Previous Nature Studies in the Acadian Land (1899) Next

 

BY THE RIVERSIDE.   107

at once. All our trees that are not evergreens make preparations for the new leaves, in buds stored with food, and often varnished over, as if each one was an object of special providence. Our mayflowers, or trailing arbutus, produce the flower buds in the autumn, and sometimes these preparations for the next spring are pushed too far by favoring weather ; and then one finds here and there a fall blossom, born out of due season, instead of being tucked up under a snow blanket in a sound sleep of months.

This witch-hazel with us never grows to more than ten feet in height, but in the Southern States it is much taller. It is an old belief that rods of hazel had magic powers, and so far is this from being outgrown that I have seen a sane practical farmer searching for gold mines by the aid of a hazel crotch, and he called it a "mineral rod." What the rod did not do in the way of drawing " his imagination helped out. He never found a mine with its aid, but he slid not lose confidence in the stick — to do that would be to drop a superstition, and that kind of a devil does not quit short of " fasting and prayer." So far as we know, this belief is of the remotest antiquity.

The earliest written history of Greeks, Romans,


Previous Nature Studies in the Acadian Land (1899) Next