Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

BIRD MUSIC.

THE MEADOW LARK.

TOWHEE BUNTING, OR CHEWINK.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

p2

a

HE meadow lark, like the This sprightly, showy bird indulges in a

partridge, has favorite variety of vocal exercises, the most characterplaces of resort. His flight re- istic of them consisting of one loud and wellsembles that of the partridge prolonged tone, followed by a trill a sixth and of the quail. Though above it, rather softly given. Át a little distance one of the largest of our sing- the effect is that of the singing of two birds; one ing birds, his voice is neither taking the long tone, the second taking the trill. loud nor deep, some of his tones being rather sharp and weak. Although his music is charming, he lacks the vocal The trill, however, is often wholly lost in the power of the robin and of

distance. the oriole, a bird of not more than half his size ; still Wilson, in comparing him with the skylark, the interval of a sixth. During the last days of

But this pompous singer is not confined to says: “In richness of plumage, as well as May and the first of June, I have heard him as sweetness of voice (as far as his few notes follows: extend), he stands eminently its superior." The meadow lark's song is essentially tender and plaintive.

In the early, dewy morning and towards evening he will stand a long time upon a stump, At other times, a large rock or rock-heap, singing at intervals little snatches of melody, occasionally, like the oriole and the kingfisher, giving his “low, rapid, chattering ” monotones. It is a favorite pastime with him to repeat

The chewink generally sings in the key of C. these four tones many times in succession, with I once heard him in F, in which key he made rests intervening :

the skip of an octave in place of a sixth or fourth.

Sra.

8va.

f

These fragmentary strains form, when connected, an original and interesting song. Now It is worthy of notice that the second and then there is a subtile tremor in the tones example, if we cut short the trill, is identical of this singer, no more to be described than with the first strain of “ Rock of Ages.” This the odor of a rose, but somewhat resembling species seems to have a special dislike to the that in the tones of Wilson's thrush as he trem- sea. So says the close observer Wilson ; but bles along down to the close of his quivering I have found him much at home at different silvery song.

points close to the ocean.

[ocr errors]

SCARLET TANAGER. The tanager is the only rival of the oriole in beauty of plumage. The tanager is less active, less vigorous than the oriole, and has the weaker voice; but it would be difficult to imagine a bird more fascinating, both to the eye and to the ear, than this scarlet singer, bound in black, as he stands shining in the early sun, and singing his morning song.

The percussive tones of the oriole invite or compel attention; while the tanager is content to sing in the forest with his fellows, with no human ear to hear. The oriole must be out of the forest and near the earth, where he can be heard and seen of men. The oriole is restless, are so fond and from which they take the always in motion when he sings; he even name “thistle-bird." Frequenters of our doorchatters as he flies; while the tanager is grace- yards and gardens, they are tame and confidfully quiet, moved only by the vibrations of ing, and of all birds the gentlest mannered. his voice. I heard him nearly every day dur- With their heads crowned with black caps, their ing last bird season (1888), when he repeated yellow bodies, black wings and tails, they are almost exactly over and over again the follow- dainty, high-bred visitors. When singing in ing nine tones:

chorus, as is their habit, their soft warblings are expressive of great delight. In their most characteristic song, of only four notes, they are

stronger voiced, and sing with distinctness and The key was F minor except in one instance; moderation. This song is performed while on then it was only a degree higher :

the wing, and is all the more charming because of the touch of sadness that it has for the sensitive listener. The flight of the yellow-birds follows the fashion of the woodpeckers. It is

like the riding of a boat over great billowsIf there is some of the oriole's music here, I up-down -- up --- in graceful curves, with a must think it original with the tanager. stroke of the wings for each swell, to the accomOther forms of the tanager's song:

paniment of the little song:

[blocks in formation]

YELLOW-BIRD, OR AMERICAN GOLDFINCH.

The roadsides afford these birds an abun- Since writing the above description, a friend dance of seeds, especially those of which they showed me a very similar one by Burroughs.

Simeon Pease Cheney.

FLOREM

CARPITE

DECORATION DAY.

WIT

ITH acclamation and with trumpet tone,

With prayer and praise, and with triumphal state
Of warlike columns, and the moving weight

Of men, whose firmness never overthrown,
Proved itself steadfast; which did add to fate

Speed, vision, certainty, and ever grown
More terrible as more enduring shone

A fire of retribution and swift hate,
All visibly advancing — with these we keep

Unsullied in our breast and pure and white

The spirit of gratitude that may not sleep,--
A nation's safeguard against shame and blight,-

Since sacred memories and the tears men weep
Alone can keep a nation at its height.

Langdon Elwyn Mitchell.

THE RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES AND

CANADA.

A CANADIAN VIEW.1

a

ORTH AMERICA, con- unnatural a line of demarcation may be, to

sidered geologically, con- remove it will give more or less of shock to sists of three fundamental the established order of things. Commerce divisions, in a general sense and industry adapt themselves in a measure parallel to one another and to political conditions ; important interests are to the adjacent oceans, developed by favoring tariffs; national sentiviz.: the Appalachian sec- ment gets a bias from long years of semi-antag

tion, the central plain, and onism. Hence to deal with the commercial the Rocky Mountains section. No natural amalgamation of the United States and Canline of demarcation extends east and west ada as a measure of practical politics is a matacross the continent. All the great rivers flow ter of no small difficulty. One phase only of either to or from the north; the great moun- the subject is treated in this paper, namely, tain chains follow the meridians. From the the interchange of natural products. semi-tropical region of the Gulf States to the Reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, icy coast of Labrador, from the Mexican bor- the United States and Canada divide North der to the snowy peaks of Alaska, there is an America between them into two nearly equal uninterrupted gradation in climate, and hence parts. The institutions of both countries are in natural products. No mountain range, like the same in principle. Their people have for the great Altai, or the Himalayas, or even the the most part the same origin, speak the same Alps, presents a barrier alike to man, animals, language, read the same literature, cherish the and vegetation; no vast desert, like the Sahara, same aspirations, and follow the same general or far-penetrating sea, like the Mediterranean, trend of thought. There are differences betends to develop diverse races, or by the force tween Americans and Canadians; but these of physical necessity compels a marked diver- are no greater than the differences between the sity of habits and occupations among the people, inhabitants of the several States on the one or abrupt changes of species in the animal and hand, or of the several Provinces on the other. vegetable kingdoms. Geographically, commer- This condition of things is without precedent cially, agriculturally, and industrially the conti- or parallel, and presents a political and comnent is by nature one country—the north the mercial problem altogether sui generis, in the complement of the south, the south of the north. solution of which Old World experience is of

If events had so shaped themselves during little value. American questions must be the last century that North America had been settled in America by Americans. This is developed as one country politically, a sugges- recognized by English statesmen of both tion that an arbitrary line ought to be drawn parties, the consensus of opinion being that across the continent from east to west, and Canada must be allowed full liberty to work that trade between the regions thus set apart out her own destiny, the Imperial Governshould be hampered by regulations, artifi- ment holding itself ready to assent to any cial, variable, and often inconsistent, would be political change or commercial arrangement treated as contrary to nature and to common desired by the people of the Dominion. sense. It would be pointed out that every ar- For ten years previous to 1864 what is gument which could be urged in favor of one commonly called the Reciprocity Treaty was such line could with equal force be advanced in force, by which the unrestricted interchange in favor of a score. But events have proved of natural products between the two countries themselves for the time being stronger than was permitted; and under its fostering influence nature, and the statesmen of America have to international commerce increased with tredeal with the resulting conditions. Indications mendous strides, even though the resources multiply that the time is near at hand when of Canada were at that time scarcely guessed the many difficult questions involved will de- at, and the demands of the United States mand solution.

market had not assumed so varied a character In the abstract the question of continental or become of such enormous magnitude as in free trade is simple enough; but however recent years. Since the expiration of the treaty 1 An American view of the resources of the United walls against each other, until in the year

both countries have industriously set up tariff States will be presented in articles now being prepared. - Editor.

ending June 30, 1887, Canada collected over seven millions of dollars in duties from im- answers to these questions, several lines of inports from the United States, the latter coun- vestigation must be followed. try collecting a much larger sum from imports First, as to the probable demand in the from Canada. Yet, notwithstanding opposing United States for the products of her northern tariffs, if account be taken of all the ramifica- neighbor. tions of their dealings, it will undoubtedly I approach this branch of the subject with appear that more than half of the business considerable hesitation, knowing how any statethat the less than five million Canadians do ments made in regard to it will be challenged. with the world outside of their own country The practice is to represent the food-producing is done with the people of the United States, capacity of the United States as practically and that fully one-tenth of all the foreign busi- boundless; but in computing the ability of ness of the sixty millions of Americans is done America to support a resident population, the with these same less than five million Cana- statistics of China or of India, which are generdians. The transactions between the two ally quoted, or even those of continental Europe, countries of which the custom-house takes are of very little value. Americans live better cognizance average upwards of eighty million than the people of the Old World. They redollars a year. They rose to $97,701,056 in quire food in greater quantity and in greater 1883; and in the twelve months ending June variety. They employ more horses in work 30, 1887, were $82,767,265.1 There are, in and pleasure; wear more clothes and better addition, many vast transactions and number- ones; live in better houses and furnish them less minor ones of which the customs authori- better; and, what is perhaps of even more ties are not supposed to keep a record, such importance, they are as prodigal of land as of as the disbursements in connection with rail- everything else. They are far from thorough way lines having a part of their systems in in methods of cultivation; they require vast both countries, with the shipping carrying ranges for pasturage for their flocks and herds, commerce between them, with the purchase even in localities where the population is comand transportation of merchandise, and the paratively dense; and they have gone on exenormous sum spent in each country by visitors hausting the fertility of the soil as though from the other.

[graphic]

there was no limit to the supply of arable Following is a statement of the trade in land. These considerations must be kept in natural products between the two countries. mind when we endeavor to estimate, not the The figures are taken from the Trade and Navi- possible expansion of United States agriculture gation Returns of Canada for the year ending under certain fanciful conditions, but its probJune 30, 1888,

able relation to the population thirty years from now, when there will be 120,000,000

people living within the bounds of the RepubAnimals and their products. $5,477,213 $6,949,270 $12,426,483 lic, if the present rate of increase continues. Agricultural produce.

7,634,185 Products of fisheries

To supply the needs of the United States

3,136,726 Coal

8,718,768 for home consumption in 1887 and the $523,Other articles (about)

4,000,005 073,798 worth of agricultural produce exported,

over eight acres per head of the population $24,604,960 $30,353,989 $54,958,949

were required. This calculation is based on Or, in round numbers, $ 55,000,000. an estimated population of 60,000,000. Not

Although the increase in this international that to every individual the crop grown on commerce is not constant from year to year, if eight acres was, on an average, necessary for periods of five years are taken it will be found food purposes; for, in addition to the human that its growth is continuous, on the Canadian population, an immense number of animals side at least, notwithstanding frequent changes were maintained to supply food or materials to in the tariff, and other elements of disturbance, be worked up into various manufactured artisuch as the expiration of the Treaty of Wash- cles, or to be themselves employed in some ington, the strained interpretation sometimes useful capacity. Following is a statement of put upon the customs laws in both countries, the number of animals kept in the United not to speak of panics and crises affecting the States in the year 1888.2 whole commercial world.

13,172,936 Sheep.. Are there any reasons to anticipate a great Mules development in this interchange of natural

14,856,414 Other cattle. products? Is one country at all necessary,

in These animals are sustained from the land, a commercial sense, to the ot! ? Or if not either by harvested crops or by pasture; and it necessary, is close commercial intercourse be

1 Trade and Navigation Returns of Canada for 1887. tween them a thing to be fostered in the inter

2 Report of Department of Agriculture on number est of both ? In order to arrive at satisfactory of farm animals, February, 1888.

Imports of
Canada from

U.S.

Imports of
U.S. from
Canada.

Total.

15,345,427

7,711, 242 ..439,294 7,465,901 1,711,310 1,800,000

Lumber

2,697,432
1,252,867
9,620,235
2,200,000

11,331,545

Horses

..2,191,727 Swine.

43,544.755 44,346,525 34,378,363

Milch cows.

[ocr errors]

Indian corn.
oats..

27,000,000
6,500,000

ment returns for

tobacco
cotton
other crops.

40,000,000

700,000 19,000,000 10,000,000

cattle
horses

220,000,000

10,000,000 245,000,000 15,000,000

Total.

490,000,000

is reasonable to suppose that for the next thirty comes denser the necessity for judicious forest years there will be an increase in live stock conservation becomes greater. For the sole corresponding with that in population. There- purpose of providing fuel it is estimated that fore in estimating the capacity of the country at least one-fourth of the farm lands must be to sustain population under existing condi- reserved as woodland, leaving available threetions, the acreage necessary for the support of fourths for tillage and pasture. On this basis live stock must be taken into account.

there is an immense area on existing farms to Estimate of the land in crop and pasture in be utilized as tillage land, sufficient, no doubt, 1888:

to permit their food-producing capacity to be

doubled; but here comes up the question of Acreage in wheat....

36,000,000) Report of United
78,000,000 States Agricultural cost. To double the area in crop on existing
Department, 1888.

farms—that is, to clear the land of forest, where
other grains.
potatoes.

2,800,000
Based on Depart-

that is necessary, or to break up the virgin
hay

prairie, to provide fencing, implements for 1884.

planting and harvesting, and buildings to store

the crop and house the additional stock needed Total acreage in crop.

would cost fully $40 per acre, or a total of Pasturage for sheep.

$8,800,000,000. To duplicate the live stock
now on the farms -- and this would have
to be done if their productive capacity is

to be doubled — would call for an outlay of It is impossible to be accurate in the esti- $2,409,043,398,1 making in the whole upmate of pasturage; but taking the country as wards of $11,000,000,000. In other words, to a whole, there in the settled districts fully as double during the next thirty years the output much land in pasture as in crop. Much of it, of existing farms would require an expenditure indeed by far the most of it, is unimproved of $366,000,000 annually on capital account, land, some of it serving the double purpose of or ten per cent of their present product. This wood reserve and pasture. Under cultivation would be in addition to the enormous but init would carry an immensely increased amount definable sum which must be expended in of stock; but it is to be remembered that a keeping up the fertility of the soil, in repairs to very large area must be left unimproved in buildings and fences, the renewal of farm imorder that the supply of fuel may be kept up. plements, and the payment of interest on mortIn addition to the pasturage appurtenant to gages. This estimate is necessarily only an farms, the great extent of land included in the approximation, but it will serve as a measure Western cattle ranches has to be considered. of the tremendous problem involved in pro

This question may be looked at from an- viding for the wants of the rapidly increasing other point of view. The number of acres in population of the Republic. farms in the United States, as given in the re- Hitherto the greater part of the increase in port of the Department of Agriculture for 1884, the agricultural product of the United States and taken apparently from the census of 1880, has been due to the taking up of new farms; was 536,081,835. An examination of later crop and if the present rate is maintained, every statistics, a comparison with the increase in available acre of arable land will be in the previous years, and the well-known rapidity hands of private owners before the close of with which vacant lands in the West have been the present century. The estimate generally taken up, justify an estimate of a twenty per received of the extent of this arable land is cent. increase since 1880, or that the area in 1,500,000 square miles, or 960,000,000 acres ; farms in the United States in 1888 probably and if this is correct it follows, from what has exceeded 700,000,000 acres, nearly one-third been stated above, that only 260,000,000 acres of which appears from the returns quoted above are not already included in farms, which to have been in crop. This indicates that the is clearly not sufficient for the needs of productive capacity of the farms has not been the 60,000,000 people likely to be added to nearly reached; but in estimating upon any the population of the United States during the probable expansion several considerations must next three decades. Therefore within a few be kept in mind. One of these is the preserva- years the Republic will be brought face to face tion of forests, the importance of which, for with a new and most difficult problem both climatic and economical reasons, is being rapidly increasing population and all the aramore strongly inculcated and better under- ble land in the hands of private owners. This stood from year to year. As population be- does not take account of the elevated western

1 Report of the Department of Agriculture on the that the fencing in the United States had cost, as it then numbers and values of farm animals, 1888.

stood, $1,747,549,931, and that the annual expenditure 2 In 1871 the Department of Agriculture estimated for repairs was $198,806,182.

a

« AnteriorContinuar »