University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA)

 - Class of 1885

Page 92 of 140

 

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1885 Edition, Page 92 of 140
Page 92 of 140



University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1885 Edition, Page 91
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University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1885 Edition, Page 93
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Page 92 text:

A ' RAMBLE ' TOMTrTOBY " 1 tT was in the Indian-summer time, that pleasant season of remembrances to New England boys, that we set out one hazy afternoon from " Aggie T Farm " for a ramble to Mt. Toby. The elms along the road were bathed in sunlight as we strolled along towards the open fields, leaving the vil- Q lage and its doings behind us. The golden-rod and great purple asters bloomed luxuriantly. The sunlight seemed sleeping in the fields among the corn and yellow pumpkins. A peaceful, pastoral air rested o ' er all things. Who says that we live in a prosaic age ? How were all the elements of poe- try ! The trees in their gorgeous colors, a farmer in a red shirt and blue overalls, harvesting his potatoes ; a dusty miller driving along the road with his bags of meal : and the mellow sounds of a blacksmith ' s anvil mingling with the merry peal of cow-bells among the hills. It only needed a little stretch of the imagination, an old castle perched upon the neighboring heights, to make it seem like medieval times. The lichens embroidered the fences and the crickets chirped as merrily now as then. Turning aside from the road into one of the most picturesque ravines imaginable, one so fairy like, that a person would naturally select it as the abode of those pleasant nymphs, the dryads. Here all was still, save the purling monotone of a hid- den brook hurrying away to meet the river. Throwing ourselves on a mossy bank, we rested in a half dreamy state, watching the fleecy clouds hovering o ' er the crest of Toby. Here, long ago, the curling smoke of wigwams rose, mingling with the odors of the pines, and the Indian children made arrows of the mullein stalks which even now grow upon the hillsides. From thence we took a short cut across the fields, now scrambling over wild vines and clumps of evergreen, now plunging up to our ankles in marshy ground among the iris and alders. At last we be- gan to ascend the mountain, and after a climb of an hour and a half reached the summit. The mountain affords a glorious view of the surrounding country, the river, winding through the valley like a thread of silver, wan- 78

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ders onward till lost in the distance. Mt. Tom and Mt. Holyoke rise, like sentinels on one side, while Sugar Loaf rises on the other. The Hadleys, the Hamptons, and ever so many little villages nestle among the hills on all sides. Their situation is exceedingly picturesque. The natural history of this re- gion is extremely interesting. Here it was that Prof. Hitchcock made his famous discoveries in Geology, and collected his wonderful bird tracks. About two hundred and eighty different kinds of birds reside here perma- nently. As we descended the mountain we saw a real eagle, a magnificent specimen, slowly rise out of the pines, and sail high in the air, o ' er our heads. Rare wild flowers, plants and insects abound. Among the Pelham hills alone, over fifty varieties of minerals may be found. Having reached the foot of Toby again we rested near a sunny pool, over which the big dragon flies skimmed. Here we found Ronunculus mullifidus and Tharphium au- reum, rarely found in bloom so late in the season. On all sides the fringed gentian, glowed in the evening sunset. And now as it was growing dark, we hastened onward, homeward, and soon again saw the welcome evening lamps of " Aggie Farm " gleaming in the distance.

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