August 11, 1877

Excursion to College Point, Flushing, Long Island:

Observation 1. 1:50 P.M. Sun excessively hot. Gathered some of the white incrustation on sand in a marsh west of Long Island Railroad depot. Found some Gemiasma verdans, G. rubra; the latter were dry and not good specimens, but the field swarmed with the automobile spores. The full developed plant is termed sporangia, and seeds are called spores.

Observation 2. Another specimen from same locality, not good; that is, forms were seen but they were not decisive and characteristic.

Observation 3. Earth from Wallabout, near Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, Rich in spores (A) with automobile protoplasmic motions, (B) Gemiasma rubra, (C) G. verdans, very beautiful indeed. Plants very abundant.

Observation 4. Walking up the track east of L. I. R.R. depot, I took an incrustation near creek; not much found but dirt and moving spores.

Observation 5. Seated on long marsh grass I scraped carefully from the stalks near the roots of the grass where the plants were protected from the action of the sunlight and wind. Found a great abundance of mature Gemiasma verdans very beautiful in appearance.


The time of my visit was most unfavorable. The best time is when the morning has just dawned and the dew is on the grass. One then can find an abundance, while after the sun is up and the air is hot the plants disappear; probably burst and scatter the spores in billions, which, as night comes on and passes, develop into the mature plants, when they may be found in vast numbers. It would seem from this that the life epoch of a gemiasma is one day under such circumstances, but I have known them to be present for weeks under a cover on a slide, when the slide was surrounded with a bandage wet with water, or kept in a culture box. The plants may be cultivated any time in a glass with a water joint. A, Goblet inverted over a saucer; B, filled with water; C, D, specimen of earth with ague plants.

Observation 6. Some Gemiasma verdaus; good specimens, but scanty. Innumerable mobile spores. Dried.

Observation 7. Red dust on gray soil. Innumerable mobile spores. Dried red sporangia of G. rubra.

Observation 8. White incrustation. Innumerable mobile spores. No plants.

Observation 9. White incrustation. Many minute algae, but two sporangia of a pale pink color; another variety of color of gemiasma. Innumerable mobile spores.

Observation 10. Gemiasma verdans and G. rubra in small quantities. Innumerable mobile spores.

Observation 11. Specimen taken from under the shade of short marsh grass. Gemiasma exceedingly rich and beautiful. Innumerable mobile spores.

Observation 12. Good specimens of Gemiasma rubra. Innumerable spores present in all specimens.

Observation 13. Very good specimens of Protuberans lamella.

Observation 14. The same.

Observation 15. Dead Gemiasma verdans and rubra.

Observation 16. Collection very unpromising by macroscopy, but by microscopy showed many spores, mature specimens of Gemiasma rubra and verdans. One empty specimen with double walls.

Observation 17. Dry land by the side of railroad. Protuberans not abundant.

Observation 18. From side of ditch. Filled with mature Geraiasma verdans.

Observation 19. Moist earth near a rejected timber of the railroad bridge. Abundance of Gemiasma verdans, Sphaerotheca Diatoms.

Observation 20. Scrapings on earth under high grass. Large mature specimens of Gemiasma rubra and verdans. Many small.

Observation 21. Same locality. Gemiasma rubra and verdans; good specimens.

Observation 22. A dry stem of a last year's annual plant lay in the ditch not submerged, that appeared as if painted red with iron rust. This redness evidently made up of Gemiasma rubra dried.

Observation 23. A twig submerged in a ditch was scraped. Gemiasma verdans found abundantly with many other things, which if rehearsed would cloud this story.

Observation 24. Scrapings from the dirty end of the stick (23) gave specimens of the beautiful double wall palmellae and some empty G. verdans.

Observation 25. Stirred up the littoral margins of the ditch with stick found in the path, and the drip showed Gemiasma rubra and verdans mixed in with dirt, debris, other algae, fungi, infusoria, especially diatoms.

Observation 26. I was myself seized with sneezing and discharge running from nostrils during these examinations. Some of the contents of the right nostril were blown on a slide, covered, and examined morphologically. Several oval bodies, round algae, were found with the characteristics of G. verdans and rubra. Also some colorless sporangia, and spores abundantly present. These were in addition to the normal morphological elements found in the excretions.

Observation 27. Dried clay on margin of the river showed dry G. verdans.

Observation 28. Saline dust on earth that had been thrown out during the setting of a new post in the railroad bridge showed some Gemiasma alba.

Observation 29. The dry white incrustation found on fresh earth near railroad track entirely away from water, where it appeared as if white sugar or sand had been sprinkled over in a fine dust, showed an abundance of automobile spores and dry sporangia of G. rubra and verdans. It was not made up of salts from evaporation.

Observation 30. Some very thick, long, green, matted marsh grass was carefully separated apart like the parting of thick hair on the head. A little earth was taken from the crack, and the Protuberans lamella, the Gemiasma rubra and verdans found were beautiful and well developed.

Observation 31. Brooklyn Naval Hospital, August 12, 1877, 4 A.M. Called up by the Quartermaster. With Surgeon C. W. White, U.S.N., took (A) one five inch glass beaker, bottomless, (B) three clean glass slides, (C) chloride of calcium solution, [symbol: dra(ch)m] i to [symbol: ounce] i water. We went, as near as I could judge in the darkness, to about that portion of the wall that lies west of the hospital, southeast corner (now all filled up), where on the 10th of August previously I had found some actively growing specimens of the Gemiasma verdans, rubra, and protuberans. The chloride of calcium solution was poured into a glass tumbler, then rubbed over the inside and outside of the beaker. It was then placed on the ground, the rim of the mouth coming on the soil and the bottom elevated on an old tin pan, so that the beaker stood inclined at an angle of about forty-five degrees with the horizon. The slides were moistened, one was laid on a stone, one on a clod, and a third on the grass. Returned to bed, not having been gone over ten minutes.