Notes in square brackets [ ] are mine.
Current Latin and common names are provided for the species discussed.
July 4 . -- I am now again with Mr. and Mrs. [Horatio] Seymour. Utica is a pleasant town; the Valley of the Mohawk, in which it is situated, is highly cultivated. Mrs. J. Seymour took me last evening to one of the low surrounding hills, and I thought the view resembled those from some of our Gloucestershire [Gloucester, MA] elevations. We went to see the pretty rural cemetery, and sat down upon a boulder of granite, once considered the sacred stone of the Indians. <:353> It was brought from a distance of thirty miles to save it from destruction, and room was left around the little mound where it was placed for the interment of any of the red people who might wish to be buried near it. Many of them attended the consecration of the cemetery, but not one has ever availed himself of the privilege of interment there, partly because the tribes have almost all gone West; and any individuals who may still linger in the Oneida land are too poor to incur the expense of distant funerals.
Here there is an American nursery gardener really fond of flowers -- the first time I have met with a native of the United States with that taste powerful enough to induce him to devote himself to their cultivation. All the nurserymen I have made acquaintance with before have been English, Scotch, or Irish, and none of them found sufficient encouragement to be much devoted to their pursuit. This, the Anniversary of American Independence, is a day of noisy rejoicing, taken advantage of by boys and men for a Saturnalia of squibs and crackers, which are not only unceasingly exploding to-day, but have been unpleasantly active ever since I arrived, on Monday. It is more alarming for horses and for petticoats than even our celebration of Guy Fawkes. In the afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Seymour are to take me to the residence of their brother-in-law, forty miles off, at Cazenovia, which I understand is a beautiful locality, and one abounding in fossils.
Cazenovia, July 5 . -- We went thirty-five miles by cars, a few miles in a stage, and at Chittenango Mr. L------ [Ledyard Lincklaen, brother-in-law of Horatio Seymour] met us with his carriage. Chittenango means, ‘the river flowing north;' Chenango, ‘the water going south.' From Chittenango there is a gradual rise of eight miles to Cazenovia. Limestone caps the hills: as you advance, scarlet berried elders [elderberry, Sambucus canadensis] appear accompanying it; and by the sides of the valley I found Psoralea Onobryches [Frenchgrass, Psoralea onobrychis], the scarlet maple [red maple?, Acer rubrum], and a beautiful rose-coloured Calystegia [a species of bindweed, Calystegia sp.], so different in tint and character from Sepium [hedge false bindweed, Calystegia sepium], I can think it only a variety. We stopped on our way to see a pretty fall of the Chittenango. I expected to find Cazenovia a wild, rocky, mountainous lake, the settlement built of log-houses, and buried in <:354> pine-woods. I find a calm water [Cazenovia Lake], something like Wenham Pond [Lake Wenham, Wenham MA, between Boston and Gloucester], about four miles long, with an ornamented regular little town, and Mr. L.'s [Ledyard's] house ["Lorenzo"] overlooking the water - a solid brick, English like residence. It is all pretty, but quite in a different style from that my imagination had pictured. The situation is as high as the Lake of Geneva. We took an interesting drive yesterday to see one of the sulphur sinks, or green ponds, twelve miles' distance, and on the way there were extended views in every direction. One fine prospect took in the whole length of Lake Oneida, twenty miles; and in that direction it seemed possible to see almost to Canada. Valleys between these limestone ridges are believed to be the work of denudation, and such circular ponds as those we saw yesterday have been possibly caused by the melting of salt formations, which Mr. L thinks may have been carried off to enrich the salt-pans of Syracuse [this is not correct - massive erosion from glaciation is the sole cause]. The fossils of this district are very interesting and new to me: I never before saw such gigantic Trilobites -- they are almost as large as the cast of one shown to me at Cincinnati.
At last I have seen a humming-bird; and, foolishly enough, I was surprised by its humming. I thought the name was owing to their resemblance to a bee on the wing, but they hum louder than any bee; and the one I saw sat a long time on a sprig, and seemed to be drying his little self in the sun, after the wet in the morning; if disturbed, it only flew to a post near the tree upon which we first observed it, and then went back again. I did not see him feed; yet I understand he is seldom to be seen but on the wing feeding. Yesterday, Mr. L----- [Ledyard] pointed out the kingbird [Eastern Kingbird?, Tyrannus tyrannus], a little unarmed bird, which, by activity and perseverance, asserts a sovereignty over the feathered tribe, and chases even hawks away from a field. I observed him banishing a crow [Corvus brachyrhynchos] six times as large as himself: he follows incessantly, and torments until his subject flies off. Here I have been shown some curious nests. It seems the cow-bird [Molothrus ater] in this country is as indolent a mother as our cuckoo: she lays an egg in the nests of other birds, and leaves it to take its chance in a strange family. A species of linnet [a species of finch, Carduelis sp.] wise enough to find out the liberty taken at her expense: <:355> in one instance she inserted another nest above the intruded egg, so as to leave it unhatched; in another, the linnet contrived to sink the cow-bird's progeny below her own eggs. The oriole [Baltimore Oriole?, Icterus galbula] will appropriate any silk or worsted put in her way, and I am to have a very pretty nest interlaced with scarlet wool; and the fine line of a fishing rod, with the hook attached, has also been turned in with other materials. The yellow linnet [Gold Finch, Carduelis tristis] is a very showy little bird. I have seen here also a milk-white woodpecker [small Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescensor or the larger Hairy Woodpecker, Picoides villosus], with black wings and neck. What is here called a robin [Turdus migratorius] is more like one of our thrushes, with a faint tinge of red on his breast. It may be remarked in this neighbourhood, elevated as it is, that a large quantity of drift has at some time been brought here from Canada. Large boulders and rolled pebbles of granite and gneiss form part of it; and as these increase in size and quantity going northward, their progress and direction can be traced. In a forest near the 'Green Pond,' for the first time I found what is called the walking fern (Camptosorus rhizophyllus) [this is unchanged to today].
Friday, July 6 . -- We set off to see a pretty waterfall [this could be any one of several falls in the region] about eight miles from Cazenovia, and as I sketched from long grass in a down-pour of rain, I got thoroughly wet; but the interest of the place kept me warm, and no mischief happened from the drive back in wet things. In the afternoon we were rowed upon the lake very pleasantly by a little girl under twelve years of age.
July 7th . -- I returned with Mr. and Mrs. Seymour to Utica, in our way to Trenton Falls, where we met three of my fellow-tourists in Pennsylvania; but the Bishop and Mrs. Potter had been obliged to go off in another direction.