Tuesday, April 1, 2014

mind your frocks and trousers

last summer in the Catskills
Today was the first day that felt like spring,
the freshness, the possibilities...  

Last summer I got deep into the wildflowers in the country,
 and I can't wait for this year's crop.


Meanwhile, I found this hand-bound book, 
Wild Flowers of New York, published in 1912.


The illustrations are lovely, and the prose is informative and delightful. In discussing wild strawberries and blackberries, the point is made "...school children who gather the luscious strawberries from the low vines that trail through many of our fields, or the equally delectable blackberry that is to be found in thickets, along walls or by the roadside and whose thorns are often the cause of severe reproof of the parents when the child returns with frocks or trousers sadly in need of repair."

25 comments:

  1. What a fabulous book and I love the words contained within.

    Enjoy your carpet of wildflowers and hopefully they are blooming
    Helen

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    1. Thanks, Helen. No flowers yet, but soon I hope.

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  2. What a great book!
    A taste of spring was here last week but today has disappeared in the cold and rain.

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    1. Oh, it rains in Portland? (kidding-hope spring comes back quick--you made quite a change in climates. At least you won't have the brutal heat.)

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    2. Funny.
      I'll take the rain any day over that insane humidity and heat and glaring sun.

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    3. Wow, I never think of Portland as hot.

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  3. What a lovely little booklet. I remember the term "frock" being used in the 1950s, but by the mid-sixties, even little girls weren't wearing anything that could be described as a "frock."

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  4. Hello Jen:

    What an absolutely splendid find. How intriguing and what fun it would be to make a comparison of 'Wild Flowers of New York' just over a hundred years later.

    Spring really does seem to have arrived here and we are enjoying warm, sunny days.

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    1. I'm going to see how many I can find--it lists about 40, and the book was published in the same region where our house is. I'll let you know.

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  5. Hello Jen,
    I do love wild flowers. We have so many tiny tiny ones all over the fields.
    I have black berries , but the birds and neighbours come to pick them..so I only get a few..they are at the bottom of my land. with the fig trees amongst the tall grass.
    What a lovely book you have found.
    happy wednesday
    val x

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    1. How wonderful to have fig trees!

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  6. Hello Jen, Growing up, we got our share of wild strawberries and blackberries, but without making such a constant sacrifice of our clothes. I'm guessing that clothes have gotten sturdier since then, and also that the frilly dresses and short-pants-suits-with-stockings typical of 100 years ago weren't the ideal outfits for dealing with ravines and bramble patches.
    --Jim

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    1. I guess some things have changed for the better!

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  7. What a lovely little book. Warmer days here too.

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  8. Yum...Summer days filled with blackberry picking and the occasional wild strawberry patch brings back sweet memories! However, the 1950-something OOTD was shorts/blouse sewn my Mama. Footwear of choice... None! Well, maybe a pair of comfy flip-flops if walking through stickers to get to those blackberry vines. Wonderful little book...enjoy the wild flower hunt! Smiles...Susan

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    1. Love that your Mama sewed your clothes--a lot of mine were too, and then I did my own in high school.

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  9. Beautiful book. And bound by hand, a lost art I'm sure. How wonderful, picking blackberries instead of texting or playing the latest computer game. A lost art as well.

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  10. Oh, I'm a little envious...to come across such a treasure. lucky you!

    We had wild mulberry bushes growing in the field behind our house growing up. I remember the purple stained hands very well. :)

    Wouldn't "the delectable blackberry" be a wonderful title for a short story or perhaps a new blog. I love it.

    Enjoy these early spring days! ♥

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    1. Love the title "the delectable blackberry"!

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  11. I remember picking silverberry or oleaster when I was rambling along nearby bushes as a girl. I also remember horsetail gathering in early spring and bracken gathering in May following my parents. I would get a rash from lacquer poisoning or come across snakes! Gone are the days!
    Happy wild flower days ahead,Jen!

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  12. old gardening books are so charming!
    good to hear spring is on its way there.
    it made an early appearance here, but now is rather cold again.

    lots of love

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