Many Americans do not know how to appreciate their own
natural scenery. Much has been written about the marvelous
scenery of western North America, but few have spoken a word of
praise in regard to the beauty of our eastern highlands.
The pleasure we take in travel as well as in literature is
enhanced by a knowledge of Nature. Thoreau, Burroughs, Bryant
and Muir - how much you would miss from their glowing pages
without some knowledge of the plants and birds. Truly did the
Indian say, "White man heap much book, little know."
To one who is at least partially familiar with the plant and
bird world, travel holds so much more of interest and enthusiasm
than it does to one who cannot tell mint from skunk cabbage, or
a sparrow from a thrush. Having made acquaintance with the
flowers and the birds, every journey will take on an added
interest because always there are unnumbered scenes to attract
our attention; which although observed many times, grow more
lovely at each new meeting.
We remember, in crossing the ocean, how few there were who found
little or no delight in the ever changing sea with its rich
dawns and sunsets or abundance of strange animal life. It is
well to have one or more hobbies if you know when to leave off
riding them, and you may thus turn to account many spare