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This station was located in the Algerian desert, at an altitude of about 5,000 feet. The tube on the left is a spectrobolometer, which measures the intensity of all the wave lengths in the spectrum. The man on the right is reading a pyrheliometer, an instrument used to measure the total radiation being received.



This is an almost ideal location for observing solar radiation. It is situated on the western slope of the Andes, in the Desert of Atacama, at an elevation of about 10,000 feet. This is one of the most desolate of the world's desert places, where not even the hardiest cactus will grow. All the water used by the observers at this station has to be hauled 12 miles.

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At one time a solar-radiation observatory was maintained in the North African desert near this town. The natives were hospitable and friendly to the scientists, as well as exceedingly curious about the work being undertaken and the instruments used.

prevision was plainly shown. In order to illustrate this, we have taken in three groups: (a) all the occasions when Mr. Clayton forecasted for the fourth day temperature departures from normal above +4°, (b) below -4°, and (c) between these limits.

It was clear that he hit the zero day of his forecast very accurately, and that, as it turned out, his plus expectations averaged nearly 3° above his minus expectations, while his normal expectations were really normal.

Not only did he prepare these forecasts for definite days, but on Friday of each week, and on about the 28th day of each month Mr. Clayton mailed to the Smithsonian Institution forecasts of the expected departures from normal maximum temperatures for the following weeks and months. Of 51 weeks, 31 proved to be forecasted with the correct sign. The event showed an average departure of those forecasted plus from those forecasted minus of +2.7°. Of 12 months, 7 proved to be forecasted with the correct sign. The event showed an

average departure of those forecasted plus from those forecasted minus of +4.4°.

In all these experiments Mr. Clayton, being at his home in Massachusetts, had no help from official weather records other than those published in the daily newspapers. Doubtless, if the full official information had been available, somewhat higher accuracy might have been reached in the three-, four-, and five-day work, although the present Argentine practice is to make the long-range forecasts on solar data alone without use of the daily weather map.

The Smithsonian Institution has lately. published papers by the writer, by Clayton, and by Hoxmark, giving more extended accounts of these interesting researches. Enough is given here, I hope, to convince members of the National Geographic Society that a promising opening has come in the study of that puzzling changeling, "The Weather," and that, with the generous aid of The Society, the Smithsonian Institution will be able to obtain valuable evidence to promote further progress.




A Hunt for New Fruits and Plants Among the Mountain Forests of Colombia's Unique Capital




HERE was a timid knock. Arising from my first night's sleep in the chilly air of Bogotá, I opened the door and was confronted by a youth neatly dressed in a dark-gray suit of cotton drill, alpargatas, or rope sandals, and a clean white collar. He was obviously poor, but immaculate.

"Pardon the molestation," he said, as he looked up hopefully, "but I saw an announcement of your arrival in the morning paper, and I thought perhaps you might need an assistant during your stay in this region."

His eagerness, as evidenced by the early hour of his call, and his neat and businesslike appearance won me completely. Hernando Zamora was installed as assistant agricultural explorer, and half an hour later we set off together for my first glimpse of the capital of Colombia.

For months I had been looking forward to reaching the Andes. Mexico and Central America had become familiar through travels, on foot and on horseback, which had taken me into out-of-the-way corners as well as the principal cities. I had wondered how it would be in South America. Would I find the same sort of people, the same food-plants, or even the same landscapes?

My mind was alert for new impressions on this first ramble about the place. I

made frequent comparisons with the other Latin American cities of my acquaintance-with Havana, with Mexico, and with the capitals of Central America. BOGOTÁ IS TWELVE DAYS' JOURNEY FROM THE SEA

The general character of the buildings, the presence of an open square or plaza in the center of the city, without which no Latin American settlement is complete; these and other features were strongly reminiscent of the regions I had traversed north of the Isthmus. But there was a feeling of isolation about the place which

was new to me.

Perhaps it lay partly in my own imagination, perhaps partly in the memory of the 12 days' journey up the Magdalena River from the Caribbean coast.

Discounting as best I could these factors, I still felt, as I gazed past substantial houses of brick and plaster to the distant crests of the Suma Paz Mountains, as I breathed deeply of the cold, rare atmosphere of these Andean heights, and as I wandered through side streets, strangely silent save for the pattering of bare feet upon the naked cobblestones-I still felt, and with a conviction that increased rather than diminished as the days passed by, that I had left behind me, far down beyond the Magdalena, those things with

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The steamers which ply the waters of the lower Magdalena are of the type which was extensively used, during the latter half of the past century, on the Mississippi. Frequently they travel with barges alongside, so as to increase their freight capacity. The journey from Barranquilla, on the Caribbean coast, to Girardot, whence there is a railroad to Bogotá, is made in two stages: boats on the lower Magdalena go as far upstream as La Dorada, where passengers and freight are transferred to a train which carries them around the rapids of Honda. At Beltrán commences another and shorter journey, on the upper Magdalena, which ends at Girardot.

which I was familiar and had launched upon a journey through a new world.

The almost total absence of Indians, so characteristic of Mexico and Guatemala, where I had recently spent many months, struck me forcibly. The people appeared to be of two classes: well-dressed men and women of pure Spanish stock, and the somewhat ragged peon element the laboring class-whose faces gave evidence that the Indian race, though vanished in its purity, still lingered in the blood of these sturdy folk of the plateau.

I liked the place, and frankly said so to Hernando. This pleased him, for there is nothing which the Latin soul craves more deeply than friendship and respect.


During the days which followed I came into more intimate contact with the life of

Bogotá. Of its many distinguishing features, none is more attractive than the elegance of its Spanish. My own vernacular, picked up mainly from the Indians and mule-drivers of back-country Guatemala, was so glaringly out of place that I scarcely dared to speak.

I have heard it said that the Spanish of present-day Bogotá is unusually pure because it has been free from the contaminating influence of other tongues. Chibcha, the language of the aboriginal inhabitants of the plateau, scarcely survived the Conquest. It is true, therefore, that there has been less opportunity to incorporate native terms, or to acquire a native accent, than has been the case in Mexico, with its huge element of Nahuatlspeaking aborigines, or in Peru, where the language of the Incas is still spoken by several hundred thousand people.

Freedom from contamination may ac

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Alligators are numerous in the waters of the Magdalena River, Colombia's great highway, which flows for 1,000 miles through the heart of the country.

count for the purity of Bogotá Spanish, but it cannot account for its elegance. Only a people of real intelligence and of leisure to cultivate the finer things of life could have made universal, as it is to-day in Bogotá, the use of language which for grammatical purity and rhetorical finish is unexcelled in America.

Added to this polish is a quixotic love of flowery speech, which is to the outsider one of the most delightful traits of the Bogotano. Where else might one expect an experience like the following:

I was strolling one morning through a quiet part of the city when I was approached by a lad of ten or twelve years, who had obviously lost his way. He was

just such a youth as would have stopped me in the United States with, "Say, Mister, how do I get to 224 Center Street?" But did the young Bogotano couch his inquiry in any such commonplace words? He did not. Removing his cap and making a sweeping bow, he inquired with that dignity which is possessed by every Latin, no matter what his


"Podría su personalidad indicarme dónde está la calle Venezuela?" (Could Your Worthiness indicate to me the whereabouts of Venezuela Street?)

Unfortunately, I was as ignorant of the surroundings as himself; probably more so. I regretted my lamentable inability

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