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the month, and for a number of days it was but a little above that point. This severe cold had a disastrous effect on fruit trees of all kinds, especially peaches, apples and pears, the crop of these varieties being entirely destroyed all over the Western States, except in a few favored places, especially in orchards located on the tops of high ridges with a light loamy soil; at this time the blossom buds were red, on the point of opening their flowers. Orchards on islands in the Ohio river were in some measure protected by the proximity of water, and produced a partial crop. The loss to the country must have been more than a million of dollars, as there is scarcely a farmer in the land who has not more or less acres of orcharding, some along the borders of the Ohio raising in ordinary years two or three thousand barrels of apples. Fruit trees blossomed at about their usual period, and when in this state, a severe frost on the 27th of April destroyed the remaining strength of the germs, so entirely that the young fruit all dropped off before it attained the size of a robbin's egg. The grape being later in blossoming, escaped in a measure the illeffects of frost; but the excessively wet summer rotted and mil. dewed a large portion of the fruit, disappointing the hopes of the cultivators in affording them only a small crop.
The month of May was excessively wet, raining more or less copiously on seventeen days, summing up at the end of the month the enormous quantity of twelve and a half inches, which is more than all that fell in the spring months of 1857, and a greater amount than ever known before since a register of the rain has been kept. For the three spring months this year the amount was eighteen and a half inches. The effects of this superabundant and constant wet, was very disheartening to the cultivators of the soil. The land could not be plowed at the proper time for the planting of corn and other spring crops, and when it was done, the seed rotted in the earth. Along the margins of the creeks and rivers the bottoms were overflowed, destroying the seeds that had already germinated, and leaving much drift and rubbish, thus marring the grounds for future cultivation. These overflows continued to recur, until as late as the fifteenth of June, and many fields were replanted two or three times, while others were abandoned as hopeless. This excess of rain was not confined to the State of Ohio, but was felt in all the Western States, especially on the river Wabash, where the floods in June were very disastrous. West of the Mississippi river the rains were still more copious, as by a notice in a letter from Lee County, Iowa, there had fallen sixty-five inches from the eighth of April to the first of November, the usual quantity being only forty-four inches; and as December was a very wet month, there was not less than seventy-two inches, or six
feet during the year; an amount usually found only in tropical climates.
Summer. The mean temperature of the summer months is 730-31, one degree more than in 1857, and a full average for this region. For the healthy growth of plants there was abundant beat; but the excessive rains so saturated the earth that their roots were in a manner drowned, especially on flat lands, causing a sickly aspect, instead of the usual deep green color seen in common seasons. There was a large proportion of straw in the wheat and oats, but a lack of fullness in the grain; much of the wheat being shriveled and light, a blight or rust having attacked the stems a short time before the harvest, so that in the operation of threshing, a cloud of offensive ill-flavored dust annoyed the workmen, making this labor very irksome. This mould, on the oat crop was still more destructive, causing a total failure in three-fourths of all the fields in the valley of the Ohio; such as escaped were on high grounds and sowed very early. Many fields of wheat were not reaped at all, and left to decay on the grounds, or plowed in for the next crop.
The weather being warm all through the summer and till late in the autumn, gave the Indian corn time to perfect its growth and ripen the grain before the setting in of frosts, thus saving the inhabitants of the west from the disastrous effects of a famine. The grain of this plant, a native of America, is above all others suited to this climate; affording the most nutritious food for man and beast. Potatoes, next to maize as a food for the laboring man, were also a failure. The rot so disastrous in its effects a few years ago to Ireland, destroved this desirable esculent after it was nearly full grown; and thousands of acres in the southern portions of Ohio, hardly returned the amount of the seed that was planted. Sweet potatoes fared much better, and yielded a fair return to the cultivator. Being a native of a tropical climate, heat and moisture do not injure it if planted on a sandy soil. This year the price of this valuable root was less than that of the common potatoe, when in ordinary years it is double that article. The amount of rain in the summer months was nearly sixteen inches. The maximum heat 99° on the 29th day of June. Although wet summers are accounted to be sickly, yet no epidemic fevers prevailed; it was very healthy.
Autumn. For the autumnal months the mean temperature is 530.26, varying but little from that of 1859. During September and October there was no destructive frost, nor until the middle of November, giving late planted corn time to ripen, which it had fully accomplished by the last of October. In ordinary years this crop is ready to be cut by the twentieth of September if planted in due season; all over the uplands of the State it was unusually fine, better on the hills than on the bottoms, as the latter had been too wet for a healthy growth. This abundance of corn furnished the farmers with the means of better fattening their hogs than last year, and the yield of pork is much greater and better in quality. It also bears a fair price, enabling them in some measure, to make up for the loss of their wheat and potatoes. It has been on the whole a disastrous year for the agriculturist, and pecuniary affairs were never more depressed than at present, even more so than in the panic and mercantile failures of 1857, as then he had a fine crop of wheat and abundance of fruit and potatoes to comfort him under his losses.
On the 27th of November there fell seven inches of snow with the temperature at 33°. It rained the following night and in forty-eight hours it was all melted. There has been no ice in the rivers up to this time, 5th of January, 1859, and the greatest degree of cold, the 9th and 10th of December, is 14° above zero.
Floral Calendar.–March 12th, Bluebird seen; 17th, Robbins appear; 20th, Blackbirds in flocks; 25th, Primroses opening, Sugar tree in blow; 29th, Daffodill; 30th, Hepatica triloba, Crown Imperial 12 inches high. April 3d, Crown Imperial open; 4th, Early Hyacinth; 5th, Golden bell or Forsythia virida; 6th, Magnolia conspicua, most of the blossom buds killed in February; 7th, Peach tree, in sheltered localities; 9th, Pear tree opening; 10th, Sanguinaria Canadensis, Pyrus Japonica, a few blossoms, much injured by the cold 230 Feb.; 11th, Pear in bloom ; 12th, Spiræa prunifolia, blooms sparingly, much killed by the cold, Double flowering peach, very fine, more hardy than the common; 13th, Cercis Canadensis, or red bud; 14th, Plum and Cherry; 15th, Cucullaria spectabilis; 17th, Apple in full bloom; 18th, Jeffersonia diphylla; 21st, Dwarf Ranunculus Triphyllum uliginosum; 24th, Lilac; 26th, Cornus Florida ; 29th, Quercus tinctoria, black oak; 80th, Garden tulip and tree Peony. May 3d, Viburnum dentatum, black Haw; Sth, Prunus scrotina, black Cherry, Cratagus flava, summer Haw, Shell-bark hickory, Aquiliegia Canadensis, Columbine ; 9th, Geranium maculatum; 13th, Robinia pseudoacacia, yellow Locust, Dodecatheon Illinoisi, or Prairie Captain, Calceolaria, white and yellow varieties; 13th, Weigelia rosea; 18th, Magnolia tripetala, Castanea equinus, Horse chestnut, Rubus villosus, Blackberry, bore an enormous crop of fruit, more than ever known before; 19th, yellow Harrison rose; 20th, Black mulberry; 22d, Purple peony; 23d, Syringa fragrans. June 2d, Euonymus atropurpurea, wahoos; 3d, Syringa Philadelphica; 4th, Tradescanthia virginica, Spiderwort; 5th, Rosa Carolina, swamp rose; 8th, Sambucus Canadensis, Elder'; 11th, Vitis cordifolia, frost grape; 12th, Rosa multiflora, prariensis; 13th, Triosteum perfoliatum, feverwort, Rhus typhina, sumach; 25th, Wheat harvest begins in warm exposures; 28th, Asclepias cornuti, milkweed. July 6th, Lobelia spicata; 15th, Rhus radicans, trumpet creeper; 16th, June-eating apple ripe; 17th, Sweet bough apple; 18th, Blackberry ripe; 26th, Cassia Marylandica, wild senna, in flower. August 11th, Watermelon ripe in open fields; 19th, Sweet potatoe in market, good size.
Marietta, Ohio, January 5th, 1859.
ART. XXVII.- Remarks on the Lower Cretaceous beds of Kansas
and Nebraska; by F. B. MEEK and F. V. HAYDEN. (Extracted from the Proceedings Acad. Nat. Sci., Philad., Dec., 1858, with addi
tions by the authors.) THE Cretaceous System as developed in Nebraska, is clearly divisible into five distinct formations, which have, for conven. ience, been numbered 1, 2, 3, &c., from the base upwards. Al. though at first entertaining some doubts as to whether No. 1, or the lowest formation, might not be older than Cretaceous, we always placed it provisionally, in our published sections, in the Cretaceous system. More recently, after a careful review of the subject, we became satisfied from the modern affinities of numer. ous dicotyledonous leaves found in this formation, that we hazarded little in regarding it as a settled question that it could not be older than Cretaceous, and so expressed ourselves in our paper read before the Academy of Natural Science, Philadel. phia, March, 1858.
The references of this formation to the Cretaceous, however, was not without some exceptions generally admitted, for Professor Jules Marcou, in his work on the “Geology of North Amer. ica," page 143, refers it to the New Red Sandstone, and in a subsequent publication* he places it in the Jurassic; while some investigators in this country also, inclined to the opinion that it must be Triassic. In the midst of these conflicting opinions, although satisfied we were right, we wished, in order to remove all doubts from the minds of others, to have the opinion of some good authority in fossil botany, (a department of paleontology to which we have given little attention,) respecting the fossil leaves on which we mainly based our views in regard to the age
* Notes pour servir a une description geologique des Montagnes Rocheuses,
of this formation. Consequently, we sent outline sketches of a few of them to Professor Oswald Heer,* the distinguished au. thority in fossil botany at Zurich, Switzerland, informing him they were from a formation we regarded as Cretaceous, and re. questing him to let us know to what genera and geological epoch he would refer them. This letter was sent to Professor Heer in August last, before we started to Kansas, and on our return, in the latter part of October, we were disappointed at finding no reply from him. After waiting some days longer, and receiving no answer from Professor Heer, we concluded our letter had either failed to reach him, or that he was unwilling to express an opinion based upon mere sketches of the leaves ; consequently we submitted the whole to Dr. Newberry, who had then returned to Washington, and in whose opinions on this subject we have the fullest confidence.
After examining the specimens, Dr. Newberry gave us a writ. ten statement bearing date, Nov. 12, containing a list of the genera to which he had referred the leaves, together with some interesting remarks and generalizations, in which he expressed the opinion that they are certainly Cretaceous, some of them belonging to genera peculiar to that epoch, and that the whole belong to more highly organized plants than are known in the Triassic or Jurassic flora.
Knowing as we did that the rock from which these plants were obtained, beyond all doubt, holds a position beneatb, at least, eight hundred feet of Cretaceous strata, containing great numbers of Ammoniles, Scpahites, Baculites, &c., it of course never once occurred to us that any person might suppose it Tertiary.
About the thirteenth of November we sent on to the American Journal of Science, a communication containing Dr. Newberry's list of the genera to which he had referred these plants, with some extracts from his remarks, all of which appeared in the January number of that Journal. Some two or three weeks after we had corrected the last proof of this paper, we received (13th of Dec.) a letter from Professor Heer, bearing date of Nov. 26, in which he informed us that our letter had reached him at a late date, in consequence of his absence from home, and that after his return, other engagements had prevented him from replying sooner. In this letter Professor Heer, in accordance with our request, sent us a list of the genera, as near as it was possible for him to make them out from hastily drawn sketches, and also kindly furnished brief diagnoses of the species, stating at the same time that although one of the outlines resembles a
* Our friend Dr. Newberry was then in New Mexico.
These were published in the last number of this Journal.