Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, March 02, 1928, Image 7

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    Deri Nic
Bellefonte, Pa., March 2, 1928
Thousands of European starlings,
a scourge to farmers of the State of
Delaware in recent years, are rapidly
finding themselves the chief ingredi-
ents of a new kind of pot-pie, which
unhappily for their existence, has
been hailed a most succulent dish.
So serious had the bird's depre-
dations become in the last year and
to such an extent had its numbers
increased that farmers had begun to
resign themselves to the loss of a
certain amount of their crops each |
year as toll to the feathery robbers.
But the starling, unlike the Crow, |
is a likeable thief. He is friendly and
makes his roost in barns and desert-
ed homes. To this fact and the thrift-
iness of some unknown Delaware
housewife he owes his downfall.
Within the last month it was discov-
ered that the starling made a “dish
fit for a king” and a dish that could
be cookea for the mere killing.
Hunting parties were organized and
each night would find groups of men
trooping to one of the roosting places
where the family larder could be
stocked with a week’s supply only for
the trouble of clubbing the bird to
One of the record kills of the sea-
son was made in the barn of Edward
Cooper, five miles south of Milford,
Del. Armed with flashlights, short
clubs and a huge fishing net the hunt-
ing party made their way to the barn
shortly before midnight.
The net was stretched around the
walls to cover chinks and holes
through which the birds might gain
exit and at a given signal the hunts-
men turned their flashlights on the
ceilings and rafters. The birds were
in the net fluttering helplessly while
the men went after them with
their clubs. There was a brief flurry
of excitement, feathers flew, and the
hunters found themselves the victor
over a flock of more than 800 star-
lings, the makings of countless pot-
“They're the finest eating a man
could want to touch,” one said. “You
take the fine dark meat of the bird,
cover the bottom of your pan with a
heavy layer and on top of that place
some potatoes. Over them you put
some more dark meat and after add-
ing a dash of salt and any flavoring
that your taste desires, cover all
with a top crust well shortened so
that it comes out of the oven crisp
and brown. The rest 1 can only leave
to your imagination and the power of
your cook.”
The starling itself is leng-beaked
and short tailed. Its feathers have
a brownish gloss and in the sunlight
give off metallic purple and green re-
flections. Each of its feathers is
| tipped with buff. The bird was first
! introduced into this country in New
| York in 1890. Since that time it
has multiplied until now it is fairly
common to all the eastern States.
A leading authority as an crni-
; thologist, in referring to the wonder-
i ful fecundity of the starlings, as was
so clearly exemplified by thousands
, of these birds as they lodged upon the
! cornices and columns of the State
; Capitol during the evenings znd the
' nights, proved that their importation
lonly a few years ago was another
' evidence as to how the process of in-
| troduction goes vyramiding with no
| one able to foretell the eventful re-
sults. A reporter who passed along
the State highway, near Jonestown,
Lebanon county, sometime ago, saw
a flock of starlings that was esti-
! mated to number at least 5,000 and
| forming a vertical shield against the
| sun, when flying en masse. These
{ birds attracted much attention.
The European starling, introduced
into Australia, New Zealand and Af-
| rica, is said to have changed its hab-
| its and is accused of damaging grapes
land other crops. Since its introduc-
tion it also spread over a territory
east of the Mississippi river, and as
far north as Canada and Britist Col-
| There is a strong possibility that
“eventually it may really become a
i nienace to the production of some of
| our home-grown food products of tne
farm. Cereals, injurious insects, wild
| fruits and weed seeds form their di-
! etary, according to the many stom-
achs examined. The latest reports in-
{ dicate that some live bird shooting
| matches are being held in Pennsyl-
vania, where starlings were substi-
tuted for the common varieties of
barn yard pigeons, with fairly satis-
factory results for the sporting fra-
ternity.— Lititz Record.
tee pl ees
Science and Invention.
California leads every State in hy-
dro-electric developments.
Petrified trees in Texas are now
claimed to be peculiar rock forma-
Airplanes are to be used for sow-
ing rice in the great marshes of Man-
The first complete sewing machine
was patented by Elias Howe, Jr., in
A camera has been specially de-
signed for making slow-motion pic-
tures of automobile engines.
To drive full speed, the Nelson,
Britain’s newest warship, requires
sixteen tons of fuel oil per hour.
The resistence of the air opposed
to progress of an airplane increases
as the square of the speed.
Asphalt is one of the oldest min-
erals known, and one which has
played a most important part in the
progress of civilization.
The labor of driving an automobile
is lessened by a new steering mech-
anism that is operated chiefly by pow-
er from a car’s motor.
Now Ready at Faubles -
young men—all with 2 pr.
trousers — Tailored specially
for young men and generally
regarded as America’s Lead-
ing Young Men’s Suits.
We take great pleasure
in showing these suits and
we know you will find look-
ing them over worth-while.
May we have the pleasure.
A. Fauble
In these days of congested popu-
lation, rapid transit, telegraph and
radio connections, it is hard to im-
agine people living in solitude like
that of Robinson Crusoe. Yet this
hero, so much admired by youthful
readers of an earlier decade, was no
farther from neighbors than are the
dwellers of today on a certain island
in the North Pacific.
Middleton Island lies 160 miles off
the southern coast of Alaska, almost
due south of Cordova, a town of 1,000
inhabitants. From no point in its
area of a little less than eight square
miles is there anything to be seen ex-
cept limitless sea and sky.
The Indian name for the island,
Ashaka or Achatsoo (which sounds
very much like a sneeze) means “The
Harborless.” It is a descriptive title.
for in all the shore line there is no
safe anchorage for boats of any sort.
Steamers having business at Mid-
dleton must stay well outside of the
dead line of crashing surf which sur-
rcunds it nearly every day of the year,
and take the hazard of sending in a
small boat. Rarely can the occupants
of such a boat reach the shore with-
out a thorough drenching, if nothing
worse happens to them. More than
once a schooner, after a day cr mare
of standing by, has been obliged to
wigwag a disappointed farewell and
depart without having accomplished
her errand.
Callers at the island are few and
far between, however, as it is off the
course of boats bound for Seward,
Nome and the Arctic. Once in a
blue moon, one of the fishing boats
which ply along the Alaskan coast
turns off the beaten path to pay the
island a friendly visit, and is lucky
if its dory is abic to make a landing.
No postman rakes an unfailing
daily call upon the islanders, no tele-
nhone bell tink’es its welcome sum-
mons to communication with the out-
er world. Not even a trail of smoke
or a sail oa the horizon is sighted for
two, three, or even six months at a
time; yet in this utter isolation two
voluntary exiles live in comfort and
contentment for eleven months of the
Since 18¢N Middleton has been
leased by the government to various
private cone: 3 as a breeding firm
for blue foxes, and in consequence
t «1e has be:n a succession of Cru-
soes in charge of the place. The pres-
ent one is by birth a Bostonian, who
emigrated to the Yukon during the
Klondike rush and thence crossed to
Uncle Sam’s territory on the trail of
another “big strike.”
Like many another in those hectic
days, he made and lost fortunes, trav-
eled and prospected over many hun-
dreds of miles of thav vast country,
anid acquired whit your true Alaskan
always possesses—-the 4iility to turn
his hand to any occupation which
ceines along and to mak: it go.
Unlike Defoe’s famous hero, this
modern Crusoe brought an excellent
partner to share his solitude. Mrs.
Crusoe was -a Boston school teacher
until ber exodus to the far north-
west ten years ago. Some years ago
these two sold a prosperous restau-
rant business in Cordova, Alaska, and
left that thriving little *own to begin
their experience in fox farming on
Middleton, out in the ocean.
The breeding of blue foxss in cap-
tivity is not an easy undertaking ow-
ing to the extreme shyness of the fox
family. They do not readily grow
accustemed to man, but generally
have the attitude of wild animals on
the defensive. A mother fox, when
alarmed, has been known to kill her
offspring on the instant, and the con-
stant nervousness of the <nimals ev-
en affects the quality of the fur.
On the island the foxes are un-
aware of being prisoners, as they
roam freely; so they rear their young
in the natural way, double their num-
ber annually, and preduces skins of
great beauty.
The blue fox has a long-haired fur
of a soft gray tone at the ends of the
hairs, shading to a dull blue close to
the pelt. An average price in the
London market is $175, while excep-
tionally fine skins may bring $375.
The chief duty of the fox farmer is
2 | to provide and daily distribute fresh
food for his charges, at stations scat-
tered about the island, especially dur-
ing the winter months. Besides a
small proportion of vegetables, ra-
tions consist of rabbits and the flesh
of the hair seal when it can be ob-
tained. This requires expert marks-
manship, as the seal must be shot
through the head in order to float
ge otherwise it sinks and- is
In summer the foxes will leave the
food in the feeding boxes and go for-
aging for themselves, running along
the beach in search of fish eggs and
small fish washed up in the kelp or
climbing the cliffs to rob the sea-
pigeons’ nests of eggs and squabs,
The animals are seen at close range
only in December, when they are
lured into box traps.
Climatic conditions on Middleton
are agreeable on the whole, except for
the strong and almost constant winds
which sweep it. The lowest tempera-
ture recorded is 20 degrees below
zero, the highest 110. There is an
annual rainfall of about 96 inches
and from 2 to 4 inches of snow in
winter. The succession of seasons is
not unlike that of New England, al-
though the summer is much longer.
Spring on Middleton begins with the
reappearance of plant life, about the
middle of February. From this time
on, the sun shines warmer and longer
each day until the summer solstice.
Between May 1 and August 15 there
are from 15 to 20 hours of sunlight
daily, and during June and July no
darkness at all. But the islanders
pay for this luxury in the long nights
of winter, when they get hardly more
than a glimpse of old Sol during the
entire month of December.
One of the natural beauties of the
islands is a chain of lakes, clear as
crystal and large enough to afford the
pleasures of boating. Scattered along
the shores of the lakes are the only
trees which the place possesses—12
small spruces, battered and bruised
by the winds, but refusing to give up
the fight. Grass of 12 varieties grows
A A A Ale eT J aS ala le as
everywhere, sometimes growing six
or eight feet high.
There are no enemies of plant life
on the island. Picture the joys of
horticulture without aphis, cutworms
or potato bugs. The mosquito, that
terrible pest of the Alaskan mainland,
is also absent. Evidently it was not
on Middleton island that the Indians
used to tie a man naked in the woods
in mosquito time as a form of capital
However, for three weeks in Au-
gust life is made miserable by the
tiny gnat called by the Indians “No-
see-ums,” which will go through any
netting yet devised by man, and there-
fore cannot be kept out of the house
During the last week of June great
quantities of wild strawberries ripen
all over the island, and for a month
the residents revel in them. Then, in
August, the salmonberry bushes are
heavily laden with ripe berries, al-
most any one of which would fill an
after-dinner coffee cup.
Delectable strawberry preserves and
salmonberry jelly are two of the lux-
uries which Mrs. Crusoe provides for
the winter menu, The staples in
large quantities are brought in from
Cordova yearly.
When the islanders need eggs they
go to the great chalk cliffs at the
north end of the island, where the sea
pigeons nest. Stretched flat on the
cliff top, with a hook-and-bag con-
traption, they fish up the eggs from
the ledges below. They are a trifle
smaller than hens’ eggs and of excel-
lent flavor.
When the game season cpens, on
September 15, the lakes are filled with
game birds, feeding and resting on
their way down from their summer
in Arctic regions. Unfortunately, the
birds all leave before the weather is
cold enough to freeze the meat for
winter use.
Hungry for fresh meat, the island-
ers sampled the flesh of a young hair
seal just killed and found they had
hit upon a real treat. The meat which
resembles venison in appearance, was
juicy and delicious when roasted, and,
the liver more delicate than calves’
Everyday life on Middleton island
is full of potential dangers; a furious
winter storm, a fall from the cliffs,
a shooting accident—any of these
might bring suffering and sorrow.
The most serious situations which
have arisen have been shortages of
food and ammunition.
Once each year in January, the
islanders board a small schooner for
Cordova for a month’s stay. The
most important business there, after
seeing the furs off for London, is the
buying of equipment for the next year
—food, clothing, tools, ammunition.
reading matter, and a hundred and
one sundries, all essential.
EE a
Weather Expert Explains
Meaning of Sky’s Colors.
All sky colors, from deepest blue
of the fairest day, through the gray
to bluish gray and almost black of
the cloudy or stormy sky, to the
greenish, yellowish and reddish
shades we often see, are due to the
changes imparted to the sunlight by
the differing conditions of the atmos-
phere through which light passes, ex-
plains a weather prophet in the Farm
When we stop to think that the or-
dinary yellowish sun’s rays, in pass-
ing through raindrops, may be brok-
en up into the beautiful hues of the
rainbow, we can more readily under-
stand how changes in the dustiness,
temperature, moisture—including in-
visible vapor and cloudiness—windi-
ness, ete., in the atmosphere, as well
as the angle at which the light passes
through it, may all have their et-
fects in obscuring, reflecting, scatter-
ing or breaking up light rays.
The red sky at sunset indicates that
there is very little moisture in the
atmosphere. If there are clouds at
that time and they are red, they us-
vally disappear after sunset, so there
are no probabilities in either case of
early rain. If there is much moisture
during the cooling at evening, some
of it is condensed at higher layers,
thus producing a grayish sky, which
indicates rain.
In the morning, when the atmos-
phere has not been under the influ-
ence of sunlight during the day, the
opposite occurs. The gray morning
indicates a dry atmosphere above, ev-
en though the surface air layer is
dewy, and a fair day is indicated.
Political ‘Gas’ of 1876.
Few of those who will attend the
forthcoming conventions of the major
political parties of the country at
Kansas City and Houston will recall
the great gathering of political lead-
ders at Madison, Wisconsin, in 1876,
when Hayes and Wheeler were the
standard bearers of the Republican
A local newspaper under date of
September 4, 1876, tells the story:
“The names .of the Republican can-
didates for President and Vice-Presi-
dent of the United States—Hayes and
Wheeler—composed of small gas jets,
have been placed over the entrance to
party headquarters. This is a mag-
nificent illumination and one of the
greatest ever seen in Madison.”
This is but an incident in the ro-
mantic history of the gas industry,
which now has reached the point
where preliminary estimates of the
sale of manufactured gas alone for
1927 indicate an increase of 20,000,-
000,000 cubic feet over the record-
breaking total registered in 1926.
How St. Patrick Got His Reputation.
Most people thing of St. Patrick as
Irish. Of course, he was not. The
chief thing that legend attributes to
him was the honor of driving all the
snakes out of Ireland. History does
not record the event. I think that
the story must have arisen from the
fact that Patrick took refuge after
his escape from captivity in the island
cloister of Lerinus. In the beginning,
Lerinus had been infested by snakes,
so that no man could live there. Hon-
oratus, a monk, took possession of it,
drove out the snakes and reclaimed it
for cultivation. Hence thé confusion.
I imagine the snakes were all gone
by the time Patrick reached there.
Small Bank Accounts
- YN these days no one in business can afford
I to be without a bank account and by
business we mean every kind of occupa-
A bank account identifies you with an
institution that some day may prove a great
It encourages thrift.
It teaches proper business methods.
It helps your credit, — and credit is of
great value.
No matter how small it may seem to
you, this bank will welcome it and give it the
same careful attention that its largest
accounts receive.
The First. National Bank
When You Put
It in Trust
ITH the First National Bank as
Trustee of your estate, you have
no worry — no risk of loss, for you
know that all funds are secure and that
your instructions will be correctly execut-
ed. Call and see us about this important
matter now.
About Poison Gas.
Even though the war has been over
for several years, statistics show that
682 persons died by poison gas in the
United States last year.
While the general health of the
country appears to be improving, the
number of deaths caused by accidents
is increasing, particularly the mortal-
ity traced to accidental absorption of
poisonous gases, due largely to mot-
orists starting their engines in gar-
ages with doors closed.
Motorists are being warned contin-
ually to be careful when working with
their cars in garages, to be sure to
have plently of ventilation, as the ef-
fects of carbon monoxide gas strikes
death withous warning.
An interesting summary as to the
effects of this gas is contained in a
summary for the year, and is zs fol-
“One of the greatest dangers to
health and life is carbon monoxide
gas, which kills before you notice it.
A small quantity breathed into the
lungs may cause immediate death.
“Everyone should understand what
this gas is, and how it works, in or-
der that definite precaution may be
taken against it.
“All gasoline engines, when run-
ning, generate carbon monoxide gas;
burning gas stoves and heaters do al-
so, if combustion is incomplete.
“Actual tests have proved that the
exhaust fumes from a running motor
will render deadly the air of a small
closed garage within three minutes.
“A person may be really immersed
in the gas and never suspect it until
he begins to grow dizzy or becomes
paralyzed. The next stage is uncon-
sciousness; the next death.
“When death does not come, the ef-
fects may be depression, lowered vi-
tality, and lessened resistance to dis-
ease. The feeling of tightness across
the forhead, headache, or the tired
feeling after an automobile ride may
not be due to eyestrain, but to a leaky
engine exhaust releasing carbon mon-
‘Lindhergh Light’ Will Be Visible to
Aviators at 250 Miles.
The “Lindbergh Light” which is to
be erected on one of Chicago’s sky-
scrapers, will be visible to flyers 250
miles away.
The light will be projected through
a lens more than five feet in diamet-
er, which is a few inches less than
the diameter of the largest flawless
optical lens ever made in this coun-
try, cast recently in a gas-fired furn-
203 by the Federal Bureau of Stand-
A light beam of several billion can-
dlepower passing through the 63-inch
lens will rival the intensity of the
sun at high noon, it is claimed. The
great beacon—Chicago’s tribute to
America’s premier long distance flyer
of the city’s tallest office buildings,
610 feet above the level of the street.
—The bat hanging upside down
laughs at the topsy-turvy world.—
Japanese Proverb.
—will be mounted on the roof of one.
Wild Game Comes Through Winter in
Fine Condition.
Wild game, including birds and
large and small animals, is weather-
ing the winter season in better shapé
than for many years and gives prom-
ise of coming through to spring with
less loss from starvation and freezing
than in any year since the game com-
mission intensified its work of propa-
gation and protection, according to
reports from refuge keepers and
sportsmen who have been in the for=
ests recently. u
It will be remembered that last fall
there was widespread fear that thou-
sands of birds and game animals in
this region would die of starvation
during the winter season. This was
caused by the fact that vegetation
was poor last year. There were no
nuts, few blossoms and apparently
little naural food in sight. There
was widespread agitation urging ars
tificial feeding and many sportsmen
toted bags of grain into the woods
and deposited it for the convenience
of the animals. The signs held i
through the deer season and ina
creased the fears of heavy. destruc=
tion in spite of the fact that deer ap-
peared to be fatter and sleeker than
for many years.
However, it now becomes apparent
that Mother Nature has looked after
her own by providing such a mild
winter season that practically all the
game has been enabled to forage suf-
ficiently to maintain its livelihood
without difficulty. :
Chicago Skyscrapers Bid for Aero
Skyscrapers in the downtown dis«
trict of Chicago are bidding for the
honor of erecting on their tops the
tower for “Lindberg Light,” the pro-
posed world’s largest aircraft beacon,
which will be visible to aviators 250
miles away it is announced by Clyde
I. Backus, secretary of the Chicago
Trade Advancement Association;
which is working with the Chicago
Aero Commission for the furtherance
of the project.
The light is to be donated by Elmer
G. Sperry, president of the Sperry
Gyroscope company, of Brooklyn, Ni
Y. It was found it would be expen=
sive to build the tower, furnish elec-
tricity and maintain the plant, and
this held up plans for its development
until it was sugegsted that some of
the loop’s tall buildings would find it
valuable for advertising purposes.
Some half a dozen buildings havé
placed bids and one will be chosen at
next week’s meeting of the Aero
mission, Mr. Backus said.
It is expected the beacon will be in
operation next summer.
.—Papa was deep in a book, when
his wife called, “Dan, baby has swal-
lowed the ink. Whatever shall I do?”
“Write with a pencil,” was the re«
ply.—Patton’s Monthly.
S————————— netted.
On a wrecked automobile by the
roadside some one had attached a
placard reading: “I do not choose to
run in 1928.”