illow more showy, but the alders come first.
They cluster and dance everywhere upon the bare boughs above the watercourses; the blackness of the buds is softened into rich brown and yellow; and as this graceful creature thus comes waving into the spring, it is pleasant to remember that the Norse Eddas fabled the first woman to have been named Embla, because she was created from an alder-bough.
The first wild-flower of the spring is like land after sea. The two which, throughout the Northern Atlantic States, divide this interest are the Epigoea repens (May-flower, ground-laurel, or trailing-arbutus) and the Hepatica triloba (liverleaf, liverwort, or blue anemone). Of these two, the latter is perhaps more immediately exciting on first discovery, because it is an annual, not a perennial, and so does not, like the epigaea, exhibit its buds all winter, but opens its blue eyes almost as soon as it emerges from the ground.
Without the rich and delicious odor of its compeer, it has an in