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Sunlight comes to us from the sun in little waves or ripples called rays. The finest waves or ripples that we can see are blue, and the coarsest are red. Some of the waves are so fine and some are so coarse that they do not affect the sight nerves in our eyes. The coarse ones are called dark rays, or heat rays.
If you drop a stone into a pool of quiet water, you will see the little waves or ripples run out in all directions, forming circles, the center of each being the place where the stone fell; but if you look closer, you will see that each little wave moves away from the center in a straight line. Light waves move away from the sun in all directions in straight lines in just the same way; but when they strike an object, as a tree or a building, they are stopped, and thus on the opposite side of the tree or building we see its shadow. Many harbors along the ocean are closed in by great walls of stone or concrete except for a small gateway through which the ships enter. These walls are called breakwaters, and they stop the waves of water as they roll in from the ocean in much the same way that a building stops the waves of light and casts a shadow. We might call the quiet water behind a breakwater a water shadow.
There are some things that do not stop these little light waves, and that therefore do not have any shadow. Can you think of anything that will not cast a shadow when the sunlight falls on it? What about glass? Although glass is hard and rather strong, the little light waves pass right through it. Anything that stops the light waves is called opaque, and anything through which the light waves will pass is called transparent. How many transparent things can you think of? How many that are opaque?
If you drop a stone into a pool of quiet water the little waves will run out in circles quite fast; but how fast do you suppose the little light waves run out from the sun? What is the swiftest moving thing you can think of in the world? An express train, perhaps. How far will it go while you count ten? If you count right along it may take you about 5 seconds. Try to count ten in 5 seconds. In that time an express train would travel 500 feet. Do you know of an object about 500 feet from your schoolroom? In the 5 seconds while you count ten and an express train is going 500 feet, the little light waves running out from the sun travel a million miles. How can I help you to think of a million miles? Suppose you were to get on an express train going 60 miles an hour, and you traveled on and on, night and day, month after month, never stopping for coal or water all through this year and nearly eleven months of next year, you would have traveled just a million miles. But the distance you would travel on an express train going 60 miles an hour in one year and eleven months, these little waves of light travel in 5 seconds, just while you count ten.
Round the bright air, with footing true,
Robert Louis Stevenson
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed." Robert Louis Stevenson
"Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again."
Robert Louis Stevenson
LETTER TO BOYS AND GIRLS
Dear Boys and Girls of the Open Country:
Sometimes the longing to be a boy again and to be out in the country comes to me very strongly. Of course that is not possible, so the next best thing is to write to country boys and country girls. That is why I am writing to you to-night. You look upon me as a stranger now, but during this year I hope we shall become great friends. You in your farm homes and I in this busy office where I am in touch with hundreds of boys and girls, should have much to tell each other that will be interesting and helpful.
When you read this letter Old Winter will be here. If you are the young folk I think you are, you do not mind it. You love the snow and the cold. What fun to slide and skate and build forts and have battles! Then, when twilight comes, how good it is to go into your homes leaving behind the great white world, and entering a room in which fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers and friends are sitting around a great open fire. Have you ever heard the message of the fire? What boy or girl has not lain in a half-doze, watching through dreamy eyes the flames as they leap and dance, and building-oh, such wonderful plans? Let us, you and I, imagine ourselves watching the flames and planning things for you to do during these winter days. How many have a good start because they did something this summer? You remember the many suggestions made in the April-May Children's Leaflet last spring? Are you keeping a notebook for out-of-door records as suggested? Have you some one finished piece of work to your credit? If you have, write and tell me about it. I hope you are studying about the out-of-door world in your school this year. Let each one try to make a special study of at least one thing. One may choose birds, another poultry, another trees, another fruit, still another grains. Speaking of grain, is your school planning to have a Corn Day this year? January 27 is the day, and, though there were a large number of schools in which Corn Day was celebrated last year, we want twice as many this year. Your school will be one, I know.
Let me tell you just a bit of the history of corn, or maize as it is sometimes called. It was first grown by the Indians. When the white men came to America from England, the Indians taught them how to raise corn. Fishes were used for manure. Sometimes pumpkins and melons were planted with the corn. The Indians used to store their corn in “ cornbarns," made by digging a basin-like hole in the ground and lining it with clay. The sides were a foot or so higher than the surface of the ground, so that the water could not get in, and the roof was made of logs, limbs, brush, and sod. So you see corn was grown a long time ago, and by a people whom we seldom think of as doing much farming.
Now, on Corn Day each one of you should have ready to take to school the finest ten ears of corn that he can find. They should all be the same kind of corn, and all as nearly alike as possible. A good sample is uniform in size, shape, color, and variety. Make your Corn Day a big day in the school. Decorate the room. Ask your parents and neighbors to come. Have some selections about corn read and recited. Have the girls cook and serve some of the corn foods suggested in this Leaflet. Above all, have a good corn show. Get a farmer in the neighborhood to judge the corn and find out who has the best sample of each kind. Learn all you can about corn, and take away with you the feeling that on this same dav many other children all over the great State of New York have had a Corn Day, too.
After the exercises are all over, save the prize samples of each kind of corn and send them to us for our Children's Corn Show during Farmers' Week, February 19-24. If possible, have the school pay the express, for we have very little money for our work with boys and girls. Address the corn to Edward M. Tuttle, College of Agriculture, Ithaca, N. Y., and send it before February 15.
Suppose that all by yourself you had raised the sample of corn you take to school on Corn Day. Then suppose your sample took first prize. Wouldn't you be pleased! Begin now to get ready to grow your corn sample for next year. Save some good seed. sprouts well. Choose a piece of ground, and work and raise a prize sample for next year. well as boys. There is no reason why that first prize should not be won by a girl.
Test it to see whether it when spring comes go to Girls like to grow things as
This is a long letter and it is time for me to stop. Read everything in this Leaflet carefully. I know you will be interested in all that is said about poultry. Perhaps some of you would rather raise chickens than
All right. It doesn't make so much difference what you do, but it matters how you do it. When you make up your mind to do a thing, stick to it until it is done in the best way possible.
Write to me soon, for I am eager to hear all about your work and your play - what you are most interested in, some new thing you have learned, whether you truly love the great, free, open country of which you are a part. You are indeed fortunate to live there, so close to Nature with all its mysteries that are revealed to the patient, reverent seeker. In the next Leaflet I shall write again. By that time I hope you will feel that I am,
Truly your friend,
Edward M. Tuttle
ARTHUR W. GILBERT
When selecting ears of corn for breeding or exhibition purposes, one should have in mind a well-defined ideal type of ear. In general, this type of ear should be one that will give the greatest yield of mature corn. The following suggestions apply primarily to dent corn, but they may be made to apply to flint or sweet corn as well:
1. Shape of ears.-A perfect ear of corn should be full and strong in the middle part, indicating a strong constitution. It should retain this size to near the tip and butt, thus forming as nearly as possible a cylindrical ear.
2. Butts of ears.- The rows of kernels should extend well down over the butts of the ears, thus giving an ear of better appearance and containing a higher yield of grain. The shank, or the part of the stalk that is attached to the ear, should not be too large and coarse. Swelled, open, or badly compressed butts, as well as those having kernels of irregular size, are objectionable.
3. Tips of ears.-The tips of the ears should be well filled out, indicating a type of corn that will easily mature. The rows of kernels should extend in a regular line to the extreme tip of the ear.
4. Shape of kernels. The shape of the kernels is very important. They should broaden gradually from tip to crown, with edges straight, so that they will touch the full length, and should be wedge-shaped without coming to a point. Kernels of this shape will fit close together and thus insure the highest possible yield of grain that can grow on the cob. If the kernels have this wedge shape, no wide spaces will be found between the rows. Such spaces are always objectionable.
5. Proportion between corn and cob.- There should be a large proportion of grain as compared with the amount of cob. This will be the case with ears having deep kernels. A large ear does not necessarily indicate a heavy yield of grain, and it is objectionable in that the cob, being large, contains a considerable amount of moisture which, drying out slowly, injures the grain for seed purposes.
6. Color of grain and cob.- Good corn should be free from admixture. White corn should have white cobs and yellow corn should have red cobs.
7. Trueness to type or race characteristics.-The ears selected for an exhibit or for breeding purposes should be uniform in size, shape, color, indentation, and size of kernel. They should also be true to the name of the variety.