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110   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

then that the seeds with the most toothsome peel and pulp will be surest to get swallowed. Now the naked seeds are digestible in birds and form a great portion of their food, but the seeds of berries and fruits are not digestible. They are able to withstand the digestive action. At the first this was probably true of only a few out of many, but the tough ones got them-selves planted, and brought forth after their kind according to law. Sparrows and all seed-eating birds eat the seed for food, while thrushes and all other berry-eating birds swallow the berries, seed and all, for the sake of the pulp.

But let us return from this tempting by-path to the riverside. 1Iere on the plasliy brink, crowded among the small stones is the common " blue flag," to call it by a common name. It is the Iris virginica of science, and the Flower-deduce or Fleur-de-lis of heraldry and sentiment. I am too late to salute the beautiful flowers where they bloomed a few weeks ago on the slender stalks that upheld them like staves of royal banners, and now overloaded with the clumsy seed vessels, that will keep their hold the winter long. If the flower were not so common it would be considered one of the most beautiful and curiously constructed of all our


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