Home » Fiction & Literature » Orville O. Hiestand » See America First

June 17 , 2011

See America First


Scenery, as well as "the prophet," is "not without honor" save in its own country. Therefore thousands of travellers are in Europe today, gazing in open mouthed wonder at the Swiss Alps or floating down the Rhine pretending to be enraptured, who never gave a passing thought to the Adirondacks, or the incomparable beauty of the Hudson, which perhaps lie at their very doors. It is not our purpose to make the reader appreciate European scenery less but American scenery more. "America first" should be our slogan, whether in regard to political relations or to travel. Many Americans do not know how to appreciate their own natural scenery. Much has been written about the marvelous scenery of western North America, but few have spoken a word of praise in regard to the beauty of our eastern highlands. The pleasure we take in travel as well as in literature is enhanced by a knowledge of Nature. Thoreau, Burroughs, Bryant and Muir—how much you would miss from their glowing pages without some knowledge of the plants and birds. Truly did the Indian say, "White man heap much book, little know." To one who is at least partially familiar with the plant and bird world, travel holds so much more of interest and enthusiasm than it does to one who cannot tell mint from skunk cabbage, or a sparrow from a thrush. Having made acquaintance with the flowers and the birds, every journey will take on an added interest because always there are unnumbered scenes to attract our attention; which although observed many times, grow more lovely at each new meeting
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