Natural History, Climate, & Meteorology
( Originally Published 1878 )
THE winters of Newfoundland are not by many degrees so cold as in the neighbouring Provinces, or the Northern States, nor is the climate so changeable. In Massachusetts the temperature sometimes changes 44 degrees in twenty-four hours, while in Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia the thermometer sometimes falls from to 30 and 40 degrees below zero. In Newfoundland the instances are few of the temperature changing 20 degrees in a day. January and February are the coldest months of the year, when the thermometer sometimes sinks below zero, but at the coldest times not more than ten degrees below, and then only for a few hours. It is an admitted fact that the climate of Newfoundland has gradually undergone a change within the last forty years, and is now much warmer than formerly. This change may in part be attributed to the great improvement in agriculture, the draining of marshes, the clearing of forests, and, perhaps, the more northerly direction of the Gulf Stream. Most writers affirm that the northern parts of Europe have become much warmer than they were a few centuries ago. St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland, is in 47' 31 north latitude; London, England, 51 30' ; Dublin, 53" 20', and Edinburgh, 330 53'. Thus, St. John's is nearer the equator than any of the above named places, and yet, instead of being warmer, it is much colder than Great Britain. One of the coldest winters ever experienced in Newfoundland, was in 1818, when it is said the thermometer frequently sank front 18 to 22 degrees below zero. The following reports of the state of the weather were communicated to the Yarmouth Herald by electric telegraph, in February, 1858
" February 16th, 9 A.M. Halifax, N. S.--Wind' N. W., thermometer 12°.
Port Hood, N.S.—Wind N.W., thermometer 6°.
Port au Basque, N.F.—Wind W., cloudy, thermometer 26°. St. John's, N.F.—Wind W., cold and calm, thermometer 28°. St. John, N.B.—Wind N.W., clear, thermometer 9°. Yarmouth, N.S.—Wind W.N.W., thermometer 16°, overcast.
February 17th, 9 A.M. Halifax, N.S.—Wind N.W.N., thermometer 12°.
Calais, Maine.—Wind N.W., thermometer zero.
St. John, N.B.—Wind N.W., clear, thermometer zero at 7 A.M.
St. John's, N.F.—Wind S. W., cloudy, thermometer 31°. Port au Basque.—Wind W., overcast, thermometer 29°. Yarmouth, N.S.—Wind N.W., thermometer 8°.
Sackville, N.B.—Wind N.W, thermometer zero.
St. John's, N.F.—Wind W., clear.
Yarmouth, N.S.—Wind N.W., light snow.
The following was the state of the weather at Amherst (which is at the head of the Bay of Fundy, on the borders of New Brunswick) on the 30th December, 1859:
" These readings are from a self-registering spirit thermometer in a sheltered position."
The following are the meteorological observations in Canada during 1875
" This is a goodly blue book of upwards of 500 pages, showing the readings of the barometer, the temperature, velocity of the wind, rainfall, &c., as taken at the various meteorological stations in the Dominion of Canada during 1875.
There are many very interesting facts mentioned. The lowest temperature marked at any of the stations of observation in Canada during 1875 was at York Factory, where in January the thermometer stood once at — 19.5. It must be cold enough at that station in all conscience. In November, December, January and February, the thermometer stood there at 40 degrees below zero, and under. Not by any means that the cold was anything like that regularly during these months, but that it was so once or oftener during each. The highest temperature at that station in January was — 4, and in February -1. In November and December the highest temperatures were, respectively, 35.5 and 22.
" It is to be noted, to shew how severe the month of January, 1875, was, that there was only one station in Canada where the thermometer did not sink below zero. That was Esquimalt, in British Columbia. The variations at different stations are so strange as to be scarcely explicable. Thus, in the month to which we refer, the lowest in Cornwall, Ont., was 28-8 ; while in Kincardine it was only -1.5 ; in Toronto, — 8.8 ; in Hamilton, — 4.5 ; and in Woodstock, -16.5 ; while in Quebec Citadel it was -185 ; and in Fitzroy harbour, — 27. In Newfoundland, the lowest during that terrible month was — 3 ; and in Manitoba, — 41.3. What was true of January was equally so of February. With the exception of Esquimault, the thermometer went below zero at every station in Canada, so much so as to show that February was a much colder month than any of that year. At Fitzroy Harbour, the thermometer in this month was as low as — 42 ; Toronto, — 16 ; Parry Sound, -- 36.3 ; Stratford, — 23 ; and Woodstock, -25. In the Province of Quebec, the lowest was — 33 ; in Nova Scotia, — 29 ; in New Brunswick, — 27'8 ; Prince Edward Island, — 17 ; Newfoundland — 21 ; Manitoba, 5'5 ; British Columbia, — 4 ; and Northwest Territory, — 41.
" The highest temperature reached in Ontario during the year in question was in Hamilton, in June, when it was as high as 94.8, though Peterborough was very nearly as high—viz., 94.3 in September.
" In Quebec, the highest was 91 ; Nova Scotia, 85 ; New Brunswick, 86.3 ; Prince Edward, 85 ; Newfoundland, 83.5 ; Manitoba, 94.3 ; British Columbia, 98 ; and North-west Territory, 92.
" In Toronto, the mean temperature for the year was 40.8 ; Hamilton, 44.1, etc. It is curious to notice that over the whole of Ontario the mean temperature did not vary above ten degrees, the highest being at Windsor, 44.9, and the lowest at Seeley, 34.9. The same is true of all Canada.
" In Ontario, there was a mean of 84.9 days of rainfall ; in Quebec, 86.8 ; in New Brunswick, 87.1 ; in Nova Scotia, 91.8 ; in Prince Edward Island, 115.5 ; in Newfoundland, 89.7 ; in Manitoba, 56.4 ; in British Columbia, 92."-Globe, September 7, 1876.
It is very probable that the chilling effects of the ice on vegetation would be felt much more, were it not for the warm current from the Gulf of Mexico, which passes along towards the Grand Bank. In Newfoundland, the coldest wind in winter is from the North-west, from which quart( r in fact the wind generally prevails for about nine months of the year. In spring easterly winds prevail, and in winter and summer, North-easterly winds are cold. South, and south-easterly winds in winter are generally accompanied with snow or sleet, and sometimes rain, and in summer rain or fog. July and August are the hottest months in the year, when the thermometer is said to have attained 90 degrees in the shade, but this rarely occurs. The usual temperature of those months is from 65 to 79 degrees. The following are the averages of the thermometer and barometer for a number of years in Newfoundland, compared with England.
In Newfoundland the sea-fog prevails only on the eastern and southern shores, and then only during the summer months. I do not remember to have seen more than two or three foggy days in a year in Conception Bay, and none on the south shore of Bonavista Bay. In Trinity Bay, however, it obtains with south winds, where it is brought over the narrow neck of land, which separates that Bay from Placentia Bay. The fog along the coast from St. John's to Cape race, hardly ever approaches nearer than within one or two miles of the shore. I saw more dense fog during the fortnight T spent in St. John, New-Brunswick, than I saw in St. John's, Newfoundland for years, and I have seen much more fog in Halifax and Bos-ton than I ever saw on the eastern coast of Newfoundland. Many persons suppose that a severe winter necessarily produces a greater quantity of fog the succeeding summer, and that the more ice is produced—the more fog.
"T he production of fog entirely depends on the difference of temperature. There is abundance of fog where no ice is found at all. Along the coast of Peru, the atmosphere scarcely ever posties8e5 sufficient moisture to produce rain ; it contains, how-ever, enough to create widely extended and continued fogs. The wintry season, in that country, lasts from April to October, and throughout the whole of this period, a veil of mist shrewds sea and shore. During the months of August and September, the vapour is extremely dense, and rests for weeks immovably upon the earth. The fogs are said to he at times so heavy, that the moisture falls to the earth in large drops, which are formed by the union of small globules of mist. England sur-rounded by a warm sea, is subject to thick fogs, that prevail extensively in the u inter. The London fog is so extremely dense that it is necessary to light the gas in the streets and houses in the middle of the day.
" Fogs originate in the same causes as rain, viz.: The union of a cool body of air with one that is warm and humid ; when the precipitation of moisture is slight, fogs are produced ; when it is copious, rains are the result. When a mist is closely examined it is found to consist of minute globules, and the investigations of Saussure and Kratzenstein, lead us to suppose, that they are hollow, for the latter philosopher discovered upon them rings of prismatic colours, like those upon soap bubbles, and these could not exist if the globule was a drop of water, with no air or gas within. The size of these globules is greater when the atmosphere is very humid, and least when it is dry.
" When Sir Humphrey Davy descended the Danube in 1818, he observed that mist was regularly formed, when the temperature of the air on shore was from three to six degrees lower than that of the stream. This is the case on the Mississippi. During the spring and 'fall mists form over the river in the day time, when the temperature of the water is several degrees below that of the air above, and the air above cooler than the atmosphere upon the banks. A. similar state of the atmosphere occurs over shoals, inasmuch as their waters are colder than those of the main ocean. Thus, Humboldt found near Corunna, that while the temperature of the water on the shoals was 54° Fah., that of the deep sea was as high as 59° Fah. Under these circumstances, an intermixture of the adjacent volumes of air resting upon the waters thus differing in temperature, will naturally occasion fogs.
" What are called the Banks of Newfoundland are situated from one hundred to two hundred miles eastward of the shores of Newfoundland. Mists of great extent shroud the sea on these Banks, and particularly near the current of the Gulf Stream. The difference in the warmth of the waters of the Stream, the Ocean and the Banks, fully explains the phenomenon. This current, flowing from the equatorial regions, possesses a temperature 5 1/2° Fah. above that of the adjacent ocean, and the waters of the latter are from 16° to 18° warmer than those of the Banks. The difference in temperature between the waters of the Stream and Banks, has even risen as high as thirty degrees.
At the beginning of winter, the whole surface of the Northern Ocean steams with vapour, denominated frost smoke, but as the season advances and the cold increases, it disappears. Towards the end of June, when the summer commences, the fogs are again seen, mantling the land and sea with their heavy folds. The phenomena of the polar fogs are explained in the following manner. During the short Arctic summer, the earth rises in temperature with much greater rapidity than the sea, the thermometer sometimes standing, according to Simpson, at 71° Fah. in the shade, while ice of immense thickness lines the shore. The air, incumbent upon the land and water, partakes of their respective temperatures, and on account of the ceaseless agitations of the atmosphere, a union of the warm air of the ground with the cool air of the ocean will necessarily occur, giving use to the summer fogs."
White, in his " Natural History of Selborne," says :-
" Places near the sea have frequent scuds, that keep the atmosphere moist, yet do not reach far up in the country, making the maritime situations appear wet when the rain is not considerable. Dr. Huxham remarks that frequent small rains keep the air moist, while heavy ones render it more dry by beating down the vapours. He is also of opinion that the dingy, smoky appearance in the sky in very dry seasons arises from the want of moisture sufficient to let the light through and render the atmosphere transparent, because he had observed several bodies more diaphanous when wet than dry, and did not recollect that the air had that look in rainy seasons. The reason of these partial frosts is obvious, for there are at such times partial fogs about; where the fog obtains, little or no frost appears, but where the air is clear there it freezes hard. So the frost takes place, either on hill or in dale, wherever the air happens to be clearest, and freest from vapour. Fogs happen everywhere, caused by the upper regions of the atmosphere being colder than the lower, By which the ascent of aqueous vapour is checked and kept arrested near the surface of the earth."
Bishop Mullock says :-
By the table furnished me by Mr. Delaney, I find the highest temperature 90° on the 3rd July ; 8° on the 3rd March, and the mean temperature of the year 1859 44°; mean max. pres. of barometer, 29.74 inch ; rain 63.920 for the year ; max. quan. in 24 hours, 2.098 inch ; wind N. N. W. and W.N.W., 200 days ; N.E. 25 days ; W. and W.S.W. 38 days ; S.S.W. and S.E. 102 (lays; rain fell on 110 days ; snow 54 days ; thunder and lightning 5 days. We have all the advantages of au insular climate, a mild temperature with its disadvantage, uncertain weather. I may remark likewise what Abbe Raynal recorded already, that the climate of Nest found land is considered the most invigorating and salubrious in the world, and that we have no indigenous disease."
Again the Bishop says :
" What an awful climate, they will say, you have in Newfoundland ; how can you live there without the sun in a continual fog ? Have you been there, you ask them ? No ! they say ; but we have crossed the Banks of Newfoundland. How surprised they are then when you tell them that for ten months at least in the year, all the fog and damp of the Banks goes over to their side and descends in rain there with the south-westerly winds, while we never have the benefit of it unless when what we call the out winds blow. In fact, the geography of America is very little known, even by intelligent writers, at home, and the mistakes made in our leading periodicals are frequently very amusing. I received a letter from a most intelligent friend of mine some time since, in which he speaks of the hyperborean region of Newfoundland ; in my reply, I dated my letter from St. John's, N. lat. 47° 30', and I directed it to Mr. So and So, N. lat. 52°."
Thunder storms sometimes occur in the northern parts of Newfoundland, but are hardly ever known in the southern and eastern parts, unless, perhaps, once or twice in four or five years. I have never seen forked lightning in Newfoundland, and I never heard of any one being killed by lightning in the country. Newfoundland is admitted by all who have ever resided there to be the healthiest country in the world. Not a fever of any kind is generated in the country, and that fatal disease, consumption, so common on the American Continent, is hardly known there.
From the foregoing, the reader will perceive that the climate of Newfoundland has been misrepresented by almost every writer.
The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are almost constantly to be seen in the evenings, and loaming, which is of the saine nature as the mirage, is very frequent.
Admiral Sir John Ross read to the British Association the following paper " On the Aurora Borealis : "
" The communication I had the honour of making to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, at Belfast, on the interesting subject of the aurora borealis, was verbal ; and, therefore, not entitled to a notice in the Association's valuable Transactions of that period ; but, having subsequently repeated the experiments I then verbally mentioned, I can now confidently lay the account of them before the public, trusting that, when taken into consideration, they will be found corroborative of the theory which I published in the year 1819, and which led to a controversy that shall be hereafter mentioned. It having occurred to me that, if my theory was true, namely, ' that the phenomena of the aurora borealis was occasioned by the action of the sun, when below the pole, on the surrounding masses of coloured ice, by its rays being reflected from the points of incidence to clouds above the pole which were before invisible,' the phenomena might be artifically produced ; to accomplish this, I placed a powerful lamp to represent the sun, having a lens, at the focal distance of which I placed a rectified terrestrial globe, on which bruised glass, of the various colours we have seen in Baffin's Bay, was placed, to represent the coloured icebergs we had seen in that locality, while the space between Greenland and Spitzbergen was left blank, to represent the sea. To represent the clouds above the pole, which were to receive the refracted rays, I applied a hot iron to a sponge ; and, by giving the globe a regular diurnal motion, I produced the phenomena vulgarly called 'The Merry Dancers,' and every other appearance, exactly as seen in the natural sky, while it disappeared as the globe turned, as being the part representing the sea to the points of incidence. In corroboration of my theory, 1 have to remark that, during my last voyage to the Arctic Regions (1650-1), we never, among the numerous icebergs, saw any that were coloured, but all were a yellowish white ; and, during th following winter, the aurora v as exactly the same colour: and, when that part of the globe was covered with bruised glass of that colour, the phenomena produced in my experiment were the same, as was also the aurora australis in the antarctic regions, where no coloured icebergs were ever seen. The controversy to which I have alluded was between the celebrated Professor Schumacher, of Altona, who supported my theory, and the no less distinguished M. Arago, who, having opposed it, sent M. G. Martens and another to Hammerfest on purpose to observe the aurora, and decide the question. I saw them at Stockholm on their return, when they told me their observations tended to confirm my theory ; but their re-port being unfavourable to the expectations of M. Arago, it was never published ; neither was the correspondence between the two Professors, owing to the lamented death of Professor Schumacher. I regret that it is out of my power to exhibit the experiments I have deseribed, owing to the peculiar manner in which the room must be darkened, even if I had the necessary apparatus with me ; but it is an experiment so simple that it can easily be accomplished by any person interested in the beautiful phenomena of the aurora borealis."
One of the most beautiful appearances of nature is what is called in Newfoundland, the " Silver Thaw," which is also frequent in America. It is produced by a shower of rain falling during a frost, and freezing the instant it reaches the earth, or comes in contact with any object. A most magnificent scene is thus produced, every object is clad in a silver robe, every twig and tree is bedecked with glittering pearls, and the whole surface of the snow becomes a beautiful mirror. But this crystal sheen is short-lived; a sudden breeze of wind ends its reign ; great damage is done to the trees by the weight of ice encrusting them, Meteors or meteoric stones, of a most extraordinary size have been seen falling from the atmosphere into the sea on the coast of Newfoundland.* The sparkling or phosphorescence of the waters is sometimes remarkably beautiful in some of the deep Bays of Newfoundland.T Newfoundland is behind the age in not having a Meteorological Society. Such societies are now established throughout Great Britain and Ireland, the other British Provinces and the United States. The Board of Trade Meteorological Department was presided over by Admiral Fitzroy, and so perfect were the observations for detecting the approach of storms, that information was sent daily by telegraph to the principal towns, as to the probable weather for the next twenty-four hours. Out of nine warnings in 1861, only one was wrong, and that only in the direction in which the storm came. These warnings have prevented a number of shipwrecks, and are consequently of great commercial value to a maritime people. Observatories ought to be established at different points of Newfoundland, aided by the Government.
In the London, Quarterly is an article on Humboldt's Kosn os, which contains several interesting scientific speculations. The following is a description of the wonders of the atmosphere:
" The atmosphere rises above us with its cathedral dome arching toward the heavens, of which it is the most familiar synonym and symbol. It floats around us like that grand object which the apostle John saw in his vision, ' a sea of glass like unto crystal.' So massive is it that when it begins to stir it tosses about great ships like playthings, and sweeps cities and forests like snow-flakes to destruction before it ; and yet it is so mobile that we have lived years in it before we can be persuaded that it exists at all, and the great hulk of mankind never realize the truth that they are bathed in an ocean of air. Its weight is so enormous that iron shivers before it like glass ; yet a soap ball sails through it with impunity, and the thinnest insect waves it aside with its wings. It ministers lavishly to all the senses. We touch it not, but it touches us. Its warm south winds bring back colour to the pale face of the invalid ; its cool west wind refresh the fevered brow, and make the blood mantle in our cheeks ; even its north blast braces into new vigour, and hardens the children of our rugged climate. The eye is indebted to it for all the magnificence of sunrise, the full brightness of midday, the chastened radiance of the gloaming, and the clouds that cradle near the setting sun. But for it the rainbow would want its ' triumphant arch,' and the winds would not send their fleecy messengers on errands round the heavens ; the cold ether would not shed snow feathers on the earth, nor would drops of dew gather on the flowers ; the kindly rain would never fall, nor hail storms nor fog diversify the face of the sky. Our naked globe would turn its tanned and unshadowed forehead to the sun, and one dreary, monotonous blaze of light and heat, dazzle and burn up all things. Were there no atmosphere, the evening sun would in a moment set, and without warning plunge the earth in darkness. But the air keeps in her hand a sheath of his rays, and lets them slip but slowly through her fingers, so that the shadows of evening are gathered by degrees, and the flowers have time to bow their heads, and each creature space to find a place of rest and to nestle to repose. In the morning the garish sun would at once bound forth from the bosom of night, and blaze above the horison ; but the air watches for his coming, and sends at first but one little ray to announce his approach, and then another, and by and by a handful, and so gently draws aside the curtain of night, and slowly lets the light fall on the face of the sleeping earth, till her eyelids open, and, like man, she goeth forth again to her labour till the evening."
GEOLOGY AND MINERALOGY.
Every stone has a history. What says the author of the " Contemplation of Nature ? " " There is no picking up a pebble by the brook-side without finding all nature in connection with it." Hear, too, Lavater about a less object than a stone : " Every grain of sand is an immensity ; " and Shakespeare talks of " sermons in stones." The study of geology opens to us a page of one of God's books the book of nature, and teaches us to believe that He who has wrought so many wonders in our globe, to fit it for man's habitation, will never cease to watch over man's happiness—" will withhold no good thing from him that walks uprightly : "
Men's books with heaps of chaff are stored ; God's book doth golden grains afford ; Then leave the chaff, and spend thy pains In gathering up the golden grains."
The general surface of Newfoundland is undulating and hilly, and perhaps there is no country whose surface bears such marks of disorder and ruin. Almost everywhere indications of the effects of earthquakes and volcanoes are to be seen. Immense quantities of diluvial drift are scattered in all directions over the face of the country, consisting of gravel, and large boulders of granite, porphyry, gritstone, slate rock, &c,
" The Coal Formation--The rocks composing this formation in Newfoundland are brown, yellow, and red sandstones ; grit stones, shales, red marl, green marl aid gypsum, conglomerates, flag stones, and chinch.
" The coal of Newfoundland is bituminous and caking, and is identical with the coal of Sydney, Cape Breton. It is found on the western coast, at St. George's Bay, and Bay of Islands, occupying an extent of 30 by 10 miles, and three feet in thick-
" Gypsum or Plaster of Paris, is the sulphate of lime, and is part of the coal formation. It is found in large fibrous veins passing through the marls, and also in thick beds. It is soft, powdery, and finely laminated. Gypsum abounds in large quantities in the cliffs of Codroy Harbour, near Cape Ray.
" Conglomerate consists of gravel or rounded fragments of stone cemented together, which often form rocks of great thickness and hardness. Excellent building material of this stone was dressed during the last war, some of which are now to be seen on Signal Hill, at St. John's.
" Sandstone consists of silicious sand cemented into stone, which varies in colour and hardness.
" Shale is thin layers of clay, of different degrees of hardness and colour.
"Magnesian Limestone.—This stone is classified as distinct from the coal formation. The portion examined in St. George's Bay had a thickness of fifty feet, in beds of from two to three feet. One which was a bed of carbonate of lime of grey colour, while the magnesian limestone had a yellow colour. Limestone is found also at Burin, Mortier Bay, and Chapel Cove in Conception Bay. Superior limestone is found near Harbour Breton, Fortune Bay and Canada Bay, north.
" Upper Slate Formation. — These rocks consists of -Belle Isle Slate and gritstone, and variegated slate. They are not found near the magnesian limestone, and are supposed to lie beneath the coal formation. The shale is micaceous and very thin, inter-stratified with fine-grained gritstones, which have a natural cleavage, which is extensively used for building purposes. The lower portion of this group is occupied by slate of a bright-red colour, having the cleavage of true slate.
" The Lower Slate Formation. — These consists of the Signal Hill sandstone, and conglomerates with beds of light-grey grit-stone, having a thickness of 800 feet, and passing down into slate rocks, which are estimated about 3,000 feet in thickness. The formation is often interspersed with white quartz and porphyry.
" Gneiss and Mica Slate.—The mica slates are found interstratified with the gneiss. Mica slate is a mixture of mica and quartz, and generally has a cleavage like common slate. The walks about Newman & Co's., premises at Gaultois are paved with this material. Primary limestone, quartz rock, and chlorite slate also belongs to this group. In this class of rocks generally, organic remains first make their appearance. Mr. Jukes discovered no organic remains, except a few imperfect vegetable impressions in the coal.
" Primary or Ignous Rock.—These in Newfoundland consist of granite, serpentine, quartz, greenstone, porphyry, sienite and traprock. These formations are principally found on the Northern and South-west coasts. The granites are generally newer than the gneiss and mica slate on which they repose, and the mass of the unstratified rocks are more recent than the slate formation. The coal formation is the newest group of rocks to be found in Newfoundland. Of building materials, excellent fine grained granite is obtained at St. Jacques, Fortune Bay ; at Belle Isle and Kelly's Islands, in Conception Bay fine grained gritstone is obtained ; sandstone and conglomerates are found at Signal Hill and Flat Rocks, near St. John's. The soft sand-stones of St. George's Bay would furnish excellent freestone. The limestones of the various localities where they are found, would make beautiful building stone.
" Marble of every quality and colour can be obtained on the West Coast, fit for statuary or any ornamental use. Excellent building stone of the porphyry and sienite, at the head of Conception Bay could be obtained."
Bishop Mullock, late Roman Catholic Bishop of Newfoundland, says of this building stone
" We have in the neighbourhood of Conception Bay, inexhaustible quarries of sienite or red granite. The front of the Presentation Convent is built of this material, and though it has not been quarried, but only taken from the boulders on the surface, it is imperishable. In the sanie locality I have seen on the road and in the garden fences the most splendid blocks of Oriental porhyry, that rare material that we see in Roue alone, of green serpentine and of cipollino. The traveller is astonished at the richness of the altars in the Roman Churches, constructed in what the Italians call pietra dura ; the brilliancy of the colour and the high polish of the variegated material. Well, between this and Holyrood, at the head of Conception Bay, there exist materials enough to ornament all the churches and palaces of the world. It will, however, be long before these rich but intractible materials will he turned to any account. Grey granite is found in great abundance in almost ever locality of the island ; slate of a superior quality in Trinity Bay, plastic clay and brick clay abound in our immediate neighbourhood. That most useful material, lime, is most abundant in the north and east ; west, the shore about Ferroll in the Straits of Belleisle, is almost entirely composed of it ; it is plentiful also in Canada Bay, and lately deposits have been found in many other places. I recently saw a quarry in the Harbour of Burin in the side of a cliff. Codroy would furnish plaster of Paris for all the purposes of building and agriculture, and one of the most beautiful sea views I know of is the painted plaster cliffs near Codroy."
Of minerals, lime, copper, and lead are abundant. Bog iron ore is found in almost every part of the country, and red oxide of iron is found at Ochre Pit Cove, in Conception Bay, and iron stone in Trinity Bay. In the sand stone at Shoal Bay, near St. John's, a vein containing crystals of sulphuret and green carbonate of copper, was worked in 1775, by some English miners, but was afterwards abandoned in consequence of not paying the expense attending the working of it. Captain Sir James Pearl, of the Royal Navy, re-commenced the working of this mine in 1839, but his death occurring in 1840, the work has ever since been suspended. A copper mine is said to exist at the head of Fortune Bay.
On the western side of the Harbour of Great St. Lawrence, in the sienite there is a vein containing crystals of galena or lead ore, and fluate of lime, containing silver. At Catalina, in Trinity Bay, iron pyrites are found embedded in greywacke, or slate rock, in square pieces of from one to three inches. These pyrites are a combination of iron and sulphur. It is very probable that some valus able mineral springs exist at Catalina, as mineralogist-attribute the hot temperature of almost all the hot mineral waters to the springs running through pyrites. This mineral is also found in other parts of Trinity Bay, at Broad Cove near St. John's, and other parts of the Island. At Harbour Le Cou, on the west coast, lumps as big as a man's head are found lying at the foot of the cliff: Pyrites were the fire-stones of the Red Indians, from which they used to obtain fire by striking two pieces together like flint and steel. It is said the earlier adventurers who visited Catalina supposed the radiated pyrites to have been gold, and that Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in 1853, loaded his vessel with it. Springs containing a portion of iron in solution, or Chalybeate springs, are found in various parts of Newfoundland.
The following is an analysis of a Chalybeate spring at Logie Bay, near St. John's.
"Sample of Spring Water from Newfoundland. Specific gravity, at 62 deg. Fahrt. 1,000,016. Solid contents in an imperial pint of 8,750 grains :-
1. Chloride of Calcium 0419
2. Chloride of Magnesium 0400
3. Chloride of Sodium (common salt) 3684
4. Sulphate of magnesia 0400
5. Sulphate of soda 0713
6. Carbonate of magnesia 0334
7. Silica 1167
8. Vegetable extractive 1717
9. Bicarbonate of iron 0.150
Decimals of a grain 9584
"It will he seen that the total solid contents of an imperial pint of this water does not weigh one grain : this is less than I ever met with in a water. They are all common to spring water except the 1st, 8th, and 9th. The latter it is which will give a character to the spring. It is chalybeate to rather a greater extent than the waters of the " King's Bath," in Bath, England—(the King's bath is the principal spring of the Bath waters). The Newfoundland spring contains 45-1000ths of a grain in a pint the Bath spring 30-1000ths ; and the chloride of calcium (or muriate of lime when in the water) will contribute to the tonic effect of the iron, while the sulphates of soda and magnesia, although not in sufficient quantity to produce aperient effects, may prove enough to prevent the action which chalybeates have on some constitutions. Upon the whole, I should say that the water might be used with advantage as a general bracer, if arrangements could be made for the accommodation of invalids near the spring ; for it must be remembered that where iron is sustained in water by carbonic acid, as in this case, there is always a tendency for it to fall down as insoluble carbonate of iron, leaving the water without its chalybeate properties.
" WILLIAM HEREPATH,
" Mansion Rouse, Old Park, Bristol."
The above analysis was obtained by Captain Prescott, . the Governor of Newfoundland ; Dr. Kielley having previously informed him that the water contained some medicinal properties.
The celebrated Saratoga, New York, springs are also chalybeate. The waters belong to a class which may be termed the acidulous saline chalybeate. The following is the analysis of the quantity of solid matter held in solution by it. In one gallon are found
Mariate of soda 297.3
Hydriodate of soda 3.0
Carbonate of soda 19.21
Carbonate of lime 92.4
Carbonate of magnesia 23.1
Oxide of iron 5.39
with a minute quantity of silica and alumina, probably 0.6 of a grain, making the solid contents of a gallon amount to 441 grains. The gaseous contents of the same quality are :—carbonic acid gas, 316 cubic inches, and atmospheric air, 4. In all, :320 cubic inches of gas in one gallon. The temperature at the bottom of the spring is always 50°. The springs are found useful chiefly in cases of dyspepsia, chronic rheumatism, and diseases of the skin.
Roofing slate is found in most parts of Newfoundland. The following are some of the principal places where it is found, shewing the average strike and dipmens. A very fine lead mine has been worked at La Manche, in the district of Ferryland. Bishop Mullock says of it :
" It is remarkable that the fishermen in the lower part of Placentia Bay used to go to La Manche, take the pure galena, smelt it, and run jiggers out of it, and still the existence of the mine, though almost every pebble on the shore had specks of lead in it, was either unknown or disregarded. This shows how much we require that the country should be explored by competent persons. Since the discovery, three or four years ago, many thousand pounds worth of lead has been shipped off. Once, while I was there, sixty five tons, valued at L45 a ton, were shipped off, and another time I saw several, perhaps 100, tons of dressed ore in barrels, prepared for exportation ; and still so little knowledge did the people possess of the treasure existing in their midst that for generations the only use made of it was to dig out a bit to make a jigger."
The principal mine is at Tilt Cove, on the northern coast. It was discovered in 1S64, by Mr. Smith McRay. This mine yielded in 1868, 8,000 tons of copper ore, which sold for $256,000. In 1869, a fine vein of nickel was discovered intersecting the copper, from which in two years ore was taken which realized $38,600. Another copper mine is worked at Burton's Pond, south of Tilt Cove. In his annual report of the Colonial Office in 1868, Governor Hill says
" In the past year the exportation of copper ore of a very superior quality was commenced, and at this time more than 2,000 tons have been shipped. On my recent visit to Labrador, I stopped at Tilt Cove in Notre Dame Bay, for the purpose of seeing a mine which is now in most successful operation, and which I trust is only the first of many which will soon be worked with profit to the proprietors, and great advantage to the population, in affording new employment which is so often sorely needed in the winter season. I was much interested in what I witnessed. The quality of the ore is said to be equal to the best known from any other place. The fine kinds are worth as much as £20 per ton, and the average value of the sales of shipments to England, is equal to about £10 per ton. Before the end of the year, it is expected that a quantity worth from £80,000 to £100,000 will be shipped, and the ore now being extracted is even better than that first obtained. One hundred and seventy men and boys are now on the new pay list, and about 500 people altogether now reside at the settlement, which was not in existence three years ago. Some of the men make as much as £17 per month, the average being from £10 to £21. Seventeen of the men employed, including the captain of the mine, are Cornish miners, but the remainder are Newfoundlanders. I spoke to several and found them well pleased with their position and circumstances, which are indeed greatly preferable to those in which they had frequently been placed in seasons when the fishery had been unsuccessful, and their subsistence depended wholly on its result. If, as I believe, will be the case in a very short time, many other mines equally productive should be worked, it will scarcely be possible to over-value the beneficial effect of this new industry upon the circumstances of the labouring population."
It is said that Tilt Cove mine was purchased by an English company for $75,000.
Alexander Murray, Esq., formerly of Sir-William Logan's staff in Canada, was employed by the Government, to make a geological survey of the Island in 1866 and 1867, and is still continuing it. He found a vast exposure of gypsum, between Codroy Island and Codroy River, which may be quarried to any extent, while the saille material occurs in various parts of St. George's Bay. Ile found that the carboniferous formation of St. George's Bay, is an extension of the saute rocks which constitute the coalfields of Cape Breton. Mr. Murray concludes, that within the area supposed to be underlaid by the seam coal, spoken of by Mr. Jukes, there were 54,000 chaldrons. A friend of mine in Newfoundland says :
" Whilst the mineral and lumbering capabilities are in their infancy the north side of Green Bay seems to he .t deposit of copper ore and every day new discoveries are being made. I visited. Bett's Cove mine in the early part of September, 1876, there were 500 men at work and fifty to sixty horses, the daily yield of ore was 140 tons, at X10 per ton. Since then mines have commenced at Southern Arm ; Range Harbour ; and Ben-tun Pond ; at present it is a difficulty to prognosticate what the future of this country will be."
Professor Selwyn says :
" The rule applied in the coal-fields of South \Vales, in the United Kingdom, to calculate the productiveness of coal-seams, gives 1,000 tons for every square foot in each acre of a seam, one foot thick, leaving a sufficient quantity for pillars to support the roof."
Mr. Murray says
" Whilst in the neighbourhood of Port-au-Port, I was in formed that a bituminous substance resembling petroleum had been observed on the middle Long Point, on the west side of the Bay, and also that native copper occurred on seine parts of the main coast further north."
Petroleum was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In the Island of Zante, one of the Ionian group, there is a spring of liquid bitumen, which has been flowing more than two thousand years. It is said that wherever the word " pitch " occurs in the English version of the Bible it refers to bitumen, which was used in its natural state for many purposes. Perhaps the Ark was "pitched" with crude petroleum. Scientists have attributed the origin of petroleum to a variety of causes, but the most probable is that it is the normal or primary pro-duct of the decomposition of marine animal or vegetable organisms.
Petroleum is found in most countries, in the stratified, and also in the volcanic and metamorphic formations. Rock oil is found in the United States by boring the slate and sand rocks. I think it probable petroleum will be found contiguous to the deposits of coal and slate of St. George's Bay.
Mr. Murray found that the Lauzon division of the Quebec group of rocks exists in Newfoundland, which is the great metalliferous zone of North America.
Mr. Murray found organic remains in several places, and also indications of gold. It is probable gold will be found in many parts of Newfoundland, as it is not con-fined to rocks of any geological period. The gold of Colorado occurs in veins traversing crystalline rocks of oezic age, while the deposits of North Carolina are found in paleozoic strata, similar to the Ural Mountains and the Alps. In Nova Scotia the ore is met with in slates and sandstones, which appear to belong to the Cambrian or Laurentian formations, the same age being also attributed to the auriferous strata of Australia and \Vales. According to Professor Whitney, the gold hearing quartz of California is found in the strata of the cretaceous period. Gold is found in the aqueous and igneous rocks. It is sometimes difficult for the inexperienced to tell the difference between yellow mica, or iron pyrites, and gold. To detect iron pyrites it is only necessary to pulverize the mineral and throw it upon a red-hot stove ; gold will not produce any odour or flame when tested in this way, but the pyrites will emit fumes of sulphur. Another simple test by which gold can be detected from iron and copper pyrites is to give a little bit of it a liard rap with a hammer if it be, gold it will merely flatten, but if it be py- rites it will smash into little bits; this test applies to the smallest atom.
Yellow mica may he easily known from gold, by its non-metallic lustre, its foliated structure, its low specific gravity, and the harsh, scraping sound made when a knife-point is drawn over it. Indeed, it will crumble under the pressure of the fingers. Gold is not acted upon by any simple acid, but when nitric and muriatic acids are mixed they decompose each other producing chlorine,and a mixture of these two acids, called nitro-muriatic acid, or aqua regia, has the power of dissolving gold. Professor Lyon Play fair gives the following directions for examining a mineral to ascertain whether it contains gold
" Supposing you have auriferous quartz, reduce it to a powder and boil with aqua regia. After diluting it with water, pass the solution through a filter, allow it to cool, and add a solution of carbonate of soda until it ceases to effervesce. Filter again, and add oxalic acid until the effervesence ceases, and it tastes sour, then boil, and if there be any gold present it will be precipitated as a black powder."
The following method for detecting gold is suggested by Professor Pepper :
" Aqua regia, composed of two measures of muriatic acid and one measure of nitric acid, is put into three phials. Some tin and hydrochloric acid are placed in a fourth phial, and some nails and sulphuric acid in a fifth. The five phials are then arranged in a sauce-pan, and half covered with cold water. The water is gradually heated, so as not to crack the phials. In about half-an-hour the sauce-pan may be removed from the fire, and the contents of each of the three phials containing mineal poured into tumblers half full of pure rain water. To each tumbler add a portion of the solution of tin-foil. If gold is present in any of them, a purplish precipitate, darkening the whole fluid, is perceptible. This colour is called the purple casius, and is used for imparting a rich ruby colour to glass. It affords a very delicate test for the presence of gold."
Gold has a rich, yellow colour, is always found in metallic state, rarely pure, and has a specific gravity of 19-5 in its most compact and pure form. The great ductibility of gold is a subject of remark on the part of all writers on the subject. The extreme maleability is well known ; it has been strikingly illustrated, by comparing the leaves into which it can be hammered, with sheets of paper. 280,000 leaves of gold, placed upon each other, would he one inch in thickness ; whereas the same number of sheets of paper would extend 250 feet high. Gold has been formed into a wire 1/5000th part of an inch in diameter, 550 feet of which only weighed one grain ; it has also been beaten into leaves only 200000th of an inch in thickness. It is said that a twenty dollar gold piece can be drawn into a wire sufficiently long to encircle the globe.
Of the zoology of Newfoundland very little is known. It is a remarkable fact that neither frogs, toads, lizards, nor snakes of any kind, have ever been found in the country. In this respect it has been called the Ireland of America. A distinguished Norwegian naturalist, Professor Stuwitz, spent three years in examining the natural history of Newfoundland, where he died in 1842, while prosecuting this delightful study with intense interest. Professor Stuwitz discovered many specimens specimens not found in any part of Europe. The scientific researches of this gentleman in Newfoundland have, I believe, not yet been made public by the Norwegian Government.
The Vertebrated Animals forming the first division of the animal kingdom, are distinguished by possessing an internal bony skeleton, and may be arranged in four classes : 1st. Mammals, or those which bring forth their young alive, and suckle them with milk ; 2nd. Birds ; 3rd. Reptiles ; 4th. Fishes.
The animals of this class that are indigenous to Newfoundland, belong to the following orders :
1 st.—Carnivora, or flesh eating animals. 2nd.-Roderitia, or gnawing animals. 3rd.—Rwminantia, or ruminating animals. 4th.—Cetacea, the whale tribe.
The common rat and field mouse are found infesting every place. The Bat (vespepertilio primosus) is small, and is occasionally, in the evenings, seen skimming the air on leathern wings, in search of insects on which it principally preys. The Black Bear (Ursus American us).
This quadruped passes the winter in a state of torpour, concealed in the woods. In the summer it chiefly subsists on roots and berries. Several of these animals are killed on the northern coast during the spring and summer. These animals are of a ferocious disposition, but when taken young are, to a certain extent, tamed. Young ones are sometimes brought to St. John's from the north-ward. The Weasel (Mustela Martes) in summer is brown, but in winter turns white. The Marten or Wood-cat (Mustela Martes). — Formerly great numbers of these animals were killed by the Indians, but they are now seldom met with. The Otter (Lutta Canadensis) has been so much sought after, for the value of the fur, that it is now become comparatively scarce in the country. The most formidable, animal in Newfoundland is the Wolf (Ganis Lupus Americanis). In some parts of the island they prove destructive to the cattle.
The Rev. B. Smith, of Trinity, gives the following account of the narrow escape of one of his people from wolves, in his report to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, in London, in 1857 :
" l Le had gone in his punt to a point about a mile from his house, to cut firewood, and when returning with his load of sticks, at a short distance from the shore, he heard a howling, which at first he did not understand ; but after going a little farther, on looking round he saw the animals, at some distance, in full cry towards him. He threw down his load and ran to his punt, which was fortunately moored but loosely by the painter thrown round a rock. In his haste he caught up the rope, and leaped into the punt, which, with his motion, bounded of; and by the time he had distanced the shore some twenty yards, the ravenous creatures reached the water, and, disappointed of their prey, were howling and foaming at the mouth hideously. Ile had no gnu or other weapon, and was overpowered with emotion for his narrow escape."
A few years ago these animals were rather numerous in the neighbourhood of St. John's, prowling, about so near the dwellings as to endanger the lives of the inhabitants. An Act was passed by the Local Government entitled, " The Wolf-killing Act," under the provisions of which every person killing a wolf, on the presentation of the head and skin, was to receive a reward of the pounds. About eight or ten wolves W ere annually killed on the northern and western coasts. In proportion as the population increases, so will the monarch of the Newfoundland forest disappear, until at length, as in England and Ireland, its existence will he no longer known. The history of almost every nation furnishes us with proofs, that in the same ratio as the empire of man has been enlarged, so has the animal kingdom been invaded and desolated. The history of New foundland bears evidence, that some of the tenants of the ocean and of the feather tribes, have become extinct by the agency of the destorying hand of man.
The Newfoundland dogs, for the most part, are pool spurious descendants of the once noble race. Those fine samples of the race to be met with in the United States, are rarely found in Newfoundland. No animal in Newfoundland is a greater sufferer from man than the dog. This animal is employed (luring the winter season in drawing timber from the woods, and he supplies the place of a horse in the performance of several offices. I have frequently seen one of these creatures drawing three seals (about one hundred and thirty pounds weight), for a distance of four miles, over huge rugged masses of ice, safe to land. In drawing wood, the poor animal is frequently burdened beyond his strength, and compelled to proceed by the most barbarous treatment. My friend T. Drew, Esq., one of the editors of the Spy and Christian Citizen, published at Worcester, Mass., United States, relates the following instance of the sagacity of the Newfoundland dog, which was communicated to him by a female friend of his, who had been spending the summer of 1850, at Halifax, N. S.:
" Tige is a splendid Newfoundland, and possesses good sense as well as good looks. He is in the habit of going every morning with a penny in his mouth, to the same butcher's shop, and purchasing his own breakfast, like a gentlemanly dog as he is. But it so happened upon one cold morning, during the past winter, the shop was closed, and the necessity seemed to be imposed upon Tige, either to wait for the butcher's return, or look for his breakfast elsewhere. Hunger probably constrained him to take the latter alternative, and off he started for another butcher's shop, nearest to his favourite place of resort. Arriving there, he deposited his money upon the block, and smacked his chops for breakfast as usual ; but the butcher, instead of meeting the demand of his customer as a gentleman ought, brushed the coin into his till, and drove the dog out of the shop. Such a disgraceful proceeding on the part of a man, very naturally ruffled the temper of the brute; but as there was no other alter-native, he was obliged to submit. The next morning, however, when his master furnished him with the coin for the purchase of breakfast, as usual, the dog instead of going to the shop where he had been accustomed to trade, went immediately to the shop from whence he was so unceremoniously ejected the clay before —laid his penny upon the block, and with a growl, as much as to say, ' you don't play any more tricks upon travellers,' placed his paw upon the penny. The butcher, not liking to risk, under such a demonstration, the perpetration of another fraud, immediately rendered him the quid pro quo, in the shape of a slice of meat, and was about to appropriate the penny as he had done the day previous, to his own coffers ; but the dog, quicker than he was, made away with the meat at one swallow, and seizing the penny again in his mouth, made off to the shop of his more honest acquaintance, and by the purchase of a double breakfast, made up for his previous fast."
The species of fox usually taken in Newfoundland are, the common red or yellow fox (Canis Fulvus) ; and the patch or cross fox (Canis Decussatus) ; the black or silver fox (Canis Argentatis) being seldom seen.
The kind of seals most plentiful passing along the Coast of Newfoundland with the field-ice, are the harps, or half-moon seals, (phoca Groenladica). About the latter end
of the month of February these seals whelp, and in the northern seas deposit millions of their young on the glittering sur•fac • of the frozen deep ; at this period, they are covered with a coat of white fur, slightly tinged with yellow. I have seen thee; beautiful " white coats " lying six and eight on a pan of ice, resembling so many lambs, enjoyin r the solar rays. These aninmals grow Z cry rapidly, and in about three weeks after their birth begin to cast their white coats ; they are now easiI•y caught, being killed by a slight stroke across the nose with a hat or gaff. At this time they are in prime condition, the fat being in greater quantity, and containing purer oil than at a later period of their grow tl-.
It appears to b nee -ssary to their existence, that they sllouliI lass a considerable time in repose, on the ice ; and, during this state of helplessness, we see the goodness of Providence in providing these amphibious creatures with a thick coat of fur, and a superabundant supply of fat, a defence against the chilling effects of the ice, and the northern blasts. Sometimes, however, numbers of them are found frozen in the ice; these " cats " are highly prized by the seal-hunters, as the skin, when dressed, makes excellent caps for them to wear while engaged in this perilous and dangerous voyage. At one year old, these seals are called " bedlamers ; " the female is without dark spots on the back which form the harp ; and the male does not show this mark until two years old. The voice of the seal resembles that of the dog, and when a vessel is in the midst of myriads of these creatures, their barking and howling sounds like that of so many dogs, causing such a noise, as in some instances to drive away sleep during the night. The general appearance of the seal is not unlike the dog ; hence some have applied to the seal the name of sea-dog, sea-wolf, &c. These seals seldom bring forth more than one, and never more than two, at a litter. They are said to live to a great age. A respect-able individual informed me that he saw a seal which was caught in a net ; it was reduced to a mere skeleton, consisting of nothing but skin and bone ; the teeth were all gone, and its colour a white grey, which he attributed to old age. Buffon, the French naturalist, says :
" I am of opinion that these animals live upwards of a hundred years, for we know that cetaceous animals in general live much longer than quadrupeds ; and as the seal fills up the chasm between the one and the other, it must participate of the nature of the former, and, consequently, live much longer than the latter."
The hooded seal (phoca cristata) is so called from a piece of loose skin on the head, which can be inflated at pleasure, and when menaced or attacked this hood is drawn over the face and eyes as a defence from injury, at which time the nostrils become distended, appearing like bladders ; the female is not provided with this hood. An old dog-hood is a very formidable animal; the male and female are generally found together, and if the female happens to be killed first the male becomes furious; some-times it has taken fifteen or twenty men hours to des-patch one of them. I have known a half-dozen hand-spikes to have been worn out by endeavouring to kill one of these dog-hoods ; they will snap off the handles of the gaffs as if they were cabbage-stumps; and they frequently attack their assailants. When they inflate their hoods it seems almost impossible to kill one of them ; shot does not penetrate the hood. Unless the animal can be hit somewhere about the side of the head, it is almost a hope-less task to attempt to kill him. These animals are very large ; some of their pelts which I measured were from fourteen to eighteen feet in length. The young hoods are called " blue backs ; " their fat is not so thick nor so pure as the harps, but their skins are of more value ; they also breed further to the north than the harps, and are generally found in great numbers on the outer edge of the ice ; they are said not to be so plentiful, and to cast their young a few weeks later than the harps. The square fipper, which perhaps, the great seal of Greenland (phoca barbata), although there it does not attain to so large a size as the hooded seal, while in Newfoundland it is much larger, is now seldom seen, The walrus (tricheenss rosmarus), sometimes called sea-horse, sea-cow, and the morse, is now seldom met with; formerly this species of seal was frequently captured on the ice. This animal is said to resemble the seal in its body and limbs, though different in the form of its head, which is armed with two tusks, sometimes twenty-four inches long ; in this respect much like an elephant. The under jaw is not provided with ally cutting or canine teeth, and is compressed to afford room for these enormous tusks, projecting downwards from the upper jaw. It is a very large animal, sometimes twenty feet, long, and weighing from 500 to 1,000 pounds pounds; its skin is very thick and covered with yellowish brown hairs.
The harbour seal (phoca vitulema), frequents the harbours of Newfoundland summer and winter. Numbers are taken during the winter in seal nets. The Newfound-land seals probably visit the Irish coasts. Mr. Evans, of Darley Abbey, near Derby, gives an account of a number of seals killed on the west coast of Ireland in 1856 ; amongst them an old harp. Sir William Logan discovered the skeletons of whales and seals near Montreal.
The white, or polar, bear (ursus maritimus) is sometimes seen on the coast, regardless of the ocean storm and the intense cold. This animal roams among the rifted ice in search of food. A few years ago, one of these animals was killed near St. John's. It seldom, however, travels in the woods more than a mile or two, and then only by accident, arising, perhaps, from the inconveniences of the weather.
The Beaver (Castor Fiber, Americanus), once so abundant in Newfoundland, is now scarce. An account of the ingenuity of the beaver in building his house, is given in almost every book of natural history. The Musk Rat or Musquash, (Aviola Hibethieus) is plentiful in Newfoundland, and its flesh is frequently eaten. The Hare (Lepus Americanus) is to be found in great numbers, on the west and northern coasts of Newfoundland. They are white in winter, but turn brown in summer. The American Rabbit is not found in Newfoundland.
The Cariboo or Reindeer, (Cervus Tarandus). On the western coast of Newfoundland, these are found in droves of from two to three thousand. Great numbers are killed. The red Indians used to have fences 30 miles long for entrapping the deer. They are also abundant on the northern coast, during the summer season. It is very probable that the reindeer of Newfoundland could be domesticated, and, as in Lapland, be useful to man. Of the Lapland deer, it has been said :
" The foot and eye of this creature are beautifully adapted to the country it is destined to inhabit. The hoof is very widely cloven, and when pressed on the ground the two parts expand, thus forming a broad surface, and preventing it from sinking in the snow, amidst which it spends a greater portion of its life. On the foot being raised, the divisions again fall together, making a curious crackling noise, resembling repeated electric shocks. Besides the usual eyelids, he is provided with a nictitating membrane extending over the eyes, through which, in snow storms, he can see without exposing those delicate organs to any injury."
White, in his " Natural History of Selborne " says
There is a curious fact not generally known, which is, that at one period the horns of stags grew into a much greater number of ramifications than at the present day. Some have sup-posed this to have arisen from the greater abundance of food, and from the animal having more repose, before population became so dense. In some instances these multiplied to an extraordinary extent. There is one in the Museum of Hesse Cassel, with twenty-eight antlers. Baron Cuvier mentions one with sixty-six, or thirty-three on each horn. If you would pro-cure the head of a fallow deer, and have it dissected, you would find it provided with two spiracula, or breathing places, besides the nostrils , probably analogous to the puncta lachrymalia in the human head. When deer are thirsty, they plunge their noses, like some horses, very deep under water, while in the act of drinking, and continue them in that position for a considerable time, but to obviate any inconvenience, they can open two vents, one at the inner corner of each eye, having a communication with the nose. Here seems to be an extraordinary provision of nature worthy of our attention, and which has not that I know of been noticed by any naturalist ; for it looks as if these creatures would not be suffocated, though both their mouths and nostrils were stopped. This curious formation of the head may be of singular service to the beasts of chase, by affording them free respiration, and no doubt these additional nostrils are thrown open when they are hard run."
The Whale tribe, though called fishes, are true mammalia, producing from one to two cubs at a time, which are suckled in the same mariner as land animals. The kind appearing on the Newfoundland coast, is the sharp-nosed whale (Balaena Acuto Rostra). Pike-headed species (Ba laena Boops). The kind most plentiful is the fin-backed whale (Balaenoptera Jubartes), which lives on capelin, lance, &c. No less than fifty of these are sometimes seen spouting at one time. The great Greenland whale (Balaena Mysticetus) is occasionally seen on the coast. Probably the whole tribe of whales frequenting the Greenland seas, sometimes visit the Newfoundland coast. Great numbers of what some call Black-fish, and others Pot-heads, are killed during the autumn along the shores. They are of the species (Delphinus Dephis) : the colour of the whole body is a bluish black, except a portion of the under part which is bluish white, the head is round and blunt, and the blow-hole very large. They are from sixteen to twenty-five feet in length, with a forked tail. The fat is from one to three inches thick, and they each yield from 30 to 100 gallons of oil.
The Porpoise (Delphinus Phoceana Communis) is plentiful in Newfoundland. Its length is from four to six feet ; the colour of the back is bluish-black, the sides grey, and the under part white. The flesh is considered a sumptuous article of food.
The Sword-fish (Dephinus Gladiator) or grampus, is an untiring persecutor of the smaller whales.
Class II. Birds. These consist of six orders, as follows
l st.--Raptores, or bit ds of prey.
2nd.—I nsessures, or perching birds.
3rd.—Seansores, or climbing birds.
4th. Ruores, or scraping birds.
5th.—Grallatores, or wading birds.
6th. Hata_tores or Palmipedes, swimimin~; or web-footed.
Order 1 st.—Raptores.
The Sea Eagle (Falco ossifragus) is occasionally seen. The Fish Hawks are plentiful on the coast of Newfound-land ; also the Sparrow Hawk and Pigeon Hawk (Falco Colambarius). Of owls there are great numbers and varieties. The Snow Owl (Stria 11Tyetea) is plentiful on the northen coast, where great numbers are killed. The flesh is considered delicious.
The Shrike, or Butcher-bird (Lanicus Collurio) is some-times seen. The Crow (Corvas Corove) is found all over the country. The American Robin, or Thrush of Pennant (Tzirdas Al[ir/rator•us), called the Blackbird io Newfoundland, generally appears about the beginning of May, and often, while the ground is covered with snow, they congregate in flocks on some garden fence and pour forth their ild and sonorous notes. They are the best-known and earliest songsters of Newfoundland. They are very plentiful, and during the spring great nuinlr 'rs are killed for table use. The Snow Buntings (Isrrelieri.::u ~1 iru1is) are to be seen in flocks dressed intheir silvery plumage,hoppingabout the snow ; also the fine grosbeak (Lacia L'n ucl 'a-tor), which is one of the handsomcstbirds which visitsNewtoundland. They, with the Cmssbill (Curvirostra Americana), are, however, seldom seen. The little black-capped Titmouse (Parus Artricapillus) is seen enjoying the summer sun and braving the winter storm. The Jay (Corvus Canadensis) is mostly found in the thick woods. The earliest warbler that visits Newfoundland is the Sparrow (Fingilla Nivalis), called in America snow-bird, and known by its single " chip." The white-throat sparrow (Fingilla Albicollis) and the fox-coloured (Fingilla Rufa) are plentiful. The Swallows (Hirundiniedce). Of this family there are several varieties ; the most plentiful is the Sand Martin (Hirundo Riparia). The Night Hawk is occasionally seen.
Of Woodpeckers, there are several kinds, the three-toed (Picus Trydactylus) are the most abundant.
Order 4th —Rasores.
This order includes the Peacock, Turkey, and domestic fowls. " White's Natural History of Selborne," says :
" The pied and mottled colours of domesticated animals are supposed to be owing to high, various and unusual food. Food, climate, and domestication, have a great influence in changing the colour of animals. Hence the varied plumage of almost all our domestic birds. In a wild state, the dark colour of most birds is a safe guard to them against their enemies. Naturalists suppose that this is the reason why birds which have a very varied plumage, seldom assume their gay attire, until the second or third year, when they have acquired cunning and strength to avoid their enemies. A few years ago I saw a cock bullfinch in a cage which had been caught in the fields after it was come to its full colours. In about a year it began to look dingy, and blackening every succeeding year until at the end of four years it was coal black. Its chief food was hempseed. Such influence has food on the colour of animals."
The Ptarmigan or Grouse (Tetras Lagopus), called in Newfoundland, partridge, are plentiful. They are white in winter, and of a reddish brown in summer.
The Snipe (Seolopax Glallincrgo) is found in all parts of the country. The Beach Bird (Tringu Hypolareus) and other Sandpipers are abundant.
Curlew (Americanus) and Plover (Charadius), are found in great numbers on the northern coast.
The Bittern (Ardea Minor) is only occasionally seen.
The Goose (Anser Conadensis), and the Common Wild Goose (A riens Anser), with other species are found in Newfoundland. Of Ducks there are several varieties, among which are the Black Duck or Mallard (All s Bosehas), and (Anas Narita) fresh-water Duck, also the Eider Duck (Anas Mollissima). The Sheil-drake (Anas Tadorna), the Long Tailed Duck and the Teal (Anus Cross). The common Tarn or Sea-swallow (St( a-iLesr ITerrr ndo), is plentiful. Of Gulls, there are a great variety. The Wagel or Great Grey Gull (Leirus Touches), the Arctic Gull (hi rus Parasitieus), the Commun Gull (Lanus Cant's), and many others. The Stormy Petrel, or " gotiier Cary's Chickens" (l'rueelk-esri' et l'rlaçices-), breed in great numbers on the rocky lonely islands of the northern coast.
Inhabitants of the east " Bascalao birds." They breed in great numbers on the islands of Basalao and Funk. They make no nests, and lay their eggs, which are pyriform, of a greenish colour and great size, on the bare rock. Great quantities of eggs are taken from these islands in the month of June by the fishermen. The penguin, or great auk (A lea Impennis, Linn.), about seventy years ago, was very plentiful on Funk Island, but has now totally disappeared from the coast of Newfoundland. Incredible numbers of these birds were killed, their flesh being savoury food, and their feathers valuable. Heaps of them were burnt as fuel, to warm the water to pick off the feathers, there being no wood on the island. The merchants of Bonavista at one time used to sell these birds to th 2 poor people by the hundred-weight, instead of pork. It was thought that guano might be found on Funk Island. I procured a sample of what was supposed to be the birds' dung, but it proved to be nothing more than bones and turf. There are islands on the northern and western coasts of Newfoundland called the Penguin Islands, so named, probably, from the number of penguins at one time breeding on them. The penguin is from the size of a goose to double as large ; its wings are short, resembling the flippers of the seal, and its feet broad and webbed. It is incapable of flight, and the position of its body, when on the land, is nearly erect, and it waddles about very slowly. The appearance of these birds used to indicate to the mariner the approach to land.
" There is something in the strange figure and aspect of the penguin well agreeing with the wild, lonely, remote islands in which it congregates. In beholding a spot on the surface of our globe, ocean-girt and uninhabited by man, tenanted by thousands of these birds, which for ages generation after generation have been in uninterrupted possession of the place, we are thrown back upon primeval days, and we involuntarily recur to the now extinct dodo a wingless bird, which formerly tenanted the Islands of Bourbon, Mauritius and Rodrigue, once desolate and untrodden by the foot of man, as are still many of the haunts of the penguin, and the ideas, forces itself upon us that, like the dodo, this bird also may at some future time become utterly annihilated."
I am not aware that reptiles of any kind have been found in Newfoundland.
The following are the most important species found in the waters of 1\ Newfoundland
Division 1st.—Fishes having a long skeleton.
The Salmon (Salmo Salar) is found on the coast, and at the mouth of most of the largest brooks of Newfound-land, where great numbers are taken in nets. Mr. S. Wilmot, of Newcastle, Ontario, has for several years been employed in fish culture in various parts of Canada. If he were employed by the Government of Newfoundland to introduce his system, it would be a great benefit to the country. At the Government breeding establishment at Newcastle, 175,000 salmon ova were secured and placed in th et reeding trough on the 23rd of October, 1876. Hundreds of salmon, ranging from five to twenty pounds in weight, may now he seen in the house and ponds. Common mackerel (Scomber Scomba) have nearly deserted the shores the last twenty years ; they used to be equally as abundant as the herring. The mackerel was at one time absent from the coast of Newfoundland for a period of thirty years, returning about the year 1807. Mr. Yarrell, the celebrated English writer on natural history, states that the mackerel is not a migratory fish. Th . Tunny Fish, or, as it is called in Newfoundland, the horse-mackerel (Scomber Thynnus), is abundant along the coast during the summer and autumn, when great numbers are taken. They are from seven to ten feet long, and are just beginning to be used as an article of food. They are equal, if not superior, in flavour to the common mackerel. Few in Newfoundland are aware that the horse-mackerel constitutes a sumptuous article of food, or that it is even fit to eat. This fish was well known to the ancients, and highly valued as a most important food. From the earliest ages it constituted a great source of wealth and commerce to the inhabitants of the Mediterranean.
The Herrings are most abundant in Newfoundland. They are most plentiful on the western coast during the winter season ; and in the months of April, May, September, October and November, they visit the eastern and northern coasts. Besides what are exported, an immense number of herrings are consumed in the island, every poor family that has the means of procuring them, have no less than from two to ten barrels (according to the size of family) preserved for winter consumption. A great number are also cut up and used as bait for catching codfish. Of Codfish, there are two or three species ; the most plentiful is (Morrhua Americanus). The Haddock (Morrhua Aeglifinus) is not plentiful. The Tom Cod (Morrhua Puinosa) abounds in all the harbours of the coast. The Sculpin (Cottus) is very plentiful ; it is a most voracious fish, and covered with spines. It is rarely eaten. Trout and Salmon peel abound in all the fresh water streams and lakes, and the salt water trout are taken in nets on the western and northern coasts. The Smelt (Osmerus Eperlanus) also abounds. The Capelin (Salmo Groenlandicus) swarm the shores of Newfoundland from the beginning of June until about the last of July. They are from four to seven inches in length, the under jaw larger than the upper, the colour of the back is greenish, and the under part silvery.
" The manner in which the capelin deposits its spawn, is one of the most curious circumstances attending its natural history.
The male fishes are somewhat larger than the female, and are provided also with a sort of ridge projecting on each side of their back-bones, similar to the eaves of a house, in which the female capelin is deficient. The latter on approaching the beach to depost its spawn is attended by two male fishes, who huddle the female between them, until her whole body is concealed under the projecting ridges before mentioned, and only her head is visible. In this state they run, all three together, with great swiftness upon the sands, when the males, by some imperceptible, inherent power, compress the body of the female betwixt them, so as to expel the spawn from an orifice near the tail. Having thus accomplished its delivery, the three separate, and paddling with all their force through the shallow surface of the beach, generally succeed in regaining once more the bosom of the deep."
Millions of these fish are annually taken from their native element, and laid over the ground as manure. In some parts of the Island, they form the principal manure for potatoes. Immense quantities are also used as bait for catching codfish. They are also salted and dried, and considerable quantities exported. Sir William Logan found the remains of capelin in clay near Ottawa. The Lance (Amnodytes Tobianus) is a beautiful little fish, shaped like an eel, from three to six inches long. They are used for bait in catching codfish. The Flounder or Flatfish (Plat ssa) abounds on all the coast. Turbot (Plutte'su Maxi-mus) are found on the west coast, particularly at Fortune Bay, where they are smoked. Halibut (IIypoglo.Rtus Valgm-is) are very abundant on this part of the coast, some of them being of enormous size, probably weighing a thou-sand pounds. Eels (11'ngnilla) are plentiful, and form a prime article of food with the poor of St. Cl orge's Bay. The Brett (Clip& Minima) are found in Hermitage Bay.
(Squalus Zygeana). The Blue Shark (Carcharius Glaucus). The White Shark (Carcharius Vulgaris) and the Basking Shark (Selache Maximus), which is said to be the largest kind of shark. A few years, ago at Bonavista, I saw one that measured 27 feet in length. The quantity of liver taken from it filled eleven pork barrels, the product of which was 122 gallons of oil.
This animal is neither voracious nor fierce ; its food consists chiefly of sea plants. The Dog-fish (Squalus Caniculus) are plentiful, and sometimes do great injury to the nets. Great numbers are caught in some places for the liver ; they are not eaten in Newfoundland. The Thrasher (Carcharius Vulpus) is a great enemy to the small whales. There are several varieties of the Ray, the most common are the Thornback (Raia Clavalus) and the Skate (Baia Batis).
The Articulated Animals.
This is the second great division of the animal kingdom; they are called articulated, on account of their being covered by a jointed case or crust, which serves the purposes of a covering to protect the body, and of a skeleton to support the muscles. This division includes the Worms, the Crustacea, the Spiders, the Centipedes, and the Insects. The Ship Worm (Pholas) is plentiful ; and the Earth Worm (Lumbricus Terrestris) is found in abundance all over the country. The Leech (Hirudo) is found in the muddy, stagnant streams. Of the Crustacea : Lobsters (Astacus Marinus) are large and plentiful. There are several kinds of Crabs ; the Sand Crab being the most common. Insects are known from other articulated animals by their complex organization, their adaptation for breathing air, the smaller number of their legs and segments, and from their metamorphosis from the larva to the perfect state.
Includes those insects which have the upper pair of wings forming a strong horny case for the lower pair, which are thin and membranous. These are usually termed Beetles. The Rove Beetles (Staphylinus Villosus) called Fish-flies in Newfoundland are very plentiful, and also (Staphylinus Cheysurus) and a variety of other insects of this order.
Or straight winged insects, are known by possessing two pairs of wings, and jaws fitted for mastication. Of Grass-hoppers there are several varieties. The Cricket (Oreheta Domestica) abounds in plenty.
Or membranous, and delicately veined, netted winged insects. Of these there are several varieties of Dragon Flies, (Libellala) singularly called horse-stingers in Newfoundland, although they do not possess the power of stinging. There are several other genera of this order in Newfoundland.
(Consists of insects with four membranous wings, less netted than those of the Dragon Flies : they have also jaws adapt d rather for suction than mastication. Humble Bees (Bombus), are numerous, also Wasps (Vespidae), and a great variety of other insects of this order.
This order includes a numerous tribe of plant sucking insects, such as Plant Lice (Aphidae), &c., which often destroy great numbers of leaves.
Order 6th. Heteroptera.
The insects of this order also live by suction, but differ from the last order, in the formation of their upper pair of wings, which are horny and coloured at the base, and membranous at the point. This order includes the Bug (Cirmex) which I believe is only found in the Capital of of Newfoundland—St. John's.
This order have their wings covered with minute scales, often brightly coloured. Of the Butterfly tribe the most abundant in Newfoundland is the forked (Vanessa Furcillata), Tiger Swallow-tail (Papilio Ternus), Black Swallow-tail (Papilio Asterius), the White Butterfly (Pontia Oleracea), and the Purple Disk Butterfly (Hipparchitae Lycaena). Moths and Millers also abound.
The insects of this order have but two wings, which are membranous. The best known in Newfoundland are the Mosquitoes (Culex) and Gnats, the House Flies (Musca Domestica), the Bats or Gad Fly (Oestrus Boris), (0. Tarandi) and (O. Equi). The remaining orders of insects include the various kinds of Fleas and Lice, and Caddice Worms
The Molusous Animals.
These are the third division of animals, distinguished by the absence of long skeleton, and external articulated case. The want of these is supplied by a shell, or by a tough skin or mantle. Of snails and slugs there are abundance in Newfoundland, with and without shells. The Portuguese men-of-war (Physalia) are sometimes seen on the coast. This ship-like fish has a very beautiful appearance, sailing along on the surface of. the water. It possesses the singular property of stinging. The Squid or Cuttle fish (Sepia Artica) is very abundant, and usually visits the shores of Newfoundland in August and September. It is provided with eight or ten arms or suckers, by which it fastens to any substance, and with which it grasps its prey ; it is from four to six inches long; the colour is a greenish red, and it is luminous in the dark ; they appear like so many pieces of gold darting through the water in the night, leaving after them a fiery train. They dart backwards and for-wards, and are furnished with a bag in the hind part of the body, containing a blackish fluid or ink ; this fluid is a means of defence to the animal, as, when it is pursued, it ejects this ink, in order to conceal itself. It is also a source of annoyance to the fishermen. The moment the squids are drawn from the water they " squirt," as it is termed, ejecting the black fluid in the face and over the clothes of the fishermen. Some writers affirm, while others deny, that this fluid formed the ink of the ancient Romans, and the principal ingredient of the Chinese or Indian ink. The organic remains of this animal, in some countries, have been found in the secondary rocks, with the ink bags preserved. Arms of the Sepia have been picked up on the beach of Newfound-land, twelve feet long. An immense animal of this kind was captured in Conception Bay a few years ago. The squid or cuttle fish is known in almost every sea. It is considered a luxury by the Sandwich Islander ; and the Red Indians of Newfoundland esteemed it a great delicacy, it being eaten raw by them. It is rarely eaten by the inhabitants of Newfoundland, being generally considered unfit for food. It is, however, a well-flavoured fish, and is excellent either broiled or fried ; it tastes much like the large claws of the lobster. The squids are usually caught in Newfoundland with a small jigger, though, when they are plentiful, they will fasten on to anything put into the water. The use to which they are applied is bait for catching codfish, and they also make an excellent manure.
No Oysters (Ostrea Edulis) have been found in the waters of Newfoundland, but are imported from the neighbouring provinces. I see no reason why they could not be planted in artificial beds in Newfoundland, as well as in Europe and the United States. It would be a source of wealth to the poor fishermen, particularly as they could reach England by steam in five or six days, and when oysters are worth 13 sterling per bushel in the London market. There are no oysters in the Provinces of Quebec or Ontario. In 1859, however, Commander Fortin planted an artificial bed in Gaspé Basin ; three years after, in 1861, he visited the bed to ascertain the result of his experiment. He says :
" I caused the drag an iron rake, with an iron bag-net attached, which is used in taking oysters to be passed six times over the beds, and this yielded more than three hundred full-grown oysters, of which more than a third were not only alive but were, moreover, white, fat and of delicious flavour, and they appeared to us to have increased in size since they were laid down in 1859 and 1861 ; and the important fact which was to be established, viz., whether we could create artificial oyster beds on our shores, and whether, among others, the muddy bottom of Gaspé Basin, and the more or less brackish water which it contains, would prove suitable to these mollusca is thus proved beyond any possible doubt. And it is not at all surprising that a part of the oysters which I transferred and had deposited in Gaspé Basin should die, either on the way over from Caraquette to our coast, or after having been put into the water. The sudden change from the spot where they were existing to another which, in some respects, might not be so suit-able ;to them, the few days which they passed out of their natural element, and the wounds which a great many of them necessarily received in being transferred from the fishermen's canoe to the boat which brought them on board La Canadienne, and, after reaching Gaspé, from La Canadienne to the barge which conveyed them to the beds which were to be covered with oysters, were causes quite sufficient to entail the death of so large a number.
"It is well known that if oysters are wounded, and once, when out of the water, lose the fluid which they always keep in their shells which fluid seems to take part in the functions of respiration they soon die.
" But it is impossible to calculate the relative number of dead and live oysters, without having them examined by men in diving-dresses ; and I am of opinion, that the number of dead oysters is not so great as at first sight it would appear to be ; for those who are used to the oyster fishery have a thousand opportunities of perceiving how much more easy it is to take dead oysters than living ones the former are light, and remain on the surface of the mud, whilst the latter, which are heavier and almost constantly in motion, bury themselves in it. At Caraquette, where the oyster beds are of old standing, I have seen the fishermen, at several strokes of the dredge, often bring up nothing but empty oyster shells ; and even when they brought up good oysters, these were mixed with a much greater number of dead oysters.
"Now, if oysters are living in a medium which is suitable to them, it necessarily follows, it appears to me, that they will multiply there ; and this is the more easy as they are hermaphrodites, and, by consequence, coition is unnecessary for their reproduction.
Moreover, as I found young oysters on the old which were collected from the bottom, and even on the branches with which I had covered my oyster beds in the spring, I have convincing proof that my experiments have succeeded, and that these artificial beds, like all those which have been made in the same manner on the shores of the United States, France and England, will multiply to a great extent, and may in a few years bu worked by our fishermen.
" The only thing to be regretted is, that I had not the means of transporting more, and of carrying on my experiments on a larger scale."
The Mussel (Mytilus Edulis), and the Sand Clam (Mya Area ria), are on most of the coast. The mussels are very plentiful in Newfoundland, and might be utilized, not only as an article of food, but also as bait, for which purpose it is in great demand in England, In France, mussel farms have been established by means of strong wooden stakes. The spat voluntarily attaches itself to these stakes, to which is attached a netting made into a kind of basket-work. In one place, 140 horses and 100 carts are employed in this business, in addition to which, some 40 or 50 vessels make about 750 voyages a year to different parts of France. One mussel farm is said to yield $250,000 per annum. Mr. Bertram tells us in his " Harvest of the Sea," of a single little fishing village in Scotland, requiring for its share for baiting the deep sea-lines in cod and haddock fisheries, five millions mussels.
The Clam, which is esteemed so highly in America on account of the excellent chowder which it makes, is not eaten in Newfoundland ; it is only used as codfish bait. The Scallop (Pecten Magellanicus), is found on the coast. The Razor-fish (Solen Ensis),—so called from the shells being shaped like the handle of a razor are found in abundance, buried in the sandy beach of Fortune Bay. They taste like the clam, and are eaten in America.
The Radiated Animals,
Constituting the fourth division of animals, are distinguished by the arrangement of the members of their bodies, which generally diverge on all sides from a central point. These animals are all aquatic. The most common in Newfoundland, belonging to this division, are the Anemone, which are found on the rocks along the sea coast. Some of these animal flowers are very beautiful. The waters of Newfoundland, during the autumn, are thick with jelly fishes, or sea nettle (Medusae) ; these fish are also called sea blubbers, but in Newfoundland they are called by the singular name of " Squid-squads." The Sea Star (Asterias spinasus), is plentiful, and there are several other beautiful varieties. The Sea Urchin, Hedgehog, or Sea Egg (Echinus Granulatus), usually called in Newfoundland Ox eggs, are found on all parts of the coast, clinging, by the suckers which they possess, to the rocks, and to the wharves and stays. Geologists have found the shells of these animals in a fossil state in the more ancient strata of the earth. They are frequently eaten in Newfoundland.
In this department of natural history, the field in Newfoundland is unexplored. I shall therefore only mention a few of the more useful trees and fruits. The oak, beech, maple, elm, chestnut, walnut, bass, cedar, and a variety of other beautiful trees which adorn the American continent, are not found in Newfoundland.
The order—Grossulaceae—includes the wild currants (Ribes Ringens) and the wild gooseberries (Ribes Cynosbati), both of which are very plentiful.
The order— Rosacea-contains the wild roses (Rosa Blanda) and (Rusa Parviflora) ; the wild raspberry (Rabus Idceus). It is a singular fact, that where the woods have been consumed by fire in Newfoundland, the first thing that springs up after is the raspberry bush, al-though the soil had been previously occupied by birch, spruce, and fir trees. Mr. Lindley says :
" Books contain an abundance of instances of plants having suddenly sprung up from the soil obtained from deep excavations, where the seeds must be supposed to have been buried for ages. Professor Henslow says, that in the fens of Cambridgeshire, after the surface has been drained and the boil ploughed, large crops of white and black mustard invariably appear. Miller mentions a case of plantago psyllium having sprung from the soil of an ancient ditch which was emptied at Chelsea, although the plant had never been there in the memory of man. De Candolle says, that M. de Girardin succeeded in raising kidney-beans from seeds at least a hundred years old, taken out of the herbarium of Tournefort ; and I have myself raised raspberry plants from seeds found in an ancient coffin in a barrow in Dorsetshire, which seeds, from the coins and other relics met with near them, may be estimated to have been six-teen or seventeen hundred years old."
And White, in his " Natural History of Selbourne," says :
" The naked part of the Hanger is now covered with thistles of various kinds. The seeds of these thistles may have lain probably under the thick shade of the beeches for many years, but could not vegetate till the sun and air were admitted. When old beech trees are cleared away, the naked ground in a year or two becomes covered with strawberry plants, the seeds of which must have been in the ground for an age at least. One of the slidders, or trenches, down the middle of the Hanger, close covered over with lofty beeches, near a century old, is still called Strawberry Slidder. though no strawberries have grown there in memory of man. That sort of fruit did once, no doubt, abound there, and will again when the obstruction is removed."
The wild Strawberry (Fragaria Virginiana), the Dewberry (Rubus Procumbens) and other fruit bearing plants are found in abundance.
The order—Pomacce—includes the Rowan Tree or Mountain Ash (Pyres Microcarpa), this tree covered with beautiful coral red berries, is one of the prettiest trees of Newfoundland. The timber of the mountain ash is hardly used for any other purpose than that of making handles for edged tools, owing to the small size the tree generally attains. This tree adorns several gardens in the suburbs of St. John's, and graces many dwellings in other parts of of the island.
" The rowan tree or mountain ash, had formerly many superstitious virtues and associations connected with it. It is conjectured that the expression in Shakespeare, ' Aroint thee witch !' should be read, `A rowan-tree witch,' and from the arguments adduced, the latter appears the most probable reading. However, that may be, the rowan-tree is rapidly losing its mysterious and superstitious character, although some lingering remains may still be occasionally met with, of the wondrous magic potency thereunto attributed. It is still supposed in sequestered districts especially, to have the power to avert the 'evil eye.' Education is fast dispelling its celebrity, as the ' witchen tree,' but its beauty and elegance will continue to charm when its superstitious virtues are entirely forgotten."
The Wild Pear (Aronia Ovale) and a variety of other plants.
The order— Amygdalae — contains the White Cherry ( Prunus Rorealis) which is plentifully scattered over Newfoundland, but no choak cherries.
The order—Cupuliferae —includes the Hazel (Corylus A mericana), this tree generally grows by the side of brooks and other moist places in Newfoundland, and produces abundant of nuts.
The order—Betulucae—contains the White Birch (Betula Alba). Yellow Birch (B. Excelsa). Black Birch (B. Senta), and the Canoe Birch (Betula Pu pyracea). This tree is the most useful of any in Newfoundland. It is used for ships' timbers, and sawed into planks. Hoops, tables, chairs, staves, blocks, and a variety of cabinet work are made out of it. A great portion of this timber is consumed as fuel Its wood is also dram n into narrow grassy strips, out of which hats are made. its twigs are made into brooms, and are frequently cut for cattle to browse on. Beds are also made of the outer bark. The canoes of the Red Indians were made out of the bark of the birch, being sewn together with the elastic mu. of trees, and the sinews of the deer ; some of their cook : g utensils were also formed of its wood. The outer bark is used by some as sheathing on the rough boarding of dwelling houses, before the clap board is laid on. The largest birdies of Newfoundland are from 16 to 37 inch's in diameter. The birch is often tapped by persons in the woods in the spring, and affords a pleasant drink. The sap has a sugary taste. It is very probable that it would make an excellent vinegar. The peculiar scent of the Russian leather is owing to the bark of the birch with which it is tanned ; and a subsequent finish with an essential oil distilled from the same tree. In high northern latitudes, the inner bark is ground, and in times of scarcity, used as a substitute for flour. The Laplanders make waterproof boots without seams from the trunk of the tree. Having read that the bark of the birch was made use of by the ancients for tablets, and that some of the books which Auma composed and wrote on this material, were found in perfect preservation when his tomb was opened, after a lapse of four hundred years, I selected some very fine smooth pieces of the outer bark, and found that the pen glided over it with as much facility and ease, as over a fine sheet of letter paper. The birch sends forth a very sweet pleasant smell, which is said to be very beneficial in disorders of the lungs. This tree, clothed with its silvery drapery, is certainly the queen of the Newfoundland forest.
The Alders (Alnus) are a very stunted growth.
The order—Salicacece — includes the Willows (Salix) Balsam poplar (Populos baliamiferus) and the Aspen. (Populus tremuloides) which attains a considerable size, and is principally used for the purpose of building wharves. A legend is told, that of this tree the wood was taken that formed the crois of our Saviour, and that since then its leaves can never rest.
The order—Connerce—contains the evergreens. Indian tea, or Labrador Tea plant (Ledum Latifolium). This plant is used by some of the poor of Newfoundland as tea; it is also very often used medicinally for diseases of the lungs, and with good effect. Sheep laurel (KilmiaA tifolia) and Swamp laurel (Kalimia Glauca), called in Newfoundland, Gould Withy. This plant when boiled with tobacco, and sprinkled over the parts effected, is an infallible remedy to cure dogs of the mange, The Black Crowberry (Empetrum Nigrum) occupies all the head-lands on the coast, and is the principal food of some birds.
The White Pine (Pinus Strobus) called by way of eminence the pine, principally occupy the northern and western parts of Newfoundland. Pine is the largest forest timber of the country ; the usual size to which it attains is from 18 to 34 inches in diameter, at Bay de Easte, in Fortune Bay, however, pines have been found four feet in diameter. Great quantities of pine are sawed into boards, which are said to be much superior to the lumber imported from the neighbouring continent.
The Red Spruce (Pinus Rnbra) is indigenous, but is seldom met with ; White Spruce (Pinus Alba) and Black Spruce (Pinus Nigra) and the Fur (Pines Balsamea). The largest spruce and fir of Newfoundland are small when compared with the stately trees of the American Continent. In Newfoundland they generally attain to from six to twenty inches in diameter, and from thirty to fifty feet long. The spruce is generally used for building boats, oars, fences, spars of various kinds, planks, hand-barrows, wheel-barrows, building fishing-rooms and wharves. It is also used for firing, and from its branches that wholesome beverage, spruce-beer, is made. The fir is mostly used for the frame-work of dwelling-houses and stores, clapboards, oil hogsheads, salmon and herring barrels, casks for screwed fish, shingles and fire-wood. The turpentine bladders of this tree are used in cases of fresh cuts and other wounds. It also forms an excellent varnish for water-colour drawings. The Black Larch (Pinus Pendula) and the Red Larch (Pima Microscarpa), Hack-matack. Tamerac or Juniper. This is one of the most beautiful of the forest trees, and may be called the oak of Newfoundland, being the hardest and most durable of all the forest timber. It has superseded the use of the birch in the construction of ships. It is also used for cart-wheels and for other valuable purposes, and when dry it makes the best fuel of all the forest trees.
The Pitcher Plant, or Indian Cup, called in Newfound-land the Indian Pipe (Saracenia Purpurea) said to cure the small-pox, is found on all the marshes.
The Ground Juniper (Juniperus Communis) is a trailing berry-bearing shrub.
The Order, Vaccineaceae, includes the large and small Cranberries (Oxycoccus Macrocarpus) and (0. Palustris). The Whortle Berries (Vaccinium Resinorum), black Whortle Berry (V. Corymbosum) and Tall Whortle Berry (V. Uliginosum). The Blue Berries (V. Pennsylvanicum), called in Newfoundland " hurts." The Partridge Berry (Gaultheria Procumbens) are most abundant. There are an immense number of plants in Newfoundland which bear edible berries.
The Order, Caprifoliaceae, contains the Dog-woods (Cornus Canadensis), which is very plentiful in Newfoundland. Scarlet Stoneberries (Cornus) are plentifully scattered beneath the shade of the fir-trees, where they love to vegetate. Trailing evergreens and berries are found in almost endless variety in Newfoundland. The garden vegetables in Newfoundland, as well as the animals bred in the country, are said by all whether native or otherwise, to be the best flavoured in the world. I have seen no potatoes, either in the British Provinces or the United States, to be compared for mealiness or flavour to the Newfoundland potato. Potatoes in England, raised from the Newfoundland seed, obtained the prize twice at the Horticultural Show. For a more detailed account of the natural history of Newfoundland, see " Wandering Thoughts, or Solitary Hours," published by the Author in 1846.