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THE MEADOW LARK.
HE meadow lark, like the partridge, has favorite places of resort. His flight resembles that of the partridge and of the quail. Though one of the largest of our singing birds, his voice is neither loud nor deep, some of his tones being rather sharp and weak. Although his music is charming, he lacks the vocal power of the robin and of the oriole, a bird of not more than half his size; still Wilson, in comparing him with the skylark, says: "In richness of plumage, as well as sweetness of voice (as far as his few notes extend), he stands eminently its superior." The meadow lark's song is essentially tender and plaintive.
In the early, dewy morning and towards evening he will stand a long time upon a stump, At other times, a large rock or rock-heap, singing at intervals little snatches of melody, occasionally, like the oriole and the kingfisher, giving his "low, rapid, chattering" monotones.
It is a favorite pastime with him to repeat these four tones many times in succession, with rests intervening:
These fragmentary strains form, when connected, an original and interesting song. Now and then there is a subtile tremor in the tones of this singer, no more to be described than the odor of a rose, but somewhat resembling that in the tones of Wilson's thrush as he trembles along down to the close of his quivering silvery song.
TOWHEE BUNTING, OR CHEWINK.
THIS sprightly, showy bird indulges in a variety of vocal exercises, the most characteristic of them consisting of one loud and wellprolonged tone, followed by a trill a sixth above it, rather softly given. Át a little distance the effect is that of the singing of two birds; one taking the long tone, the second taking the trill. Sva. p
The trill, however, is often wholly lost in the distance.
But this pompous singer is not confined to the interval of a sixth. During the last days of May and the first of June, I have heard him as follows:
The chewink generally sings in the key of C. I once heard him in F, in which key he made the skip of an octave in place of a sixth or fourth.
It is worthy of notice that the second. example, if we cut short the trill, is identical with the first strain of "Rock of Ages." This species seems to have a special dislike to the sea. So says the close observer Wilson; but I have found him much at home at different points close to the ocean.
THE tanager is the only rival of the oriole in beauty of plumage. The tanager is less active, less vigorous than the oriole, and has the weaker voice; but it would be difficult to imagine a bird more fascinating, both to the eye and to the ear, than this scarlet singer, bound in black, as he stands shining in the early sun, and singing his morning song.
The percussive tones of the oriole invite or compel attention; while the tanager is content to sing in the forest with his fellows, with no human ear to hear. The oriole must be out of the forest and near the earth, where he can be
heard and seen of men. The oriole is restless, always in motion when he sings; he even chatters as he flies; while the tanager is gracefully quiet, moved only by the vibrations of his voice. I heard him nearly every day during last bird season (1888), when he repeated almost exactly over and over again the following nine tones:
are so fond and from which they take the name "thistle-bird." Frequenters of our dooryards and gardens, they are tame and confiding, and of all birds the gentlest mannered. With their heads crowned with black caps, their yellow bodies, black wings and tails, they are dainty, high-bred visitors. When singing in chorus, as is their habit, their soft warblings are expressive of great delight. In their most characteristic song, of only four notes, they are stronger voiced, and sing with distinctness and
The key was F minor except in one instance; moderation. This song is performed while on then it was only a degree higher :
the wing, and is all the more charming because of the touch of sadness that it has for the sensitive listener. The flight of the yellow-birds follows the fashion of the woodpeckers. It is like the riding of a boat over great billows --
If there is some of the oriole's music here, I up-down-up-in graceful curves, with a must think it original with the tanager. Other forms of the tanager's song:
stroke of the wings for each swell, to the accompaniment of the little song:
WITH acclamation and with trumpet tone,
Unsullied in our breast and pure and white
Langdon Elwyn Mitchell.
THE RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES AND
A CANADIAN VIEW.1
ORTH AMERICA, considered geologically, consists of three fundamental divisions, in a general sense parallel to one another and to the adjacent oceans, viz.: the Appalachian section, the central plain, and the Rocky Mountains section. No natural line of demarcation extends east and west across the continent. All the great rivers flow either to or from the north; the great mountain chains follow the meridians. From the semi-tropical region of the Gulf States to the icy coast of Labrador, from the Mexican border to the snowy peaks of Alaska, there is an uninterrupted gradation in climate, and hence in natural products. No mountain range, like the great Altai, or the Himalayas, or even the Alps, presents a barrier alike to man, animals, and vegetation; no vast desert, like the Sahara, or far-penetrating sea, like the Mediterranean, tends to develop diverse races, or by the force of physical necessity compels a marked diversity of habits and occupations among the people, or abrupt changes of species in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. Geographically, commercially, agriculturally, and industrially the continent is by nature one country-the north the complement of the south, the south of the north. If events had so shaped themselves during the last century that North America had been developed as one country politically, a suggestion that an arbitrary line ought to be drawn across the continent from east to west, and that trade between the regions thus set apart should be hampered by regulations, artificial, variable, and often inconsistent, would be treated as contrary to nature and to common sense. It would be pointed out that every argument which could be urged in favor of one such line could with equal force be advanced in favor of a score. But events have proved themselves for the time being stronger than nature, and the statesmen of America have to deal with the resulting conditions. Indications multiply that the time is near at hand when the many difficult questions involved will demand solution.
In the abstract the question of continental free trade is simple enough; but however
1 An American view of the resources of the United States will be presented in articles now being prepared.- EDITOR.
unnatural a line of demarcation may be, to remove it will give more or less of shock to the established order of things. Commerce and industry adapt themselves in a measure to political conditions; important interests are developed by favoring tariffs; national sentiment gets a bias from long years of semi-antagonism. Hence to deal with the commercial amalgamation of the United States and Canada as a measure of practical politics is a matter of no small difficulty. One phase only of the subject is treated in this paper, namely, the interchange of natural products.
Reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the United States and Canada divide North America between them into two nearly equal parts. The institutions of both countries are the same in principle. Their people have for the most part the same origin, speak the same language, read the same literature, cherish the same aspirations, and follow the same general trend of thought. There are differences between Americans and Canadians; but these are no greater than the differences between the inhabitants of the several States on the one hand, or of the several Provinces on the other.
This condition of things is without precedent or parallel, and presents a political and commercial problem altogether sui generis, in the solution of which Old World experience is of little value. American questions must be settled in America by Americans. This is recognized by English statesmen of both parties, the consensus of opinion being that Canada must be allowed full liberty to work out her own destiny, the Imperial Government holding itself ready to assent to any political change or commercial arrangement desired by the people of the Dominion.
For ten years previous to 1864 what is commonly called the Reciprocity Treaty was in force, by which the unrestricted interchange of natural products between the two countries was permitted; and under its fostering influence international commerce increased with tremendous strides, even though the resources of Canada were at that time scarcely guessed at, and the demands of the United States market had not assumed so varied a character or become of such enormous magnitude as in recent years. Since the expiration of the treaty walls against each other, until in the year both countries have industriously set up tariff ending June 30, 1887, Canada collected over
seven millions of dollars in duties from imports from the United States, the latter country collecting a much larger sum from imports from Canada. Yet, notwithstanding opposing tariffs, if account be taken of all the ramifications of their dealings, it will undoubtedly appear that more than half of the business that the less than five million Canadians do with the world outside of their own country is done with the people of the United States, and that fully one-tenth of all the foreign business of the sixty millions of Americans is done with these same less than five million Canadians. The transactions between the two countries of which the custom-house takes cognizance average upwards of eighty million dollars a year. They rose to $97,701,056 in 1883; and in the twelve months ending June 30, 1887, were $82,767,265.1 There are, in addition, many vast transactions and numberless minor ones of which the customs authorities are not supposed to keep a record, such as the disbursements in connection with railway lines having a part of their systems in both countries, with the shipping carrying commerce between them, with the purchase and transportation of merchandise, and the enormous sum spent in each country by visitors
from the other.
Following is a statement of the trade in natural products between the two countries. The figures are taken from the Trade and Navigation Returns of Canada for the year ending June 30, 1888.
Products of fisheries.
Other articles (about)
.439,294 2,697,432 3,136,726
answers to these questions, several lines of investigation must be followed.
First, as to the probable demand in the United States for the products of her northern neighbor.
I approach this branch of the subject with considerable hesitation, knowing how any statements made in regard to it will be challenged. The practice is to represent the food-producing capacity of the United States as practically boundless; but in computing the ability of America to support a resident population, the statistics of China or of India, which are generally quoted, or even those of continental Europe, are of very little value. Americans live better than the people of the Old World. They require food in greater quantity and in greater variety. They employ more horses in work and pleasure; wear more clothes and better ones; live in better houses and furnish them better; and, what is perhaps of even more importance, they are as prodigal of land as of everything else. They are far from thorough in methods of cultivation; they require vast ranges for pasturage for their flocks and herds, even in localities where the population is comparatively dense; and they have gone on exhausting the fertility of the soil as though there was no limit to the supply of arable land. These considerations must be kept in mind when we endeavor to estimate, not the possible expansion of United States agriculture under certain fanciful conditions, but its probable relation to the population thirty years from now, when there will be 120,000,000 people living within the bounds of the Repub
Animals and their products. $5,477,213 $6,949,270 $12,426,483 lic, if the present rate of increase continues. 7,634,185 15,345,427 To supply the needs of the United States 8,718,768 for home consumption in 1887 and the $523,4,000,000 073,798 worth of agricultural produce exported, over eight acres per head of the population were required. This calculation is based on an estimated population of 60,000,000. Not that to every individual the crop grown on eight acres was, on an average, necessary for food purposes; for, in addition to the human population, an immense number of animals were maintained to supply food or materials to be worked up into various manufactured articles, or to be themselves employed in some useful capacity. Following is a statement of the number of animals kept in the United States in the year 1888.2
Or, in round numbers, $55,000,000. Although the increase in this international commerce is not constant from year to year, if periods of five years are taken it will be found that its growth is continuous, on the Canadian side at least, notwithstanding frequent changes in the tariff, and other elements of disturbance, such as the expiration of the Treaty of Washington, the strained interpretation sometimes put upon the customs laws in both countries, not to speak of panics and crises affecting the whole commercial world.
Are there any reasons to anticipate a great development in this interchange of natural products? Is one country at all necessary, in a commercial sense, to the other? Or if not necessary, is close commercial intercourse between them a thing to be fostered in the interest of both? In order to arrive at satisfactory
is reasonable to suppose that for the next thirty years there will be an increase in live stock corresponding with that in population. Therefore in estimating the capacity of the country to sustain population under existing conditions, the acreage necessary for the support of live stock must be taken into account. Estimate of the land in crop and pasture in 1888:
Acreage in wheat..
10,000,000 245,000,000 15,000,000
Report of United
Based on Depart-
comes denser the necessity for judicious forest conservation becomes greater. For the sole purpose of providing fuel it is estimated that at least one-fourth of the farm lands must be reserved as woodland, leaving available threefourths for tillage and pasture. On this basis there is an immense area on existing farms to be utilized as tillage land, sufficient, no doubt, to permit their food-producing capacity to be doubled; but here comes up the question of 78,000,000 States Agricultural Cost. To double the area in crop on existing farms- that is, to clear the land of forest, where that is necessary, or to break up the virgin prairie, to provide fencing, implements for planting and harvesting, and buildings to store the crop and house the additional stock needed - would cost fully $40 per acre, or a total of $8,800,000,000. To duplicate the live stock now on the farms and this would have to be done if their productive capacity is to be doubled-would call for an outlay of $2,409,043,398,1 making in the whole upwards of $11,000,000,000. In other words, to double during the next thirty years the output of existing farms would require an expenditure of $366,000,000 annually on capital account, or ten per cent. of their present product. This would be in addition to the enormous but indefinable sum which must be expended in keeping up the fertility of the soil, in repairs to buildings and fences, the renewal of farm implements, and the payment of interest on mortgages. This estimate is necessarily only an approximation, but it will serve as a measure of the tremendous problem involved in providing for the wants of the rapidly increasing population of the Republic.
It is impossible to be accurate in the estimate of pasturage; but taking the country as a whole, there is in the settled districts fully as much land in pasture as in crop. Much of it, indeed by far the most of it, is unimproved land, some of it serving the double purpose of wood reserve and pasture. Under cultivation it would carry an immensely increased amount of stock; but it is to be remembered that a very large area must be left unimproved in order that the supply of fuel may be kept up. In addition to the pasturage appurtenant to farms, the great extent of land included in the Western cattle ranches has to be considered.
This question may be looked at from another point of view. The number of acres in farms in the United States, as given in the report of the Department of Agriculture for 1884, and taken apparently from the census of 1880, was 536,081,835. An examination of later crop statistics, a comparison with the increase in previous years, and the well-known rapidity with which vacant lands in the West have been taken up, justify an estimate of a twenty per cent. increase since 1880, or that the area in farms in the United States in 1888 probably exceeded 700,000,000 acres, nearly one-third of which appears from the returns quoted above to have been in crop. This indicates that the productive capacity of the farms has not been nearly reached; but in estimating upon any probable expansion several considerations must be kept in mind. One of these is the preservation of forests, the importance of which, for both climatic and economical reasons, is being more strongly inculcated and better understood from year to year. As population be
1 Report of the Department of Agriculture on the numbers and values of farm animals, 1888.
2 In 1871 the Department of Agriculture estimated
Hitherto the greater part of the increase in the agricultural product of the United States has been due to the taking up of new farms; and if the present rate is maintained, every available acre of arable land will be in the hands of private owners before the close of the present century. The estimate generally received of the extent of this arable land is 1,500,000 square miles, or 960,000,000 acres; and if this is correct it follows, from what has been stated above, that only 260,000,000 acres are not already included in farms, which is clearly not sufficient for the needs of the 60,000,000 people likely to be added to the population of the United States during the next three decades. Therefore within a few years the Republic will be brought face to face with a new and most difficult problem — a rapidly increasing population and all the arable land in the hands of private owners. This does not take account of the elevated western that the fencing in the United States had cost, as it then stood, $1,747,549,931, and that the annual expenditure for repairs was $198,806,182.