Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/899

This page needs to be proofread.

Popular Science Monthly


���.■....:: r;v: Lourd blossom has faded the bottle should be pushed gently over the young fruit and left there

��The Gourd in the Bottle. How Did It Get There?

MOST people would be sorely puz- zled if they -were asked to explain how the gourd comes to be in the bottle shown in the photograph. It is far too large to pass upwards through the neck, and, obviously, it cannot have been pushed downwards. The explanation of the mys- tery is simple enough. The gourd is grown in the bottle. The trick is easy if directions are followed.

In the first place, the gourd must be properly set before the bottle is placed over it. As soon as the flower is faded the operation may be started. Take the bottle and push it gently over the fruit, taking care not to damage it in anyway. Even though the gourd is enclosed in the bottle the growth is not affected in the least. Indeed in a ver\' few days the fruit has developed so much that it cannot be re- moved from the bottle unless the jar is broken.

When the gourd has grown to a sufficiently large size it may be cut from the stem, and it is then ready for exhibition. After a while the fruit dries, in which state it will keep for an indefinite time. The same principle can be ap- plied to cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squashes.

The only precaution neces-

ry is to prevent the fruit Irom becoming "pot-bound."

����The stem should be cut as soon as the glass is well filled.

��The rays of the sun through the glass hasten the development. The central picture shows the full-grown gourd

��Catching Minnows for Bait in a Basket-Net

PERHAPS the greatest difficult}' that the amateur fisherman encounters on his expeditions is the securing of live bait. But if he has included in his equipment a basket-net like the one in the accompany- ing illustration he can catch minnows and small fish in any stream.

The frame of the net is made from six tempered spring steel rods. To this the netting is attached with rust- proof ring- clips. In the center of the netting is the bait pocket, in which bread, meat or other bait is placed to attract the minnows. When the net is lifted, the weight of the contents causes it to "bag," so that the minnows will not escape over the sides.

When the net snags or when, for some other reason, it is sub- jected to extraordinary strain, the six tempered steel rods bend in- ward and downward until all but one of the rings by which the net is attached to the frame slip out of the hooks. This collapsing of the frame frees the net from the snag and releases the strain. The in- ventor claims, however, that the net will not collapse except under extraordinary' strain, which if resisted would damage the net. It folds up into a compact little bundle which is scarcely noticeable among the fisherman's "traps."

���The net will resist strong pulls but will collapse and release the strain under damaging snags

�� �