Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/880

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

for irrigation, but for rendering the fruits of the soil marketable, by processes of drying, canning, wine-making, etc.

 

The Love of Nature in America.—The London Spectator has learned from the evidence of books on the subject that there now exists in New England a counterpart to the great and growing appreciation of wild Nature which has left such a mark on recent English literature. Even Fenimore Cooper, it admits, "painted the wild life of the woods with a minuteness of detail and depth of feeling that suggests that the readers for whom he wrote were not less in sympathy with the subject than himself. The works of Thoreau and John Burroughs are now American classics; and to judge by the number of recent works similar in kind and object, the appetite of New England grows by what it feeds on. The coincidence by which people of the same race, and living in the same latitude, but on different sides of the globe, are now eagerly expressing in a common language their pleasure and interest in exactly the same kind of subjects and scenes, though the actual birds and beasts, trees and plants, are often as distinct as the two continents in which they are found, is probably unique. There is no such analogy in taste between England and any of her colonies as this common love of Nature which finds almost identical expression in the prose idylls of Jefferies and of Burroughs, and the engravings of Wolf and of Mr. Hamilton Gibson." The Spectator goes on to cite from the books of two or three of our Nature-loving authors, without giving anything like an adequate exemplification of the list. It might also have extended its studies and brought in other sections than New England. Where, for instance, can we find more faithful portraitures of hill and ravine, forest and field, and the moods of Nature in sunshine and storm, frost and flood, than Charles Egbert Craddock has drawn of her loved Tennessee mountains?

 

The Brooklyn Institute Biological Laboratory.—The last, its third, was the most successful season of the work of the Biological Laboratory of the Brooklyn Institute, at Cold Spring Harbor, N. Y. During its three years of existence more than sixty persons have made use of the advantages afforded by the laboratory, either in study or investigation; and among these have been college professors, public-school teachers, physicians, and students of various grades of schools. Of the three classes of students using the marine laboratories—those seeking a general knowledge of zoölogy and botany, including medical students; college students desiring to do miscellaneous work of a higher character than that of their college, or to study embryology from the practical side; and those who desire to undertake original research—the course of this school has been especially planned for the first two classes. An elementary course in zoölogy is arranged, lasting six weeks; courses of scientific lectures are given by well-known experts; a special line of work in bacteriology methods is offered; and at a certain point students who have taken the elementary course or its equivalent are allowed to plan their work each for himself.

 

Home Landscape.—An editorial article in Garden and Forest aims to show how beauty in landscape and in our home surroundings grows out of our honest attempts to adapt the conditions of Nature to our wants. In our clearings, orchard and garden planting, and building, so long as we are honest and straightforward in our work, Mother Nature "stands ready to adopt it as her own, and to make of it landscape rich in meaning and pathos, such as no primitive wilderness can show." Look for a moment upon a typical valley of the interior of New England. "We are standing upon the eastern wall of upland. The village, with a mill or two and a church or two, lies below us at the mouth of a gap in the northern hills. Southward the valley broadens to contain a fresh green intervale. Opposite us the western wall of the valley is an irregular steep slope of rising woods, with numerous upland farms scattered along the more level heights above. The central intervale, the flanking woods, the village gathered at the valley's head—the whole scene before us possesses unity and beauty to a degree which interests us at once. And how was this delightful general effect produced? Simply by intelligent obedience to the requirements of human life in this valley. The village grew