Observation shows that plants have hours devoted to rest, during which time
they make little or no progress in growth. A curious proof of this statement
was offered by an account of the experiments of a gentleman, who had an
artificial illumination kept up in his graperies throughout the night; and
where this was done, the grapes ripened sooner by several weeks; but
subsequent accounts informed us that the vines thus stimulated were much
weakened. Some plants, like certain animals, have been ordained for night;
and these, accordingly, are active only during those hours; the
night-blowing cereus is an example of this sort. Others that flourish and
increase during the day, close their flowers, and frequently their leaves,
remaining inactive throughout the night. -- Magazine of Science.



Milk forms the principal diet of this arcadian race; and they deride the
dwellers in cities for eating birds or fowls, declaring that their flesh
must have travelled upon four legs during life, to be at all palatable. An
ancient camel, a buck goat, or a bull calf, is occasionally slaughtered with
a Bismillah, and the flesh not immediately consumed cut into long thin
collops and dried in the sun, to be stuffed again into the skin for future
use. Meat is broiled among the embers on closely packed pebbles, which
prevents its coming into contact with the ashes; and the master of the
house, taking his seat upon the ground beside a lump of raw liver, places a
wedge-shaped stone under either heel, in order to impart a slight
inclination to the body, and thus preserve the balance without personal
exertion. Picking the bones one by one out of the fire, he seizes alternate
mouthfuls of the grilled and the raw flesh, between the teeth, and with an
upward motion of the creese, divide them close to his nose. -- Major
HARRIS's Highlands of Æthiopia.



I recently discovered a spider, whose proceedings have not, as far as I am
aware been noticed by naturalists. At night I have observed the insect
crawling over the ceiling of a room in search of flies, which it eats as it
catches them, and appears, unlike most spiders, to have no place of retreat.
In the day-time this spider appears motionless at some spot on the ceiling,
but it remains in the centre of three fine threads which it has thrown out,
one end of which has its termination where the spider is resting. On
touching one of these threads ever so slightly, the spider instantly
disappears. I at first thought that it had suddenly let itself fall to the
ground, but after a short time I saw it in its original position. On
disturbing it a second time, I was enabled to ascertain that by means of its
two fore-feet, which alone suspended it from one of the threads, the insect
spun itself round with so much rapidity as to become perfectly invisible.
This lasted for about half a minute, when I again saw the spider hanging on
the thread by its two feet. I could not but wonder how this rotatory motion
was produced, and continued so rapidly each time I touched one of the
threads. After doing so several times, the spider appeared to get weary, and
retreated across the ceiling to some distance. The body of the insect was
small and round, with rather longer legs than those we commonly find in
houses. I have only discovered it in two localities - Hampton Court and East
Moulsey; in both of which places I have shown its spinning faculty to
several persons. There can, I think, be no doubt, that this power of
producing instantaneous concealment must be the means of preserving the
spider from becoming a prey to its many enemies, especially as it has no
place to which it can retreat as most other spiders have. It has also
another peculiarity, which is, that although I have frequently touched, and
otherwise molested it, I never could induce it to do what all of its kind
will do under similar circumstances - let itself fall to the ground, and
then endeavour to escape. It seems to be fully aware that its safety depends
on the few fine threads it throws out, and which it evidently left with
reluctance. -- Jesse's Country Life.