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"I never tire of contemplating the earth as it swims through space.
As I near the time when I know these contemplations must cease, it is more and more in my thoughts-its beauty, its meaning, and the grandeur of the voyage we are making on its surface. The imaginary and hoped-for other world occupies my thoughts very little. There is so much to know here, so much to enjoy, so much to engage every faculty of the mind and develop every power of the body, such beauty, such sublimity, and such a veil of enchantment and mystery over all-how can one ever tire of it, or wish for a better. I am in love with the earth."-From Field and Study.
This portrait of John Burroughs was modeled by the late C. S. Pietro, and is the property of the Toledo Museum of Art. The rock on which Mr. Burroughs posed is on his old home farm in the western Catskills. A photograph of it is reproduced on page 574
A TRAIN OF THOUGHT
"The traveler sees little of the Nature that is revealed to the home-stayer. You will find she has made her home where you have made yours, and intimacy with her there becomes easy. Familiarity with things about one should not dull the edge of curiosity or interest. The walk you take today through the fields and woods, or along the river bank, is the walk you should take tomorrow, and next day, and next. What you miss once, you will hit upon next time. The happenings are at intervals and are irregular. The play of Nature has no fixed programme. If she is not at home today, or is in a noncommittal mood, call tomorrow, or next week. It is only when the wild creatures are at home, where their nests or dens are made, that their characteristics come out."-From Field and Study
BIRD PHOTOGRAPHS OF UNUSUAL DISTINCTION
THE SERIES ON THE PAGES FOLLOWING, THE WORK OF SOME OF OUR NOTED BIRD PHOTOGRAPHERS AND NATURALISTS, IN MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY,
IS PUBLISHED IN HONOR OF JOHN BURROUGHS, WITH MANY
BRIEF QUOTATIONS FROM HIS WRITINGS
WHERE CAN BE HEARD "THE WHISTLE OF RETURNING BIRDS"
"I do not know a bird till I have heard its voice . . . A bird's song contains a clew to its life, and establishes a sympathy and understanding . . . "-From Wake-Robin.
"One sees the passing bird procession in his own grounds and neighborhood without pausing to think that in every man's grounds and in every neighborhood throughout the State, and throughout a long, broad belt of states, about several millions of homes, and over several millions of farms, the same flood-tide of bird-life is creeping and eddying or sweeping over the land. Think of the myriads of dooryards where the 'chippies' are just arriving; of the blooming orchards where the passing many-colored warblers are eagerly inspecting the buds and leaves; of the woods where the oven-birds and water-thrushes are searching out their old haunts; of the secluded bushy fields and tangles where the chewinks, the brown thrashers, the chats, the catbirds, are once more preparing to begin life anew-think of all this and more, and we may get some idea of the extent and importance of our bird-life. . . . are always the same familiar birds, the birds of our youth, but they are new as the flowers are new, as the spring and summer are new, as each morning is new. Like Nature herself they are endowed with immortal youth. . ."-From Field and Study
"People who have not made friends with the birds do not know how much they miss.... The only time I saw Thomas Carlyle, I remember his relating that in his earlier days he was sent on a journey to a distant town on some business that gave him much bother and vexation, and that on his way back home, forlorn and dejected, he suddenly, heard the larks sing ing all about him,-soaring and singing, just as they did about his father's fields, and it comforted him and cheered him up amazingly.
"There is something almost pathetic in the fact that the birds remain forever the same. You grow old, your friends die or move to distant lands, events sweep on, and all things are changed. Yet there in your garden or orchard are the birds of your boyhood.... The call of the high-holes, the whistle of the quail, the strong piercing note of the meadowlark, the drumming of the grouse,-how these sounds ignore the years, and strike on the ear with the melody of that springtime when your world was young, and life was all holiday and romance!"-From Birds and Poets
Burroughs identifies himself with nature and looks at it from the standpoint of one in sympathy. He points out again and again in Field and Study that each creature in any given bit of country is living its individual independent life, quite irrespective of the life of man and wholly apart from it-each is "a jet of vital activity with a character and purpose of its own"