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Some Summer Days in Iowa   By: (1870-1940)

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Some Summer Days in Iowa


Frederick John Lazell

A book of the seasons, each page of which should be written in its own season and out of doors, or in its own locality, wherever it may be. THOREAU





Like the two preceding little volumes of this series, this book seeks to show something of what Iowa has to offer to the man who loves the out of doors. There is nothing very unusual in it. The trees and the flowers, the birds and the small wild animals which it mentions and describes are such as may be seen in the Iowa fields and woods by anyone who cares enough about them to walk amid their haunts. The illustrations are such as the ordinary nature lover may "take" for himself with his pocket kodak. The woodthrush built in a thicket by the bungalow and borrowed a paper napkin for her nest. The chipmunk came every morning for his slice of bread. And then the woodchuck learned to be unafraid.

It has long been the author's belief that Iowa has just as much to offer the nature lover as any other part of the world that she has indeed a richer flora than many states and that every true Iowan ought to know something of her trees and shrubs and herbs, her birds and animals, and to feel something of the beauty of her skies and her landscapes. There is so much beauty all around us, every day of the year, shall we not sometimes lift our eyes to behold it?

The majority of Iowa people still find pleasure in the simple life, still have the love for that which Nature so freely bestows. They find time to look upon the beauty of the world. Many a busy man finds his best recreation in the woods and fields. It may be only a few hours each week, but it is enough to keep the music of the flowing waters ever in his ears and the light of the sunshine in his eyes. It is enough to give the men and the women of the state wholesome views of life, happy hearts and broad sympathies. Some few find in the woods and fields thoughts and feelings which are, to them, almost akin to religion. If this little book helps such lovers of the out of doors ever so little; if it shall help others to see for themselves the beauty and the joy and the goodness of this world in which we live, the author will feel that it has been worth while.


In the old woods road a soft haze hung, too subtle to see save where its delicate colorings were contrasted against the dark green leaves of the oaks beyond the fence. Not the tangible, vapory haze of early morning, but a tinted, ethereal haze, the visible effluence of the summer, the nimbus of its power and glory. From tall cord grasses arching over the side of the road, drawing water from the ditch in which their feet were bathed and breathing it into the air with the scent of their own greenness; from the transpiration of the trees, shrubs and vines, flowers and mosses and ferns, from billions of pores in acres of leaves it came streaming into the sunlight, vanishing quickly, yet ever renewed, as surely as the little brook where the grasses drank and the grackles fished for tadpoles and young frogs, was replenished by the hidden spring. Mingled with it and floating in it was another stream of life, the innumerable living organisms that make up the dust of the sunshine. Pink and white, black and yellow spores from the mushrooms over the fence in the pasture; pollen pushed from the glumes of the red top grasses and the lilac spires of the hedge nettle and germander by the roadside; shoals of spores from the mosses and ferns by the trees and in the swamp; all these life particles rose and floated in the haze, giving it tints and meanings strangely sweet. When a farmer's buggy passed along the old road the haze became a warm pink, like some western sky in the evening, slowly clearing again to turquoise as the dust settled... Continue reading book >>

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