Page:Parsons How to Know the Ferns 7th ed.djvu/226

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orchids, I visited this swamp. It lay in a semi-twilight, caused by the dense growth of cedars and hemlocks. Prostrate on the spongy sphagnum below were hosts of uprooted trees, so overrun with trailing strands of partridge-vine, twin-flower, gold-thread, and creeping snowberry, and so soft and yielding 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 cut or broken off above ground, instead of having been uprooted bodily, had also become gardens of many delicate woodland growths. Some of these decaying stumps and outspreading roots were thickly clothed with the clover-like leaflets of the wood-sorrel, here and there nestling among them a pink-veined blossom. On others I found side by side gleaming wild strawberries and dwarf raspberries, feathery fronds of Maidenhair, tall Osmundas, the Crested and the Spinulose Shield Ferns, the leaves of the violet, foam-flower, mitrewort, and many others of the smaller, wood-loving plants. Among these stumps were pools of water filled with the dark, polished, rounded leaves of the wild calla, and bordered by beds of moss which cushioned the equally shining but long and pointed leaves of the Clintonia. Near one of these pools grew a patch of delicate, low-spreading plants, evidently ferns. It needed only one searching look at the broad, triangular, light-green fronds—suggesting somewhat those of a small Brake—with roundish fruit-dots below to assure me that I had found the Oak Fern.