Arum maculatum, Cuckoo-pint.
(cuckoo-pint, lords and ladies, or wake robin), gives a meagre idea of its development.
The small flowers are densely crowded on thick fleshy spikes, which are associated with, and often more or less enveloped by, a large leaf (bract), the so-called spathe, which, as in cuckoo-pint, where it is green in colour, Richardia, where it is white, creamy or yellow, Anthurium, where it is a brilliant scarlet, is often the most striking feature of the plant.
The fruit is a berry - the scarlet berries of the cuckoo-pint are familiar objects in the hedges in late summer.
CUCKOO-SPIT, a frothy secretion found upon plants, and produced by the immature nymphal stage of various plant-lice of the familiar Cercopidae and Jassidae, belonging to the homopterous division of the Hemiptera, which in the adult condition are sometimes called frog-hoppers.
Comparable with these cases is that of Cuckoo-spit, due to the juices sucked out by Aphrop/ttkora~ on herbaceous plants of all kinds.
The eggs are laid in the nests of various bees and wasps, the chrysid larva living as a " cuckoo " parasite.
The Texas screech-owl, the Texas woodpecker, and the road runner, or ground cuckoo, are found mostly in southern and south-western Texas.
ACORUS CALAMUS, sweet-sedge or sweet-flag, a plant of the natural order Araceae, which shares with the Cuckoo Pint (Arum) the representation in Britain of that order of Monocotyledons.
The principal other plants which bear the name are the wallflower, Cheiranthus Cheiri, called wall-gillyflower in old books; the dame's violet, Hesperis matronalis, called variously the queen's, the rogue's and the winter gillyflower; the ragged-robin, Lychnis Flos-cuculi, called marsh-gillyflower and cuckoo-gillyflower; the waterviolet, Hottonia palustris, called water-gillyflower; and the thrift, Armeria vulgaris, called sea-gillyflower.
John Logan, the hymn-writer and reputed author of "The Ode to the Cuckoo," was minister for thirteen years; and in its graveyard lies the Rev. John Home, author of Douglas, a native of Leith.
Among the birds of the island are the eagle, hawk, petrel, owl, finch, peewit, diamond bird, fire-tail, robin, emu-wren, crow, swallow, magpie, blackcap, goatsucker, quail, ground dove, parrot, lark, mountain thrush, cuckoo, wattlebird, whistling duck, honeybird, Cape Barren goose, penguin duck, waterhen, snipe, albatross and laughing jackass.
Of the many characteristic birds may be mentioned Pycnonotidae or bulbuls, of which the Phyllornithinae are peculiar, Campephagidae or cuckoo-shrikes, Dicruridae or drongos, Nectariniidae or sunbirds; pheasants, together with Pavo and Gallus.
A variety of the cuckoo called hototogisu (Cuculus poliocephalus) in imitation of the sound of its voice, is heard as an accompaniment of the uguisu, and there are also three other species, the kakkodori (Cuculus canorus), the Isutsu-dori (C. himalayanus), and the masuhakari, orju-ichi (C. hyperythrus).
The young of many of these insects are green and soft-skinned, protecting themselves by the well-known frothy secretion that is called " cuckoo-spit."
Another species of this group, the black cuckoo of India, apparently mimics the black drongo-shrike (Dicrurus ater), the resemblance between the two species being very close.
This suggests that the resemblance to the pugnacious drongo may be beneficial in protecting the defenceless cuckoo from enemies.
The cuckoo was also sacred to Hera, who, according to the Argive legend, was wooed by Zeus in the form of the bird.
The effect of this piece was magical; the Royal Theatre ejected its cuckoo-brood of French plays, and even the Italian opera.
These floral products which form the food of bees and of their larvae, are in most cases collected and stored by the industrious insects; but some genera of bees act as inquilines or "cuckoo-parasites," laying their eggs in the nests of other bees, so that their larvae may feed at the expense of the rightful owners of the nest.
It is probable that the face, neck, arms and feet were of ivory, while the rest of the figure was draped in gold, Like the Olympian Zeus of Pheidias, Hera was seated on an elaborately decorated throne, holding in her left hand the sceptre, surmounted in her case by the cuckoo (as that of Zeus had an eagle), and in her right, instead of an elaborate figure of Victory (such as the Athena Parthenos and the Olympian Zeus held), simply a pomegranate.
Noteworthy in the animal life of the lower Sonoran and tropic region are a variety of snakes and lizards, desert rats and mice; and, among birds, the cactus wren, desert thrasher, desert sparrow, Texas night-hawk, mocking-bird and ground cuckoo or road runner (Geococcyx Californianus).
Birds include the ostrich, great kori bustard, the eagle, vulture, hawk and crane, francolin, golden cuckoo, bootie, scarlet and yellow finches, kingfishers, parrots (in the eastern regions), pelicans and flamingoes.
The number of woodpeckers is very great and the variety of plumage remarkable, and the voice of the cuckoo, of which there are numerous species, resounds in the spring as in Europe.
That the humming-bird (Nuitziton), which was the god's old shape, should become merely his attendant (like the owl of Pallas, the mouse of Apollo, the goose of Priapus, the cuckoo of Hera), when the god received anthropomorphic form, is an example of a process common in'all mythologies.
The tales of divine cannibalism to which Pindar refers with awe, the mutilation of Dionysus Zagreus, the unspeakable abominations of Dionysus, the loves of Hera in the shape of a cuckoo, the divine powers of metamorphosing men and women into beasts and stars - these tales come to us as echoes of the period of savage thought.
5a gods, not to symbolism (Zeus was a cuckoo), but to survivals from that quality of early thought which draws no line between man and god and beast and bird and fish.