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158   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

a microscope of fairly good power, we shall see that this dust is altogether made up of regular-shaped bodies with little tails to them. Under very high magnifying instruments and in skilful hands these little bodies are found to be a naked kind of seeds with no embryos, called spores, and the tail is really a wing ; and a common puff-ball as large as a small apple contains not less than ten millions of these seeds, and every one of them would grow if it had a favorable opportunity. The fact that there are so many indicates the difficulties of getting a footing in the world. The living organism under ground, the mycelium, pushes this little globe outside and stuffs it with millions of seed spores, all winged for the air, fills it with gases till it bursts away an opening for them to escape, cuts it off from its rootage, that the winds may sport with it and thus the seeds be sown far away from the grounds al-ready occupied by its kind. The human mind cannot conceive or in any way adequately comprehend the energy and intelligent action in that little ball, that within a few days brought forth so many millions of spores, so minute that the naked eye cannot see them, only as dust or smoke, and yet so made, that once lodged where soil, and moisture, and heat, are


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