Gleanings in natural history; with local recollections. To which are added Maxims and hints for an angler

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1832
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Page 301 - So the ravens built on, nest upon nest, in perfect security, till the fatal day arrived in which the wood was to be levelled. It was in the month of February, when those birds usually sit. The saw was applied to the butt, the wedges were inserted into the opening, the woods echoed to the heavy blows of the beetle or mallet, the tree nodded to its fall ; but still the dam sat on. At last, when it gave way, the bird was flung from her nest; and, though her parental affection deserved a better fate,...
Page 177 - Here and there the perches gave way under the weight with a crash, and falling to the ground, destroyed hundreds of the birds beneath, forcing down the dense groups with which every stick was loaded. It was a scene of uproar and confusion.
Page 172 - Thousands were soon knocked down by the pole-men. The birds continued to pour in. The fires were lighted, and a magnificent, as well as wonderful and almost terrifying, sight presented itself. The Pigeons, arriving by thousands, alighted everywhere, one above another, until solid masses as large as hogsheads were formed on the branches all round.
Page 172 - It was, as is always the case, in a portion of the forest where the trees were of great magnitude, and where there was little underwood. I rode through it upwards of forty miles, and, crossing it in different parts, found its average breadth to be rather more than three miles. My first view of it was about a fortnight subsequent to the period when they had made choice of it, and I arrived there nearly two hours before sunset.
Page 171 - Before sunset I reached Louisville, distant from Hardensburgh fiftyfive miles. The Pigeons were still passing in undiminished numbers, and continued to do so for three days in succession.
Page 9 - To hear the lark begin his flight, And singing startle the dull Night, From his watch-tower in the skies, Till the dappled Dawn doth rise ; Then to come, in spite of sorrow, And at my window bid good morrow, Through the sweet-briar, or the vine, Or the twisted eglantine...
Page 91 - ... making no sign, nor any sign being made to his vision to account for the phenomenon— set his wits to work to consider the cause. It was probably during a profitless time of peace, and the doctor, having...
Page 271 - Those who have walked in an evening by the sedgy sides of unfrequented rivers, must remember a variety of notes from different water-fowl: the loud scream of the wild goose, the croaking of the mallard, the whining of the lapwing, and the tremulous neighing of the jacksnipe. But of all these sounds, there is none so dismally hollow as the booming of the bittern.
Page 171 - I proceeded. The air was literally filled with Pigeons; the light of noon-day was obscured as by an eclipse; the dung fell in spots, not unlike melting flakes of snow; and the continued buzz of wings had a tendency to lull my senses to repose.

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