Page:Parsons How to Know the Ferns 7th ed.djvu/29

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in the plant-world, travel is quite a different thing from what it is to one who does not know a mint from a mustard. The shortest journey to a new locality is full of interest to the traveller who is striving to lengthen his list of plant acquaintances. The tedious waits around the railway station are welcomed as opportunities for fresh discoveries. The slow local train receives blessings instead of anathemas because of the superiority of its windows as posts of observation. The long stage ride is too short to satisfy the plant-lover who is keeping count of the different species by the roadside.

While crossing the continent on the Canadian Pacific Railway a few years ago, the days spent in traversing the vast plains east of the Rockies were days of keen enjoyment on account of the new plants seen from my window and gathered breathlessly for identification during the brief stops. But to most of my fellow-passengers they were days of unmitigated boredom. They could not comprehend the reluctance with which I met each nightfall as an interruption to my watch.

When, finally, one cold June morning we climbed the glorious Canadian Rockies and were driven to the hotel at Banff, where we were to rest for twenty-four hours, the enjoyment of the previous week was crowned by seeing the dining-room tables decorated with a flower which I had never succeeded in finding in the woods at home. It was the lovely little orchid, Calypso borealis, a shy, wild creature which had been brought to me from the