Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/850

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tree is tall, straight, and sharp-pointed, yielding a soft, white, durable wood. In the humus of the swamp, which is often several feet in thickness, one tree supports another, and, if a few are cut, others fall in every direction. An old cedar-swamp bottom, through which there is a running stream, is usually selected for a cranberry bog. Many acres of swamp land are covered with huckleberries in plenty and of fine quality. There are bushy, semi-marshy areas, with here and there a straggling pine. In such places many rare and beautiful plants, for which the region is famous, are found, and, in spite of the flies and mosquitoes, they have long been a favorite resort of enthusiastic botanists.

There are also the salt marshes, called "mashes" by the haymen and baymen, extending for many miles along the coast and bays, the rich black soil of which may some day be drained and tilled. It freshens when banked and sluiced. These marshes, endless to the eye, are intersected by many bays, salt-ponds, thoroughfares, and winding creeks, bordered with rustling reeds, resounding with the twitterings of many meadow-wrens, the cacklings of mud-hens, and cries of many birds of the snipe order. They are aglow in season with pink, white, and yellow flowers, and flecked at times with the sails of boats moving in the creeks and bays. These meadows yield thousands of tons of salt and black grass, which is still in many places cut with the scythe and carried by two men with "hand poles" to the square, clumsy scows which are partly rowed and partly drifted to the landings.

Many miles of salt meadow separate the mainland from the narrow strips of sand beach bordering the sea, the white glimmering sands of which, covered in places with large hollies and red cedars, are washed hither and thither by the waves and piled by the winds in dunes. These beaches, on which are located the famous seashore resorts to which thousands flock for recreation, are separated by many inlets, through which the tides sweep swiftly.

Here and there are the gray, unsightly boles of trees which have been killed, and whole strips of woods blasted and blackened by fires which rage at times in these regions.

Few spots are favored with more rivers and streams along which the scenery is wilder. Their waters are yellowish-red in color at first, but become black later, owing to changes in the peaty matter which they contain. Years ago these streams were dammed, to supply the power with which to move the clumsy, old-fashioned bellows to pump air into the furnaces in the manufacture of iron from "bog ore."

The sand of the hills of South Jersey is yellowish in color, because of the iron which it contains. When firmly cemented together by large quantities of iron compounds, a durable ferrugi-