Page images

the Kureechanes, while another advanced against, terranean cavern, some five or six miles from the the Caffres, whom they defeated, and part of whose above named village ; and Zeing rather an admirer territory they have since continued to occupy and of the works of nature, curiosity prompted me, acpuunder. In 1826, they came within two days jour-companied by five or six others, to visit it. ney of the British frontier, where there was nothing The company being met, with lighted torches we to prevent them from advancing upon the Scotch lo- entered the cave, through a small aperture, descend. cations in Albany; but measures have since been ing a flight of natural stairs almost perpendicularly, taken, by which these settlements are placed in full some ten or twelve feet. The company having all security. The group in the preceding cut represents got down safe I could not avoid, in an ecstacy of the queen of Lattakoo, a Lattakoo warriour, and two admiration and wonder, exclaiming, “ O Lord God Bosjesman Hottentots.”

Almighty, how wonderful are all thy works ;" for we were then shown the grandest and most magnificent room that I have ever beheld, formed on each side with the utmost regularity, and ceiled over head with a perfectly smooth sursace ! and being desirous of viewing as minutely as we could, from the amplitude of this anomaly of nature, its various curiosities, we raised a considerable light, and illuminated the room as far as we could by the means we had, when we discovered that an almost infinite number of stalactites had been formed by the almost continual dripping of the water, resembling in size and appearance various animal bodies.

Being somewhat satisfied with our examination of this apartment, with our hearts glowing with wonder, love and praise to the Architect of nature, we moved slowly and rather pensively along this solitary and hitherto unexplored mansion, through devious wiles of " incognita loca," in quest of new dis coveries.

Having reached the extreme end of this spacious dome, we found to proceed farther we had to ascend stupendous and almost inaccessible heights, over craggy precipices and yawning gulfs, to the height

of some fifty or sixty feet, when by the dim light of [Negroes preparing the Manioc Root.)

our tapers, we discovered through a small opening In regard to the agricultural products of Africa, and picturesque ;--for there appeared to the aston

another room less spacious but far more beautiful the author remarks :“In all the tropical and more arid regions, the pre- of the animal creation, but a true delineation of a

ished beholder not only the representation of a part vailing grains are of inferiour character, coarse,

and small-rather, as Jobson says, like seeds 'than great number of inanimate objects, such as cones, grains, and fitted less for bread than fór paste or pot- simile of some of nature's choicest productions; and

altars, pyramids, tables, candlestands, with a fac . over all Eastern Africa ; while millet in the west

, it really appeared as if she, in her wild and playful and teff in Abyssinia, are productions nearly simi- moments, had intended to mock the curiosities of lar. In the latter country and Houssa, both wheat

While gazing in dumb astonishment this

upon and rice are raised, but only in favourable situations, delightful scenery, I was roused from my agreeable and for the tables of the more opulent. Perhaps ced by one of the company, who being of a bold

reverie, by a hollow and reverbrating sound, produthe greatest exertion of agricultural industry, is that bestowed upon the culture of the manioc, which

and adventurous spirit, had gone unobserved, into a forins the main article of food in Congo and some

remote part of the room, and beat with a stick, or of the insular territories. Considerable care is re

something else which he held in his hand, several quired in rearing it, and cleaning the ground round tabular spars, which echoed through this solitary the plants; after the root, which is the valuable mansion with almost deafening reverberations, which part, has been dug up, it must be ground in a spe: degree of the masticating clangor of the supper bell.

by the association of ideas, reminded me in some cies of mill, and dried in small furnaces, before it degree of the masticating clangor of the can be used as flower. The process is represented ed at some future period to explore more fully this .

We retired from our subterraneous abode, determinin the accompanying cut."

prodigy of nature."

Georgia paper.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]





BEES. "Upon the representation of the citizens of Lafay- HAVING managed bees for ten years, I will give ette, a small but growing village in the county of you the result of my observations. Walker, Georgia, my attention was drawn to a sub- I am of opinion that they are subject to disease as well as other creatures; but as to the nature of three bushels to the acre. It is observed in Dean's the disease, or remedy, I profess to know nothing. New England Farmer, that our farmers do not com

The worst enemy to bees is the bee-moth. I monly allow a sufficient quantity of seed in broadhave tried many experiments for the purpose of de- cast sowing. When peas are sown thin, the plants stroying them ; such as trimming the lower edge of lie on the ground, and perhaps rot; when they are the gum, plastering with clay-mortar, setting the thick, the plants hold each other up with their ten gum on cotton, but all to no purpose. The only drils, forming a complete web, and will have more mode of defeat that I can find, is to set the hives benefit of the air. Three bushels to the acre are about two feet apart, on a bench of poplar wood. recommended by Dr. Dean. As the poplar will not crack as bad as other wood, Peas are sown in drills in field cultivation in this the eggs are more easily destroyed. The fly de- vicinity, with success. The distance of the rows, posits the eggs in the moonlight nights in July, Au- and the distance which the peas stand from each gust, and September. This year they have con- other in the rows, depend upon the kind of peas tinued their work till about the middle of this month. sown. Dwarf peas, and a poor soil, should be In warm weather the eggs hatch in a day or two. nearer together than those that grow tall, and are The worms then commence the work of destruction set upon a rich soil. Drilled peas are hoed two or in a few days if not soon destroyed. The gums three times, and should be earthed up a little, and being placed a small distance apart, they can be kept free from weeds, Dr. Anderson, and other moved on a new spot, which exposes the worms to agricultural writers, say that lime is the best manure the sun, which soon kills them if they are too small for land which it is intended to sow with peas. to be detected by the eye. By moving the gums It has been practised by some to sow peas for the often, the worms are found on the bench, when they purpose of feeding hogs, without trouble of harvestmay be soon executed, as all such robbers should ing the crop. As soon as the pods fill, the hogs are be.

turned in to fatten, and what they do not consume is The worms do not destroy hives after the bees ploughed in as soon as the hogs have left the field. have once filled their house. This is owing to their peculiar mode of warfare, which is this : they do not kill the bees, but drive them out. For this pur

METHOD OF HARVESTING INDIAN CORN. pose they draw their webs round on the inside of the gum, till the bees cannot crawl up to the comb. If your hay is short, or you wish to sow winter The bees then quit their home and rich store, and grain after your Indian corn, or secure your corn go in pursuit of another ; while the worms live lux- against the effects of early frosts, you may cut up uriantly on the rich spoil.

your cornhills close to the ground, in fair weather, When the weather is cool, I lay my hives down with a sharp knife or sickle, and lay two rows into once in ten days at least, and clean out all filth from one, in small bundles, as when you top and secure them. In the winter I feed, if their stock of pro- your stalks ; bind your bundles above the ears, and visions becomes exhausted. I use molasses or stack the same day, in small stacks,

the sugar, mixed with boiled potatoes, or even corn borders of your field, or upon an adjoining field; bread made soft. By thus managing I have never you may then plough and sow as upon fallow lost a hive of bees.

Southern Planter. grounds; secure your stacks by doubling down the

tops, and binding the heads with a pliable stalk; this will exclude the rains which otherwise would

damage your corn. This corn will be ripe at the FIELD CULTURE OF PEAS.

usual time, without the least diminution in its colour, Field peas should generally be sown as early in weight, or value ; but in the opinion of some of the the spring as the ground can be put in proper order. best farmers, (who are in the steady practice of this The last week in April, or first week in May, will mode from choice,) with an increased value to the answer well in common seasons for sowing this grain. The increased quantity and value of your crop. If, however, the soil is a light sandy loam, stalks will richly pay the expense; you may in this which is most proper for peas, they may usually be way, bring forward the sowing of your winter grain, put into the ground still earlier to good advantage. two, three, or four weeks, which will again at har

But when there is reason to apprehend that peas vest fepay the expense of cleaning your corn-fields. may be infested with bugs, it will be safest to sow If you house your corn-stacks before you husk your them as late as the tenth of June, Col. Worthing, corn, the pitching will be heavy, and your bundles of Rensselaer county, N. Y., sowed his peas on the often break, and your places for housing be difficult tenth of June, six years in succession, and a bug and inconvenient, and often exposed to your cattle ; has never been seen in his peas. Whereas his therefore, husk your corn on the field, and empty neighbours, who have not adopted this practice, your baskets into your cart as you husk, always rehave scarcely a pea without a bug in it. He sup- membering to leave the husk upon the stalk, by poses the season for depositing the eggs of the pea- breaking off the cob; these will again repay your bug is passed before the peas are in flower. The expense in feeding. The difference in the mode of lave Col. Pickering likewise expressed an opinion husking, will at first be considerable ; but a little that the bug might be avoided by late sowing, but practice will soon remove this, and render them apprehended that the hot sun in June would pinch equal. It is of high importance for every farmer to the late sown peas, so that the crop would be small, know every mode of culture that will afford him unless the land be moist as well as rich.

successful advantage in managing his farm, and in The quantity of seed, when the peas are sown this point of view, this does not rank as one of the broad-cast, should be from a bushel and a half, to least.

Vol V.-10

either upon






METEOROLOGICAL SKETCHES: rately known, and by the indications of the other,

the temperature of the air, as well as of the ocean,

may be ascertained with equal precision. [From the American Coast Pilot. Thirteenth edition.)

Among the most striking peculiarities of the atmoThe science of Meteorology is not only interest- sphere, are its rapid and almost constant movements ing to the philosophic observer, but the natural phe- of progression or circulation, which, with some unnomena of which it takes cognizance are such as important exceptions, appear to prevail throughout daily affect the interest and comfort of every mem- the globe. These movements evidently show the ber of the human family. But to no class of persons continued operation of some powerful impulse, which are these phenomena, as exhibited in various parts to the writer at least, does not appear to have been of the world, of so much practical importance as to satisfactorily explained. It is estimated from the the members of the nautical profession. A competent average rate of sailing of ships during long voyages knowledge of these exhibitions, or of geographical through different seas, and from other data, that the meteorology, is therefore an important element of average velocity of the wind near the surface of the that varied knowledge which is acquired by the skil- ocean is equal to eighteen miles an hour throughout ful navigator.


year, and in the common region of the clouds the velocity must be much greater.

TEMPERATURE OF ELEVATION. The transparent aerial fluid which surrounds our globe, and which we denominate the atmosphere,

Elevation above the level of the sea, or the genforms a comparatively thin stratum or envelope, eral level of a country, causes a regular variation in which in the immediate vicinity of the earth, is temperature. The first 300 feet usually causes a greatly compressed by its own weight, and which in difference of about one degree of Fahrenheit's therits most expanded and tenuous state is supposed to mometer. After ascending 300 feet, it is estimated extend itself to the height of only forty-five or fifty that the thermometer falls a degree in 295 feet, then miles from the earth's surface. Its superincumbent at 277, 252, 223, and 192 feet; but 300 feet to a pressure or weight is ascertained by means of the degree is a common rule. On these principles the barometer, and is equal to a column of mercury limit of perpetual frost has been calculated. It is about thirty inches in height. By means of this made a little more than 15,000 feet at the equator, instrument we learn that one half its weight or ac- and from that to 13,000 between the tropics, and tual quantity is within three miles and a half of the from 9,000 to 4,000 feet between latitudes 40° and surface of the ocean; and it is within this limit that 590. nearly all the visible or important phenomena of the It has been found, however, that the above-rule is atmosphere are apparently developed. The lower subject to great variations, owing, probably, to the surface of the atmosphere is equal to about 200,000,- course, temperature, and super-position of the atmos000 square

and as a compression of the pheric currents which prevail in different regions whole mass to the common density which it exhib- at different altitudes. Colder currents are often its at the sea level, would reduce its entire height found resting upon, or interposed between, those of to about five miles, it follows that by this standard a higher temperature, and vice versa. On the Himof comparison the height or thickness of the atmo- alaya mountains, in Asia, between the latitudes of sphere is to its superficial extent in the proportion of 280 and 340 north, the region of vegetation has only 1 to 40,000,000.

been found to extend several thousand feet above These several facts are too important to be lost the supposed line of congelation in those latitudes. sight of in our general reasonings upon the phenom- It is also remarkable that the line of perpetual snow ena of atmosphere ; and the more so, as we are is found at a much greater altitude on the northern prone to give too much altitude to our conceptions side of these mountains than on the southern side on these subjects. If we even consider the proper in a lower latitude. From this it may be inferred height or thickness of the atmosphere as equal to that the temperature in high regions, as well as in fifty miles, still, as compared with its entire surface, lower situations, is greatly affected by the geographthis is only equal to one five hundredth of the pro-ical course and physical condition of the currents of portion which the thickness of a common sheet of atmosphere which prevail in these regions. paper, of the foolscap size, bears to its surface dimensions ; and if we view the atmosphere either as condensed to the mean of the surface pressure, or in relation to the actual limit of all its tangible phe- It is obvious, from the courses of the clouds and nomena, it will only be equal to one five thousandth other light bodies which sometimes float in the atpart of the proportional thickness here mentioned. mosphere, that the movements of the latter are We may hence perceive the inapplicability of ana- mainly horizontal, or parallel to the earth's surface. logical reasonings that are founded on the move- Notwithstanding this, the common theory of winds ments which occur in a chimney, or in an inclosed supposes a constant rising of the atmosphere in the apartment, as attempted to be applied in explanation equatorial regions, connected with a flow in the of the general movements of the atmosphere. higher atmosphere towards the polar regions, and a

Two instruments of modern invention, the baro- counter flow at the surface towards the equator, to meter and thermometer, are truly invaluable as testing supply the ascending current.

This ascending the condition of the atmosphere, and their use should movement, however, has never ye: teen discovered, be familiar to every navigator. By the first, as we and it is easy to perceive that is it existed in the have seen, the amount or weight of the superincum- manner supposed, its magnitude and velocity must bent atmosphere, at any place, may always be accu- be altogether too great to have eluded observation



[ocr errors]



It is apparent, however, that different currents | founded, by which the clouds have been considered often prevail at different altitudes, superimposed one as pertaining to seven classes : upon another, and moving at the same time in differ- 1. Like a lock of hair, or a feather, called cirrus. ent directions. These currents are often of differ- 2. A cloud in conical or rounded heaps, called ent temperatures and hygrometrical conditions, and cumulus. are found moving with different degrees of velocity. 3. A horizontal sheet, called stratus. It is by the influence of these currents that volca- 4. A system of small fleecy or rounded clouds, nic ashes, and other light substances, which are called cirro-cumulus. elevated by means of volcanic spouts or whirlwinds 5. The wavy or undulating stratus, called cirroto the higher regions of the atmosphere, are convey

tratus. ed to great distances, and in directions which are 6. The cumulus and cirro-stratus mixed, called often contrary to the prevailing wind at the surface. cumulo-stratus. On the eruption in St. Vincent, in 1812, ashes were 7. A cumulus spreading out in cirrus, and raining thus deposited at Barbadoes, which is sixty or sev- beneath, called nimbus. enty miles to the windward and also on the decks The cirrus is usually the most elevated-someof vessels still farther eastward, while the tradewind times as a gauze veil, or parallel threads. Its height was blowing in its usual direction. On the great is apparently from one to four miles. eruption of the volcano of Cosigüina, on the shores

Dew is the condensation of aqueous vapor upon of the Pacific, in Guatemala, in January, 1835, the the surface of a condensing body or substance. volcanic ashes fell upon the island of Jamaica, at Clouds and fogs are watery particles condensed the distance of eight hundred miles in a direct line from aqueous vapor while floating in the atmosphere, from the volcano. Facts like these ought to put at where they continue to float till precipitated, or again rest the common theory of the tradewinds, accord- dissolved. If by the concentration of these particles, ing to which these ashes would sooner have fallen or by any additional condensation, their weight be upon the northern shores of the gulf of Mexico, or increased beyond that which the extent of their surthe peninsula of of Florida. On the same occasion face can sustain, they then descend in the form of the volcanic ashes were also carried westward in rain ; and as the condensation ordinarily increases the direction contrary to the tradewind on that coast, as the drops increase in magnitude, it is common to and fell upon H. M. ship Conway, in the Pacific, have more rain fall on the surface of the ground than in lat. 7° north, long. 105° west, more than twelve on an equal space upon the top of a house or church. hundred miles distant from the volcano, in the direc-Clouds, fogs, and rain are therefore essentially the tion which is nearly opposite from Jamaica. These same, the latter being the continuation or extension phenomena were doubtless the effect of two differ- of the same process which produced the former. ent currents prevailing at different elevations ; but Owing to the evaporating properties of the atmowe shall seek in vain, in these developments for sphere in the higher regions, as well as to the inproof of the commonly received but imaginary sys- tensity of cold which there uniformly prevails, distem of the tradewinds.

tinct clouds are seldom, if ever, found at a greater The occasional interposition of a warmer current of elevation than the summits of the highest mountains, atmosphere between the lower current and the higher which is about five miles. At an intermediate reregions, has been proved by the observations of aer- gion, however, the clouds are often at a temperature onauts. In countries situated like the United States, above freezing, while the air at the surface is much where the surface is often occupied in winter, for below the freezing point, and the earth covered with long periods, by an intensely cold stratum of air snow. This condition of the clouds seems not unfrom the interior elevations, the warm currents from frequently evident by their appearance to the eye of lower latitudes appear to find their way at a superi- an observer. Snowy or frozen clouds are usually or elevation ; and their presence in this position is dim and undefined in their aspect or appearance ; often demonstrated by the phenomena which they and a fall of snow may not unaptly be termed the induce.

fall of a frozen cloud. CLOUDS, FOGS, AND RAIN. The atmosphere is always pervaded by water in Hail of small size, as it falls in wintry storms, apthe form of transparent or invisible vapor, and the pears as frozen rain-drops. From the occurence of process of evaporation is continually carried on, ex- this phenomenon in a freezing state of weather, we cept in cases where the thermometer is below what find evidence that stratum of air in the region of is called the dew point, or when the vapor is be- clouds is at a temperature above the freezing point, ing condensed in the form of clouds, fogs, or rain. or warmer than that which is found at the surface “ Clouds and fogs are the same thing, being an as- at the same time. A heavy fall of snow when the semblage of small vesicles of water floating in the temperature is much below the freezing point, af atmosphere. At a distance in the atmosphere we fords, perhaps, the same indication. see the whole as a cloud, but when the vapor sinks Summer hail of large size, which is deposited in to the earth, or will not rise, and we are immersed a definite path or vein, or in a locality of limited exin it, we call it a fog. Dew-fogs which hang over tent, is usually accompanied by heavy thunder and fields, are stratus clouds; and fogs which involve vivid or continued lightnings, or a heavy rumbling elevated objects, are cumulous clouds." It is to sound or rapid concussions, high winds, &c., and is circumstances of distribution, light, shade, distance, believed to be the production of a vortex or whirland perspective, that the great variety in the appear wind in the atmosphere, or spout as it is sometimes ance of the clouds is owing; and on this variety of called, which is connected at its upper extremity appearance the following classification has been with an overlaying stratum of unusually cold air. À


on the


[ocr errors]

exterior of the vortex, and reaching the earth's sur- menced, is regularly continued and enlarged till an face, is pressed into the vortex, and there entwined equilibrium is produced, and the thunder storm thus or laminated with the layer of warm and humid air engendered, assumes, of course, the direction of the of the surface, which is drawn in at the same time. upper current to which it is appended, and which, A rapid condensation, as is known, thus commences in the temperate latitudes, is commonly from the at the lower extremity of the whirling mass or col- western quarter. The warm surface air which is umn, and the condensed and frozen drops, passing thus displaced at the commencement of the process, into layers of air, which are alternately above and rises immediately in front of the colder intruding below the freezing point, are carried upward by the mass, and by the gyratory action thus commenced, powerful whirling and ascending action of the vor- becomes convoluted in detached masses or layers tex, till, with the successive coatings of condensation with the colder surrounding air, and by the reducreceived, they are finally discharged into the cold tion of temperature thus produced, furnishes the stratum at the upward extremity of the vortex, ow- large supply of aqueous vapor which is first condening to the reduced temperature of which, they are sed in the thunder cloud, and then precipitated in a prepared to receive a renewed accession during heavy fall of rain; and the electric phenomena their fall to the earth ; or perhaps by their accumu- which are induced by this sudden contact or interlated weight they are sometimes thrown through the mingling of masses of air of different temperatures sides of the vortex before reaching its higher ex- and hygrometric conditions, become highly vivid, tremity. By this violent gyratory and elevating ac- and too often destructive. The active gyration which tion some of the hail-stones are thrown against is commonly produced within the body of the thuneach other and broken ; and each successive layer der storm or gust, is in the direction of the advance of congelation may often be seen in the fractured of the storm and of the rising warm air which is sections of the hail. . In all vorticular condensations forced upward, or in the direction of forward and of this character, when the cold is not sufficiently upward at the lower front of the storm. intense to produce hail, drops of rain are produced In consequence of this gyratory action, a storm of a much greater size than are ever found in a which advances at the rate of fifteen or twenty miles common and direct fall of rain.

an hour, is often known to exhibit a velocity of wind Hail storms of this character are less frequent in during the period of its greatest violence, of sixty or the tropical regions than in the temperate latitudes, eighty miles an hour. If the axis of this gyration for the reason, probably, that a stratum of sufficient in a thunder storm assumes from any cause a vercold to produce the hail, is seldom found so near tical position, we then have a perfect whirlwind or the inferior stratum that a vorticular communication tornado, which, if it be so situated as not to reach can be established with the former, by means of an the earth by its direct action, will exhibit to us the ordinary gust, spout, or whirlwind. Nor does this phenomena of a heavy thunder storm accompanied ordinarily happen in the temperate latitudes ; but by rumbling sounds and concussions, and a fall of only when the lower warm stratum becomes over- hail in or near some portion of its path. But if the laid, in close proximity, by a stratum from a colder regular action of the whirlwind should reach the region ; an event which is not unfrequent in most earth, and continue for some time, great destruction countries within the temperate latitudes. It com- may be expected to follow. The path of these demonly happens, therefore, that several hail storms of structive whirlwinds is generally narrow, and often greater or less magnitude and violence, occur on but a few hundred yards in width. the same day, or about the same period.

From the nature of the causes which we have set

forth as being favorable to the occurrence of a thunOF THUNDER STORMS, AND GUSTS.

der storm, it follows that many of these storms will When a cold stratum or current of the upper atmo- be likely to occur on the same day, in different parts sphere moves or rests upon a warm one which is of the same country, as has been already remarked next the earth, neither stratum, as such, can pene- in the case of hail storms, with which they are often trate, or displace the other. Nor can a sudden in- identical; and the writer has often found this to be terchange or commingling take place between the true to a remarkable extent. The fatal accidents masses or particles of which these strata are com- by lightning, in different parts of the country, have posed, except by the slow and tedious process of the often happened on the same day, and we have reasuccessive action and convolution of single particles, son to believe that scores of tornadoes, hail storms, or small groups of particles, upon or around each and thunder storms, have sometimes occurred on other : but if a communication or interchange be- the same afternoon. It usually happens that the tween the two strata become established by means precipitations of colder atmosphere at these numerof the action of a gradually excited whirlwind or ous points of disturbance, is sufficient to produce a water-spout, or if, owing to any inequality of sur- marked change in the temperature of the surface face or other accident, a depression is made upon stratum within a period of twelve hours thereafter. the lower stratum, so as to enable the colder air to Atmospheric disturbances of this kind, which do descend at this point, then an immediate gyration not produce violent thunder or hail, are usually deor convolution will take place in the two masses at nominated squalls ; and it appears highly probable this point, the warm air rising as it becomes displa- that the presence of air of a temperature consideraced, and a copious condensation will immediately bly above the freezing point, is necessary to the profollow. It is movements of this character which duction of thunder and lightning. In the strait of produce the dense and convoluted appearance known Magalhaens, in Patagonia, where the air at the suras a thunder cloud, and the thunder and lightning, face is neither warm nor very cold, the squalls, callrain, and perhaps hail, follow as necessary results. led by the sailors williwaws, are very frequent, and


« PreviousContinue »