through the pores of the skin, like reptiles imbedded in rock.
lived eight days beneath a snow-drift, in 1799, without eating a morsel; and a Swiss family was buried beneath an avalanche, in a manger, for five months, in 1755, with no food but a trifling store of chestnuts and a small daily supply of milk from a goat which was buried also.
In neither case was there extreme suffering from cold, and it is unquestionable that the interior of a drift is far warmer than the surface.
On the 23d of December, 1860, at 9 P. M., I was surprised to observe drops falling from the under side of a heavy bank of snow at the caves, at a distance from any chimney, while the mercury on the same side was only fifteen degrees above zero, not having indeed risen above the point of freezing during the whole day.
pays ample tribute to these kindly properties.
‘Few of us at home can recognize the protecting value of this warm coverlet of snow.
No eider-down in the cradle of an infant is tucked in more kindly than the sleeping-dress of winter about this feeble flower life.
The first warm snows of August and September, falling on a thickly bleached carpet of grasses, heaths, and willows, enshrine the flowery growths which nestle round them in a non-conducting air-chamber; and as each successive snow increases the thickness of the cover, we have, before the intense cold of winter sets in, a light, cellular bed covered by drift, six, eight, or ten feet deep, in which the plant retains its vitality.... I have found in midwinter, in this high latitude of 78° 50′, the surface so nearly moist as to be friable to the touch; and upon the ice-floes, commencing with a surface-temperature of −30°, I found at two feet deep a temperature of −8°, at four feet +2°, and at eight feet +26°. . . . . The glacier which we became so familiar with afterwards at Etah yields an uninterrupted stream throughout the year.’
And he afterwards shows that even the varying texture and quality of the snow deposited during the earlier and later portions of the Arctic
winter have their special adaptations to the welfare of the vegetation they protect.
The process of crystallization seems a microcosm of the universe.
Radiata, mollusca, feathers, flowers, ferns, mosses, palms, pines, grain-fields, leaves of cedar, chestnut, elm, acanthus: these and multitudes of other objects are figured on your frosty window; on sixteen different panes I have counted sixteen patterns strikingly distinct, and it appeared like a show-case for the globe.
What can seem remoter relatives than the star, the star-fish, the star-flower, and the starry snow-flake which clings this moment to your sleeve?-yet some philosophers hold that one day their law of existence will be found precisely the same.
The connection with the primeval star, especially, seems far and fanciful enough, but there are yet unexplored affinities between light and crystallization: some crystals have a tendency to grow