The Cretan Borage (Borago Cretica)

  • For instance, the Giant Comfrey will grow six feet high in rich or moist soil in a partially shaded ditch, and therefore, once fairly started, might be trusted to take care of itself in any position. The Caucasian Comfrey, on the other hand, grows from eighteen inches to two feet high, and is at home in the spaces in a copse or shrubbery.

    The creeping Forget–me–not (Ompalodes verna) is a little plant that creeps about in grass or among vegetation, not over a span high, or forms a carpet of its own—these points must be considered, and then the rest is gardening of the happiest kind only.

    These Borageworts, richer in blue flowers than even the gentians, are usually poor rusty things in exposed sunny borders, and also much in the way when out of flower, whereas in shady lanes, copses, open parts of not too dry or impoverished shrubberies, in hedgerow–banks, or ditches, we only notice them in their beautiful bloom.

  • When settling itself to sleep, the Toucan packs itself up in a very systematic manner, supporting its huge beak by resting it on its back, and tucking it completely among the feathers, while it doubles its tail across its back just as if it moved on hinges. So completely is the large bill hidden among the feathers, that hardly a trace of it is visible in spite of its great size and bright color, so that the bird when sleeping looks like a great ball of loose feathers.

  • My home is on an island where it is very warm. I fly among the tall trees and eat fruit and insects. See my beautiful feathers. The ladies like to wear them in their hats. The feathers of my wife are brown, but she has no long tail feathers.

  • The Toucans are a numerous race of South American birds, at once recognizable by the prodigious size of their beaks and by the richness of their plumage. “These birds are very common,” says Prince Von Wied, “in all parts of the extensive forests of the Brazils and are killed for the table in large numbers during the cool seasons. Their eggs are deposited in the hollow limbs and holes of the colossal trees, so common in the tropical forests, but their nests are very difficult to find. The egg is said to be white. They are very fond of fruit, oranges, guavas and plantains, and when these fruits are ripe make sad havoc among the neighboring plantations.

    In return for these depredations the planter eats their flesh, which is very delicate.” The flight of these birds is easy and graceful, sweeping with facility over the loftiest trees of their native forests, their strangely developed bills being no encumbrance to them, replete as they are with a tissue of air-filled cells rendering them very light and even buoyant.