The Backwoods of Canada eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 261 pages of information about The Backwoods of Canada.
------ has allowed his parlour to be used as a temporary church, and
service has been several times performed by a highly respectable young
Scotch clergyman; and I can assure you we have a considerable
congregation, considering how scattered the inhabitants are, and that
the emigrants consist of catholics and dissenters, as well as
episcopalians.

These distinctions, however, are not carried to such lengths in this country as at home; especially where the want of religious observances has been sensibly felt.  The word of God appears to be listened to with gladness.  May a blessing attend those that in spirit and in truth would restore again to us the public duties of the Sabbath, which, left to our own guidance, we are but too much inclined to neglect.

Farewell.

LETTER XVIII.

Busy Spring.—­Increase of Society and Comfort.—­Recollections of Home.—­ Aurora Borealis

THIS has been a busy spring with us.  First, sugar-making on a larger scale than our first attempt was, and since that we had workmen making considerable addition to our house; we have built a large and convenient kitchen, taking the former one for a bedroom; the root-house and dairy are nearly completed.  We have a well of excellent water close beside the door, and a fine frame-barn was finished this week, which includes a good granary and stable, with a place for my poultry, in which I take great delight.

Besides a fine brood of fowls, the produce of two hens and a cock, or rooster, as the Yankees term that bird, I have some ducks, and am to have turkeys and geese this summer.  I lost several of my best fowls, not by the hawk but a horrid beast of the same nature as our polecat, called here a scunck; it is far more destructive in its nature than either fox or the hawk, for he comes like a thief in the night and invades the perch, leaving headless mementos of his barbarity and blood-thirsty propensities.

We are having the garden, which hitherto has been nothing but a square enclosure for vegetables, laid out in a prettier form; two half circular wings sweep off from the entrance to each side of the house; the fence is a sort of rude basket or hurdle-work, such as you see at home, called by the country folk wattled fence:  this forms a much more picturesque fence than those usually put up of split timber.

Along this little enclosure I have begun planting a sort of flowery hedge with some of the native shrubs that abound in our woods and lake-shores.

Among those already introduced are two species of shrubby honeysuckle, white and rose-blossomed:  these are called by the American botanists quilostium.

Then I have the white Spiroeafrutex, which grows profusely on the lake-shore; the Canadian wild rose; the red flowering raspberry (rubus spectabilis), leather-wood (dircas), called American mezereon, or moose-wood; this is a very pretty, and at the same time useful shrub, the bark being used by farmers as a substitute for cord in tying sacks, &c.; the Indians sew their birch-bark baskets with it occasionally.

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The Backwoods of Canada from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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