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several species of the gad-fly (oestrus bovis-equiand ovis), the ox, horse, and sheep gad-fly, make their appearance in June'. · The innumerable species of insects that are called into life by the heat in this month, afford a neverfailing source of amusement and instruction to the admirer of Nature's minutest works. Many of these are only discoverable by the microscope, and are eminently worthy of our observation.
The grasshopper makes his appearance in this month. The following stanzas, by a poet of the seventeenth century, are written with much fancy, spirit, and (what we do not often find in poets of Lovelace's time) a feeling and observation of nature:
Oh, thou that swing'st upon the waving hair
Dropped thee from heaven, where now thou’rt reared;
That with thy feet and wings dost hop and fly;
To thy carved acorn-bed to lie.
Sport'st in the gilt-plats of bis beams,
Thyself, and melancholy streams,
Ceres aud Bacchus bid good night;
And what scythes spared, winds shave off quite.
1 There are a great many insects which enjoy being only for a single day; which, having come into life with the advancing, leave it again with the descending sun. There are others, again, whose period of life is extended to a season; over whom spring, and summer, and autumn pass, and they are known no more. Man is a being, not, indeed, of a day or of a single season; yet, in all the successive stages of his existence, in his progression, perfection, and decay, the similarity of his destiny is obvious and striking. The life of the insect is that of man in miniature. There is a morning, a noonday, and an evening; a spring, a summer, and an autumn, in the limited biography of both.-Gillespie on the Seasons, p. 81.
Poor verdant fool! and now, green ice, thy joys
Large and as lasting as thy perch of grass,
Their floods with an o'erflowing glass. The fern-owl may be seen about the middle of the month, in the evening, among the branches of oaks, in pursuit of its favourite repast, the fern-chaffer (scarabeus solstitialis).
Mackerel (scomber scomber) are taken in abundance this month.
The several kinds of corn come into ear and flower in June, as well as most of the numerous species of grasses. See T.T. for 1818, p. 205, for an account of the various kinds of wheat; and p. 150 for a description of the grasses.
Gooseberries, currants, and strawberries, now begin to ripen.
The hay-harvest commences about the end of the month, in the southern and midland parts of the kingdom. About this time, also, birds cease their notes.
The rural ceremony of sheep-shearing usually takes place in June, and was formerly celebrated with much innocent pastime. A dinner was provided, with music and songs, and a shepherd-king was elected, an office always conferred upon the individual whose flock had produced the earliest lamb. Of a Spanish sheep-shearing, a pretty account is given by Florian, in his charming · Estelle, of whicb, for the benefit of our English readers, we give a translation,-and, to show our gallantry to our fair correspondents, we insert the version of E- : • Having seated themselves in a circle, the shearers commence their operations; and the clinking of the shears, the songs of the young shepherdesses, and the joyful shouts of the whole community, do not interrupt the sound of the bagpipe, to which they who have no sheep are dancing. A little farther on are a few healthy young men exercising themselves in
leaping, wrestlipg, &c.; others upon little horses, as swift as stags, dispute the prize in racing; while a few, with a mallet made of the wood of the servicetree, are beating in the air balls of box-wood. Some of the shepherds quit their employment to join the shepherdesses in the dance; while the little girls in their absence seize their heavy scissars, and with a weak and unaccustomed hand clip the wool from the end of the tail, fearing to offend the sheep by making further advances. At length the hour of refreshment arrives; and all run to secure a place round a large table, crowned with every thing the country affords. Happiness and sobriety always preside at these festivals. The rich bear the expense, and the poor do the honours of the table. Husbands and lovers are seated by the side of their wives and mistresses; mothers are talking of the prizes their sons have just gained, and the old men are narrating stories of olden tyme;' while the young shepherds are amusing themselves with singing new songs. The perfumes of the beautiful nosegays give an additional zest to the wine which sparkles in their glasses, and cheers, but not inebriates. All are contented, all are happy, and the day is spent in work, love, and pleasure.- In the evening, after the wool has been carried to the village, they .all assemble under an old poplar, whose trunk lies surrounded by a double border of turf, and which has been consecrated to this use for more than a century. Under its branches are seated the old men, holding a young lamb), decorated with ribands and garlands of flowers, the prize allotted to the best singer.'
. Various species of veronicas and speedwells are now seen with their blue flowers; together with the sweet and fragrant honeysuckle (lonicera periclymenum), admired by all for the charms which it imparts to the rural walk. The gum cistus tribe shed daily their abundant flowers, covering the ground
with the most delicate blossoms. The heaths begin to shine in all their glory, throughout this and the succeeding montb, giving life and gaiety to bleak and sterile tracts. The onion tribe, the junci, or rushes, the carices, and many of the umbelliferous tribe, now show their blossoms; as, the wild carrot, the seeds of which are gratefully aromatic, and the tea an excellent medicine. The coriander (coriandrum), distinguished from the caraway (carum) by the globular form of its seeds, the parsnip, the fennel, and a variety of others of the same tribe; the plantago or plantain; the dogberry tree (cornus sanguinea), the true love, the sedum acre, or wall pepper, which grows when suspended by the roots; the salvia verbenaca, wild clary or sage; and the valeriana officinalis, or great wild valerian, are now in flower. The flower de luce, or iris, also shines in the garden: the structure of its pistils is particularly worthy of attention; it has an elegant, faint, yet exquisite scent.
The trees, particularly the laurels and evergreens, now make their second or midsummer shoots; and the acacia at length puts out its elegant light and bright foliage, and its tassels of white papilionaceous flowers, which emulate the orange in scent.
The maritime plants which flower this month are, the sea-barley Thordeum maritimum), sulphur-wort (pucedanum officinale), and loose sedge (carex distans), in salt marshes; the sea-plantain (plantago maritima), among rocks on the sea-coast; and slender-leaved buffonia (buffonia tenuifolia), and the tassel pond-weed (ruppia maritima), in salt water ditches. To these may be added, the common alkanet (anchusa officinalis), the narrow-leaved pepperwort (lepidum ruderale), and the Roman nettle (urtica pilulifera), in sea wastes; the black salt-wort (glaux maritima), on muddy shores; the sea chickweed arenaria peploides), and the common searocket (bunias cakile), on sandy shores; and the
perfoliate cabbage (brassica orientalis) among mari, time rocks.
In our Naturalist's Diary for January 1822, pp. 20-23, we offered some remarks on Calendars of Flora, and on the study of Botany: the latter subject was continued in our Diary for June of that year (p. 179), and at p. 181 we took occasion to recommend to our readers a most excellent guide or introduction to the study of botany': we have now the pleasure of naming another work by the same ingenious author, of which we can give an equally favourable report. The comprehensive title of the book will best explain its nature and pretensions: 'Hortus Anglicus; or, the Modern English Garden; containing a familiar Description of all the Plants which are cultivated in the Climate of Great Britain, either for Use or Ornament, and of a Selection from the established Favourites of the Stoye and Green, house; arranged according to the System of Linnæus; with Remarks on the Properties of the more valuable Species.'
In promotion of the study of Botany in the mid, land counties of England, we take this opportunity of naming Mr. T. PURTON's Midland Flora ; or a Botanical Description of British Plants in the Midland Counties, particularly of those in the Neighbourhood of Alcester; with occasional Notes and Observations: to which is prefixed a short Introduction to the Study of Botany, and to the Knowledge of the principal natural Orders. The author of this book is, we understand, a Surgeon, at Alcester, and it is highly creditable to his botanical knowledge, as well as to his good taste in selecting this useful study as a relaxation from the duties of a laborious pro; fession. It were much to be wished that works of a similar nature, equally well executed, were more
'The British Botanist ; with sixteen most beautifully executed plates (Rivingtons).