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Great English Oaks

Great English Oaks image
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"We were botind for Mark Ash, alrnost the flnest part of the New Forest, Lhough where all is so beautif ui comparison seems invidious. It would be difflcult to describe the wild grandeur of the wood af ter we had entered within the bounds of Bolderwood and Mark Ash. Groups of trees, certainly larger and finer than any I had yet seen, surprised one by their wonderf ui and of ten grotesque forrns. High above our heads, meeting like the Gothic arches of a cathedral, wide branches spread and blended together. Often we stood inclosed as by walls, in these natural temples, the trees standing out from each other in long anï lovely aisles for a great distance, the sky, but not the daylight, completely shut out. Every bránch was lined with snow; every thing was white and dazzling; the barer branches ran in white veins, and clung and clasped each other like things of life. A white fretwtK was aoove ana around us. Branches, some of them large as small trees, lay prone upon the earth. borne down by the weight of the snow, and obstructing our path. Even as we stood, wondering silently at all this strange beauty, branches cracked and feil to the earth - as the old postman had said - with the report of small guns. As for the path itself, well for su we were on horseback. Even the horses had some difflculty in getting through tlin oceans of mud and slush, that the rneltmg snow was tast reducing to an iinpassable point. We came upon the charcoal burners' track and tlie watchman's hut, now half buried in the snow, and admired their tact and taste and cunning in choosing the loveliest parta of the forest f or their operations. Like the monks of old who pitched their habitations in the densest but lovliest of solitudes, but where the eternal silence was sure to be disturbed by the flowing gurgle of a well-stocked trout stream as a means to an innocent pastime and the plenishing of their lardera- a crafty way of killing two birds- and such birds!- with one stone. Some of the principal h-Rus of the forest are known by their ñames; such as the'Knyghtwood Oak, the King Oak, the Queen Oak, the Queon Bower Oak, the Twelve Apostles, and St. Teter's Oak. Of the Twelve Apostles, seven have departed this life ; uve only remain. The Knyghtwood Oak was a grand and gigantic fellow, lording it like a king far over hia fellows. We had left the beaten track to get to it, and the snow and the bracken and the fallen branches crackled under the horses' feet with a. sharp, crisp sound that in itself was a Keen enjoyineni. xaiuuy u,,n uw the pathwáy we entered a long plantation of young flrs. Here, indeed, for the flrsfc time, I was reminded of ïiorway, and went back in imagination to its pine-scented forests and torrent swept valleys, ita fjelds and fjords - scènes verv different f rom those through


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat