Page images
PDF
EPUB

Marten cat-his capture-well adapted for a predatory life-its skin-Hedge.

hog-mode of life-always destroyed-prejudices against-cruelty of man
-an article of food-sensibility of the spines-Harvest mouse-where
found-character- Increase and decrease of animals—Migration of rats

-Water shrew-its residence and habits-common shrew mouse-Pale

blue shrew-Mole-his actions--character-abundance of easily discovers

his food-structure of his body-fur and hair of animals-flesh of the

moles-killed by weasels

95-108

Birds-admiration of-The hedge sparrow-contingencies of its life-song

-example of a domestic character-Willow-wren-early appearance-
and departure-nest-object of her migration-Difficulty of rearing young
birds-Golden-crested wren-Linnet - their song - habits - Bullfinch-
character-injurious to trees--preference of food-no destroyer of insects
-Robin-character-always found-Song of birds — motives obscure-
Chaffinch-beautifully feathered-female, her habits_country epithets-
conduct in spring-moisten their eggs in hot weather-Parish rewards for
vermin-Blue tom-tit-perishes in winter-mode of obtaining food –
stratagems—Birds distinguished by voice-Cole mouse-variety of notes
-Long-tailed tom-tit-nests-journeys-eggs-labor to feed their young
-winter food-great variety of nests-Goldfinch-beautiful nests-Suffer.
ings of the swallow-Maternal care of a little blue tom-tit-industry
-Raven-scared from its nest-faculty of discovering its food-univer.
sally found_duration of life-reverence-superstitions wearing out —
duration of animal life-aided or injured by man-an old horse-life of
man-Crossbill-breeds in England-Rook-suffers in cold and dry seasons
-his life in the year 1825—various habits of-detects grubs in the earth-
his habits in the spring-associations-senses—Magpie-nests-habits-
plunderers of the farm-yard-natural affection-Jay-conduct of the old
birds-winter habits-feathers-shrike-nest-young-kills other birds-
a sentinel - its mischievous disposition - Stormy petrel--habits-Wry.
neck-its habits - Birds annually diminishing --- Swan-pool, Lincoln -

Knowledge slowly obtained-Entomology a difficult study-Wonders around

us—The objects of many insects unknown-Chrysalis of a moth-Four.
spotted dragon-fly-Ghost moth-soon destroyed-Specimens of plumage
of butterflies-Argus butterfly-a pugnacious insect-combats-Azure
butterfly-seldom seen-Hummingbird sphinx-habits-wildness—tamed
by familiarity-feigns death-Painted lady butterfly - uncertain in ap-
pearing - Marble butterfly-Wasp - Meadow-brown butterfly - Yellow
winged moth-Admirable butterfly-Garnma-moth — Goat-moth – their
numbers-odor-power of destruction-Larvæ of phalæna cossus, where
plentifully found-Designs of nature-Evening ramble-Insects abound.
ing-ignorance of their objects—Glow-worms-curious contrivance about
their eyes-light-migration-Snake eggs-destruction-harmless in Eng.
land--antipathy of mankind to the race-Paucity of noxious creatures
inhabiting with us-Small bombyx--Vigilance-animation-quarrels-
Black ant-combats of strength-Red ants-mortality-Yellow ants-
winter nests-millipedes-support great degree of cold-Stagnated water
-abounding with insects-Newt-his voracity-Water flea-an amusing
insect-observed by boys-Dorr-beetle--their numbers--feign death to
avoid injury-Cleanliness of creatures in health-Recurrence to causes-
Cockchaffers-Changes in nature-Death's-head moth-chrysalides-super-

The year 1825–-its peculiarities and influences-A speedy method of killing

insects-Preserving of insects-Pollarding of trees--most injurious-
Insects that destroy the ash - The willow rarely seen as a tree--a fine
one near Gloucester-Foggy morning-Reeking of the earth-the cause
--and utility-Winter of the year-Ice in pools-Law of nature-Winter
called a dull season--Nature actively employed-Exhausting powers ob-
served in the air--A minute vegetable product

259 to the end.

JOURNAL

OF

A NATURALIST..

The village in which I reside is situated upon a very ancient road, connecting the city of Bristol with that of Gloucester, and thus with all the great towns in the North of England. This road runs for the chief part upon a high limestone ridge, from which we obtain a very beautiful and extensive prospect: the broad estuary of the river Severn, the mountains of Glamorgan, Monmouth, and Brecon, with their peaceful vales, and cheerful-looking white cottages, form the distant view: beneath it lies a vast extent of arable and pasture land, gained originally by the power of man from this great river, and preserved now from her incursions by a considerable annual expenditure, testifying his industry and perseverance, and exhibiting his reward. The Aust ferry, supposed to be the “trajectus,” or place where the Romans were accustomed to pass the Severn, is visible, with several stations of that people and the an. cient British, being a part of that great chain of forts originally maintained to restrain the plundering inroads of the restless inhabitants of the other bank of the river: Thornbury, with its fine cathedral-like church and castle, the opposite red cliffs of the Severn, and the stream itself, are fine and interesting features.

An encampment of some people, probably Romans, occupies a rather elevated part of the parish, consisting of perhaps three acres of ground, surrounded by a high agger, with no ditch, or a very imperfect one, and probably was never designed for protracted resistance: it appears to form one of the above-mentioned series of forts erected by Ostorius, commencing at Weston, in Somersetshire, and terminating at Bredon in the county

10

ROMAN ROADS. of Worcester-ours was probably a specula, or watchhill, of the larger kind. We can yet trace, though at places but obscurely, the roads that connected this encampment with other posts in adjoining villages. A few years sweep away commonly all traces of roads of later periods, and the testimony of some old man is often required to substantiate that one had ever been in exist. ence within the memory of a life; yet these uniting roads, which, as works, must have been originally in. significant, little more than by-ways, after disuse for above fourteen hundred years, and encountering all the erasements of time, inclosures, and the plow, are yet manifest, and an evidence of that wonderful people, thieves and ruffians though they were, who constructed them. There is probably no region on the face of the globe ever colonized, or long possessed, by this nation, which does not yet afford some testimony of their having had a footing on it; this people, who, so long before their power existed, it was predicted, should be of “a fierce countenance, dreadful, terrible, strong exceedingly, with great iron teeth that devoured and broke in pieces,"

where'er thy legions camp'd,
Stern sons of conquest, still is known,
By many a grassy mound, by many a sculptured stone.

Roman road that I have observed appears to have been considerably elevated above the surrounding soil, and hence more likely to remain apparent for a length of time than any of those of modern con. struction, which are flat, or with a slight central con. vexity ; the turf, that in time by disuse would be formed over them, would in one case present a grassy ridge, in the other be confounded with the adjoining land.

Coins of an ancient date, I think, have not been found here ;* nor do we possess any remains of warlike edi. fices, or religious endowments. Our laborers have at

Almost every

* Some money was found in one of our fields a few years past, which fame, as in all such cases, without perhaps any foundation, enlarged to a considerable sum. The nature of the coin I know not. A few old guineas were admitted ; but from fear of that spectre “ tresor trove,” the whole was concealed, whatever it might be.

« PreviousContinue »