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BY S. P. FOWLER.
For the New England Farmer. during the months of June and July, it will REMARKS ON THE CURCULIO OR
greatly lessen the ravages of the curculio. The PLUM WEEVIL.
nimble fingers of children will aid us here, in accomplishing this work; I would say in this con
nection, I use the same means to rid my grounds I had thought it unnecessary to add anything of that other pest to fruit-growers, the applemore to what has been already published in the worm. Farmer, in regard to the habits of the curculio,
The number of cherries punctured by the curbut as you have requested some one to reply to culio is greater than I had supposed. Upon exthe inquiry of one of your correspondents in your
amination to-day, of a May Duke cherry tree, I paper of June 30th, I will endeavor to comply discovered one maggot in every fifteen of the ripe with your request, and offer some general re- fruit to be found. Cherries ripening early never marks upon the plum weevil or curculio.
fall like other kinds of fruit when punctured, The question put by your correspondent is and there is no visible appearance of the worm. this-"Does the curculio puncture the apple ?" And as few persons make two bites to a cherry, In reply, I would say, they not only puncture and are unconscious of the grub within the fruit, the plum, but the apple, pear, peach cherry, they, the grubs, must have a hard and perilous nectarine and apricot. I have also seen some of time of it, and probably but few, if any, escape our native fruits under cultivation marked by their fate, and are literally devoured alive, meetthe curculio, particularly the June-berry (Amel- ing. an early death, and thus fail to pass through anchier Canadensis.) But it seems to prefer the their transformation, plum to any other fruit in which to lay its eggs.
In regard to the black knots on plum trees, my I have also known, in a few instances, the insect method for their removal is simply to cut them to deposit its egg in the tender terminal shoots of from the branches, when they first appear, and the plum tree, the same having been before no- burn or otherwise destroy them; and should the ticed by Kollar, in unfruitful seasons, in his tree be much affected by these excrescences, I cut treatise, when speaking of the copper-colored it down... I also find some kinds of plum trees plum weevils of Europe. Doct. Harris, the dis- are less liable to be affected by this disease than tinguished entomologist, in view of this fact, has others, and such should be sought for and cultitruly and beautifully observed, that we see the vated. The Canada plum, (Prunus Americana) care of the Creator for some of the least of His is a hardy native, and less liable to the attacks of creatures, which he has wisely provided with va- insects or the black knots, which renders it desiriable instincts, enabling them to accommodate rable for stocks for budding or engrafting upon. themselves to the difficulties of the situation in The tree thus becomes a dwarf in its babits, and which they may happen to be placed, and thus, is the more easily protected from the curculio, even in unfruitful seasons, to provide for a suc
and reached when applying the knife to the cession of their kind."
warts or knots.
S. P. FOWLER. The curculio is sometimes in the habit of de- Danvers-port, July 4, 1855. positing its eggs in those warty excrescences, incident to plum trees, which are probably caused
For the New England Farmer. by disease in the sap or its vessels. This has led some persons to suppose that the black knots are
MOWING MACHINES. caused by this insect, which I think is a mistake. MR. EDITOR :- As I was passing the fine cultiThis habit of the curculio or plum weevil in not vated grounds of Gen. S. ou Monday afternoon, I confining its operations to the plum, seems to heard the clatter of a mower, and on examintion have been overlooked or not understood by many found that his men had just commenced cutting cultivators when they recommend the use of his grass, with one of Ketchum's machines, the lime, ashes, snuff or other substances in dusting same that he used last season. It was drawn by the plum tree and its fruit. All the effect such a large pair of active, well-trained oxen. The a practice would have, would be to drive them work was completely done; as perfectly as it from his plum trees to other kinds of fruit trees could have been with scythes in the best experiin the neighborhood. Such a mode of procedure enced hands. The field contained four acres, and would probably give the timid curculio a fright, the crop averaged about one ton to the acre; there perhaps a dusty jacket, and cause him to change were some patches of the field cultivated with other his quarters, but would by no means lessen his crops, and a few trees on parts of it, consequentdepredations.
ly the services of two men, with scythes, were Now I would say to the cultivator, your war- needed to clear away at the ends, and to pick up fare upon noxious insects should be more san- the fragments. The work went successfully on, guinary ; don't spend your time in seeking to and was completed before night. The men sweat drive them away when committing their depreda- profusely, and so did the cattle. The best way tions, but seek some method to destroy them. you can fix it, mowing is hard work. Kill them, kill them, should be your constant aim On a field near hy, one of Russell's one-horse and motto, at every period of their transforma- machines was put in operation the same day. It tions. My method in destroying the curculio was new, and operated so little to the satisfaction has been, to pick up under the trees all the of the proprietor, that he made up his mind to wormy plums as they fall, and throw them into return it." Another gentleman, who successfully a mill-pond. Other means can be used to destroy operated one of Ketchum's machines the last seathe larva in the fruit, such as steaming them, or son, put it in motion the same day,-but had not putting them into a barrel partly filled with water. proceeded far before it gave out hy breaking two If this method of gathering up the wormy fruit of the cogs in the small wheel, rendering city reand destroying the grub be frequently practised, pairs necessary. Thus endeth the first lesson of mowing by machinery in the natural way. We stones in the road. They ought to be kept raked have seen accounts of holiday experiments at out. Public sentiment should demand it. I reWest Chester, at Dedham, at Hadley, at Spring- member that dry summer how vigilantly Goodfield, &c.,—all of which are well enough in their man went over the roads again and again, with a place—but what we want to know is, are the ma- stout garden rake, and cleared out the loose chines so constructed, that real farmers can find stones. It was a small job, and brought great it for their advantage to purchase them and do comfort to all. I thank him here for his considthe work upou their farms? That they can be eration. made so as to cut and spread the grass perfectly Is it not safe to judge of the intelligence and where there are no obstacles in the way, has prosperity of a community by the roads they traoften been demonstrated, but what kind of ma- vel? I think so, and go in for elevating the stanchine will do this best, remains to be proved. dard in our good town.
W. D. B. We hope the experiment now going on, will ere Concord, N. H., July, 1855. long do away with all doubts in the matter. One of the greatest difficulties in the way of just determination is, the want of good fidelity in the
WOOD LAND. structure of machines. When the cheapening Fifteen acres of wood and timber land will process begins to be introduced, then the reliable furnish a farmer his ordinary timber and wood for character correspondingly disappears.
two fires. Ten cords of wood suffice for any man July 11, 1855.
to keep two fires the year round, provided he has
tight rooms and good stoves. We have kept two For the New England Farmer. fires, since the first of November, in two large HIGHWAY WORK.
rooms, and have not yet burned three cords of
wood, and we can assure you that we like a good In Concord, Mass., the highway tax is paid to comfortable fire. The farmer should commence the collector, as are other taxes. Formerly it on one side of his lot, and cut the wood clean as was the custom to have the taxes worked out, or he goes. In this manner the young shoots come stood out, as some said, and many did.
up alike, as they receive the sun alike. Now By the present system, the person who has say there are thirty cords of wood to an acre; charge of the roads in a certain district may com- if he cuts ten cords of wood a year, it will take mence his repairs on the highways as soon as the him three years to cut off the wood of a single frost is out of the ground, and cart his gravel so acre, and it will take him forty-five years to cut that it will settle immediately, and make a fine the wood off from his lot of fifteen acres. At road at once. When A, B, and C, had to be the end of forty-five years, he may go back to called upon, the book must be first prepared, so the first acre he cut, and cut thirty cords to the that the surveyor could tell what taxes were due. acre. On our ordinary upland, wood will grow This generally came along in midsummer, when to thirty cords to the acre in thirty years. the roads were as dry as meal, and the less done Thirty-four years since, we recollect of assiston them the better.
ing in clearing fourteen acres of wood land, and It seems as if all could see the great economy getting the same into winter rye. After the crop of the present arrangement. The intelligent sur- of winter rye was taken, it was pastured for a veyor hires his two good men, takes team enough year or two, and then suffered to grow up. The and the right tools, and works when and where growth was white oak, yellow oak, red oak, it is needed. Before, we used to have at times a chestnut and maple. Seven years since, that great party out. The roads would be plowed up same rye field was cut over, and there was not a at the sides, and then men strung along to shovel single acre of it but produced thirty cords to the the rich loam or sand into the ruts. The trav- acre! And this in twenty-seven years !-Anonyeller dreaded to come upon such a piece of mend- mous. ed (!) ways. It was a sore spot for a long time. It was a fortunate year for our district when
For the New England Farmer my neighbor Goodman was surveyor. We had the roads in trim that year, let me tell you. He
TO OWNERS OF OAK AND PINE commenced in March. He opened the water
SHRUBS. courses, and drained the deep ruts of the floods of EDITORS OF THE FARMER :-One word of sugstanding water which helped the wheels to wear gestion, if you please, to the owners of the small down continually deeper. He then carted coarse patches of oak, walnut and pine shrubs, which gravel, and filled the ruts with shovels from tilt- are seen so frequently on the borders of Massaed carts with great dispatch. The gravel stuck chusetts viilages, on the plains, and the decliviin the wet ruts, and soon became firm as the ev-ties of the hills. These objects, which now strike erlasting hills.
the eye so disagreeably, however small and unThere is gravel enough in our district for all couth, may be made the most attractive feature the roads in the United States. It is a little of the scenery. harder filling it than the yellow dirt beside the In proof of this, let me give you my own exroad, but Goodman said nothing but the best of perience. I owned, four years since, within a gravel should he spread on the road, if he went short distance from this village, about six acres half a mile for it. "Nobody ever before discovered of the most unsightly land in the neighborhood, that several high ridges in the very roads them- a mass of rocks and stumps, shrub oaks, shrub selves were excellent gravel, and could be removed pines and shrub walnuts. By trimming away in with a two-fold advantage.
the beginning all the shrubs except one upright Mr. Brown, nothing disturbs my spine and tem- shoot, and digging all the old stumps away, I per more than to go jolting over loose cobble- have a young grove to beautify rather than de face the surrounding lands, and to afford a pleas- year after those dates, as though they made a ant retreat for an hour from dust and fatigue. I mistake of one year in their calculation, but not have seen larger and smaller patches of the same one was seen in any other year. description of land, and I longed to say to the In 1836, seventeen years after the last date, owners of them that they are thoughtlessly de- they were also seen in the same place, but they priving themselves and their neighbors of one of appeared less plenty, as though they were run the richest enjoyments of life, and the country of ning out and becoming extinct. The last year of its least expensive and most desirable ornament. their appearing was in 1853, and, as I forgot to
No one will require to be shown the compara- pay any attention to it in that year, I do not tive cheapness or attractiveness of such a grove know whether they appeared or not. There over one where the trees are transplanted ; and was a piece of wood land in Easton, near Colonel thanks to your paper, and such as yours, no one Shepherd Lench's Iron Foundry, where they apwill ask, of what use is the fitting up of retreats peared in the above years. for poets or moon-struck gazers at bewitching The fact that these locusts appear in one part nature, to the hardy tillers of a soil which yields and another of the country, in years differing a meagre return, when it receives every moment from the above dates, is no argument that they of time and every effort of skill? Objections of do appear oftener than seventeen years in those this kind do not now require to be answered, if various places, as all accounts agree that they apever made, and attention is directed, by all pear every seventeen years in those various places. classes, to that which beautifies and adorns, as it is my impression that this subject has received well as to that which plucks from nature the ample investigation by a person qualified for the means of subsistence.
task, and who, on the eve of publishing a book Yours truly,
OLIVER N.' Bacon. upon the subject, solicited information from all Natick, July 7, 1855.
parts of the country on the subject. I have not
seen the book, and have forgot the name of the For the New England Farmer.
author or his place of residence, but am inclined
to think that he lived in Philadelphia. Can you "SEVENTEEN YEAR LOCUSTS." inform me about such a book? MR. EDITOR :- In the Providence Journal, of the
Most respectfully yours,
ISAAC STEARNS. fore part of last month, is an article with the above Mansfield, Mass., July 4. caption, in which the writer doubts that there
P.S.-Since writing the above, I have looked are any “seventeen year locusts.' The Journal into the Treatise on Insects,” by T. W. HARRIS, says: "The lovers of the marvellous may not M.D., published in 1842, by order of the Legisthank us for destroying a venerable illusion, but lature of Massachusetts, and there, on page 178, truth compels us to state that, according to the find his description of this seventeen year locust, best etymological authority, no such peculiar in- Cicada Septemdecim, to which the reader is resect as the seventeen year locust” exists. Lo- ferred. They were first described as appearing custs are found in more or less abundance every in Plymouth, in 1633. The tenth time of their year, in different parts of the country; but the appearing from that date, would bring it down idea that there is a variety or species, which ap- to the year 1803 ; but it appears that Mr. Harpear at regular intervals of seventeen years, is ris, in his book above alluded to, states that they unsustained by facts.”.
appeared in Plymouth, Sandwich and Falmouth, Now, Mr. Editor, will you allow me to state in the year 1804, instead of 1803, if the exact pewhat "facts” in the case I happen to possess. I riod of seventeen years was allotted them. Mr. was born on the 18th of January, 1790, and in Harris says: “Circumstances may occasionally 1802 there appeared, in a certain wood-lot, about retard or accelerate their progress to maturity ; a mile and a half from where I then lived, and but the usual interval is certainly seventeen do now, what were called the seventeen year lo
years, according to the observations and testicusts. I heard it talked about, a year or two mony of many persons of undoubted veracity.” before they appeared, that the year 1802 was to On page 181 of Mr. Harris' Treatise, it apbe the locust year. . Well, June came, and also, pears that they appeared in Sandwich in 1787, about the tenth of the month, the looked-for lo- 1804, 1821, and, therefore, this present year, custs, in great numbers. In the midst of their 1855, is locust year there. Have you, Mr. Edigreatest display and profusion, we could plainly tor, some correspondent in Sandwich who will hear them sing, in a calm forenoon, although a give an account
of this matter? Also, whether mile and a half distant, in a straight line. I they did not appear in the year 1838 ?
1. 8. recollect going to see them, accompanied by my father, and carrying a basket and bringing home REMARKS.—We have no knowledge of a work some two quarts of them; most of them we let go into the woods, near my father's house, and,
being in preparation on the subject discussed in just seventeen years after, some few appeared above. Will some of our Sandwich friends gratin the said woods where we had let them go, none ify us by giving a little attention to this article ? having been seen or heard there before, as I was informed.
If all the nourishment for plants came from In the woods first alluded to, where they ap- the soil, the soil of newly cleared land would be peared in 1802, they also appeared in 1819, just no more fertile than old land—but drawing much seventeen years after, but not quite so numerous of their nourishment from the atmosphere, and as they were in the former year. They were, decomposition taking place on the soil, the plant however, pretty numerous, and we could hear not only returns all it gets from the soil, but also them sing the like distance that we did before. the fertilizing ammonia and carbon it receives There were a very few the year before and the from the atmosphere.
THE CAT BIRD.
er, builds his nest, and takes a taste of the early It is altogether too common among our people and inviting, though forbidden cherries." to complain of the hardness and poverty of the Seeing this beautiful and familiar bird, and soil, of the rigor of the climate, shortness of the speaking of singing birds, leads us very naturally spring and east winds. Another class, who are to another of our accomplished singers, the livetarry-at-home travellers, and who sit slippered ly and imitative Cat Bird, second only to the and oushioned in easy chairs, and read of Italian Mocking Bird himself. For the benefit of the skies and tropical birds, declare that no brilliant grumblers, those to whom all is barren and unsunsets adorn our western skies, and that we have lovely in our climate and skies, forests and fields, no birds of beautiful plumage or of exquisite we give Wilson's graphic and just account of the song. The Bob-o-link is but a vulgar grub-catch- Cat Bird. The engraving is a capital illustraer, and the Baltimore Oriole, or Golden Robin, tion. but an arrant cherry-stealer, and fit only to be
This quaint and familiar songster passes the shot by roving boys.
winter in the Southern extremities of the United These remarks were suggested by observing a States and along the coast of Mexico, from rare bird upon one of our cherry trees on the whence, as early as February, they arrive in morning of the eighth of July. He was nearly Georgia. About the middle of April they are just
seen in Pennsylvania, and at length leisurely approach this part of New England, by the close of the first or beginning of the second week in May.
The Cat Bird often tunes his cheerful song before the break of day, hopping from bush to bush, with great agility, after his insect prey, while yet scarcely distinguishable amidst the dusky shadows of the dawn. The notes of different individuals vary considerably, so that sometimes bis song, in sweetness and compass, is scarcely at all inferior to that of the Ferruginous Thrush. A quaintness, however, prevails in all his efforts, and his song is frequently made up of short and blended imitations of other birds, given, however, with great emphasis, melody, and variety of tone; and like the Nightingale,
invading the hours of repose in the the size of the Golden Robin, bill robust, like the late twilight of a summer's evening. Buntings or Grosbeaks, wings jet black, and the
When scarce another note is heard, but the breast and back a rich carmine. The color of the hum of the drowsy beetle, his music attains its bill and shape of the tail we could not see suffi- full effect, and often rises and falls with all the ciently to describe.
swell and studied cadence of finished harmony. On reference to Wilson's Ornithology, we are During the heat of the day, or late in the mornconvinced that this beautiful bird is the Scarlet ing, the variety of the song declines, or he purTanager, and the first we have ever seen, though sues his employment in silence and retirement. we are told by the neighbors that he is occasion- One of the most remarkable propensities of the ally seen in the woods in this vicinity. Wilson Cat Bird, and to which it owes its name, is the unsays, “With the shy, unsocial, and suspicious hab- pleasant, loud, and grating cat-like mew, which it its of his gaudy fraternity, he takes up his abode often utters, on being approached or offended. As in the deepest recess of the forest, where timidly the irritation increases, this note becomes more flitting from observation, he darts from tree to tree hoarse, reiterated and vebement; and sometimes like a flashing meteor. A gaudy sylph, conscious of this petulance and anger are carried so far, as to his brilliancy and the exposure to which it sub-persecute every intruder who approaches the jects him, he seems to avoid remark, and is only premises. solicitous to be with his humble mate, and hid This common and abundant species begins to from all besides. He therefore rarely approaches construct its nest some time in the month of May. the babitations of men, unless, perhaps, the The situation in which he delights to dwell, is skirts of the orchard, where he sometimes, howev-lcommonly a dark thicket in the woods, or close
bush in some recluse part of the garden, at the
THE GOOSE. distance of five to ten feet from the ground, ac
The goose, with the duck and swan, form a cording to the convenience of the situation. The distinct family of the feathered aquatic tribes, materials are coarse but substantial; the exter
(Anatidæ,) and is distinguished by web feet and nal part is commonly made of small interlaced
a flat bill. The domestic goose is derived from twigs, old grass, and dry leaves; to these succeed the native wild goose, which still frequents in thin strips of bark often of the red cedar, some- vast numbers the more solitary inland lakes and what agglutinated. The inside is lined and bed- streams of the American continent, and which is ded with black root-fibres of ferns ; other acciden- known to ornithologists and naturalists by the tal materials sometimes make a fantastic part of
appellation of the fen or stubble goose. In its the fabric. One has been known to carry away an state of domestication it still retains its aquatic edging of lace which was missed, and at length character and habits, plunging eagerly into waagain recovered after the rearing of the brood, ter, and, when permitted, living mostly on its whose dainty bed it assisted to form. I have fre- surface. In favorable localities, where there are quently found in the external coat of the nest the marshes or fens abounding in pools, the rearing cast-off skins of snakes, more rarely bits of news- of geese is very profitable, as they will in such papers,wood shavings, strings and bass mat strips. situations obtain their own living. The eggs are four or five,of a bright and deep emerald green, and without spots. The food of the Cat diseases, and lives to a great age. It has been
The goose is remarkably hardy, subject to few Bird is insects and worms, particularly beetles, ascertained that the female goose, if well tended, and various garden fruits ; feeding its young often will generally lay from seventy-five to one hundred on cherries and various kinds of berries. Some
eggs yearly, sometimes one hundred and twentytimes they are observed to attack snakes when five ; but this depends very much upon the care they approach the vicinity of their brood, and
and attention bestowed upon them. These eggs, commonly succeed in driving off the enemy; if set under hens of large size, capable of covering when bitten, however, by the poisonous kinds, it five or six eggs each, nearly the whole number, may, it is probable as related, that they may act in with the assistance of the goose, be hatched. The such a manner as to appear laboring under the best feed for goslings during the four or five days influence of fascination.
immediately after hatching, is barley or oat meal
mixed with milk. Water and a very little sweetTOADS.
ening, may be used as a substitute, when milk canA correspondent of the Cambridge Chronicle not be obtained, or when from its scarcity it is too puts in a plea for toads, and justifies his partiality expensive. In about one week after their enlargeby the following, which we extract from his com- ment from the eggs they will commence growing ; munication :
they should then be permitted to go out, but not “We have in our garden a small nursery of till the day has become somewhat advanced, and plum trees, which have been nearly destroyed by should be taken up before sunset. In fattening the canker worms. Last season we commenced shaking them off. One day we observed many geese, Indian corn meal, and chopped vegetables, toads about these trees, thať on our approach be- such as potatoes, beets, (boiled) cabbages and came frightened and retreated in great baste to turnips, are generally given. Charcoal, in a pultheir retreats in the neighboring bushes. Soon verized state, is also excellent for fattening, and, finding that they were not pursued, they commenced hopping back, and caught with avidity in some instances, these fowls have been fed exeach canker worm, as it descended on its tiny clusively with it for weeks, and are said to have thread. We counted at one time thirty immedi- taken on fat more rapidly than when fed on any ately round our feet. Day after day we fed them other description of food. Its value for this purwith their favorite food, and they became so tame as to follow us, watch our hand, and take the pose was first discovered accidentally; a family worm from our fingers.”
in New York, having left the city on a protractThis is new to us, though it may not be to ed absence of several weeks, without thinking of many of our readers; but whatever taste the toad several geese which had been incarcerated for may have for canker worms, we are quite sure some purpose in a loft where there was nothing that it does a world of good in a garden, by des- eatable but a quantity of charcoal. On returntroying earth worms, of which it eats large numbers. We once tried to surfeit a toad with earth ing, they were disappointed in finding their worms, but our patience was appeased, and we aquatic friends of the loft in most admirable have always held that to destroy one of those dis- health and condition, and the charcoal nearly gusting looking reptiles was doing one's grounds exhausted. They had partaken of nothing else å deal of injury. There is no charge brought during the long period of their confinement, and against the toad but its disagreeable appearance, and it might well quote the old saw to those who the fact being circulated and published in the despise it without seeking to learn its real value journals of the day, gave rise to the practice of -looks are nothing, behavior is all.
Isupplying these fowls with the article while un