« AnteriorContinuar »
And every passion aptly harmonized,
Amid a jarring world with vice inflamed. In consequence of the excessive heat usual in this month, an evaporation takes place from the surface of the earth and waters, and large clouds are formed, which pour down their watery stores, and deluge the country with floods, frequently laying the full-grown corn. Hay-making usually commences about this time, or rather earlier, in fine seasons.
The fruitful herbage now invites the scythe-
Than that which rustics carol o'er the plain. The flowers which blossomed in the last month soon mature their seeds, and hasten to decay. A new race succeeds, which demands all the fervid rays of a solstitial sun to bring it to perfection. Summer may be said to commence with this month : the meadows begin to whiten, and the flowers that adorn them are mowed down. The corn gradually assumes a yellow hue, and the colours that decorate the rural scene are no longer so numerous.
Towards the middle of the month, the spiked willow (spirea salicifolia), jessamine (jasminum officinale), hyssop (hyssopus officinalis), the bell-flower (campanula), and the white lily, have their flowers full blown. The wayfaring tree, or guelder rose, begins to enrich the hedges with its bright red berries, which in time turn black. The Virginian sumach (rhus typhinum) now exhibits its scarlet tufts of flowers upon its bright green circles of leaves. The berries of the mountain ash turn red. The lavender (lavendula spica) is in flower, and affords its per fumes, whether in a fresh state, or dried, or distilled with spirits of wine.
The potatoe (solanum tuberosum) is now in flower. See T.T. for 1818, p. 180.
The different tribes of insects, which, for the most part, are hatched in the spring, are now in full vigour. The lithosia odorata, or dew moth, is seen in this month. This species is extremely local; but a considerable number of specimens were taken about twenty years ago on a grassy common in Kent, not far from Erith, near the high road, and opposite the 18th milestone. Since this time, however, it has not been observed. Endowed as they are with wings, there is something strikingly remarkable in the locality of such insects as the present; and it is wonderful they do not increase and migrate more than they do. Some of them, such as the papilio cixina, the Granville butterfly, are so extremely attached to particular plants, and to peculiar situations and places, that a collector on one side of a hedge often finds plenty, while another, on the opposite side (the hedge alone intervening), cannot procure a single specimen. They appear to fly up and down, backwards and forwards, for a few score yards only; playing joyously at intervals with each other; or, gaily perched, sip nectar from their favourite flowers
Pomona now offers her fruits to allay the parching thirst; currants, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and cranberries, are all peculiarly re
* Haworthi’s Lepidoptera Britannica.
2 See these trees described at length in our last volume, pp. 53, 116, 2+1, 243-61.
freshing at this season. The cranberry is a small red fruit, with purple dots, produced by a slender wing plant (vaccynium oxycoccos) which grows in the peaty bogs of several parts of the north of England, and also in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire. The leaves are small, somewhat oval, and rolled back at the edges, and the stem is threadshaped and trailing. The blossoms are small, but beautiful, each consisting of four distinct petals rolled back to the base, and of a deep flesh colour.
The collecting of cranberries is a tiresome and disagreeable employ, since each berry, which seldom exceeds the size of a pea, grows on a separate stalk, and the morasses in which they grow are frequently very deep. Cranberries are much used in the northern counties, and great quantities are bottled and sent to London. So considerable a traffic in them is carried on, that at Longtown in Cumberland alone the amount of a market day's sale, during the season for gathering them, is stated by Dr. Withering to be from £20 to £30. They begin to ripen about the month of August, and continue in perfection for some weeks.
Cranberries are much used in confectionary, but particularly in tarts, their rich flavour being very generally esteemed. The usual mode of preserving them is in dry bottles, these being corked so closely as to exclude all access of the external air; some persons, however, fill up the bottles with spring water; others prepare this fruit with sugar. From the juice of cranberries, mixed with a certain portion of sugar, and properly fermented, a grateful and wholesome wine may be made. A considerable quantity of cranberries is annually imported into this country from North America and Russia. These however are larger than our own, of a different species, and by no means of so pleasant a flavour.
- Bingley's Useful Knowledge, vol. ii, pp. 126, 127.
Towards the end of the month, the flowers of the laurustinus (viburnum tinus), and the burdock (arctium lappa), begin to open; and the elecampane (inula helenium), the amaranth (amaranthus caudatus), the great water plantain (alisma plantago), water mint (mentha aquatica), and the common nightshade, have their flowers full blown. The mezereon (daphne mezereon), which in January cheered the eye with its rods of purple flowers without leaves, and regaled the smell, now displays its scarlet berries through its bright green leaves. Towards the close of this month the flower-garden exhibits symptoms of decay; and Time, who thins the ranks of all animated beings, does not spare those of the ornamented and highly fascinating Flora
The garlands fade that Spring so lately wove,
Each simple flower which she had nursed in dew;
The primrose wan, and hare-bell mildly blue.
Or purple orchis variegate the plain,
And dress with humid hands her wreaths again.--
Are the fond visions of thy early day,
Bid all thy airy colours fade away!
Ah! why has happiness no second Spring?
The beautiful rose, however, the glory of the garden, still continues to spread its blushing honours' thick before us'.
I plucked the garden's pride!
A sleeping love I spied.
Of many a lucid hue;
Inebriate with Jew.
The busy bee still pursues his ceaseless task of collecting his varied sweets to form the honey for his destroyer man, who, in a month or two, will close the labours of this industrious insect by the suffocating fumes of brimstone,
Child of patient industry,
Thy little ode to industry! The maritime plants which flower in July, are the club rush (scirpus maritimus), bearded cat's tail grass (phleum crinitum), bulbous fox tail grass ( alopecurus bulbosus), the reflexed and creeping meadow grass (poa distans & maritima), the field eryngo (eryngium
I softly seized th’ unguarded pow'r,
Nor scared his balmy rest;
On spotless Sarah's breast.
A woke the pris’ner sweet,
And stamped his fairy feet.
Subdued th' impatient boy!
Then clapped his wings for joy.
What charms this throne endear!
Į'll fix my empire here,'