Gateway to the Classics: Summer by Dallas Lore Sharp
Summer by  Dallas Lore Sharp

Back Matter

Notes and Suggestions

Chapter I

To the Teacher

Let me say again that the best thing any nature book can do for its readers is to take them out of doors; and that the best thing any nature-study teacher can do for them is to take them out of doors. Think of going to school to a teacher so simple, wholesome, vigorous, original, and rich in the qualities of the soul that she (how naturally we say "she"!)—that she comes to her classroom by way of the Public Garden, carrying a bird-glass in her hand! or across the fields with a rare orchid in her hand, and the freshness and sweetness of the June morning in her face and spirit! Why, I should like to be a boy again just to have such a teacher. Instead of bird-songs it is too often school gossip, instead of orchids it is clothes, instead of the open fields it is the round of the schoolroom that most teachers are absorbed in. Most teachers can add and spell much better than they can read, because they do not know the literary values and suggestions of words. Nothing would so help the run of teachers as the background, the observation and feeling, that would come from an intimate knowledge of the out-of-doors in the vicinity of their schoolrooms.

For the Pupil

Page 1

Learn first of all the joy of walking. It is enough at first to say "I am going to take a woods walk," with nothing smaller in mind to do or hear or see. Such tramping itself is one of the very best ways of meeting the wild folk, and getting acquainted with nature. Go to a variety of places—the seashore, the water-front, the upland pasture, the deep swamps, even if you take a ear-ride to reach them. Then select the place nearest at hand to frequent and watch closely.

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There are many good books on the use of the camera for nature-study. Among them read: "Nature and the Camera" by Dug-more; "Home Life of Wild Birds," by Herrick.

Page 4

The clover blossom and the bumblebee:  Read the intensely interesting book of Darwin's on the cross-fertilization of flowers. You will also find readable accounts in "Nature's Garden," by Mrs. Blanchan.

Page 5

In what nursery book do you find the original account of the House that Jack Built?

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Coccinella septempunctata:  The ladybirds, or ladybugs, are named according to the number of their spots: septempunctata  means seven-spotted. Another is called novemnotata , nine-spotted. Sixty species of birds:  Make your own list. Study your woods, your neighborhood, minutely day and night in order to find them all.

Chapter II

To the Teacher

Set the students to watching and reporting this rare but very interesting phase of wild animal life. Nothing will tax their patience and ingenuity more; nor will any of their reports need so careful scrutiny and weighing, so easy is it to be mistaken.

For the Pupil

Page 10

"line":  the end of the race; the "tape "or mark set for runners in a contest.

"set-to":  a combat or fight.

mix-up:  is the same half-slangy word or newspaper expression for a general fight.

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Paramcæcium:  this is one of the best known of the single-celled animals. You can get them by making an "infusion" of raw potato, a little hay, and stagnant water.

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A writer in one of our magazines:  The account is found in "St. Nicholas" for May, 1913.

two big slanting cellar-doors:  These were in the shed of my grandfather's farmhouse, "Underwood," and covered the "bulkhead "of the cellar.

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The [Massachusetts] Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:  has its headquarters in Boston. It does a great work for "dumb "animals, and publishes a paper called "Our Dumb Animals" that every home and school should have.

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follow my leader:  a game that all boys know and love, especially when a strong, daring leader takes the game in hand.

Page 15

Mount Hood:  is the highest peak of the Cascade Range in Oregon. The rope hanging down from the summit was brought up on a pack-horse or mule (I forget which) as far as Tie-up Rock, then carried to the summit by the professional guides and there fastened for the safety of those whom they take to the top during the summer.

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a wild snowstorm:  for a fuller description of this storm and the whole climb see the chapter in "Where Rolls the Oregon" entitled "The Butterflies of Mount Hood."

Chapter III

For the Pupil

Page 19

"All heaven and earth are still," etc.:  this is from Byron's "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," a poem you ought to read.

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Mr. William L. Finley's story  of the condor appeared in the "Century Magazine." It is one of the most interesting bird stories ever written.

This is the season of flowers:  among the helpful and interesting flower books for field use are "Gray's Manual," Mrs. Dana's "How to Know the Wild Flowers," and Chester A. Reed's little vest-pocket Guide with colored plates of the common flowers.

Page 25

rain down little toads:  I saw it again in the deserts of Oregon, the quick shower making millions of western spadefoot toads hop up out of the sand. As the sun came out again, presto! all were gone—into the sand out of sight.

Chapter IV

To the Teacher

In reading this story point out the very narrow margin of life among the wild animals; that is to say, show how little a thing it often is that turns the scales, that makes for life or death. We need all our powers, and all of them developed to their very highest degree of efficiency for the race of life. Only the fittest survive, and for these the race is often under too great handicaps.

For the Pupil

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plumers:  those who used to kill birds for their beautiful plumage.

Klamath Lake Reservation:  is partly in California. It was set aside by President Roosevelt.

the coyote:  is the prairie or desert wolf. He is larger than the red fox, but smaller than the gray, or timber, wolf.

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homesteader:  one who settles upon land under the Federal homesteading laws.

Chapter V

To the Teacher

With a map of Boston follow the course of this title—from the crowded wharf and water-front to the wide, country-like fields of Franklin Park. It is a five-cent car-ride, a good half-day's walk if you watch the wild life on the way. Map out such a course in your own city and take your pupils over it on a tramp, watching for glimpses of animal and bird life and for the sight of Nature's face—the sky, the wind, the sunshine, trees, grass, flowers, etc. Make the most of your city chance for nature-study. It is an important matter.

For the Pupil

T wharf, long one of the busiest fish wharves in the world, perhaps the busiest, is, as I write, on the point of being abandoned by the fish-dealers of Boston, who are to occupy a huge new pier at South Boston, built by the State at a cost of about a million dollars. Franklin Field is a great athletic field adjoining Franklin Park in the southern part of Boston.

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list of saints:  these immortal names are carved in various places on the outer walls of the Public Library.

cranium:  the head, or rather the skull.

herring gull: Larus argentatus,  one of the largest and commonest of the harbor birds, and very much like the Western gull of Three-Arch Rocks. It is a pearl-gray and pure white creature with black on the wings. The immature birds are a brownish gray and look like an entirely different species for the first year.

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Boston, Baltimore, etc.:  Make a study of your city parks and the spots of green and the open spaces where the wild things may be found. Go to the Public Library and ask for the books that treat of the wild life of your city: "Wild Birds in City Parks," by Walter, will be such a book for Chicago; "Birds in the Bush," by Torrey, and "Birds of the Boston Public Garden," by Wright, for Boston.

Charles River Basin:  the wide fresh-water part of Charles River just above the dam and near Beacon and Charles Streets.

Scup:  another name is porgie, porgy, scuppaug.

Squid: (Ommastrephes illecebrosus),  a cephalopod, or cuttlefish, used for bait along the Atlantic coast. The "cuttle-bone" in canaries' cages is taken from the genus Sepia.

Squeteague:  pronounced skwe-tēg'; also called weakfish and sea-trout.

Scallops: are shellfish the large muscle of which is much prized for food.

These are only a few of the fish kinds brought in at T Wharf.

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Grand Banks:  a submarine plateau in the Atlantic, eastward from Newfoundland; noted as a fishing-ground. Its depth is thirty to sixty fathoms.

the Georges:  a smaller bank lying off Cape Cod.

"We're Here":  the name of the schooner in Kipling's " Captains Courageous."

Quincy Market:  an old well-known market in Boston.

King's Chapel:  on Tremont Street. It was begun in 1749 and is still used for worship. See "Roof and Meadow" for a fuller account of the sparrows.

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rim rock:  the edging of rock around the flats and plains of the sage deserts of Oregon.

Boston Common:  known to every child who has read the history of our country. The "Garden" is across Charles Street from the Common.

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Agassiz Museum:  the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy at Harvard University. It is popularly called the Agassiz Museum in honor of the great naturalist Louis Agassiz, who founded it.

See Sarah K. Bolton's "Famous Men of Science."

Arnold Arboretum:  is near the western edge of Boston; one of the most celebrated gardens of trees in the world.

Through the heaven's wide pathless way:  from "Il Penseroso," by Milton.

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Swales:  wet, grassy, or even bushy, meadows.

Chapter VI

For the Pupil

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The tree-toad: (Hyla versicolor);  he is said by country people to prophesy rain.

pennyroyal:  is one of the small aromatic mints.

Wilson Flagg:  one of our earliest outdoor writers. Look up his life in any American biographical dictionary.

Chapter VII

To the Teacher

For a fuller account of this Wild Bird Reservation see the chapter in "Where Rolls the Oregon," called "Three-Arch Rocks Reservation." Bring out in your reading the point I wished to make, namely that these great reservations of State and Federal Government are not only to preserve bird and animal life, but also to preserve nature—a portion of the earth—wild and primitive and thrilling, against the constant encroachments of civilization. Interest your pupils in their own local parks, preserves, etc., and if they have farms or wood-lots, have them post them and set them aside as their personal sanctuaries for wild life.

For the Pupil

Page 57

Tillamook:  the name of a town near the coast of Oregon.

at the mouth of the bay:  Tillamook Bay, where the bar is only about thirty feet wide, making the passage extremely difficult and dangerous.

Three-Arch Rocks Reservation:  was set aside by President Roosevelt. Credit for this and the other Oregon Reservations is largely due to Mr. William L. Finley and the Audubon Societies.

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Shag Rock:  so named for the black cormorants that nest upon it, for these birds are commonly known as "shags."

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the sea-lions:  were of the species known as Steller's sea-lions.

reversed in shape:  I mean the close hind flippers, the tapering hind end of the body, gave them an unnatural shape—reversed.

Æolus  the god of the winds.

Chapter VIII

To the Teacher

Set the pupils to watching for evidences of mother-love among the lower creatures, where we do not think of finding it; stir them to look for unreported acts, and the hidden, less easily observed ways. Such a suggestion might be the turning of a new page for them in the book of nature.

For the Pupil

Page 65

Cud:  the ball of grass or hay that the cow keeps bringing up from her first stomach to be chewed and swallowed, going then into the second stomach, where it is digested.

stanchions:  the iron or wooden fastening about the cow's neck in the stall.

mother-principle:  the instinct or unconscious impulse of all living things to reproduce their kind.

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spores:  the name of the seed dust of the ferns.

the hunter family:  these are the spiders that build no nets or webs for snaring their prey, but hunt their prey over the ground.

Page 69

Toadfish:  See the chapter in the "Fall of the Year" called "In the Toadfish's Shoe."

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Surinam toads:  pronounced sōō-rī-näm'.

Mother passion . . . in the life of reptiles:  many readers, seeing this statement in the "Atlantic Monthly," where the essay first appeared, have written me of how when they were boys they saw snakes swallow their young—or at least killed the old snakes with young in them! Is n't that mother-love among the reptiles? But every time the story has been about garter snakes or moccasins or some other ovoviviparous snake; that is, a snake that does not lay eggs, but keeps them within her body till they batch, then gives birth to the young. I have never seen a snake swallow its young; though big snakes do eat little ones whenever they can get them.

Chapter IX

For the Pupil

Mother Carey's chickens are any of the small petrels. The little stormy petrels  of poetry and story belong to the Old World and only wander occasionally over to our side of the Atlantic.

Page 79

petrel:  pronounced pĕt'rel,  so called in allusion, perhaps, to Saint Peter's walking on the sea.

Chapter X

For the Pupil

Page 88

P Ranch:  is one of the Hanley system of cattle ranches, which cover a wide area almost seventy-five miles long. The buildings and tree-fences, the stockades and sheds make it one of the most picturesque I have ever seen. This story was told to me by Jack Wade, the "boss of the buckaroos." "Buckaroo" is a corruption of the Spanish vaquero,  cowherd.

Winnemucca:  find the place on the map.

Page 91

buckskin:  a horse of a soft yellowish color. He got his name Peroxide Jim from the resemblance of the color of his coat to that of human hair bleached by peroxide of hydrogen.

Chapter XI

For the Pupil

Page 100

paper nests in trees:  The common yellow-jacket hornet builds similar large round nests in bushes, and other wasps build paper nests behind walls, under the ground, in holes, etc.

Page 107

bite into something poisonous:  Send to the Department of Agriculture at Washington for the little booklet on our poisonous plants. It is free.

Chapter XII

To the Teacher

Try to bring home to the class the profoundly interesting facts of animal distribution—where they live, and how they came to live where they do. Point out the strange shifts resorted to by various creatures who live at the various extremes of height or depth or cold or heat to enable them to get a living.

For the Pupil

Page 121

"And God who clears":  these lines of Kipling I am quoting as I first found them printed. I see in his collected verse that they are somewhat changed.

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