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The subject of inheritance is an immense one, and has been treated by many authors. One work alone, 'De l'Hérédité Naturelle,' by Dr. Prosper Lucas, runs to the length of 1562 pages. We must confine ourselves to certain points which have an important bearing on the general subject of variation, both with domestic and natural productions. It is obvious that a variation which is not inherited throws no light on the derivation... more...

The Freedom of the Black-faced Ram   n the top of Ringwaak Hill the black-faced ram stood motionless, looking off with mild, yellow eyes across the wooded level, across the scattered farmsteads of the settlement, and across the bright, retreating spirals of the distant river, to that streak of scarlet light on the horizon which indicated the beginning of sunrise. A few paces below him, half-hidden by a gray stump, a green juniper bush, and... more...

IThe Cute Coyote AN EXEMPLARY LITTLE BEAST, MY FRIEND THE COYOTE If you draw a line around the region that is, or was, known as the Wild West, you will find that you have exactly outlined the kingdom of the Coyote. He is even yet found in every part of it, but, unlike his big brother the Wolf, he never frequented the region known as Eastern America. This is one of the few wild creatures that you can see from the train. Each time I have come to... more...

CHICK, D.D. Right in the very heart of Christmas-tree Land there was a forest of firs that pointed to the sky as straight as steeples. A hush lay over the forest, as if there were something very wonderful there, that might be meant for you if you were quiet and waited for it to come. Perhaps you have felt like that when you walked down the aisle of a church, with the sun shining through the lovely glass in the windows. Men have often called the... more...

THE EAGLE. The Eagle is often called the King of Birds, and therefore it is of him that we ought to speak first. Very likely you have often seen eagles in the Zoological Gardens, and, if so, you know what noble looking birds they are. But they seem very sad in their prison-houses, to which no kindness can ever attach them. They are formed to soar boldly to the top of some lonely mountain height, and there dwell far from the abode of men. And to... more...


I. FOX-WAYS. Did you ever meet a fox face to face, surprising him quite as much as yourself? If so, you were deeply impressed, no doubt, by his perfect dignity and self-possession. Here is how the meeting generally comes about. It is a late winter afternoon. You are swinging rapidly over the upland pastures, or loitering along the winding old road through the woods. The color deepens in the west; the pines grow black against it; the rich brown... more...

IN THE SNOW It was a bright, wintry day. The frost jewels sparkled on the snow. The winds blew cutting cold from the north. Phyllis, in her scarlet coat and cap, and long, warm leggings, waded in the deepest drifts she could find. Out by the garden fence was the greatest drift. After floundering through it, Phyllis climbed up and perched on the top rail of the fence. She sat quite still, for she was almost breathless after her struggle in the... more...

BIRDS FROM A CITY ROOF I laid down my book and listened. It was only the choking gurgle of a broken rain-pipe outside: then it was the ripple and swish of a meadow stream. To make out the voices of redwings and marsh-wrens in the rasping notes of the city sparrows behind the shutter required much more imagination. But I did it. I wanted to hear, and the splash of the water helped me. The sounds of wind and water are the same everywhere.... more...

HISTORY OF THE MOVEMENT FOR "BIRD DAY" In the spring of 1894 the writer's attention was attracted to the interest of the children in that part of their nature study which related to birds. Their descriptions of the appearance and habits of the birds they had observed were given with evident pleasure. They had a strong desire to tell what they had seen, not in the spirit of rivalry, but with the wish of adding to the knowledge of a subject in... more...

CHIRP THE FIRST. The winter of 1878 was certainly an unusually dreary one, and so thought a remarkably fine young Blackbird, as he perched one morning on the bare bough of a spreading lime-tree, whose last brown leaf had fallen to the ground some weeks before. With the exception of the Scotch firs and other fortunate evergreens, there was nothing to be seen on all sides but leafless branches standing out sharply against the cold, grey sky.... more...