“Oh, all around about New England. I call all trees mine that I have put my wedding ring on, and I have as many tree-wives as Brigham Young has human ones.” “One set’s as green as the other,” exclaimed a boarder, who has never been identified. “They’re all Bloomers,”—said the young fellow called John. (I should have rebuked this trifling with language, if our landlady’s daughter had not asked me just then what I meant by putting my wedding-ring on a tree.) “Why, measuring it with my thirty-foot tape, my dear, said I.—I have worn a tape almost out on the rough barks of our old New England elms and other big trees. Don’t you want to hear me talk trees a little now? That is one of my specialties.”
“What makes a first-class elm?”
“Why, size, in the first place, and chiefly anything over twenty feet clear girth five feet above the ground and with a spread of branches a hundred feet across may claim that title, according to my scale. All of them, with the questionable exception of the Springfield tree above referred to, stop, so far as my experience goes, at about twenty-two or twenty-three feet of girth and a hundred and twenty of spread.”
Three of my big elms easily stand the test Dr. Holmes prescribed, and seem to spread themselves since being assured that they are worthy of one of his wedding-rings if he were alive, and soon there will be other applicants in younger elms.
* * * * *
I am pleased that my memory has brought before me so unerringly the pleasant pictures of the past. But my agreeable task is completed.
The humming-birds have come on this fifteenth of July to sip at early morn the nectar from the blossoms of the trumpet-vine, now beginning its brilliant display. That is always a signal for me to drop all indoor engagements and from this time, the high noon of midsummer fascinations, to keep out of doors enjoying to the full the ever-changing glories of Nature, until the annual Miracle Play of the Transfiguration of the Trees.