an English duke, still maintaining the deepest woods in Massachusetts
precisely where those sturdy immigrants first began their clearings.
The Hepatica (called also Liverwort, Squirrel-Cup, or Blue Anemone) has been found in Worcester
as early as March seventeenth, and in Danvers
on March twelfth,—dates which appear almost the extreme of credibility.
Our next wild-flower in this region is the Claytonia, or Spring-Beauty, which is common in the Middle States
, but here found in only a few localities.
It is the Indian Miskodeed
, and was said to have been left behind when mighty Peboan, the Winter, was melted by the breath of Spring.
It is an exquisitely delicate little creature, bears its blossoms in clusters, unlike most of the early species, and opens in gradual succession each white and pink-veined bell.
It grows in moist places on the sunny edges of woods, and prolongs its shy career from about the tenth of April until almost the end of May.
A week farther into April, and the Bloodroot opens,—a name of guilt, and a type of innocence.
This fresh and lovely thing appears to concentrate all its stains within its ensanguined root, that it may condense all purity in the peculiar whiteness of its petals.
It emerges from the ground with each shy blossom wrapped in its own pale-green leaf, then doffs the cloak and spreads its long petals round a group of yellow stamens.
The flower falls apart so easily, that when in full bloom it will hardly bear transportation, but with a touch the stem stands naked, a bare, goldtipped sceptre amid drifts of snow.
And the contradiction of its hues seems carried into its habits.
One of the most shy of wild plants, easily banished from its locality by any invasion, it yet takes to the garden with unpardonable readiness, doubles its size, blossoms earlier, repudiates its love of water, and flaunts its great leaves in the unnatural confinement, until it elbows out the exotics.
Its charm is gone, unless one find it in its native haunts, beside some cascade which streams over rocks that are dark with moisture, green with moss, and snowy with white bubbles.
Each spray of dripping feather-moss exudes a tiny torrent of its own, or braided with some tiny neighbor, above the little water-fonts which sleep sunless in ever-verdant caves.
Sometimes along these emerald canals there comes a sudden rush and hurry, as if some anxious housekeeper upon the hill above were afraid that things were not stirring fast enough,— and then again the waving and sinuous lines of water are quieted to a serener flow.
The delicious red thrush and the busy little yellow-throat are not yet come to this their summer haunt; but all day long the answering field-sparrows trill out their sweet, shy, accelerating lay.
In the same localities with the Bloodroot, though some days later, grows the Dog-Tooth Violet
,—a name hopelessly inappropriate, but likely never to be changed.
These hardy and prolific creatures have also many localities of their