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naturalist who would love to watch the living bird and learn its
ways and curious instincts--surely a far higher and more noble
use of time and energy than simply levelling the murderous gun
at every living thing that ventures within reach. This it is
which effectually prevents our fauna ever being enriched by rare
birds settling and breeding in England. It is touching to think
that the little foreigners arrive again and again, weary from their
long journey across the sea, always to receive the same inhospit-
able treatment. If only others felt as strongly on this subject as
I do they would be ashamed to appear in the newspapers as
murderers of rare specimens. I earnestly wish each such notice
could bring down the severest censure on the so-called sports-

If Šelbornians will but have the courage to boldly ex-
press their opinions on this matter we may be able to gradually
create such a reaction that, instead of being pained by such
tales of cruel slaughter as in the recent case of the gannet
massacre, we may be gladdened by reading of rare birds, noticed,
let alone, and breeding in various places.



P.S.-It is well to have a Russia leather cover for the feather book to keep away moths ; such a cover has protected my books for more than twenty years; the feathers are as fresh to-day as when first arranged. I hope I may hear that many readers of NATURE Notes have been led to begin this artistic and pleasant employment for leisure hours.

ISS OCTAVIA HILL, who takes much interest in

the work of the Selborne Society, has kindly sent us
(through Miss Agnes Martelli) the following extracts

from William Howitt's Book of the Seasons, first pub-
lished in 1830. They are very interesting, as showing how sixty
years ago, long before the starting of any of the Societies which
Mr. Hunter has lately described in our columns, the need for
such organizations was keenly felt. Miss Octavia Hill tells us
that it is to the enthusiasm of Mrs. Hill, her mother, that we
are indebted for the selection and transcription of these extracts
and several others which we have not, unfortunately, sufficient
space to insert :-

“I love our real old English footpaths. I love those rustic and picturesque stiles opening their pleasant escapes from frequented places and dusty highways into the solitudes of nature. It is delightful to catch a glimpse of one on the old village green, under the old elder-tree by some ancient cottage, or half hidden by the over-hanging boughs of a wood. I love to see

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the smooth, dry track, winding away in easy curves, along some green slope to the churchyard, to the forest grange, or to the embowered cottage."

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“Stiles and footpaths are vanishing everywhere. There is nothing upon which the advance of wealth and population has made so serious an inroad. As land has increased in value, wastes and heaths have been parcelled out and enclosed, but seldom have footpaths been left. The poet and the naturalist, who before had, perhaps, the greatest real property in them, have had no allotment. They have been totally driven out of the promised land."

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“Those are commonly the most jealous of pedestrian trespassers who seldom visit their own estates, but permit the seasons to scatter their charms around their villas and rural possessions without the heart to enjoy, or even the presence to behold them. How often have I myself been arrested in some long-frequented dale—in some spot endeared by its own beauties and the fascinations of memory, by a board exhibiting in giant characters 'Stopped by an Order of Sessions,' and denouncing the terrors of the law upon trespassers !”

When the path of immemorial usage is closed-when the little streak, almost as fine as a mathematical line, along the wealthy man's ample field is grudgingly erased-it is impossible not to feel indignant at the pitiful monopoly. Is there no village champion to be found bold enough to put in his protest against these encroachments, to assert the public right ? For a right it is as authentic as that by which the land itself is held and as clearly acknowledged by the laws. Is there no local • Hampden with dauntless breast' to withstand the petty tyrants of the fields,' and to save our good old footpaths ? If not, we shall in a few years be doomed to the highways and the hedges; to look, like Dives, from a sultry region of turnpikes, into a pleasant one of verdure and foliage which we may not approach.”

“It is when I see unnecessary and arbitrary encroachment upon the rural privileges of the public that I grieve. Exactly in the same proportion as our population and commercial habits gain upon us do we need all possible opportunities to keep alive in us the spirit of Nature.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending we lay waste our powers ;
Little there is in nature that is ours.

We give ourselves up to the artificial habits and objects of ambition till we endanger the higher and better feelings and

capacities of our being, and it is alone to the united influence of religion, literature and nature that we must look for the preservation of our moral nobility. Whenever, therefore, I behold one of our old field-paths closed, I regard it as another link in the chain which Mammon is winding around us, another avenue cut off by which we night fly to the lofty sanctuary of Nature for power to withstand him.”

URING the last week in April, I was fortunate enough

to obtain an order enabling me to visit Twigmore, the
place in North Lincolnshire where the black-headed

gulls breed—here strictly preserved, and in private grounds. As many of the readers

of the readers of this Magazine will know, the black-headed gull only frequents the sea-shore during the winter months, and for the spring and summer comes inland, feeds as do the rooks, and breeds in great colonies

at a few places, Twigmore being one of the most important. The bird is about the size of a rook, but grey, and in Lindsey is called the White Crow. The head feathers (after the second year) are black during

summer, but in winter become white. The breeding place at Twigmore is a marsh, surrounded by rushes, situated in a wood some little distance from the Brigg and Messingham high road. The gulls are there in thousands, flying overhead, swimming in the water, or running about the margin, and their screaming can be heard more than a mile away. The nests among the rushes, and all about the edge of the water, are little more than hollows in the ground, and so close together that it is difficult to walk without treading in them. To keep down the number of birds several thousand eggs are taken yearly. They are, it is rather remarkable, a great delicacy, not unlike those of the plover, only somewhat larger. Each hen bird lays three, which vary considerably both in colour and markings, some being quite blue or green, others of the darkest brown. The birds fly great distances from home, and there is hardly a field in North Lincolnshire which has not during spring one or more gulls feeding in it. It is a lovely sight to see them following the plough on the red iron soil in company with the rooks. They may be easily domesticated, and will live happily in a garden, where, in a few days, they become tame enough to sit on the gardener's spade, and almost troublesome in the way they dodge about his feet, picking out the worms he digs up. We had a young one once which died from over-eating itself in this way, but during its lifetime it was a most amusing pet. It would swim in the water-butt, or follow us about the garden like a dog, and was a general favourite.


EVERAL lists of these have been received from

various correspondents, from which we select the
following. We have eliminated certain names which

are in frequent use; those not found in the Dictionary of English Plant Names have an asterisk prefixed.


From Swaffham, Norfolk : sent by the Miss Harrisons:
† Ascension

Senecio vulgaris

Geranium columbinum
Lords and Ladies

Plantago media and lanceolata,

Arum maculatum

Lychnis vespertina

Convolvulus arvensis

Menyanthus trifoliata

Germander speedwell
*Gipsies' daisy

Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum.
Pick cheeses

Malva sylvestris
Ginger ...

Sedum acre
From North Marston, Bucks : sent by Mr. T. G. Ward, of
Leighton Buzzard :-
Cuckoo ...

Early purple orchis

Crazies ...


S Marsh marigold
Bindweed and Cornbine

Large and small convolvulus

Scarlet poppy
Cows and calfs...

Cuckoo pint
King fingers ...

Bird's-foot trefoil
*Celery (or salery)

Comnion sorrel
SJewel-run-the-ground ...


Goosegrass or cleavers


Blind eyes


From Appleby, Westmoreland: collected by Miss N. J.
Heelis, April, 1890:-


Marsh marigold




Fruit of wild rose
From Burscough, near Ormskirk, Lancashire; sent by Dr.
T. R. Allinson:

Fungi of toadstools





+ “ Ascension.This is a variant of Sencion, a Norfolk name given by Halliand others : cfr. Latin Senecio, French Seneçon. I Jupes.This is more usually written “Choop” or Choops.”

No doubt a corruption of Gill-run-the-ground.

tJinny Green Teeth
Rabbits' food
Thousand leaf ...
Kissing bush
Mares' tails

Wild sorrel
Wood sorrel
Holly in winter
Roots of couch grass
Small Potatoes

From Skipton in Craven, Yorkshire :-

Colts': foot

White narcissus

Blue buttons



Cardamine pratensis
Bublicans or publicans

Marsh marigold


R. HARRISON WEIR, an old and tried friend of

animals of all kinds, to whose graphic pencil we owe many hundreds of studies of our four-footed friends,

has a special affection for the cats, and he has devoted to his pets an extremely interesting and beautifully illustrated volume which he calls Our Cats, and all about them (Simpkin and Marshall). Mr. Weir is no niggard in the praise he bestows on his favourites : " among animals,” he says, “possibly the most perfect, and certainly the most domestic, is the cat.

He is President of the National Cat Club, and founder of the now familiar “ Cat Shows,” the first of which was held at the Crystal Palace in July, 1871; and most of his pictures are portraits of cats which distinguished themselves on one or other of these occasions.

The author, in this little volume, gives us a varied and interesting collection of facts and fancies connected with cats. Anecdotes of their intelligence, as evinced by his own pets; descriptions of the different kinds; notes on their management and breeding; the points by which cats are judged; their diseases and folklore, proverbs, traditions, performing and fishing cats, loves of cats, stories about cats—almost everything connected with cats is to be found in this interesting volume. We miss the well-known folk-tale about "the King of the Cats," and the clever punning poem entitled “Poor Pussy," which is,

† Mothers told their children it would pull them in the ponds and drown them if they went too near.

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