Fragrance Quote for May 29th, 2012-Nature studies in Berkshire By John Coleman Adams

In the Berkshires


Fragrance Quote for May 29th, 2012-Nature studies in Berkshire
By John Coleman Adams

But the sun moves around and drives one from the shady covert and puts an end to these dreams by daylight. Yet others follow hard after. Even as one lies here with cheek close to the earth, there steals upon the sense a fragrance, pungent, aromatic, subtle as some rare perfume, and elusive as the flight of the f...irefly. It calls to memory the interior of some country homestead, and conjures up the cupboard where the "simples" are kept, and clean cool chambers with beds whose linen gives out this same sweet exhalation. One has not far to look for the fragrant everlasting whose woolly blossoms yield this pleasant breath, dear to every country boy and girl, but dearer still to him who hides a bunch of it in the desk drawer at the city office, a swift reminder in the busy hours of the far-off hillside under the summer sun. Gather a handful of this grateful yield of the hill pasture, and stroll a few rods farther, for in yonder copse is reserved a pleasant surprise.

Pass the chevaux-de-frise of the birches, and work your way down the steep bank for a few rods, and you shall find yourself in the midst of a growth which florists would give much to discover, and which no lover of the woods would ever disclose. It is a splendid patch of maiden-hair ferns, covering many a square rod of the thicket, multiplying and luxuriating in the leaf-enriched soil. Hidden away from the eyes of the careless and the vandal, growing and fruiting and growing again for many a year, these delicate and graceful fronds have possessed themselves of this spot. It is their homestead. Inherited from generation to generation, the copse is the ancestral home of this delightful family, where they still rear their bright stems and spread their dainty pinules unharmed of men. What keener pleasure awaits the wood stroller than such a corner as this, redolent of the life of the finest flower of the shadows, fragrant with the gathered tradition of this family of ferns, whose very presence here attests how rare have been human visits, how largely this place is secured to the dryads and their mysteries? Is it not worth a walk over the hill-pasture to stumble upon such a woody corner as this?