To My Friend
E. Le Grand Beers
My Dear Le Grand,—You and I were early drawn together
by a common love of nature. Your researches into the natural history
of the tree-toad, your observations upon the mud-turtles of Providence
Township, your experiments with the fresh-water lobster, all stimulated
my enthusiasm in a scientific direction, which has crystallized in this
helpful little book, dedicated to you. Pray accept it as an
insignificant payment on account for all I owe to you.
It appears to the writer that there is urgent need of
more “nature books”— books that are scraped clear of fiction and which
display only the carefully articulated skeleton of fact. Hence this
little volume, presented with some hesitation and more modesty. Various
chapters have, at intervals, appeared in the pages of various publications.
The continued narrative is now published for the first time; and the writer
trusts that it may inspire enthusiasm for natural and scientific research,
and inculcate a passion for accurate observation among the young.
April 1, 1904
Where the slanting forest eaves,
Shingled tight with greenest leaves,
Sweep the scented meadow-sedge,
Let us snoop along the edge;
Let us pry in hidden nooks,
Laden with our nature books,
Scaring birds with happy cries,
Rooting up each woodland plant,
Pinning beetle, fly, and ant,
So we may identify,
What we’ve ruined, by-and-by.