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TAE WOODS.   11

 

pines are not without a living interest, and fancy pleasantly invests them with more than the eye can see, and Science lingers over them, knowing right well they can teach her many a lesson worth knowing.

Our Mool a Road, woods, are but the straggling fringes of larger tracts that run back into low hills and swamps. They are not growths where some particular species lords it over all, but many kinds struggle for a foothold. Spruce and fir, birches, oaks, maples, pines, hemlock, and beech jostle each other in thickets. These deeper solitudes, where a human footstep does not pass perhaps in years, although not more than a couple of miles from houses, are the abodes of squirrels, and rabbits, and mice, and wildcats, and foxes. Birds are not abundant in such retreats, but there are always enough to enliven the scene with their presence.

Leaving local considerations, we will accept the invitation that beckons us to a wider discussion of this theme. Let me remark that it can be shown that life existed on this earth many hundred thousand years before there was a tree. The earliest water-made or sedimentary rocks have preserved the records of those times. In them are the remains and impressions of sea-weeds, lichens, club-mosses, ferns and other


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