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2 corrections, most recently by GaryPresland - Show corrections

NATURE NOTES AND QUERIES.

_,

By DONALD MACDONALD.

BLACKFELLOWS' BREAD.

The slice of underground fungus sent by "Woodles" (Emerald) is known as "black   fellows' bread," but I cannot at the mo ment give the botanical name In its younger state it was eaten bv the blacks and is one of the truffles, which are perhaps the best of the edible fungus

SWALLOWS ON STEAMERS.    

Mr Arthur French sends an interesting note -"On board the boats J C D and Tamil, on the Mitchell River, at Bairnsdale swallows have built then nests, and are rearing their young They follow the boats   daily to the Lakes entrance and the Tambo feeding their young on route They do not seem at all surprised at their movable

home."

A LIVING BUNYIP  

Mr A J Campbell (Armadale) writes - 'The mysterious bunyip has been seen at last by two members of my own family. My   daughter returned from the Grampians last week, and reports that two seal like amphibians have been seen in the Black

Swamp, near Pomonal With a few local friends, who were picnicking on the green meadows 'neath the redgums by the lagoon, she distinctly saw, about 23 yards away, a rounded seal like head appear above the surface of the water among the scanty reeds The appearance caused intense sur prise and excitement among the party My son (Mr A G Campbell), who was farther round the swamp, immediately took one of the horses, riding it up to the girths in the water, and observed what appered to be a     second animal swimming before him

"In the meantime it is hoped that local sportsmen will not molest the interesting creatures, whether common sea seals (a hundred miles from their element) or bunjips Moreover, as the swamp (which at present is landlocked) nearly dries up at summer Mr Short or the Exhibition trus tees, might think it worth while to attempt to captme tlie animals A 'veritable bun yip' at the Aquarium would undoubtedly be

a draw "

I SIH-FP AND SNAKF -' "BS," Ainting from Murgheboluc, via Geelong, mentions a curious tnck nf sheep in dealing w ith a snake, winch was witnessed by the whole family It waa noticed that the sheep formed a ring trot ting around in a circle head to tail Sml denly one sheep lumped from the ring lo the centre with its four feet hunched to gcthei, then quickly bock to its place again Another followed the exnmplc, anti so it went on foi some time Finally, the sheep broke up, and moved away On examining the spot tiley were surprised to find a fieslilj killed snake, with its head and part of its body smashed to a pulp from Hie strokes of the sheep s feet Their track when ringing about the snake was very cleurjy maiked The writer only saw this snake killing feat once, though on two suli sequent occasions she saw the same ring mirks in the paddock

YOUNG MOPOKES

"AI M " (Toorak) found a young mopoke under a tree It had ev.dentl) fallen fiom the nest, which is usually von bImIIow ititi placed on a bare limb or open fork Hil young bird was taken home, and fed with finely chopped nw meat As soon us it rai fly strong!) the writer intends to set it at liberty It is inconvenient to feed Hie bird at night Meat is a good emereencv food foi many kinds of birds, though If mcy that the mopoke feeds largcl) on moths

beetles, and othet night-flying insects, uitit perhaps an occasional mouse or frog hu

the owls

THE TOORAK MGIITINaAL.

Thc bird mentioned bj ' Naturalist

(Toorak), a beautiful whistler, is cither the butcher bird or the grey thrush if it has a distinct ring around the neik w hite breast and dark back, and the whistle is mellon and round it is the bulcher bird Ii slate

grey, with i leddish tinge near the neck it is the grey or harmonious thrush wilk- ins a sharper note, wlHi a sort of Inn. lung whip to it They call the bird the luorak nightingale

AN UNKNOWN BIRD

*'W J S " (Riddell) sends a sketch of a bird found with its xving broken Although injured, it soon got accustomed lo eipuut) and took grubs or worms from the luind Its movements were quick and restless De senption -Si/o of n starling, the colour biaek, with a lustrous sheen of greta Hie breist and neck were covered with bin ill

white dots, and the xvinps beautifully pen cilleil with silver-grey Hie beak is bri-lit orange, and large for the bize of the biri

legs, feet, and toes yellow, willi i pro- nounced hind tinte-.

Tlie rough sketch suggests a hird lil e the Drongo, the beak and legs might be those of a blackbird, but 1 cannot ht all the details to any particular bred, r Others may be able to place it ,

FOR SNAKKB1T.

"Myrtle" (Snowy River) says - I hear so many guçge&tions for treating snal chile that I am lu doubt as to what ia b_>t, Snakcs aro plentiful here, and t am idw i)s in di ead lest the children hhould lie bitten W hut would j on recommend a.» tlie be t simple remedy to use until the dottor eua

be consulted''

Reply-I can onlv sav that if I were in Hie same position I would keep in some place well known to the whole household the Lauder Bruillon lancet Jt costs on. a shilling, has a little lance in one end a 1 ox (with screw lid) at the other end filled w ith permanganate crystals You tie a lip turo tightly above tlie fang marks cut through them with the lancet, xvhieh »bauld be xerv shaip, and, having wet the per manganate crystals sbghtly so as to meit them, rub the liquid into the wound Printed instructions are sent with tie lancet, which you mav get from Watson and Sons, Swanston sticet, Melbourne

NAMLS 01 GRASSES

Can any botanist supply ax o frumps

with the botanical nimes of the yas-ci known as Coifee," 'Shivery and Taity"'

CENTIPI DIS AND -II PI II AOUNI

'Idalia" (loorak), referring to the con trovcrsy ubout snakes swallowing their young, says Hut centipedes seem to do Ile same They unearthed a centipede with 17 young ones, and placed Hiern on i I ile In a little while the young ones disap pcaiod, eithei into the mothci & mouth or near it ,

Reply -T think closer examination vi oui I have revealed the yrung ones ilus-lcix underncath the motliei, sheltered bj the legs and body

1 FIS AND HOIlSrilAIR

In icplv to '."Uislicr' (Mad. i) titra

was an old fashioned belief that hor ena r

placed in water turned into eels but Hier

i» nothing m it They spawn in silt witer only, m the same way is othci fi-Iic.

DONKL. LlliP 1 ACT

A correspondent sends Hie advance pages of an ambitious Amcucan work known H the Home Lducator Hie sample note on buds deals cunously enough with mr Laughing Jackass - In Hie /oologicil Inr den of Melbourne, Australia are slrau(,o looking birds re_tnibhiig small owl» tv m donkey like faces Ihcse birds art tiled liuglung jackasses They perch tiy-tlicr in rows, and look as if they weie xerv much amused over something Prcsciitlv one ot them says Ha'' which is rcpeiteil It the others until the entire row seems I"-»"-11/ convulsed with lnagnter, and people st ina mg bj laugh with the birds until the t-ira inn down then cheeks, and> they are

doubled up by their paroxysms

LOSS Or POSSUMS 1LR

E M Shaw (Abbotsford) mentions hit a young possum kept as a pet and fed on bread ana milk is losing the fur umleuti neck, though thoie is no sign of iisiie Ihe fur ou a possum generally thin- oui in summer, and thickens and improves « f the letum of cold weather lW'is M vere fond of all kinds of raw A cgctables jnil

fruits I would suggest a change oí looa

BLFTLF AND EGG-BALL

Mr W H -colt, of Box Hill ¡n refer ling to the uses of the horns on ti I ar- rowing beetle, says that m Africa lu. ia» seen n beetle clinging to a bil of in "J rolling it over and over until a mutai* spot for burying it was reached I »a» the same tiling Cn Natal but the oi-nitor, if I am not much mistaken, was a pidcr I remember, as an experiment, usinig it away from its egg ball wit li a tv«, but it always got back to the ha '»* if I recollect aright, was about an mil m diameter Other .-strahans in AH'« must have noted this Whit i» t"ur m PreBm0nV CRIA THRUSH S LOOS

The eggs described by ' I CM U "¡¡«-c» Hill), * Ale with dashes of dirl h own, and smaller light and dark grey ma 1 mg

I take to be those of the grey or liariuomin»

thmh BIRD BOOKS ,

I cannot recommend the book ra^T_ by a Canterbury correspondent a- n gow work on bird» It is expensive mid 1.» pi iles aie indifferent lhere i» no ii lia cullv in buying it but it is much harder

to sell "

COULBURN HSU

I cannot with any ce._int> nora« lT" the -keith suit by Aiiriei, >a'la'n {_ perch like i.sh prcMim-W caugh in 'h (.oulbui n It was 22m.Jong 7in ia ^ very tint on the sides and weighed 71b l« flatness on the side, as xvel 1 ai the nd coloui and arrangement of the ">' .*,

suggest the golden perch, but that inn » piobibly well 1 no vn to Goulburn angler«

INGUSH (OLDFINCII

The bird described bv B H - (»°,u!3 Cieek) is the 1 ncji-h (.oldlmcli

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