August 6, 1924 – Letter to Mr. St. John


From the Woods
August 6, 1924

Dearest Friend: [Mr. St. John]

I was very glad to get your letter, the picture of the silver fox, your account of your search for orchids, and what you are going to do at Shawandasee. Then, of course, I was glad to hear about Mr. ‘Coon. I like them very much: they are so pretty with their black masks, their dainty little feet, and their gorgeous tails.

I would like to tell you about an adventure I had this morning with one of our feathered friends. I was over at the Secret Beach–I had been watching the pretty sparkling minnows, the little golden-coloured perch, and the sometimes solitary, sometimes in school, bass. The three kinds of fish sometimes mingle together, the ones at the Secret Beach being about the same size. As I said before, I was over at the Secret Beach watching them all, when a great flapping of might wings reached my ears. I looked up and saw a great bird fly to a tree and alight on one of the limbs. He looked like a great dark splotch, but, as I had seen him alight there, I knew it was he. I crept along through the bushes stealthily (afterwards I discovered that there was no need of being stealthy) until I got out on the path over which passed the limb on which he sat. One leg he held tightly against his bluish grey breast of a very pale colour. He was all pale grey-blue with some brown mottling on his back and throat. His under tail parts were almost white. I bet he’s still sitting there on the limb. The whole family has seen him–and he just sits there and looks at what going on around him. I don’t know what kind of bird he is.

I hope very much that on the way to Passaconaway you will stop in the Gravel Cut.

With ships, with fluttering sails and jeweled masts, of love in baskets woven and embroidered with flowers,


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