A Sometime Erasure After Mrs. William Starr Dana’s “How to Know the Wild Flowers”.
Among him was a ledger. What is it about you, Z. The minor key tonality, the nodding wax-like flowers of this little plant. Among you is a list: Monotropa uniflora; colorless bracts in the place of leaves; terminal; nodding; these forest nuns in a prayerful mood. Suddenly one day we chance upon just such a boggy meadow as we have searched in vain a hundred times. Your square calves like spires erecting themselves in radiant beauty over whole acres of land. The tables! Do I miscalculate? We are impressed by the utilitarianism in vogue in this floral world. Z: what missives I wrote to you so vividly through the darkness as to advertise effectively their whereabouts. We arranged tumblers and nearly the tines of forks in dry places along the roadsides of Southern New York. If I miscalculate it is in line with how the desmodium, growing on some cliff-side, or the bidens on the edge of a pool. We grow nearer: spathe, involucre, perianth. A certain table had no linen, and your lead, the fortitude of steps—the disturbance caused by the sudden alighting of an insect on the blossom—this is not the laurel of the ancients. Z.
What can I calculate of the curving letter your shape made in arrangement? Who can tell how much the attractiveness of the wild carrot, the dandelion, or butter-and-eggs would be enhanced were they so discreet as to withdraw from the common haunts of men? Winters go by; here is a large meadow full of it, and yet very few in the town have ever seen. In certain low sandy New England meadows you left me off. Deed did not survive. Someone has suggested that the fuzzy little buds look as though they were still wearing their bristles as a protection. The burnished cutlery! Do I miscalculate. The flowers vary in color from a lovely blue to pink or white. They are found chiefly in the woods, but occasionally on the sunny hill-sides as well. From the aesthetic point of view these showy and beautiful whorls. Seeing you, Z, though you’ve gone, lends still another tint to the many-hued salt marshes and glowing inland meadows of the falling year.


Joseph Spece.