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Volume 42, 1909
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Papers.—1. “Notes on the Ground-temperature at Owaka,”


The observations recorded in the paper were commenced in connection with an experiment to test the germinating-power of grass-seeds at midwinter. It was found (at Owaka) that rye-grass seed sown in a shallow pan, placed outside in a frame sheltered with calico, grew quite freely. This led to a series of observations on (a) the temperatures of the outside air, and that shown by a thermometer suspended in a 6-in.-deep hole (b) in loose soil, and (c) in hard grass-covered ground. The records were made twice a day, and each time a new hole was pierced. The observations were continued for twelve months.

The methods and apparatus employed were too imperfect to allow of much scientific value being attached to the results, but a consideration of the records seems to show

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that the temperature of the soil follows the temperature of the atmosphere, and that this result follows much more quickly in the case of pulverised soil than for hard ground. The following are the average results of these observations:—

Pulverised Soil Deg Fahr Hard Ground Deg Fahr
April 50.45 50.50
May 48.75 48.34
June 44.29 43.94
July 43.18 42.96
August 42.87 43.10
September 49.48 49.24
October 52.46 52.23
November 55.69 55.64
December 58.68 58.20
February 63.65 63.60
March 62.63 62.34

2. “Bionomic Observations on certain New Zealand Diptera,” by David Miller.

This consists of an account of the conditions—climatic, biological, and otherwise—under which a number of already described flies were found by the author in and around Dunedin; with notes on the habits of several common examples. Enlarged drawings, coloured to life, of many of the species were exhibited.

Commendatory remarks on Mr. Miller's work were made by Drs. Hocken and Benham.

3. “The Habits of the Bronze Cuckoo (Chalcococcyx lucidus),” by Dr. Robert Fulton, M.D.

A full account of the distribution, migration, call-notes, and general habits of the bird is given. Lantern-slides were exhibited showing, amongst other interesting points, the ejection by a young European cuckoo of its foster-brother.