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St. George, W. Va. (West Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
till quoted in the guide-books, as a frightful cataract; and honest John Adams could find no better name than horrid chasm for the picturesque gulf at Egg Rock, where he first saw the sea-anemone. But we are lingering too long, perhaps, with this sweet April of smiles and tears. It needs only to add, that all her traditions are beautiful. Ovid says well, that she was not named from aperire, to open, as some have thought, but from Aphrodite, goddess of beauty. April holds Easter-time, St. George's Day, and the Eve of St. Mark's. She has not, like her sister May in Germany, been transformed to a verb and made a synonyme for joy,—Deine Seele maiet den truben Herbst,—but April was believed in early ages to have been the birth-time of the world. According to the Venerable Bede, the point was first accurately determined at a council held at Jerusalem about A. D. 200, when, after much profound discussion, it was finally decided that the world's birthday occurred on Sunday, April 8th,—t<
Ovid (Michigan, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
e, being full of rocky hills, as thick as molehills in a meadow, and full of infinite thick woods. Father Hennepin spoke of Niagara, in the narrative still quoted in the guide-books, as a frightful cataract; and honest John Adams could find no better name than horrid chasm for the picturesque gulf at Egg Rock, where he first saw the sea-anemone. But we are lingering too long, perhaps, with this sweet April of smiles and tears. It needs only to add, that all her traditions are beautiful. Ovid says well, that she was not named from aperire, to open, as some have thought, but from Aphrodite, goddess of beauty. April holds Easter-time, St. George's Day, and the Eve of St. Mark's. She has not, like her sister May in Germany, been transformed to a verb and made a synonyme for joy,—Deine Seele maiet den truben Herbst,—but April was believed in early ages to have been the birth-time of the world. According to the Venerable Bede, the point was first accurately determined at a council he
Egg Rock (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
ntry, the early explorers seemed to find only horror in its woods and waterfalls. Josselyn, in 1672, could only describe the summer splendor of the White Mountain region as dauntingly terrible, being full of rocky hills, as thick as molehills in a meadow, and full of infinite thick woods. Father Hennepin spoke of Niagara, in the narrative still quoted in the guide-books, as a frightful cataract; and honest John Adams could find no better name than horrid chasm for the picturesque gulf at Egg Rock, where he first saw the sea-anemone. But we are lingering too long, perhaps, with this sweet April of smiles and tears. It needs only to add, that all her traditions are beautiful. Ovid says well, that she was not named from aperire, to open, as some have thought, but from Aphrodite, goddess of beauty. April holds Easter-time, St. George's Day, and the Eve of St. Mark's. She has not, like her sister May in Germany, been transformed to a verb and made a synonyme for joy,—Deine Seele ma
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
Even so 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 foh snowdrops are sometimes found in February even here. But, on the other hand, it would appear that, though a larger number of birds winter in England than in Massachusetts, yet the return of those which migrate is actually earlier among us. From journals which were kept during sixty years in England, and an abstract of which is p nook the sacred Andromeda polifolia of Linnaeus. Now vanished almost or wholly from city suburbs, these fragile creatures still linger in more rural parts of Massachusetts; but they are doomed everywhere, unconsciously, yet irresistibly; while others still more shy, as the Linnaea, the yellow Cypripedium, the early pink Azalea, a
Iris (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
es, and the familiar use of scientific names seems an affectation. But here, where many native flowers have no popular names at all, and others are called confessedly by wrong ones,—where it really costs less trouble to use Latin names than English,—the affectation seems the other way. Think of the long list of wild-flowers where the Latin name is spontaneously used by all who speak of the flower: as, Arethusa, Aster, Cistus (after the fall of the cistus-flower), Clematis, Clethra, Geranium, Iris, Lobelia, Rhodora, Spiraea, Tiarella, Trientalis, and so on. Even those formed from proper names—the worst possible system of nomenclature—become tolerable at last, and we forget the godfather in the more attractive namesake. When the person concerned happens to be a botanist, there is a peculiar fitness in the association; the Linnaea, at least, would not smell so sweet by any other name. In other cases the English name is a mere modification of the Latin one, and our ideal associations
West Roxbury, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
ing a series of epitaphs. Too well we know it,—those of us who in happy Cambridge childhood often gathered, almost within a stone's-throw of Professor Agassiz's new museum, the arethusa and the gentian, the cardinal-flower and the gaudy rhexia,—we who remember the last secret hiding-place of the rhodora in West Cambridge, of the yellow violet and the Viola debilis in Watertown, of the Convallaria trifolia near Fresh Pond, of the Hottonia beyond Wellington's Hill, of the Cornus florida in West Roxbury, of the Clintonia and the dwarf ginseng in Brookline,—we who have found in its one chosen nook the sacred Andromeda polifolia of Linnaeus. Now vanished almost or wholly from city suburbs, these fragile creatures still linger in more rural parts of Massachusetts; but they are doomed everywhere, unconsciously, yet irresistibly; while others still more shy, as the Linnaea, the yellow Cypripedium, the early pink Azalea, and the delicate white Corydalis or Dutchman's breeches, are being chase<
Essex County (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
warm days. Our saccharine associations, however, remain so obstinately tropical, that it seems almost impossible for the imagination to locate sugar in New-England trees; though it is known that not the maple only, but the birch and the walnut even, afford it in appreciable quantities. Along our maritime rivers the people associate April, not with sugaring, but with shadding. The pretty Amelanchier Canadensis of Gray—the Aronia of Whittier's song—is called Shad-bush, or Shad-blow, in Essex County, from its connection with this season; and there is a bird known as the Shad-spirit, which I take to be identical with the flicker or golden-winged woodpecker, whose note is still held to indicate the first day when the fish ascend the river. Upon such slender wings flits our New-England romance! In April the creative process described by Thales is repeated, and the world is renewed by water. The submerged creatures first feel the touch of spring, and many an equivocal career, beginn
New Castle, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
hade,—Horrenti atrum nemus imminet umbra. Wordsworth points out, that, even in English literature, the Windsor Forest of Anne, Countess of Winchelsea, was the first poem which represented Nature as a thing to be consciously enjoyed; and as she was almost the first English poetess, we might be tempted to think that we owe this appreciation, like some other good things, to the participation of woman in literature. But, on the other hand, it must be remembered that the voluminous Duchess of Newcastle, in her Ode on Melancholy, describes among the symbols of hopeless gloom the still moonshine night and a mill where rushing waters run about,—the sweetest natural images. In our own country, the early explorers seemed to find only horror in its woods and waterfalls. Josselyn, in 1672, could only describe the summer splendor of the White Mountain region as dauntingly terrible, being full of rocky hills, as thick as molehills in a meadow, and full of infinite thick woods. Father Hennepin
Paris, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
xcept the irresistible fact that they are not. It is impossible to create a popular name: one might as well attempt to invent a legend or compose a ballad. Nascitur, non fit. As the spring comes on, and the changing outlines of the elm give daily a new design for a Grecian urn,— its hue first brown with blossoms, then emerald with leaves,—we appreciate the vanishing beauty of the bare boughs. In our favored temperate zone the trees denude themselves each year, like the goddesses before Paris, that we may see which unadorned loveliness is the fairest. Only the unconquerable delicacy of the beech still keeps its soft vestments about it: far into spring, when worn to thin rags and tatters, they cling there still; and when they fall, the new appear as by magic. It must be owned, however, that the beech has good reasons for this prudishness, and has hereabouts little beauty of figure; while the elms, maples, chestnuts, walnuts, and even oaks, have not exhausted all their store of c
Atlantic Ocean (search for this): chapter 1
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
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