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Insect-eating Birds

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These aro tho farmer's greatest friends. A prize essay, by Frank H. Palmer, entitled " Inseot-Eatiug Birds the Farmers' Bost Friend," is just published at Bostcm undor the auspicas of the Massachusetts Society fur the Preventon of Cruolty to Animáis. Insects are the pest and bane of Amorican fruit culture ; they spoil our cherries ; they sting our pears and apples, and render tliom worthles ; they prevent our plura-trces from producing mature fruit ; they puncture our grapes ; they destroy tho beauty oí' our roses ; they devour our green vegetables, and are niischievous in other ways. Mr. Palmei uaintains that this ia the result of our own improvidence. It is, he says, because man has destroyed their natural enemies that insects have become a pest, and they will cease to trouble him only in ! tion as he shall restore tho balance of which nature shows the necessity. During the past few years, he remarks, there hag been a ateady . decrease in the number of our native bircls in all parts oi' the country where man has l'ormed his settlemonts, and conaequently thoie has been an immense increasa of tho insect tribes on whioh birda are fed. The pamphlet containa a list of the birds which foed on inseets. Of the inser.ts hurtful to gurden vegetables he makes 30 different species ; of those injurious to the apple and appletrees, 75. Shade trees havo 100 kinds of insect enetnies, and wheat and other grains 50. We require a very considerable ariny of birds to protect the husbandman against the ravages of these pests, and there seems to be every roaaon why the killing of birds that feed on the insect tribes should bo punishable by the tribunals. Next to the law, the most important measure for the protection of birds ia the putting up of accommodations for them, and thus inducing thoni to settle on our estates. There is no reason why every one who has a half acre of and sbould not have two or threo Tmirs of hirrls ing thereon. Perhaps many do not realize wbat simple aocoinmodations swallows, bluebirds, sparrows, wreiis and other, birds are eager to avail themselves of. Simplo and inexpensive arrangements aro just as satisfactory to them as the most elegant and costly ornamental houses ; and no one noed bo prevented by the fear of expense from furnishing dwellingplaces, reut free, to those interesting tenants. With a few simple tools and a box or two, whioh auy grocer will give you, a bird-houso may be made of alniost any aize or shape desired. Should you wish it highly ornamental, nothirig is better than to cover it with rustic work, which may be done with the aid of a wild grapeviue cut in pieces of the right length and nailed on. Sufth a bird-house oosts little or nothing save the time required to mako it ; and this BÜght expense will be amply repaid by the satisfaotion of doing a good deed. A few weeks ago we read the exciting story of the triumph of human energy over the storiu-king, on the Central Pacific Railroad. Nine pufiSng, hissiiig monsters, behind an immense snow-plow, plunged into the ten-foot drifts with the speed of the dolphin into the foaming billows, aud shook the great masses of' snow froin the iron beak of the plow into the inighty canons thousands of feet below. On through tunnels and gaps, over bridges and oulverts, along the dizzy preoipioes of the Sierras, and around curves which made tho huge machines tremble and groan, the great, black engines, their topsevan with the high bankg of snow, shook the earth and echoed for miles in the mighty gorges tlirough which ihey sped, cutting au eleven-foot passage in the drift with the precisión of a surgeon's knife ; and all this, the Rteady, aulse-like stroke, the throbbing, beating, :rip-hammer-like tread of the engines, was only symbolical of the commercial trogre6s which our country has inade across the continent, involvhig in that progresa mutation only equaled by the changing scènes of the kaleidoscope ; but adding, instoad of subtracting, wealth and jrospority to the people. - fippUton't Jonruil. We are told that " the young girls of Rome, after they have been proinised n marriage, are séeu by tlieir lovers for ;he tirst time in public in tha rotunda oi ihe Pantheon, bucause the light enters here by a singlo opening in the roof, and be light froni above is most favorable to seauty." Ii is singular that this advan:age of lighting rooms froin above, not only as regards the increased beauty of the features, but on account of the greater charm in which every object appears, ïas not been uuderstood by our fashiona)le women. A boudoir lighted in this 7ashion would render its mistress irresistible. With this source of light, "the eyebrows bocome more prominent, ho eyes more brilliaiit under the dark cavity hollowed by the arch of the brows, ho cheek-bones slightly raised, the noso implified and longthaned, marked by a uminous line that supports the shadow ihrown where the blnck of the nostrils is oftcnod and lost." Wooden Nest Egos.- A correspondent writeB us that he has buen trying wooden nest eggs and fiuds them preferible to ;lass or chiua, in that they are lighter and there is 110 danger of tht-ir breaking he eggs that may be laid in the nest. ?hero is no danger of sendiug bad eggs o market if all real eggs are gatbered ften ; uud no danger froni tho chickons r hens leorning to eat eggs, which they re apt to do if an egg gets broken by reezing or by collision with a china rxg. The grand jury of New York city has ïanded in four indictments agtiinst Óliver Charlock and Hugh Garduer, Pólice Commissiouers, for ilJogally removing an nspector the day before election, and thers for illegally reraoving ulection watchers.


Old News
Michigan Argus