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Equation of Time. · To find the mean or true time from that indicated by a good sun-dial, subtract the following quantities from apparent time, viz. • TABLE.
Phases of the Moon.
Moon's Passage over the Meridian. The Moon will pass the meridian of the Royal Observatory at the following times this month, which will afford opportunities for observing her in that position, if the state of the atmosphere will allow; viz. October 2d, at 37 m. after 4 in the evening 3d, - 31
· PHENOMENA PLANETARUM.
Phases of Venus.
of Illuminated part = 9.784055
2 Obscure part = 2.215945
Eclipses of Jupiter's Satellites. The following are the eclipses of these bodies that will be visible in England during this month, viz.
11th - - 16 - - 2 - - - .
15th - - 15 . 1 in the morning
Form of Saturn's Ring.
Conjugate axis --- 0•280
Other Phenomena. Venus will be in conjunction with a in Libra on the 1st of this month, when she will be 59' south of the star. The Moon will also be in conjunction with a in Scorpio at 16 m. after 5 in the evening of the same day; and with 8 in' Taurus at 21 m. past 1 at noon of the 15th. Saturn will be in opposition at 45 m. after 10 in the evening of the 16th; and Jupiter at a quarter past 9 in the evening of the 18th. The Moon will be in conjunction with Mars at 20 m. after 10 in the moming of the 19th ; with a in Leo at 39 m. past 2 in the afternoon of the 20th ; with a in Virgo at 41 m. after 2 in the morning of the 25th; and with a in Scorpio at 24 m. after 11 at night of the 28th : and Mercury will be at his greatest elongation on the 31st.
The Naturalist's Diary
For OCTOBER 1821.
Like bonny Scot, in many-coloured plaid. The groves now lose their leafy honours; but before they are entirely tarnished, an adventitious beauty, arising from that gradual decay which loosens the withering leaf, gilds the autumnal landscape with a temporary splendour, superior to the verdure of spring or the luxuriance of summer.
Of the brightness and beauty of Summer and Spring
There is little left, but the roses that blow
And eagerly smile in each sunbeam's glow :
Seem to shrink from the wind which ruffles them so.
You were fanned by breezes gentler than these;
And opened your buds to the hum of bees:
And wave your blossoms in Summer's breeze,
Of pensive delight to the thoughtful mind;
Though we know that Winter lingers bebind :
Her dearest and loveliest aspect we find.
T'he wan, sear leaf, like a floating toy;
On the grass at morn; and the sunshine coy,
Which comes and goes like a smile when wooed;
Give birth to sensations superior to joy', Hips, haws, sloes, and blackberries, now adorn our hedges; and the berries of the barberry (berberis vulgaris), bryony (tamus communis), honeysuckle, elder, holly, woody-nightshade, and privet (ligustrum vulgare), afford a valuable supply of food for many of the feathered race, while passing their winter with us. It's
About the middle of the month, the common martin disappears; and, shortly afterwards, the smallest kind of swallow, the sand-martin, migrates, The Royston or hooded, crow (Corvus cornix) arrives from Scotland and the northern parts of England, being driven thence by the severity of the season. The woodcock returns, and is found on our eastern coasts. ieri
Various kinds of waterfowl make their appearance; and, about the middle of the month, wild geese leave the fens, and go to the rye lands, to devour the young corn. Rooks sport and dive, in a playful manner, before they go to roost, congregating in large numbers. The starling (sturnus vulgaris) sings. Stares are most social birds, and are rarely seen alone; even when in small parties they are continually calling for companions with a fine clear note that may be heard at a great distance; they delight in the bright autumnal mornings to sit basking and pruning themselves in the sun on some high tree, chattéring in concert in a low song-like note. Whence the prodigious flights come from that appear in the fenny districts in winter, it is not easy to conjecture, unless they migrate to England from other countries. In these progresses they probably travel alone, or journey with our only migrating corvus, the Royston crow,
See Poems by Bernard Barton (a Quaker), p. 34.
as they associate but little with other birds than rooks and daws. There is something singularly curious and mysterious in the conduct of these birds, previously to the nightly retirement to their reedy roost; the variety and intricacy of their evolutions in the air, and the precision with which each performs his part of the figure, are more like parade movements, than the promiscuous flight of birds: as the breeding season advances, these vast flights break into little parties, and finally subdivide into pairs. Travellers acquaint us that starlings abound in Persia, and in the regions of Caucasus; we see a few pairs about a church, a ruin of some antient fabric, and here and there about the rocks on the sea-shore, but the vast body of them probably leave the kingdom. This faculty, by which they and our migratorial tribes direct their flight from regions the most remote to some destined land, with other habits equally extraordinary, we supposc must still be called instinct;' under which word we include some of the strongest and most important actions of ani. mal life, and cover our entire ignorance of the workings of Supreme Intelligence? The awk or puffin (alca arctica) visits for the purposes of incubation some of the rocky isles of Britain, in amazing numbers; they arrive and leave their breeding haunts annually, with an exactitude (almost to a day) that is most remarkable; nor are they seen again in any of the surrounding seas until the succeeding summer restores them: the winter haunts of these birds were until recently only conjectured; our late arctic voyagers found them in prodigious swarms in the open
1 Large Alights of red-wings and field-fares arrive in England about the end of October, or beginning of November, and they generally give notice of their progress by the repeated calls or signals of the leading birds to prevent the wandering of the flights : the clamour of the whole is not heard at once, but now and then a shrill call or distant notice to their followers; these pipings, in a calm and mild evening, add greatly to the solemnity and interest of the hour.