PERCH” AMONG THE ROCKS.
The Summer Bungalow of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Blickensderfer, Stamford, Connecticut.
I VENTURE to surmise that there are thousands of people who sing "America" and think of it as teaching fighting patriotism, not realizing that from beginning to end it is really a naturalist's hymn with not the slightest reference to war. The Reverend Mr. Smith, when he wrote that hymn, must have had in his enthusiastic appeal, "Let rocks their silence break," the same heartfelt sentiment for nature as have Mr. and Mrs. William J. Blickensderfer of Stamford, Connecticut. I rather suspect, however, that Mr. Blickensderfer is the leader in the love of the rocks and the plants to which he has devoted much time in study and development, but I did not know when I have found truer listeners to the voices that come from the rocks. In rejoicing over their delight I remember Henry David Thoreau's rapturous exclamations in the boulder field:
|THE ROAD FROM STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT.|
"And above all, great gray boulders lying about, far and near, with some barberry bush perchance growing half way up them, and, between all, the short sod of the pasture here and there appears. . . . . It seems natural that rocks which have lain under the heavens so long should be gray, as it were an intermediate color between the heavens and the earth. The air is the thin paint in which they have been dipped and brushed with the wind. "Water, which is more fluid and like the sky in its nature, is still more like it in color. Time will make the most discordant materials harmonize."
What does it mean to have rocks their silence break? They are, it is true, commonly regarded as dead, solid, inert and as about the dumbest of all nature's creatures. But one will never hold that opinion after the first few minutes' conservation with Mr. and Mrs. Blickensderfer at their summer bungalow in the northern part of Long Ridge, Stamford. If they had searched creation over, they could not have found what would be regarded by most persons as a more silent place. What appeal did it make as a location for a country residence? The real estate agent called it the most unsaleable of all property. "Who would want that site? It is nothing but a mass of rocks and brush and thicket land." But through these very objections came the calling voices. When you leave the bustle and roar of city and factory, you want the silent language of the rocks and the beckoning, welcoming hands of outstretched shrubs and trees, with the soothing influence of the ornate ferns in the forest below the rear door of the picturesque, one story bungalow.
|MR. BLICKENSDERFER BY HIS HUGE, LICHEN DOTTED BOULDER.|
"Come here," exclaimed Mr. Blickensderfer, “and get this wonderful view of the rocks. I know you will appreciate the plants and flowers which are Mrs. Blickensderfer's especial care and delight." Two or three exposures were made, one of which is shown in the accompanying frontispiece. “Now," said the enthusiastic host, "I think that you, as a naturalist, will like this even better, for there is not a sign of the artificial anywhere near this boulder." He told how strongly that stone appeal to him as a natural ornament that money cannot buy, especially in its natural, picturesque setting. A view along the curving road from the bungalow is here shown. "You see," said he, "we did not desecrate nature, we gave her an opportunity to show her beauties to advantage. All we did was to clean off the rubbish from that wonderful rock so that all could see its amazing beauty." I thought the view from where I sat was the best possible, but he insisted on taking me over the top of that mound so that I might perceive and appreciate the wonderful mineralogical setting. A camera cannot show that to advantage. To be fully appreciated it must be seen. All the camera can show is the relation of the great, cracked boulder at the left to the mound of natural stones and ledges with the picturesque, sloping, winding road that leads into the inviting unknown beyond the trees.
My pride as a camerist fully matches my hosts' enthusiasm at the wonderful beauty of the ferns. These were photographed by the telephoto method from the rear veranda of the home. The picture gives a view of them from far down the hill as they appear in the cool shadow of the boulders. The sun gilded some of the frond tips, and this in contrast with the deep shadow brings out much of their wonderful beauty.
REVELRY OF FERNS.
Photographed from the rear veranda of “The Perch.”
|MR. SBLICKENSDERFER, HUMANITARIAN AND LOVER OF NATURE.|
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Some of Mrs. Blickensderfer's friends have been surprised at her tolerance of and desire to study and observe spiders, beetles and other curious insects that the average person seems seized with a ruthless desire to destroy. But Mr. Blickensderfer, who has long been accustomed to have his wife classified as humanitarian, and who shares her views in such matters and heartily approves all she may ever have attempted or achieved in a philanthropic direction, says it merely demonstrates her sincerity in her expressed belief that the Almighty created all living creatures, things, atoms for some ultimate good.
Blickensderfer Manufacturing Co.