Mar., 1917 BIRDS OF THE HUMID COAST 53 seemed too sharp a perch for even his tiny feet. When the fireweed bloomed the Hummingbirds were seen around that as they were around the handsome pink spikes of Canterbury bells. One that I watched feeding from a bell first put his bill into the lip of the flower, standing in air with feet held close to his body, wings whirring, and tail at an angle; then, ?ailing to reach the insect- fraught honey, probed deeper and deeper till he had climbed bodily up into the pink tube. But this Troglodytean method was apparently distasteful to the little Ariel, and quickly withdrawing he fell to probing the bases of the bells from the outside. A stub watch tower vacated by a Hummer was taken possession of by a magenta headed California Purple Finch, so popular are bare outlooks among the denae evergreens of the Humi'd Coast. A dull streaked female, presum- ably his mate, was also discovered near by. At another time looking across the partly shaded brook a gleam of magenta was detected and enjoyed as every glea?n of color is in that land of dark shadows. . BY THE'SIGN OF THE SPRUCE STUB As the wood road came out into the clearing, a white tent on a high frame foundation on investigation proved an improvised chicken house. What had been a field of bracken two years before when the New England family set- tied there, was' now hen yards, flower and vegetable gardens, a substantial conquest indeed, for in clearing the land the long roots of the bracken have to be laboriously dug up, and as the man of the house was a nightwatchman across the bay, the main part of the work had devolved upon his resolute wife, who had followed her children's children across the continent to make this new home. With quiet pride she showed her New England garden in which, under the shadow of a giant spruce stub, bloomed pansies, sweet peas, sweet Williams, and many a familiar home flower. A well stocked vegetable garden added proof of what an enthusiastic woman can do with nature in her Oregon strong- hold. Though the acres surrounding the house had been wrested from nature the stub of the old giant spruce on the edge of the garden still dominated the land- scape. It was apparently the largest in the neighborhood, measuring thirty- nine feet eight inches in girth, four feet above the ground. Dwarflug every- thing in sight it bore silent testimony to the nobility of the forest that formerly possessed the land. But at the sawmill that tile nightwatchman guarded an occasional spruce would yet come in, twelve feet through, so large that it had to be dynamited and quartered before i! could be gotten into the mill. In the mountains trees six feet in diameter eight or twelve feet above the ground were said to be common, supplying at the mills six lengths twenty-four feet long, or a hundred and forty-four feet below the branches. In one of the small stubs near the house, t'he New Englanders pointed out with friendly interest a nest hole about twenty-five feet from the ground that a family of Western Bluebirds occupied early in the summer, like eastern Bluebirds coming to sit on the fence posts and get worms from the garden. Many other birds came to sing on the edge of the clearing, the gardener told me, but added regretfully that she did not know what they were. At the foot of the garden were a number of old snags, gray charred stubs in which Tree Swallows nested. The gardener's sister, who from her window in the peak enjoyed looking down on the snags and across to the mountains be-
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