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of much of the land which is under search today for plant treasures is stony and forbidding, places apparently for the thistle and the thorn, and it would appear that he who looks for fruitage there must be one who thinks "yea" the answer to the question of Scripture, and that grapes may be gathered of thorns and figs of thistles.
The explorer now in the Himalaya Mountains carries in his head a botanical chart of the United States. He finds a species of plant useful or ornamental, or a variety of a species, and by reference to the mental map he knows instantly in what part of the United States it has a chance to flourish and to prove a blessing. He gathers with full knowledge of the locality in which one day Americans may sit under the shade of a Himalaya tree or gather fruit from a Himalayan
In the plant hunter's head there is also a weather map. He knows the sections of the United States where long periods Frank M. Mi:YER. THE EXPLORER, IN THE HIMALAYA of drought would wither quickly any form of introduced vegetation whose life is moisture. He knows the places where large part the judgment of the plant the rainfall is apt to be excessive and he finder has been justified by results. knows where there are shadow and sun- Americans in the dry country of the shine in about equal parts. His is a work Southwest before long may pick from the of selection, and it can be said that in dooryard trees cherries whose flavor and
juiciness will make them forget the yearnings which they have had in the June time for the fruit of the tree which shadowed the New England home. Explorer Meyer found a wild species of cherry (Prunus microcorpa) growing and thriving on the dry mountain sides of Southern Chinese Turkestan. Perhaps in truth it must be called a bush rather than a tree for it is bush shaped and its height is not over ten feet. This cherry soon will be introduced into America.
In passing through the villages along the line of his journey it is Mr.
Meyer's habit to visit the AN AVENUE OF THE KARAKATCH TREE, A SPECIES OF ELM.
fruit and vegetable stalls of Eminently fitted as a shade tree for the hot and arid. but irrigated sections of the United States.
the market places. While
ING GREAT DROUGHT.
wild grass, apparently a
Travelers agree, Mr. Fairchild says, that the most beautiful tree in Turkestan and perhaps one of the most beautiful in the world is the Karakatch. It
is a species of elm, the A SPECIES OF WILD CHERRY-Prunus microcorpa-CAPABLE OF RESIST Ulmus campestris umbra
culifera, the shade bearer.
Word has come from Mr. in Geok-Tepe, Turkestan, he found a Meyer that this tree eminently is fitted smooth skinned apricot on sale. It is as for planting in large numbers in the hot, smooth as the nectarine and its color is a irrigated sections of the United States. pale yellow. It is a juicy, delicious fruit This introduction will be pushed in known locally as the Slew-abrikose. regions where trees of adequate shade Smooth apricots from the American are desired, but where experiment has grower's point of view, are things much shown in the past that many species have to be desired, and this particular fruit failed to respond to irrigation. the explorer found to possess superior F rom the foothills of the Himalayas qualities of flavor. He found out where has come a drought resisting species of it grew and today under care of the ex- poplar. In the arid and semi-arid regions perts in Washington the apricot is under of the western states where irrigation is "process of propagation” and ultimately not possible, or as yet has not been acit will be sent to the American apricot complished, there is a demand for shade lands where the hope is it will flourish trees for home yards and parks. Atand yield abundantly.
tempts have been made frequently to find The history of the introduction of new a promising subject. Explorer Meyer kinds of alfalfa into the United States thinks that in this poplar, the Populus with a view to proper selection and dis- pruinosa, he has found something which tribution, so that the proverbial bene- will grow and give grateful shade to the faction of making two blades of grass families living in dry regions where the grow where one grew before may be out cold of winter is not too severe. done, has been written again and again Seeds and cuttings of scores of species in agricultural history, but the search is of plant life have come out of the counnever over. Explorer Meyer is looking try already traversed by the American for new kinds of alfalfa, kinds which plant explorer. Perhaps if one in twenty may prove to be better adapted to the of the discoveries upon introduction into soil of some parts of the United States this country proves to be of lasting value than those which already have been tried. the results will be worth the labor, the
No grass and no grain is too humble disregard of danger, the personal devoto escape the plant hunter's attention. To tion to duty of the hunter, and the money Washington from the mountains near spent by the government which commisBacharden, Turkestan, has been sent a sioned him to the search.
The explorer of
this country from the deserts must be
the Andes, the a botanist, but he
Himalayas, the must do much more
Gobi Desert and than is done by the
from Australia, in ordinary botanist of
all perhaps seventythe field. He must
five kinds. Experiknow what many
ments in intermen who are bot
breeding have been anists only do not
successful and the know, how to get
American alfalfa his material with
range rapidly is the germ of life
being extended. still active
From Southern across deserts,
California and countries, conti
from Arizona renents and oceans.
cently there have He cannot be sure
been sent to maralways that his col
ket five tons of lections will stand
dates, the fruit of the long journey to
palms introduced Washington from
and grown successthe point of gath
fully by the explorering. In this case
ing scientists. In frequently he
Florida the mango must send them
industry is today ahead of him to
upon a commercial the coast town
footing. Explorer from which ulti
Meyer now in the mately he intends
Himalaya Mounto take his depart
tains, some years ure, there to be
ago found in China planted and to
a puckerless and grow until he can
seedless persimregather them from
mon. He sent cutDAVID FAIRCHILD, THE AGRICULTURAL EXPLORER IN the soil to make CHARGE OF FOREIGN SEED AND PLANT INTRODUC tings to Washingthem his jealously TION. BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY.
ton where they watched compan
were grown sucions on the last stage of his journey. cessfully. Then they were shipped to
As soon as consignments of cuttings places in the Southern United States or seeds are received in Washington by where it was believed they could be culDavid Fairchild they are turned over to tivated. Today ten acres of puckerless, the entomologist who examines them seedless persimmons are under cultivacarefully for insect pests. Then quickly tion in Georgia by one of the largest they are given to a pathologist who ex- fruit growers in America, a man who amines them for diseases and then if all has faith in the word of the plant finders. is well with the importations they are Out of China recently the governput into alien but kindly soil “and started ment's explorers brought a new cherry, to growing."
which was sent to Southern California The Bureau of Plant Industry for sev- where it took kindly to soil and climate eral years has been at work introducing and gave return for the work expended new and promising species of vegetation by a crop of fine, marketable fruit which into the United States. What has it was ready for the picking two weeks in done? Improved alfalfa, thick growing, advance of any species of cherry known and enriching fields to which the plant to the state. A red currant, the Ribes was a stranger, are one answer to the petraeum, brought from the Altai Mounquestion. Alfalfas have been brought to tains has proved in St. Petersburg to be
a thrifty grower, and a producer holding Chili the seeds of a plant relative of the promise of a successful American future. Alligator pear with the germ of life still
Cuttings of ten forms of olives of the in them, and five times failure came. hardiest kind known, have been sent Finally the explorer has planned to from the far east to the gardens of the swing a cradle of moss underneath the American Capital. It has been proved fruit of the tree to catch it as it falls that these olive trees will stand a tem- ripened from the stem, knowing that in perature of —2° Fahrenheit which kills this way he can be certain of an absoAmerican olives down to the ground. lutely fresh seed supply. Apples, pomegranates, wild peas and The work of David Fairchild and his hardy oranges are other introductions, fellow scientists is one of propagation some of them already acclimated, bear- and distribution. The aim is to put new ing juicy fruit, fine favored and grate- forms of plant life into the hands of the ful to the eyes of the market man and the agriculturists of the country. It is the buyer.
development of a new type of field work. Disappointment comes frequently and It is experimental of course, but no always painfully to the men of the Ex- experiment is tried without previous plorer's Division of the Bureau of Plant study to make certain that kindred conIndustry. Time after time attempts to ditions of soil and climate exist between bring to this country living seeds and the place of the species' origin and the living shoots from places far distant place where it is to start life anew in an have failed, but the death of the plant environment which, the anxious plant does not bring death of hope. Five lover's constant prayer is, it will not find times attempts were made to secure from uncongenial.
ONG before the modern process of cotton wicks saturated with alcohol or
using chemical preparations, fire was benzine. It was decided that this metal kindled by the use of flint stones which could be utilized for making very simple by concussion emit sparks.
lighters, by placing a piece of uranium This method of lighting inflammable in a movable support pressed by a spring materials has been restored by the use against a steel surface covered with of other metals producing, under the ac- points arranged in such a way that the tion of a shock, sparks hotter than those sparks produced would be projected into obtained with the ordinary steel and the gas jet or on the wick to be lighted. flint. Metallic uranium will ignite a This very ingenious idea which was mixture of air and fire-damp; scientists not applied because of the high price of have discovered that this mixture must uranium is now going to be realized beremain a certain length of time in contact cause of the recent utilizing of the subwith the uranium before igniting. The stance cerium. phenomenon is its delay to take fire; this In 1906 Dr. Auer of France attracted delay of 10 seconds at the temperature of attention to cerium by a patent concern650 degrees, diminishes in proportion as ing an alloy of cerique metals with iron ; the temperature increases, for a delay of by this alloy small pyrophoric sticks only one second the temperature must be under slight shocks will emit very hot increased to 1,000 degrees.
sparks. The temperature of the sparks from A new alloy, the Kunheim alloy, is uranium is then above 1,000 degrees. composed of cerique metals with the ad
Sparks forced from iron whether by dition of iron and magnesia. It ignites an ordinary steel and Aint or by the more readily than the preceding alloy, stroke of a miner's tool will not ignite the and may be utilized for lighting gas jets, mixture of air and fire-damp.
while the Auer metal is especially Sparks from uranium readily ignite adapted to pocket lighters.
SUBSTITUTE FOR SHORTHAND
FEW years ago an important communicate his perplexity to the judge, law-suit was being tried in who would re-examine the witness and a court of one of our large —but just then a dramatic incident occities. A dozen witnesses, curred. The witness was seen to sway
representing each side of the in the chair and then topple forward, case, had been heard and their testimony dead-a victim of heart failure. duly recorded. The most important wit- This incident so unnerved the stenogness, however, and the one upon whom rapher that when he set to work a few the defense chiefly relied to support its hours later to transcribe his notes he contentions, was reserved until the last found more than the usual difficulty in When he finally took the stand, judge, deciphering them. Still he finished his lawyers and the other court attaches work with the consciousness that he had leaned eagerly forward in order not to performed his task well. The half dozen miss a word of what might be said, and or so of words about which he had been the official court stenographer prepared in doubt could not affect the result of the to take down his testimony. The ex trial materially anyway—at least that is amination began, and the witness proved what the stenographer thought. But to be such a rapid talker that the stenog- when a few weeks later the case was derapher, one of the most expert in his cided by the judge, it went, very much line, was forced to exert himself to the to the surprise of all concerned, against utmost to keep pace with the questions the defense. In reading his decision the and answers that were plied back and judge dwelt with some emphasis upon forth.
certain words in the testimony of the When the examination finally was chief witness and which, he declared, concluded, the stenographer leaned back had led him to arrive at his conclusions. with a sigh and congratulated himself The stenographer recognized in these that he had made a record for speed and particular words the very ones about
-accuracy? Well, he had passed suc- which he was in doubt when transcribcessfully through
ing his notes, and similar experiences
he was troubled. If before and there
he had been absowas no reason why
lutely sure of himhe should feel that
self, might not the he had made any
whole case have errors in this in
been decided differstance, or doubt his
ently? But now it ability to correctly
was too late to do transcribe the
anything in the queer assortment
matter. of hieroglyphics
This is only one that covered page
of many instances after page of his
wherein the inabilnote book. Besides,
ity of stenograif there was any
phers to read their doubt in his mind,
shorthand notes lie could easily RAPHER'S PAD AND PENCIL.
correctly has re