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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/444

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428

��Popular Science Monthly

���This looks like some strange vegetable growth, but it is merely a caterpillar, with its tubular legs, magnified

��A Mechanical Masterpiece Is the Caterpillar's Wonderful Foot

EVERBODY knows the caterpillar's ability to cling, yet few persons take the trouble to see how it clings. Its body is made up of thirteen segments, on the first three of which are six true legs. But it is not with these that the caterpillar clings. On the ten abdominal segments there are a number of tubular appendages which might be called "pro-legs," each of which ends in a circlet of small hooks, the last two being claspers. At first glance the accompanying illustration might seem to be of a series of feet, but it shows only one foot. The caterpillar in its transformation discards some of its legs and keeps only four. The rear ones are pulp-like, yet they are interesting structurally though not quite so much so as the front legs. The front legs of a butterfly or a moth have evidently been transformed from the front legs of the larva.

The butterfly never walks, probably because its legs are always weak, being merely sup- ports during rest; but the front legs are not used even for resting. In the larger and heavier species the legs do not bear the weight of the body at all, since the butterfly clings to the underside of a leaf or twig and depends entirely upon the power of suction of his pro- legs and their hooks for support.

��How to Make a Hanging Window Garden of Dis- carded Sponges

A SPONGE is such an ugly thing as it grows flabby from service, that it seems almost impossible to think of it hanging in a bay window or other favored spot as an object on which to feast one's eyes.

But the fact is, that you do not feast your eyes on the sponge, for it is completely hidden from view under a mass of green grass, or better still, of moss, from which you have coaxed hyacinths, tulips, crocuses or narcissi to peep and pour out their fragrance. But the sponge is there and is a most important part of the arrangement. It should be of rather large size. It need not be old; but an old one will serve the pur- pose as well as a new one. It should be looped around with strong twine or copper wire with lengths extending at the top as a means of hanging it, basket fashion. Now soak it in water and insert your bulbs, two, three or four to a sponge according to the size. Chink it over with moss, if you can, or sprinkle it generously with grass seed as a second choice. From now on the sponge must be kept damp but not wet, and in a dark or shady spot.

As soon as the shoots begin to appear the sponge may be taken from its hiding place and hung in the sunlight.

���At right the sponge is shown with the bulbs just planted. On the left the hyacinths have blossomed

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