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NATURE NOTES. SOMETHING LIKE AN EGG. An egg weighing 5-.toz., and measuring eight inches in circumference, has been laid by a Nottingham hen. A WONDERFUL CAVE. One of the largest caves ever explored has recently been discovered on Lime Fork Creek, in Southern Letcher County, jn the United States. A party of sightseers explored its mysterious confines to a distance of over seven miles. They were unable to find any end to the natural wonder. A large, swift-flowing 6tream of water was discovered ruabing into ti»« nn/iia- covered regions. THE STING OF THE BEE. Professor Phisalix has found that the venom of bees contains three active principles—namely, a phlogogenic substance, a convulsing poison, and a stupefying poison. The first two are destroyed by a temperature of 100 degrees Centigrade and the last at 150 degrees Centigrade. The phlogogenic and stupefying ingredienta come from the acid gland of the insect. A STRANGE MOTHER. A cat has tended a brood of chickens in the house of Mr. James Clough, Seaton Delaval, says "Feathered Life." Mr. Clough the other day placed six newly-hatched chickens in a basket near the kitchen fire, intending to leave them there until they should be strong enough to be put in charge of a hen. On his wife returning to the kitchen, after a few minutes' absence, she was surprised to find her cat in the basket, with the chickens snugly tucked beside her. Puss remained the faithful attendant of the brood, and when anyone approached the basket would try to cover them in a protecting manner with her claws. However, the chicks have now been placed under a natural protector. ANIMAL CHEATS. A gentleman who has devoted the greater part of his life to the study of animals has discovered that there are cheats among them. In military stables, horses are known to have pretended to be lame in order to avoid going to a military exercise. A chimpanzee in a small private zoo had to be fed on cake when ill; after his recovery he often feigned coughing in order to procure dainties. Among birds the cuckoo, as is well known, lays its eggs in another bird's nest, and, to make the deception surer, it removes one of the latter's eggs. Animals are conscious of their deceit, as is shown by the fact that they try to act secretly and noiselessly. They show a sense of guilt if detected, and take precautions in advance to avoid discovery. In some cases they manifest regret and repentance. A naturalist describet how his pet monkey acted when committing a theft. While his master pretended to sleep the animal regaled him with hesitation, and stopped in his maurauding every time he made a move- ment. A CLEVER CUCKOO. One of the "cutest" members of the feathered race, the Indian fruit-cuckoo, like all the members of the cuckoo family, lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, and thus avoids the trouble of hatching them. This bird exhibits most interesting strategy in dealing with crows, which are its hereditary enemies. Whereas the hen, an incon- spicuous speckled grey bird, conceals herself in the foliage, the cock, remarkable for his brilliant black plumage and crimson eyes, places himself on a peroh near a crow's nest, and makes a great noise. The crows immediately rush out to attack him, and he takes to flight with them in pursuit. The hen meanwhile slips into the nest and deposits an egg. Sometimes the crows get back before the egg is laid, and then the intruding hen cuckoo gets a trouncing. » HOW SEEDS ARE CARRIED. It is quite certain that plants travel to as- tonishing distances. The seeds stick to this or to that article and are carried by ships and by those that go down to the sea in ships, from one end of the world to the other. Sir Joseph Hooker relates a striking instance of this seed- carrying which is perpetually going on. "On one occasion," he says. "landing on a small un- inhabited island nearly at the Antipodes the first evidence I met with of its having been pre- viously visited by man was the English chick- weed. This I traced to a mound that marked the grave of a British sailor, and that was covered with the plant, doubtless the offspring of seed that had adhered to the spade or mat- tock with which the grave had been dusr." ORIGIN OF PLANTS. Madder came from the East. Cabbage grows wild in Siberia. Buckwheat came from Siberia. The Chestnut came from Italy. Celery origi- nated in Germany. The Onion originated in Egypt. Millet was first known in India. To- bacco is a native of Virginia. The Potato is a native of Peru. The Pine is a native of America. The Citron is a native of Greece. Oats originated in North Africa. The Parsnip is a native of Arabia. The Nettle is a native of Europe. The Poppy originated in the East. Rye came originally from Siberia. Parsley was first known in Sardinia. The Sunflower was brought from Peru. The Pear and the Apple are European. Spinach was first cultivated in Arabia. The Mulberry tree originated in Per- sia. The Horse Chestnut is a native of Tibet. Vhe Cucumber came from the East Indies. The Quince came from the Island of Crete. The Radish is a native of China and Japan. Peas are supposed to be of Egyptian origin. Horse Radish came from the South of Europe. The Garden Cress is from Egypt and the East. Hemp is a native of Persia and the East Indies. The Zealand flax shows its origin by its name. Barley was found in the mountains of Himalaya. The Coriander grows wild near the Mediter- ranean. The Jerusalem Artichoke is a Brazi- lian production. Writers of undeniable autho- rity state that the cereals and others of these edible productions gro-w spontaaeously in that portipn of Tartary east of the Belar Tagh and north of the Himalaya Mountains. A COUNTRY POSTCARD. We cull, with every acknowledgment, this pretty and perfect, the current countryside word-picture from the "Daily Chronicle" The storm has interrupted the harvest, which bade fair to be over at a remarkably early period compared with last year. When the rain came some farmers had their barns crammed to the roof with sheaves, and all their stacks thatched or covered by rick cloths, so the wet only reached the stooks in tibe fields. Other agriculturists were not so fortunate, and the barley may soon be seen sprouting on the tops of unthatched stacks. In many cases, no doubt, even if money were not required against quar- ter-day, an attempt will be made to thresh as soon as possible. Indeed, one sees some far- mers plamaing to thrash in the fields by taking the threshing machinery to the sheaves instead of the sbeavea via the barnyard stack fo The threshing machinery. Although a lot of rain fell, it did not make the land which has to be ploughed too wet for the horses, and the teams are busily engaged, while the corn is drying, in breaking up the ground where beans and white clover have been growing. That the old bean ground should be ploughed up seems natural enough to the townsman holiday-making in the country, but he marvels at the destruction of the white clover now in the perfection of its second flowering. The mystery of green manuring, as of the nitrogen brought into ground by means of the clover root bacteria, is hidden from him."


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