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The Earth and Maps 16

south, line, shadow, north, time, sun, east and needle

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THE EARTH AND MAPS 16. How animals find their way.— You remember that in summer the Eskimos catch wild ducks. These birds make their nests and hatch their young on the ground among the many flowers that bloom in the bright sunshine of the short summer. When the weather grows cool, and food becomes scarce, the old ducks take the young ones south to a warmer country where they can get food. Sometimes they go to the southern part of the United States and stay there until spring. Then back they go, all the way to Greenland or Alaska, stopping from time to time for food. Find Greenland and Florida on the map, and see how near you live to their path. (Fig. 64.) Other birds also go north and south. All animals know better than men how to find their way about the world. You can put a pig or a cat in a bag and carry him several miles to a place that he has never seen, but, if he can get free, he will find his way home in a day or two.

Suppose you wanted to go to Eskimo land? How would you find your way? Otelne, the Indian, finds his way by the sun and the stars. (Sec. 10.) 17. Finding directions by the sun.— When men are lost in the woods or even on a great, level, open place, they some times wander around in a circle, when they think they are walking in a straight line. But if they would watch the sun they could keep going in a straight line. To understand how this is done we must learn about directions. To keep things clear to our minds, we have named our two hands left and right. Then we say we move to the left or to the right. We can also go forward or backward. That makes four directions. To make it easier to find our way around out of doors, we have named four main di rections: east, . west, north, and south. East is where the sun is in the morning. West is where it is in the eve ning. In this country the sun is toward the south at noon. Can you point south? If you stand with your face to the north, your back is to the south, your left hand is to the west, and your right hand is to the east. Face each of the different directions and, as you stand in each position, tell which way your hands point. Walk a few steps toward the north; toward the east. Do this in the schoolyard. At noon, find a place where the edge of the building, a fence post, or the flag pole casts a shadow directly to the north. Mark the edge of this shadow with a piece of chalk or stick, and call the line your "north-and-south" line. A man lost in the woods could help himself find the right direction by making such a line. The wild

ducks can follow the north-and-south line day or night.

18. Telling time by the a piece of chalk and at noon mark on the floor of the schoolroom the line of the shadow of the edge of a south window or a south door. Now you have an indoor north-and-south line. You can watch the shadow creep across the floor. Mark the one o'clock shadow line and the twd o'clock shadow line. That is the way people used to tell time. Even now there are some people in the Appalachian Mountains in this country who tell time by the shadow of a nail driven into the south window sill.

19. The compass.—White men have a handy means of keeping their direction in the woods, or on water when they are out of sight of land. They use a compass. A compass is a little needle made into a magnet. Have you ever seen a magnet, a piece of metal that picks up needles and nails or anything made of steel cr iron? We say that the magnet attracts the other piece of metal. The compass needle is a little magnet balanced so that it can swing freely. (Fig. 25.) Now a place on the earth's surface far to the north has the same attracting power that a magnet has; and it attracts one end of the magnetized needle so that it turns toward this place in northern Canada. No one knows just why the needle points toward this northern place. It is because of some force which we call magnetism. You can hold a com pass and turn it around, but the needle will point in the same direction all the time. See the letters on the compass. (Fig. 25.) N is for north, E for east. W for west, and S for south. The direction that is half way between east and south we call southeast (S. E.). What is the direction half way between west and south? What does northwest mean? Northeast? Can you point northeast? Southeast? 20. The map.—Men use the compass to find the way when they are out on the sea, or in the woods, or in wild places, when the sun does not shine. But where there are railroads and streets and buildings, it is quicker and easier to use a drawing which shows the roads and streams and hills of the country. Such a drawing is called a map. There are little maps of towns and cities which travelers can use to find their way around the streets, or to reach the post office, the station, or other buildings; there are maps made for people who drive automobiles, to show them where the good roads are and how to get from one town to another; and there are maps that show where countries and oceans are.

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