FERTILE AND STERILE FRONDS LEAF-LIKE AND SIMILAR;
an afternoon drive over an unused mountain load brought us to a picturesque spot where the clear stream tumbled into a rock-paved basin, suggesting so vividly the joy of
"——the cool silver shock
Of the plunge in a pool's living water,"
that then and there we resolved soon to pitch our tent upon its banks. In all respects it was not a suitable camp site. There were no balsams or ever-greens of any kind available for bedding in the neighborhood, so when, a few days later, we had taken up our quarters just above the rock-paved pool, we went into our temporary back-yard where the Dicksonia grew abundantly with its usual soft and seductive appearance, and gathered great armfuls for the night's rest. I must frankly own that I never slept on so hard a bed. Since then I have been more than ever inclined to believe that ferns inhabit the earth chiefly for decorative ends. In the present age they do not lend themselves as once they did to medicinal purposes. Usually they are without culinary value. So far as I know animals refuse to eat them on account of their acrid juices. And experience proves that when used as a bed they do not
"——medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday."
The Hay-scented Fern is very sensitive, withering with the early frosts. Sometimes in the fall it