Parthagica Directory 05

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Parthagica Directory 05

Spiders, which do not undergo such changes as do most of the common, six-footed insects, winter either as eggs or in the mature form. The members of the "sedentary" or web-spinning group, as a rule, form nests in late autumn, in each of which are deposited from fifty to eighty eggs, which survive the winter and hatch in the spring, as soon as the food supply of gnats, flies, and mosquitoes appear. The different forms of spiders' nests are very interesting objects of study. Some are those close-spun, flat, button-shaped objects, about half an inch in diameter, which are so common in winter on the under side of bark, chunks and flat rocks. Others are balloon-shaped and attached to weeds. Within the latter the young spiders often hatch in early winter, make their first meal off their empty egg cases, and then begin a struggle for existence, the stronger preying upon the weaker until the south winds blow again, when they emerge and scatter far and wide in search of more nutritious sustenance.

The Secundury was a stream with an average width of 60 m. and in many places quite deep. It had a great many little springs and streamlets flowing into it between steep cuts in its high embankments, which were of alluvial formation mingled with decayed vegetation. The banks almost all along were from 40 to 50 ft. high. We came across a large tributary on the right side of the river. It was evidently the stream to which we had first come on our disastrous march across the forest, and which I had mistaken for the Secundury. Beyond this river we came across some small rapids, of no importance and quite easy to negotiate by the large boats, although in one or two cases tow-ropes had to be used by the men who had landed in order to pull the boats through.

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