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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country, The procession of the flowers (search)
ain, are now rare near Worcester, and growing rarer, though still abundant a hundred miles farther inland. In several bits of old, swampy wood one may still find, usually close together, the Hobble-Bush and the Painted Trillium, the Mitella, or Bishop's-Cap, and the snowy Tiarella. Others still have entirely vanished within ten years, and that in some cases without any adequate explanation. The dainty white Corydalis, profanely called Dutchman's Breeches, and the quaint, woolly Ledum, or Labrador Tea, have disappeared within that time. The beautiful Linnaea is still found annually, but flowers no more; as is also the case, in all but one distant locality, with the once abundant Rhododendron. Nothing in Nature has for me a more fascinating interest than these secret movements of vegetation,—the sweet, blind instinct with which flowers cling to old domains until absolutely compelled to forsake them. How touching is the fact, now well known, that salt-water plants still flower besid
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country, Snow (search)
to each other, while the red leaves dance on the snowy sward below, or a fox or squirrel steals hurriedly through the wild and wintry night! Here and there is some discrowned Lear, who has thrown off his regal mantle, and stands in faded russet, misplaced among the monarchs. What a simple and stately hospitality is that of Nature in winter! The season which the residents of cities think an obstruction gives in the country an extension of intercourse: it opens every forest from here to Labrador, free of entrance; the most tangled thicket, the most treacherous marsh, becomes passable; and the lumberer or moose-hunter, mounted on his snow-shoes, has the world before him. He says good snow-shoeing, as we say good sleighing; and it gives a sensation like a first visit to the sea-side and the shipping, when one first sees exhibited for sale, in the streets of Bangor or Montreal, these delicate Indian conveyances. It seems as if a new element were suddenly opened for travel, and all du