Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/280

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���Washing the gold-containing gravel through a sifter which serves at other times as a hat

Panning for Gold in Central and South America

THE "battel" used by the prospector for gold in Central and South America in tropical placer mining is a better gold- saver than the Alaskan gold pan. Shaped like a platter, with a depressed center coming to a point in the middle, the gold collects in the point of this broad shallow cylinder. The pan is filled from a pool with gold-containing quartz gravel and is rocked in the ortho- dox manner. As the pan rests on the bot- tom the contents are tipped and swirled about until the dirt loosens and only the pure gravel and hard substances remain. Of these, only that which is bright yel- low is valuable.

When the miner is not sifting gold with it he uses his battel as a hat. — Grace S. Mathews.

��Popular Science Monthly

Everybody Is Acquainted with the Squash Bug

SOME of us know all the bad things about the squash bug — that it is proverbially ill-favored and ill-smelling and an enemy to the squash vines. We have heard the entomologist speak about Anasa tristis with elaborate description of the bug that hibernates in the adult stage, wakes up in the early spring and lays its eggs on the young leaves of the squash and the pumpkin. We think of it as we think of a pest. From the human point of view it is a pest, but it improves on ac- quaintance. It is true to its family char- acteristics; it is really a bug; it is a member of the family Heteroptera, and is somewhat of a beauty (we mean the "lady-bug").

In the accompanying photograph the protruding part of the sheath is the tongue or sucking beak. The squash bug's eyes are large and beautiful, and really wonder- ful when seen under a microscope. The antennae or feelers, the two branched prongs between the eyes and the tongue, are marvelous organisms of sense. It would be difficult to enumerate all their duties, not because the list is long, but because we do not wholly know what those duties are. They surely enable the bug to recognize its

surroundings; what

else they do is be- yond our under- standing.

But the most beautiful of all its anatomy is the curi- ously mottled sheath that covers the head and the thorax. These dots bear a high magnification, and the better one knows them the more does he admire them. It is indeed a marvelous object. It is astonishing that there should be so much beauty, so much elaborate structure where they seem misplaced so far as general human apprecia- tion is concerned. — E d w A R d F.


���Portrait of a squash lady-bug. The protuber- ances at the side of the body are the eyes

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