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Country Walks Of A Naturalist With His Children (1899) by William Houghton

By William Houghton

This ebook is a facsimile reprint and should comprise imperfections akin to marks, notations, marginalia and incorrect pages.

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Extra resources for Country Walks Of A Naturalist With His Children (1899)

Sample text

A capital little verse to remember, so we will try again; and there now we are rewarded by the capture of a dyticus larva—a creature with a long body—in some respects reminding one of a shrimp. Oh! look at his jaws, how wide he opens them! You see that the last segment of the body is provided with a long pair of bristly tails, by means of which the creature can suspend itself at the top of the water. I have often kept specimens of these larvæ in vessels of water and noticed their predaceous habits; they feed on the larvæ of other water insects, but are not able to destroy fish, not being furnished with jaws or bodies nearly so strong as the perfect insect itself possesses.

In wheat or other grain ricks, they ought to be encouraged, as they enter them for the sake of the rats and mice they find there. I have been told by a friend that in some parts of Wales the farmers look upon the weasel as a friend, in consideration of the destruction it causes to mice and rats. A gentleman living near Corwen killed a weasel, and expected to receive the thanks of the farmer on whose land it had been killed; he was surprised to find that the farmer was by no means grateful. In this respect I think the Welsh farmers are wiser than the English ones.

He soon became more bold and came down to pick up crumbs which the children placed for him on the table, looking up into Mr. St. John's face without the least apparent fear. Boys sometimes call the little blue-tit Billy Biter, no doubt from personal experience of the sharpness of Mr. Tit's beak. The great tit which we can see under the yew tree in our garden, almost any hour of the day, is very common in the neighbourhood, and I dare say if we look well about us during our walk we shall see some to-day.

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