July the St. John
's-wort takes possession-and by the middle of that month the first feathery golden-rod opens, preparing for its long reign over the pastures.
Soon will follow the asters, the gorgeous cardinal-flower, the lovely fringed gentian; the season will run its course before we know it, and then the autumn leaves and the weird witch-hazel will be here.
As to more vocal companions, it is the misfortune of summer visitors to the hills that they rarely arrive until the first burst of bird-song is gone by, so that the woods are growing silent until the loquacious summer insects shall replace the early birds.
The ever-domestic song-sparrow is actively tending her second or third set of eggs in her nest upon the ground; but she sings little, and seems overburdened with responsibilities, while the robin is jubilant as ever, from dawn till eve, as he feeds his young in the cherry-trees.
The brown thrush and the bluebird are more visible than audible; so is the cat-bird, while the veery is not heard at all. The wood-thrush sings daily in the neighboring pine wood, and more sweetly as night draws on, and the little field-sparrow is voluble with his “sweet,.shy, accelerating lay.”
Every night we find ourselves listening for the whippoorwill.
Every night it begins at a distance, draws nearer with darkness, and seems — for it remains unseen — to alight among the garden bushes and almost