NUTMEG                                               1366                                                       NYE

hank! hank!" welcome in the winter stillness ; also welcome is the industry and success of its hunting for insect-eggs and larvæ. Other food to its liking, are nuts and seeds. It is frequently seen in friendly association with the titmice. Its slate-colored coat is relieved by black on top oi the head and on the wings ; its tail is rusty black touched with white; sides of head and under parts white. In the spring it retreats to the deep woods, patiently digs out a hole on a dead limb, lines this hole with feathers and other soft material, making a snug nest for the many white eggs— five to eight, sometimes 10. The red-breasted nuthatch is smaller than the preceding, and is more northerly in its range, nesting from Maine northward and in the mountains farther south.

Nut'meg, See Spices.

Nutri'tion (in plants), the processes by which food is obtained and utilized. Plants obtain their food (which see) in two ways, by absorption and by manufacture. With a few exceptions, plants which obtain their food ready-made are unable to engulf it and must take it into the body in solution. (See Absorption.) If insoluble in water, they must first digest it. (See Digestion.) All prepared food is derived directly or indirectly from other organisms. A few plants capture small insects for the sake of the food derived from their bodies. Parasites, that is, creatures growing on or in a living being (called, therefore, the host), derive their food directly from it; saprophytes in a similar way obtain their food from a dead organism. There is every possible gradation between parasites and saprophytes; and between saprophytes and green plants, which are able to make all of their food out of inorganic material. Yet many green plants absorb organic matter, i. e., matter once a part of a living being ; this is the reason for applying fertilizers and manures to gardens and fields. Many, perhaps all, colorless plants can make the most complex foods (proteids) , provided simpler foods and necessary salts are supplied. Only green plants, however, and of these only the green parts, can make carbohydrate foods, like sugars, starch and the like, out of carbon dioxide and water. (See Photosynthesis.) When these foods have been formed in sufficient amount, the green plants can also produce proteids. Most plants make more food than they require. Reserve food is stored, usually in solid form, in special tissues. These storage regions have been greatly improved by cultivation, the common vegetables (seeds, tuber" bulbs, roots, leaves, and even flower buds) being the product of proper breeding and of growing the plants under unusually favorable conditions for nutrition. In its broadest sense, nutrition includes the use of foods in assimilation, respiration and growth. These topics are separately treated. In the course of the chemical processes of

! nutrition (see Metabolism) a great variety of waste products arise, such as gums, resins, volatile oils, tannins, alkaloids etc. These the plant secretes and removes them thus from its general metabolism. See Secretion.                                       C. R Barnes.

Nyas'a or Nyanja, the most southern of the great East African lakes, is 260 miles from Tanganyika and 400 miles from the east coast. It is 1,570 feet above sea level, very deep, rapidly descending from its high and rocky shores, and measures about 350 miles long by 40 miles broad from east to west. It was known by the Portuguese as Maravi in the 17 th century, but was first navigated by Livingstone, and its situation exactly determined in 185g.

Nyasaland (nē-ăs'sã-lănd), the name given to a British Central Africa protectorate, the country lying immediately south, west and northwest of Lake Nyasa, in East Africa. Its area is 40,980 square miles, population about 1,000,000 natives and nearly 700 Europeans. It has no outside boundaries, but is the region in which the African Lakes company of Glasgow operates in connection with the missionaries of the Church of Scotland, with principal stations at Blan-tyre and Bandawe. Nine missions are at work, and over 60,000 natives are at school. The company and mission stations were founded on the recommendation of Dr. Livingstone to check the Arab slave trade. It is now under the administration of the British foreign office, by a resident commissioner. Its products are rice, coffee, rubber, ivory and cotton. The capital is Zomba. Some trouble was caused in 1888-90 by the claim of sovereignty made by Portugal; but the sphere of the Portuguese Nyasa company, with a charter from the Portuguese crown, is the region between the Rovuma, Lake Nyasa and the Lurio. There are steamers on the lake and on Shiré River, two railways, telegraphs and 23 postoffices. See Central Africa Protectorate.

Nymph (ntmf), young of insects that undergo only incomplete metamorphosis, do not show marked change of form save in gradual growth of wings; as the young of crickets, grasshoppers, locusts and bugs. See Metamorphosis.

Nymphs, of Greek mythology, were the female divinities of the lower rank, inhabiting the seas, streams, groves, meadows and pastures, caves, fountains, hills and trees. Of their different classes were Oceanides, nymphs of the great sea; Nereids, of the inner sea; Potameides, of the rivers; Naiads, of fountains, brooks, lakes and. wells, and Dryads, of the trees and forests, who were supposed to die with the trees in which they lived. They were the goddesses of moisture, had power of prophecy, and guarded the nourishment and growth of infants. Many of the most beautiful Grecian sculptures are those of nymphs.