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the state, but chiefly on the head waters of the Hudson, Delaware, Allegany, and rivers entering into Lake Ontario: indeed nearly all the western counties were once covered with dense forests of this noble tree, nor can we wonder that it is rapidly disappearing beneath the axe, when 65,000 acres must be annually cleared, to meet the demand for lumber, 650,000,000 feet of which are obtained from New York alone. Hemlock Spruce (P. Canadensis) affords an inferior kind of timber, lasting well if protected from the weather; but in exposed situations it warps, splits and soon decays. The bark is extensively employed in tanning, and although inferior to oak, it makes very good leather. Balm of Gilead, or Balsam Fir (P. Bul. samea), is not found lower than the Catskill mountains; but is abundant in the northern counties, especially among the Essex mountains. The turpentine, sold under the name of Canada Balsam, is obtained by opening the blisters which form beneath the bark. Black Spruce (P. nigra) is employed principally for the yards and lighter spars of vessels, for which purpose it is admirably fitted by its lightness and strength. White Spruce (P. alba) is a small tree found in swamps, and on the sides of the northern mountains, rarely south of Catskill. The Indians split the small tough roots into fibres for sewing their bark canoes.' Tamarack (P. Pendula) differs from all other pines, in its leaves, which fall at the approach of winter,
Belonging to the same natural family (Conifere) are the Red Cedar (Juniperus Virginiana), noted for its great durability; White cedar (Cupressus Thuyoides) constituting the cedar swamps of Long Island; Arbor Vitæ (Thuya occidentalis), conspicuous along the banks of the Hudson for its cone like growth; although it is sometimes found in swampy places, and then is known by the name of White cedar. We have also the Yew (Taxus Canadensis), which is very different from the yew tree of Europe, though identical in Botanical character-with us it is a shrub of humble growth, trailing over rocks, and found in woods, beneath the shelter of taller evergreens.
The Oaks are almost, if not quite, equal in value to the Pines, and much more numerous, as regards species. White Oak (Quercus alba). is always considered one of our most valuable timber trees. The wood is of great strength and durability, and is used when these qualities are required, as in ship building and heavy frame work for machinery. When sawed into plank, the wheelwright, the wagonmaker, and indeed, almost every mechanic, uses it more or less in his labor. Black Oak (Q. tinctoria) furnishes Quercitron bark, an article of export, and used in dyeing; Scarlet Oak (Q. coccinea), and Black Chestnut Oak (Q. montana), are much prized by the tanner. Other species are Willow Oak (Q. phellos), with narrow leaves; Chinquapin (Q prinos), a dwarf species bearing edible acorns ; Swamp White Oak (Q. bicolor); Mossy Cup Oak (Q. oliveformis); Pin Oak (Q. palustris) and Black Jack (Q. nigra); the last is indigenous to Long Island only.
The White Elm (Ulmus Americana) is a most graceful species, and when growing in moist rich soil one of the largest of our forest trees. The Slippery Elm (U. fulva), a smaller tree, growing on higher ground, is well known for the mucilaginous properties of its inner bark. Thomas' Elm (U. racemosa), so named from the person who first described it, is rather frequent on river banks in the middle and western parts of the state.
Of the Ash (Fraxinus), we have only three species, the White, Black and Grey. White Ash (F. Americana) has elastic, tough wood, and is used in the manufacture of carriages, agricultural implements, &c. From its splitting freely, it is much employed by the cooper for hoops.
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharinum) is a large and handsome tree, well known as furnishing the maple sugar which is obtained, by boiling down the sap, procured from the trees, during the months of February and March-Birdseye and Curled Maple are accidental varieties in the wood of this species. Red Maple (A. rubrum), White or Silver leaved Maple (A. dasycarpum), Mountain Maple, or Moose wood (A. Spicatum and A. Pennsylvanicum), are the only other species.
The Walnut tribe are valuable, both for food and timber. Black Walnut (Juglans nigra), and Butternut (J. cinerea), occur in most parts of the state. Shell bark Hickory (Carya alba) bears the common white walnut, so pleasant to crack by the winter fireside. The bark of this tree separates in long flat scales, with loose, detached ends, giving the trunk a ragged appearance; Moker-nut (C. tomentosa), Pig-nut (C. porcina) and Bitter-nut (C. amara) are the only remaining New York species.
The Beech (Fagus) and Chestnut (Castanea) are both noble growing trees. The wood of the Beech is heavy and compact, but not durable. Chestnut, on the contrary, though light and open grained, bears exposure, for a great length of time, without decay. The American Chestnut is considered a variety of the European, differing only in its smaller and sweeter nuts.
The Canoe Birch is the Betula papyracea. From the bark of this species, which readily peels off in long thin sheets, and slips of cedar, the Indians manufacture their canoes. The wood of the Black Birch (Betula lenta), is considerably used in cabinet making. The Dwarf Birch (Betula nana) is an Alpine shrub, found only on the high mountains of Essex county. The Sycamore (Platanus), the Poplars, and the Willows, are of little value, except as shade trees. Not so the Locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia), a tree of rapid growth and graceful form. Its wood is exceedingly hard and nearly indestructible, and is mostly used for trenails, and gate posts, and in ship-building. It is nct a native of the state, but is cultivated for sale, and as an ornamental tree.
The Tulip tree (Liriodendron Tulipifera) is the pride of our northern forests for its majestic growth,
symmetrical form, and handsome foliage. It not unfrequently rises to the height of seventy feet without a branch, and is covered in May or June with innumerable tulip shaped flowers. The Magnolia (Magnolia glauca) is found only in the swamps of Long Island, and there but sparingly. Its flowers exhale a heavy, but not unpleasant, perfume. One other species, the Cucumber tree (M. acuminata), is not uncommon in the western parts of the state, and is thus named from the appearance of the seed cone.
Of vast importance, as furnishing directly or indirectly the food of man and animals, are the grasses; and no class of plants is so widely
distributed as this. They form the principal portion of the herbage of the earth, giving to the hills and plains their lovely green.
Though our Flora contains many native species, only a small number are of value, our meadow grasses being, with few exceptions, of foreign origin. The principal of these are, Timothy (Phleum pratense), making the best of hay; Sweet Vernal grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum), which, when half withered, gives out a pleasant odor of vanilla; Meadow grass (Poa pratensis), Blue grass (P. compressa) and Rough grass (P. trivialis), most of which have spread over all our pasture grounds. Wheat (Triticum), Rye (Secale) and Oats (Avena), are extensively cultivated in all parts of the state. Zizania aquatica, or wild rice, a favorite food of the Indians, and affording sustenance to myriads of wild fowl, is a native of the northern counties,
The Wild Oat and Chess (Bromus), into which our farmers wrongly believe that wheat and rye degenerate, are common. Phrag. mites, the largest grass of the northern states, looking at a distance like broom corn, grows by the river side, and borders of swamps and ponds.
Some grasses are peculiar to the sands; their matted roots, forming a thick sod, prevent the loose soil from being carried away, by the water or wind. Many others, by their annual decay, aid in fertilizing the soil, that would otherwise be arid and unproductive.
Ferns and Fernlike plants occupy a wide extent of territory. Most common of all is the Brake (Pteris), under cover of which the sportsman is sure to find the rabbit, or the partridge. Maiden Hair (Adiantum), a delicate fern, with dark brown polished stems, is not uncommon. The Walking Fern (Asplenium rhizophyllum) is remarkable for striking root from the extremities of the fronds. The Climbing Fern (Lygodium) is the only species of the tribe, with a twining stem, found in so high a latitude. The tall Osmunda (O.cinnamomea) grows in large bunches, in damp woods and low grounds; sometimes attaining the height of a man.
Club Moss (Lycopodium), a creeping evergreen, is in great request at Christmas time, to form festoons and wreaths.
The Scouring Rush (Equisetum) is used for polishing wood and metals.
In the report of the recent Geological and Botanical survey, ordered by the legislature, the whole number of species of flowering plants, in the state, is said to be about 1450. Of these, 1200 are herbaceous, and 150 may be regarded as ornamental. Of woody plants there are 250 species, including about 80 that attain to the stature of trees. Of plants that are reputed medicinal, we have (native and natural. ized) 160 species. The naturalized plants exceed 160 species.
We must here leave this short notice of New York plants, though we have, by no means, exhausted the materials, nor even touched upon many, that are most frequently met with, in a morning walk. Those who would pursue the study must seek their information in two large volumes, written by Dr. Torrey, which form the Botanical part of the Natural History of New York.
Class I. Mammalia. By mammalia are meant, all those animals having warm blood, a double heart, that is, one with two auricles and two ventricles, and bringing forth their young alive and suckling them. Being, with a few exceptions, four footed animals, they are frequently called quadrupeds. Naturalists have divided these into a number of distinct orders, of which only five are found in this state.
These are 1st, Marsupiatu, or pouched animals. One species, only, belonging to this order, is found in the state, viz. the opossum.
2d, Carnivora, or flesh eaters. Of these we have five species of bats; the mole and shrew mole; six species of shrews; the black bear; the raccoon ; wolverine; skunk ; fisher; weasel, or black cat, called also Pennant's martin; the pine martin, or American sable; the small and the brown weasel; the New York ermine, or ermine weasel; the mink, or minx otter; the common otter; the dog, about thirty varieties, five of which are native; the common wolf, two varieties, the grey, and the black; the panther; the northern, or Canada lynx; the wild cat, or bay lynx; the seal; the hooded seal; and perhaps, the walrus.
3d, Rodentia, or gnawers. Among these are the grey fox; the red, striped, and flying squirrel; the woodchuck, or Maryland marmot; the deer mouse, or Labrador rat; the beaver; the musquash, or muskrat; the porcupine; the Norway, or brown rat; two species of black rat; the common mouse; the jumping mouse ; six species of meadow mice; the grey rabbit; and the northern, or prairie hare.
4th, Ungulata: animals whose toes are covered with a horny case, or hoof. Of these, we have the hog; the horse; the ass; the ox; the goat, the sheep; the American or fallow deer; the moose ; the stag, and the reindeer.
5th, Cetacea, or the whale tribe. The only species of this order, known to exist in the waters of the state, are, the right whale; the sperm whale; the beaked whale, or rorqual; the broad nosed whale ; the social whale, or black whale-fish, called also the howling whale, and bottle head; the common porpoise; the grampus, or thrasher, also called the blackfish whale; and the sea porpoise.
Fossil Mammalia. Of these, but three species, it is believed, have been found, viz, 1st the fossil elephant, of which but a single tooth has been discovered.
2d, The American elephant, of which several teeth have been found in Monroe county.
3d, The mastodon, frequently, but improperly, called mammoth. Remains of this animal, and indeed skeletons nearly entire have been discovered in some 15 or 20 localities in the state, in Orange, Ulster, Monroe, Suffolk, Livingston, Chautauque, Albany, Cattaraugus, Gen. and Niagara counties,
Class II. Aves— Birds. Six orders of birds are found in the state, viz. 1st, Accipitres, birds of prey, including eagles, hawks, vultures, and owls.
2d, Passeres, birds of passage. These include most of those
birds with which we are familiar, and whose departure for a more southern clime in autumn, renders winter more cheerless, as their return in spring, makes the approaching summer more joyous and delightful,
3d, Galline, the cock tribe, including not only our domesticated fowls, but the wild turkey, grouse, prairie hen, &c.
4th, Grallæ, waders. This includes all those long legged birds which obtain their subsistence on the borders of streams; the plover, crane, heron, poke, &c.
5th, Lobipedes, lobefooted birds ; the coot, dipper, &c.
6th, Natatores, swimmers. This includes loons, gulls, gannets, wild ducks and geese, &c.
The following catalogue embraces all the birds, of these different orders, known to exist in the state. Order I. ACCIPITRES.
Family 4. Alcedinide. Spotted Canada Warbler,
King fisher tribe. Spotted
Family 5. Trochilide. Blackburnian Family 1. Vulturide. Humming bird tribe. Bay breasted
Vulture tribe. Red throated humming bird Black, poll Turkey buzzard.
Family 6. Certhida. Prairie Family 2. Falconidæ.
Blue, yellow backed "
Summer yellow bird,
Black throated green
Green, black capped
Family 7. Parid.
Blue grey gnat-catcher, American sparrow
Family 12. Muscicapida.
Small green crested fly Marsh harrier,
Family 8. Sylviade. catcher,
Blue bird tribe.
Yellow bellied fly catcher,
Olive sided kingbird,
Family 9. Merulidce.
Great crested Little screech
Family 13. Vireonidæ.
Yellow throated greenlet,
Yellow breasted chat.
Family 14. Laniidæ. Order II. PASSERES. Family 10. Motacillida.
Family 15. Corvida.
Golden crowned wagtail. Canada
Family 11. Sylvicolidee. Magpie,
Mourning Warbler, Fish crow,
Family 16. Quiscalidæ. White bellied swallow, Whistling
Common crow blackbird,