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creation does not afford a more splendid object for minute examination than the leaves and filaments of flowers; even of some flowers which look obscure, and promise little or nothing to the naked eye.
But besides this richness of substance and colour, there is an elegance of design in the whole form and disposition of a plant, which human artists, in ornamental works, are always studious to imitate. Their leaves, and branches, and flowers, are thrown about with that ease, and turned into beautiful lines, so as to charm the eye with a variety of flexure, and convince us that all the excellence of art must take its pattern from nature1.
What white can match the lily's virgin snows?
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. Innu
The Religious Use of Botanical Philosophy,' a Sermon, in the Rev. William Jones's Works, vol, iv, pp. 3, 4.
merable species of insects are called into life by the heat in this month.
For now in prime of JUNE the burnished fly
Among the most remarkable of the insect tribe may be named the grasshopper (gryllus), the goldengreen 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 (oestrus bovis-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
About the beginning of the 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 together.
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).
To the OWL.
Grave bird, that, sheltered in thy lonely bower,
Or mid the fragments of some ruined tower,
Still, as of old, at this sad solemn hour,
Towards the middle of the month, wheat is in ear, and the flowers of the valerian (valeriana officinalis) begin to open. Mullein, viper's bugloss (echium vulgare), borage, dog-wood, vervain, the vine (vitis vinifera), water hemlock (phellandrium aquaticum), and that singular plant, the bee orchis, have their flowers full blown.
Dr. BIDLAKE has prettily described some of the various appearances of Nature in this month :
A thousand beauties lost to vulgar eyes
Each dry entangled copse, empurpled glows
The summer solstice happens on the 21st of June, which is the longest day. In the most northern parts of the island, there is scarcely any night at this time, so that a person may read with ease at twelve o'clock at night; the twilight continuing almost from sunrise to sunset.
See' The Year,' a Poem, p. 112.
Numerous are the flowers and heaths which furnish employment for the industrious bee in this and the succeeding months.
He ever busy, still from flow'r to flow'r,
The several kinds of corn come into ear and flower during this month, as well as most of the numerous species of grasses: gooseberries, currants, and strawberries', also 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,
To the STRAWBERRY.
The strawberry blooms upon its lowly bed:
also, birds cease their notes. No birds are heard after the end of June, except the stone curlew (charadrius ædicnemus) whistling late at night; the yellow hammer, goldfinch, and golden-crested wren, now and then chirping. The cuckoo's note also
The rural employment of sheep-shearing commences sometimes early in June, but, at others, not till the middle of the month; the time being regulated by the warmth and settled state of the weather. In many parts of the country, the depriving sheep of their wool is conducted with much ceremony and rural dignity.
The following plants are generally seen in flower about the end of June; goats-beard (tragopogon pratense), deadly nightshade (atropa belladonna), meadow-sweet (spiræa ulmaria), the day-lily (hemerocallis flava), the jasmine jasminum officinale), and the holy-oak (alcea rosea).
The rose is one of the greatest ornaments of our garden in this month, and although the sweetest flower'
That ever bloomed in any bower,
yet, like the rest of its sister tribe, and that beauty of which it is so often mentioned as an emblem, quickly hastens to decay.
Thou blushing Rose, within whose virgin leaves
The wanton Wind to sport himself presumes,
For his wings purple, for his breath perfumes!
What boots a life which in such haste forsakes thee?
And passing proud a little colour makes thee.
Know then, the thing that swells thee is thy bane;
The sentence of thy early death contain.
Some clown's coarse lungs will poison thy sweet flower,