Ways of Nature

Ways of Nature

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Ways of Nature by John Burroughs

Published:

1905

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Ways of Nature

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Ways of nature -- Bird-songs -- Nature with closed doors -- The wit of a duck -- Factors in animal life -- Animal communication -- Devious paths -- What do animals know? -- Do animals think and reflect? -- A pinch of salt -- The literary treatment of nature -- A beaver's reason -- Reading the book of nature -- Gathered by the way.

Book Excerpt

e of the chimney near it. Then, slowly raising her wings, she suddenly springs out from the wall and back again, making as loud a drumming with them in the passage as she is capable of. If this does not frighten you away, she repeats it three or four times. If your face still hovers above her, she remains quiet and watches you.

What a creature of the air this bird is, never touching the ground, so far as I know, and never tasting earthly food! The swallow does perch now and then and descend to the ground for nesting-material; but the swift, I have reason to believe, even outrides the summer storms, facing them on steady wing, high in air. The twigs for her nest she gathers on the wing, sweeping along like children on a "merry-go-round" who try to seize a ring, or to do some other feat, as they pass a given point. If the swift misses the twig, or it fails to yield to her the first time, she tries again and again, each time making a wider circuit, as if to tame and train her steed a little and bring him

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