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of the memory plant, and, scattered over the dark The second illustration shows an old horseshoe, surface, are many long needle-like objects. These which a friend of mine hung up in his wagon are the sharp spicules, or needles of crystal, that house to hold the buggy pole, and to keep it up pierce the tongue and cause the terrible burning out of the way. Early in the summer, a pair of sensation when a portion of the bulb is taken humming-birds appropriated it for their own use. into the mouth. Jack's root is harmless in ap- I hung the horseshoe in a tree to take the picture. pearance, but it is well protected, and the micro
LEO C. THORNE. scope shows how.
The plant is also known as Indian turnip, because the Indians are said to have used it for food, first boiling the bulb, and this way, it is said, destroying the needles, or the spicules, as the botanist calls them.- CLEMENT B. Davis.
TWO ODD NESTING PLACES The first illustration shows a humming-bird's nest, that I took last summer on the porch of a friend's house. The electric light hung a little too low, so a knot was tied in the cord to raise it. That left a loop about two inches long, and the little hummers built their nest on it. The light was turned off and on every night and morning,
THE HUMMING-BIRD'S NEST ON A HORSESHOE.
THE LARGEST APPLE ON RECORD The gigantic apple shown in the picture was grown by F. L. Post and Sons, of Chelan, State of Washington. It measures seventeen and one eighth inches in circumference, and weighs more than forty-one ounces. It grew on an eight-yearold tree on sub-irrigated land. The tree received ordinary cultivation, and the apple had no extra care except that it was inclosed in thin netting and tied to the tree to prevent it from falling to the ground. The apple is of the variety known as “Spokane Beauty." These apples grow to great size, are good to eat raw, and for cooking, and not specially coarse in grain. The flavor is sub-acid. In color they are a light pink
with darker stripes. The tree which bore this A HUMMING-BIRD'S NEST ON AN ELECTRIC WIRE LOOP.
apple grew on the shore of Lake Chelan, about
two miles from the town of Chelan, within a but that did not disturb them in the least. The stone's throw of the water. picture shows the heads of the young birds just The owner of the apple-tree which bore this a few days before they left their nest.
wonderful fruit writes to St. NICHOLAS:
ONE OF NATURE'S TRAGEDIES For several days, my brother and I had been searching the big pear-tree for the hummingbird's nest that we felt sure was there. Every . time we came near the tree, the old bird left it with a loud hum, so we were trying to see where she came from. At last we located the nest on a limb well out from the body of the tree, where it blended perfectly with its surroundings, and looked like an old, rough knot. It contained two snow-white eggs, about the size and shape of
THE BIG APPLE IN COMPARISON WITH ONE OF
“I sent the largest apple grown on that tree to the Canadian National Apple Show, where it carried off the great prize for the largest apple in the world-a hundred-dollar gold medal. Later, apples were sent to other shows and won the first prize. In one lot fifty of the largest apples weighed together eighty-five pounds."
A ROOT PUNCTURED A ROOT SOME years ago, a gardener sent me the two radishes shown in the photograph. They were about six or seven inches long, and, as you see, one of them ran directly through the other. In the sec
DIAGRAMS TO SHOW THE SMOOTH,
ROUND HOLE IN ONE ROOT, MADE
PHOTOGRAPH OF TWO
RADISH ROOTS, ONE OF
small navy beans. Just a few days after the discovery, the young birds burst their white prison and appeared as two dark objects ---long-billed, homely, wiggling. They grew with amazing rapid
ity, and then we noticed a pear, on the end of a By courtesy of "The American Botanist," Joliet, Illinois.
slender twig just above the nest, which also was growing very fast. We intended to watch it closely and pick it if it got too close to the nest.
Then we had to make a trip to another farm fifond picture the two roots are shown after sepa- teen miles away on Green River, and, in the hurry ration, and, as shown, the hole is quite small, and preparation for the trip, we forgot all about while the root that ran through it grew to about the little birds and their impending fate. When normal size after emerging on the other side. we came home after a week's absence, the pear The hole showed no signs of decay or injury. I had so grown, and its increased weight had so do not know how one root managed to puncture bent the twig, that it rested squarely on top of the other in this case. The sharp-eyed readers of the nest, and had killed both the birds, which St. Nicholas should be on the lookout for cases were nearly full-grown. The accompanying phoof this kind.
CHARLES E. BESSEY. tograph shows the tragedy. LEO C. THORNE.
there is no clue to the origin of jackstones. And
the same is true of tops, bats and balls, and most Ist
children's games. - STEWART Culin, Brooklyn Union Squars, Institute Museum, Brooklyn, New York. , HOW LONG CAN A GOLDFISH LIVE?
St. John, N. B., CANADA. DOES THE OSTRICH BURY ITS HEAD?
DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: How long can a goldfish live? I NEW ROCHELLE, N. Y.
used to have three, but two of them died. The one I have DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I would like to know why an
now is well enough, but I should like to know how long ostrich buries its head in the dirt when he sees anybody it can live. coming.
Your interested reader,
I knew of a very highly developed goldfish that Some naturalists refer to this widely known
lived for twelve years. This was the scaled tale as a "foolish story," while others think it is possible, though not probable, that the ostrich does hide its head when frightened. Professor William T. Hornaday, Director of the New York Zoological Park, says, in reply to the question:
“I really do not know. I do not know any one who knows. To me the story is marked, 'Not proven.'”
A CAT CLOSES ITS EYES WHILE LAPPING MILK
Palo Alto, CAL. DEAR St. Nicholas: My cat always closes his eyes when he laps milk. Could you please tell me why he does that? He is pure black and not full-grown, but I like to play with him. I remain
Your affectionate reader,
ANNA FRANKLIN (age 11). I think that the cat closes his eyes while lapping milk as an evidence of extreme satisfaction and pleasure while so occupied. I notice my own cat has that trick when he considers himself especially happy, and it gives him such an expression of bliss- no "smaller” word expresses it—that it often makes me wish I could stand in his paws (I could n't stand in his shoes, of course), and see for myself how he feels !- JANE R. CathCART.
From "Goldfish Breeds." By perinission of Innes & Sons, Philadelphia.
A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD FRINGETAIL GOLDFISH. THE VERY OLD GAME OF JACKSTONES
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. fringetail used as an illustration in Wolf's book DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I was playing a game of “jacks” on goldfish. I know of a person who claimed sixto-day, and I was wondering where the game first orig
teen years for a moon telescope-fish. My mother inated, and when and by whom it was first played.
raised some common fish twenty years ago. We I think it a very interesting game, because it requires practice and patience to do it well.
had one of them for fifteen years, and then gave Your inquisitive reader,
it to a relative, who kept it alive under very poor LEONORA PARKER. conditions for three years more.
During these Nothing is known of the origin of the game of three years a number of younger fish died in the jackstones. It existed in classical antiquity, it is same aquarium. Under proper conditions I am known in the Orient, and by children generally. sure it would have lived for twenty years, and I The materials differ, but the rules of the game, believe that such a fish can be kept alive for a as far as they are known, are everywhere about quarter of a century. Highly developed fish, if the same. Of certain games-chess, playing cards, they live to become six months of age, will usually dice—the line of descent may be traced, if not then live from two to four years.– WILLIAM T. their precise origin. As far as I know, however, Innes, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
Germanized-English chemical language, and should bar them out from consideration as long words on the ground that they are compound words used without hyphens.-H. L. WELLS.
The comment of Professor Wells is perfectly correct, and I am heartily in accord with the opinion expressed in the last paragraph of his discussion. The word referred to by Mr. Darrah, Jr., is only given in my "History of Chemistry" ("Science-History of the Universe," 1909, Vol. IV, p. 2) to instance the chemical baptisms of our German co-workers, in this case Dr. Albert Maasen.-W. A. HAMOR.
A FLORAL TERRESTRIAL GLOBE
St. Louis, Mo. Dear St. NICHOLAS: I send you by this mail a photograph of a beautiful floral globe. It was at least fifteen feet in diameter, and was made of a framework with receptacles for potted plants. The coleus plants of which it was made were placed very close together, and the pots were invisible. The plants were watered from the inside as well as the outside. The countries” were made of dark red plants, and the “
were made of very light green
AN ODD-SHAPED OAK
SANTA ROSA, CAL.. Dear St. Nicholas: The accompanying photograph is of an odd-shaped oak-tree. The trunk has turned over until it somewhat resembles a horseshoe, and in between them a limb has grown uniting them firmly together, as shown in the photograph. The tree measures about one foot in diameter.
A LONG WORD IN CHEMISTRY
WHEELING, W. VA. DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have just found in a history of chemistry, written by William Allen Hamor, Research Chemist of The College of the City of New York, a word containing forty-nine letters. I won't ask what it means, but is "pentamethyldiamidothiodiphenylamindiiodomethylate” surpassed in length by any word at all?
Hoping this will interest you as it has interested me, I remain,
Very truly yours,
Rost. C. DARRAH, JR. There is hardly any limit to the length of such words, and, if it were worth while, much longer words than the one given could be used to describe known or imaginary organic compounds.
Such chemical words are really compounds of a number of words. Sometimes hyphens are put in to separate some of the parts, but, following the German usage, according to which words of plants, with white and pale yellow variegations. The bed any length may be compounded, the hyphens are at the base of the globe was made of the same colors. I often not used by English-writing chemists.
do not think there is any black-and-white picture that could
ever do it justice. I should insist that such chemical words do not
Respectfully, belong to the English language at all, but to a
RUBY BUTLER. VOL. XXXIX.—119.