked existences, 
to me, there is a glorious law of unity pi'evailing throughout Whilst every- 
where there is variety, and nowhere dead and dreary uniformity, yet 
ever J' where we learn that creation has bsen formed after one general plan, 
the beau ideal of the Divine Mind. The little Water Lizard that sports as 
the plaything of childhood, and the massive Ichthyosaurus that preyed 
amidst the waters of the old world in bygone ages, were formed after the 
same general principles, though probably representatives of diiferent 
creations, they are members of the same kingdom, and were modelled by the 
same hand. The skull of the great Kangaroo, and the lately discovered 
head and jaws of a small Marsupial of the Oolitic creation, were made 
after the same tj'pe, so that the unscientific observer can trace the resemblance 
and understand that they belong to the same family. But both of these 
bear the strongest scientiiic afiinity to the monstrous skull of another 
and fossil Marsupial {Dlpratodoii AustruUs), which approaches in size to the 
massiveness of the elephant. Ye despised old bones, we delight to stand and 
gaze at you, and say with delight and wonder — " Can it be — that this slender 
and elegant bone which an infant's handling might be too rough for, and that 
giant head the remains of one who might have matched the Mammoth in 
strength, and more than matched him in agility, — are members of the same 
family and bound together by the closest affinities?" The unity of 
creation is a wonderful and glorious fact. Whether we seek for illus- 
trations amongst these old bones which carry back our thoughts to ages 
long since forgotten in the lapse of time, or draw our examples from 
animals that live in our own day, these common types of creation not only 
proclaim, the hand that made me is Divine ; but they teach us the unity of 
the Godhead— the oneness of that Mind that made and harmonised these 
various creations. Allow me, then, with all the enthusiasm of nature's 
lover, to urge on you attention to this glorious source of knowledge and 
enjoyment.. Next to revelation God demands from us the study of His book 
of creation. The instructions of the Divine E,edeemer teach us that His 
exalted and holy mind could fully appreciate the beauties of nature, and 
the instructions which all things around breathe upon the soul. Begin 
anywhere. The wa\ang grass-blade — the fluttering leaf — the modest flower 
— the buzzing insect — the chalk quarry — the lightning flash — those twinkling 
lights above in the night season, that look down so laughingly and lovingly 
upon our world, — they are all waiting for j-our notice. They all invite 
your contemplation and study. They will all repay you for your en- 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 21 

deavours to understand them. They are portals that open new worlds to 
your mind. They will shed pleasant gleamings on the path of life. They 
will meet you Uke old friends in your walks of recreation. They have glad- 
dened the prisoner's solitary cell. " I have no taste for these pursuits," 
said one who passed through creation -with his eyes shut. You have no 
taste simply because you have no knowledge, and -will not seek to possess it. 
As "full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its 
sweetness on the desert air," so there is many a mind with tastes and 
talents equal to the grandest study of natural phenomena, yet they have 
never been called into exercise. Pascal was so dull a boy at school, 
that his monk-teachers almost gave him up in despair. "Try him," said 
one "in Euclid," and thus developed one of the world's greatest mathe- 
maticians. O, commence the glorious study of natiu-e's facts and laws. 
You know not what delights are in reserve for you. You know not what 
attainments you may make. You know not what facts you may discover. 
Y'ou know not what great principles you may eliminate or establish. 
Though we cannot all hope to obtain a world-wide reputation as astronomers, 
or be recognised in society as accomplished comparative anatomists ; 
though we may not all be endowed with that wondrous mental power 
called genius, that reads as with the eye of inspiration the deep arcana 
of nature's unuttered mysteries, — yet if not original thinkers, we may follow 
in the track of those pioneers of thought and knowledge. Some men labour 
and others enter into their labours. A child may now understand some- 
thing of those great principles which Newton's mighty brain elaborated 
out. The results of an Owen or Huxley may become our ovm, may fill us 
with wonder and pleasure, and may be enjoyed with comparatively little 
effort. Thus the founders of science and the disciples of science seem to 
stand on common ground, and gaze with commoa enjoyment on the glorious 
scenes that open to the mind. 

" Oh, Nature ! with delight I gaze on thee ! 

For to my soul, thou'rt Uke the ladder seen 

By Isaac's dreaming son, a path direct 

By which the raptured vision can ascend 

From earth to heaven, from finite things to Fim 

The Infinite, who from the boundless waste 

Of nothingness, or from the dark abyss 

Of Chaos, called them forth ; since all I see 

Through all th' Ulimitable scenes of space, 

To me the indelible impression bears 

Of power and grace Divine." 



FOURTH SUMMER SESSION,— 1868. 
First Field Day, Tuesday, June 9th. 
The proceedings commenced with a Ramble to Hollow-lane and Green- 
street, the members leaving the National Schools at three p.m. The attend- 



22 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

ance was but very small, in spite of the earnest appeal of the Secretary. 
Among those present were the President, the Secretary, the Rev. H. Rich, 
Mr. Ramsay, and J. Parker, Esq. As usual, ample matter for remark was 
found ill the many natural objects observed in the lane, and the old dis- 
cussion regarding the origin of Hollow-lane, Avhether a watercourse, or a 
British road, was renewed. Among the plants noticed were Valeriana 
efficinalis, Asjjerula cynanchica, Antliyllis vulneraria, Linum catharticum, 
&c. In returning to Castle Hill across the fields, various objects of interest 
were noticed. 

After the Ramble the members who had joined it, as well as many others 
who were imable to share the pleasure, repaired to Castle Hill, at the kind 
invitation of J. Edwards, Esq., where they were refreshed with tea and coifee ; 
after which the whole company adjourned to the lawn, where an elaborate and 
interesting paper " On the Present State of Geological Science in England," 
was read by Mr. Ramsay, a few illustrative remarks being added by the 
President. The Members then adjourned to the residence for the transaction 
of the special business of the Meeting. The following satisfactory Report 
for 1867 — 8, was read by the Secretary, J. Britten, Esq. : — 

"The commencement of another year in the annals of our Society brings 
with it the customary routine of an Election of Officers, a resutne of our 
Proceedings, and a statement of our present position. The pleasant duty 
of reporting our progress has again fallen to my lot ; and I trust that 
the Members will feel justified in concluding from the following statements, 
that the interest taken in the High Wycombe Natural History Society 
is not merely a passuig one, but one which will grow and develope with 
each succeeding year. 

" Although it is gratifying to reflect that our Society is gaining ground, 
I should not be doing my duty, did I not remark, in passing, on one 
somewhat important drawback to our position among similar Societies. The 
scanty attendance at our Summer Rambles is a thing to be regretted, not 
only in its immediate, but in its ultimate, results. The purport of these 
Summer Rambles is to afford matter for our consideration at our Winter 
Meetmgs : and a want of interest in the one must lead to a want of appre- 
ciation of the other. Nor is this all. One of the chief aims of a local 
Natural History Society is the investigation of the various natural objects 
occurring in its district ; and, in proportion to the want of energy in such 
investigation, the Society fails in its object. An investigation of dried 
flowers, arranged fossils, or stuffed birds, and the listening to occasional 
papers, will never make us naturalists ; as I have before remarked. Natural 
History is not a thing of books, or of dried and preserved specimens — a 
mere hortus siccus or dry museum — no, it is a livitig study — a study having 
its " sermons in stones," its " books in the running brooks." Our 
Rambles last year were to HoUow Lane, Marlow Road, Downley, Totteridge, 
and Green Street : but the attendance on each occasion was exceedingly 
small. 

" We have, however, every reason to congratulate oui'selves upon the 
success of our Evening jNIeetings, of which six have been held, in addition 
to the one in the Town Hall. The papers read were iir no way inferior 
to those of the last Winter Session ; and the objects exhibited were both 
varied and interesting. The following is a list of the papers read : — 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 23 

On Local Museums The Rev. W. Biamley-Moore. 

♦Additions to the Wycombe Flora, 1867 The Secretary. 

*Our Ferns (communicated) ^Ir. UUyett. 

*0n the Migration of Birds (two papers) T. Marshall, Esq. 

On the Order Leguminosoe The Secretary. 

The Stones of our Fields The Rev. W. Bramley-Moore. 

*0n the Seeds, or Spores, of Fungi (communicated) . . . .W. G. Smith, Esq. 
A Summary of the Birds of Berks and Bucks 

(communicated) Alexander Clark-Kennedy, Esq. 

On Forget-me-nots The Secretary. 

The Folk-lore of Frodsham, Cheshire (communicated) . .Mr. J. F. Robinson. 

•Annual Address The President. 

British Reptiles The Rev. H. Rich. 

Water-lilies (communicated) Robert Holland, Esq. 

Besides these, our President has given us two short lectures on Geology, 
and one on Molluscs. Our Annual Conversazione in the Town Hall was, 
I believe, generally considered a very successful meeting : the attendance 
was larger than on previous occasions, and the objects exhibited were 
more numerous. The Society tenders its best thanks to those ladies wlio 
kmdly supplied tables on that occasion, as well as to those who assisted 
in arranging the objects, and to those who lent them. 

" The Quaiterly Magazine of the Society still holds its ground ; and the 
number of subscribers has so far increased, that it was thought desirable 
to terminate Yol. I. with the last number published, and to increase the 
number of copies of forthcoming numbers. The papers published have 
not, judging from the reviews, been lacking in interest ; five of those in tlie 
above list (marked *) have appeared in its pages : and some have been 
transferred, wholly, or in part, to other periodicals. When all subscriptions 
for Nos. o — 8 have been paid, the receipts will exceed the expenditure by 
3s. 8Jd., a result which is satisfactory, both as showing the increased 
appreciation manifested of the Magazine, and as justifying the Society iu 
continuing its publication. 

" The Magazine, however, has not been the only work with which the 
Society has been intimatelj' connected during the past season. One of our 
members, Alexander Clark-Kennedy, Esq., has produced an interesting 
volume on " The Birds of Berks and Bucks," which bears internal 
e'S'idence of the assistance rendered to its author by other members of the 
Society. Many of those who were unable to furnish facts for insertion, 
aided, by their subscriptions, the publication of the work. The paper 
" On Local Museums," by the Rev. W. Bramley-Moore, was published in 
pamphlet form, and a copy was presented to each subscriber to the 
Magazine. I may also mention my own " List of Buckinghamshire Plants," 
which I have largely distributed among botanists in the hope of obtaining 
assistance in rendering the work more perfect — a hope which has, to a certain 
extent, been realised. I have before stated my intention to publish, if 
possible, at some later period, a complete Flora of the county, but much 
remains to be done ere such completion can be even approximately 
attained, although some of our members, as well as friends residing in 
other parts of the county, have kindly rendered me much assistance. 

" The project of a Local Museum for Wycombe, which excited much 
attention at our earlier Winter Meetings, has been temporarily abandoned : 
the one great obstacle to its fulfilment being the difficulty of obtaining a 
suitable room for the reception of objects. Indeed, much consideration 
would be necessary before we could commence to carry out such a scheme, 
lest we should attempt more than we could ultimately accomplish, and our 
labour be lost. I must confess that the President's experience, as well as 
my own, of country museums as at present existing, is anything but 
favourable to their establishment. 



24 TROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

" Our Cash Account is still very satisfactory. Our actual receipts, with 
the balance from last year, have been £9 6s. lid., and £1 5s. Od. in 
addition is still due — while our outgoings amount to £5 14s. 83d. — thus 
showing a balance in our favour of £5 7s. 2^d. The number of members 
is still steadUy increasing. 

" It MiU be of interest to many of our members to learn that our former 
Secretary, Mr. Ullyett, has at length succeeded in establishing a Natural 
History Society at FollvCstone, which promises to become as flourishing as 
our own. Our best wishes for his success will, I am sure, be given. 

" Our Fourth Summer Session has now opened upon us — shall we not 
make better use of it than we have done of its predecessors ? Shall we, who, 
by becoming members of this Society, have pledged ourselves to its 
interests, do nothing to advance those interests ? In the great vineyard 
of Nature none may stand all the day idle. It is not necessary that we 
should go far abroad in our search for objects of study — nor that we should 
attempt more than we can accomplish, and then fall back because we 
cannot at once master even the alphabet of our science. One family of 
plants — one group of insects, or shells, will occupy us fully for this season, 
and give us more to do than we can now even expect. We are told by some 
who speak in ignorance of our study, that these scientific pursuits lead 
to infidelity. Is this so ? We know it is not. Every flower, every tree, 
every bu'd, every insect, every created object, helps to swell the great 
Benedicite, the mighty Alleluia, which goes up from the whole earth 
to its great Creator. 

"The more advance we make, the more plainly shall we hear the voice of 
Nature, speaking to us, and calUng us onward — leading us from one object 
to another — pointing out greater and greater wonders — taking us step by 
step, as it were, and at each step urging us higher. Then we shall hear 
her inviting us, as in Longfellow's beautiful poem, she invited the great 
French naturalist — 

" ' Come wander with me,' she said, 
' Into regions yet untrod. 
And read what is stUl \inread 
In the manuscripts of God.' 

And he wandered away and away, 

With Nature, the dear old nurse, 
Who sang to him night and day 

The rhymes of the universe. 

And whenever the way seemed long. 

Or his heart began to fail — 
She would sing a more wonderful song, 
Or teU a more marvellous tale." 

At the conclusion, the Meeting proceeded to the election of the Officers 
and Committee for the ensuing year. 

T. Marshall, Esq., in a highly complimentary speech, proposed there- 
election of the Rev. T. H. Browne as President of the Society, which being 
seconded by K. M. Bowstead, Esq., M.D., was carried by acclamation ; and 
was briefly acknowledged by Mr. Browne. 

John Parker, Esq., then more briefly, but in terms equally flattering, 
proposed the re-election of J. Britten, Esq., as Honorary Secretary. The 
Rev. J. Power, of Tylers Green, seconded the proposition, which was 
heartily adopted, and acknowledged. The Committee, T. Marshall, Esq., 
Dr. Bowstead, and F. Wheeler, Esq., were then, on the proposition of J. 
Parker, jun., Esq., and Mr. Butler, unanimously re-elected. A most cordial 
vote of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Edwards for their hearty welcome and en- 
tertainment of the Society followed, which was acknowledged by Mr. 
Edwards. Thanks to Mr. Ramsay for his able paper were given and 
acluiowledged, which concluded the business of the fleeting. 



25 



THE SONG THRUSH.— Continued from page U, Vol. II. 

31. Turdus musicus. The Song Thrusli. 
I -would call attention to the migratory habits of this species, a 
fact probably unheard of by many of my readers, but one which 
I think will be found to be true. Mr. Briggs and myself have 
noticed that thei-e always seems to be a gradual increase of 
Thrushes about the beginning of February, which continues until 
the breeding season has fairly set in. Professor Newton has 
written a short but interesting note on this subject,* in which he 
comes to the conclusion, after several years' observations, that the 
Song Thrush is a regular migrant. I quote a few of his remarks : 
— " Since the Autumn of 1849, my brother Edward and myself 
have paid much attention to the presence or absence of the so- 
caUed resident species of Turdus. The result of our observations 
is such as to leave on our minds no doubt of the regular migra- 
tion of the Song Thrush, as far as concerns the particular locality 
whence I write (Elveden). Year after year we have noticed that, 
as summer draws to a close, the birds of this species (at that 
season very abundant) associate more or less in small companies. 
As autumn advances, their numbers often undergo a very visible 
increase until about the middle of October, when a decided dimi- 
nution takes place. Sometimes large, but more generally small, 
flocks are seen passing at a considerable height overhead, and 
the frequenters of the brakes and turnip fields grow scarcer. By 
the end of November, hardly an example ordinarily appears. 
***** Towards the end of January, or beginning of 
February, their return commences. They appear at first slowly 
and singly ; but as spring advances, in considerable abundance 
and without interruption, until, in the height of the breeding 
season, they by far outnumber their more stay-at-home cousins 
the Blackbirds." I had never been witness to the autumnal 
gatherings of the Song Thrush till last year, when Mr. Briggs 

* Jbis, 1860, p. 83. 



26 THE BIRDS OF C'OOKITAir AND THE NEIGHBOUIinOOD. 

and myself were astonishod at tlio large number of Thruslies 
whicli were congregated in Cliefden woods about the beginning of 
October. An occasional Redwing being heard among them, wo 
supposed thorn at first to be all of the latter species, and shot 
several in the course of a week or two, all of which, however, 
were the common Thrush, and it was not until the 8th of October 
that we shot our first Eedwing. 

32. Turdus iliacus. The Eedwing. 

The Eedwing is a winter visitant, arriving very early. The 
two last specimens procured by Mr. Briggs for my collection will 
fairly illustrate the average time of their arrival and departure. 
A male was shot on October 8th, 1867, and another male on the 
6 th of March. In very severe weather numerous Eedwings are 
frozen out, some dying of starvation and cold, while others 
become so weakened as to be run down and caught alive by the 
villagers. As a rule, however, they are very shy, feeding in 
flocks, and are not easily approached. One of them is generally 
stationed as sentinel at the top of a neighbouring tree, whence he 
gives notice of the first intruder. 

h. Planesticus. 

33. Turdus pilaris. The Fieldfare. 

The Fieldfare is more numerous in some years than in others. 
It generally, too, arrives later than the Eedwing, and, I think, 
departs earlier. Like the latter bird it is usually shy and 
difficult to shoot, but is often put to great distress by the frost, 
and when rendered tame by misfortune, falls an easy prey to the 
gun. Mr. Clark-Kennedy docs not mention the local name 
" Pigeon-felt," by which I have often heard the villagers call it. 

Morula. 
34. Morula vulgaris. The Blackbird. 
This well-known songster is common all the year round, 
although very much shot down by the gardeners in the neigh- 
bourhood. The Blackbird has a peculiar ^;^«f7«flH< for mulberries, 
on which fruit it feeds voraciously in company with the Starlings, 
but there is no bird so often seen on the lawn of an early 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAII AND THE NEIGHBOTJEHOOD. 27 

morning, hunting after Tvorms, &c., as the present species, and 
the good he does in this way ought to be allowed to counter- 
balance the small pilferings of fruit which he commits at certain 
seasons of the year. I recorded in the Naturalist a beautiful 
piebald variety of the Blackbird which was shot near White 
Place by my kind friend Mr. Mills, of Cookham, who gave it to 
me. It was preserved for my collection by Mr. Joseph Ford, 
and is still in my possession. 

35. Merula torquata. The Eing-Ouzel. 

In the early part of March, 1867, a very fine male Eing-Ouzel 
was shot by a man at Cookham Dean and preserved for him by 
Mr. Briggs. This is the only occurrence of this bird in the 
neighbourhood that I am personally acquainted with ; but my 
friend Mr. Brown, of Cookham Dean, informs me that another 
was shot some years ago near Stoke, which is, I believe, at present 
in his collection. 

Having thus had the pleasure of recording the occurrence of 
all the rightly so-caUed " British " Thrushes near Cookham, I 
should like to add a word or two concerning the six species, 
whereby they may be easily distinguished when procured, for I 
have met with some persons who do not kno w how to distinguish 
between them. I have therefore drawn up the following short 
diagnostic table, after the same manner in which I am working 
out more diflB.cult and elaborate groups of birds. These s} noptic 
tables will always be found a very satisfactory help in the study 
of birds : — 

A. Sexes similar. 

a. Crown of head olive-brown, flanks yellowish- white. 
Larger : outer tail-feathers tipped 

with white 1. Turdus viscivorus. 

Smaller : outer tail-feathers imi- 

form 2. T. musicns. 

h. Flanks rufous Z. T. iliacus. 

B. Crown of head blue-grey 4. T. 2nlaris. 

C. Sexes different, crown of head black. 

a. Beneath imiforra black 5. 31erula vulgaris. 

b. With a white pectoral crescent-like 

band , 6. 31, torquata. 



28 THE BIRDS OF COOKUAil AND THE NEIGnBOURHOOD. 

All those Thrushes arc very closely allied, and seem to consti- 
tute a distinct section of the Paltoarctic species of the genus 
Turdus. This idea is also borne out by Dr. Sclater, in his ex- 
cellent paper on the " Geographical Distribution of the genus 
Turdus."-^ Moreover they exhibit close relations inter se, when 
every point of their economy is taken into consideration. To 
begin with, their style of nidification is similar. Then again 
their osteology somewhat confirms the arrangement proposed, 
although I cannot altogether agree with every conclusion arrived 
at by Mr. E. L\ Tomes ;f for instance, his separation of Turdus 
torquatus so far from T. meruh, and again in the splitting 
off of T. musicm into a separate section from T. iliacus, an 
arrangement which, after Professor Newton's remarks, he would 
doubtless bo williug to modify. We might have expected, 
however, that T. viscicorus would be found to present slight 
modifications in osteological characters, when compared with 
T. iliacus or T. musicus, as its habits present us with certain 
differences, added to which its egg, though somewhat allied 
to that of the latter bird, also differs. But the affinity between 
the two smaller birds will strike every one at first sight, and, 
according to Mr. Tomes, their osteology is also very similar. He 
has separated T. musicus under another division, solely on account 
of its supposed non-migratory habits, a fact which is now pretty 
satisfactorily disproved. But in its generally darker style of 
plumage, its general habits, and in the colour of the egg, the 
Eedwing shows some slight affinity to the Fieldfare, next to 
which it is placed by Mr. Tomes ; and again, though in this case 
Yo- y much further removed, the Fieldfare shows a slight affinity 
to the Blackbird. 

The relationship between the two British species of Ifcrula is 
again very close in some points of their economy, while in others 
they differ considerably. 

Sul-fam. Saxicolinje. 

Saxicola. 

36. Saxicola oeuanthe. The Wheatear. 

The Wheatear generally makes its appearance early in 
* Ibis, 1801, p. 227. t if^i'^, 1S56, p. 379. 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAU AND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 29 

April, at which time a few pairs are ohserved on Cockmarsh 
Common. I have never succeeded in shooting one myself, but in 
the Formosa collection is a fine pair ; and Mr. Briggs has shot 
them at the above-mentioned time of year in the neighbourhood. 
In Leicestershire I used to find the Wheatear very common, and 
a "Utick's " nest was often found in our cricket-field at Lough- 
borough Grammar School. 

Pratincola. 
37. Pratincola rubicola. The Stone-chat. 

This bird, which commonly goes by the name of the " Furze- 
chat," is not uncommon in its favourite locaUties during the 
summer months, and may generally be found on Maidenhead 
Thicket. It has, however, never yet fallen under my notice 
during the winter, though ]\Ir, Kennedy was fortunate enough 
to meet with a pair in January, 18G6. 

38. Pratincola rubetra. The Whinchat. 

The Whinchat is sparingly found near Cookham during the 

summer, and, unlike the Stonechat, which aifects the high ground, 

it is generally seen in the fields of standing grass, especially 

towards dusk. In such situations I have often shot it. With 

the Stonechat, it is often seen sitting on the telegraph wires, or 

on the palings by the side of the railway. 

Fam. Sylvicolid^. 

Suh-fam. MoTAciLLiNiE. 

a. Motacilla. 

39. Motacilla Yarrellii. The Pied Wagtail. 

This bird is met with all the year round near Cookham, and 
breeds plentifully. Nor is it particular in the choice of a site for 
nest, which is generally placed in the thick ivy climbing round the 
walls of the gardens at Formosa. I have seen one in a fig-tree 
against the wall, while another pair of birds selected a flower- 
basket on the lawn at Formosa, and built their nest in the mould. 
The Cuckoo shows great partiality for laying in tlie Wagtail's 
nest, the two latter above-mentioned being both visited by one of 
these birds. In the nest, in the fig-tree I saw a young Cuckoo 
comfortably seated, while a cat dotatroyed the nest in the flower^ 



30 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGnBOURHOOD, 

basket, and killed the old bird. Mr. Briggs remarks the extreme 
similarity of the Cuckoo's egg to that of the Wagtail, an assertion 
I can myself confirm from personal observation. 

In the severe weather at the beginning of the present year Mr. 
Briggs was surprised to find a large flock of Wagtails congregated 
in the laurels near his cottage door. He estimates their number 
at about 200 to 250, and supposes that they were going to roost 
there, the cold being too great to allow them to occupy their usual 
place — the osier beds in the eyots on the river. In the winter they 
roost in flocks in these latter places, and as it gets dusk they may 
be seen trooping, singly, or in small parties of five or six towards 
their destination If the weather continues severe, the Wagtails 
do not remain long, but leave, I think, for the South of England. 
At all events very few are to be seen in extreme frosts. 

To he continued. R. B. SHARPE. 



m mm '§tmMi\m^ Mmm gl»ut^ and ^uimal^.* 

IT seems somewhat startling for a beginner in botanical studies 
to be told that it is impossible to define with scientific accuracy 
the difference between plants and animals. You will, perhaps, 
say, "Why, it is the easiest thing in the world. An animal is 
alive, and moves about, and breathes, and eats, and sleeps ; but a 
plant is fixed to the soil, and does none of these things." It is 
quite true that most animals move, breathe, eat, digest, sleep ; — 
but I am going to show that plants also do all these, and more, 
too, that are the usual attributes of animals. I will, however, 
allow that it is quite easy to distinguish between ordhiary plants 
and ordinary animals, though perhaps not quite so easy to set 
the distinctions down in writing. But plants are not all alike, nor 
are animals all alike. There are gradations in the chain of created 
beings; and, though all are equally perfect, because the work 
of the Great Creator, and are all equally adapted to live in the 
situations in which they are placed, all are not equally complex 

* Head before the Society at the Pourth Evening Meeting (February 5th, 
1867) of the Second Winter Session. 



0T<{ SOME KEsk&IBLAlfCES BErWIEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS. 31 

in structure ; and we find plenty of forms of life that are so ex- 
ceedingly simple, that we cannot possibly say whether they are 
plants or animals ; — we can, in fact, trace the chain down through 
so many links, that we arrive at last, both in the animal and 
vegetable kingdoms, at forms in which all distinctive marks cease, 
at least as far as our senses and our knowledge go, and the two 
kingdoms seem to merge into one. I say " seem to merge," for I 
think that there is a distinct line between animals and vegetables 
if our senses could only recognise it. 

I am not, however, going to try to tell you the difference 
between plants and animals — I have given that up as a hopeless 
task long ago ; but I am going to point out some of the resem- 
blances between plants and animals, and I think you wiU find it 
a very curious subject. 

Plants, like animals, are endowed with life — strange, mysterious 
life — of a lower type, perhaps, than that of animals ; but on this 
point, and indeed on many points connected with life, we are very 
ignorant. One thing is certain, that the life of a plant is subject 
to very many of the same laws as that of an animal. External 
circumstances affect it in the same way. A fish that inhabits the 
water dies if brought into the air, and a land animal is drowned 
if placed in the water ; so, a water plant, if it does not absolutely 
die when planted in dry ground, cannot thrive, and generally 
dwindles away, and a land plant cannot bear to be submerged. 
Nevertheless, plants are capable of adapting themselves to cir- 
cumstances much more than animals can, and therefore I should 
suppose that plant-life is of a simpler type than animal-life, and 
the laws affecting it less intricate. 

I once met with an instance, however, that by no means bears 
out what I have just been saying, and I cannot account for it. 
A pond containing waterlilies had been drained so nearly dry, 
that there was only a little soft mud at the bottom ; but in this 
the waterlilies, instead of dying, grew with such luxuriance, 
sending up such forests of dark green leaves, and such profusion 
of lovely flowers, that I have never seen the like before or since. 
Why these waterlilies should have grown better out of their 



32 ON SOME KESEMBLANCES BETWEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS. 

natural element, I cannot say ; but, as a rule, plants, like animals, 
live best in those situations in which nature usually places them. 

Another curious point of resemblance between plant and animal 
life, is that they are said to be affected in the same way by many 
poisonous substances. If poison is present in the soil or the air 
in small proportion only, plants become sickly, and we see the 
effects of the poison in the stunted appearance, the decaying ends 
of the branches, and the premature fall of leaves. But if poison 
exists in large quantity, the plants are entirely killed, just as 
animals would be ; and the strangest thing is that poisons act in 
both in the same way ; thus an irritant poison given to an animal 
would act by destrojdng the tissues of the body, and it would act 
in a similar way in a plant ; but a narcotic poison, which is 
supposed to act on the nerves, would take away animal life 
without destroying any of the tissues, and the same would happen 
with a plant, — life would be destroyed, but the substance of the 
plant would remain unchanged. No trace of nerves have ever 
been discovered in plants, as far as I know, but from the effects 
which narcotic poisons exercise, it certainly would be logical to 
infer that plants do possess some internal arrangement that is 
analogous to nerves in an animal. I have heard it said that 
chloroform will send a plant to sleep, and that a sensitive plant 
subjected to its influence will droop its leaves ; but I have not 
tried the experiment. 

Plants resemble animals in growing hij the accumulation of matter 
deposited from food. It therefore follows, as a matter of course, 
that plants, like animals, require to eat — though it sounds very 
strange to put it in that way. We are, however, familiar with the 
expression "food of plants," which, meaning just the same, does 
not sound strange at all. A plant must have a due supply of food, 
and that of the proper kind, else it cannot grow. It is quite 
possible to feed plants, like animals, into different bodily con- 
ditions, by giving them different kinds of food. One kind of food 
will make an animal fat, another thin ; stimulating food will 
induce a bloated state. It is just the same with plants. One 
kind of manure will cause an exuberant growth of leaves, another 



OK SOME RESEMBLANCES BETWEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS. 33 

will induce the production of seed, a third the increase of different 
secretions. But I must now describe to you the way in which 
plants obtain their supplies of food. It is chiefly by means of 
their roots, which, though very varied in form in different plants, 
all agree iu one particular, nameh', that the very extremities of 
their fibres are looser in texture, often rather swollen and porous ; 
and these porous ends of the roots, called by botanists 
" spongioles," suck up water from the soil, and whatever may 
be dissolved in the water. This fluid passes up through the 
substance of the plant into the Jeaves, where it meets with air (I 
shall have to tell you, directly, how this air gets into the loaves) 
and becomes changed in its nature just as the food of an animal 
becomes digested. The altered sap is then capable of depositing 
new matter in the plant ; so that besides consuming food, plants 
resemble animals in digesting it . 

There is u very beautiful way in which Nature provides for 
young plants when they first germinate. Most seeds contain a 
lai-ge quantity of starch. This is not soluble in water, but by 
the action of heat and moisture it becomes converted into sugar, 
which is soluble, and the young plant feeds upon this store of 
sugar, till its roots are able to draw food from the soil. Very 
often, just about the time that the store of food iu the seed is used 
up, and the young plant has to begin to forage for itself, it looks 
yellow and sickly, and our old Cheshire farmers say very expres- 
sively that it is "being weaned and is pining for its mother." 
It is rather remarkable they should speak of it as they would of 
an animal ; but it is more remarkable still that, in this case, 
rural Natural History is founded on a strictly scientific fact and 
not on superstition. 

One of the most important of the natural actions performed by 
animals is that of respiration. Having heard that plants live, 
grow-, eat, and digest hke animals, you will not be much surprised 
to hear that they also breathe. It is true there is none of that 
regular contraction and expansion of lungs that accompanies the 
breathing of animals, but every plant that grows requires as 
constant a sujiply of the gases that it breathes as an animal does, 



34 ON SOME EESEMBLANCES BETWEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS, 

and it has an ai'>paratus specially formed to enable it to obtain 
air ; and if tlirougli the clogging up of its breathing apparatus it 
cannot obtain a due supply, it becomes literally suffocated like an 
animal. 

The part of a plant which corresponds to an animal's lungs are 
its leaves. If you examine a leaf, you will first of all see that it 
is spread out very flat and thin ; — that is in order that a very large 
amount of surface may be exposed to the air. You will find that 
the surface of the leaf is covered with a delicate skin, easily 
separated in some plants, not so easily in others. If you look at 
this skin through a microscope you will see that it is studded 
with immense numbers of small green openings. A more careful 
examination would show that these "stomata," as they are called, 
are capable of opening and closing to admit the entrance and exit 
of air and various gases. It is through these openings that air is 
admitted into the substance of the leaves, where it acts upon the 
sap that I have already told j'ou found its way to the leaves, and 
works those changes upon it that can only be compared to the 
changes that take place in the blood of animals when it comes in 
contact with air in the lungs. 

The whole subject of the respiration of plants, and its relation 
to that of animals, is too long to enter upon now, and it is also 
unnecessary for the purpose of this paper; but it is a subject of 
peculiar interest, and brings before us some of the most wonderful 
facts in botany with which we are acquainted. 

Powers of motion and locomotion are by no means confined to 
the animal kingdom. Indeed there are many animals that are 
as firmly fixed to the places where they grow as plants are, and 
cannot change their position at all, and whose only possible 
powers of motion are oj)ening and shutting their mouths to receive 
the food that is washed past them, and almost forced upon them. 
Many plants are capable of as much motive power as this, and 
somo of far more, and I will now give a few instances of raove- 
imnts in plants that are interesting. 

There are several plants that move M'hen touched, as the 
Sensitive Plant, and parts of the flower of some Orchises, and tlieee 



ON SOME EESEMBLANCES BETWEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS. 35 

would seem to be endowed with feeling as well. What the nature 
of their feeling is, we cannot possibly say ; but in its visible 
effects it exactly resembles an animal attribute. It is probably 
not sensation, like the feeling of an aiiimal, but depends on some 
mechanical action. 

But there are many other plants, or parts of plants, that move 
quite spontaneously. The stamens of all kinds of Saxifrages move. 
If you examine a newly-expanded flower, you will see that there are 
ten stamens lying back upon or between the petals of the flower, 
and that each stamen rises up in order and standing erect over the 
short pistil, sheds its poUen, and then, having delivered its fire 
as it were, falls back into the rear rank. You perhaps cannot see 
it moving any more than you can see the hour hand of a watch 
moving ; but if you examine the flower at intervals, you will soon 
see that the stamens have moved. There is a plant called Love- 
in-a-Mist, or Devil-in-a-Bush, or Fennel Flower — its Latin name 
is Nigella — in which it is not tlie stamens that thus move, but the 
long pistils, each one bending down in order and touching a 
stamen, that it may be impregnated. 

Then again the opening and closing of flowers is an instance of 
motion in plants. In the Crocus you may actually see the move- 
ment of the petals — the flower being so extremely sensitive to 
light. I have several times gathered a closed Crocus flower at 
night and brought it close to a bright light, and been much 
pleased to see the petals unfolding, and in a very short time fully 
expanded. 

A very curious example of motion is seen in all climbing plants. 
The last two or three joints of the stem, indeed aU that is above 
any attachment, is constantly revolving, in order that it may find 
and seize hold of whatever may be presented to it. Here, again, 
the motion may be too slow to be seen by the eye ; but if a piece 
of glass be suspended horizontally over the top shoot of such 
a plant and the position of the tip of the shoot marked with 
a dot of ink at intervals of say an hour, the motion will become 
very apparent, and many plants are thus found to revolve several 
times during a day. 



Sfi ON SOME KESEMIirANCKS HETWEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS. 

One of the most extraordinary instances of spontaneous move- 
ment in a plant is seen in the leaves of Bcsmodiuni (jijrans, a 
leguminous plant. Tho leaves have three leaflets, and the two 
side leaflets are always gently moving up and down, quite 
irrespective of any currents of air. 

And now I will just give you a veritable instance or two of 
locomotion in plants— the power of moving from place to place. 

The first is seen in the beautiful Orchises that give our 
meadows such a charming appearance in the early summer. 
The bulbs of these plants differ somewhat from many bulbs, 
inasmuch as they die away every year, the flower spike feeding 
on the starch of the bulb ; but while the Orchis is growing a new 
bulb is being formed, at one side of the old one, and thus the plant 
comes up each year perhaps half an inch from the place where it 
came up last year, and so, in the course of time, Orchises change 
their position considerably. 

But this, I must own, is somewhat different from locomotion in 
animals, and is only similar in its effects. There are, however, 
certain parts of low plants that really do move about from place 
to place. Connected with the organs of fructification of many low 
•water plants, there are exceedingly minute bodies, called 
" zoospores," only visible with the microscope. These bodies 
have delicate hairs attached to them, which move freely about 
and propel the zoospore through the water for some time after it 
is detached from the parent plant. 

Plants resemble animals in resting at stated periods. The 
closing of leaves and flowers at night is called the sleep of plants ; 
but I should be inclined to look iipon it rather as a means of 
protection to delicate organs, than as a time of rest for the plant. 
But hylernation, the quiescence of trees during winter — though 
depending, partly at any rate, on external circumstances — really 
acts like sleep to an animal, and enables the plant to start with 
fresh vigour, when the genial spring sunshine calls it to life, 
and sends the sap up again to the old branches. 

There are very many curious facts with regard to tlie sleep of 
plants, the periodicity of their opening, and the curious ways they 



ox SOME EESEMBLANCnS BETWEEN PIANT3 ANB ANIMALS. 37 

are folded for protection ; and the subject is one that will be found 
very interesting to study and upon -which to note down observa- 
tions. 

Then again, plants bear a very close resemblance to animals 
when the period of their life is ended. The causes of death are 
pretty much the same — wearing out of the different organs — some 
dying of disease ; others of sheer old age ; and when they have 
" shuffled off this mortal coil " they " return again to their dust." 
The earth receives them back again, and their remains help to 
make it richer for future generations. 

I have told you now that plants, as well as animals, live, grow, 
eat, digest, breathe, move, sleep, and die. But besides these 
physiological attributes, as I may perhaps call them, it is strange 
to find at every turn that plants actually mimic animals in their 
habits of life. 

We have unsociable animals that lead a solitary life, and others 
that are companionable, and live together in communities. So 
we meet with plants that grow singly, and others that are always 
found in patches ; — solitary and gregarious animals, solitary and 
gregarious plants. Of course this is only a superficial resemblance 
and caused in the plants by external circumstances. For instance, 
if the seeds of a plant are heavy, and when ripe simply fall around 
the foot of the parent plant, they will come up the next year in a 
patch where the old plant stood ; but if the seeds are light enough 
to be blown by the wind, they will be scattered here and there at 
a good distance from the parent, and wiU spring up, not in patches, 
but singly. Or if a plant makes offsets it will gradually form a 
patch, but a plant that never throws out offsets can never do so. 

Then, again, there are animals that are parasitic upon others, 
and that cannot maintain a separate existence. And there are 
parasitic plants that grow upon others, and that could not grow 
at aU if planted in the soil. These parasitic plants, though not a 
very large class, are exceedingly interesting. They become 
attached by means of sucker-like roots to other plants, and being 
quite detached from the soil — or rather, obtaining no nourishment 
from the soil — draw all their supphes from the sap of their foster 



38 ON SOME EESEMBLANOES BETWEEN PLANTS AMD ANIMALS. 

parents. Of course the injury they do is in some cases very serious, 
as they generally destroy the plants that have sustained them. 
The mystic Mistletoe (whose branches are in such demand for 
Christmas decorations, that we in the north, where the plant is 
very rare indeed, import train loads from Herefordshire and 
"Worcestershire, where it is plentiful in every orchard) is the most 
familiar example of a parasitic plant. Probably all whom I am 
addressing will also know the Dodder — that causes such mischief 
amongst clover and fields of flax — and perhaps the Broom-rape 
also, a sickly-looking, leafless plant that preys upon the roots of 
clover. 

A third class of plants that resemble animals in their habits are 
the scavengers. The greater part of the funguses act in this 
capacity, growing wherever decaying vegetable matter is present, 
and converting it into "humus" or soil, preventing unwholesome 
and unpleasant exhalations which would otherwise be given off 
from this decaying matter. They quite take the place in the 
vegetable kingdom of many animals, whose sole business in life is 
to clear away decaying and putrescent animal matter. I will 
now finish my illustrations with a few examples of plants that 
bear a very strange resemblance to certain animals. The animals 
I mean are those which we call carnivorous, because they live 
exclusively, or nearly so, on the flesh of others. And we actually 
find carnivorous plants — plants which, though they do not ex- 
clusively live on flesh, stiU seem to require a certain amount of 
animal food, and in order to obtain it, have very curious contri- 
vances furnished them by Nature. 

Of this strange carnivorous class is the Sundew, that grows on 
every peat bog ; one of the prettiest of our wild plants, sending 
up a spike of delicate white flowers from a rosette of pink leaves, 
every one of which sj)arkles with tiny diamonds. The diamonds 
are the bait that it sets to catch unwary insects. They are little 
drops of a very sticky fluid that exudes from pink hairs upon the 
leaves, and that seems to be very attractive to flies, which alight 
on the leaves and are held prisoners in the gummy liquid and 
remain there till they die and decay. 



ON SOME EESEMBLANCES BETWEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS. 39 

A very ciirious fly-catcliing apparatus is seen in a plant called 
Venus's Fly-trap, a native of America, but seen now and then in 
our hothouses. Here the leaf is converted into something very 
like an iron rat-trap. It is bordered with sharp spines and in 
the centre are six hairs that secrete a sweet, tempting fluid. These 
hairs are sensitive, and the moment a fly alights upon them to 
sip the sugary bait, the leaf folds together suddenly, and remains 
closed until the fly is decayed. 

In both these instances it is probable that the gases arising 
from the decaying flies are absorbed by the leaves, and help to 
nourish the plants ; at any rate it is diflB.cult to believe that such 
elaborate arrangements would be given to the plants for the 
evident purpose of catching insects, unless the insects were to 
benefit the plants in some way. Experiments might easily be 
made, and the results would be interesting and valuable, to 
whatever conclusions they might point. 

This paper has grown during the writing to a somewhat greater 
length than I at first intended ; but I have still not by any 
means exhausted the subject. In fact I have only thrown out a 
few hints and suggestions, which I hope may have been sufficiently 
interesting to induce further study; and I may be, perhaps, 
allowed to say, in conclusion, that there is still plenty of scope for 
discovery — that our knowledge of any branch of Natural History 
is not yet, nor ever will be, so perfect, that we can learn nothing 
more ; but that every original observation is a step towards truth ; 
that field naturalists, of all others, have the best opportunities 
of making observations ; and that the veriest beginner, if he tries, 
may record something that shall interest, not only himself, but 
shall help the cause of science. Robert Holland. 



Local Names. — It is desired to collect as many as possible of 
the local names of British plants ; and the assistance is requested of 
all who take an interest in the subject, or who may have the oppor- 
tunity of ascertaining and recording them. Any lists sent to James 
Britten, High Wjcombe, or to Eobeut Holland, Mobberley, 
Knutsford, will be thankfully received and acknowledged. 



40 



IV.— THE SKIPPERS {neqjcrida). 



THE Skippers occupy a kind of debateable land between tlie 
butterflies and moths, considerable uncertainty having in 
years gone by existed about their proper place in a system of 
classification. Although this place is now settled beyond all doubt 
as among the butterflies, yet many a tyro mistakes them for 
moths ; this is owing to their having very thick bodies in com- 
pai'ison with other of the Ehopalocora and to the large size of the 
head. The antennae, however, present the distinguishing mark, 
viz., clubbed tips ; the only moths with which the beginner would 
be most likely to confound them being the Burnets, whose antennse 
are likewise clubbed. But it will be noticed that the latter are 
clubbed immediately lefore the tips, whereas the Skippers have 
the end clubbed, with two exceptions, which will be noticed 
presently. The family derives its English name from the peculiarly 
short and jerky method of flying, which will have been noticed by 
all observant readers. They delight in the sunshine, and are to be 
found in almost every flowery spot, whether on the hillside, in the 
meadow, or the woods. As soon as the cheering May sunbeams 
enliven these places, we see \iii\Q Alveolus and its dingy cousin Tages 
winging their flight over the early blossoms. There are seven 
species o f Sespcridce. found in England ; of these two are very 
local, the other five are all to be taken within a mile of the parish 
church. 

The Chequered Skipper (Thymele Alveolus j. — This is the 
smallest of the family, and, as before noticed, one of the earliest to 
appear. It is of a very dark ground colour, chequered over with 
small white spots. The wings are bordered with a black and 
white fringe. The most favoured locality I know for it is at the 
foot of the northern slope of Keep Hill. The caterpillar feeds on 
raspberry and kindred plants. 

The Dingy Skipper fTkanaos Tages j. — A very sombre uninvit- 
ing butterfly, found in company generally with the last-mouLiouud 



"WTCOMBE BUTTEEFLIES. 41 

species. It is of a smoky ground colour, shaded with darker 
marks. Its -wings are always outspread when at rest, which is 
not usually the case with butterflies. The larva feeds on Bird's 
Foot Trefoil. 

The SMAI.L Skipper fPamphila lAneaJ. — Colour fulvous, shot 
with brown, with a thin dark border round the hind edges of the 
wings. The male has a short thin black streak across the middle 
of each front wing. It is not so common in this neighbourhood 
as some of the others, and is not very easily caught sight of, as it 
passes from one flower to another with a short tremulous flight. 

The Lahqe Skipper (Famphila sylvanusj. — Considerably larger 
than the former, of a rich brown colour, shaded with fulvous 
blotches and spots. The male has the same distinguishing 
characters as that of Linea. The caterpillars of both species feed 
on grasses. I had the pleasure this summer of seeing the female 
deposit her eggs on some grass on the Warren, at Folkestone : 
she flew about from one stem to another, till she found one suited 
to her requirements; up and down this she appeared to glide 
without any motion of the wings, probably moving quickly with 
her feet. After she was gone I opened the closely-folded leaf 
round the stem and found inside about thirty small white eggs 
laid in a line. It is this species and the following which have 
hooked tips to the antennae. 

The Silver Spotted Skipper fPamphila Comma). — This 
species presents on the upper surface considerable resemblance to 
the last mentioned, but the brown is much lighter in hue. The 
under surface is greenish, chequered with numerous square white 
spots, which show more or less distinctly through the upper 
surface. The male has the same mark as Sylvanus. Though 
tolerably plentiful where it does occur. Comma is decidedly local 
and is a butterfly for which a good exchange can generally be 
made. It is found in August all over the higher parts of Keep 
Hill. 

The two species we do not find here are Steropea Paniscus, and 
Famphila Actceon. 

Hy. Ullyett. 



42 



(Dn tftc i\\t\m (^x\Mw of i\u W^^vtt g^uimab. 



[The Editor is not prepared to endorse eve?-!/ sentiment contained in the 
following paper]. 

AS several members of the Society have evinced an interest in 
the above subject, I venture to offer a few remarks upon it 
to the readers of the Magazine. 

It appears to be taken for granted by the majority of persons 
that animals are to have no existence in a future state. Let us 
consider whether the popular prejudice is supported by the 
few passages in Holy Writ which bear upon the subject. It 
will probably be denied by none that the lower animals do not at 
present enjoy the happy lives which they enjoyed in Eden before 
the fall of man, and which, but for that sad event, they would 
stiU enjoy. The question, therefore, is, WiU they ever be restored 
to that state of happiness ? "When God " renews the face of the 
earth," and " the new heavens and the new earth " are formed, 
wiJl the lower animals take part in its bliss ? 

Before we proceed to examine how this question is answered 
by Scripture, let us consider what was their state in Eden ? 
or, in other words, how have they suffered as a consequence of 
the Fall ? It is evident that they did not prey one upon another, 
as in that case perfect peace and contentment could not have 
reigned ; neither were they preyed upon by man, as it is not tiU 
after the Deluge that we read (Gen. ix. 3), that God gave Noah 
and his family permission to eat flesh, " even as the green herb," 
which had before sufficed as food for all living creatures (see 
Gen. i. 30). No doubt they had also a higher mental calibre 
than now. They seem to have been intended to yield a ready and 
willing obedience to man, just as man himseK was to yield a ready 
and willing obedience to God. We read that before the creation 
of Eve, when Adam was the only human being in existence, he 
gave names to all cattle (Gen. ii. 20). Of what use was that 
unless they were aU to answer to their names ? And the same 
sentence continues, " but for Adam there was not found an help 



OIT THE FUTTTEB EXISTENCE OF THE LOYTER AlOMAIiS. 43 

meet for him." I think we must infer from this that animals 
were of higher intelligence and much better able to converse with 
man than they are now'; for the passage appears to imply that 
although Adam gave them all names, and made companions of 
them as much as possible, yet it became evident that he needed 
a still more equal companion, and therefore Eve was created. 
The fact that Eve was not startled when addressed by the serpent 
seems also to shew that animals were originally able to converse 
with mankind. 

We will now proceed to consider the question — Shall the 
animals ever be restored to their original state of bhss, and be 
recompensed for the many sufferings and hardships which they 
now endure? S. Paul, in the 8th chapter of Eomans teUs us 
that "the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but 
by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hopeV " The 
creature" cannot here refer to the human race, for in the 
following verses he goes on to say "The whole creation" (or 
"every creature ") groaneth and travaileth together until now, 
and not only they, hut ourselves also," whence it foUows that " the 
creature itself," which, as he proceeds to say, " shall be delivered 
from the bondage of corruption," does not refer to the human 
race. Again, there is a remarkably clear reference to the subject 
in the 104th Psalm, where the Psalmist, after referring to various 
species of animals, says (in the 30th verse), " When Thou takest 
away their breath, they die, and are turned again to their dust;" 
and in ihe following verse, " When Thou lettest Thy breath to go 
forth they shall be made, and Thou shalt renew the face of the 
earth." Here the future renovation of the earth is spoken of in 
close connection with the resurrection of the lower animals. 

In the description of the state of things during the millennium, 
given in Isaiah xi., we read of various sorts of animals dwelUng 
together in peace and harmony. By many the passage is con- 
sidered to have only a figurative meaning ; but is it not safer to 
interpret no Scripture in a figurative sense which is capable of 
being understood in a literal one ? Others, whde admitting that 
the lions, oxen, bears, etc., refer to animals, do not deem it 



44 ON THE FUTTJRE EXISTENCE OF THE LO"WER ANIMALS. 

necessary to believe that they will be individually such as have 
lived on earth before. This, however, seems to be the case from 
the expression in the sixth verse, " A little child shall lead them." 
There is no question that the little children will be those which 
have lived on earth before, or which shall be living at the time of 
the commencement of the millennium, and it seems only reason- 
able to suppose that the animals mentioned will also be the same. 
The argument, however, which is most generally resorted to 
for the sake of proving that animals are to have no future existence 
is that in Psalm xlix. They are expressly called " the beasts that 
perish ;" but if we carefully examine the whole Psalm, I think we 
shall find that it has no refex'ence whatever to the subject. I may 
premise that it is the only passage in Scripture where it is contended 
that the word "perish" signifies to be annihilated. Wherever 
else it occurs it means to come by a violent death : as, " I shall 
one day perish by the hand of Saul ;" " Lord, save me, I perish.^' 
Now, what beasts are they that usually perish or come to a violent 
end? Surely cattle that are slaughtered for human food; and 
these, I think, we shall find are meant by the "beasts that 
perish," mentioned in the Psalm. The object of the Psalm is to 
keep us from envying or being depressed at the prosperity of the 
wicked in this life ; and if understood as I venture to propose, it is 
most admirably calculated to effect its purpose. The first eleven 
verses describe the pride and seeming security of wicked rich men ; 
but in the twelth verse we are told that notwithstanding this 
outward and apparent prosperity, the state of such persons, far 
from being an enviable one, is comparable to that of the "beasts 
that perish." In what way this comparison is fitting we read in 
the 14th verse, " They lie in the hell like sheep, death 
gnaweth upon them, and the righteous shall have dominion over 
them in the morning." It is only necessary to understand what is 
meant by "in the hell " in order to grasp the meaning of this 
verse. The "hell "is a stall partitioned off from a slanghter- 
house, in which are placed the live cattle waiting their turns to be 
slaughtered. Thus understood, how well adapted is the simile to 
keep ua from being envious of the prosperity of the wicked. 



ON THE FUTTTEB EXISTENCE OF THE LOWER ANIMALS. 45 

Could we but bring ourselves to look, not on the external circum- 
stances of sucb persons, but on their spiritual situation, — could we 
but " understand the end of these men," — we should see that they 
are in as imminent danger of eternal death as cattle in the ' heU ' 
of a slaughter-house are of a speedy temporal death. 

It may be objected that by allowing a future life to animals, 
we bring them into too close a relation with ourselves. The same 
objection is sometimes urged against allowing them reason ; 
although, if we set aside that ambiguous term, and substitute the 
plain word understanding, who can deny that they possess that ? 
We might as well deny them sight or hearing. Reason cannot 
be the barrier which separates human beings from brutes. The 
real distinction seems to be that man alone is capable of knowing 
and loving God. That a man, by not acknowledging his Creator, 
rejects the sole charisteristic of humanity, and degrades himself 
to the level of a beast, seems to be implied in Ecclesiastes iii. 18, 19, 
where it is said that men " might clear God, and see that they 
themselves are beasts." That the immortaUty of man does not 
constitute the distinction is clearly stated in the 19th verse, 
where we read " all have one breath ; as the one dieth, so dieth 
the other ; so that a man hath [in that point] no pre-eminence over 
a beast." 

A belief in the future existence of animals enables us to dispel 
a plausible objection to the justice of God, viz., that He has 
subjected so many creatures that never have sinned to a life of 
misery, such as is the lot of many of our ill-treated domestic 
animals, especially beasts of burden. If they are to have ample 
compensation, — if they are to be, as S. Paul says, delivered (and 
annihilation is not deliverance) from the bondage of corruption, — 
this objection vanishes. It should also increase our confidence in 
God, to feel that He so cares for even the beasts. If the Lord will 
save, as the inspired writer says he wUl, " both man and beast," 
surely the sons of men may put their trust under the shadow of 
His wings ! 

W. K. Tate. 



46 



^ooli.^ %m'mL 



2he Birds of Berlishlre and Bucldjigltamshire. By Alexander W. M, 
Clark Kennedy. 

This work, written, as the preface informs tts, by an Eton boy of sixteen, 
is one of considerable interest, not only because of the youth of the author, 
nor because it notes the occurrence of 225 diffi.^rent species of birds in the two 
counties, but on account of the pains taken b y the author to collect and pre- 
sent every particular which is necessary to impart value to a work on Natural 
History, To our own readers this book will be more especially interesting, 
as the production of a member of our So('iety, and the first vs'ork of any 
magnitude with which the Society has been, intimately connected. Of the 
real assistance afforded to the author by other members, a glance at a few 
pages will afford sufficient evidence. 

The great essentials in a book on any branch of Natural History are exact- 
ness and accuracy ; and these conditions are, we believe, strictly fulfilled. 
The names of those gentlemen who have contributed to the materials of the 
work alone afford a sure guarantee of the authenticity of the occurrences 
recorded ; whilst the division of the subjects into the various headings of 
Residents, Summer and Winter Visitors, Spring and Autumn, and Rare and 
Accidental Visitors, makes it more readable and popular, and, in our opinion, 
adds to its practical value. We think, however, that it is scarcely necessary 
to chronicle the occurrence of individual specimens of such bii-ds as the Red- 
legged Partridge, because this species is met with every year by most sports- 
men throughout the two counties, and is not \mcommon. There are also 
defects in style which may be remedied in a future edition, which, we trust, 
may soon be required. These, however, are minor matters. 

Great credit is dae to so young an author for the care and diligence he has 
exercised in the completion of his book, which is a real and material addi- 
tion to the Natural History of the two counties. The paper and print are 
unexceptionable ; and we think our Society may be proud of its connection 
with so creditable a work. 



Science Gossip, Vol. for 1867. London : R. Hardwicke, 192, Piccadilly. 

We have before had occasion to speak of Science Gossip as a model of 
what a magazine devoted to popular Natural History should be ; and we 
gladly avail ourselves of tliis oiJportunity to endorse our opinion. The 



BOOKS EECKIVEJJ. 47 

Tolume before us evinces, by the niunber of its contributors, the general 
appreciation manif lested of its contents ; the correspondence pages are a com- 
plete "Notes and Queries" for natiiralists ; and the longer articles are of 
permanent value. It is difficult to select any one for especial commendation ; 
but we may direcjt notice to one on " The Disguises of Insects," by A. R. 
"Wallace, the int€;rest of wliich is enhanced by the beautiful woodcuts with 
which it is Ulustrated. Among the contributors to the present volume may 
be named Profesnor Huxley, Mr. J. K. Lord, Mr. Charles Darwin, and the 
editor, Mr. Jil. C. Cooke ; while our members will read -with especial interest 
the articles by Me ssrs. Robert Holland, Henry Ullyett, R. B. Sharpe, and others, 
to whose kind assistance our own pages are indebted for many contributions. 
We have also received the numbers issued during the present year, but a 
more detailed notice of these is reserved. 



The Naturalists' Circular. London : Henry HaU, 56, Old Bailey. 

This little magazine seems to meet with deserved favour among naturalists. 
The numbers before us contain short articles of practical interest, -wdth 
occasional illustrations. The paper on " "Waterlilies," by Mr. Holland, 
which was read at our last Annual Conversazione will be found in the 
numbers for August and September. 



The Naturalists' Note-hook. London : Reeves and Turner, 196, Strand. 

The plan on which this little work is conducted differs somewhat from 
those above noticed. Its contents consist chieily of articles selected from 
various magazines and current works on Natural History ; original papers 
are also included. Considerable space is devoted to Correspondence ; and 
we cannot but think that the selection under this head might be more 
judiciously made. Such communications as the one headed "Beautiful 
Buttei-fly," in the August number, scarcely merit the space they occupy. 
Perhaps this objection might be removed by devoting a single column 
to editorial "Answers to Correspondents," in which case one line would hate 
taken the place of the somewhat lengthy query above referred to, and its 
answer in the present number. The general get-up is, however, excellent; 
the type especially being remarkably clear and good. 



Our member, Mr. R. B. Sharpe, has forwarded a prospectus of his forth- 
eomino- -work, " A Monograph of the Alcedinidce, or Kingfishers." It will 
"be published in quarterly parts, imperial 8vo., and each part, price 10s. 6d., 
•will contain eight coloured lithographs. Any information relative to the 
habits of any species of Kingfisher will be gladly received by Mr. Sharpe, at 
11, Hanover Square, London, "W. 



48 



a^ovmptftiAma. 



Otter at Cooiham. — On Monday, 
the 10th of August, a female Otter, 
three feet in length, and weighing 
15pbs., was shot on an islet in the 
Thames, near White Place, by Mr. 
Joseph Ford, Jun.; his dogs at the 
same time destroyed her four young 
ones. — South Suchs Free Press. A 
specimen of the Cross-bill {Lnxia 
curvirostra) has lately been shot in 
the same neighbourhood. 

The Clouded Yellow. — A speci- 
men of this was taken last month at 
Addington, near Winslow, by Mr. 
John Mathison. He writes : — " I 
captured a specimen of the Clouded 
Yellow Butterfly {Colias Edusa), a 
few days ago ; it is a male. Some 
years ago I captured a female of this 
species ; these are the only specimens 
I have ever seen in this part of the 
coimtry." 

The Gull. — A young specimen of 
the Common Gull {Larus canns) was 
captured between Booker and West 
Wycombe, during last July. It sur- 
Tived only two days. 

Flora op Bucks. — A second " List 
of Buckinghamshire Plants," in- 
cluding the additions which have 
been made to the known Flora of the 
County during the past year, wUl, it 
is hoped, shortly be published. It 
is therefore requested that any one 
who has any information on the sub- 
ject in his possession ^vill forward 
the same to James Britten, High 
Wycombe, at his earliest conve- 
nience. 

The Folkestone Natural History 
Society announces the publication, 
at an early date, of the first num- 
ber of a Quarterly Magazine of 
Natural History. When we state 



that it will be edited by our former 
Secretary, Mr. UUyett, we are sure 
that our readers will cordially wish 
it success. 

Abnormal Development of 
Teeth in a Rat. — A short time ago 
I saw in the window of a taxidermist 
in Birmingham, a rat which had 
been stuffed and labelled — "This 
curious specimen was caught at 
Harbome, March, 1865." It was 
indeed a curious specimen ; for the 
greater part of the lower jaw had 
been destroyed, probably by a spring 
trap. The two upper incisors had 
grown enormously long, and de- 
scribed a curve ; the one on the left 
side formed a ring of bone, and the 
one on the right side had curved and 
pierced the palate, projectmg partly 
through the nose half-an-inch above 
the tip The poor anjjnal must have 
suffered much pain and inconvenience 
from the abnormal growth, but was 
in good condition. Some time ago 
I had the pleasure of showing at our 
Natural History Conversazione a 
similar occurrence in a rabbit, which 
had been presented to our Secretary. 
I had not an opportunity of seeing 
the lower jaw, but I have no doubt 
it was destroyed in a similar manner. 
R. M. Bowstead, M.D. 

The Great Bustard ( Otis 
tarda). — Mr. Clark Kennedy gives 
1802 as the last date at which 
a specimen of this bird was seen 
in Berks or Bucks. Mr. W. H. 
Rowland, of Hungerford, vnote as 
follows in the Times of January 31, 
1856. — " A specimen of the Great 
Bustard {Otis tarda, L.), a male, 
and a very fine one, was t&ken 
January 3, 1856, in the neighbour- 
hood of Hungerford, just on the 
borders of Wilts and JBerks." 



49 



Continued from page 30, Vol. II. 

Fam. Sylvicolu)^. Suh-fam. Motacillin/e. 

h. Calolates. 
40. Motacilla sulphurea. Tlie Grey Wagtail. 
Although, generically separated by recent authors under the 
name Calolates, I cannot find any real difference of structure 
. between this form and true Motacilla, and I can only suppose the 
genus to have been founded on a difference in the style of plumage. 
This sort of genus ■ is greatly in vogue now-a-days, especially 
among the German and American systematists, and, although I 
allow that there are many very distinct genera un-recognised by 
such weU-known ornithologists as YarreU, Morris, &c., I cannot 
but admit that such multipUcations of genera as the extensive 
systematists allow, are unesseuiial to the advancement of science, 
and tend greatly to perplex the student. 

Such are the considerations that induce me to dissent from the 
recognition of Calobaies by Mr. Gould, in the lately published 
part of the ' Birds of Great Britain.' I perceive only a slight 
difference in the beaks of Motacilla Yarrelli and M. sulphurea, 
T hat of the latter is a httlo thinner and more elongated, but aa 
the relations of the primaries to each other in. both species are 
the same, and the habits of each bird so similai", I cannot allow 
the more slender beak and legs of M. sid^hwea to be more than 
a specific character. 

The Grey Wagtail is rarely observed in its summer dress in 

this country, though I believe it breeds in the north of England. 

At all events, I saw eggs said to be of this species in more than 

one collection near Peterborough. Mr. Harting says in his 

'Birds of Middlesex' (p. 64) :—" Although I have found the 

^ Grey Wagtail breeding in Northumberland in May, yet in the 

B south it appears to be only a winter visitant." I subjoin a very 

B- interesting uoto by Mr. Gould, and as it relates to the breeding 

I 



50 THE BIKDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOtTRHOOD. 

of the present bird in Buckinghamshire, it will doubtless interest 
many of my readers.* 

The present species makes its appearance at Cookham about 
the middle of September, and is by no means rare during some 
winters. The first Mr. Briggs noticed this year (1868) was on 
the 10th of September, but it is not until the end of the month 
that any number of them are to be seen. The Grey Wagtail is 
one of my favourite birds, and I always take great delight in 
observing it in its native state. I have often watched two 
or three together running swiftly along the sheeting of Miss 
Fleming's weir at Cookham, catching flies and picking up little 
insects from the green weed accumulated on the piles. Their 
motions are full of grace, and it is impossible to imagine a more 
elegant and modest little bird. The bright yellow on the lower 
parts of the back and abdomen is gently relieved by the soft 
grey of the back, while the tivo exterior tail-feathers, which are 
pure white, are always very conspicuous, as the bird un- 
dulates its tail upwards and downwards. The note of the Grey 
Wagtail is always more sweet and sti*iking than that of its con- 
geners, and when flying, the " dips " through the air are 
more marked than in the flight of the Pied Wagtail, Its form 
is also more slender, and its head, when seen in a recently killed 
bird or a skin, appears very small and out of proportion. 

I have now lying before me specimens of the present species 
in summer and winter dress, those in the former state of plumage 

* " During a trout excursion in June last," writes Mr. Gould, " to 
Chenies, in Buckinghamshire, Mr. John Dodd called my attention to a 
species of Wagtail which had built its nest in a rose bush trained against a 
■waU in his garden. Judge my surprise when I there found a beautiful 
black-throated M. hoai'vla t sitting on foiur eggs, and so fearless of obser- 
vation as almost to admit of my touching her. Mr. Dodd permitted me to 
t;ike the eggs for my son's collection ; and a Greenfinch ha-ving a nest close 
by, four of its eggs were transferred to that of the "WagtaU. ; they were 
hatched in due time, and the young partially reai'cd by their foster-parents. 
Tlie c-iicumstance above detailed induced me to sock for others, and I met 
with a second pair tl-.c next day at LlHoi's Mill, about two miles and a half 
higher up tlie stream. I I'urtlicr ascertained, that this species was not un- 
common as a .summer resident, and that tlie Vellow "Wagtail, liudijtcs flava,'l 
so imiversally dispersed over the country, was seldom or ever seen there." 

* Vide Jard. Contr. to Orn., 1849, p. 135. 

t jV. siilphnrea of this paper. 

X IJudyivs campextrh of tliis paper. 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOtTRHOOD. 51 

being from Switzerland. In the summer plumage the throat 
is black and the rest of the under-surface of the body bright 
yellow. I have only once observed the Grey Wagtail near 
London, when I saw one flying along the Eegent's Canal, close 
to the Gloucester Gate of the Eegent's Park, on the 3rd of No- 
vember, 1868. In the neighbourhood of Hampstead and Highgate 
it is sometimes seen in the autumn, and Davy, the well-known 
dealer in the Kentish Town Eoad, has some occasionally for 
sale at this time of year. They do not, however, appear to thrive 
well in confinement. 

Budytes. 
41. Budytes campestris. Eay's Wagtail. 

This pretty little Wagtail is not so often met with by the 
water-side as the two last-named species, hence it is classed 
among the Field- Wagtails, in opposition to the other members of 
the family which are known as Water-Wagtails. The shorter 
tail and other slight modifications of structure, as well as the 
difference of habits, apparently justify its separation under 
the distinct genus Budytes. Another species of this genus, the 
Grey-headed Wagtail (Budytes flavaj is also occasionally met 
with in England. Of this latter species I saw a specimen, 
caught near Hampstead this summer, in Davy's shop. 

Eay's Wagtail is very often observed on Cockmarsh Common, 
about the middle of May, whence I have seen several specimens 
obtained by the villagers. I think this species is some time in 
gaining the fully adult plumage, that is to say, in donning the 
beautiful yellow breast, which gains for it the provincial name 
of 'Yellow Dishwasher,' In an account of a "Berkshire 
Ramble " recorded in the Naturalist for August, 1866, I men- 
tioned the fact of my shooting two specimens on the 27th of May 
of that year. I well remember that this pair, which at that time 

kof year would be in full breeding i^lumage, had the back green- 
ish-brown and the underparts very pale yellow, their colours 
being wonderfully dull, when compared with a fuUy adult bird 
in my collection. I have several specimens of Eay's Wagtail 
from the Gambia, but none of them are in the adult plumage. 



52 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOTTRHOOD. 

I sliould mention that a beautiful male bird of this species is in 
the collection of Mrs. De Vitre at Formosa. 
Anthus. 
42. Anthus pratensis. The Meadow Pipit, 

This bird is very common in the autumn and winter, and one 
may be always sure of finding a flock of them, along with the 
Wagtails and Starlings in the shoep-folds. When disturbed 
they fly iip with a sharp sort of note, from which tlieir trivial 
name has most likely been derived. The amount of variety to 
be met with in a series of eggs of this species is remarkable, but 
I have not seen many varieties of the birds themselves. At a 
meeting of the Zoological Society, on November 12th, 1868, a 
dwarf specimen of the Meadow Pipit was exhibited by Mr. Geo. 
Dawson Bowley, of Brighton, which was exactly similar in 
colouring to the ordinary bird, but was very much smaller. I 
have in my own collection a very dark-coloured specimen of this 
species fi'om Holland. 

43. Anthus arboreus. The Tree Pipit. 

This species may be distinguished at once from the Meadow 

Pipit by the short hind claw, a modification showing that its habits 

are more arboreal than terrestrial. I have, however, shot it on 

one occasion when running along a sand-bank. In .Johns' 

' British Birds in their Haunts,' there is an admirable drawing 

by Wolf, of the Tree Pipit, showing the way in which the bird 

throws itself into the air from the summit of a tree or bush, 

pouring forth its song nil the while. A male specimen in my 

collection was obtained by Mr. Briggs while in the act of flying 

thus. 

Fam. SylviadjE. 

Sul-fam. AcoENTORiNi^. 

Accentor. 

44, Accentor modularis. Hedge Accentor. 

This little bird is the well-known Hedge-Sparrow, which name, 

should, however, I think, be dropped, as it is not in any way 

allied to the Sparrows. It is common at Cookham. 

Sul-fam. Stlviin^. 

Phyllopneuste. 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOTTRHOOD. 53 

45. Phyllopneuste sibilatrix. The Wood "Warbler. 
The usual name for this bird is the Wood Wren, but as in the 

case of the Hedge-S^mrrow, the bird has nothing to do with the 
Wrens, but belongs to a well-known group of Warblers separated 
by modern systematists under the genus Phyllopneuste. 

The Wood Warbler is by no means common at Cookham, and 
I have only seen three specimens which have been shot there. 
One of these is in Mrs. De Vitre's collection at Formosa, another, 
a very old and beautiful male, was formerly in my own, but 
is now in the possession of Mr. P. M. Mc'Bae, of London, who 
has a very good series of Cookham birds. The third, a plain- 
coloured male, was shot by Mr. Briggs on the 4th of June, 
1865, and is now in my collection. I happened to be present 
when this specimen was procured, and we were attracted to it 
by its note, which was at once recognised by Mr. Briggs as that 
of the Willow Warbler. The little bird was soon seen at the 
very tip-top of a tall elm tree, busily engaged in picking insects 
from under the leaves. Its manners were very sprightly, and it 
flew from twig to twig with great rapidity. 

46. Phyllopneuste trochilus. The Willow Warbler. 
This species is common at Cookham in the summer, when it 

frequents the willows. It is curious that the young birds are 
brighter in colour than the adults. I have a young bird, caught 
in a greenhouse in May, 1865, that had the under parts such a 
bright yellow, that, being in ignorance of the above fact, I 
really thought I had got another species of British Warbler of 
which to record the occurrence. 

47. PhyUopneuste rufa. The Chiffchaff. 

This pretty little Warbler is more often heard than seen, but 

can be easily recognised by its note, of which its common name 

is a very tolerable representation. It may be distinguished from 

the Willow Wren by its dark-brown legs. 

Eegulus. 

48. Eegulus cristatus. Golden-crested Kinglet. 

The term " Kinglet " is applicable to these little gems, which 
seem truly to wear a golden crown. The Gold-crest is found 
sparingly at Cookham, frequenting the fir-trees at Formosa, 



54 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AITO THE NEiaHBOTOHOOD. 

where it builds its nest nearly every year. Of the allied species 
the Fire-crested Kinglet (Rcgt^lns ignicapillm), I saw lately a 
very beautiful pair, which were shot on the 10th of October, at 
Shooter's Hill, Kent, and are now in the coUection of Mr. Henry 

Whitely, of Woolwich. 

Sylvia. 

49. Sylvia cinerea. The Greater Whitethroat. 
This bird is common at Cookham in summer, and is always 
found in kitchen.£?arden3, where it is very destructive to the 
cn-een peas. Its song is harsh, and when delivering it the bird 
often throws itself into the air, after the manner of the Tree- 
Pipit • at other times it is heard singing fi'om the depths of a 
thick 'bush. The local name of both the Whitethroats near 
Loughborough, and also near Peterborough, is ' Hay- chat,' a 
name which can only have originated, in my opinion, from the 
note of the bird, which often utters such a note, when suddenly 
disturbed, or when its nest is attacked. I often used to find the 
nest in the above-mentioned localities, situate in abed of nettles, 
so that any one can guess the shghtness of the structure, which 
is supported on such slender stems. The nest was always con- 
structed of dry bents and stalks of grass, and was not very 
artisticaUy arranged. The Whitethroat's nest is certainly one of 
the slightest built of all the British birds, and one can generally 
seethrough the bottom; indeed it used to be a common saying 
^vhen I was at school that the nest was ready for eggs when 
you could see plainly through it. I have lately received a 
Whitethroat from Holland, which is larger than any British 
specimen in my collection. As a rule, birds from this country 
are smaUer than British specimens. 

50. Sylvia curruca. The Lesser Whitethroat. 
The Lesser Whitethroat is not so commonly met with any- 
where as the foregoing species, and I have seldom seen it near 
Cookham. I have never taken the nest myself in the neighbour- 
hood, though I have seen some eggs which were obtained there. 
At Loughborough this bird was by no means uncommon, and 
resembled the larger species in the construction of the nest, and 
in the situations for placing it ; I have even found nests of both 
species in the same bed of nettles. 



66 



Tm& WM^. 



WHEN people wish to be sarcastic on the subject of Natural 
History, they usually faU foul of what they consider the 
unmeaning Latin names by which plants or insects are known 
to the scientific world. They speak with scorn of those 

" Whe Allium call their onions and their leeks," 
and ask to be told whether a Peacock Eutterfly is any the better 
for being designated by the high-sounding title of Vanessa lo. 
They will not stop and let you show them that the names— to 
them unmeaning — are, in many cases, highly significant and 
appropriate; they ignore the advantage of having an object 
named in a language which is universally known, and by which 
a naturalist in one quarter of the world would recognise a plant 
or an animal found in another, and fall back on the remark that 
they shall call a Buttercup a Buttercup to the end of their days. 
Now, it must not be supposed that we have any sympathy with 
those who pedantically use scientific terms for the purpose of 
showing off their own knowledge — which is probably very 
superficial — and of astonishing their listeners. No one but a 
snob — for there are snobs even among professed naturalists, 
although Mr. Thackray omitted them from his book on the genus 
— would speak of natural objects by their scientific names to any 
but those who were at least as fully able as himself to comprehend 
them; but we are anxious to show that these "hard words," 
after all, have a meaning, and to explain this meaning by aid of 
a few examples is the object of this paper. It will contain 
nothing new : and those of our readers who already understand 
the Latin names of plants may pass it over. 

Far be it from us to underrate the value, the beauty, or the 
interest, of our English names. "What can be prettier, more 
appropriate, or more poetical, than the name Daisy, or Daye's 
eye ? — that favourite of Chaucer, who says, 

"That above all flowris iii the mede 

Then love I most these tiowris white and rede, 

Such that men calliu daisies in our towne," 



56 HABD WORDS. 

And again, 

" That -n-ell by reason men callc it male 
The daisie, or els the eie of the daie." 

By every principle of good taste and common sense, we are 
bound to speak of plants or animals by tbeir English names to 
the many who, without actually studying them, feel an interest 
in noticing and hearing of the beautiful things around them— 
an interest which wo should encourage by every means in our 
power, and carefully refrain from checking by any ill-judged dis- 
play of our own scientific knowledge. 

Some persons — we hope but few — are deterred from the study 
of Natui-al History by the "hard words" employed. They 
seem to think it incumbent on them to commence studying botany, 
for example, by learning scientific names, and shrink from attemp- 
ting so formidable a task. No mistake could be greater. Those 
who have not tried it will scarcely believe in how short a space 
of time one's eye becomes familiarised with the dreaded words. 
As a further assistance to this end, it is useful to have at one's 
elbow some books containing both English and Latin names of 
plants ; and then, if we come across a Latin word which conveys 
no English equivalent to our mind, it is easy to look it out ; the 
chances are that we shall not again forget it. 

Before the time of Linnteus, the Latin names of plants were 
indeed weighty matters ; many of them, from their length and 
copiousness being rather a description of a species than its mere 
designation. Grateful should we be to that great botanist for 
having so simpHfied the matter that the name of a plant can now 
be expressed in two words : the first word being called the generic, 
the second the specific, name. The first is usually common to 
several plants, closely connected with each other by certain 
features ; the second is aj)phed to but one species of the same 
genus. Thus — to use a homely illustration — when we say " John 
Brown" — "Brown "is, so to speak, fhe genus, of which John 
and his brothers, WiUiam and Thomas, are species. The Latin 
generic title ofteii. denotes some characteristic which is common to 
all the species comprised under it ; or it is derived from the name 
of some person who is considered by the namer to be worthy 



HAED -WORDS. 57 

of such commemoration. The specific name often refers to 
some pecuUarity in structure of the plant to which it is applied, 
to its place of growth, or to its likeness to other species, or like 
the genus is named after its discoverer, or some eminent 
botanist. Let us now look among our wild flowers for some 
illustrations of the appropriateness of their Latin names. 

First, we may observe that a great many genera are named 
from a resemblance in their blossoms to some other object. The 
large, chalice-shaped flowers of the Marsh Marigold suggested 
the name Caltha, from a Greek word signifying a cu]) ; and the 
name Stellaria applied to the Stitchworts, was clearly given them 
on account of their white star-lile blossoms. The Foxglove 
earned its more learned title. Digitalis, from the resemblance in 
shape of its handsome flowers to ihc fijiger of a glove; while the 
hells of the Hairbell and its allies obtained for the genus its 
name, Cam2)anula; the Globe-flower is called Trollius, from the 
German trolen, a ball, in roferenco to the round outline of its 
blossoms. Sometimes other parts of the plant are selected ; the 
arniM" -shaped leaves of the Arrow-head gained for it its English 
name, ":& tvjII a? th" Latiii SagiUaria ; the Shepherd's Purse (a 
translation of its epocific name, JBursa-pastoris, ) owes both these and 
its generic title, Capsella, to its curious seed pouches. The Horse- 
shoe Yetch is Jlijij^occjjis, from the resemblance which the jjods 
present to a horse-shoe / the Birdsfoot, Ormihoptis, from a similar 
likeness ; the Coralwort is Dentaria, from its toothed root. Other 
genera were named from diseases for which the species comprised 
under them were supposed to be remedial ; Scrophularia is one 
of these. Of the very many which commemorate distinguished 
botanists we need only mention Linncea, Villarsia, Wahlenhergia, 
Lobelia, Knappia, Isnardia, Jlutchim^ia, Teexdalia ; other names, 
of more ancient, or classical, allusion are, Daphne, Iris, IT'arcissus, 
Evphorhia, Gentiana, Ceitfaurea, &c. 

To turn nov;' to specific names, we shall find many which are 
common to several plants in different genera, and indicate tlieir 
place of growth. Thus, pahstre denotes a marsh-loving species — 
e.g., Marsh Wilio'TLcrb, EpilolivM palustre, Marsh Bedstraw, 



58 HARD -WORDS. 

Galium paludre ; sylvaticus, a woodland plant — e.g., the Wood 
Bush {Scirjnis syhaticus), the Wood Scorpion-Grass {Myosotis 
syhatica), the "Wood Cudweed Gnaphalium syhaticum) ; arvensis 
or agrcstis a plant of fields, as the Field Scabious {Knautia arvensis,) 
and the Field Foxtail grass {Alopecurus agrestis) ; two species of 
Speedwell, growing in similar situations are named respectively 
Vero7iica agrcstis and V. arvensis. Pratensis denotes a meadow 
flower; as the Lady's Smock {Cardamine prattnsis), the Purple 
Clover {Trifolium pretense), and the Meadow Cranesbill {Ocr- 
anium pratense); aquaticiis and aquatilis refer to plants growing in 
or by water, as the Water Crowfoot {Rammculiis aquatilis) and 
Awlwort {Suhularia aquatica). Sativus points to a cultivated plant 
or its origin ; the Garden Eadish is Raplianus sativus, the Parsnep, 
Pastinaca sativa, and the Wheat, Triticum sativum. Officinalis 
denotes former use, in medicine or otherwise, as the Borage 
{Borago officinalis), common Speedwell ( Veronica officinalis), &c. 
Vulgaris is applied to very common plants, as the Groundsel 
{Senecio vulgaris). Ling {Calluna vulgaris), and many more. 

Another class of specific names is that which takes its origin 
in a reference to difi'erent parts of the plant. Bulhosus shows a 
plant with bulbous root, as in the Buttercup (^Ranunculus hdbosus); 
repena denotes creeping roots or stems, as in the Couch-grass 
(Triticum repens). Most names of this class are taken from the 
leaves ; thus we have Geranium rotimdifoUum, the Round-leaved, 
Cranesbill ; Vicia angustifolia, the Narrowleaved Vetch ; Veronica 
hederifolia, the Ivy-leaved Speedwell ; Plantago lanceolata the 
Ribwort Plantain, with long tapering, or lanceolate, leaves ; 
Tilia parvifolia, the small-leaved Lime ; T. grandifolia, the large- 
leaved Lime ; Orchis maculata, an Orchis with spotted foliage ; 
Lamium incismn, the C«<-leaved Dead Nettle ; Chlora perfoliata, 
the TeUow-wort, which has perfoliate leaves ; and so on. Others 
refer to the colour of the flowers ; as Anagallis ccerulea, the Blue 
Pimpernel ; Hellelorus viridis, the green Hellebore ; Centranthus 
ruler, the Red Valerian; Gagea lutea, the Yellow Star of P-othlehem; 
Lamium album, the White Dead Nettle : others to the size of the 
flowers, as Cejfhalanthera grandijlora, Large-Jloxoered Helleborine ; 



HABS WOBSS. 59 

Ranunculus pwrviflorm, Small-flowered Crowfoot. The general 
character of the plant is referred to in such names as Rammculus 
htrsuUis, the Hairy Crowfoot ; Geranium molle, the Dove's-foot 
Cranesbill, remarkable for its softneiB. Some specific names 
show the hkeness of the species which bear them to other plants ; 
thus, Villarsia nymphmides, means the Nymphoia-ipr Water Lily) 
like Villarsia ; Selmintha echio'ides, the ^i?7im?M (or Bugloss) like 
Ox tongue ; from the resemblance of its prickly leaves to those 
of Echium I'ulgare. 

Yet another class refers to certain peculiarities in the species 
themselves. Thus, our Coralwort, ■which is so curiously propagated 
by means of little buds, or bulbs, which grow in the axils of 
leaves, is aptly called Dentaria bidhifera, the Bulb-bearing Coral- 
wort. The .B^e-orchis is OpJirys apifera, the Fly, 0. musciferat 
in each case the name being taken from the likeness of the 
flowers to the insects referred to. 

Thus, then, we have endeavoured to show that some, at least, 
the "hard words" of botany have a meaning. In some cases, 
the names are misapplied — Pedicularis sylvatiea for example, is 
by no means a woodland plant — but those are exceptions to the 
rule. Perhaps this short paper may induce one or two, at least, 
of our readers to investigate the matter further ; in which case 
its object will have been attained. ^ , j , 

gldirtitionsi U i\xt nX\itm\it llom, 1868. 



ANOTHER year has passed in the annals of our Society : and 
it again falls to our lot to consider what we have done 
during that period — how far we have increased our knowledge 
of the Natural History of our district, a knowledge which it is 
our privilege, as well as our duty, to endeavour yearly to render 
more complete. As I have twice had the pleasure of laj'ino- 
before the readers of the magazine a brief statement of the 
progress we have made in the investigation of the Flora of our 
neighbourhood in former years, I will now enumerate the 
additions made to it during the past season, 



60 ADDITIONS TO THE -WYCOMBE FLORA. 

Those wlio read a paper on "Our Violets," published in vol. i, 
pp. 90—94, may remember that I was then particularly anxious 
to discover in our district that form of the "Wood Violet ( Viola 
sylvatica), known to botanists as V. lieichenlachiana . I am very 
glad to say that I have at length detected it growing in abun- 
dance in Adder's Lane, as well as more sparingly in other places, 
mingled with the commoner, V. Riviniana ; the Miss Drummonds 
have forwarded me specimens of both forms from the neighbour- 
hood of Denham. The differences between the two, as stated in 
the paper referred to, wore perhaps scarcely as definite as might 
have been wished ; the best description of them is that given by 
Mr. Watson in the 'Flora of Surrey.' "It is," he says, 
" readily distinguished by its narrower petals of pale purple, 
with a deeper spot at their base, and more flattened, always 
purple, spur." These particulars exactly characterise the form. 
While speaking of the Violets I must not omit to refer to two 
very beautiful varieties of V. Riviniana which were found by 
Mr. Marshall, in a little wood on Flackwell Heath : one of these 
had very large jDure white flowers, on which the branched purple 
veins stood out with great efi'ect ; the other had pale pink blossoms. 

Flora seems to have paid our President a graceful compliment by 
producing a species new to Wycombe, almost at his door : in other 
words, the Whitlow Pepperwort {Lepiditim Draba), appeared in 
groat force on the small piece of waste ground immediately 
opposite his house. This is one of those j)lant8 which are gradually 
making themselves at home in England ; how to account for their 
introduction is difficult, and yet their places of growth render it 
evident that they have been introduced in some way or other. 
In the present instance we have a plant which is neither useful 
nor particularly ornamental, certainly not sufficiently so to render 
it worthy a place in our gardens. It will, however, be interest- 
ing to note whether this Lepidium will hold its ground ; in all 
probability it will do so, if the ground remain imdisturbed. 

Another novelty of doubtful origin is the Hautboy Strawberry 
(^Frayaria elatior), which I found last May well established in a 
lane below Handy Cross, near High Heavens Wood ; too near a 
cottage, however, to be really wild. 



ADDITIOXS TO THE WYCOMBE ITiORA. 61 

The Marsh Cinquefoil {Comarum palustre), like the three 
preceding species, is new, not only to our district but to the 
county. Mr. Latimer Clark included it in a list of plants which 
he had observed growing near Marlow ; but I have been unable 
to ascertain further particulars respecting it. While in Cheshire 
I was much struck with the abundance of this plant as affording 
an illustration of a species rare in our county, but there one of 
the commonest ; it grows by, and in, every pond or pit in the 
neighbourhood of Mobberley. 

The Butcher's Broom [Itiiseus aciileatm) was discovered by Mr. 
Marshall, near Cores End, and by him recorded in vol. i, p. 190. 
It is new to the district, but not to the county. 

"We may now turn our attention to a few of the rarer plants 
which have been observed in fresh localities during the past year. 
First in importance comes the Mezereon {Daphns Mezereum), which 
has this year been observed in two new i^laces — in the Braden- 
ham Woods, by Dr. Bowstead, who recorded the discovery in 
vol. i, p. 194, and at Hazelmoor, by Mr. Marshall. Mr. Latimer 
Clark has furnished me with the following note relative to its 
former occurrence in our district: — ^^ Daphne Mezereum grew 
thirty years since sparingly in the woods about a mile and a half 
from Penn. At that time we could find only four or five plants, 
and those large and old ones, as the cottagers removed the small 
ones for the purpose of jiianting them in their gardens. It also 
grew at the same period, very sparingly in the woods between 
Marlow and Loudwater. I have also once seen it on the Berk- 
shire side of the river. From its attractive appearance, and the 
love of gardening which has now become so general, I have no 
doubt it has been eradicated by the cottagers." I have else- 
where* entered more fully into the question of the nativity of 
this rare plant, and therefore need only remark that the more I 
investigate the subject, the more convinced I am that in Buck- 
inghamshire at least, it has everj' claim to be ranked as a genuine 
British species. Next in importance we may rank the Deptford 
Pink {^Dianthus Armeria), found by Mr. Marshall in a small wood 

* Ifaturalists Circular', March, 1868, pp. 86 — 88, and April, pp. 103 — 4. 



62 ADDITIONS TO THE WYCOMBE FLORA. 

on Winter Hill, Berks, just within the district. This is the more 
interesting on account of the disappearance of the plant from its 
former locality near Little Marlow, tlio only place in Bucking- 
hamshire, from which it had been recorded ; it has, however, I 
am informed, been found this year on Green Street by Mrs. B. 
Lucas. That careful observer, Mr. Daniel Avery, has found the 
Scaly Spleenwort ( Ceterach officinarum), in some abundance on a 
wall at Moor Farm, near Lane End. In Culpeper's * Herbal ' 
it is said to grow "on Beckonsfield Church in 5er^sAjV«." The 
Columbine {Aquilegia vulgaris), and Deadly Nightshade {Atropa 
Belladonna), have been noticed in a wood near Moor Farm by 
Mr. Avery ; of the latter plant I found the following note in 
Curtis' Flora Zo7idinensii — "'We remember to have seen it 
growing in great abundance on Keep Hill, near High Wycomb, 
Buckinghamshire. Close by the spot where we observed it, 
there chanced to be a little boy. I asked him if he knew the 
plant. He answered ' Yes, it was naughty man's cherries.' I 
then enquired of him if he had ever eaten of the berries ? He 
said he had, with several other children from an adjoining poor- 
house, and that it made them all very sick, but that none of 
them had died." I learn that the plants on Keep Hill were 
subsequently destroyed lest other children should "eat of the 
berries ;" but, as many of our readers know, it still grows in 
the Park adjoining the Hill. 



*AAAA<)^^Fywi|-^> 



ADDITIONS TO THE FLORA OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. 
As a supplement to the foregoing, I may enumerate the more 
important additions which have been made this year to the 
Flora, not of our district, but of the county. Four of them have 
been already enumerated under the former head, and the 
following may also be cited : — 

Rhamnus Frangula. The Miss Drummonds, of the Tile House, 
Denham, have very kindly sent me specimens of this from 
Juniper Wood, in their neighbourhood. 



ADDITIONS TO THE FLORA OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. 



63 



Impatiens fulva. " Very abundant in ditches near the Colne, 
Denham." The Miss Dnmtnonds. 

Oxalis stricta. «' Gardens and waste places, the Tile-house, 
where it appears accidentally every year." The Miss Dnimmonds. 

Trigloehin paluttre. " Denham Moor." The Miss Drummonds. 

Alisma ranuncuMdes. " Hyde Heath, Cbesham." Miss Dora 
Straiten. 

Botrijchitm Lxmaria (Moonwort). " One plant was found some 
years since at Leckhampstead, near Buckingham." The Miss 
Drummonds. The occurrence of this solitary specimen, on which 
the Moonwort bases its claims to be ranked as a native of our 
county affords a curious parallel to that of two plants of the 
Limestone Polypody {Poly podium Rohertiamm), which Mr. 
Ullyett found a few years since in King's Wood ; it has never 
been observed since, either there or in any other part of the 
county. 

Lycopodium Selago. " East Burnham Common, June, 1864." 

Mr. R. G. Keeley. 

James Britten. 



Falco tinnunctilus. 



T 



T is all very well keeping rabbits, guinea-pigs, and canaries, 
■ but then you see everybody almost does so ; these creatures 
come into the category of tame animals, and though I am by 
no means going to deny that there may be much that is interest- 
ing in their habits, I used to feel that as a naturalist (a very 
young one) I should like to study something rather out of the 
common ; I should like to keep some creature that few other 
people would think of keeping. And as the above-mentioned 
animals were to be seen in dozens of my friends' houses, I looked 
upon them in the same light as I did on dogs, fowls, ducks, &c. 
It was not everybody that petted a snake or a toad; mole- 
crickets and grasshoppers were not ordinarily kept in captivity J 



64 A CHAT ABOUT THE KESTREL, 

that was tho reason I took to them. Now although it was not 
exactly the correct thing for me to ignore our commoner house- 
hold i^ets, yet when I look back now I rather think the feeling 
sprang from a proper motive. I really fancied that the commoner 
any creature was, the more interesting its study became — and I 
think 80 still — more interesting because it is too common for 
people to notice it much. And so it really possesses the great 
charm oi freshness, that ever present delight in Nature ; and I 
feel the greatest pleasure in catching any ordinary animal out in 
the fields — a mouse, a cricket, a bat, or a beetle, and in placing 
it in durance vile for a week or two while I am rude enough to 
make observations upon it. What wonders and mysteries there 
are close around us if we did but know it ! What an abundance 
of amusement and instruction can be obtained if we do but use 
our senses. 

But I am wandering strangely ; I meant to write about the 
Kestrel, so I had better begin. If you ever want to study a 
bird, give it plenty of room. Do you think anybody could write 
the natural history of a Goldfinch from watching one in its cage 
about Tjir'^ inches square? Is it at all likely that yov. get ary 
clear ideas of the life of a Lark from seeing a wretched captive 
beat its head against the roof of a low cage in vain longings for 
the blue sky ? I don't think I could possibly keep a caged Lark. 
With Finches you may learn much, if you have a nice roomy 
aviary, and so you may in fact with most other birds. A Hawk 
of course wants a very large cage, but it is still better to give 
him the run of a garden. The Kestrel is more commonly seen 
in captivity than any other Hawk, and is really a most interesting- 
creature. When brought up by hand from the nest it is very 
tame, and. loses much of its natural fierceness ; one that I kej)t 
would always come and caress my finger when I put it into the 
cage. But when caught and confined it is a long time before it 
is at all tractable, though by proper management and very 
patient and careful training it may even then be taught to go 
' hawking.' I never went in, however, for this branch of study. 
And of course if not treated kindly it remains savage and violent ; 



A CHAT ABOUT THE KESTREL. 65 

one was once brought to me that had been reared by hand, but 
had been much teased by those natural enemies of the lower 
animals — children, and this was so fierce that it would fly at 
anyone who approached its cage. 

The Kestrel is very plentiful all oyer this part of the country, 
and is really a very handsome bird. It is also known as the 
Windhover, from its habit of remaining poised in the air over 
one particular spot for some length of time. Then is the time 
to take out your telescope and watch it, its head close to the wind, 
its sharp eyes directed below, able to detect the smallest move- 
ments even of the almost invisible field-mouse. The wings are 
shivering all the time, the tail-feathers altering their position 
now and then as necessary, while perhaps a swift but gentle 
sweep takes place occasionally as the prey shifts its ground or is 
lost. I often here at Folkestone lie on the top of the cliffs and 
watch the Kestrel down below on the Warren. I remember too 
enjoying the sight of a pair as I sat on the edge of the chalk 
escarpment overlooking the Oxford Plain at Chinnor ; they were 
not very busy I think, for they were flying and chasing each 
other about for a long time. A poor Crow in the vicinity was 
slightly victimised too, for one of them was every now and then 
pursuing him, though certainly with no carnivorous intentions. 

This habit of hovering in the air makes the bird not only a 
good mark for a telescope, but also for a gun, and as game- 
keepers generally shoot it on principle, bo amateur sportsmen 
think it capital practice to aim at it. Every gamekeeper's 
museum contains a few slaughtered Kestrels, though I believe 
there are a few lords of wide domains who order them to be left 
alone, but the company of such is certainly 'limited,' while the 
sworn foes of the poor creature may well be named legion. Its 
food consists of mice, small birds, coekchafiers, and other insects, 
slow-worms, and even earth-worms ; on the sea shore it eats 
crabs and other marine creatures. It is sad to be obliged to say 
that the Kestrel is a cannibal ; it is exceedingly pugnacious even 
with its own species, and Mr. Newman, in his interesting history 
of British Birds, relates an anecdote of a female devouring her 



66 A CHAT ABOTJT THE KESTREL. 

lord after a keeper had shot him. It enjoys bathing exceedingly, 
and when kept in captivity should be supplied with a large 
vessel of water every day in summer. It is believed to prefer 
taking possession of the nest of another bird, to building one of 
its own, though it does perform the latter act occasionally. The 
nests of the Kook and Magpie are preferred. The eggs are thickly 
mottled all over with rich brown markings, sometimes completely 
covered ; the first I received at Wycombe were brought to me 
as a Screech-Owl's, and I saw several in a window in Marlow, 
which the proprietor was selling for Sparrowhawk's, and he was 
not at all pleased when Isaid what they were. 

Hy. Ulltett. 



^xm(Ah\0 of tht ^on^ty. 



FOUETH WINTEE SESSION, 1868—69. 



THE first Evening Meeting was held on Tuesday, November 
the 24th, at the house of the President, the Eev. T. H. 
Browne, F.G.S., F.E.M.S. The exhibitions were numerous. 
In a glass tank was contained a living specimens of the Fresh- 
water Sponge {SpiiKjia fluviatilis), taken from the river at 
Hughenden, where it is to be found only in one locality. There 
was a large collection of fossils lately obtained from the Purbeck 
and Lower Oolite formations in the neighbourhood of Wey- 
mouth. Amongst those especially noticed were fish and rep- 
tilian remains, and a large series of the ostrea acuminata from 
the Fuller's earth, illustrating the great variety of forms which 
this oyster assumes. Attention was especially directed to a 
collection of shells belonging to the genus Pinna or Wing-shell 
family. There were specimens from British and foreign seas, 
and fossil specimens from different strata. These were intended 
to illustrate the formation of the shell of this moUusk. With the 
exception of the Pmna granulata from the Elimmeridge Clay, 
Wheatley, each specimen, when seen through tlie microscope, 
exhibited the prisms of which the external part of the shell is 
composed. Difference in size alone distinguishes them, and the 
want of that peculiar dark tint in the fossils which is so obser- 
vable in the recent forms. 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. P7 

Entomology was represented by some beautiful specimens of 
butterflies, Van$ssa Cardui, Colias Edum and C. Hyale were sent 
by the Rev. Bernard Smith, of Uarlow; Sphinx Convolvuli and 
V. Cardui were exhibited by the President, also some very pei-fect 
specimens (third brood?) of the Small Copper [Fldaas Polijom- 
matus), taken on the second of October. Mention was made by 
the President of a variety which he had seen in the district without 
spots on the front wing, but with the dark band on the hind 
margin much broader than usual. 

The President in his opening address, after referring to the 
re-appearance of some scarce insects in our neighbourhood, 
directed attention of the members to the remarkable abundance 
of a Saw-fly {Dolerus Coracinus) in the beginning of the year. 
This insect is very like the Dolenis niger, but distinguished from 
it by the presence of a red spot at the basal joints of the wing. 
The imago appeared in March, and attracted but little attention. 
In a very short time the larvae swarmed by myriads. The par- 
enchyma of the leaves of a weeping Ash was consumed as if by 
magic. It seemed impossible to destroy the larvae. Thousands 
upon thousands were shaken down and swept away, but there was 
no apparent difference in their numbers or destructiveness. He 
took occasion from the exhibition of this insect to explain the 
physiology of the Saw-fly, and pointed out the mistakes some- 
times committed by writers in popular periodicals, when describing 
this as well as other families in the insect world. 

The President then gave a short description of his observation 
of the transit of Mercury — which took place on the fifth of 
November. The heavens were most propitious. There was not 
a cloud upon the eastern sky. When the sun had risen above 
the mists of the horizon there was nothing to hinder the most 
perfect observation. With powers of magnification ranging from 
90 to 150 diameters Mercury's disk was as clearly defined as if 
engraved with a diamond. But though carefully watched for, 
the apparent prolongation of the form of the planet by the 
so-called dark bands or protuberances was not seen. Yet the 
planet was observed up to the last internal contact with the 
limb of the sun. 

A few minutes were spent in speaking of the "November 
Meteors," which, according to calculation, our earth ought to have 
passed through about 6 p.m. on the thirteenth of the month. The 
portion of the heavens in which the phenomena were to be 
seen at that time was below our horizon — and consequently in- 
visible to us. Some were seen by a gentleman at Wycombe on 
the fourteenth day. But the grand display was observed by 
Professor Phillips at Oxford, between three and four in the 
morning of the fourteenth. 



68 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

The President bvieflj' brouglit before the members the sub- 
stance of what is now known respecting these remarkable ap- 
pearances, the apparent similarity of their orbit with that of 
Temple's Comet of 1866 — the influence which the planet Uranus 
has exercised on thom — and the ijniueiise magnitude of the arc 
of space which is probably filled with these exti'aordinary bodies. 

The Secretary read a long and comprehensive paper " On 
English Plant-Names," which was listened to with great atten- 
tion. Commencing by deprecating the notion that there is little 
or no meaning in our local plant-names, he proceeded to give a 
general idea of the various sources to which they mio;ht be traced. 
Examples were given of names adopted, or corrupted, fi'om the 
Anglo-Saxon, Swedish, Danish, German, French, Latin, and 
Greek ; the influence of the Church upon the people was illus- 
trated by many names, banded down from, or associated with, 
the middle ages ; those plants which take their titles from a 
resemblance, real or imagined to other objects, were referred to, 
the "doctrine of signatures " was glanced at, and its results were 
shown. The paper, which will be published in ' Science Gossip ' 
for February next, was intended to give a general view of the 
subject ; and it was hinted that a second was in preparation, in 
which the more strictly local names would receive due attention. 

The meeting, which was x^i'olonged until a late liour, closed 
with an exhibition of the President's binocular microscope. 

Second Evening Meeting, Dec. 29. — Held, by kind invitation, 
at the house of T. Wheeler, Esq. Among the objects exhibited 
were the following: A verj' beautiful specimen of "Venus' 
Flower-Basket" {^Eiqjlectella speciosa), from the shores of the 
Philippine Islands ; a box of Lepidoptera, including a fine Sphinx 
Convolvuli, taken in the district ; fossils, &c., by the President ; a 
collection of British. Orchulacece, by Mr. Ullyett ; and some beauti- 
fully executed drawings of wild flowers, chiefly from our own 
neighbourhood, by the Misses Giles. Mr. Ullyett read an 
interesting paper on " Winter Work," which contained many 
useful bints and practical suggestions ; this was followed by one 
by the Seci-etary, on "Additions to the Wycombe Flora, 1868," 
which will be found at p. 59. The President gave one of his 
popular addressee, the subject selected on the present occasion 
being " Sharks." The various scientific classifications of fishes 
was referred to, such as the division of this branch of Natural 
Science into the Heterocercals, or unequal tails, and the Homo- 
cereals, or equal tails ; the Osseous and the Cartilaginous fishes ; 
and the Placoids (plate-form), the Ganoids (shining-foi'm), the 
Ctenoids (comb-form), and the Cycloids (circle-form). Thesenames 
refer to the shajDe of the scales. Tlie position in each of these 
great divisions which the Shark tribe occupied was referred to. 
The subject was treated geologically, reference being made to the 



PROCEEDINGS OP THE SOCIETY. 69 

sharks of recent times, by wa}' of illustrating the remains of the 
more ancient fishes. The President spoke of the appearance of 
these Heterocercal fishes in the Silurian Seas, and of their co-tem- 
porary appearance with the Ganoids from the commencement of 
the old Red Sandstone until the end of the Oolite period. After 
that time, the crushing {palatal) teeth that had been so 
common in the past ages of the geologic world passed away, the 
Sharks of the tertiary and more modem times being armed only 
with the sharp and cutting dentition so characteristic of these 
inhabitants of recent seas. The only known exception to this 
latter statement, being the Port Jackson Shark, and some of the 
Dog fishes and Eays {Raiosdoe). The fact was referred to, that but 
few remains of the Shark tribe arepreserved in the various geological 
formations. The reason assigned for this fact, was, that the whole 
skeleton of this fish being cartilage and not bone, after death it 
would dissolve before it could become petrified. The address was 
illustrated by many specimens of teeth and vertebrae belonging to 
geological and recent species. There was also a numerous collec- 
tion of teeth and scales of Ganoid fishes from the carboniferous 
and oolite formations. Amongst oiuer microscopic illustrations at 
the close of the meeting, were sections of the scale of Lepidotus 
Mantelli, from the Wealden, Tilgate Forest ; and the scale of a 
Ganoid-fish from the Coal Shale, Newcastle. In this object the 
perforations of the scale were pointed out, and the connection of 
each of these foramina by means of channels similar in appearance 
to Haversian Canals. The whole scale exhibited lacunae and 
canaliculi which appeared to assume the appearance of Mammalian 
rather than of Ichthyic type. These cell-markings were grouped 
around the perforations like the concentric layers of lacunae 
around the apertures of the Haversian Canals in transverse sections 
of mammalian bones. The members were especially interested in 
a specimen of fi-esh water Shrimp so common in the wells of the 
town, and a beautiful oceanic form of Crustacean (minute Shrimp), 
Pontella, n. sj}., as well as another exquisite microscopic object — 
the tongue ( Odontofore, Huxley) of the Ear-shell MoUusk {Saliotis 
tuberculata) — from Guernsey. 



ioofeis %m\ML 



Iji One Tlimisand Ohjeotsfor the Microscope. By M. C. Cooke. 

^M This little work comes with peculiar fitness from one who has done so 

^V much, to popularise the study of Natural History. When we state that it 

I 



70 BOOKS RECEIVED. 

contains 124 pages of clearly-printed letter-press, and 12 plates, absolutely 
crowded with figures, and that its cost is one shilling, none can doubt its 
cheapness ; and Mr. Cooke's name is suificient guarantee of its accuracy. It 
contrasts favourably with the last work on Natural History issued in the 
same series — we refer to a book called " Old English Wild Flowers," which, 
for inaccuracy in almost countless statements, and for total ignorance of the 
principles of composition, stands, we would hope, by itself. This reference 
is rendered the more necessary by a review (?) of the work which appeared 
in the "Field" some time since. We have never hesitated to recommend 
books to oiu- readers ; neither shall we refrain from warning them against 
such as are untrustworthy : and, while contributing our meed of praise to 
Mr. Cooke's work, we cannot but express our sorrow that " Old English Wild 
Flowers" should ever have been published. 



The Quarterly Journal of the Folhestone Natural History Society, No. I. 

We gladly hail the appearance of another Magazine, conducted on principles 
similar to our own, which reports the proceedings of the Society in which 
Mr. Ullyett occupies the same post which he filled so ably while amongst us. 
In this number we have three papers, one of local, and two of general interest ; 
as well as the commencement of two others — one, " On the Fertilisation of 
Orchids," an interesting, if somewhat abstruse, subject ; the other, entitled 
" Experiences of Aquarium Life," being a pleasantly-written autobiography 
of Planorbis complanatus. Correspondence, and short notes, complete the 
number. We trust that succeeding issues will be as creditable to the 
Society as the one before us. 



Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalists' Society, Sept., Oct., and Nov. 

In addition to the reports of " general meetings," which these proceedings 
give us, there are notices of "meetings of sections," which appear to have 
been well attended. We congratulate the Bristol Naturalists on the organisa- 
tion of their society, as well as on the possession of real workers, which such 
an organisation not only implies, but demands. We observe that the 
rambles of the different sections appear to have been well attended ; this 
augurs favourably for the prosperity of the Society. — We have also received 
the Mfth Annual RepoH of the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club, from which 
vre are glad to learn that this Society is also progressing satisfactorily. 



71 



(f^om^imn&mtt. 



The Common Buzzakd {Buteo 
vulgaris). — "A Common Buzzard 
■was shot in Windsor Great Park by 
one of the keepers in the summer of 
1857. Another specimen was pro- 
cured there about the same time, 
but by the time it reached the bird- 
stuffers hands it was useless. These 
two birds had been seen about for 
some time together and were prob- 
ably a pair." Such is the first para- 
graph in Mr. Clark-Kennedy's des- 
cription ot this rare bird, and it justly 
explains the cause of its scarcity. 
However, game keepers are not the 
only destroyers of our birds of prey, 
for I have lately received a long and 
interesting account from a gentle- 
man in the neighbourhood, Mr. R. 
Spicer, of Marlow, of his share in 
the discovery of a Buzzard's nest, 
and the taking of the eggs. It was 
in the year 1806, when he was a 
pupil of the Rev. Thomaa Scott, at 
Gawcott, near Buckingham, that he 
and his two fellow pupils, while 
shooting in the neighbourhood, dis- 
covered a Buzzard's nest in the top 
of a high Oak tree. The tree was 
of great size, and the nest was built 
on a fork which towered some 5 feet 
above the rest of the tree. His 
companions tried,but in vain, to reach 
the nest. My informant then es- 
sayed to do so, and after labours 
which nearly exhausted him, suc- 
ceeded in gaining the summit, and 
to his great joy found two eggs, very 
round, large, and thick, white, with 
yellow spots, and strongly resem- 
bling turkeys' eggs. After a long 
rest, rendered necessary by his ex- 
hausting efforts, he descended safely. 
The nest is described as being buU.t 
of sticks, lined with bents. The 
above act of spoliation, although 
much to be lamented, will be ex- 
cused on the sins of youth, and of 
the great temptation offered, which, 
I fear, would have been resisted b)' 
few. However, the instance quoted 
by Mr. Clark-Kennedy and the one 
I have narrated show that it is only 
owing to the relentless persecution 



of our birds of prey that they are 
becoming more scarce every year. 
Many species, including the Kite, 
are now seldom seen in districts 
where they were formerly compara- 
tively common. That they would 
become so again there is but little 
doubt, were not the spirit of exter- 
mination so rife, and so indiscrimi- 
nating in its operation. 

T. Marshall. 
In the last number of " The 
Quarterly Magazine of the High 
Wycombe Natural History Society" 
is a paper by Mr. W. R. Tate, " On 
the Future Existence of the Lower 
Animals," in which it is stated that 
they did not prey upon each other 
before the faU of man. Allow me, 
without entering upon the subject of 
the paper, to correct that statement. 
A great many species of carnivorous 
animals existed long before the ap- 
pearance of man upon the earth. 
The bonps of animals found in caves 
often bear the marks of the teeth of 
the hyaenas and bears that lived in 
the caves, and whose remains are 
also found there, together with their 
excrement, composed mainly of phos- 
phate of lime, derived from the bones 
of their victims. Eemains of crusta- 
ceans also are found in the unejected 
faeces (coprolifes) of the great Liassic 
sauria, lying in situ between the ribs 
of the skeletons. 

W. H. D ALTON. 

Little Auk {Mergnlus melano- 
levcos) AT Abingdon. — " One of 
our keepers shot a Little Auk on the 
Thames here yesterday. As our 
nearest point to the sea is distant 
some sixty miles, the appearance of 
such a bird is a singular occurrence. 
The Common GuU is not unfre- 
quently seen here after hea-4-y gales, 
but a bird of the diver tribe must 
have been very hard pressed to take 
such a long inland flight. E. W. 
Harcourt (Nuneham Park, Abing- 
don, Xov. 7) "—Field, Nov. 14, 1868. 
Mr. Clark-Kennedy, in his "Birds 
of Berks and Bucks," notes only 
two previous occurrences of the bird 



.72 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



in the two counties. Mr. T. C. Garth, 
in the " Field " of the same date, 
notes the killing of a Quail, " plump 
and in good order," at Twyford, on 
Nov. 7. 

A Swallow at Church. — A 
curious occurrence took place dur- 
ing morning service in the Parish 
Church of Bradfield, near Reading, 
on Sunday, Oct. 4. While the 
collect for peace was being read, a 
youngswallowsettledon the shoulder 
of a gentleman, where it remained 
during the anthem, Litany, and a 
portion of the Communion Service. 
T.S."— Field, Oct. 17, 1868. 

Sphinx Convolvuli. — The Rev. 
J. J. Goodall, of Dinton Hall, Ayles- 
bury, writes to the " Field " as 
follows : — "I never knew a season 
here without them, especially about 
the time of flowering of Aster amelhis, 
over which I have often seen half-a- 
dozen hovering, protruding their long 
probosces in search of honey. From 
the fact of a few of my visitors having 
observed this most interesting msect, 
I suppose it must be locally very 
uncommon Though more plentiful 
than usual here last season, this year 
they are more so than ever known 
before. I have frequently seen at 
one point of view more than a score 
skimming over a belt of the common 
garden valerian. I fancy it is rather 
remarkable that, whilst the moths 
are on the wing, specimens of the 
same animal in its caterpillar state 
fully three inches and a half long, 
and two inches and a half in girth, 
should be feeding on the leaves 
below." 

[Mr. Goodall must be situated in 
a very favourable locality. The 
perfect insect has, we know, been 
exceedingly abundant this year ; but 
the appearance of the caterpillar 
seems to require confirmation.] 

The Sparrowhawk and the 
Kestrel. — One day in November 
last, I saw two birds fighting in the 
middle of the road near the railway 
bridge which crosses the Bradenham 
road I drove hastily to see what 
the disturbance was about, and on 
approaching the combatants I found 
they were two hawks, one of which 
had got a Greenfinch in its talons. 



When I had got within twenty yards, 
both the birds took flight, and I dis- 
covered that one was a Sparrowhawk 
and the other a Kestrel. The Kestrel 
settled in a field close by and com- 
menced eating the bird it had caught : 
the Sparrowhawk settled in a hedge 
near, and when I got opposite, darted 
away and commenced hunting up 
and down the hedge side. I dare 
say if I had not come up when the 
fight began, the Sparrowhawk would 
have robbed the Kestrel of its prey. 
I have been fortunate in seeing more 
than once the pugnacity of the Spar- 
rowhawk. About two years ago, in 
the lane leading to Toweridge from 
West Wycombe, I knocked down 
with my whip a Sparrowhawk which 
had caught a Blackbird. I was 
within three yards of the bird when 
seized by the Sparrowhawk, and 
was successful in rescuing the sweet 
songster, which appeared very fright- 
ened at first, but doubtless thankful 
that a protector was so near at hand. 

R. M. BOWSTEAD, M.D. 

Naturalists' Kalendae. We 

hope, during the coming season, to 
present our readers with a somewhat 
novel and interesting feature, in the 
shape of a record of the more re- 
markable objects observed by the 
members of the Society in our own 
district or neighbourhood. The times 
of the flowering of our plants, the 
dates of the arrival and departure of 
our migratory birds, the appearance 
of rare visitors — all these will, it is 
hoped, find a place. It must be 
evident to all that, for the success of 
this project, we must depend mainly 
upon our members and readers for 
support ; and we trust that they will 
not fail to render us the requisite 
assistance. 

The Glastonbury Thorn. — There 
is, in Wycombe Park, a tree of this 
variety, known as CratcefiUS oxya- 
cantha prcecox, which usually buds, 
but does not blossom, in December. 
This season, however, many blossoms 
have fully expanded, induced by the 
mildness of the weather to put in an 
appearance ; their perfume being 
quite as powerful as that of those 
which expand at the more usual 
time. 



IS 



% p.$t of ^itcfeittflttamisiUivc (Dwlutl^. 



[The localities following the initial S are in South Bucks ; those preceded 
by N are in the North of the county. The river Thame separates these 
divisions. ! following a locality, sigiiihes that I have seen a specimen col- 
lected there.] 

Order QECHiDACEiE. 

Orchis Zinn. 

0. Morio, L. Green-winged Orchis. S.— Not unfrequent in 
meadows and on grassy commons ; Whittington Park ; Wooburn . 
Denham ; Drayton Beauchamp ; Weston Turville ; Dinton, &c. 
N. — Addington; Buckingham, &c. Flowers in May. 

This species varies greatly in the colours of its flowers, I have found 
them white, flesh-coloured, and pale purple. 

0. mascula, L. Early Purple Orchis. S. and N.— Meadows, 
open places, and woods, frequent. Flowers in May. 

A very variable plant. On dry, exposed banks, as on Keep Hill, the spike 
is lax and few-flowered ; in woods, it is often dense and many-flowered : the 
Bcent is equally variable, being in some specimens very agreeable, in others, 
growing in the same locality, extremely unpleasant. The absence of green 
veins from the petals and sepals, and the brighter colour of the blossoms, 
render this species readily distinguishable from 0. Morio. The Buckinghanx 
names for 0. mascula are " Ring-finger," " King-fingers," and " Cuckoos ;" 
the two former are at present unexplained ; the latter refers to the ap- 
pearance of the plant in spring, when "the Cuckoo doth begin to sing his 
pleasant notes without stammering." 

[ 0. purpurea, Huds. Lady Orchis. S. — Mr. T. P. Lucas re- 
corded this from Downley ; Dane Garden "Wood ; and Fennell's 
Wood ; a diligent search in these localities has only resulted in 
the discovery of 0. militaris, which was probably mistaken for 
this species.] 

0. militaris, L. Military Orchis. S. — "MarlowWood in plenty, 
Mr. Gotohed: Woods between High Wycombe and Great Mai'low ; 
2fr. J. Rayer.'" Botanists' Guide, i. 39; "Between Henley and 
Fawley ; between High Wycombe and Hitchenden." Eng. Dot. 



74 BUCKINanAMSHIRE ORCniDS. 

Supp.; Fawley "Wood, Mr. Stulhs ! ; Eversdown, near Henley, 
History of Henley ; " Very sparingly in the wood overhanging the 
Henley road at Medmenham." Phytologist, i. 993. o. s ; Dane 
Garden Wood, Wycombe ; and Fennell's Wood, Loudwater ; 
Chesham ! ; Middle Claydon, Rev. H. H. Crewe. 

This rare and beautiful species is usually in blossom about June 1. I once 
found a variety in Dane Garden Wood, having pure white flowers, bordered 
with reddish-purple. 

0. maculata, L. Spotted Palmate Orchis. S. and N. — Woods 
and pastures, generally distributed. Flowers in May and June. 

0. latifolia, L, Marsh. Orchis. S. — Meadows near the Colne, 
Denham, The Miss Drummonds. ! [A specimen found in Whit- 
tington Park, by the Rev. W. H. Painter, and supposed to belong 
to this species, was probably a large form of 0. maculata.'] 
Flowers in June. 

0. i7icarnata, L. S. — Meadows near the Colne, Denham, growing 
with. 0. latifolia, but flowering rather later. The Miss Drummonds. 
Flowers in June. 

0. pyramidalis, Ij. Pyramidal Orcbis. S. — Chalky woods and 
open places, not unfrequent : Marlow ; Wycombe ; Hughenden ; 
Denham ; Chesham ; Drayton Beaucbamp ; Aston Clinton, and 
Buckland ; Wendover, &c. N. — Akely Wood, Buckingham, 
Mr. W. Walker ! Flowers in June and July. 

Gymnadenia R. Br. 
O. conopsea, R. Br. Sweetscented Orchis. S. — Chalky woods 
and banks, frequent. " Woods between the Oxford and Wycombe 
roads; woods at Medmenham ;" Fhytoloyist, i. 993, o.b.; Dane 
Garden Wood ; Fennell's Wood ; Hughenden Woods, very fine ; 
Wendover ; Drayton Beauchamp ; Chesham. Flowers in June. 

Ac ERAS R. Br. 
A, anthropophora, R. Br. Man Orchis. S. — Near Wendover, 
Rev. H. M. Crewe. Lister a ovata is frequently mistaken for this ; 
but the two leaves of the Twayblade at once distinguish it. 
Flowers in June or July. 



BXTCKINGHAMSHIRE ORCHIDS. 



75 



Habenaeia R. Br. 
[S: viridis, E. Br. Frog Orchis. S.— " MarlowWood, rare. Mr. 
Gotoled." Botanists' Guide, i. 39. I do not know wliicli wood is 
intended under this name, but have never seen E. viridis anywhere 
in the county.] 

m Ufolia, E. Br. Small Butterfly Orchis. S.— Heathy places 
NaphiU Common, High Wycombe. 

This has been recorded from several other localities, but I believe E. 
chlorantha is intended in all other cases. Flowers at the latter end of June. 

E. chlorantha, Bab. Large Butterfly Orchis. S.— Woods and 
shady banks, frequent. Marlow ; Lane End ; Turville ; Wycombe ; 
Chesham ; Wendover ; Drayton Beauchamp ; Denham, &c. N. 
Akely Wood, Buckingham. Mr. TV. Walker. Flowers at the end 
of May and in June. 

Ophrys Linn. 

0. apifera, L. Bee Orchis. S. — In several localities, but usually 
in small quantity. Chalky banks and open places in woods. 
" Woods between the Oxford and Henley roads," Marlow, Phyto- 
gisti. 993. o.s. Fawley Wood, Mr. Stuohs ; formerly "most 
abundant in a field at the back of the three houses on the bank 
near Miss Harrison's mill [between Wycombe Marsh and Loud- 
water], close to a little wood of firs," Mr. Aug. Gaviller, in lit. ; 
Keep Hill ; Fennell's Wood ; White Hill, near Beaconsfield ; 
Hughenden Woods ; "Garrard's Cross, in a chalk pit, plentifully," 
BlacJcstone; Whiteleaf Cross ; Chesham ! ; Canal bank and rectory 
meadows, Drayton Beauchamp, Rev. H. E. Crewe. Dinton ; 
Wendover. N. In an old disused stonejnt near Buffler's Holt, 
Buckingham ! ; only three plants found. Mr. W. Walker. Adstock, 
about three or four miles from Winslow, Mr. J. Mathison. Flowers 
in June and July. 

0. muscifera, Huds. Fly Orchis. Woods, frequent ; occasionally 
on exposed chalky banks. S. — "In almost all the woods about 
Marlow, more or less," Phjtologist i. 993, o.s ; Fawley Woods ; 
Hughenden, in the woods and on the slopes ; FenneU'a Wood ; 
" Woods about EUesborough, near Aylesbury, most abundantly," 
New Botanists' Guide, 162 ; Drayton Beauchamp; Wendover; 



7G BUCKINGnAMSIIIRE ORCHIDS. 

Chesliara ; abundant in a wood near the Tile House, Denham, 
Tlie Miss Dmmmonds. Flowers in May and the beginning of Juno. 

IIerminium R. Br. 
H. Monorchis, E. Br. Musk Orchis. S. — " In a chalkpit by the 
roadside at Gerrard's Ci'oss," Blaclcstone; Keep Hill, Wycombe, 
above tha quarry and near the Park palings. Tlowers in July. 

Spieanthes Rich. 
S. autumnalis, Eich. Lady's Tresses. Dry open places S. — 
The slopes, Pawley Court, Mr. Stubhs ; Whittington Park ; lane 
leading from Loudwater to Plackwell Heath, Mrs. Lucas ; ! 
formerly found in a field near Juniper Wood, Denham, but not 
observed of late years. The Miss Brummonds ; Great Hampden, 
Rev. IT. H. Crewe; Hyde Heath, near Chesham, Miss Bora 
Stratton ! ; Flowers in August and September. 

LiSTERA R. Br. 
L. ovata, R. Br. Twayblade. Woods and damp places, not very 
common. S. — Whittington Park ; West Wycombe ; Eughenden; 
b^- the Dyke in Wycombe Park ; Drayton Beauchamp ; Taplow ; 
Denham. N. — Addington, Mr. .7. Mathison ; Tingowick Road, 
Buckingham, Miss Chandler ! Flowers in May. 

Neottia Linn. 
N. Nidus-avis, Eich. Bird's-nost. Shady woods, frequent. S. — 
" Wood near Temple House, plentiful," Blaclcstone; " Marlow 
Wood, frequent, Mr. Gotohed, " Bot. Guide i. 39 ; Fawley Wood ; 
Wycombe Park; Hughenden Woods ; Dane Garden and neigh- 
bouring woods ; Drayton Beauchamp ; Wendover ; Chalfont; and 
many other places. N. — Akely Wood, Buckingham, Mr. W. 
Walker ! Flowers in May. 

I never saw this plant in greater profusion than on the steep tree-covered 
hill at Cliefden, above the river. It appears to flourish in the dense shade 
which destroys all other plants, and attains a size rarely met with elsewhere. 

Epipactis Rich. 
E. latifolia, All. HoUeborine. Hilly woods. S. — Wycombe 
Park ; Dane Garden Wood ; and in several woods in the neigh- 
bourhood. [The following localities may apply either to this, or 



BTJCKTNGHAMSHIEE OKCHIDS. 77 

to the foUowing species ; Chesham ; Denham. N— Akely Wood, 
Buckingham, in a part of the wood since cleared, Mr. W, Walker; 
a solitary plant in a wood at Emberton, five or six miles from 
Newport Pagnell, Mr. J. MatMson.'] Flowers in August. 

JS. media, Fries. Helleborine, S.— In the same Wycombe 
locahties as those given for the preceding. Flowers in August. 

/3. K ptirpurata, Sm. " There is an Epipactis growing in the 
Stokenchurch woods, which is, in its young state, quite purple in 
both leaves and stem ; it must, I suppose, be E. purpurata. I 
have seen it also in Bisham Wood, but have not had an opportu- 
nity of seeing it in flower." G. G, Mill in Phjtologist i. 993, o.s. 
A specimen corresponding with these particulars was found by 
Mrs. Lucas, near Hampden ; it was not in blossom. 

If I am correct in distinguishing E. latifolia from E. media, I may mention 
the foUowdng differences between them. E. media is a taller plant than 
E. lati/olia, and is altogether Ughter ir. colour ; the lip, which is purple in 
E. latifolia, is often almost colourless in E. media, and the latter blossoms a 
few days earlier than the former. In E. media the lip is longer than broad, 
terminating in a sharp point; in E. latifolia it is broader than long, and the 
point is blunt, usually curved under. The occurrence of a solitary Helle- 
borine in a large wood, recorded above, calls to mind a singular circumstance 
in connection with the species, which is shared by the Bee Orchis and others. 
I refer to the sudden appearance, of the plant in certain localities. A few 
years ago, an Epipactis appeared in the shrubberies, lawns, and even the 
flower-beds of Chase Cottage, Enfield ; a few plants even sprung up in a 
neighbouring meadow. No cause could be assigned for this. Near Broome 
Park, Kent, a certain field was under the plough for forty years, after this it 
was laid down for grass, and the third year aftei it was thus laid down there 
appeared in it at least a hundred Bee Orchises. (See Plnjiologist vi. 298-300, 
N.S.) 

E. palustris, Sw. Marsh Helleborine.— In damp places. S. — 
Whittington Park, Lane End, Mr. T. P. Lucas ! Flower 

June. 

Cephalantheea Iticli. 

C. grandiflora, Bab. White Helleborine.— Woods; occasionally, 
but rarely, in open places. S.— "Woods about Marlow, and 
other parts of the county." JTudson ; Wood at Harleyfordj 



78 BUCKINGHAMSHIRE ORCHIDS. 

Phytologist i. 993, o.s.; Fawley Woods ; Cliefdea -n-oods, woods 
about Wycombe, general; Keep Hill, Chesham, Wcndovcr, 
Drayton Beaucbamp, Denham, etc. Flowers in May and tbo 
beginning of June. 

From this list it will be seen that the Orchidacew chiefly affect the south 
of our county. This is, in a great measure, owing to the prevalence of a 
chalky soil ; but it must be remembered that North Buckinghamshire is 
still unworked, and it is hoped that several species, at present unrecorded 
for that division, may reward those who will take up the subject. 

James Britten. 



Continued from page 54. 

Genus Curruca. 
51. Curruca bortensis. Tbe Garden Warbler. 

We frequently meet witb tbis species at Cookbam, especially 
during tbe autumn, wben tbe elder-berries are ripe. At tbat timo 
tbese birds congregate in tbe elder trees in company witb tbe 
Blackcaps, and commit great havoc ; I bave seen as many as ten 
or twelve birds in a tree at tbe same time. A pair of Garden 
Warblers in my collection were procured by Mr. Briggs, on tbe 
7tb of July, 1867, and were sbot by bim very early in tbe morning. 
Tbey were both busily engaged in bunting for insects under tbe 
leaves at tbe top of an elm tree, and were feeding in company ; 
on dissection, bowever, tbey turned out to be botb males. I re- 
member on one occasion finding a Garden Warbler's nest at 
Steeple Gidding, in Huntingdonsbire, built in an open scrub, far 
away from any otber trees or busbea. 

. 52. Curruca atricapilla. Tbe Blackcap. 

As I have just mentioned, tbe Blackcap is often observed in tbe 
autumn in company witb tbe foregoing species on tbe elder trees. 
It sometimes breeds in tbe grounds at Formosa, and one ben-bird 



BIKDS OF COOKHAM AKI) THE NEIGHBOUKHOOD. 79 

in my collection vas picked up on the carriage-drive, completely 
egg-bound. I may add that in my collection I have a pair of 
Blackcaps from the Eiver Gambia, in West Africa. This fact is 
interesting as showing the locality to which the bird takes its 
flight in winter. I believe, however, that the Blackcap often re- 
mains in this country the whole year round. 

Sub-fa7n. CALAMOHERPNta;. 

Genm Looustella. 
53. Locustella Eayi. The Grasshopper Warbler. 

A single specimen of this Warbler is in Mrs. De Vitre's col- 
lection at Formosa. It was obtained by Mr. Briggs in a small 
hedge close to Cookham church-yard. His attention was drawn 
to it by its peculiar note, and he tells rile he had very great dif- 
ficulty in perceiving its whereabouts, in consequence of the ven- 
triloquial character of the note, but he succeeded at last in finding 
and shooting the bird. With regard to the deceptive character 
of the note of the Grasshopper Warbler, Mr. H. Whitely, of 
Woolwich, a well-known and experienced field-naturalist, informs 
me that he has observed the same peculiarity, and he accounts for 
it in this way. In watching the habits of birds among the furze 
on open commons, he has often been within a few yards of Grass- 
hopper Warblers, and as the bird creeps among the lower twigs 
of the furze-bushes it only emits a slight noise, which by degrees 
increases in intensity ; he has observed the throat on these oc- 
casions, and has distinctly noticed the increased effort on the 
part of the bird. 

Genus Calamodyta. 
54. Calamodyta phragmitis. The Sedge Warbler. 

This species is common all along the banks and reed-beds of 
the Thames in summer, and I have frequently found their nests. 
Genus Calamoherpe. 
55. Calamoherpe strepera. The Beed Warbler. 

This bird is usually known by the name of the Eeed Wren, but 
as I have before observed, we ought to be careful in assigning 



80 BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 

the proper names to the different species of British birds, a ruTo 
very often neglected even by experienced ornithologists. The 
present bird has nothing at all to do with the Wrens {Troglodytes), 
any more than the Willow Warbler, usually miscalled the Willow 
Wren, has. 

The Eeed Warblers, as observed at Cookham, always build in 
the reeds on the banks of the Thames, or in the willows over- 
hanging the water. On no occasion have either Mr. Briggs or my- 
self noticed them building their nests at any great distance from 
water. 

Fam. MusoiCAPiD^. 

Oenus BuTALis. 

56. Butalis grisola. Spotted Flycatcher. 

This familiar bird is known by every one who has a garden, 
for nearly every verandah or trellis-work round the house is 
certain at one time or another to have been occupied by a Fly- 
catcher's nest. At Mr. Burrows' house, at Cookham, I have seen 
two Flycatcher's nests in close proximity, and have taken great 
deUght in watching the little birds busily engaged in feeding their 
young, and so fearless were they, as not to heed in the least the 
presence of many spectators. It is believed that the same 
pair always occupy the nest, which has been tenanted for a great 
many years. 

At a recent meeting of the Zoological Society, Mr. A. D. 
Bartlett, the well-known Superintendent of the Society's Gardens 
in the Eegent's Park, mentioned that under the nest of a pair of 
Flycatchers built in his house in the gardens, he used to notice 
little pills upon the ground, being, as he expresses it, " the most 
beautiful blue piUs he ever saw in his life." On examination he 
found that these little pills were pellets thrown up by the Fly- 
catchers, while the metallic blue appearance which they presented 
was caused by the remains of the outside cases of the bodies of 
blue bottle flies on which the birds had been feeding. I may 
mention that the Spotted Flycatcher was among the birds recently 
brought home by Mr. Jesse, from Abyssinia. 



THE BIRDS OP COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOTTEHOOD. 81 

Fam. LANHDiB. 

Genus. Lanixts. 

57. Lanius excubitor. The Great Grey Shrike. 

Mr. Briggs informs me that he has known several instances of 

the occurrence of this Shrike in the neighbourhood of Cookham, 

the latest being one shot at Hedsor, in the autumn of 1867. 

Genus. ENJfEocToNus. 

58. Enneoctonus collurio. The Eed-backed Shrike. 
This bird was formerly plentiful, but is now scarce at Cookham. 

I shot a male bird on May 27th, 1865, as mentioned in the 
Naturalist (vol. ii. p. 89.) Since then I have only obtained one 
other specimen, likewise a male, which Mr. Briggs shot. On the 
30th November, 1868, some bird-catchers noticed a brown bird 
fly in pursuit of a wren in a wood at Hampstead, and succeeded 
in capturing both pursuer and pursued. The bird turned out to 
be a young female Eed-backed Shrike, which must have been 
hatched very late to have been met with in this country in 
November. Both birds are now in the collection of my friend, Mr. 
W. T. Ansell, who had them preserved to commemorate the 
occurrence. 

I have in my collection several fine specimens of Enneoctonus 
collurio, from Damara Land in South- West Africa ; and Mr. Jesse 
also met with it during the late Abyssinian expedition. 

Fam. Troqlodttidje. 
Genus. Troglodytes. 

59. Troglodytes eiiropseus. The Common Wren. 

I can gay nothing concerning the well-known " Jenny Wren," 
which would be new to my readers. It is common at Cookham, 
and breeds plentifully in the neighbourhood. 

Fam. Vasidm. 

Genus, Partjs. 

60. Parus cseruleus. The Blue Titmouse. 

61. Parus major. The Greater Titmouse. 
These two species are common at Cookham. 



82 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOTJEHOOD. 

62. Parus ater. Tlie Coal Titmouse. 

Unlike tlie two last-named birds, the Coal Tit is by no means 
plentiful near Cookham, and I have only one specimen in my 
collection. 

Genus P/ecilb. 
63. PaecLle palustris. The Marsh Titmouse. 

This bird, the reasons for the generic separation of which I 

fully explained in my paper on the " British Tits " read some time 

ago before the Society, is rather more plentiful than the Coal 

Titmouse, but cannot be said to be common. 

Genus Acredula. 

64. Acredula rosea. The Long-tailed Titmouse. 

I would draw attention here to the facts lately published by me 
in the 'Ibis,' which may not have been seen by my readers, of 
there being two distinct species of Long-tailed Tit found in Europe, 
both of which have been met with in Great Britain. I therefore 
give the following extract, the particulars of which will doubtless 
interest many not previously acquainted with the subject. 

"I am sure that no ornithologist, comparing carefully the plate 
of Parus caudatus in Mr. Gould's ' Birds of Europe ' with any 
coloured figure of tlie bird of the same name in the works of 
German or Scandinavian authors would consider that they repre- 
sented the same species ; for the male of the Scandinavian bird is 
always figured with a white head, while the male of the British 
species has a band on each side of the head extending from the 
eye to the nape, the female only of the former having a dusky 
band on each side of the head, as in loth sexes of the English bird. 
This, then, is the principal point on which I ground my propo- 
sition that they ought to be recognized as specifically distinct, viz., 
that the sexes of the British bird arealike, while in the Scandinavian 
Bottle-Titmouse they differ considerably one from the other. Nor 
is my conviction founded on figures in any work alone ; for I have 
specimens from Great I>ritain, Denmark, Holland, and Germany; 
and I propose now to consider the geographical distribution of the 
two species, so far as the material I have at hand will allow me 5 



I 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOTJRHOOD. 83 

and it -will be seen that all I have to add is in favour of their spe- 
cific separation." 

For the loan of the Danish birds I am indebted to the Rev. 
H. B. Tristram, who has always most kindly lent me specimens 
to aid me in my studies ; but as in the present instance the sexes 
of the specimens were not marked, I cannot rely on their correct 
determination. They are both young birds, in which stage of 
plumage the two species appi-oach each other ; but Scandinavian 
examples always have the white on the head and throat much 
purer than in any British specimen I have yet seen. I possess, 
however, through the kindness of Mr. J. G. Keulemans, of Leyden, 
a pair of adult birds from Holland, concerning which he has sent 
me the following note: — "The two birds I have sent you are 
male and female. The old male has a pure white head, and is 
less rufous on the back. Very young ones resemble the female, 
but are browner on the head. You will thus see that I have sent 
you a pair of adult birds. It is seldom that Farm caudatus is 
found breeding in the winter time. It breeds in Northern 
Europe and only comes to us in winter ; and from October to 
March they are seen flying in flocks of from five to twenty in- 
dividuals. These flocks consist of the old birds and the family of 
young ones." 

From the foregoing remarks it will be seen that the white- 
headed Titmouse only comes to Holland in the winter. In 
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, however, it breeds, according 
to the ornithologists of those countries, and in the two last- 
mentioned as far north as lat. 63 degrees* Still in Norway it is 
probably a local species, for my friend Mr. F. W. Backhouse 
tried unsuccessfully during a three months' trip last summer to 
procure me a specimen, and the bird was not known to the 
country people of whom he enquired. 

The white-headed Bottle-Titmouse would, however, seem to 
be common in Siberia. Middendorff obtained an example in 
January at Udskoj - Ostrog, between the Stanovoi Mountains and 
the Sea of Ochotsk, which agreed with European specimens, as 

* Wallengren, Naumannia, 1855, p. 136. 



84 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEiaHBOURHOOD. 

did also the birds procured by Schrenck in Uj)per and Lower 
Amoorland. Eadde likewise procured specimens during his 
journey through the south of East Siberia, and observes that they 
agreed exactly with those collected by Schrenck in Amoorland. 
The birds also which he obtained at Onon and Irktursk are 
precisely the same as the European bird, "which,'" says he "is 
very extraordinary ; for from the Upper Ussuri we have received 
through Herr Maximowicz a Titmouse which neither in the 
marking of the head, nor in its proportions, agrees with Parus 
trivirgatua of Temminck and Schlegel, but sufficiently so with old 
Siberian Long-tailed Titmice." 

In Germany it also occurs ; and Mr. Harting has very kindly 
given me a specimen from that country. This is a male, pro- 
cured in August 1863 ; and from the worn condition of the plu- 
mage it is evident that it had not begun to moult, I mention 
this because it is suggested by some that the white head is only 
the winter dress of the Scandinavian bird. 

That the Parus caiidatus of Linnaeus was founded upon this 
persistently white-headed bird there can be, I think, no doubt ; 
and when we consider the characters on which Motacilla yarrelli 
is distinguished from M. alba, Pyrrlmla coccinea from P. vulgaris, 
Sitta casta from S. europcea, and Troglodytes horealis from T. 
europaus, we cannot refuse to acknowledge the specific distinctness 
of the British form, on which the name Mecistura rosea was long 
ago bestowed by Mr. Blyth."* 

To be continued. R. B, SHARPE. 



A MONGST the heroes of ancient mythology that we used to 
•^ read about in our school days, was one of the water deities 
named Proteus, who had the rather whimsical foible of never 

* "White's 'Natural History of Selborne.' With JSTotes by Edward 
Blyth. London: 1833; p. Ill, note. 

t Read before the Society at the Fifth Evening Meeting of the Fourth 
Winter Stssion, March 23rd, 1869. 



I 



FEEN FEEAZS. 85 

giving anyone any information if he could possibly help it ; and 
who, in order to avoid doing so, adopted the somewhat perplex- 
ing habit of turning himself into various forms of birds, beasts, 
and fishes, and all manner of other objects, animate and inani- 
mate. The name of this very slippery sea-god has been already 
transferred to a tribe of plants, the Order Proteacea, because 
though they agree in essential particulars, they are externally so 
very unlike each other, that, as Dr. Lindley observed, " the 
diversity of appearance presented by the various genera is such 
as would be hard to parallel in the same Matural Order." But I 
am not at all sure if the tribe of Ferns does not merit the title of 
Protean quite as much as the Proteaceoe themselves ; for it is a 
very large order, and among its two thousand and more species 
that are already discovered and named, we find a very great va- 
riety of form and considerable difi'erence in habit of growth. 
There is an extraordinary diversity in the form of the fronds — 
some simple in outline, some deeply cut, and varying in every 
possible degree betwen linear and round, heartshaped or triangu- 
lar. We have only to look at the few species that grovr in our 
own country, and to contrast such ferns as the Hart's-tongue, 
the Parsley Fern and the Osmunda to see what a pleasing variety 
there is ; but in the numerous foreign species this diversity is 
much more apparent ; and we have them also mimicking the leaves 
of other plants — so that one has to look at them closely and 
study their stiructure before one can believe they are ferns at all. 
Then they differ so much in size. Who, that has climbed the 
passes of our own lake mountains and has seen the lovely little 
Parsley Fern peeping out from under huge stones, or the deUcate 
Hymenophyllum growing in mossy cushions where the water 
trickles from the crevices of rocks, would think that these simple 
little plants claimed for their first cousins the magnificent palm- 
like Tree Ferns of tropical countries ? Not many weeks ago I 
stood under the shade of one of these tree ferns in a quite romantic 
fern house at Tatton, the Cheshire residence of Lord Egerton. 
It was a noble specimen, with a stem some ten or twelve feet 
high, and a foot or more in diameter, and it was crowned with 
a plume of fronds so large that, though the building was certainly 



86 FEBN FEEAK?. 

twenty feot wide (perhaps more, for I did not ask), they touch- 
ed the walls on either side and the midribs that supported these 
gigantic fronds wore as thick as my arm. What must they bo in 
their native forests ? 

In one respect ferns certainly emulate the Proteaceoe, for they dis- 
guise themselves in a remarkable manner, species running off 
into very peculiar varieties, or becoming curiously and abnormal- 
ly developed : and these varieties and monstrosities are all more 
or less permanent in character, and are very often capable of 
being propagated; so that the fei'n-grower obtains an amazing 
number of varieties, very curious in form, some of them very 
pretty, but generally very troublesome to name ; and it is to 
these freaks of nature, these varieties and monstrosities that I 
wish to direct attention, rather than to the distinctive characters 
of the genera and species. 

In a state of nature perhaps there is no tribe of j)lant3 less 
given to hybridisation than ferns, for though they produce an 
amazing superabundance of seed (a single frond of the common 
Polypody will produce eleven or twelve millions of spores) it is 
only now and then that they meet with the conditions proper for 
their germination and growth, so that they do not become veiy 
abundant, and the chances of hybridisation are greatly reduced ; 
but under cultivation, where every necessary condition is present — 
a still and humid atmosphere, a warm temperature and a subdued 
light — the case seems to be quite different ; and I was assured at 
the Tatton fernery that hybrid ferns spring up in all directions, 
and that these hybrids are, of course, very difhcult to refer to the 
proper species. I am by no means certain, however, that these 
young plants are really hybrids, for seedling ferns differ very 
much indeed from their parents, and mistakes may easily be 
made ; but if they sliould turn out to be veritable hybrids they 
will furnish an incontrovertible proof, not of the presence of 
sexual organs, or something analogous to them, in cryptogamic 
plants, for that is a fact now pretty generally allowed, but that 
the sexual organs are not in a rudimentary condition, but per- 
form the same functions as they do in flowering plants. 



FERN FBEAK8. 87 

Ferns are very prone to become viviparous, especially in cul- 
tivation—indeed, all the curious changes observed take place 
more freely when ferns are cultivated than they do in a state of 
nature. Our own Black Maiden-hair Spleenwort {Asplenium 
adiantum-nigrum) nearly always produces young plants on the 
edges of the leaves when grown in a greenhouse or under a glass 
case, and many of the exotic ferns are particularly apt to do so, 
and the fronds then have a very pretty and curious appearance 
thus fi-inged with a number of tiny plants. The young plants 
themselves fall off after a while and take root in the soil. 

We often observe fronds of ferns that are forked, sometimes 
very near to the point, sometimes branching as low as half way 
down the leaf, and occasionally divided even below the green 
part of the frond. Sometimes one or two of the pinnae are forked 
as well. This development takes place in almost all, if not in all of 
our British ferns, and I have myself collected fronds of Blechnum 
horeale, FoIy2)odium vulgare, Polystichum aculeatum, Athyriiim 
Jilix-fcemina, and of Scolopendriwn vulgare\ha,i were so divided, and 
doubtless instances could be adduced of the same structure in 
many other kinds. One year I found a plant of Lady Fern, of 
which almost every leaf was forked, but the variety has not been 
permanent, for it has since produced leaves of the usual form. 

TheHart's-tongue {Scolopendriumvulgare) is perhaps more prone 
to divide than any other species. One form has its fronds forked 
near the apex or near the base, the branches again and again 
divided, and the ultimate tips of the leaf spread out into irregular 
fan-like expansions, constituting a very marked and peculiar 
variety which is constant under cultivation. It is called viiilti- 
fidum. This fern also produces several other pretty varieties. One 
called crispum has the edges of the leaves beautifully waved and 
curled in somewhat the same fashion as the leaves of a curled 
kale. 

The Editor of this Magazine received lately from a corres- 
pondent in Scotland a very remai'kable variety of this fern. The 
frond was similar in general aspect to tho one last described, the 
leafy portion being more developed than the midrib, thus pro* 



88 FERN FEEAK8. 

ducing a frilled margin ; but instead of the leafy part being 
attached to the whole length of the midrib, it was separated near 
the apex, and the last half-inch of the midrib stood out like a 
spine from the surface of the leaf. All the fronds upon the 
plant were similarly developed ; in fact, the variety is one which 
becomes j)ermanent, and is known as cornutum. 

Many ferns that have compound leaves such as the Male Fern 
and the Lady Fern, become very strangely developed, every 
minute division of the pinnas being extended into a tassel. This 
variety, which is very pretty, is generally a favourite with fern 
growers. It is described in each species by the term vristatus. 

I have several times gathered, both in Cheshire and in Glou- 
cestershire, a variety of the common Male Fern which as far as I 
know, seems to have escaped notice. It is a very showy variety, 
growing much lai'ger and more lax than the plant usually grows. 
The fronds are barren, or produce only a few sori, when the 
indusium seems to be suppressed altogether. 1\\e pinnm become 
very long and broad — not so taper as usual, but the sides parallel 
and then abruptly contracting — not to a point, but to a rounded 
apex. The pinnules are also very large, and they again are cut 
into round lobes. I do not know whether this variety is per- 
manent, but as most of the monstrosities of ferns can be per- 
petuated, I presume that it would be permanent if brought into 
a garden. 

I have a dried frond of the common Prickly Fern {Polystichum 
aculeatum) which has taken a very remarkable form. It grew in 
my own garden, and had been but recently transplanted from 
the woods ; so that the change of soil and situation probably 
exercised an influence upon its growth. The lower half of this 
frond has all the characters of P. aculeatum, and differs in no 
way from the rest of the fronds upon the plant ; but at this 
point it abruptly changes, and the upper half exactly resembles 
P. loncMtis, not only in general form, having short undivided 
pinn(B, but even in the absence of brown scales upon the rachis. 
Whether this frond shews that aculeatmn and lonchitis are perma- 
nent varieties of one species, as some botanists think, I do not 



INSTDTCT OR KEASON? 89 

venture to say. The other half of my frond may be only the 
variety that is known as lonchitidoides, but I have compared it 
over and over again with veritable lonchitis, and I can detect no 
difference. 

Almost every fern is subject to these and other forms of abnor- 
mal development, but to notice all the Fern Freaks would require 
a volume. Here, therefore, I must end my chapter, and refer 
the reader for further information to Moore's "Handbook of 
British Ferns," where most of the varieties are described. 

EoBERX Holland. 



ittistittrt w^mott? 



The following anecdotes may not prove uninteresting ; whether 
exhibiting mere instinct, or some degree of reasoning, I 
wiU leave my readers to decide. Instinct and reason are so 
nearly allied, that though the latter be superior to the former, 
the shades of difference in many instances are so fine, that the 
result may without dispute be attributable to either. About 
sixty years ago a Captain Moore, of Mitcham, in Surrey, and a 
bachelor friend of the name of Potter, paid a visit to a farmer of 
the name of Chown, at Chorley, near West "Wycombe, for the 
purpose of enjoying some sport in the way of shooting. They 
were accompanied by a brace of pointers, one belonging to each. 
Now, the dog belonging to Mr. Potter, was to him a com- 
panion both by night and day, being privileged to sleep in his 
master's bedroom when at home. Arrived at Mr. Chown's, the 
dogs accompanying their master in a chaise, no difficulty was ex- 
perienced until night, when the captain communicated to his 
friend the unpleasant intelligence that his dog could not be per- 
mitted to sleep in his bedroom ; for their hostess was one who 
prided herself on her polished floors, and to have a dog sleep 
in a bedroom would be an act of unpardonable profanity. Ac- 
cordingly, with the assistance of their host, a nice bed was pre- 
pared in the calves' pen in the cow-house, and just the last thing 



90 INSTINCT OR REASON? 

before retiring to rest, Mr. Potter, with his friend, saw the dog 
Ponto comfortably and duly locked in for the night. Early next 
morning Mr. Potter was up, and his first solicitude was to see 
after his dog. On arriving at the cow house no familiar greeting 
met hia ear ; he unlocked the door, entered the calves' pen, but 
no Ponto was there. A hole gnawed through the boards 
showed his way of exit ; calling, whistling, was of no avail. 
Potter fretted and lamented, while the captain gave encourage- 
ment that all would be right. Mr. Potter posted a letter, and in 
a few days received the cheering answer from the housekeeper 
that Ponto was quite safe lying comfortably on the hearth rug, 
and that on opening the door the nest morning after his de- 
parture, the dog was found waiting for admission. The journey 
from Mitcham was upwards of thirty miles, the river Thames 
intervening. The dog had ridden to Chorley, but in one night 
found its way home. 

Ruthven, a Bow-street officer, weU known in his day for the 
part he took in the apprehension of the Cato-street conspirators 
in 18 — , related to me that when a young man, he had a terrier 
of the black-and-tan breed. Mr. Euthven resided in lodgings 
consisting of one room, in Street, London. His atten- 
dance being required at the sessions held at Kingston-on- 
Thames, to give evidence against some burglars, he locked his 
dog Blucher up in his room, walked to Gracechurch-street, 
where he took one of the two-horse stages, riding outside, for 
Kingston. He had been there for a few hours attending in court, 
when one of his brother officers said to him " Euthven, have you 
your dog with you?" "No," says he, "I left him at home.' » 
" WeU," says his friend, "he is here, for I saw him looking 
about among the people, as if he wanted to find some one ;" 
"Impossible!" says Ruthven. "It's true," says his friend, 
" he came up to me and I called him by his name, and patted him ; 
you had better come and find him." Euthven came amongst the 
people, and in less than five minutes his favourite dog Blucher 
found him and showed himself much delighted in recognising 
Lis master. Euthven, on his return to his lodgings, found that 



NATUJBALISTS' KALENDAE. 91 

the dog had gnawed his way through the door ; and successfully 
carried out a determined scheme to find his master. This anecdote 
I had years ago from Euthven himself. — H. G. 



/JC^t/Mr^^x^''< ^'t><H^^^^AJ 



fatuvaliist^' l^aHawtat'. 



\_Under this head wo 2>ropose to give a record of the more remarkable facts of 
Natural History connected with our own neighbourhood and adjoining 
counties: the dates of the flowering if jjlants, of the arrival aiid departure 
of our migratory birds; etc. Any assistance mill be gladly received by 
the Editor.'^ 



The following plants were in blossom at Wycombe prior to 
Jan. 1 : ~£i\Q\^oxi {Rammcuhis Ficaria), Dog's Mercury {Mercurialis 
perennis), Hazel, and Mountain Craiiesbill Geranium ftyrenaicum). 

Jan. 1. Daisy, Red and White Dead-nettles, Sun Spurge, 
Shepherd's Purse, Groundsel, Euphorhii Pejjlus, Poa trivialis, and 
Veronica Buxlaumii in flower. 

4. Sweet Violet (wild) in blossom. 

9. The following garden plants in flower : Mignonette, Car- 
nation, Anemone, Great Periwinkle, Borage, Mai'ygold, Erysimum 
Perojfslcianum. 

12. Mr. D. Avery observed a pair of Stonechats {Pratincola 
rtdicola) on Lane End Common : they have been there for some 
days. See vol, ii. p. 29. 

1 3. HedgeMustard ( Sisymhriiun officinale), Strawberry {Fragaria 
vesca), and Barren Strawberry {PotentiUa Fragariastrum) in flower. 

14. Senecio aquaiicus flowers. 

24. A Robin's nest with three eggs in it observed near Buck- 
ingham. — Field, Feb. 6. 

28. A new Thrush's nest. Partridges pair. A fine male 
Badger captured in Oxford. — "It was a good deal bitten and 
bruised, and must, no doubt, have been bolted (? baited) not 
long before. It was kept for about two days alive, but, obstin- 
ately refusing to take any nourishment, died in little less than 50 
hours after capture. It has been sent to town for preservation, 



92 NATUEALISTS' KALENDAB. 

and -will after that be placed in the new Museum, as being the 
last specimen of this now rare animal known to have been cap- 
tured in Oxfordshire." — Field, Feb. 6. 

Feb. 2. Bat {Scotojihilus murinus) observed at 2.30 p.m. in a 
street in Eeading. — Standard, Feb. 4. 

1 1 . Hawthorn in leaf. 

21. Mezeron in flower in King's Wood. Blackthorn blossoms. 

23. Coltsfoot flowers. 

24. Butterbur {Petasites vulgaris), and Hairy Violet {Viola 
hirta) in blossom. Mezereon in flower in Dane Garden Wood. 

March 1. Fumitory {Fumaria officinalis) and Moschatel {Adoxa 
moschatellina) flower. 

2. Wood Sj)urge {Euphorhia amygdalo'ides), Stitchwort {Stellaria 
Holostea), and Cowslip in blossom. In the lane between West 
^Vycombe and Downley, two patches of Sweet Yiolets with claret- 
coloured flowers were found, as well as a great number with pink 
flowers. 

3. Windflower {Anemone nemorosa) blossoms. 
14. Gooseberry (wild) flowers. 

IP. Marsh Marigold {Caltha palustris) flowers. 

22. Cow Parsley {Anthriscus sijlvestris) blossoms. 

23. Cuckoo heard. 

26. Ground Ivy and Wood Sorrel flower. 



'^xmtiixwp t>i \\u ^uui^. 



FOURTH WINTER SESSION— 1868-1869. 



Third Evenikq Meeting, Tuesday, February 2. — Held, by kind per- 
mission, at the house of John Parker, Esq,, jun. The Secretary read a 
paper, communicated by Robert Holland, Esq., of Mobberley, "On some 
obscure points in Vegetable Physiology." He first spoke of the transverse 
markings which may be observed on the outside bark of trees, especially 
noticeable on the Paper Birch of North America {Bettda pajyyracea). These 
bands take their rise in the mesophlseum i and Mr. Holland suggested that 
^l?Mt^ i>ffl»?e ttiBy pc««IWj' V(* t« «!0HVfe^ hit IhrbvigH \)x<i tmjpStfVleWii ettteir feftrS* 



I 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 93 

to the interior of the plant. " In thia respect they appear to bear some 
analogy to the medullary rays, -which are supposed to convey air from the 
bark to tha young wood, and they may be the very organs by which the 
medullary rays communicate with the atmosphere. They might, with great 
propriety, be called mesojyhlaiic ia?ic?s." The second point to which atten- 
tion was directed, was the relationship between a graft or a bud, and the 
stock upon which it is worked. Although the graft grows by means of the 
sap supplied to it through the stock, and though the stock increases in size 
by the deposition of wood from the graft, the stock and the graft each retain 
their specific character, even to the minutest particular of colour, size, form, 
and qualities. Several instances which were apparently exceptions to this 
rule were cited, the chief of which was Ci/tisus Adami, This, which is evi- 
dently a hybrid between C. Labnrmim and C. purpureus, is usually propa- 
.gated by grafting on the former. It has dingy red flowers, but very 
frequently reverts by bud-variation to its own parents, and bears, intermixed 
amongst its own branches, others which produce the flowers and leaves of 
C. Labttrnum, and some which produce theflowers and leaves of 0, purpxireus. 
, . . . So far this strange plant appears to afibrd only a very fine 
example of bud-variation, but let us enquire how the hybrid was produced. 
In the first place, all attempts have failed to produce, by aHiJicial impreg- 
nation, a hybrid between C. Laburnum and C. purpureus. But in a bed of 
seedling Laburnums which were grown in a garden where C. furpureus also 
grew, there were some veritable hybrids ; so that it seems that in a state of 
nature it is possible for an occasional hybrid to occur between the two species. 
But the account given by M. Adam himself of the origin of the hybrid is 
very different and highly curious. He had grafted a bud of C purpureus 
into a stock of C. Laburmim. This bud remained dormant the first year, 
but the year after sent up a great many branches, one of which grew much 
more luxuriantly than the rest. Now, this robust branch was propagated 
before it had florvered, and the young plants were sold for C purpureus, 
which it was only rational to expect they would be ; but when they came 
to flower, they turned out to be hybrids. Here, then, is a case in which the 
stock seems to have affected the graft in a most remarkable manner. But 
the probable explanation of the phenomenon is, that a bud of the purpureus 
graft united in some way with a bud of Laburnum stock, which happened to 
touch it ; and that the hybrid was formed by the union of buds, and not 
from any influence the stock exercised upon the graft." After glancing at 
parasites in connexion with this subject, Mr. Holland spoke of the theory of 
morphology, and adduced many illustrations in support of it ; these in- 
cluding instances, not merely of reversion, but of the conversion of certain 
parts of plants into the more complex organs. The paper, which was very 
iftte*i8BtiJig> wae listened t« throughout \vith Rr^Rt ftttentio^t* The Preaidettl 



94 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

then gave a popular description [of the polariscope and spectroscope, with 
exhibitions of each. The following objects were exhibited :— Dried plants, 
by Jtliss Cliandler, illustrating the Orchidacew, Prinmlacece, Cruciferce, and 
ItatutHCulacefC; specimens of Humming-birds, by the President ; a cast of 
Liiiudus gi/jantetisirom. the lithographic limestone (Upper Oolite), Eichstiidt, 
Bavaria ; etc. The microscopic portion of the evening was devoted to the 
inspection of polarised objects, mostly prepared by the President: amongst 
the most beautiful of these were the prisms contained in a section of the shell 
of an oyster, and the different forms of lime-crystals contained in a section 
of shrimp-shell, the spiral vessels of a rush, crystals of nitre, etc. 



Fourth Evening Meeting, Tuesday, Febkuary 23. — Held at the house 
of John Parker, Esq., at his kind invitation. T. Marshall, Esq., read a 
paper on "Our Water-Birds," in which the more generally known species 
were described from personal observation, and their habits referred to. This 
Avas followed by one from the Secretary, " On English Plant-Names," being 
an amplification of one read by him at the First Evening Meeting of the 
present session. Keferring in the first place to the Christian names which 
have been bestowed upon plants, he instanced many which had been trans- 
ferred from plants to people and places. He then glanced at the terminology 
of English plant-names, as -ock, -wort, -weed, -grass, -cress. Ominous 
names, such as "Mother-dee," " Thunner-flower," and "Bloodyman's 
Finders " were noticed, as well as the traditions connected with them, which 
in some cases originated, in others took their origin from, the name. Many 
local traditions from various sources, bearing on love-affairs, were quoted, as 
well as others, of more serious import, which associated death or some other 
catastrophe with the plucking of certain flowers. The confusion of plant- 
names which renders their study more puzzling was attributed in a great 
measure to the " poetical license " in such matters of the older writers ; and 
Tennyson's poems were cited as affording a good example of fidelity to 
nature in their allusions to natural objects. Scriptural plant-names were 
contrasted with such as are any thing but saintly in their allusions : and the 
paper concluded with a reference to those plants which are, by local name 
and tradition, associated Avith events in English history. After conversation 
on the subject of the paper, an exhibition of objects with the President's 
microscope took place — among them was a section of the human tongue 
(injected) showing the capillaries that run into the papilla ; elytra (wing- 
cases) of the Tiger Beetle {Cicindela campestris) ; a transverse section of a 
Lion's whisker ; sections of fossil teeth ; &c. The Secretary exhibited 
specimens of the Green Hellebore {Uelleborus viridis) from Matching's "Wood, 
West Wycombe ; a collection of very ancient fossil remains, and a ePecimen 
of the Pipefish {Si/ngnathus typhle) were also on the table. 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 95 

FiPTH Etening Meeting, Tuesday, March 23.— Held, by kind per- 
mission, at the house of Mr. K. Vernon. The first paper, " On Fern 
Freaks," was communicated hy Robert Holland, Esq., it will be found at 
p. 84 of the present number. Very fine specimens of Scolopendrium multi- 
fidum and S. ci-ispum were exhibited in connection with this paper. The 
Rev. "W. H. Painter had forwarded a paper, " On the South Staffordshire 
Coal-fields," which was read by the President ; it was Ulustrated with a map 
and characteristic fossils ; specimens of the yarious kinds of coal in use for 
domestic purposes were exhibited by Mr. R. Vernon. After some little con- 
versation and discussion, the Secretary read a paper, forwarded by the Rev. 
H. Harpur Crewe, of Drayton Beauchamp, " On the Prominent-Moths of 
Buckinghamshire." This, which will be published in a future number, 
was illustrated by two collections, chiefly of Buckinghamshire specimens ; 
one sent by the author of the paper, the other by the Rev. Canon Smith, of 
Marlow. The President exhibited an interesting and instructive collection 
of marsupial (or pouched) animals from Australia, and pointed out the fact 
that many of the fossils of that country were also of the marsupial type, 
some of them appearing most gigantic when compared with their living 
analogues. As an illustration of this, there was placed by the side of a recent 
"Wombat (Phascolomys Wombat) casts of portions of the jaws of the Phot- 
colomys gigas (Owen), the originals of which are in the British Museum. 
Besides the "Wombat, there were specimens of the Vulpine Opossum 
(Phalangista vulpina), the Sugar (flying) Squirrel {Petaurus Sciureus), the 
Flying Mouse, {Phalangista gliriformis), the Longnosed Bandicoot (Perameles 
nasjita), and the Common Phascogale (Phascogale penieillata) ; also the 
hind foot of the Giant Kangaroo {Maoropug giganteus). The Secretary ex- 
hibited a collection of British Ferns, and a portfolio of specimens of rai-e 
British plants : also living specimens of the Violets of the district, including 
Viola odorata, V. Idrta, and V. Eeichenlaehiaim. Fossil fish and coprolitic 
remains were shown by the President. The members were greatly interested 
in some newly-hatched Trout, in various stages of development, which were 
brought by Mr. Saimders. One of these, under the microscope, exhibited 
the arterial and venous circulation of the blood, and the connection between 
the arteries and veins by means of the capillaries : the action of the heart 
could also be clearly distinguished. The meeting, which was very largely 
attended, separated about 10 p.m. 



Peport of fhe Manchester Field Natnralistif Society for 1868. 

As might be supposed, this report of one of the largest of our Field 
Naturalists' Societies, cannot fail to be of interest ; to us it is especially 



96 BOOKS RECEIVED, 

interesting, inasmuch as we received from Mr. Grindon, the indefatigable 
secretary, much assistance and advice as to the formation of our own more 
humble Society. It is instructive to compare the record of our own pro- 
ceedings with that of the Manchester Naturalists ; and it tends to aUe\'iate 
the disappointment which we have felt at the non-attendance at our rambles, 
to find that a similar circumstance has to be regretted by the secretary of 
this large society. As an appendix to this report, two papers are given : 
one by Mr. Grindon, " On the Trees, Plants, and Vegetable Products (in ad- 
dition to Cotton) which are specially connected M'ith Manchester manufac- 
tures ;'' the other on "Rocks and Fossils," by Mr. Holland. Both are 
interesting ; and Mr. Holland evinces, in his geological paper, the same happy 
method of popularising his subject, which has rendered his botanical con- 
tributions to our own pages so generally appreciated. 



Quarterly Journal of the Folkestone Natural Histori/ Society; No. 2. 

The printing of this number shows a marked improvement on its pre- 
decessor. The contents are varied of both general and local interest ; among 
the former we may note the papers on "' Buttercups," " The Fertilisation of 
Orchids," and " Winter "Work ;" among the latter the two pages on " Local 
Museums," and the "Notes and Queries." 



Hardmiche^s Science- Gossip, iVys. 49, 50, 51. 

We have so constantly recommended this to our readers, that little re- 
mains for us to say about it, except cordially to endorse our previously 
expressed opinion. Our readers will recognise the paper on "English 
Plant-Names," as being the substance of one read at our first Evenmg 
Meeting. It is difficult to select any one paper for special praise ; but those 
on "Buds as Objects for Winter study," "Myriapods," "Poppy Seeds,'' and 
" Sea Anemones," are among the most valuable contributions. The 
"Correspondence" always an attractive feature in this magazine, is, as usual, 
varied and interesting. 



TJic Naturalists' Note-Booh, Nos. 25, 26, 27. 

We note with pleasure a great improvement in the contents of this 
periodical. Greater prominence is given to original papers, and, we think, 
wisely ; but we are sorry to see that the " Short Notes " seem in danger of 
being " crowded out." We would venture too, to suggest that the corres- 
pondence upon such vexed questions as "The Reason of Animals," and " Do 
Insects feel Pain ?" should be controlled within more reasonable limits, 
especially when personalities are introduced. The papers " On Insect 
Medicine and Folk-lore," " On the British Geoinetrm," and " The Song 
Thrash, and Thrush Snaxes," are among the most interesting of the contents 
of the three numbers before us. 



97 



Z\h "^vmimwi Pothsi of iucljuujttam^ItU'^ * 



By the Eev. H. Hakpuk-Cbewb. 



npHIS most beautiful family of moths may well be styled the 
-L creme de la cnlme of the British Lepidoptera. There is an in- 
describable softness and beauty of colouring in the caterpillar, 
and a refined loveliness in the perfect insects ; they are, with few 
exceptions, so rare and difficult to obtain that they may most 
classically be called the aristocracy of the Scale-winged Moths. 

The name of Prominent Moths is, I may remark, given to this 
family from the very sharp and prominent ridge which the edges 
of the anterior wings of the j^erfect insect present as it sits at rest ; 
and more especially from the fact that in most of the species 
which form this group there is on the lower edge of each anterior 
wing a small pyramidal appendage which, when the insect sits at 
rest with closed roof-like wings, forms a very remarkable 
prominence towards the centre of the ridge. Our own county of 
Buckingham is singularly rich in this very beautiful group of 
moths. With two or three exceptions they are all found in the 
shire, and that, too, in our own immediate neighbourhood. No 
less than fifteen species have been taken iu Buckinghamshire ; I 
have taken thirteen myself. I propose to take them in order and 
tell you how, and where, and when to take them. 

] . Stauro2MS Fagi (the Lobster Moth). — This insect is one of 
the largest in the group, and also one of the rarest. It derives its 
name from its very singular caterpillar, a most remarkable 
creature, of a reddish-brown colour, with numerous long thin 
sprawling legs, in appearance strongly resembling the crustacean 
whose name it bears. It feeds, as far as my own experience 
goes, exclusively on the beech, in August and September. I have 
several times beaten it into an umbrella from the overhanging 

* Eead before the Society at the Sixth Evening Meeting of the Fourth 
Winter Session, April 27th, 1869, 



98 THE rnOMINENX moths of BUCKINOIIAMSniRE. 

bouglis of beei'li trees in the rides of the woods at Buckland 
Common and St. Leonards. It is difficult to rear, as it often 
refuses to feed in confinement. The perfect insect, which is pale 
reddish-brown, clouded witli a darker colour, appears in May 
and June, and may bo found by searching the stems of the 
large detached beech trees. It has been taken several times at 
Velvet Lawn. The pupa, in common with that of all the rest of 
this group, is inclosed in a strong earthen cocoon just below 
the surface of the ground at the foot of the tree on which tho 
larva has fed. 

2. Pctasia cffssi'HCff (the Sprawlcr Moth). — If you have chanced 
to look up at the gas-lamps on the outskirts of the town on a 
warm, dark, still night in October, you may probably have ob- 
served some largish moths dashing wildly about them, or seated 
at rest on their sides ; and if you have taken tho trouble to catch 
one of them, the chances are ten to one that you have captured 
the pretty soft-looking pale brown moth streaked with black, 
which, why or wherefore I know not, goes b}^ the name of the 
Sprawler. Tho caterpillar is a beautiful glossy yellowish-green, 
striped with white. It feeds on various trees in May, e. g., beech, 
hazel, lime, and oak ; and is particularly partial to the wych elm, 
from which tree I have beaten it in some numbers in Suffolk. I 
used to spread a large sheet under the tree and beat the boughs 
with a long pole. I have taken the perfect insect at lamp-light 
when sitting reading in my room at Drayton-Beauchamp. 

3. Glu2)hisia crenata (the Dusky Marbled-Brown Moth). — This 
insect is so rare that I believe onl^' four have ever been taken in 
Great Britain ; ono of these was beaten, in the caterpillar state, 
from a poplar tree at Halton a few years since by my excellent 
friend the Eev. Joseph Greene, in whose collection I have 
frequently seen the perfect insect. There is little doubt that the 
insect occurs all over the county, and only requires to be looked 
for to be found. Tlio moth is a dull-coloured insect of little 
beauty. Tho larva is pale green, with a yellow line on each side, 
and some conspicuous rusty-red spots on flie back. 

■1. Ftilopliora phimigcra (the Plumed Prominent), — The males 



I 



THE PROMINENT MOTHS OF BUCKINGHAMSHrRE. 99 

of all the Prominent family are prettily feathered and plumed, but 
the plumes of this species are so singularly large and beautiful 
that it has been styled, par excellence, the Plumed Prominent. 
When almost all nature is asleep in the gloomy month of 
November this beautiful and delicate moth is busy and alive. It 
generally makes its appearance with Guy Fawkes, about Nov. 5. 
It is of a uniform reddish-brown ; the wings semi-transparent and 
indistinctly marked with yellowish streaks. It lays its eggs, 
which are of the same colour as the bark, on the twigs of the 
maple ; and in May and June the caterpillar, which is long and 
slender, whitish or bluish-green with white lines on the back, 
may be beaten full fed from the maple bushes at the edges of the 
woods. I have frequently taken it in the woods at Drayton- 
Beauchamp. It is uncertain in its appearance. 

5. Ptilo2)hora pdpina (the Palo Prominent). — This pale ashy- 
grey insect proclaims its own name. It is one of the common 
species of the family. The colour of its wings may best be 
described as oak-waiuscoat-brown. It appears in June and July, 
and in the two following mouths its curious powdery greenish- 
white caterpillar may be fouud feeding on various species of 
willow and poplar, especially the aspen and the abole. It has a 
rough wrinkled back and a conspicuous yellow stripe on the sides. 
The little white conspicuous eggs of this moth may be found on 
the backs of the poplar leaves in July and August, and the little 
larvoj are easily reared. It is found throughout the county. 

6. Notodonta Camelina (the Coxcomb Prominent). — This moth, 
which from its red colour and large wing protuberance, has been 
named the Coxcomb, is the only one of the Prominents which can 
really be called common. It is extremely abundant in- the cater- 
pillar state in the months of August, September, and October, 
and may be beaten from ash, beech, hazel, lime, elm, maple, 
sallow, apple, and birch. It is whitish — or bluish-green, with two 
conspicuous red warts near the tail, by which it may always be 
distinguished from the rest of the genus. The moth is mostly red 
with darker shadings. It appears from May to September, and 
occurs everywhere. 



100 THE TEOMINENT MOTHS OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, 

7. Notodonta cucidlina (the Maple Prominent). — This rare and 
beautiful Prominent may be said to havo its head .quarters in 
Buckinghamshire. I once took tNvo larvoo in Suffolk, and a 
friend during many years collecting took four of the perfect insect 
in the same county. I once beat two larvce from a maple bush in 
Herts. It has been taken a few times in Norfolk and Kent, 
but until about sixteen years ago it was one of the very rarest of 
our British Lepidoptera, and lucky was the collector who possessed 
a specimen in his cabinet. It so happened that one midsummer 
day about that time I was entomologising in a wood in this parish 
(Drayton-Beauchamp), when at the back of some maple leaves I 
found a number of delicate white eggs, which I at once saw to be 
the eggs of a species of Prominent Moth closely allied to the Cox- 
comb, but undoubtedly distinct. I watched these eggs with the 
greatest cai-e : in due time the little larvro hatched, and when full 
fed I found to my intense delight that I had reared the caterpillar 
of that beautiful rarity — the Maple Prominent. During the 
same season my friend Mr. Greene took a number of tho larvfc in 
the woods at Halton, and he and I subsequently took a large 
number in the woods in this neighbourhood. The Eev. Bernard 
Smith has also taken it plentifully in the neighbourhood of Marlow, 
and there is little doubt that it occurs in most parts of tho county. 
The moth appears about midsummer ; the larva — which is pale 
whitish-green, slightly hairy, with a hump in the middle of the 
back, and always rests with its tail in the air — feeds exclusively 
on the maple, and prefers those bushes which are in the middle 
of tho beech woods. It is full fed in September. It feeds on the 
imderside of the leaf and may easily be seen by turning the 
branches back one by one, or it may be beaten into an umbrella. 
The moth in shape and form most closely resembles the preceding 
species, the Coxcomb, but differs widely in the colouring of the 
upper wings, which are conspicuously variegated with buff and 
white. 

8. Notodonta Carmelita (the Carmelite Prominent). — This 
beautiful moth, one of the rarest of its class, has for many years 
past been taken sparingly in Black Park, a wood belonging to 



THE PKOiriNENT MOTHS OF BXTCKINGHAirSHIRE. 101 

Sir Eobert Bateson Honey, Bart., of Langley Park. It may at 
once be distinguished from the rest of its family by the almost 
imiform i^urplish-red colour of the wings, relieved only by a con- 
spicuous white or yellowish spot on the upper edge of the anterior 
pair. The caterpillar, which is bright apple-green marked with 
yellow on the back, and a white yellow and pink stripe on the 
sides, feeds exclusively on the birch in July ; and on the trunks 
of this tree the moth may be found sitting in May. 

9. Notodonta dictcea (the Swallow Prominent). — This moth 
and its neighbour the " Lesser Swallow " may at once be dis- 
tinguished from all the rest of their fellows by their long, slender 
shape, when at rest, much resembling that of a swallow with its 
wings closed, and by tlieir uniform whitish-grey colour, with 
a conspicuous dark stripe at the base and tip of the anterior 
wings. In the present species these stripes are chocolate brown. 
If any one will taka the trouble to turn up a number of 
branches of the black, Italian, or Lombardy poplar in August and 
September, the chances are that he will find various small very 
white eggs, or a very long, thin, glossy, whitish-green cater- 
pillar with a yellow stripe on the sides and a red hump at the 
tail. These are the eggs and the larva of the Swallow Prominent 
moth. It feeds upon all kinds of poplar, and sometimes, upon 
sallow and wiUow. There is a variety of the caterpillar which 
when full fed is of a uniform pale brown. The moth appears at 
the end of May and in June and July. 

10. Notodonta dictccoidcs (the Lesser Swallow Prominent.) 
This moth in form and marking almost precisely resembles the 
preceding species, but the dark lines in the upper wings are 
always a beautiful rich ^)urj)Ush-hvo^n, whilst the intervening 
portions of the wing are much whiter than in dictm. The larva 
too, is totally different, being of a uniform deep purple with a 
conspicuous yellow stripe on the side. It feeds invariably on the 
birch and is full fed iu September and October. I have taken 
both this and the preceding species in this parish (Drayton- 
Beauchamp) and believe that, though they are nowhere common, 
they occur wherever poplar and birch trees are to be found. 



102 THE PROMINENT MOTHS OF BrCKINOnAMSniRE. 

11. Nofodonta dromcdarim (tlio Iron- coloured or Dromedary 
rrominoat), the latter appellation being- derived from the won- 
derfully humpy appearance of ths caterpillar,— resembles the 
Carmelite Prominent in colour, but is of a much darker shade. 
Tlie upper wings (the rusty brown tint of which varies a good 
deal in intensity) are more or less marbled with yellow. The 
caterpillar, which is one of the most singular looldug creatures in 
the insect creation, is bright yellowish-green, more or less saddled 
on the back with purplish-brown. It has no less than five humps 
on its back, and rests like the larva of the l^Iaple Prominent with 
its tail in the air. It feeds in September on birch and alder, and 
occasionally on hazel. I have several times taken it in this 
parish. The moth appears in May, June, and July. 

12. Notodonta ~icr.ac (the Pebble Prominent) is at once dis- 
tinguished by the conspicuous markings at the tip of the 
anterior wings, resembling the polished eye of an onyx or some 
other pebblo— whence its name. It is not a very uncommon 
species. Its singular brown and purple larva resembles the 
larva of dromcdarim in form but has two humps loss. It feeds 
upon all kinds of poplar and sallow in September and October. 
The moth appears in May and June. It occurs all over tho 
county. 

13. I7otodoiita trepida (the Groat Prominent).— Tho larva of 
this magnificent moth, the king of the Prominents, I have several 
times beaten from oak trees in this neighbourhood in July. It 
is as georgeously bright as the moth is softly beautiful. Tho 
o-round colour is the brightest apple-green, with yellow lines on 
tho back and large yellow and red stripes on tho side. I know 
uothin"- more exciting to an entomologist when he has spread his 
sheet under the spreading boughs of a largo oak and given one 
of the branches a sharp tap witli his polo, than to hear a loud 
thud on tho sheet, and to see a largo fat larva of trepida lying 
sprawling on its surface. This caterpillar feeds exclusively on 
the oak and is full fed in July. Tlie moth, which appears in 
May, has the upper wings of a uniform soft dusty green, more 
or less suffused with saffron and marbled with dark olive. It may 



THE PEOMINENX MOTHS OF BUCKINGHAMSHIEE. 103 

be found sitting not far from the ground on the trunks of large 
oaks. When touched it moves its wings in a peculiar tremulous 
manner, whence its Latin name trepida. The Essex and Suffolk 
collectors have a curious and ingenious way of catching the males 
of this insect. When they breed a female moth they take her 
out into the vicinity of the woods before dark, and fetter her by 
a horse-hair or piece of fine silk (tied round the junction of the 
thorax and abdomen) to the stem of a large oak. As soon as 
it is dark, various male suitors make their appearance, anxious 
to woo and win. Having secured a specimen or two for his 
cabinet the collector permits the wedding to take place, and is 
thus sure of a set of fertile eggs to breed from for the following 
year. 

14. NoMonta cJiaonia (the Lunar Marbled Brown). — This 
pretty rromincnt may, with the next and last species, easily bo 
distinguished from its compeers by the conspicuous, broad, 
whitish bar in the centre of the soft ashy-brown upper wings. 
It is altogether a paler and brighter looking insect than the 
next species iY. dodonma, and appears a month earlier. I have 
several times beaten the larva, which is full fed at the end of June 
or beginning of July, from tall oaks in this neiglibourhood. It 
is a uniform glaucous sickly green, with two yellow stripes on 
the back and one on the sides ; and feeds exclusively on oak. Tlie 
moth appears in ^lay. 

14. Notodonta dodonm (the Marbled Brown).— This pretty 
little Prominent, altogether a smaller, narrower, and darker 
insect than the preceding species, has its upper wings con- 
spicuously marbled and bound with white, thence its name. It 
appears a month later than its congener chaonia. I once beat the 
larva from oak, on which it exclusively feeds, in this neighbour- 
hood ; and Mr. Greene met with it sparingly at Halton. It is 
exceedingly like the caterpillar of the Carmelite Prominent in 
shape and colour, yellowish-green, and wrinkled with two slender 
yellow dotted lines on the back and a yellow and pink stripe on 
the side. It is full fed in August. 

I can assure my readers that if these few disjointed remarks of 



104 XnE rnOMINElST moths or BUCKINGnAMSHIEE. 

mine sliould induce them to employ tlieir sj^are moments in trying, 
during tlie next few years, to breed and make a collection of the 
Buckinghamshiro Promineuts, they will find it a source of un- 
flagging interest and unceasing delight. I have now almost given 
up entomology for my flower garden but I reckon amongst the 
happiest daj's of my life those in which I used to shoulder my 
sheet and pole to thrash the oaks in the sunny glades for the 
gorgeous larva of the regal trepida ; or hunt the maple bushes in 
the deeper shades for the smaller but no less rare and beautiful 
caterpill ar of cucullina. 



Continued from page 84. 

Eefore commencing another page of this paper on the orni- 
thology of our neighbourhood I must express my heartfelt regret 
that it will be continued without the coadjutation of my friend 
Mr. Briggs, who was suddenly removed from amongst us on the 
5th of April last. For many years Mr. Briggs was my firm 
supporter and ally in the pursuit of ornithology, and I was in 
the habit of taking down to him the MS. of the present paper to 
get his additional notes before sending it to press. I shall en- 
deavour, of course, to remember all that he told me respecting 
the species hereafter to be treated of, but I had hoped to have 
made our joiirnal the receptacle of many of his interesting notes 
and experiences, the record of which, as unfortunately with so many 
naturalists, dies with him. 

Sulfam. Sittin^t;. 

Genus. SiTTA. 

Sitta cassia. The Common Nuthatch. 

The Scandinavian Nuthatch, tlie true Sitta Euroj^aa of Linntcus 
differs from our bird in having the under parts white, without 
a ring of the bright rufous colouiiug so conspicvous in the 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOXTKHOOD. 105 

English species. The true Sitta Ewropoea seems to be entirely 
confined to the Scandinavian Peninsula, while the S. ccesia is 
not confined to Great Britain, but is also the Nuthatch of France 
and Central Europe. The notion that the Nuthatch was allied to 
the Woodpeckers which is still to be found in some Natural 
History publications, is most certainly erroneous ; as the species 
is decidedly Passerine, whereas the Woodpeckers belong to the 
Picarim, an entirely different order of birds. The real position of 
the genus Sitta I believe to be near the Tits ( Paridce), forming 
perhaps a link between these birds and the Creepers ( Certhia). 
Like both of these, the Nuthatch builds in the hole of a tree, 
while everyone knows the general similarity of its eggs to those 
of the birds above-mentioned. 

No sort of climbing comes amiss to the present species and he 
may be seen to run up or down a tree, along or underneath the 
branches, while his presence is often first indicated by the rasping 
noise made by the bark as he detaches it from the tree. If by 
vigorous tapping the Nuthatch cannot induce the insects to como 
out of their hiding places, he soon makes short work of the 
matter, by inserting his wedge-shaped bill, admirably adapted 
for the purpose, under the bark, and tearing off a large piece. 
He is particularly fond of frequenting oak-trees, and I have often 
seen two or three on this kind of tree at once. When engaged 
in hunting for insects, the Nuthatch utters a sharp twittering noise 
which is by no means inharmonious. 

Fam. Cerxhid^. 

Genus Cekthia. 

Certhia familiaris. The Common Creeper. 

In favourite localities the Tree-creeper is common in the neigh- 
bourhood of Cookham, but is rather difficult of observation. 
Generally the bird first makes us aware of its proximity by its 
note, which is a prolonged hissing sort of whistle, but even then 
it is a hard matter to discover the bird, as its small size and 
quick action render it no easy matter to discover. Sir 
Victor Brooke in Zand and JVater for May 22nd, 1869, 
states that he "was greatly astonished in the Kiviera, North 

o 



106 THE BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOtJUHOOD. 

Italy, to hear the Trco-croeper continually singing. His song, 
like his call note, is something like that of the Golden-crested 
Eegulus. I could not believe my ears when I first heard the 
Bong coming from the little fellow, as ho crept up tJie side of an 
old olive, apparently as intent as possible on an examination 
of its bark. He sings incessantly, and his song once heard can- 
not be mistaken. It is a great deal stronger than the Golden- 
crest's {Regulus cristatus) or the Fire-crest's {li. ignicapillus) . . . 
. . . The Tree-creeper singing in Italy and never uttering a 
sound here is very curious. I shot one and examined it carefully, 
but did not find the slightest difference between it and the birds 
of this country." 

This last statement rather surprises me, as I have found con- 
siderable differences between the continental Tree-creeper and 
the one found in England, and I am only waiting for additional 
specimens to enable me to prove that they are distinct species, 
as in the case of the Long-tailed Tits. 

Fani. Alaudld^. 

Genus Alauda. 

Alauda arborea The Woodlark. 

This species is of very rare occurrence at Cookham. Great 
(quantities of Woodlarks are annually sent to London from Wales, 
as I learn from Mr. Davey, of Kentish Town. 

Alauda arvensis- The Sky-lark. 

Abundant all the year round, but receiving considerable addi- 
tion to their numbers in the autumn, when they assemble in 
flocks and do not sejjarate until the spring. Even in the breed- 
ing season, larks may be seeu in the early morning, feeding in 
company on the ploughed fields. The hind toe of this species 
is always long, and is sometimes found enormously developed. 

Fam. Feingillid.1:. 
Sul-fam. Embeeizin^. 
Genus Plectrophanes. 
Plectrophanes nivalis. The Snow Bunting. 

I was delighted to find a short time ago in Mr. Joseph Ford's 



THB BIRDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 107 

possession, a Sno-w Bunting in winter plumage, wliicli was shot 
at Cookham some years ago and preserved by him. The speci- 
men is now in my collection. 

Genus Cyncheamus. 

Cynchramus miliarius. The Common Bunting. 

I cannot justify the epithet of " common " with respect to this 
bird at Cookham, for it is decidedly rare, being only found in a 
few localities. I have tried several times to get one lately with- 
out success, nor does my collection contain a Cookham specimen. 
It used to be by no means rare in the fields by the side of the 
railway leading to Cock Marsh, and was often to be seen sitting 
on the hedge or the palings uttering its note, which is wonder- 
fully like that of the Yellow- Ammer, but without the charac- 
teristic ending to the song of that better-known bird. The 
present species is also called by the local names of Corn Bunting 
or Bunting Lark. I found the Bunting by no means rare in 
Huntingdonshire, and I collected several there, none of which 
now remain in my hands ; but in the South of England it is 
apparently far less common, the only specimen recently obtained 
being a male caught at Hampstead in April last. 
Genus Emberiza. 

Emberiza citrinella. The Yeliow-Ammer. 

This weU-known bird, also called the "Writing Lark" from 
the pecuh'arity of the marking of the eggs, is common in the 
neighbourhood. 

Emberiza hortulana. The Ortolan Bunting. 

In Mr. Clark-Kennedy's Birds of Berhs. the present species is 
inserted on the authority of three specimens having been shot at 
Cookham some years ago. Mr, Briggs informed me of the 
circumstance. 

Emberiza cirlus. The Cirl Bunting. 

This bird is always associated in my mind with some of my 
pleasantest recollections of Mr. Briggs, as he was never tired of 
telHng me the story of its discovery by him at Cookham. The 
first specimen obtained was at Formosa on some very tall elms 
and, as he was walking near these in company with his brother, 



108 THE BIEDS OF COOKHAM AND THE NEIGHBOTTRHOOD. 

the latter drew his attention to the note of a bird on one of the 
topmost branches, remarking that he did not believe the bird 
could be a Tellow^-Ammer. Briggs accordingly came the next 
morning with his gun, and shot the bird ; but having procured it 
he was at a loss to tell what it was, and described it to Mr. 
Gould as a hybrid between a TeUow-Ammer and Eeed Bunting. 
The latter gentleman, however, told him there could not be such 
a thing, and shortly after Briggs found out the species from seeing 
one of Mr. Gould's figures in the Birds of Great Britain. After 
that he took great interest in the Girl Bunting and during his 
residence at Formosa he succeeded in procuring several specimens, 
one of which, a fine male now graces my private collection. It 
always surprised me how Briggs could distinguish even at a con- 
siderable distance the note of the Girl Bunting from that of a 
Yellow-Ammer, but he was always right, and after having 
triumphantly proved the fact, he would recount how he had 
puzzled persons by declaring the bird they heard not to 
be a Yellow-Ammer, and then proving the fact in spite 
of their scepticism, by shooting the bird in the act of singing- 
The Girl Buntings obtained at Cookham are very fine, as Mr. 
Gould remarks {I.e.). I sometimes get a specimen from Hamp- 
stead, and near Keigate, they are by no means uncommon. 

Emberiza schoeniclus. The Eeed Bunting. 

A common bird, associating in flocks in the winter. 
Suh-fam. FRiNOiLLiNiE. 
Genus Feingilla. 

Fringilla coelebs. The Ghafl&nch. 

A common resident, breeding plentifully in the neighbourhood. 

I have seen a large series of eggs collected at Hampstead this 

year, and exhibiting every variation in the colour of the eggs 

from nearly pure white to deep blue or chocolate brown spotted. 

Fringilla montifringilla. The Brambling. 

The Brambling is extremely numerous in winter, and large 

flocks may be seen flying in the early morning from Gliefden 

Woods to the beech trees in Quarry "Wood near Marlow, and 

returning again in the evening. As they generally fly high in 



THE BIRDS OF COOKHAiT AND THE NEIGHBOUEHOOD. 109 

the air it is by no means easy to slioot them, and few fall to the 
gun : but folding-nets are more destructive, and large numbers 
of these pretty birds are caught near London every year. The 
first Brambling was obtained at Hampstead in 1868 on the Ist 
of October, a very early date for their arrival in this country. 
Genus Passer. 

Passer domesticus. The Common Sparrow. 

Passer montanus. The Tree Sparrow. 

This bird is not common at Cookham, and Mr. Briggs never 
obtained a specimen till 1865, although, doubtless, he had pre- 
viously overlooked the species. In the autumn of that year he 
went to Cambridgeshire, where he found the bird common and 
shot several specimens. On placing his foot outside his cottage 
door on the first morning of his return, the first thing he heard 
was the note of a Tree-sparrow, with which he had become 
famihar during his recent visit to Cambridgeshire, and he soon 
after shot the bird in an ash tree. This specimen is now in my 
collection. On the 10th of last November I shot a second out of 
a flock of birds in a stubble-field, killing two Yellow- Ammers at 
the same discharge ; and in January last a third specimen was 
shot near White Place. Doubtless the Tree- sparrow has often 
been overlooked or confounded with the common species ; still it 
cannot be called a common bird in the neighbourhood of Cookham. 
Genus Ligurinus. 

Ligurinus chloris. The Greenfinch. 

Very common at Cookham and in the neighboui'hood. 



" Science cannot, at present, aflford to throw hard words at 
provincialisms. Too often, in her nomenclature, has she failed 
to interpret nature ; too often only given us the skeleton leaf 
instead of the flower. A long list of provincialisms might be given, 
where by a word a whole train of associations is aroused, and the 
close relationship of all things shown. . . . Many of our most 

expressive terms are fast dying out As schools are built, 

and schoolmasters increase, so will the old-world words perish 
in the struggle with the new." — Cornhill Maga%ine, July, 1865. 



110 



ilom fit ^ml\\\f(im\\Mxt, 



By James Beitien. 



With a view of keeping before the public my intention of 
publishing at some future period a complete Flora of Buckingham- 
shire, and of at the same time recording the pi'ogress made and 
assistance received since my former list was printed, I have pre- 
pared the following catalogue, which raay be taken as a fair 
estimate of our knowledge of the botany of the county at the 
present time. 

Five names which appeared in my earlier list are here omitted. 
Ranunculus 'hetero2)hyllus and Fumaria Borcei, for which I am re- 
sponsible, I withdraw for the present, as, although I am not 
certain they do not occur with us, they rerpire further investi- 
gation. Ranuncuhis Baudotii was originally recorded with a 
query (see Phjtohgist, vi. 528, N.S.), and is probably not a Bucks 
plant. Pyrola media, of which I have before expressed my doubts, 
was certainly entered by mistake in Rail Synopsis, ed. iii. in the 
Neio Botanists'' Guide and elsewhere, P. minor being the plant 
intended. I have examined living and dried specimens of P. 
media from the north of England, and compared them with speci- 
mens from most of the Buckinghamshire localities recorded for 
the plant, and find the latter to be in every case P. minor. A 
similar comparison of a dried Buckinghamshire specimen labelled 
Orchis fusca {purjourca), with those in the British herbarium at 
the British Museum, and living plants from Kent, convinces me 
that this, too, was an error. The list might probably be yet 
further reduced by the withdrawal of many plants, which were 
either erroneously recorded or are now extinct, such as Sisym- 
brium Irio, Viola canina, Dianthus delto'ides, Erodium moschatuni, 
Lathyrus Aphaca, Sanguisorha officinalis, Comarum palustre, Mcspilus 
germanica, Tordylium maximum, Seseli Lihanotis (Hudson's station, 
" inter S. Alban's et Stoney Stratford" raay be in Bucks), Filago 



PtOSA OP BtrCKlNQHAMSfilBli!. Ill 

gallica, Crepis fcetida, Xanthvum Stnimarium, Andromeda polifolia, 
Melampyrum crittatiim, Me7itJia rotundifolia, Verlascum Blattaria 
JJtricularia intermedia (doubtfully recorded), TJiesitim humifiisum, 
Myrica Gale, Sabenaria viridis, Carex Fseudo-cyperus, Asplemutn 
fontanum, Botrychium Limaria. Most of these are not known to 
have been found for tlie last sixty years, and their re-discovery 
is much to be desired. It is possible that some others included 
without any mark of suspicion may be erroneously inserted, as 
as many of the localities given by the oldep writers require 
confirmation. 

The river Thame forms a natural division between the north 
and south of the county ; my present knowledge does not justify 
mo in adopting a further division into districts. I have endea- 
voured to show which plants are peculiar to either part of the 
county, and which are common to both. To the former the 
initial N or S is affixed, according as they are found in North or 
South Bucks ; and the absence of either initial indicates that they 
have been recorded for both divisions. The greater number, 
however, of those to which S is affixed are doubtless to be found 
in the north of the county ; but I have no authority for their 
occurrence there. 

The whole list is arranged in accordance with Professor 
Eabington's Manual of British Botany, ed. vi. ; and varieties 
given in that work are hero included as such. When only one 
form of a species is known to occur it is printed thus — Mentha 
pratensis b rubra ; when both species and variety are recorded they 
are separated by a comma. The total number of species is 808, 
of varieties 30. Plants undoubtedly introduced are italicised. 

In conclusion, I would sincerely thank those who have helped 
me hitherto, hoping that they will continue their assistance, and 
that many more may be induced to follow their good example. 



BUCKINGHAMSHIRE PLANTS— 1869. 
EANUNCTJLACEiE. — Clematis Vitalba. Thahctrum flavum. Ane- 
mone nemorosa, apennina S. Adonis autumnalis S. Myosurus 
mimmue, Eammculus trichopbyllus, Drouetii S, floribuadus, 



112 FLOEA OF BTJCKlNQHAMsniRE. 

peltatus S, circinatus, fluitans, liederaceus, sceleratus, Flammula, 
Lingua S, Ficaria, auricomus S. acris, repens, bulbosus, arvensis, 
parviflorus S. Caltha palustris. Helleborus viridis, faiidus S. 
Aquilegia vulgaris S. Leljihinmm Ajacis. Aconitum Napellm S. 

BERBEEiDACEiE. — Berberis vulgaris. 

NYMPHiEACEiE. — Nymplia3a alba. Nuphar lutea. 

Papaverace.5;. — Papaver Argemone S, Ehceas, dubium, Lecoqii 
S, aomniferum S. Ohelidonium majus. 

FuMARiACEJE. — ConjdaUs lutea. Fumaria oificinalis. 

CKUCiFERiE. — Cheirantlms Cheiri S. Nasturtium officinale, I 
siifolium, sylvestre S, palustre. Barbarea vulgaris. Turritis 
glabra S. Arabis hirsuta S. Oardamine sylvatica S, hirsuta S, 
pratensis, amara S. Dentaria bulbifera S. Sesperis matronalis. 
Sisymbrium officinale, Irio S, thalianum S. Alliaria officinalis. 
Erysimum cbeiranthoides, S. Brassica campestris S, h Uapa S, 
Napus. Sinapis nigi'a S, arvensis, alba S. Diplotaxis muralis 
S. Alysmm cahjcinum S. Draba verna. Armoracia rusticana, 
amphibia S. Camelina fcetida S. Thlaspi arvense. Teesdalia 
nudicaulis S. Iberis amara S. Lepidium Braba S, campestre S. 
Capsella Bursa-pastoris. Senebiera Coronopus. hath tinctoria 
S. Eapbanus Raphanistrum. 

Eesedace^. — Keseda lutea, Luteola. 

CisTACE^. — Heliantbemum vulgare. 

ViolacejE. — ^Viola odorata, birta, Eeicbenbachiana, Eiviniana, 
canina S, tricolor, h arvensis. 

Droserace^. — Drosera rotundifolia S, intermedia S. 

Polygalace^. — Polygala vulgai-is, h depressa S. 

Caryophyllace.e. — Dianthus Armeria S, deltoides S. Sapo- 
naria officinalis S. Silene anglica S, inflata, noctiflora S. Lychnis 
Plos-cuculi, vespertina, diurna, Githago. Sagina procumbens, 
apetala, subulata S, nodosa S. Alsine tenuifolia S. Arenaria 
trinervis S, serpyllifolia, leptoclados S. Stellaria nemorum S, 
media, c neglecta S, d umbrosa S, Holostea, glauca S, graminea, 
uliginosa. Malachium aquaticum. Cerastium glomeratum, 
triviale, semidecaudrum, arvense S. Moenchia erecta S. Lepi- 
gonum rubrum S. Spergula arvensis. Scleranthus annuus S. 



FLORA OF BtJCKDKIHAMSHIRE. 113 

Malvace.^.— Malva moscliata, sylvestris, rottmdifolia. 

TiiiACE.-E. — Tilia eiirojma, parvifoHa S, grandifoUa S. 

Hypeeicace.i:. — Hypericum calycinum S, Androssemum S, 
tetrapterum, perforatum, liumifusum, hirsutum, montanum S, 
pulclirum, elodes S. 

AcEBAOEiE, — Acer campestre, Pseudo-platanus. 

GERANiACEa;. — Geranium j?7;<sem S, pratense, sanguineum S, 
pyrenaicum S, pusillum, dissectum, columbinum, molle, lucidum 
S, Eobertianum. Erodium cicutarium S, moscliatum S. 

Balsaminace^. — Impatiens fulva S . 

Oxaxidace.t:. — Oxalis Acetosella, corniculata S, stricta S. 

Linace.t;. — Linum nsitatissumm S, cattarticum. Badiola 
millegrana S. 

Celastrace^e.— Euonymus europseus, 

Rhaunage^. — Rliamnus catharticus, Frangula S. 

Legumixos.e.— TJlex europseus, nanus S. Genista tinctoria S, 
anglica S. Sarothamnus scoparius S. Ononis arvensis S, cam- 
pestria. Medicago sativa, lupulina. Melilotus officinalis, alba 
S. Trifolium pratense, medium S, arvense S, subterraneum S, 
repens, hjlridum S, fi-agiferum, procumbens, minus S, filiforme 
S. Lotus corniculatus, d tenuis S, major S. Anthyllis vul- 
nerariaS. Astragalus glycypbyllos S. Yicia liirsuta, tetrasperma, 
gracilis S, sylvatica S, Cracca, sepium, mtiva, h angustifolia S, 
latbyroides S. Latbyrus Apbaca S, Nissolia N, pratensis, 
sylvestris, macrorrhizus S. Ornitbopus perpusillus S. Hippo- 
crepia comosa. Onobrycbis sativa. 

To he continued. 



FOURTH WINTER SESSION, 1868-C9. 



Si^TH Evening Meeting. [Tv^svxy, Apeii. 27-.Held at the house 
of the President, the Rev. T. H. Browne, by his kind invitation. A brief 
but remarkably suggestive, paper, on the progress of geology, and 
on oae or two of the theories of modern geologists, was read by 



114 t-ROOEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY, 

John Parker, Esq., Jun. ; and this gave li^c to so much conversation, and 
elicited so much information from the President, that anotlier paper which 
had been communicated was postponed until a future meeting. The Presi- 
dent exhibited specimens of bones and antlers of an extinct deer found in 
gravel while digging the new docks at Bristol ; a map, showing the locality 
in which they were found, was produced ; and a brief account of their dis- 
covery given. The objects exhibited were, as usual, numerous ; they 
ncluded British and foreign Bats ; some living Crabs ; Hawthorn in 
blossom, and Herb Paris {Paris /juadrifulia) brought by the Secretary ; 
Butterflies and Moths from the West of Africa, presented by W. C. Small, 
Esq.; and casts of the femur, tibia, and mctacarpel bone of the Dlnornis 
vmxlmus, with which were contrasted similar bones of the Ostrich and 
Emu. The microscope was, as usual, a great source of attraction ; amongst 
the objects exhibted were a parasite of the Pheasant, foraminifcra from the 
Mediterranean, the spiral vessels of a rush, &c. 

The Annual Conversazione with which the Winter Session terminates 
was held on Tuesday, May 4, in the Townhall, and was, if possible, more 
successful than those of former years. The exhibition of objects, although 
rigidly confined to such as were connected with some branch of natural 
history, was remarkably good : it embraced all the most noteworthy of those 
exhibited at the several winter meetings, besides many additions, of which 
the following deserve special mention : — A collection of wood sections, and 
another of fir-cones, lent by Leo. H. Grindon, Esq., of Manchester ; objects 
from the Holy Land, by the llev. C. W. B.Clarke; excavations from the 
Suez Canal, by H. Groome, Esq. ; vases of eels, mussels, cray fish, etc., from 
the Thames ; and many more. The splendid collection of Kingfishers, 
brought by 11. B. Sharpe, Esq., in illustration of his paper demands special 
mention ; it included not only rare, but unique, specimens, and is unsur- 
passed by any in Europe. Besides the birds themselves, Mr. Sharpe 
exhibited a collection of drawings, being the origin.il from which the plates 
in his monograph of the Alccdinidcc are t;iken. A bank of wild flowers, 
arranged with great taste by tlic Misses Giles, attracted much attention ; 
besides most of the more interesting plants of the Wycombe district, rarities 
from different parts of the country including Sax'ifraga ppjjositi folia, from 
the Clova mountains ! the true O.xlip (PriiiiuUi clatiur, Jacq.) from Safi'ron 
Walden, Essex; the Mountain VAnhw {Vlolahdca), the Globe-flower {TroUliis 
ci()'(>2>iens), the Asarabacca {Asitrum curopwum), the Spring C'inqucfuil 
{Potcntilla verna), and the lovely Birdseye Primrose {rrimula farhwsa), 
from Northallerton, Yorkshire ; the Wood Forgetmenot {Myosotis sylvatica) 
from Mobberley, Cheshire : and the Pritillary {FrlliUaria vwleagris) fronr 
Ford, near Aylesbury. The above-named ladies cxlubitcd several sets of 
drawings of British plants, which were greatly and deservedly admired lor 



TROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. llo 

tlieir artistic excellence as well as for their fidelity to nature. Miss 
Chandler's herbarium, the President's collections of bones, insects, fossils, 
and shells, and many more objects, filled every available space ; indeed, it 
was diflBcult to find room for all the articles sent. The Society is under 
great obligalion to Mr. Miles, who, with the permission of Lord Carringtou, 
gave a life and brilliancy to the scene by his tasteful arrangement of some 
magnificent azaleas, caladiums, ferns, &c. 

The members and friends assembled about 7 p.m. ; and at T'SO the Presi- 
dent took the chair, supported by Mr. Sharpe, the Secretary, Members of 
the Committe3, and others, and delivered his 

ANNUAL ADDRESS. 
Upon looking back on the past year of the Society's operations, there is 
but little which calls for special observation. Our winter meetings have 
been well attended. Upon the whole they have been very interesting, and 
in many cases they have been highly instructive. The subjects that have 
engaged our attention have been very varied. The conversations that have 
followed the subjects introduced have baen very satisfactory. There is 
reason to think that these discussions have especially awakened the interest 
of those whose attention had not been directed towards scientific subjects. 
May we not hope that this first dawn of interest in the mind, like the dawn 
of daylight in the outer world, will increase and increase till it has matured 
itself in advanced attainments and enjoyments. While attending to the 
many communications that have engaged the attention of the members, we 
seem to have dived into the ocean, to have delved into the earth, to have 
sought an acquaintance with the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, and 
the fishes of the sea. We have read the " sermons in stones, books in the 
running brooks," and have tried to get good out of everything. I regret to 
say that our excursions during the summer have not been so numerous q^. 
so well attended as could have been desired. Perhaps many legitimate 
causes may have prevented the members from engaging in this most instruc- 
tive mode of studying nature in its native state. Still we regret it. There 
is more to be learnt in the fields than in the lecture room, in the home of 
creation than by bringing creation into our own home. The examination 
or discussion of collected objects may be important — may interest and in- 
terest and instruct the mind, and may awaken within us enlarged apprehen- 
sions of the Creator's wisdom and goodness. But modes of life, growth, and 
action, can be learnt nowhere so well as in the native haunts of animal and 
vegetable existence. " A well-set cabinet of British bees, is worth going a 
pilgrimage to see ;" so writes one of our most distinguished Hymenopterists. 
How much more delightful and soul-tbriUing to see these bees flitting about 



116 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

from flower to flower, carrying on the work of floral fructification, gathering 
sweet food for their unborn offspring, sometimes with mysterious movements 
filling the air M'ith melody ; thus whilst these sweet sounds blend with 
other sounds, the soft " music through creation stealing," awakens holy and 
happy emotions in the soul, till every chord of our inmost nature vibrates in 
unison with harmonies that swell around ; and they and we join in the song 
of universal joy, " All Thy works praise Thee, Lord." I have often envied 
the individual who has seen the large Copper Butterfly in its native wilds. 
Beautiful it is, and brilliant when laid out in death. Few now possess this 
extinct species of the British Lepidoptera. But the naturalist was favoured 
above many who saw its transcendant beauty, its brighter brilliancy, as it 
once floated in the sunshine of the summer day. Those who have seen it 
will not easily forget that gorgeously resplendent wing that tren»bled with 
iridescent light like the mingled flashes of tiny diamonds. But we would 
not invite your attention to natural history merely from this low point of 
observation — that thus you will gratify your taste for the beautiful or awaken 
within emotional enjoyments, A child can perceive the beautiful in form 
and colour — can perceive the sweet influence of song and scene, and be a 
child still. We seek a higher object — a more honourable end is before us. 
It is knowledge — it is more — it is knowledge that can lead us to compare, to 
classifj', to perceive great affinities, to draw general conclusions, to learn 
Bome of the great laws that rule in the physical world, and in some measure 
understand the grand and benevolent designs of the great Maker and Law- 
giver of creation. But whilst it is in the quietude of the study we can draw 
these general conclusions, it is by observing the facts and operations of 
nature, Avhere alone these phenomena are going on, that we can draw safely 
those inductions which constitute the great principles of natural science. 
Away then to the field and the forest ; to the hill, the valley, and the river 
sjde. There shall we realise most emphatically the truth and power of the 
inspired statement — " The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all 
them that have pleasure therein." 

Will you allow me to make a few observations which may guard you 
against the erroneous impression that the members of a local Natural History 
Society should restrict their studies to the fauna or flora of their own neigh- 
bourhood. Doubtless one of the great designs of such societies is to accom- 
plish this important result. Perhaps the complete natural history of a 
country will never be fully worked out, except through the active agencies 
of such associations. Let us, however, remember that this supposes that 
those who have combined together are accomplished naturalists, and have a 
comprehensive acquaintance with the various branches of natural history, so 
that they can detect rare or new species which have hitherto escaped obser- 



PR0CEE1>INGS OF THE SOCIETY. 117 

vation. But such distinguished attainments cannot be possessed by those 
■who have restricted their attention to the natural history of one district, or 
even of one country. There are many orders or families of animals and 
plants that are distinguished by important characteristics — surpassing beauty, 
gigantic size, or physiological peculiarities, which make these families both 
interesting and important in the estimation of men of science. Yet we may 
possess but one insignificant species that represents these great divisions. 
Allow me to illustrate what I mean by an example or two. The FapiUonidie 
family of Swallowtail butterflies contains some of the most magnificent and 
beautiful objects in the insect kingdom. The number known to belong to 
this family, when Jardine's ^Naturalists' Library was published, was about 
two hundred. Since then the number of the species discovered has been 
greatly increased. But we have only one species indigenous to Britain, and 
that solitary species is now only found in the fens of Cambridgeshire. Again, 
the rieridee to which the common White butterfly belongs, contains only six 
British species, or nine if we include the Brimstone and Clouded Yellows. 
Few of these are distinguished by form or plumage. These are but insigni- 
ficant representatives of this group, as it is distributed tlu-oughout the whole 
world. Mr. "Wallace, in the fourth volume of the Entomological Society's 
Transactions, catalogues two hundred and seventy-nine species which belong 
to the Indian and Australian regions.* lu the same communication, he 
states that the number of species which are found distributed through tlie 
six great zoological regions of the earth amounts to seven hundred and sixty 

Our esteemed Secretary in his most beautiful report, asks — " Is it true 
that scientific pursuits lead to infidelity ?" We should reply most emphati- 
cally — No. Yet there are many questions in connexion with some of thp 
leading subjects of natural science, that have awakened strong feelings and 
criminations on the part of well-meaning but scientifically, ignorant people. 
These are ready to class all earnest enquiieis after the knowledge of 
Jehovah's works with materialists and infidels. Probably for similar reasons 
the early chemists were called magicians ; so in ages long since gone by, the 
men of that day scowled on the earnest student of natural science, who had 
as by a haaven-born intuition, grasped some of the great truths through 
which God reveals himself to his creatures. But he was feared and con- 
demned as one who dealt with occult mysteries. lie was a danferous 
character, mere nearly allied to the infernal than the supernal. Yet the 
reflected light of God's perfections had fallen on his soul, with a glow and a 
glory that had not irradiated the grovelling minds of his fellow men. He 
was before his time. Society had not yet been raised to his mental stand 
point ; or rather the light of the coming day of knowledge had not shone 

• " Out of 172 names (I speak only of PienV as it was.) There are fifty which I would 
place as synonymcs,"— W. C. Hewitson, F.L.S,— Vide Ent. See. trans., l-^GS. 



118 rROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

down to the low level Avhere they were satisfied to pass their mental ex- 
istence. Like the gilded mountain tops, he had received the glories of the 
rising sun, whilst those beneath him still lived in the darkness of the reced- 
ing night time. Two centuries after the time of Galileo, it seems strange 
that any should think now that an attempt to interpret the laws of the 
physical ■world, or read the pages -which God's hand has written through 
creation, should have a tendency to supersede the book of inspiration, or 
make an earnest mind think lightly of that best revelation of h«aven. Can 
it be true that the study of the works of God must necessarily lead the mind 
to think lightly of the word of God ? Can it be that the two great volumes 
of God's inditing can contradict themselves ? "Was there not a time when 
men had no revelation of inspiration ? Yet the Apostle tells us that '' that 
■which may be known of God is manifest to them, for God hath showed it 
unto them ; for the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world 
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made — even His 
eternal power and Godhead." Again, may it not be asked, has not the 
theologian gone away from his own peculiar province, "^vhen he attempts to 
explain the well-known laws of nature by interpretations which he derives, 
or thinks he is justified in deriving from the Holy Scriptures ? The 
especial design of the word of God is to teach us great facts and truths 
which can be learnt by no other means. The common phenomena of nature 
are described in the language of the common people, by modes of speech 
which all could understand. Still, without impropriety or untruthfulness, 
■when referring to the common events that transpire around us, we use the 
common language of society. Does any think less of the worth of the awful 
claims of the inspired word because it declares that "The sun ariseth and 
the sun goeth down and hastcth to his place where he arose ■" Eccles. i. v., 
or that " the ends of the earth wait for God's salvation." Are we infidels 
for asserting that the sun neither rises nor sets, but that our own world 
simply turns upon its axis ? Are we to be condemned because we affirm 
that a globe lilce our earth can have no ends or extremities ? — For if so it 
would be a flat plain, as taught by the Hindoo mythology. The scriptures 
simply speak in the language of the people, and the people understand the 
language of the scriptures. To question the imiversality of the deluge has 
been regarded as an astonishing act of presumption that indicated a trifling 
with the Word of God, if it were not equivalent to the rejection of its great 
facts. Bui if those advocates of the universality of the deluge had exercised 
half the earnest enquiry of those ■who appear to differ from them, they might 
have learnt that their interpretations of scripture had less of probability in 
themthnn they have so dogmatically assumed. Does the term earth in the 
"Word of God always and absolutely mean every part of the solid globe ? 
The design of the insulted Ruler of c<\rth and heaven in this fearful c.itas- 



tROCEEDIXGS OF THE SOCIETY. 119 

trophe was to punish mankind for their sins. If mankind tlien existing on 
the earth occupied only one continent or part of the globe, and that part was 
overflowed with the swelling waters, so that man and animals associated 
with them were drowned, was not the word fulfilled, " I will destroy thern 
with the earth ?'' But as God never performs a single act in vain, or works 
a single operation in nature or providence but with some great end in view, 
may we not, without having a heavy charge brought against us, enquire 
about the probability of these animals being destroyed which inhabited 
those parts of the world, with which the ungodly race of mankind had never 
come in contact. What a continued series of miracles must have been 
wrought, that animals which had never been associated with mankind might 
be brought from that distant portion of the globe, across a trackless and 
untraversed ocean ! During some of our evening meetings our attention has 
been directed to the marsupial or i)0uch-animals. It is a fact that with few 
exceptions the whole of this order of animals is found only in the southern 
portions of the globe, which are separated from the great continents of the 
norlheni hemisphere by a wide expanse of ocean. Geologists have elicited 
the fact that in ages long since past— ages indeed before the flood — the 
animals which inhabited these districts, though many of them were of gigantic 
proportions, belonged to the marsupial type of the mammalia, i.e., the order 
of anmials that now prevail in Axistralia. Without attempting to give an 
opinion upon this interesting question — Was the flood universal ? — we might 
ask— Were the representatives of these pouch-animals brought over from 
yonder ends of the earth to be preserved alive in the ark, and then, by what 
appears to us a most miraculous interposition, sent back to tlie Australian 
continent again, there, and only there, to originate a new line of marsupial 
animals: Let it be remembered that this discussion does not involve a 
questioning of the truth of the inspired narrative, but of the correctness of 
the interpretation put upon it by those who claim for themselves a very high 
authority, who are indeed both judge and appellant in the great court of 
scientific enquiry. 

There are some who think that as wa grow older we should lay aside these 
studies of nature as suitable only to the days of boyhood and youth. Bulwcr 
Lytton does not think so, and he is not yoixng. Xor did the friend of his 
boyhood, he whom he loved so well. Those were sliiking words that 
astonished the -youth in reply to the enquiry why he loved nature so 
much in his old age — " I shall soon leave the world : men and women 
I may hope again to see elsewhere, bnt shall I see elsewers cornfields 
and gras?, gos'^amers and ants ? As we lose hold of our fire senses 
do we wake up a sixth which had before been dormant,— the sense of 
nature ; or have we certain instincts a';in to nature which are suppressed 
pnd overlaid by reason, and revive only at the age when our reason 



120 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY. 

begins to fiiil us." Many years have passed since those •words were spoken, 
and Bulwer Lytton -writes :— " Year by year I find the same charm gains 
sway over myself. There was one period of my life -when I considered every 
hour spent out of capitals as time wasted ; but now I love the coimtry, as I 
did when a little child. Is it, partly, that those trees never remind us that 
t\-e are growing old ? Older than we are, their hollow stems are covered 
with rejoicing leaves. The birds build amidst the bowering branches, rather 
than in the brighter shade of the sapling. Nature has no voice that wounds 
the self-love ; her coldest wind nips no credulous affection. She alone ha» 
the same face as in our youth. Those wild flowers under the hedgerow — 
those sparkles in the happy waters — no friendship has gone from them ! — ■ 
their beauty has no simulated freshness — their smile has no fraudulent 
deceit." 

At the conclusion, tea and coffee, kindly provided by some of the lady- 
members, were handed round ; we may note here the decided improvement 
Avhich this plan manifested over that adopted last year, when the tea took 
place at the commencement of the meeting. At 9 p.m. Mr. Sharpe read a 
valuable paper, which was listened to with great attention, " On the Geo- 
graphical Distribution of the Alcecliniclec or Kingfishers," of which we regret 
that wc can only give the following brief abstract. He proposed to divide 
the family Alcedlnicla into three sub-families, 1. Alccdinincc. containing 
those species whose food consists chiefly of flsh and who seldom or never eat 
insects or other food ; 2. Ilalcyonincp, containing those species whose food is 
mixed, and who subsist equally on insects, Crustacea, &-c. as well as on fish, 
3. Dacelunina;, containing those species who feed almost entirely on lizards; 
Crustacea, &c and who seldom or never touch fish. The Kingfishers of the 
sub-family Alcedinhicc possess a long, thin, narrow, bill, and in general a 
very short tail, characteristics admirably adapted to their piscivorous pro- 
pensities. They were foTind distributed over the whole of the Nsearctic, 
Neotropical, and Palaearctic regions, being more sparingly represented in the 
-Etliiopean, Indian, and Australian regions. In these two latter regions the 
jffa/c:yort»i« were predominant, being sparingly represented in the Palaearctic 
and Australian. The bill which in the Alcedininm is thin and compressed 
wag shown to be in the IlnloyoHincB considerably depressed, while in the 
sub-family DaceloniiKC or lizaid-eating Kingfishers it was still more depressed, 
until in the genus il/eZ(V7o;'(7, it reached its extreme developement, being in 
this genus strongly grooved and hooked, The Bacdonina were found to be 
peculiar to the Australian region. Mi-. Sharpe exhibited specimens and 
pictures of some of the more remarkable Kingfishers, and illustrated on the 
map the geographical distribution of each species. After this the President's 
microscope was brought into use, and the various objects were inspected, 
"J'he meeting separated at 11 p.m., about 140 persons haviing been presents 



121 



{Concluded.) 



By James Bkitten. 



RosACE-E. — Primus communis a spinosa, b imititia S, c domestica 
S, Avium, Cerasus S. Spiraea ulmaria, Filipendula. Sangui- 
sorba officinalis S. Poterium Sanguisorba, muricatum S. 
Agrimonia Eupatoria. Alcliemilla vulgaris, arvensis. Poten- 
tilla anserina, argentea S, reptans, Tormentilla, fragariastrum. 
Comarum palustre S. Fragaria vesca, e?«</or S. Eubus Idseua, 
plicatus S, Lindleianus S, rliamnifolius S, discolor S, leucos- 
tachys S, macropbyllus S, 5 amplificatus S, Borreri S, Hystrix 
S, rudis S, Koebleri S. Guntheri S, corylifolius S, csesius. 
Geum urbanum. Eosa villosa S, inodora S, micrantha S, rubi- 
ginosa S, canina, arvensis. Cratfegus Oxyacantha. Mespilus 
gemanica S. Pyrus communis S, mains, Aucuparia S, Aria, 
torminalis S. 

Lythrace^.— Lythrum Salicaria. Peplis Portula S. 

OxAGRACE-E.— Epilobium angustifolium.birsutum, parviflorum, 
montanum, tetragonum, obscurum S, palustre. (Enothera biennis 
S. Circsea lutetiana. 

Haloragace^. — Myriophyllum verticillatum, spicatum S. 

Hippuris vulgaris. 

Ctjcuebitace.^.— Bryonia dioica, 

PoRTTJLACEiE. — Montia fontana S. 

Crasstjlace^.— Sedum Fiibaria, albim S, dasrjphjllum S, acre, 
sexangulare S, reflexum. Sempervivim tedorum. 

E1BESIACE.E. — Eibes Grossularia S, rubrum S. 

Saxifragace^.— Saxifraga tridactylites, granulata. Chrysos- 
plenium oppositifolium. Parnassia palustris. 

UMBELLiFERiE.— Hydrocotyle vulgaris S. Sanicula europeea. 
Petroselinum sativum, segetum. Helosciadium nodlflorum, b 
repens, inundatum S. Sison Amomum. ^gopodium Poda- 
graria. Bunium flexuosum. Pimpinella magna, saxifraga. 
Slum latifolium S, angustifolium. Bupleurum rotundifolium N. 



122 FLORA OF BUCKINGUAMSIIIKE. 

ffinantlie fistulosa, pimi)inelloides S, crocata S, Phellandrium S, 
iluviatilis S. TEthusa Cynapium. Fccniculum officinale S. iSeseli 
ZibanoiisS? Silaus pratcnsis S. Angelica sylvestris. Pastinaca 
sativa. Ilcracleum Sphondylium, b angustifoliuin S. Tordylium 
maximum S. Daucu3 Carota. Torilis Antliriscua, infesta S, 
nodosa. Scandix Pecton-Yeneris, Antliriscus sylvestris, vulgaris 
S. Chterophyllum temulura. Coniiim maculatum. 
Hedekace.e. — Hederi^ Helix. 
CoRNACE.E. — Cornus sauguinca. 
LoEAKTHAOEiE. — YiscuDi album S. 

Caprifoliace.ii:. — Adoxa moschatellina. Sambucus Ebulus, 
nigra. Viburnum Lantana, Opulus. Louicera Caprifoliwn S, 
Periclymenum. 

EuBiACE.E. — Sherardia arvensis. Asperula cyuancliica S, 
odorata. Galium cruciatum, Aparine, Mollugo, verum, saxatile 
S, iiliginosum, palustre. 

Valerian ACE. E. — Valeriana officinalis, sambucifolia S, dioi'ca. 
Valerianella olitoria, dentata S. 

DiPSACACEyE. — Dips acus sylvestris, pilosus S- Knautia arvensis. 
Scabiosa succisa, columbaria. 

CoiiPosiT.TL. — Eupatorium cannabinum. Petasites vulgaris. 
Tussilago Farfara. Erigeron acris S. Bellis perennis. Solidago 
Virgaurea S. Inula Helenium S, Conyza S. Pulicaria dysen- 
terica. Bidens tripartita, cernua S. Acbillea Ptarmica, mille- 
folium. Anthemis arvensis S, Cotula, nobilis S. Matricaria 
Parthenium, inodora S, Chamomilla S. Chrysanthemum Leu- 
canthemum, segetum. Artemisia vulgaris. Tanacetum vulgaro 
S. Pilago germanica, spathulata S, gallica S, minima. Gnapha- 
lium uliginosiim, sylvaticum. Senecio vulgaris, sylvaticus, 
erucifolius, Jacobjca, aquaticus, campestris S. Carlina vulgaris 
S. Arctium majus, minus S. Centauroa nigra, Cyanus, Scabiosa. 
Ono2)ordum Acanthium S. Carduus nutans S, crispus, b acan- 
thoides S, lanceolatus, arvensis, palustris, pratensis S, acaulis. 
Silyhim marianum S. Lapsana commiinis. Cichorium Intybus. 
Hypochroris radicata. Thrincia hirta. Apargia hispida, au- 
tumualis S. Tragopogon minor, 2>orrifoIius. Picris hieracioides 
S. Helminthia echioides. Lactucavirosa S, muralis S. Leonto- 



I 



FLOE A OF BUCKIXGHAMSHIRE. 123 

don Taraxacum, I Isevigatum S. Sonchus oleraceus, asper, 
arvensis. Crepis fgetida S, seiosa S, virens. Hieracium Pilosella, 
miirorum S, vulgatum S, boreale S. Xanthium Strnmarium S. 

Campantjlace.e. — Jasione montana S. Campanula glomerata, 
Trachelium, rotundi folia, Eapunculus S, patula S. Specularia 
hybrid a. 

Ericace-e. — Andromeda polifolia S. Calluna vulgaris S. 
Erica Tetralix S, cinerea S. Vaceinium Myrtillus S. Pyrola 
minor S. Monotropa Hypopitys S. 

AauiFOLiACEiE. — Ilex aquifolium. 

jASiiixACEA. — Ligustrum vulgare. Fraxinus oxcelsior. 

ApocrNACEiE. — Vinca minor, major S. 

Gemtianace/E. — Chlora perfoliata. Erytliraja Centaurium. 
Gentiana Amarella, b germanica S, campestris S. Yillarsia 
nympliajoides S. Menyanthes trifuliata S. 

CoxvoLYULACEiE — Convolvulus arvensis, sepium. Cuscuta 
europaja S, Epilinum N, Epith^-mum, Trifolii. 

Boraginaceje. — Cynoglossum officinale. Borago offivinalis S. 
Anchusa officinalis S. Lycopsis arvensis. Symphytum officinale, 
h patens. Echium vulgare. Lithospermum officinale, arvense. 
Myosotis palustris, repens, csespitosa S, arvensis, b umbrosa S, 
coUina, versicolor S. 

SoLANACAas. — Solanum nigrum. Dulcamara. Atropa Bella- 
donna S. Hyoscyamus niger. Datura Stramonium S. 

Orobanchace.e. — Orobanche Rapum, minor S. " Lathrasa 
squamaria S. 

SoRornuLAEiACEJE. — Yerbascum Thapsus, Lyehnitis S, nigrum 
S, Blattaria S, virgatum S. Digitalis purpurea. Antirrhinum 
majus S, Orontium S. Linaria Cynibalaria, Elatine, spuria, minor, 
repens S, vulgaris. Scrophularia nodosa, aquatica, vcrnalis S. 
Melampyrum cristatum S, pratense. Pedicularis palustris, syl- 
vatica. Ehinanthus Crista-galli. Euphrasia officinalis. Odon- 
tites. Veronica scutellata S, Anagallis, Beccabunga, Chamsedrys, 
montana S, officinalis, serpyllifolia, arvensis, agrestis, polita, 
Buxbamnii S, hederifolia. 

Labiate. — Mentha rotundifolia S, sylvestris S, viridis S, 
aquatica, pratensis h rubra S, sativa S, arvensis, Pulegium S. 



124 FLORA OF BTJCKINGHAiVrSHIRE. 

Lycoims europceus. Salvia Verbenaca. Origanum vulgare. 
Thymus Serpyilu.m, Chamsodrys S. Calamintha Nepeta S, 
officinalis S, Acinos S, Clinopodium. Scutellaria galericulata, 
minor S. Prunella vulgaris. Nepeta Cataria S, Gflechoma. 
Lamium amplexicaule S, incisum S, purpureum, album, Galeob- 
dolon. Galeopsis Ladanum, Tetrahit, versicolor S. Stachys 
Betonica, sylvatica, palustris, arvensis S. Ballotafcetida. Mar- 
rubium vulgare. Teucrium Scorodonia S. Ajuga reptans. 

Verbenace^e. — Verbena ofEcinalis. 

Lentibulariace^, — Pinguicula vulgaris S. Utricularia vul- 
garis S, intermedia S ? 

Primulace^. — Primula vulgaris, 5 variabilis, veris. Hottonia 
palustris S. Lysimacbia vulgaris, Nummularia, nemorum. 
Anagallis arvensis, h coerulea, tenella. Oentunculus minimus S. 

Plantaginace.e. — Plantago Coronopus S, lanceolata, media, 
major. Littorella lacustris S. 

CnENOPODiACE.E.--Chenopodium olidum S, polyspermum, album, 
I viride, ficifolium, murale, rubrum, Bonus-Heuricus. Atriplex 
angustifolia, erecta, deltoidea, bastata. 

PoLYGONACE^E. — Eumes maritimus S, conglomeratus, obtusi- 
folius S, crispus, Hydrolapathum S, Acetosa, Acetosellar. Poly- 
gonum Bistorta S, ampbibium, lapatbifolium, Persicaria, Hydro- 
piper, aviculare, Convolvulus. Fagopyrum esculentum S, 

Thtmelace.^. — Daphne Mezereum S, Laureola. 

Santalace-'E.— Thesium bumifusum S. 

AristolochiacevE. — Asarum europseum S. 

EuPHORBiACE-E. — Buxus sempervireus S. Euphorbia Helio- 
scopia, amygdaloides, Peplus S, exigua, Lathijris S. Mercurialis 
perennis. 

Ceratophyllace^. — Ceratopbyllum demersum S. 

Callitrighace.-e.— Oallitriche verna, platycarpa S. 

Urticace^ — Parietaria diffusa S. Urtica urens, dioica. Hu- 
mulus Lupulus. 

Ulmace^. — Ulmus suberosa, montana. 

Amentifer^. — Salix alba, c vitellina S, rubra S, viminalis S, 
aurita S, caprea S, repena, S, b fusca S. Populus alba, tremula 
S, nigra^. Myrica Gale S Betula alba, glutiuosa S, Alnus 



FLORA. OF BTJCKINQHAMSHIEE. 126 

glutinosa. Fagus sylvatica. Castanea vulgaris S. Quercus 
Eobur. Corylus Avellana. Carpinus Betulus S. Taxus bac- 
cata S. Juniperus communis S. 

Trilliace^. — Paris quadrifolia. 

DioscoREACE^. — Tamus communis. 

Hydrocharidace.e. — Hydrocharis Morsus-rance S. Anacharis 
Alsinastrum. 

OscHiDACE^. — Orchis Morio, mascula, militaris, S, maculata, 
latifolia S, iucarnata S, pyramidalis. Gymnadenia conopsea S. 
Aceras anthropophora S. Habenaria bifolia S, cblorantha, 
viridis S. Ophrys apifera, muscifera S. Herminium Monorchia 
S. Spiranthes autumnalis S. Listera ovata. Neottia Nidus- 
avis. Epipactis latifolia, media S, b purpurata S, palustris S. 
Cephalanthera grandiflora S. 

Iridace^. — Iris Pseud-acorus, foetidissima S. 

Amaryllidace.e. — Narcissus biflorus S, Pseudo-narcissus. 
Leucojum eestivum S. Galanthus nivalis S. 

AsPARAGACE^E. — Oonvallaria majalis. Polygonatum multi- 
florum S. Ruscus aculeatus S, 

LiLiACE^. — Tulijia sylvestris S. Fritillaria Meleagris S. Or- 
nithogahim umhellatum S, nutans N. Allium viaeale S, ursinum S. 
Endymion nutans. 

CoLCHicACEiE. — Colchicum autumnale N. 

JuNCACEJE. — Narthecium ossifragum S. Juncus effusus, con- 
glomeratus S, acutiflorus S, bufonius S, lamprocarpus S, squar- 
rosus S. Luzula sylvatica, Forsteri S, pilosa, campestris. 

Alismace^. — Alisma Plantago, b lanceolata, ranunculoi'des S. 
Actiuocarpus Damasoniura S. Sagittaria sagittifolia. Butomus 
umbellatus. Triglochin palustre S. 

Typhace^. — Typba latifolia S. Sparganium ramosum, 
simplex. 

Arace^. — Acorus Calamus S. Arum maculatum. 

L^iiiiACE^. — Lemna trisulca, minor, polyrrhiza, gibba S. 

Potamogetonaceje. — Potamogeton natans. lucens S, perfolia- 
tus S, crispus, pusillus S, densus S. 

Cyperace^. — Ehynchospora alba S. Eleocbaris palustris, 
acicularis S. Scirpus lacustris. pauciflorus S, fluitans S. Eric- 



126 FLORA OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. 

phonim angustifoliuni S. Carex pulicaris S, vulpina, murlcata, 
diviilsa S, reinota S, stellulata S, ovalis S, acuta S, vulgaris S, pal- 
lescens N, praecox S, glauca S, fulva S, distans S, sylvatica, 
Pseudo-cyperus S, hirta S, ainpullacea S, paludosa S, riparia S. 

Gramixe^i;. — Plialaris can riensis S, arundiuacea S. Anthox- 
anthum odoratum. Phelum pratense. Alopecurus pratensis, 
geniculatus S, agrestis. Nardus stricta S. Milium effusum S. 
Phragmites communis. Apera Spica-venti S. Agrostis vulgaris 
S, alba S. Holcus lanatus, mollis S. Aira cajspitosa S, flexuosa 
S. Trisetum flavescens. Avena fatua S, pubescens S. Arrhe- 
natherum avenaceum S, h bulbosum S. Triodia decumbens S. 
Koeleria cristata S. Melica uniflora S. Molinia coerulea S. Poa 
annua, nemoralis S. trivialis, pratensis. Glyceria aquatica, 
fluitans. Sclerochloa rigida S. Briza media. Cynosurus cris- 
tatus. Dactylis glomerata. Festuca sciuroides S, Myurus S, 
ovina S, arundinacea h elatior S, pratensis S, h loliacea S. 
Bromus erectus S, asper S, sterilis. Serrafalcus mollis S. Brachy- 
podium sylvaticum S. Triticum caniuum S, repens. Hordeum 
sylvaticum S, pratense S, murinum. Lolium perenue, italieum 
S, temulentum S. 

Equisetace,"e. — Equisetum arvenso, maximum, sylvaticum, 
limosum S, palustre S. 

FiLicES. ■ — Polypodium vulgare, Eobertianum S. Lastrea 
Pilix-mas, spinulosa S, dilatata. Polystichi:m aculeatum, h 
lobatum, angularo S. Athyrium Filix-fcxsmina. Asplenium /o?j- 
tanum S, Adiantum-nigrum, Trichomanes, Ruta-muraria. 
Scolopendrium vulgare. Ceterach officinarum S. Bleclinum 
boreale S. Pteris aquiliua. Osmunda regalis. Botrychium 
Lunaria N. Ophioglossum valgatum. 

Lycofodiace-i:. — Lycopodium clavatum S, Selago S, 
inundatum S. 

James Britten. 

Royal Herbarium, Kow, W. 
September, 18(50. 

Note. — A few additious made to tbe aTjove list while in coui-se of pub- 
lication, raises the number of species to 81G. These are entered in their 
proper places, with the exception of Melilotus arvensis. The S may be 
removed from Ranunculus auricomus and Cardamine hirsuta. 



127 



m the (^min\ f inrjfisiftersi of Africa. 



By R. B. Sharpe. 



(With a Coloured Plate.) 

QO much interest has been kindly manifested in the lecture on 
Kingfishers which I had the pleasure of delivering before 
the Society at the last annual meeting, that I have been 
induced to -write a few words in commemoration thereof ; and as 
an essay on the whole family would be tedious and uninteresting, 
I have chosen for the subject of the present paper the pretty 
little Crested Kingfishers of Africa {Corythornis). 

It will be remembered that I spoke of the subfamily Alcedinidca 
or true fish-feeding Kingfishers as being cosmopolitan, that is to 
say, representatives of this sub-family are found in all the dif- 
ferent zoological regions of the globe. But the ^Ethiopian region 
contains two genera entirely confined within its area, viz., Cory- 
thornis and Ispidina. As, however, the members of this latter 
genus, though closely allied to Corythornis, seem to feed more 
exclusively on insects, I propose to include them among the 
HaJcyonince ; supposing the connecting link between these two sub- 
families to be found in these two genera. 

The genus Corythornis contains only three species, all distin- 
guished by their beautiful long crests, which differ from those Cf 
all the other Kingfishers in the form of the feathers. All the 
Alcedinidcs possess a crest, more or less, but this is generally 
formed by the simple elongation of the feathers of the occiput 
all and each crest-feather is attenuated towards the tip. But in 
Corythornis the crest is fan-like, commencing from the base of 
the bill, and getting broader as it graduates towards the tip. 
These crests the little Kingfishers are able to raise and depress at 
their pleasure, and they doubtless are assumed in full splendour 
during the breeding season. 

The three species of Corythornis may be distinguished by the 



128 ON THE CRESTED KINGFISHERS OF AFRICA. 

colour of their crests, and should any of our readers meet with 
these pretty little birds, they can easily tell the species by the 
following diagnosis : — 

A. Beak black C. cristata 

B. Beak vermiUion. 

a. Crest blue C. ccsruleocephala 

b. Crest malachite green C. cyanostigma 

I will not trouble my readers with many scientific details res- 
pecting these birds, but subjoin the following particulars of their 
habits taken from the description in my ' Monograph of the Alce- 
dinidse.'* I should state that C. cristata is called in my work 
C. vintsioides, and C. cyanostigma is called there C. cristata. This 
mistake was owing to a wrong identification of one of the old 
species of Linnaeus, always a difficult task in the absence of all 
types, and in consequence of the curt descriptions of the older 
authors. 

I. CoKYTHOENIS CeISTATA. 

(Dusky-Crested Kingfisher.) 

Alcedo vintsioldes Eyd. et Gerv.j Eev.etMag.de 

Zool. 1836, p. 30, pi. 74. 

Corythornls vintsioides Kaup, Fam. ^iced. p 12 (1848). 

Ipsida phillipensis cristata Briss. Orn. IV, p. 463,pl. xsxvii 

(1760). 
Vinchi or Bintsi, of the Natives of Madagascar {Newton, Pollen). 
C. rostro nigerriino : supra Isete ultramarina : crista fuscescente-cyanea. 

Jlab. in insula ' Madagascar' dicta et in insulis adjacentibus. 

Crown of the head crested, the feathers being dusky-green, 
with black shafts and a bar of black near the tip ; sides of 
the head, back of the neck and entire upper-surface brilliant 
ultramarine ; wing coverts-black, washed and spotted with ultra- 
marine ; quills blackish, the inner web bright rufous at the base, 
the secondaries externally washed with ultramarine ; tail ultra- 
marine above, black beneath ; chin and a longitudinal patch of 
feathers along the sides of the neck pure white ; cheeks and rest 
of the under-surface' of the body bright rufous ; bill black ; feet 

* A Monograph of the Alcodinidoo or Kingfishers, by K. B. Sharpe. 



ON THE CRESTED KINGFISHERS OF AFRICA. 129 

red. Total length. 5.3 inches, of bill from front 1.2, from gape 
1.5, wing 2.3, tail 1.0, tarsus 0.25, middle toe 0.45, hind toe 0.2. 

Sal. Madagascar, and adjacent islands {Newton, Pollen and 
Van Bam.) 

The first description of this little Kingfisher is to be found in 
Brisson's ' Ornithologie ' (Lc.) where, however, the habitat is 
wrongly stated to be the Philippine Islands ; but as in addition 
to the very careful diagnosis given, the bird is said to be called 
by the natives 'Vintsi,' which is well known to be the native 
appellation in Madagascar for the present species, there can be 
no doubt that the specimen described by Brisson really came 
from that island. 

The rarity of Corythornis cristata in collections, and our com- 
paratively small knowledge of the ornithology of Madagascar, 
render the account of its habitats very meagre, but in the valu- 
able work recently published by Messrs. Pollen and Vau Dam 
we find the following interesting passage concerning it : — 

"This bird is very common in Madagascar and Mayotte. It 
is always to be seen on the borders of the rivers, bi'ooks, lakes, 
cataracts, and in the forests of mangroves which extend along 
the sea-coast. It feeds on little fishes and certain aquatic insects, 
on which it precipitates itself with great rapidity. In other 
respects it lives in the same manner as our common Kingfisher, 
and has a very similar cry. At Mayotte it is often seen perched 
on the leaves of the sugar-cane, near the canals which traverse 
the fields, having its eyes continuously fixed on the water, and 
awaiting, with patience, the moment when a little fish or an in- 
sect presents itself underneath, to precipitate itself upon it swiftly 
by plunging into the water. Having seized its prey, it returns 
to devour it, to the branch that it has just quitted ; it may be 
seen lifting its crest, raising and lowering its head, and remain- 
ing, often for an hour together, in an almost immovable position. 
This species is by no means shy, and allows itself to be easily 
approached. It lives almost always solitary, sometimes in pairs, 
and it is only on rare occasions that more than three individuals 
are seen together. We have found this bird at Mayotte, Nosai- 



130 ON THE CEESTED KINGflSnEES OF AFRICA, 

be, Nossi-falie, Tani-kelj', Nossi-Bourrah. and Madagascar. In 
this latter island it bears the name of ' Bintsi.' 

Messrs. Eoch and Newton state (I.e.) that in Madagascar this 
species was "tolerablj'' common along the coast, and observed up 
the counti-y as for as Beforona," and the latter gentleman ob- 
served it on his second visit to the island, to be as " common as 
it was last year." 

The description and measurements, are taken from a beautiful 
male bird in my collection, procured from the ' Maison Verreaux.' 



III. — CORYTHOENIS CyANOSTIGMA. 

(Malachite-Crested Kingfisher.) 
Alcedo cristata ... - Linn. Syst. Nat. I, p. 178 (1766). 
Corythornis cristata, - - - Kanp. Fam. Alced. p. 13 (1848.) 
Alcedo cyanostigma - - - Eupp. Neue Wirb. pi. 34 (1835). 
Corythornis cyanostigma - - Kaup. Fam. Alccd. p. 13 (1848). 
Alcedo cyano stigmata, - - Des MiirSj Voy. en Abyss, Zool. 

p. 81 (c. 1848). 
Petit Martin-2}echeur de I'lslc do Lui;on, Buff. Enl. 756. 
C. rostro Isete corallino : crista longissiuia inalacbitacea. 

Hab. in tota regione .^thiopica. 

Adult Male. (South Africa). Head witb a malachite-green 
crest, eacb feather being greenish-blue with a black shaft, and 
crossed by two black bands, the tip of the feather being black 
preceded by a band of blue ; the feathers at the sides of the crest 
elongated and broader ; sides of the head and entire upper sur- 
face of the body, rich ultramarine ; wing-coverts blackish washed 
with blue ; quills brownish black, the secondaries edged with 
faint ultramarine ; tail blue above, black beneath ; chin and 
longitudinal patch, of feathers along the sides of the neck, white ; 
cheeks, earcoverts, and rest of the under-surface of the body, 
rich rufous ; bill and feet coral-red. 

Young Female. Head crested, dusky-greenish, with very broad 
black shafts and bands, the feathers on the nape with a slight 
silvery lustre ; back and scajiularies light brown with light cobalt 
bars ; back ultramarine washed with cobalt ; tail ultramarine 
above, brown beneath ; quills light brown, the inner web light 



oy The ceEsted kingfisSers o^ afeIca. 131 

rufous from the base, the outer web edged with light ultra- 
marine ; lores light rufous ; cheeks rufous with little black 
markings ; throat and a patch of feathers along the sides of the 
neck yellowish white ; under surface of the body pale rufous, 
lighter down the centre of the body ; bill and feet blackish, 
tinged slightly with red. Total length 5.0 inches, of bill and 
feet blackish, tinged slightly with red. Total length 5.0 inches, 
of bill from front 1.3, from gape 1.75, wing 2. 4, tail 1.1, tarsus 
0.25, middle toe 7, hind toe 0.3. 

Veri/ young. Similar to the last, but the plumage much 
darker brown, the bars of blue being narrower and those on the 
head darker; the bars of cobalt on the wing-coverts and scapu- 
laries very distinct, upper part of the breast marked with a 
darkish brown line. Total length 4.3 inches, of bill from front 
0.8, from gape 1.05, wing 2.0, tail 1.55, tarsus 0.2, middle toe 0.4, 
hind toe 0.2. 

Hah. Abyssinia {Ileuglin), Tigre ; Dongola, Agula {Blanford), 
Nubia (Lichtenstein), White Nile (Petheric/c), River Gambia 
{mus. R. B. Sharpe), Bissao ( Verreaux), Casamanze ( Verreaux), 
Fantee {Bowilitch), Ashantee {mus J. Gould), Bonny River 
{Jardien), Gaboon ( Verreaux), St. Thomas (mus. Zish.), Angola 
{Monteiro), Cape Colon}' {Laijard), Natal {Ay res), Transvaal 
{Ayres), Caffraria ( WaMhery, Bulyer), Zambesi fKirlcJ. 

In a paper recently published in the 'Ibis,' I entered fully 
into the question of the various races of this species to be met 
with in the Ethiopian Eegion, and came to the conclusion that, 
beyond the larger size of the South African birds, there was 
nothing to justify their separation from the form occurring in 
Western Africa and Abyssinia. At the time I wrote that article 
I laboured under the disadvantage of not being able to examine 
more than one specimen from North Eastern Africa, an imperfect 
skin sent from the White Nile by Consul Petherick, for the 
opportunity of inspecting which I was indebted to my kind 
friend Mr. Gould. I decided, however, that there was no reason 
to separate the Abyssinian bird as a distinct species, and sub- 
sequent experience has proved the correctness of this view, for 



133 



ON THC CRESTED KINQFISHERS OP AFRICA. 



Mr. W. T. Blanforcl, the geologist attacliod to the late 
Abyssinian Expedition, has had the courtesy to submit to me two 
specimens obtained by him during his sojourn in that country, 
and these evidently belong to the same small race as the bird 
from the "White Nile. I subjoin the measurements of the two 
Abyssinian specimens, and those of the other birds from "Western 
and South Eastern Africa employed by me in my paper in the 
'Ibis.' 



No. 


Sex. 


Locality. 


Authority. 


Long 
tot. 


Eostr. 


Al. 


1 


male 


Agula 


Blanford 


4-6 


1-15 


2-25 


2 


male 


Dongolo 


Blanforcl 


4-6 


1-2 


2-2 


3 




White Nile 


Petherick 


4-75 




21 


4 




E. Gambia 


mus E. B. S. 


4.70 


1-15 


2-2 


5 




Beng-uela 


Monteiro 


4-80 


1.15 


2-2 


6 


male 


West Africa 


Verreanx 


5-00 


1-25 


2-1 


7 




Natal 


Ayres 


5-20 


1-20 


2-3 


8 




Natal 


Ayres 


6-00 


1-20 


2-3 


9 




Cape Colony 


mus. R. B. S. 


5-30 


1-30 


2-3 



It will be seen at a glance that the bird from "Western Africa 
is intermediate in size between the one from Abyssinia and that 
from South Africa. Should, however, some future ornithologist 
be bent upon separating the Abyssinian bird as distinct, it must 
bear the name of Corjjthornis cyanostigma, as the type of this sup- 
posed species came from Abyssinia. 

The present species is spread over the whole of the .iJEthiopian 
region, and is nowhere vei'y rare. Dr. Finsch, however, thinks 
that the bird from the island of St. Thomas, stated to be of this 
species by Professor Barboza du Bocage, is more likely to be C. 
cxruleocejilahi and I agree with the learned doctor in this sup- 
position. Nevertheless, my friend Mr. Keulemans expresses his 
belief from personal observation, that the true C. cristata is 
occasionally found there ; and he also informs me that, according 
to the natives, a bird with a very long crest is sometimes met 
with in Princes' Island, so that it may be an occasional visitor 
there also. That these little Kingfishers do sometimes take long 
flights, Mr. Keulemans is certain ; for in some of his excursions 



ON THE CRESTED KINGFISHERS OP AFRICA. 133 

to the different islands, he has observed them out at sea, skim- 
ming along the water, at least five miles from the nearest point of 
land. 

Mr. Layard observes: — "This beautiful little Kingfisher 
is abundant throughout the colony, wherever a stream or marsh 
exists which can supply it with the necessary food. It breeds in 
banks, and lays four or five glistening white eggs, so transparent 
that the yellow yolk shines plainly through the shell. I have not 
myself seen the nest, but have been assured by many who have, 
that it consists of nothing but the bones of the delicate little fish 
upon which the bird habitually feeds." In the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of Cape Town, however, it seems to be not very com- 
mon, for my friend Mr. Layard exerted himself vigorously to 
procure me some specimens, but without success, till at last he 
got quite by chance two at once, both young birds, which killed 
themselves by flying against a building in Cape Town. 

Mr. Ayres' notes on the present species in Natal are as follow : — 

"Eye black; legs and bill brilliant red; frequents both the 
coast and interior streams, and feeds on freshwater shrimps and 
small fish, but principally the former ; also on beetles and insects ; 
darts from a bough on its prey. Builds in holes in the banks, 
merely forming a small round chamber at the end of the hole." 

Mr. Ayres has lately sent some eggs to the Rev. H. B. Tristram, 
and I am indebted to Mr. Gurney for the following note which 
was received by him from Mr. Ayres. He observes: — "It 
bores a hole some two feet deep in the bank of a river or stream- 
let, forming a small round chamber at the end, in which four 
pretty white eggs are laid." 

The following details have been kindly supplied by my friend 
Mr. J. J. Monteiro : — " This beautiful little species is not un- 
common all over Angola, particularly on the smaller rivers and 
lakes. It is a lovely object, as it flies actively about from twig 
to twig low over the water, and it has a pretty way when 
standing still of raising and depressing its beautiful little fan- 
like crest." 

Dr. Kirk in his paper " On the Birds of the Zambesi Eegion " 



134 ON THE CRESTED KINGHSHERS OV AFRICA. 

informs us tliat it is "universal on all the waters, sitting on the 
reeds or bushes which overhang them, and darting on its prey, 
A larger species of Alcedo was observed among the rapids of the 
Shire, but not anywhere else." I think this last species must 
have been Alcedo semitorquata, which is in Mr. Dawson Eowley's 
collection from the Zambesi. In Abyssinia, according to Von 
Heuglin, the present species is "common and resident in Abys- 
sinia, up to 10,000 feet above the level of the sea, in the Bogos 
Country, and in the country adjoining the Gazelle river." Mr. 
Blanford has very kindly given me the accompanying note. 
"I found this Kingfisher only on the highlands of Abyssinia 
but never much above 700 feet above the sea. I did not meet 
with it on the Anseba, and suspect that it is confined to the tem- 
perate region. It keeps to the banks of streams, and has, so far 
as I had opportunities of judging, precisely the flight and habits 
of Alcedo ispida, sitting on a branch over the water and thence 
dashing down upon fish, and when disturbed skimming rapidly 
along the stream just above the surface of the water. I never 
saw it far from water. It was not veiy common." 

Des Murs in the ' Voyage en Abyssinie ' observes : — " The 
first example was found on the river Assem near Adoua on the 
2oth of Jul}^ 1839, and a second was killed on the river of Waye 
Gongona on the 7th of April, 1 840. It has all the flight and habits 
of our common species, and frequents the borders of the rivers." 

It will be seen from the accompanying observations of the 
Messieurs Verreaux, that their experience of the Abyssinian race 
being about the same size as the South African, is exactly con- 
trary to my own ; and if their observations in this respect be 
correct, there can be no hesitation iu the mind of any ornitholo- 
gist in uniting the C. crisfata from all parts of Africa under one 
and the same specific designation. I suspect, however, that as 
it is the case with so many other African birds, two races differ- 
ing only in size may be found to inhabit respectively the highlands 
ano plains of the same country. The above-named ornithologists 
have given us the following note : — " This species exactly resem- 
bles that of South Africa, which appears to be widely difi'used > 



ON THE CEE6TED KLNGEISHEKS OF AFRICA. 135 

for we can find no difference -wtiatever, except the variation 
of size, in the numerous examples which have passed through 
our hands during the thirty years we have busied ourselves with 
the study of Natural History and of Ornithology principally." 
" "We must state, however, that specimens from certain locali- 
ties on the West Coast appear to us to be of a smaller size, while 
those from the Eastern portion, on the young of which our col- 
league, M. Eiippell, has founded his A. cyanostigma, entirely 
resemble those from the Cape of Good Hope. We have gained 
proofs of this by the comparison that we have made during our 
journeys among public museums. For the rest, its manners are 
the same as the Alcedo ispida of Europe. In the adult birds, no 
difference exist between the sexes ; both have the iris clear blue, 
with the beak and feet lively red." 

The description and measurements are from specimens in my 
own collection. 



II. — CORYTHORNIS C.€RULEOCEPHALA. 

(Blue-crested Kingfisher.) 
Alcedo cccndeoceplwla - - Gm. Syst. Nat. I, p. 449 (1788). 
Corythornis ccm-ulcocephala - Kaup. Fam. Alced. p. 13 (1848). 
Alcedo cyaneoccphala - Shaw, Gen. Zool. VIII, p. 100 (1812). 

Alcedo cyanocephala - Hartl. and Finsch, Orn. Ostafr. p. 163 (1869) 

Corythornis cyanocephala- - Cab. and Heine, Mus. Hein. th. II. p. 145 

(1860). 
Corythornis nais - - Kaup. Fam. Alced. p. 12 (1848). 

Alcedo nais - - - Gray, Cat, Fiss. Brit. Mus. p. 64 (1848). 

Petit Martin-pcchcur de Senegal, Biiff. PI. Enl. 356. 
C. rostro corallino : crista breviori, Icetissime cyaneii. 

ITab. in Africa occidentali, in Abyssinia et in Africa eur-australi. 

Head brilliant blue, with a long crest, each feather of which is 
blue with a black shaft and crossed by two black bands near the 
tip ; sides of the head and rest of the upper surface of the body 
ultramarine ; wing-coverts black spotted with ultramarine ; quills 
blackish, their inner webs pale rufous at the base, the secondaries 
edged with ultramarine ; tail blackish with a tinge of ultramai-ine 
above ; throat and a patch of feathers along the sides of the neck, 



136 ON UPE CRESTED KINGFISHERS 01" AFRICA. 

white ; lores, cheeks, and the rest of the imder-surface of the 
body rich rufous, paler in very old birds ; bill and feet coral red . 
eyes dark brown. Total length 5 inches, of bill from front 1.3, 
from gape 1.6, wing 2.2, tail 0.2, tarsus 0.3, middle toe 0.45, 
hind toe 0.2. 

Rah. North Africa {mus. Brit.) Fazoglo {mm. Philad), Az- 
Johannis, Tigre {von Heuglin) Senegal {Buff on), Gold Coast {mus. 
Liigd.), River Gamma {Da Chailla), Loanda {mus. R. B. Sharpe), 
St. Thomas {Weiss, mm. Brem.) Ilha do Principe fDjhrn, Keide- 
mansj Mozambique fmus, Hein.J 

Although the present species has been known ever since the 
time of Buffon, great uncertainty has prevailed up to the present 
date, as to its geographical distribatioa. Gmelin gives its habi- 
tat as Madagascar, and Lesson as Java, both of which localities 
are erroneous, and it is now known to be confined to the 2Eiih.io- 
pian Region. I have never seen an authentic specimen from 
Abyssinia, although I suppose the two specimens presented by 
Lord Mountnorris to the British Museum from " North Africa," 
are really from some part of the Abyssinian sub-region. Brehm 
states that it is never found north of 15 deg. n. lat., which asser- 
tion, however, needs a slight modification as von Henglin pro- 
cured two specimens in a swamp at Az-Johannis in Tigre, which 
is somewhat north of the line indicated by Brehm. As regards 
the existence of Corythornis cceruleocephala in Mozambique, I ana 
somewhat sceptical, as no authority is given for the specimen in 
Heine's Museum. I hardly think its occurrence there likely, and 
I am by no means positive as to its ever being met with in 
Abyssinia : in all probability the small race of Corythornis cristata 
having been mistaken for it. There ought, however, to be no diffi- 
culty in identifying the present bird, as the diflference in the 
length and colouring of the crest is at once perceptible. 

According to the late Mr. Cassin, the Philadelphia Museum 
contains every known species of Corythornis and Ispidina, includ- 
ing Corythornis nais and his Is])idina nitida. What the two birds 
thus designated by Mr. Cassin really are, I cannot imagine, as I 
have examined Kaup's types in the British Museum and find that 



ON THE CEESTED KINGFISHEES OF AFRICA. 137 

Corthornis nai's is nothing more than the young of C. canileo- 
cephala, and /. nitida is the young of /. nataletisis, as will be seen 
in the account of that species. I beg leave to draw the attention 
of the Philadelphia Academy to this interesting question. 

Dr. Dohrn {I.e.) informs us that in Prince's Island the Cory- 
thornis cceruleocephala is common on the shore ; in a few instances I 
saw single specimens flying about in the interior of the island. 
Thecolour of the young bird is little different from that of old speci- 
mens ; the bUl is black, and the white spots on the throat and on 
the sides of the neck are very small. This species is as lively as 
Halcyon dryas is indolent. The natiue name is " Pica-peixe." 

I am indebted to Mr. Keulemans for the following note on the 
habits of this hitherto little-known Kingfishei", as observed by 
him during his residence in the Princes' Island. " Corythornis 
cteruleocephala is a common bird near the sea-shore, and in the 
large river near the town of St. Antonio. It is very different 
in its habits from Halcyon dryas, being altogether a much more 
lively bird. Its food consists of fishes and water-insects. It 
breeds between the months of August and January. The eggs 
are five in number, white, almost round, and very glossy. They 
are deposited in holes or in clefts of rock, but I do not know if 
they make any nest. When not disturbed this little Kingfisher 
becomes very tame, and is particularly fond of frequenting the 
j)laces where the native women are engaged in washing clothes, 
I suspect that the water being thus disturbed causes the aquatic 
insects to come to the surface, when they are eagerly pounced 
upon by the bird, which may be seen plunging into the water 
every minute. The natives call it "Pica-peixe" which signifies 
fish catcher." 

The description and measurements are taken from a very fine 
male bird in my collection from Loanda. The largest figure in 
the plate is a copy of a painting made by Mr. Keulemans in 
Princes' Island from a recently killed specimen, while the smaller 
figure represents a younger bird. 



188 



FIFTH SUMMEE SESSION— 1869. 

The Annual Meeting for tbe Election of Officers, witli which it has 
become customary to inaugurate the Summer Session of the Society, was 
held on Tuesday, JiUy 27th, at Castle Hill, at the kind invitation of J. 
Edwards, Esq. Tea and coffee were provided at five o'clock ; after which 
the members enjoyed a stroll about the grounds, and it was not until 
about seven that the business of the meeting began, when, the company 
being assembled in front of the house, the Secretary read the following 
report : — 

For the thii'd time it becomes my duty to report to you the progress of 
our society, which has now concluded the fourth year of its existence. It 
seems to me a peculiarly edifying practice that we should, at the end of 
each year, pause to look back ujion the past, to note what we have done, 
and at the same time to observe our shortcomings, and glean hints for im- 
provement in the many points where imj)rovement is desirable. During 
the Summer Session of last year our Society was in abeyance; indeed, with 
the exception of a very pleasant meeting in the place where we are now 
assembled, any work done was rather that of individuals than of the 
Society as a body. Our winter meetings were, as usual, well attended : 
the following is a list of the papers read on 'those occasions : — 

On English Plant Names (two papers) The Secretary. 

Winter Work Mr. Ullyett. 

*Additions to the Wycombe Flora, 18G8 The Secretary. 

On Some Obscure Points in Vegetable Physiology (commimicr. ted) 

Robert Holland, Esq. 

Oiu- Water-birds T. Marshall, Esq. 

*Fern Freaks (communicated) Robert Holland, Esq. 

On the South Staffordshire Coalfields (communicated) 

Rev. W. H. Painter 
*0n the Prominent Moths of Biickinghamshire (communicated) 

Rev. H. Harpur-Crewe. 

On the Progress of Geology John Parker, jim., Esq. 

*Annual Address , ,,, The President. 



PEOCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIEIT. 139 

On tlie Geographical Distribution of the Alcedinidse or Kingfishers 

R. B. Sharpe, Esq. 

Besides these, our President has given us short addresses upon sub- 
jects connected vrith various branches of Natural History, which have 
been profitable and interesting. 

Of our Annual Conversazione in the Town Hall, I can only say that it 
may fairly be considered to have been, in every way, a very marked success 
— a success due in no small measure to the exertions of those who devoted 
their time to the an-angement of objects — to those who lent the objects, 
and last, but by no means least, to those ladies who, by supplying tea 
and coffee, and by undertaking the various duties connected therewith, 
contiibuted so materially to the comfort and sociability of the meeting. 
Although the thanks of the Society were not publicly presented to these 
ladies it was not from any want of gratitude on behalf of the members. 

Our Magazine still -continues, and, apparently, stiU gives satisfaction 
to its subscribers and contributors. It is to be regretted that it does not 
pay its expenses, but we have a balance in hand from the annual sub- 
scriptions, which it seems to me, in the absence of a museum, cannot be 
applied to a better object than the continuation of this record of oiu- 
proceedings. Whether, at the conclusion of our present volume, we 
shall still be justified in its continuance is a matter which the future 
must decide. The papers published have been of local as well as general 
interest. 

Owing to considerable in-egidarity in the payment of subscriptions, I 
can only lay before you a rough statement of accounts, which will, I 
trust, be considered satisfactory. 

And now I must ask you to bear with me, while at the risk of beino' 
thought egoistical, I say a little about myself. You, who know how 
deeply and thoroughly I am interested in this work of ours — who have 
borne with my enthusiasm for natural science, even when I have faUed 
to carry you with me and make you love nature as I love her— you who 
have encouraged me by your presence at oiu- meetings, by your kind 
assistance in many ways when called upon to render it — you, especially, 
who have aided me with your obsei-vations, and enhanced the success of 
our meetings in various methods — you will, I am sure, believe me when 
I tell you how sincerely I regret to announce to you my aijproaching 
departure from this place. A post in the Royal Herbarium, at Kew, has 
been offered me, which I could not, in justice to myself, decline to accept. 
My resignation of the post of Secretary is, therefore, on this occasion no 
mere form — it is a necessity which none can regret more than myself. 
It has been said that my resignation woiold be followed by the collapse 



140 PROCEEDINGS OP THE SOCIETY. 

of the Society — an idea wliicli, flattering as it might be to my personal 
vanity, seems to me almost too absurd to mention. Is your interest in 
natural history so slight that the withdrawal of one member from a 
society like ours could be followed by so disastrous a result ? I will not 
believe it. The duties of a secretary are not so heavy that any super- 
human exertions are needed to fulfil them ; and surely among 70 mem- 
bers one may be found who will come forward to fill up the gap. Yet, 
lest this should not bo the case, I may mention that, should it be your 
wish that I should retain my post iintil the conclusion of the present 
year, I have made arrangements by which I hope to be enabled to be 
present as usual at our winter meetings. This, however, is only 
provisional ; I need hardly point out to you how much better it 
will be if the post be filled by one residing on the spot ; the matter is 
for you to decide. I have felt that it is advisable that the office of 
treasurer, which for the last three years has been united with that of 
secretary, should rettirn to its former distinctness ; the dtities of collect- 
ing subscriptions and keeping accounts are quite sufficient in themselves 
to occupy one whose time is ali-eady much engaged ; and I would, there- 
fore, urge upon you the propriety of your appointing a Treasurer ; this 
win have the effect of rendering the Secretary's duties even lighter than 
they are at present. All that you require in a Secretary is one whose 
heart is in the work, and sm-ely it would be no difficult task to find such 
an one among us. 

I avail myself of this opportunity to thank you for the extreme kindness 
you have one and all manifested towards me during my residence among 
you. If any proof were needed, of the catholicity of natiiral history, 
that proof yom* friendliness has afforded me. Whatever differences of 
opinion on other matters may exist between us, I can say with truth 
that you have been always ready to comply with any suggestion which 
I may have had to make with reference to the well-being or advance- 
ment of the society, and once more I heartily and sincerely thank you. 

Perhaps you will pardon me for once more urging upon you the 
necessity of more real work among us. Not that we do not number 
among our members a proportion, it may be a fair proportion, of those 
who really devote part of their time to actual study of natural objects — 
we have one or two botanists who examine in the herbarium as well as 
in the field, our British plants — and others who employ the talents given 
them in transferring to paper the fleeting tints and delicate forms of our 
wild flowers, and learn while so doing, many interesting facts connected 
with them. Ornithologists, too, are fairly represented, and Mr. Sharpe 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETT. 141 

(whom we are proud to'num'ber among our members) is now issuing a 
work wliicli has ah-eady a reputation as widely distributed as the birds 
which it describes — I mean the Monograph of the Alcedinid(B ; two dis- 
tinguished entomologists, resident in our county, assist us by contributing 
and subscribing to our magazine ; and geologists, too, are not wanting. 

I have not referred to our President, because I really do not know 
how to classify him ; perhaps the best way would be to rank him with 
each of the above, and add that he is an astronomer, a chemist, and a 
first-rate microscopist, and that he has a supply of objects illustrative 
of each science, which I verily believe to be inexhaustible. I know that 
some have not much time to devote to such pm-suits, but, surely each 
could do a little to forward the work. One might keep a meteorological 
table J another could note year by year the time of foliation, flowering, 
and fruiting of the trees ; another could with very little trouble, rear 
caterpillars of different moths or butterflies, noting their food, and the 
dates of their transformation ; a miniatiire aquarium and its inhabitants 
would amuse and instruct a fourth; the natural history of a limited 
district might occupy those who take their constitutional in some parti- 
cular direction ; in fact there is plenty to do, and nothing in nature is too 
small to be worth notice. There is such a chai-m of variety in nature ; her 
rules as we define them, are so full of exceptions, which are perhaps really 
governed by other rules at present unknown to us ; there is so very much 
to be done, and there are so few to do it. Not only are there many distinct 
branches of natural science, but each of these so divided and subdivided, 
and is so capable of further and further subdivision, that the difficulty is, 
not to know how much to attempt, but how little. And we need not go 
far afield to make discoveries. It is true, as our President told us, that 
we ought not to confine our researches to the insects, the plants, the 
animals, the birds of oui- own neighbourhood, or even of oiir own 
country, but we must remember that it is by the careful working of 
small districts that the productions of a country are ascertained. Neither 
need we hunt for rare objects on which to make our observations ; some 
of Sir. Darwin's most important discoveries were elicited by his study of 
such common plants as the primrose and cowslip, the flax of commerce, 
and the purple loosestrife. When we think how absolutely little we 
know of the life-history of plants ; when we think how many objects are 
connected with plants at one stage or other of their existence, how many 
in the larval state, feed upon the leaves, and in the perfect form of bee, 
or butterfly, or moth, derive sustenance from the flowers, in many cases 
at the same time fei-tHising these flowers by the transmission of pollen 



142 PROcEEsmas of the society. 

from one to another — a transmission wliicli recent investigations show 
to be absolutely necessai-y for the formation of the seed ; when we reflect 
tooj that each insect has its history, with its marvellous changes, each 
one of which, were we not used to them, would fill us with wonder j we 
must see that there is work for us all to do, and work which cannot fail 
to be a pleasure to all who undertake it. I do not expect you all to 
become botanists, geologists, or zoologists, in the scientific acceptation 
of the term, but I do virge upon you the necessity of being naturalists 
— lovers of nature. The more you observe the phenomena of the chang- 
ing seasons, the development of plant or animal, the infinite variety 
which is an immutable law of nature, the more you will appreciate the 
words of the poet, 

" The old order changeth, yielding i^lace to new. 
And God fulfils HimseK in many ways." 

The cash account showed a balance of over £4- in favour of the Society 
when all claims had been paid. 

The President then rose, and informed the members that they were 
now without oflScers, on which 

John Parker, Esq., said that the sooner they were delivered from that 
predicament the better, and he would, therefore, move the re-election of 
the Rev. T. H. Browne as President, knowing that no 'one better fitted 
to fill the post could possibly be found. This was seconded by Mr. 
ThurloWj and carried by acclamation. 

John Parker, jun., Esq., then pro^DOsed the re-election of Mr. Britten 
as Secretary. He was sorry to hear of Mr. Britten's approaching de- 
parture, but glad that his connection with the society would not cease ; 
and he had little doubt that his additional opportunities for study and 
observation would render his services even more valuable than they had 
yet been. 

This was seconded by J. Edwards, Esq., in a complimentary speech, 
and carried unanimously. The Secretary briefly responded, thanking 
the members for the compliment they had paid him, and remarking that 
he should look forward with pleasure to the winter meetings, when he 
shoidd again meet those who had helped and encouraged him in his 
work. He proceeded to move the appointment of John Parker, jun., 
Esq., to the office of Treasurer, which was seconded by Dr. Bowstead and 
carried unanimously. The re-election of the Committee followed ; after 
which the President gave an account of the recent excursion of the 
Geologists' Association to Oxford, at which the Society was represented. 
Among the objects exhibited were Lizai-ds of various kinds, by the Presi- 



PEOOEEDINaS OF THE SOCIETY. 



143 



dent ; specimens of the Cornisli Moneywort {SiUhorpia europcea) and Ivy. 
leaved Bell-flower (Wahlenlergia hederacea), from Bodmin^ Cornwall j of 
the Ivy Broomrape (Orohanche Hederm), from Clifton, Bristol; of the 
Flowering Eush (Butomus umhellatus), from the Thames, and of other 
plants, which were brought by the Secretary ; who also showed an 
abnormal form of Orcft.ispj/rajjwdaHs, forwarded from the Botanic Gardens, 
Glasnevin, Dublin. The President brought a crab, which had just cast 
its shell, and created some amusement by feeding it. After a cordial 
vote of thanks to INIr. and Mi-s. Edwards for their kind reception of the 
society, the meeting, which was very numerously attended, separated. 



ttot^si, OJomispotttUni;^, &c. 



Under this head we shall be glad to receive short notes on any 
natural objects, the preference being given to such as have a local 
interest. Notes on the popular names of, or traditions concerning 
animals or plants, or on any subject connected with Natural History, 
will be welcome. 



Eaee Bieds in Oxfokdshiee. — I 
have to report the recent capture 
of several uncommon bu-ds in this 
neighbourhood; a pair of the 
Lesser Spotted "Woodpecker, on 
May 1st; a fine female Crested 
Grebe, on the 18th ; and a splendid 
specimen (adult male) of the KoUer, 
on the 27th. The Black Tern has 
also visited us in considerable niun- 
bers. I also -ndsh to record the 
captiire in May, 1868, of a male 
Painted Bunting, — doubtless in 
this, as in other cases of its occur- 
rence in Britain, an escaped cage- 
bird, though I cannot hear of any 
one keeping them in confinement 
in this neighbourhood. 

EVEEAED F. ThTJEM, 

Alderbui-y Eectory, Banbury. 
Field, June 5th. 



The same paper contains a notice 
of the occiu-ence of a Stork in 
Windsor Great Park, at the latter 
end of May. 

AxjEOEA. — A very beautiful dis- 
play of the Aiirora Borealis was 
observed at Wycombe shortly after 
ten on the night of May 13th. 

WiTWOLL. — Mr. Marshall, in our 
first volume, p. 73, draws attention 
to this name, which, ia the slightly 
altered form of " Wetile," is applied 
in Buckinghamshire to the Green 
Woodpecker. The following in- 
teresting note on the subject is 
taken from Mr. T. Q. Couch's "List 
of Obsolete Words, stUl in use 
among the folk of East Cornwall." 
"WoodwaU. The Woodpecker 



144 



NOTES, CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. 



Some doubt exists as to tlio bird 
originally designated tbeWoodwall. 
With us it is undoubtedly the Green 
Woodpecker. In the glossaries 
commonly appended to Chaucer's 
worts, it is said to mean the Golden 
Oriole. The Greenfinch has also 
been set down as the bird intended. 

" The JToodwcIc sunj, and would not cease 

Sitting upon the spraye 
So loud be wakea'd Robin Hood 

In the greenwood where he lay." 

Robin Hood, (liitiion.) 

" In many places, Nightingales, 
And Alpes, and Finches, and Woodewalcs." 
Uomaunt of the Rose, 

The note of the Green Woodpecker 
is a hoarse laugh, rather than a 
song. The extreme rarity of the 
Golden Oriole is conclusive against 
its being the bird intended. The 
Greenfinch has been suggested, biit 
its song is hardly loud enough to 
have stirred the slumbers of the 
freebooter. Though the voice of 
the former can scarcely by any 
poetic license be called song, I de- 
cline to think it the bird meant. 
Yarrell (vol. ii. p. 137,) gives some 
interesting information on the ety- 
mology of the word. Crockett, in 
his Glossary of North Country 
Words, considers it derived from 
the Saxon 'whyiel,' a knife. In 
Yorkshire, and in North America, 
a whittle is a clasj) knife, and to 
w hittle is to cut or hack wood ; the 
origin and the meaning of the 
Woodpecker's name are therefore 
suiSciently obvious ; whytel, whit- 
tle, whetele, wood-i)ccker, &c." 

The Eedshank. — "A si>ecimen 
of that extraordinarily rare and 
beautii'ul bu-d, the Eedshank, in its 
summer plumage, has been shot 



lately, at Milton Keynes. The Eed- 
shank is a native of Timor Sunda, 
and New Guinea. It has been sent 
to Mr. ManteU, Newport PagneU, 
to be preserved." — Buclcs Herald, 
May 15, 1869, 

CoucH-GEAss. — This most trouble- 
some weed, one of the farmers' 
greatest enemies, known to botan- 
ists as Triticum repens, has a 
variety of English names. In 
Cumberland and Essex it is called 
Twitch ; in Yorkshire, Wickens ; 
in Cheshire and Shropshire, Scutch; 
iu our own neighbourhood, Cooch 
or Couch-grass ; in North Bucks, 
Squitch : all evidently having the 
same derivation, but an obscure 
one. In the Norfolk name. Quicks, 
and the Warwickshire, Quicken- 
grass, we have a clue. No plant 
is more retentive of vitality than 
this Triticwm repens ; the smallest 
piece, left in the ground, will grow. 
AU these names are but forms of 
the Anglo-Saxon word cwic, living'; 
a word with which we are f amUiar 
as occiiring in the English Prayer- 
book version of the Apostles' Creed, 
where "the quick" are referred to 
as opposed to " the dead." The 
words "quicks" and "quickset" 
are applied to living hawthorn 
hedges as distinguished from dead- 
wood fences ; cxoic-beam, the living- 
tree, was the Anglo-Saxon name 
for the Aspen (Populus tremula) 
in reference to its ever-moving 
leaves ; and Quick -in-hand is an 
old name for the Touch-me-not 
Balsam (Impatiens noli-me-tangere) 
from the suddenness with which 
the seeds are discharged when the 
plant is handled. 



The First Evening Meeting of the present f Fifth) Winter 
Session will he held at the house of the President, the Rev. T. H. 
Browne, on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 6'30^.ot. 

Memhers desirous of reading pa^jers at any of the Winter Meetings 
are requested to communicate with the Hon. Secretary, to whom all 
contributions for the Magazine should also he forwarded. Address : — 
Jamks Britten, Royal iLerlariura, Kew, London, W. 



145 



mt (BiM 6i §nj Wmi\mm^^ ^^»<^v S^^wtiS. 



EVEEY one must have remarked in a general way that the 
dry "weather of 18G8 was different in its effects on different 
plants. That some were burned up directly and never came to 
maturity; that some struggled through the fiery ordeal, and 
flourished at last when the rain did come ; that some were 
but very little affected throughout ; and a very few positively 
revelled in the tropical weather. Most people, at least most 
people who lived in the country, took note of these things and 
many interesting and valuable facts were recorded. 

But by no means the least curious were the effects which the 
dry weather exercised upon aquatic and semi-aquatic plants. Of 
course we shoidd be quite prepared to find dry-land plants much, 
affected when every drop of moisture was abstracted from their 
roots, and they were obliged to grow in hot, loose dust, or in soil 
that had been dried and baked almost to the texture of stone. 
We should, probably, expect to find semi-aquatic plants even 
more injured when, instead of growing with their roots in the 
water, the water had receded from them, and left them high and 
dry upon the land; and yet, strange to say, with respect to the 
water plants, the reverse of this was what reaUy took place in 
many cases ; for it was observed that many plants which usually 
grow at the edge of the water, or upon very swampy ground, but 
which were growing in 1868 upon dry land were stronger, larger, 
and especially flowered more freely than usual ; and that even 
some decidedly aquatic plants appeared to be much benefited by 
growing on soft mud instead of being quite immersed in the 
water. 

These observations were almost forced upon my notice one day 
in July, 1868, when I and two feUow-botanists made an excursion 
to Oakmere in Delamere Forest, There are in Cheshire a great 



146 THE EFFECT OP DRY "WEATHER TPON "WATER PLANTS. 

many small sheets of water, locally called " meres." Oakmere is 
one of the largest of them, being about three-quarters of a mile 
long. It is surrounded by peat bogs and low heathery hills 
almost destitute of trees, except at one end where there are dark 
firwoods — altogether a wild, weird place, where you would not 
be the least surprised to see strange antediluvian animals roam- 
ing about. Oakmere, however, is celebrated as being the only 
English habitat of the very rare lesser small-reed, C alamagrostis 
stricta, and it was chiefly to collect this pretty grass that we 
went. A year before I had found it growing sparingly at the 
edge of the water, but on that day we saw it in great profusion 
and luxuriance, growing where it was quite dry enough to walk, 
but where in ordinary seasons there must have been a very wet 
swamp. The mere was at least a yard lower than usual, and the 
watei-, always shallow near the edge, had receded to a consi- 
derable distance, leaving a shore of soft oozy mud with here and 
there a pool of dirty, stagnant water. Here, however, on this 
mud, we saw the effect of the dry weather on aquatic plants ; 
for it was almost covered with a luxuriant growth of Pond-weed 
{Potamogeton natans), throwing up beautiful, shining, almost erect 
leaves and a profusion of flowers. The Water-lilies too were 
equally fine ; their glossy leaves standing upon short stalks and 
forming quite a jungle. I have noted this fact before as regards 
Water-lilies in very dry seasons. 

Presently we came upon great patches of Sundew, both JDrosera 
Anglica and D. rotundifoUa, growing upon what ought to have 
been bog, but was now nearly dry and somewhat sandy land. 
The beautiful pink, jewelled leaves formed quite large rosettes 
and the flowers were borne on stalks six inches high. I think 
they were the finest Sundews I have ever seen. I suspect, how- 
ever, that something besides the dry weather may have influenced 
their growth, for on our peat bogs, where they are very common 
plants, — none the less charming for that however, — they grow in 
various situations, — down in the wet ditches and up amongst the 
Heather and Andromeda, but I have always found them much 
the finest in the wetter places, sometimes even perched amongst 



THE EFFECT OF DET WEATHER "UPON "WATEB PLANTS. 147 

the tops of the Spliagnum, the Water-moss that so treacherously 
hides the deep and dangerous holes from "which turf has been cut, 
and which are filled with water. 

Not far from Oakmere we crossed a bog where there were 
many of these small square turf holes, and therein we found one 
of our greatest botanical treasures, Utricularia minor in profuse 
bloom, and we also observed the very remarkable way in which 
the dry weather had affected this plant. Utricularia minor is often 
found fl.oating in bog water ; but, so far as I have seen it, it is a 
tender, very straggling plant, never growing in great dense masses 
as Utricularia vulgaris does, and very seldom flowering, — so seldom 
that although I have seen it, perhaps hundreds of times, — I had 
never before seen it in flower. But here, when the water was 
nearly dried up it was spreading over the mud and creeping 
about the Sphagnum almost like Dodder in a clover field, 
and throwing up hundreds of spikes of its very pretty pale yellow 
flowers. I was quite content to sit down and look at it ; but my 
companions, who were collecting for exchanges, fell to work con 
amore, only too glad of a rare opportunity to fill their boxes with 
80 great a treasure. 

But a stiU greater pleasure, if it were possible, awaited us. 
"Wandering on, we came to a second small sheet of water, sur- 
rounded by a marsh of a very difi'erent character, and yielding a 
totally different class* of plants. We picked up first the Bog 
Pimpernel ( Anagallis tenellaj, not a remarkably rare plant, but 
very uncommon in Cheshire, and therefore, to us, a good find. 
Then the Marsh S. John's Wort {Hypericum elodes), a better find 
stUl. Soon the Small Skullcap {Scutellaria minor), the rarest of 
all. But presently we came to a brilliant patch of green, fring- 
ing the margin of a little pool. It looked for aU the world like 
grass — only grass as green as this, would have been a rare sight, 
indeed, in that season ; but to our delight and surprise too, it 
turned out to be a great mass of Pillwort {Pilularia globulifera) 
loaded with its curious fructificatioD . There it grew, yards of it, 
on perfectly dry land, where no doubt there was usually shallow 
water. My companions carried away great bundles of it, — 



148 THE EFTEOT OF DET NEITHER trPON WATER PLANTS. 

enougli to supply the M-ants of hundreds of correspondents, but 
we made no impression ; we left it as green and apparently as 
plentiful as we found it ; indeed I do not exaggerate when I say 
that we might have collected a cartload. 

Many other water plants were no doubt similarly influenced, 
by the unusual weather ; but I did not make any systematic 
notes, and the few cases I have given are the ones that stand out 
most prominently in my recollection. I think the Water Hem- 
lock ( Cicuta virosa) might be added to the list, for it was wonder- 
fully luxuriant, as to leaves, but produced few flowers. I think, 
too, that the Great Willowherb {Epilohium hirsutum), and the 
Purple Loosestrife {Lythrum Salicaria), were both of them finer 
and more full of flower than usual. 

A succession of dry seasons would no doubt be very detrimental 
to water plants ; they would probably die out entirely, as rushes 
gradually disappear when land has been thoroughly drained. 
It is therefore the more curious that one exceedingly dry season 
should, in so many cases, have exercised a decidedly beneficial 
influence, and I am quite unable to give any satisfactory answer 
to the question " Why is it ?" 

EoBERT Holland. 



Wiu %M\x\smx\m\$' 



DUEING an excursion to Wheatley, which the members of our 
Society took four or five years ago, some fossil vertebrte were 
obtained in that neigbourhood, which are probably those of the 
Ichthyosaurus, one of those huge animals which inhabited the seas 
of liassic times. By the kindness of the President, these vertebrae 
are on the table to night, and I hope a short account of the 
reptile to which they belonged will not prove uninteresting to the 
members present. 

* Eead before the Society at tlie Second Evening Meeting of the Fifth 
Winter Session, December 14thj 1869. 



THE ICHTHTOSAXTEUS. 149 

Unwieldly in appearance, disproportionate (according to our 
ideas) in its head, and altogetlier enormous in bulk, I yet hope 
to show you that there is nothing in the structure of this extinct 
saurian that does not harmonise with the rest of creation, but that 
it is one of the many missing links brought to light by the 
laboiirs of the geologist which tend now year by year to make up 
the perfection of the many-stranded chain of animated existence. 
As its name implies, it partakes of the natures of animals occupy- 
ing distinct classes, it resembles both fishes and lizards — it is, in 
fact, an Ichthyosaurus, a fish lizard. Eegard being had to its size, 
it occupied in the liassic seas the same position that the whale 
now fills — the hugest animal known, and one which in many 
respects it resembles, though in the all-important matter of food 
our ancient friend was predatory and carnivorous. He possessed, 
combined in himself, organs and arrangements never since found 
in any one species, but now divided, spread among three or four 
families ; and was thus enabled to act in the economy of nature the 
parts now performed by many and widely separated species. 
He had a head resembling a lizard, the fore part a porpoise, the 
jaws and teeth were those of a crocodile, the vertebrse those of a 
fish, the paddles those of a whale, the body and tail those of a 
quadruped. Never since, I say, has such a combination been 
found in one animal, the nearest resemblance to such an arrange- 
ment in the present day is found in the Ornithorhynchus of 
Australia, the land of contradictions it used to be thought, where, 
as I read, at any rate, when I went to school, the nights are days 
and the days nights, the swans are black, and the dogs can't bark, 
the leaves grow edgeways, and the cherries have the stones out- 
side. So, of coiu-se, we should expect to find an out-of-the-way 
creature there if anywhere. Possessing these varied organs you 
can imagine foryourselves the advantages which the Ichthyosaurus, 
thirty feet long, had over its contemporaries, and what havoc it 
was capable of making in the ancient seas. The number of these 
creatures were incalculable and no less than five or six difi'erent 
kinds have been disinterred from the lias rock. It was in the 
year 1811 that a country girl, ^vho made a precarious living by 



150 IHE ICHTHYOSAtTETTS. 

fossil hunting, discovered some bones projecting from a cliff: 
slie got some workmen to clear away the surroundings and dig 
out tiie block in which they were buried, when the first known 
Ichthyosaurus lay before human eyes " a monster some thirty 
feet long, with jaws some feet in length." This was at Lyme 
Eegis in Dorsetshire, a locality now famous as the *' sepulchres 
of the ancient dragons," though they have been discovered in 
various parts of England, the lias formation forming a sui-face 
band reaching from Lyme Regis in a N.W. direction into York- 
shire. Of course, as you know, all representations are ideal ones 
as no specimen has been found perfect, yet they are no doubt 
very near the actual truth. Tou may be tempted then to ask how 
is it possible that we can represent thus a creature which disap- 
peared from the earth many thousands of years since ? I will try 
to show you. It is by the aid of comparative anatomy, a science 
which has made wonderful strides of late years, and without 
•which many of our greatest discoveries could not have been made. 
There is such an intimate connection between the different organs 
of the body and the habits of the animal, that if you know one 
you can tell the other; and further than this, one particular 
organ or arrangement of organs, requires another particular 
organ or arrangement, and is never found without it, so that if 
you get hold of but even one or two bones you many mentally 
construct the skeleton and afterwards write a description of the 
appearance and habits of the creature, no further divergent from 
the truth than many a description of foreign animals now to be 
read in books. I may mention as a case in point that several 
years ago one or two bones were sent from New Zealand to this 
country by a naturalist who could not refer them to any known 
animal. Professor Owen, however, our greatest authority in such 
matters, could say positively that no such animal was known, yet 
he described what kind of creature it would be when found, and 
urged them to hunt both for bones and living specimens. The 
search was successful though difficult, and the curious creature 
known as the Jj^f^njz, the bird without a vestige of wings and 
covered with feathers more like hair, is now to be seen alive in 



THE ICHTHYOSAtTETTS. 15 1 

the Zoological Gardens. Having said thus much I will briefly 
refer to the various organs of the Ichthyosaurus and show how 
it has been possible to give you its likeness. 

The head resembles that of a lizard or crocodile, the fore part 
of it being like that of a porpoise. It was of an enormous size, in 
large specimens reaching a length of five or six feet. The teeth 
are conical, similar in shape to those of a ci-ocodile, but not 
having sockets, — they were arranged in a ridge along the inside 
of the jaw. Ample provision was made for their continual 
renewal, a new tooth being constantly growing at the base of the 
old one ; the number reached in some cases to 180. But the 
head differed from that of a crocodile in the position of the 
nostrils ; the crocodile has them at the extremity of the head, the 
Ichthyosaurus had them just in front of the eye, as you may see 
in the Httle lizard so plentiful on our heaths. This shows a close 
connection with the lizard tribe, and the teeth prove it to be 
carnivorous. The most striking feature in the head is the eye, 
which equalled in size the human head and had an aperture 12 
to 14 inches across. This enormous size would enable it to take 
in a proportionate quantity of light, a power which of course 
gave it a better opportunity of seeing its prey, especially in deep 
water where little light penetrated. The opening of the pupil 
was surrounded by a series of thin bony plates, by means of 
which the aperture could be contracted or expanded, and so the 
animal might adapt its sight to objects far off or near at hand. 
There is a similar arrangement in the eyes of turtles, lizards, and 
some of the birds of prey, but it is never found in fishes. Here 
we see, then, how the teeth and the eyes correspond, and we 
also begin to see that the animal was not a fish. As I have 
spoken of the teeth I may as well in this place finish what I have 
to say about the food of the ichthyosaurus. The teeth show it 
to have been carnivorous, but the question has been settled 
beyond all doubt, owing to the wonderful preservation of some 
of the specimens. One was found in the Lyme Regis quarries 
in which the contents of the stomach were fossihsed inside the 
body; among them were bones and scales of fishes and reptiles. 



159 THE ICHTHTfOBAtmre. 

and among the latter remains of its own species, so that it not 
only was a beast of prey, but it devoured its own kind. 

We may next notice the vertebroe or separate parts of the back 
bone. They were more than 100 in number, thus giving great 
flexibility to the column. But these vertebrae correspond more 
closely to those of fishes in shape, and this tells us further that 
the Ichthyosaurus was fitted for very rapid motion in the water. 
The distinguishing feature of the vertebrse of fishes is that they 
are hollow on their faces, whereas those of other animals are 
more or less flat. Land quadrupeds e.g. require flat surfaces to 
these bones, because they press heavily against each other as 
they support the weight of the body. An arrangement of hollow 
vertebrse is weaker, and, therefore, the Ichthyosaurus with its 
huge body cotdd not have moved about much on the land. This 
is another conclusion we draw from the character of the fossil ; 
and we also begin to suspect that a hollow vertebral column tells 
of fins or paddles instead of legs. To these we will now come. 
Some of them are very perfectly preserved. Each consisted of a 
large number of bones — about 100 and at first sight seems an 
organ totally different from the hand or front member found in 
land animals. It is however constructed on the same plan ; if you 
look closely you will find that the bones are arranged in five 
columns answering to the fingers and thumb, that next to these 
come the two bones of the fore arm, the ulna and radius, very 
short and stout, and then the arm bone or humenis also short and 
stout as was necessary to the size of the animal. This arrange- 
ment is identical with that in our own arms and hands, and is 
one more illustration of the great unityof plan whichnot only exists 
in creation now, but is thus shown to have existed in the dim 
vistas of the past. But there is a difference between the front 
and back pair of paddles, the former being much larger; — and 
why ? Because the Ichthyosaurus being an air-breathing animal 
was obliged frequently to come to the surface to breathe, as the 
■whale does now. The whale only possesses a front pair of fins, 
and seals which have two pairs have the anterior pair much larger, 
as our ancient friend had. The arrangement is the same as that 



TITE ICnTnYOSATJRUa. 153 

followed by man in building steam vessels, where tlie centre of 
the moving force is placed in front of the centre of gravity ; and 
in the Ornithorhynchus, to which I before alluded, the membranous 
expansion of the forefeet greatly exceeds that of the hind feet. 
The arrangement therefore made it much easier for the animal to 
ascend fi-om great depths to the surface in order to obtain a fresh 
supply of air, and this action was further facilitated by the form 
and arrangement of the breast bone and others to which the 
muscles were attached, and which are almost identical with those 
obtaining in the Ornithorhynchus. The only organ for me to 
notice, in conclusion, is the tail, which was very long, and flattened 
at the extremity, thus assisting the huge animal in propelling 
itself through the water, 

Henry Ullyett. 



ionowpne.' 



IT is scarcely necessary to remind you tliat the whole of the 
terra firma upon which we now stand, and which stretches 
away to the distant horizon, was once under watet, forming the bed 
of a very deep sea. This fact is evident to the merest casual ob- 
server of our chalk pits ; finding in them numerous remains of 
what are popularly called shell-fish, and of such only as exist in 
salt water, ho naturally and correctly says that the salt water 
once covered these valleys and hills. And not only so, but he 
must also come to the conclusion that these hills themselves have 
been formed in the sea water, or else how do we account for the 
fact that the organic remains are found in all positions and at all 
depths from the surface ? The chalk could not have been there 
before the shells ; no, the shells were there, and the chalk 

* Eeacl before tlie Society on the tlikd Field-day of tlie Fii'st Summer 
Session, Aug. 28, 1865. 



154 HOLIOW LANE. 

formed over and around them, making a vast cemetery for tlie 
remains of the things that were. 

Again, looking at the regular stratification in the section of 
any chalk pit, he sees that all was tranquilly done, that there was 
no violent effort of Nature in it : the appearance is similar to that 
presented on digging through the mud left by the Nile, or any 
other inundating river ; all goes to show that a certain kind of 
sediment was continually being deposited in a tranquil sea. This 
must have gone on for untold ages, for it was a slow process, and 
the chalk formation is known in some places to be 1000 feet thick. 
The process being finished, the sediment was partially hardened 
by its own weight, and was afterwards raised above the surface 
of the water and still further hardened by the direct heat of the 
sun. This upheaval was also a gradual movement ; if it had 
been done violently by earthquakes or other volcanic action we 
should find the layers bent in various directions ; but we do not. 

It was doubtless similar to what is now going on in the north 
of Scandinavia, where the land is known to be rising at the rate 
of (I believe) about four inches in a century. During the up- 
heaval of the chalk the various valleys were scooped out. The 
mode of the formation of valleys often forms a stumblingblock to 
geological readers, who are apt to think it was always done by a 
stream of water. No doubt it was sometimes, but the principal 
agent to be looked at is tidal action, and the continual dashing of 
the waves of a mighty sea against the newly born shores. As 
the land rose up inch by inch, this ceaseless oceanic action wore 
it partially away, leaving the harder parts intact : the direction 
of the valleys shows in what direction the dynamical force was 
applied, and also to some extent the angle of upheaval in the 
land : more of course would be worn away in front of the waves 
than at the side, and as the rising wont on the sea retreated. 

From the character of the fossil remains found in the chalk the 
naturalist arrives at the conclusion that the climate of this part 
of the world was considerably warmer than it is now, for the 
species, not identical indeed with the fossil species, but of the 
same genera, are now known to live only in hot seas, e.g.f the 



HOliLO-V^ LANE. 155 

nautilus. I said that it was in a deej^ sea the chalk formed: 
this also the natui-alist deduces from the fossils; the terebratula 
BO common in it is never found in shallow water. 

A few words about the hind of sediment of which our rocks are 
formed. The absence of colour is pecxxliar and would strike us 
at once. White mud seems almost an anomaly, yet it exists even 
at the present day: there is a certain tract of sea among the 
Bermudas, from the bottom of which it can be dredged up. 
When dry it is undistinguishable from common chalk; it is found 
to consist of carbonate of lime, and to have been formed by in- 
numerable shells of foraminiferse and other minute beings. We 
apply the same tests to our own chalk and we get the same 
results : hosts of delicately-sculptured shells, entire as well as 
broken, come to view beneath the microscope, and we are irre- 
sistibly drawn to the conclusion that nearly the whole of the 
chalk is formed of the shells of animals. The astonishment that 
attends this conclusion increases when we endeavour to think 
only of the number required to form this tract of land here before 
us ; the mind refuses to enter into the calculation when we include 
all the chalk districts known in the world. In this chalk we 
find the remains of corals and sponges plentiful, along with sea 
urchins, fish occasionally and their scattered teeth, but no plants 
except seaweed, no river or land shells, no sand or pebbles— 
everything in fact tends to prove that the deposit was in a deep 
sea, far from land, the climate hot, and the living beings very 
different to what they are now in Europe. 

It is hardly safe to venture a few words on the origin of flints, 
and the cause of their regular stratification. They are found 
most plentifully in the u^jper chalk, and their composition is sili- 
ceous, not calcareous. I may however say, that it has been dis- 
covered that certain microscopic infusoria may and do produce 
great quantities of flint: many species of sponges have their 
skeletons formed of it, and it would seem that the siliceous parti- 
cles in the neighbouring waters congregated round a sponge as a 
centre, and then by some chemical process became the hardened 
flint stone we now see. It is very certain that the flint was once 



166 HOLLOW LANEi 

in a soft, pasty state, for we frer[ucntiy find fossil shells embedded 
in it. 

Now, to come to the curious old lane we have chosen to ramble 
in to-day : Fron its sinuosity and from the wide bending in the 
further bank wherever a turn is made, it appears to be an ancient 
watercourse, down which, after these hills were upheaved, or 
while they were in course of upheaval, a mountain torrent rushed 
to join either a larger stream flowing through the present Hugh- 
enden Valley, or else the sea which was still slowly retiring. 
The deep cuttings made in the mitldle of the lane, where the out- 
line of the hill is so much move convex, bear the signs of aqueous 
action ; but the most decisive characteristics are the wide bond- 
ings or elbowings, which are exactly similar to those we may see 
now in our own stream, where it makes an abrupt change in its 
course. This was also the opinion of Mr. Lucas, who resided in 
Wycombe some years ago, and he was more competent to judge 
than I, since he had examined geologically many similar lanes in 
all parts of Great Britain. When I first ventured to make 
known this hypothesis I was vehemently opposed by the anti- 
quaries of Wycombe, who will have it to have been an old road. 
So be it : I never denied the possibility, in fact I believe so too, 
but I claim for it in addition an existence before it was used as a 
road, even before the busy spirit of man had been called into 
being — before the earth was given to the gigantic mastodon and 
other elephantine monsters over which man has never had do- 
minion. I can never believe that it was originally made a road, 
either by manual labour or by constant traffic, but it is exceed- 
ingly probable that the early inhabitants of this island adapted it 
to their convenience. There is many a rocky ravine in Devon- 
shire filled with a roaring torrent during a wet season, yet 
traversed in summer and autumn by the more peaceful donkey 
with panniers or the cottager's cartload of garden produce. 

Henky Ullyett. 



15? 



itiaitjotts to i\u mxj(m)!i!i i\m—iS69. 



WE have not many additions to the Flora of our district to 
chronicle this year. The Common Gromwell {Litho- 
sj)ermuin officinale), which has not before been observed nearer 
than Bisham Wood, was discovered by Miss Chandler growing 
in some plenty near Abbey Barn Farm. The Deptford Pink 
{Dianthtcs Armeria) has been found sparingly by Dr. Bowstead 
near Wheeler End Common, and as it seems to have disappeared 
from the Little Marlow road, where Mr. Mill found it in 1843, 
this may be looked on as the only locality where it exists at 
present in our disti-ict ; the plant found on Green Street by 
Mrs. B.Lucas, which was recorded last year (ii,, 62) asZ*. Armeria 
proves to have been only the Centaury {Erythrcea Centaurium). 
The Scaly Spleenwoi't ( Ceterach officinarum) has been observed in 
small quantity by Dr. Bowstead on a wall at Downley. The 
Hound's-tongue {Cynoglossum officinale) and Night-flowering 
Catchfly {Silene noctijlora) I found by the roadside between Lane 
End and Marlow. The Oxtongue {Selminthia echioides) has 
occurred plentifully in fields on the Marlow Hill, by the footpath 
to Marlow. 

James Britten. 



'^wrfeinglajMsIutt iot«tti|. 



A VERY interesting branch of local botany is that which 
-^^ traces out, as far as possible, the history of a plant, as far 
as a certain district is concerned. At one time in local flora, 
this was much neglected, and the result was, that, while the 
modern botany of a county was well worked, the historical 
interest which might have been excited by a reference to the 
older writers, was omitted. Now, however, a better arrange- 



i6d ADDITIONS TO THE WYCOMBE FLORA, 

ment obtains : and in Trimen and Dyer's 'Flora of Middlesex,' the 
best and most recent county Flora, the date of the first obser- 
vation of each species recorded is given, with such notes in 
reference to its occurrence and record as appear of interest. It 
is my intention in the present paper to enumerate the plants 
which were recorded as occurring in Buckinghamshire prior to 
the commencement of the present century ; reserving for a second 
paper the references made to them in the earlier part of it. 

Dr. William Turner, known as the father of English botany, 
published two books, the ' Herball,' and the * Names of Herbes ;' 
the latter in 15i8, the former in throe parts, from 1551 to 1556. 
Although ho records sixteen plants as occurring in Middlesex, he 
makes no reference to those in our county. It is to Gerarde's 
Herbal (1597) that we must turn for the first mention of Buck- 
inghamshire plants : he gives the following : — 

1. Ophioglossum 'vulgatum L ("Adder's toong "). — "In the 
meadowes by Cole-brooke." 

2. Gentiana AmarcUa L. — " Upon a heath by Colbrooke neere 
London." 

3. Campanula glomcrata L. — " In the medowe next untoDitton 
ferrie as you goe to Windsore." 

4. Inula Helcnium L. Elecampane. — " In an orcharde as yee 
go from Colbrook to Ditton ferrie, which is the way to Windsor." 

5. XantJiium Sirumarium L — " I founde [it] in the high waie 
leading from Draiton to Ivor, two miles from Colbrooke." 

6. Archangelica officinalis (Hoffm.) — " My friende Master 
Bredwell founde this plant growing by the mote which com- 
passeth the house of Master Munke of the parish of Iver, two miles 
from Colbrooke." 

7. Berleris vulgaris L. "^^(Barberie bush).— Especially about a 
gentlemans house called Master Monke, dwelling in a village 
called Iver two miles from Colebrooke, where most of the 
hedges are nothing else but Bai'berie bushes." 

8. Myrica Gale. (BogMyrtle.)—" By Colbrooke." 

Here we may note that Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8 are cited by 
Trimen and Dyer (the 2nd and 7 th, doubtfully) as Middlesex lo- 



BTTCKINGHAMSHIEE BOTANY. 159 

calities. Possibly those locaHsed " by Colebrooke " may by ranked 
equaUy witli the plants of either county : but Nos. 4, 5, and 7 are 
certainly to be referred to our county. We may observe that, 
among these eight species, are three which have no claims to 
be considered as indigenous in Bucks— /»«?» Helenhm, which now, 
as then, affects " orchards ;" Archangelica officinalis, which is, at 
best, but a naturalised plant, and regarding which Gerarde 
expresses some doubt; and Xanthhm Strumarium, which no- 
where establishes itself permanently, and seems to have been 
more frequently met with in former times than it is at present. 
Mi/rica Gale is not now to be met with in Middlesex or Bucks, a 
although Dr. Trimen informs me that it is still abundant in 

Windsor Park. 

John Parkinson, in his'Theatrum Botaaicum, or Theater of 
Plants,' published 1640, gives the following as Buckinghamshire 

plants : — 

9. Clematis Vitalba L. (Old Man's Beard).-" In the hedges of 
fields, and by the highwayes side, in Buckinghamshire." 

10. Anagallis arvensis {mrulea) (Blue Pimpernel.) — "At 
Beconsfield in Buckinghamshire." 

^^Zactuca virosa L.-" In the borders of fields and by the 
hedges and lanes sides of Buckinghamshire." 

12. Ceterach officimnm L. (Scaly Sploenwort).-" On Beckens- 
field church in £arkesJiire." 

13. AspleniimJiuta-muraria L. (Wall Rue).-" At Beckonsfield 
in Buckinghamshire," 

It is probable that aU of these may be still found in Parkinson's 
localities. Zactuea virosa is rare with us, but abounds on the 
slopes at White Hill, on the way to Beaconsfield; I have never 
seen Ceterach on Beaconsfield church, but it is possible that it may 
still remain there in some corner out of sight: a? in some of its 
present localities, e.g., a wall at Downley-there are but one or 
two very small plants, which might easily escape notice. 

William How's ' Phytologia,' published in 1650, is interesting 
as being " the first attempt at a Flora of England, aU previous 
works having been general systems of botany, including aU known 



160 BtrcatmanAMSHiRE botany. 

plants." (Trimen and Dyer.) He gives the following, the latter 
of which is probably in Oxfordshire, although the tree is very 
abundant on the chalk in Bucks. 

14. Ruhts Idceus L (Easpberry). — " As common as brambles in 
the woods of Chesham — Boys in Buckinghamshire." 

15. Fyrns Aria L. — " Growes plentifully in Henly Woods." 
Nicholas Culpeper, whose Herbal, ' The English Pliysitian 

Enlarged,' 1653, has passed through so many editions, and is 
still so popular among village "herb doctors," records one 
addition to our flora, in the edition published 1653. 

16. Juniperus communis L. — " Juniper-bush. In the High-way 
neerAmersham in Buckingham-shire." 

In Robert Turner's ' Botanologia : the Brittish Physician, or 
the Nature and Vertues of English Plants ' (1664), there are the 
following references to Buckinghamshire plants : — 

17. Polygonum BistortaJj. — (Bistort or Snake-weed.) "I have 
found it in the meadows by Wickomb in Buckinghamshire." 

18. Samhiciis Ubuhis L. — " (Dwarf Elder or Danewort.) In the 
lane near Hyedsor wharf in Buckinghamshire, and in the grounds 
of Mr. Hind at Hedsor." 

Juniperus communis Ij. — "It grows much upon the hills and 
woody grounds in .... Buckinghamshire." 

19. Linum catharticiim L. — (Mill-mountain.) "I have been told 
it grows near Wickomb in Buckinghamshire." 

In Christopher Merret's ' Pinax ' (1667) occur the following, 
which, possibly, may not belong to our county ; the two first- 
named, however, are not cited by Dr. Trimen for Middlesex. 

20. Caiicalis daucoides L. — " Plentifully in the corn fields near 
Slough, Middlesex." 

21. Festuca myurus L. — " Beyond Slough on the ground." 

22. Fcliium vuJgare Ti. — (Viper's Bugloss) with flesh-coloured, 
blue, and white flowers. — ''In many j)laces 'twixt Aylesbury 
and Evesham." 

Perhaps Caucalis daucoides lomy have been erroneously recorded, 
as Merrett's work is not always trustworthy ; but its occurrence 
in our county is not improbable. 



BUCKING S^iMsntKE BOTAKV. l6l 

The illustrious Eay, whose method of classifying plants formed 
the basis of that system which is generally received at the present 
day, and whose knowledge of British plants was very compre- 
hensive, makes a few additions to the Buckinghamshire flora. 
In his 'Catalogus Plantarum Angliee,' (1670) he gives — 

23. Bianthus deltoides L. (Maiden Pink). — "Mr. G. Horsnell 
gathered it on a little hill near Slough, about a mile-and-half 
from Windsor, called Mantham Hill." 

In the first edition of the ' Synopsis' (1696) — 

24. Hcracleum S2)hon(lylmm L. var. anjustifolium. — " Found 
by Dr. Plukenet near S. Giles's Chalfont in tho mountainous 
meadows, Buckinghamshire." 

In the second edition of the same work (1696) — 

25. Symphytum officinaWL. (Comfrey) (the form ^.patois Sibth ) 
— "Dr. Plukenet observed it plentifully near Eaton." 

26. Salix rubra Huds. — " In the Osier-holt, between Maiden- 
head and Windsor." 

In the third edition (edited by Dillonius), 1734, is given — 

27. ILordeum sijlvaticum Huds. (Wood Barley). — "In the 
high woods by Hambloton, in the road from Henley to Great 
Marlborow [Marlow]. Mr. J. Sherard in company with Mr. 
Eand." 

Besides these, the following are localised by Eay in the 
Stokenchurch Woods, a small portion of which is within our 
borders : Ittthus Idaiis, Triticum caninum, Cephalanthera grandi- 
flora, Tilia rubra, and Pyrola rotundifolia, P. minor being pro- 
bably mistaken for this last. 

John Blackstone, who devoted considerable attention to 
British Botany, introduces a larger number of Buckingham- 
shire plants to our notice than any author before or since. 
They are chiefly from the neighbourliood of Harefield, Middlesex, 
as far as those which he records from his own observation are 
concerned ; others in the county were brought under his notice 
by friends and correspondents. In his fii-st little book, 
' Fasciculus Plantarum circa Harefield nascentium ' (1737), he 
gives the following : — 



162 BUCKINGHAMSlllUI, HOTAKY. 

Polygonum Bistorta L. — " In tho Meadows near Uxbridge." 

28. Calammtha Nepda Clairv. — " By the Hoadside leading from 
Harefield to Chalfont St. Peter's, plentifully." In tho ' Specimen 
Botanicum ' tho locality is further defined as being " between 
St. Peter's and St. Giles's Chalfont, Bucks, abundantly." 

29. Cardamine amara L. — "About Uxbridge plentifully." 

30. Chlora perfoliata L. (Yellow-wort).— " In tho Old Chalk 
Pit near the Duke of Portland's at Garrard's Cross, plentifully." 

31. Vinca ininor L. (Lesser Periwinkle). — " In a Lane leading 
from Uxbridge Moor to Iver Heath." 

32. Calamintha Acinos Clairv (Wild Basil). — "In the Old 
Chalk Pit near tho Duko of Portland's at Gerard's Cross, 
plentifully." 

33. Hydrocotijle vulgaris L. (Marsh Pennywort). — " On Iver 
Heath abundantly." 

34. Sieracium murorum L. — " On the Old Walls of the Duke of 
Bedford's Garden at Chej-nies, in Buckinghamshire." 

35. Hypericum Modes Ti. (Marsh S.John's Wort). — "In the 
Bogs on Iver Heath near Uxbridge, plentifully." 

36. Epilobium angxistifolium L. (French Willow). — " By the 
Side of a Wood about the Midway between Beaconsfield and 
Uxbridge." In the ' Specimen ' another locality is given : "In 
a wood by Sir John Packington's Lodge on Coomb-hill at 
Ellesborough, Bucks. Dr. Wilmer." 

37. Nepda Cataria L. (Catmint). — " By the roadside between 
St. Giles's and St. Peter's Chalfont, plentifully." 

38. Herminiwn Mcnorchis R. Br. (Musk Orchis). — "In a Chalk- 
Pit near the Duke of Portland's, at Gerard's Cross, plentifully." 

39. Ophrys apifera L. (Bee Orchii?). — " In the Chalk Pit at 
Gerard's Cross, plentifully. ' 

40. Orohanche liapum Thuill. (Broom-rape). — "Amongst tbo 
Broom at the Entrance of Iver-Heath plentifully. ' 

41. Polerium Sanguisorha L. (Salad Burnet), —"In the -Beech- 
"Woods in the Road to Chalfont St. Peter's, plentifully." 

42. Hanunculus Lingua L. (Groat Spearwort). — "In tho Bogs 
on Iver Heath." 



BTJCKIXaHAMSHIRE BOTAWY. 163 

43. Jasione montana Ij. {Shee-p' a Scabious). — " In a Lane lead- 
ing from Denham to Ivcr Heath." 

44. Rhamnns caiharticns L. (Buckthorn). — "In the Hedgee be- 
tween Uxbridge and Beaconsfield plentifully." 

45. Drosera rotundifolia L. (Eoundleaved Snndew). ->" On Iver 
Heath plentifully." 

46. Petroselinum segekim L. (Corn Parsley). — " By the Road's 
Side near Eaton, sparingly." 

Campanula glomeraia L.— " In the Chalk Pit near the Duko of 
Portland's at Gerard's Cross." 

47. Dianthus Armeria L. (Deptford Pink). — " I found it this 
year (1737) by the Road's side leading from Harefield to Chalfont 
St. Peter's, but very sparingly." 

In addition to many of the foregoing, the following are given 
in the * Specimen Botanicum,' 1746 : — 

48. Lathjrus Aphaca L. (Yellow Vetchling). — "Among the 
Corn near Denham, Bucks. Mr. Hill." 

49. Dianthus CaryophyUm L. (Clove Pink). — "On a wall at 
Langley, near Iver, Bucks." 

50. Galium cruciafum L. ((>osswort). — "In the Old Chalk-pit 
at Gerard's Cross, Bucks." 

51. Cephalanthera yrandijiora Bab. Large Helleborine). — 
" Plentifully in a Beech- wood just below the Duke of Bedford's 
Seat, at Cheyneis, Bucks." Given in the ' Specimen ' under two 
names, Hdlalorin- fore alho, ■a.ndi Hdlehorine latifoliaforeallo clauso : 
but Blackstone justly observes, "I am convinced that they are 
the same plant." 

52. Jlellehorus viridislj. {^eax's-iooi). — "In the woods near 
Denham, Bucks. Mr. Hill." 

53. Paris qaad/ifolia L. (Herb Paris). — " In a Chalk-pit in a 
Wood near Little Missenden Church, Bucks. Dr. Wilmer." 

54. Zactuca muralis DC. (Wall Lettuce). — " On the Walls of 
the Duko of Bedford's Seat at Cheyneis, Bucks." 

55. Melampynun cristatum L. — "In a Field that goes off More- 
ton, Green in the Eoad from Wendover to Ellesborough, Bucks, 
Dr. Wilmer," 



164 nFCKINOTTAMSniUF, BOTANY. 

56. Mentha rubra Sm, — "By the Ttiver-side a milo below 
Denliam, Bucks. Mr. Hill." 

57. 02)hri/s muscifera Huds. (Fly Orchis). — "In a Beech-wood 
just below Cheynies Church, Bucks." 

58. Orchis pyramdalis L. (Pyramidal Orcliis). — "In a 
Meadow against Mr. Drake's Garden at Shardelois near Agraon- 
desham [Amersham], Bucks. Dr. Wilmer." 

59. Alisma ranimetihides L. (Small Water Plantain). — "In the 
Bogs on Iver-heath near Uxbridge. Mr. Hill." 

60. Pohjgonatum muUiflorum All. (Solomon's Seal). " In the 
Beech-woods about High-Wiekhani, Bucks. Mr. Hill." 

61. lieseda lufca L. — "In the Fields near High-Wickham, 
Bucks. Mr. Hill." 

62. Scrophularia Ehrharti Stov. — " Figwort with green Leaves 
and Flowers. I have observed this Plant in the shady Woods 
between Harefield and Chalfont St. Peter's bxit not plentifully." 

63. Thlaspi arvense L. (Penny Cress). -In a cornfield on the 
west side of Chalfont St. Peter's, Bucks, plentifully." 

64. VacciniumMyrtillns (Whortleberry). — '• On Iver-heath near 
Uxbridge, plentifully." 

It is to be feared that some, at least, of the plants recorded in 
these lists have disappeared under cultivation. Iver-heath exists 
only in name ; and the " bogs " have probably disappeared. Of 
Jasione niontana, for which the above locality is the only one 
known at present in the county, it is interesting to learn that it 
was observed once only, probably in Blackstone's locality, a few 
years since ; it may be expected to reappear. In No. 49 of this 
list we have a good illustration of the importance of referring to 
the work in which any locality is first publislied. The locality 
for the Clove Pink has, in the ' Botanist's Guide ' and subsequent 
■works, been erroneously cpofed as applying to D. deltoidcs. 

The "Mr. Hill" whose name occurs above, published iu 1760 
a ' Flora Britannica,' in which mo find the following : — 

65. Bipsams pilosus (Small Teasel). — "In T-ancs near Denham 
in Buckinghamshire." 



BtrCKINGHAMSniRE BOTANY. 165 

66. Verhascuiii Blattaria L. — "Near Denliam." 

Atro]}a Belladonna L. (Deacllj^ Nightshade). — " lu a Gravel-pit 
near the old Park-wood, at Havefield, in Buckinghamshire." 
[Thia locality is in Middlesex.] 

67. Vinca major Ti. (Great Periwinklp). — ''In the Highwaj-s 
between Wolverton and Yarnton, and in several Hedges there- 
about, Dr. Plot." [I am not sure whether this be in Bucks.] 

68. Actinocarpu-i Bdmasonium (Star-fruit). — "By the Road 
near Uxbridge, towards Denham." [Dr. Trimen cites this for 
Middlesex.] 

69. Uyperiaan Andros^mv.m L. (Tutsan). — "By the Smiths on 
the Hill, a mile from Denham, towards Eickmansworth, 1760." 

70. Lycopodium annotimwi Tj. — "On Iver Heath, near Ux- 
bridge, abundantly." 

In a later work, ' Herbarium Britannicum ' (1769 — 70) by the 
same author, are the following : — 

71. Ht/pochoens ylalra L. — " Denliam." 

72. Carditns acaulis L. (Stcmless Thistle). — " BuLstrode." 
Caucalis dauco'ides L. — " Aylesbury." 

73. Smyrnium olusatrum L. (Alexanders). — " Denham." 

74. Aii2)enda cynanchica L. (Squinancy-wort). — " Wickhara." 

75. A'ropa Belladonna L. (Dead!}' Nightshade). — "Bulstrude." 

76. Euplwrlia platypliylla'Li. — "Buckinghamshire." 

77. Lepidium campestre Br. — " Deuham." 
Cardamine amara L. — " Jiuckinghamshire." 

Although nos. 70, 72, and 75, stand for our county solely on 
Hill's authority and have not been recorded since, there is 
nothing improbable in their occurrence, with the exception of 
Zycopodittin aimotinum. They should be carefully searched for. 

JAMES BRITTEN. 
'Jo be continncil. 



166 



^rocectliiv^jis of tlw ^od^tu. 



FIFTH \YIXTER SESSION— 1SG9-70. 



Ti!E FiEST Evening SIeetikg -was held on Tuesday, Nov. IG, at the 
bouse of tiie President, the Eev. T. H. Browne, by his land invitation, and 
was largely attended. The Secretary read a paper on " Double Flowers,' 
demonstrating the various modes iu which tlilse beautiful monstrosities 
are produced, and explaining their structure and the consequent meta- 
morphoses of parts. This was illustrated by specimens and drawings. At 
its conclusion, the President gave an address on the three scientific topics 
of the day, viz. :— Ti>e discovery and measurement of sidereal motions by 
means of the Spectroscope ; the Meteoric band and the appearance of it 
by means of the November star showers ; and the observations that have 
lately been made on the formation of chalk by means of deep ocean 
deposits. These deposits throw great light on the mode by which the 
chalk hills around us were built up. A rijicroscopic examination of the 
minute organisms that form the bottom of the ocean, not only discovers 
foraminifera which are kindred to those of the cretaceous period, but rings 
and disks that constitute the cementing element in chalk having living 
analogues in seas of recent times. Disks from the upper chalk near 
Wycombe were exhibited through the President's microscope. There was 
on the table a large collection of Icthyio and Molluscous remains 
from the chalk, many of them collected from onr own neighbourhood. 
By means of the spectroscope different kinds of absorption bands were 
shown, in different alcoholic solutions of chlorophyll, etc. There was, aa 
usual, a large exhibition of objects, and the meeting did not separate until 
a late hour. 



The Second Evening Meeting was held on Tue.sday, Dec. M, at the 
house of Mr. R. Vernon, by kind invitation. The first paper was one by 
Dr. BoWSTE.'kD, on " The Gamekeeper's Museum," in which were described 
those of our animals and birds which fall a prey to the ignorance of the 
gamekeeper, a sketch of the habits of each being given ; and it was clearly 
shown that, in the majority ol cases, his supposed foes are, in reality, his 
most useful friends. This paper was liBlened to with great interest, and 



PKOCEEDQiGS Oi~ THE SOCIETY. 



167 



was warmly applauded ; at its conclusion, conversation on the subject took 
place, and the sympathy of the meeting with " our feathered friends " was 
strongly expressed. A pnper by Mr. Ullyett, on '"^The Ichthyosaurus " 
followed, which will be found at page 148 of the present number. A long 
and spirited discussion followed the reading of this papsr, the Pitiident 
expressing his opinion that the vertebrae from Wheatley were those of the 
Plesiosauros. In ihe course of the discussion the President pointed out the 
difference between the Pleiosauros and Ichthyosauros ; that the one had 
no sockets in which the teeth were^inserted, hut that the former had a 
prolongation of tooth. This was illustrated by the cast of a large Pleio- 
saurian tooth in the British Museum: this gigantic tooth is a foot in length 
and the fang by whiih it was embedded in the jaw can be distinctly seen 
The Presidenr exhibited some very beautiful and perfect remains of the 
Bos primogenius, from some ancient beds of river drift, lately discovered 
and sent to him from Bristol; there was an almost perfect skull and very 
fine horn cores ; the horn cores of another specimen ; and the pelvic 
bones. On the table there were a large humerus of Plesiosauros from the 
Kimmeridge clay, AVeymouth ; and a slab containing the paddle and riba 
of Jclithyosaurus communis from the Lias, Lyme Regis. &c., &o. 



%iik%f iS>mt$\)nMm, &c 



Late Swallows,&c.— On Nov. 
30, Mr. Tomlinson, under-gar- 
dener to Lord Carington at the 
Abbey C4ardens, brought mc a live 
swallow which he had caught in 
the packing house. The bird was 
very lively and well-fed. I let it 
go ia ray hay loft, whcr? it flew 
about several times and finally 
settled on a rafter under the tiles. 
I iiave not b.ocn it since, but 
thought it would iutert-,st the 
readers of our magazine to know 
how late a swallow had been seen 
in these parts. Owing to the 
severity of the weather, I have 
noticed this rear (ISri'.l) immense 
flocks of field-fares and redwings 



feeding upon the haws in the 
hedges ; and never during the last 
15 years have I seen such large 
flocks of those birds. — E. M. Bow- 
stead, M.D. 

" On Saturday, Nov. 20, a very 
fine day for November, a house 
martin vr.i3 seen flying about on 
the Thames, near the Brocas, Eton. 
It wns Eikimmiar;' the watci"; and 
upparently as strong on the wing 
as in thfl bright days of summer. — 
R.S."— 7')(Yrf, Nov. 30 The same 
paper for Nov. 2;! records the 
notice of a swallow at Windsor 
Castle on the ICth, and of a swift 
at Henley on the llth, of that 
month. 



3^ 

168 



NOTES, OOUUESl'ONDEKCE, &C. 



Wild Swans in Buckingham- 
SHiiiE. — An unusual capturo uas 
made in the parish of Little Brick- 
hill, Bucks, about ten a.m., on 
"Weilucsday, Dec. 22. There was 
a slight covering of snow, and the 
atmosphere was very misty. A 
labourer on the farm of Mr. 
Gregory perceived three wild 
Bwaus flying towards him, not 
more than ten or fifteen yards 
from the ground. He threw a 
Btoce and broke the wing of one 
of them, which, of course, tell an 
easy victim. 'Ihe field in which 
this took place is a !;rass fltlil 
called " the Fishpond Close," but 
there is no pond or other water 
within a considerable distance. 
The labourer, delighted with his 
booty, presently set to work to 
pluck it, with an eye to his Christ- 
mas dinner. Had he been better 
advised, he might probably have 
obtained a good sum for the bird,/0? 
as a specimen to be Btuft'td 
J. W. Williamson (Bletchley). 
Fidd, Jan. 1, 1870. 

From a letter in the Uiu 
Herald of Jan. 15, it appears th 
the remaining two went on to' 
Fenny Stratford, where they were 
seen on rhe same day. " On 
Monday, the 27tb, they came down 
again ; and when flying near the 
railway biidge one was shot by a 
man employed on the railway. 
The other flew on towards Simp- 
sou, atid was shot there. The 
fwaufc [.robably came from Wo- 
bnrn Park, and were young birds, 
as their feathers indicated. It 
appears to be a common thing for 
the young birds to take flight the 
first winter from their houjes, and 
in this case it resulted fatally to 
them." When will the happy 
time arrive when the noticing and 
the shooting of a rare bird shall 
be no longer synonymous terms ? 

Curious Captuke of a i kncii . 

"I was fi.shing here, near the 

Quarry Wo(.d, on the lath Nov., 
with Rockel, fi-herman, using a 
line pateruo.ster line, baited with 
two minnows, i'or perch. Foiling 
a bitf, I struck, and after about 
five minutes' play secured a fine 
tench, weighing ylb., with llie 



bottom hook fixed in its tail.— 
C. A. C. (Great Marlow)."— iaZfZ 
Nov. 23, IfcTO. 

Cats taking thk Water.— 
" That cats will take the water is 
on record ; there was a cat, or 
rather a family of cats, if I re- 
member aright, at the ' Complete 
Anglers,' Marlow, that used to 
swim after the dead fish thrown 
out of the punt wells by tho 
fisherman. This could, no doubt, 
be corroborated. — C.C.C.," in 
Schnce Gomp, Sept., 1869. Can 
any of our readers substantiate 
this? 

Plant new to the County. — 
Mr. Henry Taylor, of Ajlesbury, 
has forwarded ns a specimen of 
tSoiecio [Cineraria) campestris L, 
which he discovered in June last 
on the chalk hill above Aston 
Clinton, called Aston Hill. It has 
nWshefore been recorded for the 

s OF Animals. — Reynard, 
("ibert, Partlet and Ch anti- 
equivalents for Fox, Bear, 
n, and Cock owe their 
proper names to the in- 
genius of the middle 

they were coined by the 

author of that beast-epic tho 
Reineltc Fvchs, which enjoyed such 
a wide popularity at that time that 
it was translated iuto most of the 
languages of tho Europe. Whilst 
only synonyms with us, in several 
tongues they have supplanted the 
older forms. For instance, Picnard 
in French i.'5 the general name for 
Fox, to the exclusion of the older 
name Volpils : Bjom is the gene- 
nal name for a Bear in the .Norse, 
as Poro, a he-bear, and Pirinn,a 
she-^ear, in the Old German. 
Tibort still survives in Tabby-cat, 
and is the Tybalt of " Romeo and 
Juliet" ii. 4, and iii. 1 ; the 
Tybartof Decker's " Satiromastix ;" 
the Tibalt of Nash's " Have with 
you to Saffron Walden;" and in 
the lloniauntdeRenart V. "Then 
the King called for Sir Tibert the 
cut." If some of your subscribers 
could enlighten me as to puss, 
the poetical soubriquet for a hare, 
I should feel much obliged.— 
Samuel Dyek, 

. -K. 







^-'i^m 






■ :^—r/9yC'^