JEAN HENRI FABRE, author of the long series of “Souvenirs Entomologiques” from which these studies are taken, was a French school-teacher and scientist whose peculiar gift for the observation and...
I AM never tired of looking in a pond. What busy life there is in that green world! On the warm mud of the edges, the Frog’s little Tadpole basks and frisks in its black legions; down in the water,...
[The caddis-worm is the grub of the caddis-fly, which is like a small moth and is often seen flitting over our streams and ponds. There are about one hundred and fifty species of this fly in...
AT a school where I once taught, one subject in particular appealed to both master and pupils. This was open-air geometry, practical surveying. When May came, once every week we left the gloomy...
I WISHED to know something more about my Mason-bees. I had heard that they knew how to find their nests even if carried away from them. One day I managed to capture forty Bees from a nest under the...
THESE Bees are generally longer and slighter than the Bee of our hives. They are of different sizes, some larger than the Common Wasp, others even smaller than the House-fly, but all have a mark...
IF you know how to use your eyes in your garden you may observe, some day or other, a number of curious holes in the leaves of the lilac- and rose-trees, some of them round, some of them oval, as...
THERE are many Bees who, like the Leaf-cutters, do not make their own dwellings, but use shelters made by the work of others. Many of the Osmia-bees seize the old homes of the Masons; other...
A SLENDER waist, a slim shape; an abdomen tapering very much at the upper part and fastened to the body as though by a thread; black raiment with a red sash across the belly: there you have a short...
AT the end of July the Yellow-winged Wasp tears the cocoon that has protected her till then and flies out of her underground cradle. During the whole of August she is often seen flitting about the...
YOU have read about the Wasps who store up paralyzed Caterpillars and Crickets for their babies’ food, then close up the cells and fly away; now you shall hear about a Wasp who feeds her children...
IN August or September, let us go into some gorge with bare and sun-scorched sides. When we find a slope well-baked by the summer heat, a quiet corner with the temperature of an oven, we shall call...
THERE are various kinds of insects that perform a very useful work in the world, for which they do not always receive credit. When you pass a dead Mole in the fields, and see Ants, Beetles and...
IN my piece of waste ground stand some pine-trees. Every year the Caterpillar takes possession of them and spins his great purses in their branches. To protect the pine-needles, which are horribly...
THE cabbage is the oldest vegetable we possess. We know that people in classic times ate it, but it goes much further back than that, so that indeed we are ignorant of when or how mankind first...
IT was an evening long to be remembered, when the Great Peacock Moths came to my house. This Moth is magnificent, the largest in Europe, clad in maroon velvet, with a necktie of white fur. The...
BEFORE we come to the Beetle, I must first tell you about my friend, the Dog, who hunts truffles, which are underground mushrooms. Dogs are quite often used for this purpose, and I have had the...
NOWADAYS, people lay everything to heredity; that is, they say that human beings and animals both receive their special talents from their ancestors, who have perhaps been developing them through...
IN the disagreeable season of the year, when the insect has nothing to do and retires to winter quarters, an observer who looks in the sunny nooks, grubs in the sand, lifts the stones, or searches...
THE Spider has a bad name: most of us think her a horrid animal, and hasten to crush her under our feet. Nevertheless, any one who observes her knows that she is a hard worker, a talented weaver, a...
PRETTILY shaped and clad, as far as a Spider can be, the Clotho Spider is, above all, a very clever spinstress. She is named after the Clotho of antiquity, the youngest of the Three Fates, who...
OF the six Garden Spiders I have noticed, two only, the Banded and the Silky Spiders, stay constantly in their webs, even under the blinding rays of a fierce sun. The others, as a rule, do not show...
THE Banded Spider, who works so hard to give her eggs a wonderfully perfect dwelling-house, becomes, after that, careless of her family. For what reasons? She lacks the time. She has to die when...
WHILE the Garden Spiders are incomparable weavers, many other Spiders have even more ingenious devices for catching game. Some of them are real celebrities, who are mentioned in all the...
THE smallest garden contains the Garden Spiders, all clever weavers. Let us go every evening, step by step, from one border of tall rosemaries to the next. Should things move too slowly, we will...
[This chapter, one of the most wonderful in Fabre’s books, is included in a simplified form in this volume, on account of its interest to such younger readers as have studied geometry.] WHEN we...
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