earliest spring to the latest fall.
The foliage was ever beautiful, from the first tender greens of the leaves dancing on their light stems against the pure and delicate blue of the overarching sky, to the gorgeous gold and crimson and purple of the royal robes of autumn.
There were deep hollows, and shady dells, and long tree-clothed ridges, on either side of which were deep ponds, whose tranquil waters shimmered under the shadowing canopy of leaves, stretched over them by the long arms of the lofty trees.
There were grassy slopes, and steep descents, and winding ways that lured the straying feet to explore the mystery that might lie beyond; and stretches of level greensward, and swampy lands where the most daring foot must be wary, and whoever would secure the sweet swamp honeysuckle, or the early cowslip, or the bright blue iris, must have a quick eye and springy limbs.
Here the boys and girls that went a-maying gathered the hepaticas and houstonias, and danced round the May-pole; here the botanist found store of treasures for scientific lore; here the good housewife gathered her stock of fragrant roots and herbs for household use; and the children shouted with delight over the checkerberries, bunchberries, partridge berries and wild strawberries in their season.
Under the leafy coverts the quail hid her brood, and piped her warning cry--“More wet, more wet!”
From the hollow stumps and fallen trunks the partridge drummed.
In its den hid the red fox; lithe squirrels sprang from limb to limb, chattering and scolding at intruders; many birds sang and built among the branches; the spotted turtles crept down to the water-side; little green snakes glided through the undergrowth and nobody feared them, black snakes and adders fled from the step of man;