« ZurückWeiter »
ble distance from the parent grove, and attribute their presence to the action of high winds that had blown the nuts to that distance.
In many sections, this squirrel is destructive in the fields of Indian corn, especially when such fields are'situated near its haunts; but, generally speaking, we have no hesitation in saying that it is far more valuable on the farm than noxious.
The Little Red SQumnEh(S/riurus Hudsonius), Pallas. —This is another of our little quadrupeds that is distributed almost entirely throughout our continent. Like the gray squirrel, it makes its home in the woods; and is, in some localities, very abundant. In the pine and hemlock forests of the Northern States, it is the most common of all the mammals; every little grove of these trees having one or more families. It feeds largely on various nuts and seeds; and in localities where the various pines abound, together with the oaks and chestnuts, it is especially valuable in securing a continuance of the latter, and even an introduction of them into the forests of pines and hemlocks. For, preferring the dark shades of these evergreens for its home, it naturally eats its food in them: and all who have paid much attention to the different phenomena of Nature have doubtless noticed, that, when a patch of pine-woods is cut off, a growth of oak, hickory, and chestnut, almost invariably springs up; that is, if such trees are growing anywhere within the distance of half a mile from them. This new growth is almost always to be attributed to the little red squirrel, who had buried the nuts from which it grew for its winter food.
In sections where nothing but the various pines are growing, their seeds furnish the principal food of this animal; and I have often found, in my wanderings in the North, large piles of the coverings of these seeds at some favorite feeding-log of this little animalIt is not in planting nuts that this squirrel is valuable alone; for, as it is not afraid to approach the gardens and orchards of its human neighbors, the choice apples and pears and cherries which it seizes and carries off to its forest-home, to be eaten in leisure there, often produce, from the seeds the little robber drops, a fine new variety or seedling that is oftentimes fully worth propagating. We have often found, in our woods, trees that had been planted by these squirrels, that were bearing fruit as choice as that growing on trees in the carefully-tended garden and orchard from which they originally came.
Unfortunately for it, the taste of the red squirrel for ripe fruits is well known; and, in the neighborhood of orchards, its services in the forest are often forgotten : but, in more retired localities, it is usually spared by the farmer, who regards it as a funny, jovial fellow, full of good nature and pleasant companionship.
The Little Striped Squirrel (Tamias striates), Linnaeus. — This is probably one of the best known and least popular of all our squirrels, and in most localities is really a nuisance. It prefers an open to a wooded country, and usually takes up its home in or beneath a stone wall, or pile of rocks in a field or pasture.
Early in the spring, as soon as the rays of the sun have penetrated to its subterranean home, it makes its appearance; and, as soon as the first corn is planted, it begins its depredations. It follows the rows of newlysprouted seed, and, digging with wonderful sagacity into each hill, finds the grains, and, cutting out and eating the germs, leaves the remainder on the earth, to become food for crows or other birds.
Later, when the strawberries and other small fruits are ripened, it takes no small share of these delicacies; and, when the grains are fit for harvesting, the amount this little thief carries off is sometimes astonishing. In addition to these articles of diet, the chipmonk, as it is often called, secures great quantities of nuts; and lazy people often watch the little gatherer,
and follow it to its home, where, digging into it with shovel and pick, the stores that had been laid up for future needs are discovered.
In the winter, unlike the other species, this squirrel partially hibernates; sleeping most of the time in its burrow until warm weather comes. It would be unbearably abundant in cultivated districts, for it is very prolific, did it not have enemies in all the birds arid beasts of prey and the various snakes. Its pretty form, cheerful, active habits, and confiding disposition, insure its protection, or rather secure for it a sort of tolerance, in some localities; while in most others it is regarded as a nuisance, and is destroyed at every opportunity.
The Flying-squirrel (Ptervmys vatot/la), Pallas.—This pretty and interesting little animal is not of sufficient importance to the rural economist to deserve more than a passing notice here. It feeds principally upon
various seeds and nuts; but usually, instead of planting them in the ground like the two preceding species, makes deposits or stores in hollow logs and trees. It is nocturnal in its habits, and is rarely found away from its home in the woods. Edward A. Samuels.
THE CHEROKEE ROSE.
No engraving can do justice to this rose. Its great beauty consists in the pure white of its broad petals, contrasted with the rich, shining green
of its foliage. Among single roses, it certainly has no peer. Unfortunately, it is too tender to bear a Northern winter; but in the South it makes a most luxuriant growth, and is often used for hedges. These, when in full bloom,