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Longitudes of the Perihelia at the same Epoch.
74 21 47
128 37 1
99 30 5
332 24 24
11 8 3
Sidereal and secular Motion of the Perihelia. The negaSign indicates a retrograde Motion.
Inclination of the Planetary Orbits to the Ecliptic, at the Commencement of 1801.
The above inclinations of the four new planets are those determined by M. Gauss, of Gottingen, and are the means of a great number of results.
Secular Variation in the Inclination to the Ecliptic. The negative Sign indicates as before.
Longitude of the ascending Node, at the Commencement of
The above elements of the new planets were determined by M. Gauss.
Sidereal and secular Motion of the Node on the Ecliptic, the Sign - being used as before.
47 72 51 14
The Naturalist's Diary
For JUNE 1818.
Short is the reign of night, and almost blends
WARM weather is generally established in June, yet the heat is rarely excessive :-showers of rain
are very acceptable at the commencement of the month, as they tend to promote the growth of the young herbage. The innumerable beautiful herbs and flowers which, at this season of the year, meet our eye in every direction, appear designed only to ornament our earth, or to gratify our sense of smelling; but, upon a more intimate acquaintance with their peculiar properties and operations, we find, that, while they contribute to embellish our gardens, they also promote the purification and renovation of the atmosphere, which becomes contaminated from various causes.
The fields of clover (trifolium pratense), which are now in blossom, produce a delightful fragrance. Of this plant there are two varieties, the white and the purple; from the latter, the bees extract much honey. The bean blossoms also shed a still more exquisite odour.
Among the insect tribe, one of the most interesting is, in its perfect state, the angler's may-fly (ephemera vulgata), which appears about the 4th, and continues nearly a fortnight. It emerges from the water, where it passes its aurelia state, about six in the evening, and dies about eleven at night.
Poor Insect! what a little day
Then spread thy little shining wing,
For man, like thee, has but his Spring,
Like thine it fades away1.
Among the most remarkable of the insect tribe
* See Transmigration and other Poems, p. 40,
that appear in this month may be named the grasshopper (gryllus), the golden-geeen beetle (scarabæus auratus), various kinds of flies; the cuckoo-spit insect (cicada spumaria), and the stag-beetle (lucanus cervus). The several species of the gad-fly (astrus boris-equi-and ovis), the ox, horse, and sheep gad-fly make their appearance in this month. When attacked by this insect, cattle endeavour to escape their tormentor, by taking refuge in the nearest pond; it being observed that the gad-fly rarely attacks them when standing in the water.
About the beginning of this month, the pimpernel (anagallis arvensis,) thyme (thymus serpyllum), the bitter sweet nightshade (solanum dulcamara), white bryony, the dog-rose (rosa canina), and the poppy (papaver somniferum), have their flowers full blown. The poppy (says Cowley) is scattered over the fields of corn, that all the needs of man may be easily satisfied, and that bread and sleep may be found toge
The fern-owl may be seen, in the evening, among the branches of oaks, in pursuit of its favourite repast, the fern-chaffer (scarabæus solstitialis).
The several kinds of corn come into ear and flower during this month, as well as most of the numerous species of grasses. Few common observers are at all aware that there are many distinct sorts of grasses; they see that there are daisies, butter-cups, clover, and several other flowering plants amongst the grass; but as for the grass itself, they consider it one uniform vegetable production, which, growing more or less luxuriantly in rich or in poor soils, is the source of all the differences between one pasture and another. The fact, however, is, that besides the leaves of the daisy, the butter-cup, and clover, with a variety of other plants usually found in all pasture land, there are above an hundred sorts of grass growing in different situations in this kingdom. Some of these are not proper food for any kind of cattle; some are
even injurious, while others are eaten with avidity by some animals, and not touched by others.
The sagacity of sheep in the choice of their food, both with respect to what is salutary, and even medicinal, is thus remarked by the poet :
Driv'n oft from nature's path by artful man,
Most of the vegetables known under the common name of grass have three stamina and two pistilla, and are therefore in the class triandria, and order digynia. The anthers are seen shaking in the air, when the plants are in full flower; and as there are many flowers on the same stalk, forming a spike, or panicle, they afford many seeds. The seeds of the different species are now cultivated separately for sale by a few seedsmen, and their peculiar properties are beginning to be discovered. Much, however, yet remains to be done, and a fine field is here open to the intelligent experimental farmer.
Some of the grasses are only to be cultivated by slips, or by dividing the roots. And all the grasses possess this invaluable property, given them with the wisest and kindest intentions, that the more their leaves which form the herbage are cropped, or eaten off, the more do the roots multiply and spread, until the surface of the ground is completely covered with a thick carpet of matted roots and their leaves.
The wonderful diffusion of the grasses, and the care which Nature has shown in their preservation, call for our warmest gratitude to the Divine Bestower