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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country, April days (search)
good an observer as Wilson Flagg is betrayed into saying that the epigaea and hepatica seldom make their appearance until after the middle of April in Massachusetts, and that it is not unusual for the whole month of April to pass away without producing more than two or three species of wild-flowers. But I have formerly found the hepatica in bloom at Mount Auburn, for three successive years, on the twenty-seventh of March; and it has since been found in Worcester on the seventeenth, and in Danvers on the twelfth. The May-flower is usually as early, though the more gradual expansion of the buds renders it less easy to give dates. And there are nearly twenty species which I have noted, for five or six years together, as found always before May-Day, and therefore properly to be assigned to April. The list includes bloodroot, cowslip, houstonia, saxifrage, dandelion, chickweed, cinquefoil, strawberry, mouse-ear, bellwort, dog's-tooth violet, five species of violet proper, and two of
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country, The procession of the flowers (search)
can one recognize the Plymouth May-flower, as soon as seen, by its wondrous depth of color? Perhaps it blushes with triumph to see how Nature has outwitted the Pilgrims, and even succeeded in preserving her deer like an English duke, still maintaining the deepest woods in Massachusetts precisely where those sturdy immigrants first began their clearings. The Hepatica (called also Liverwort, Squirrel-Cup, or Blue Anemone) has been found in Worcester as early as March seventeenth, and in Danvers on March twelfth,—dates which appear almost the extreme of credibility. Our next wild-flower in this region is the Claytonia, or Spring-Beauty, which is common in the Middle States, but here found in only a few localities. It is the Indian Miskodeed, and was said to have been left behind when mighty Peboan, the Winter, was melted by the breath of Spring. It is an exquisitely delicate little creature, bears its blossoms in clusters, unlike most of the early species, and opens in gradual s