So far as I remember, my first encounter with the Lady Fern was in a lowland bog, famous for its growth of showy Lady's Slippers. One June day in the hope of finding some of these orchids still in flower, I visited this lowland bog. It lay in a semi-twilight, caused by the dense growth of oak and hemlocks. Prostrate on the spongy sphagum below were hosts of uprooted trees, so overrun with trailing strands of partridge vine, and twin flower, golden thread and creeping snowberry, and so soft and yeilding to the feet that they seemed to have become one with the earth. The stumps and far reaching roots of the trees that had been broken off above ground, instead of having been uprooted bodily, had also become gardens of many delicate wooland growths. Some of these decaying stumps and outspreading roots were thickly clothed with the clover-like leaflets of the wood sorrel, here and there nesting amoung them a pink veined blossom. On others I found side by side, gleaming wild strawberries and dwarf raspberries, feathery fronds of Maidenhair, tall Cinnamons, the Christmas and Leather Leaf, the leaves of the violets, foam flower, miterwort, and many others of the smaller, wood-loving plants. Amoung these stumps were pools of water filled with the dark, polished, rounded leaves of wild calla, and bordered by beds of moss which cusioned theeaqually shinny but long pointed leaves of the Shelid Fern. Near one of these pools grew a patch of delicate, rather large-showy plants, fern-like ferns. They needed only one searching look at the showy, lacy-cut, light-green fronds-a sugestion of what all ferns should look like-with short, curved fruit-dots below to assure me that I had found the Lady Fern.
The short expidition had justified itself with the first full veiw of the solem, beatiful depths of the Lowland bog, still holding to her mossy-bossom, its virgin growth. When I had finally found the tall, leafy plants of the Lady's Slipper, of course without a single blossom left upon them, the wave of disapointment was so mild as to be imperceptible.
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