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Under the Maples   By: (1837-1921)

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Transcriber's Note: Alternative spelling for chippie/chippy has been retained as it appears in the original publication.

UNDER THE MAPLES

[Illustration: Copyright, 1921, by Charles F. Lummis. All rights reserved.

THE LAST PORTRAIT OF JOHN BURROUGHS

(March 23, 1921; six days before his death) Made at Pasadena Glen, California, by his long time friend Charles F. Lummis]

UNDER THE MAPLES

BY JOHN BURROUGHS

[Illustration: The Riverside Press]

BOSTON AND NEW YORK

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

The Riverside Press Cambridge

COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

PREFACE

It was while sitting in his hay barn study in the Catskills and looking out upon the maple woods of the old home farm, and under the maples at Riverby, that the most of these essays were written, during the last two years of the author's life. And it was to the familiar haunts near his Hudson River home that his thoughts wistfully turned while wintering in Southern California in 1921. As he pictured in his mind the ice breaking up on the river in the crystalline March days, the return of the birds, the first hepaticas, he longed to be back among them; he was there in spirit, gazing upon the river from the summer house, or from the veranda of the Nest, or seated at his table in the chestnut bark Study, or busy with his sap gathering and sugar making.

Casting about for a title for this volume, the vision of maple trees and dripping sap and crisp March days playing constantly before his mind, one day while sorting and shifting the essays for his new book, he suddenly said, "I have it! We'll call it Under the Maples !"

His love for the maple, and consequently his pleasure in having hit upon this title, can be gathered from the following fragment found among his miscellaneous notes: "I always feel at home where the sugar maple grows It was paramount in the woods of the old home farm where I grew up. It looks and smells like home. When I bring in a maple stick to put on my fire, I feel like caressing it a little. Its fiber is as white as a lily, and nearly as sweet scented. It is such a tractable, satisfactory wood to handle a clean, docile, wholesome tree; burning without snapping or sputtering, easily worked up into stovewood, fine of grain, hard of texture, stately as a forest tree, comely and clean as a shade tree, glorious in autumn, a fountain of coolness in summer, sugar in its veins, gold in its foliage, warmth in its fibers, and health in it the year round."

CLARA BARRUS

The Nest at Riverby West Park on the Hudson New York

CONTENTS

I. THE FALLING LEAVES 1

II. THE PLEASURES OF A NATURALIST 11

III. THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS 32

IV. BIRD INTIMACIES 39

V. A MIDSUMMER IDYL 69

VI. NEAR VIEWS OF WILD LIFE 79

VII. WITH ROOSEVELT AT PINE KNOT 101

VIII. A STRENUOUS HOLIDAY 109

IX. UNDER GENIAL SKIES 127 I. A Sun Blessed Land 127 II. Lawn Birds 129 III. Silken Chambers 132 IV. The Desert Note 143 V. Sea Dogs 148

X. A SHEAF OF NATURE NOTES 152 I. Nature's Wireless 152 II. Maeterlinck on the Bee 156 III... Continue reading book >>




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