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that a bird which remains in North Britain all the year round should migrate from France during the winter months. Such, however, is the case: in France, the red-breast frequents the hedges and dwelling-houses, for a short time, in autumn and spring ; but regularly in the dead of winter, when the hard frost commences, disappears. In his spring visit, he makes but a short stay, hasting, as he then is, to enter the forest, that he may there, amidst the spreading leaves, enjoy solitude and love.
The red-breast builds its nest at the foot of some thick shrub, or upon å tuft of grass able to support it. The materials of which it is composed are oakleaves, moss, and a bed of feathers within. Sometimes, after the edifice is finished, the bird covers it entirely over with leaves, allowing only a small passage to remain, sufficient to admit its body. During the season of nestling and incubation, the male makes the grove resound with his soft and melodious lays. His warbling is soothing and tender, animated occasionally with notes of a louder tone, and sometimes, too, graced with those touching and enagaging accents, that seem to express the ardour of his love. In the sweet society of his female, he seems to be wholly absorbed : at the interference of other com
pany, he becomes fretful and enraged; for no stranger 1 is permitted to intermeddle with his joy: even those
of his own species he pursues with rage, till he banishes them from the district he has chosen for himself. His love exhibits a strange mixture of jealousy and attachment.
The food of the red-breast varies with the season. In spring, he feeds upon insects and worms, which he pursues with address and nimbleness, in those moist and sbady districts where he then resides. In autumn, he devours all kinds of seeds and fruits that are produced in the district, not excepting the apple and the grape..
There is no bird more active, none satisfied with a smaller portion of rest, than this bird : he is the first that appears in woods at the break of day, and the last that retires thither in the evening to enjoy repose. This species is spread over the whole of
Europe, from Norway and Sweden, to the coast of
While grateful crowds their ready homage pay,
Thy bymns and mine, sweet moralist, to hear. The hedge-sparrow (motacilla modularis) and the thrush (turdus musicus) now begin to sing. The wren, also, pipes her perennial lay,' even among the flakes of snow. The titmouse (parus) pulls straw out of the thatch, in search of insects ; linnets (fringilla linota) congregate; and rooks (corvus frugilegus) resort to their nest trees. Pullets begin to lay; young lambs are dropped now. Spiders shoot out their webs; and the blackbird (turdus merula) whistles. The fieldfares, red-wings, skylarks, and titlarks, resort to watered meadows for food, and are, in part, supported by the gnats which are on the snow, near the water. The tops of tender turnips and ivy-berries afford food for the graminivo.
of the beart;
Crous birds, as the ringdove, &c. Earth-worms lie out ES E on the ground, and the shell-snail (helix nemoralis)
appears. On the utility of worms in manuring the en soil, see T.T. for 1821, p. 27. ale i The house-sparrow (fringilla domestica) chirps. 13 « This bird not only builds its nest under the eaves
of houses, but in the nests of other birds, and sometimes alone on the top or nearly the top of the Lombardy poplar.
The bat (vespertilio) is now seen. Bats are very useful animals; destroying great numbers of the large white moths which fly abroad by night. Our Somersetshire correspondent informs us that he had a colony of bats over the entrance to his house. They generally continued abroad during the darkness of the night in the summer season, and returned to their abode on the approach of day. He was very careful that this colony should not be destroyed or disturbed. By turning down the lead, be could, at any time of the day, see great numbers of them; and he counted, early one morning in
the summer, seventeen returning from their night's ļ excursion. These animals appear particularly partial
to lead roofs, hence their frequency about churches the covered with lead. Thi In very severe winters, that beautiful bird, the ORE Bohemian chatterer (ampelis garrulus), is sometimes alls found in this country. mets. The appearance which nature presents in the -7% vegetable kingdon, at this season of the year, are In to. Scant indeed; yet, amid the general torpor, revivisact cent signs appear, enough to invite our readers to ila)! enter upon the study of Botany, under the auspices and of a New Year, which has ever been held favourable and to fresh projects, and which are now undertaken
with renewed ardour.-See some remarks in our last de volume, pp. 21-23, 179-181. . 10. The helleborus niger, or Christmas - rose, as it is
commonly called, exhibits its pretty flowers at this season. If the weather be very mild and favourable, the garden crocus (c. vernus) puts forth its flower before the leaves are grown to their full length. As an agreeable contrast to this golden-coloured flower, the snowdrop (galanthus nivalis), formerly called
fair maids of February,' from its generally appearing in that month, often graces the last days of this. It is a modest and elegantly drooping flower.
The china rose (rosa chinensis and rosa semper. florens), till lately unknown to us, and at first considered only as a greenhouse plant, is now seen in blow in the open air, even in the month of December, often with its red buds inossed with frost.
In mild seasons there are many flowers in blow in the month of January ; some we have enumerated in p. 24: to these may be added periwinkle (vinca; major & minor), heart's ease (viola tricolor)', and the delightful, sweet-smelling wall-flower (cheiranthus cheiri), to which we have a just tribute in this exquisite sonnet:* HEART's Ease: by W. Maxwell, an American Poet. :.
There is a charming little flow'r,
A charming flow'r it is;
And sweet as Beauty's kiss.
To tempt the busy Bee;
But it is dear to me.
When Morning paints the skies,
Open its sparkling eyes.
It glitters to the ray,
So fancifully gay.
That girls may cease to tease;.
What is it called ?-Heart's Ease.
To the WALL-FLOWER.
Or, virgin-like, with blushing charms half seen,
Or when in dazzling splendour, like a queen,
Beneath the valley's cool and shady screen ;
Nor yet the sun-flower, that with warrior mien
And muse art dearest, wildest, sweetest flower,
Proudly to root thyself above the rest
Lend fragrance to the purest breath of heaven'. Bees venture out of their hives every month in the year, and may occasionally be seen on some fine mild days in January, busily improving ' each shining hour' in gathering food from the snowdrops, &c.
The golden saxifrage, called also golden moss, and stonecrop (chrysoplenium), in the absence of other flowers, affords its little aid to give life and beauty to the garden. The bramble (rubus fruticosus) still retains its leaves, and gives a thin scattering of green in the otherwise leafless hedges; while the berries of the hawthorn, the wild rose, and the spindle-tree, afford their brilliant touches of red. The twigs of the red dog-wood, too, give a richness amid the general brown of the other shrubs. Ivy now casts its leaves.
The MINSTREL of the Ivy TREE.
I sought an oak with ivy crowned;
I bore it to my garden ground.
And smiled upon my stolen guest:
The Robin there has built his nest.
Sixty-five Sonnets, &c., Baldwin and Co., 1818.