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“Birds are numerous, from the “scrub fowl” which dwells in the dim jungle and constructs of decaying leaves and wood and light loam the most trustworthy of incubators, and wastes no valuable time in the dead-and-alive duty of sitting, to the tiny sun-bird of yellow and purple, which flits all day among scarlet hibiscus blooms, sips nectar from the flame-tree, and rifles the dull red studs of the umbrella tree of their sweetness.”
“There is a spell in the nectar of the flame-tree as irresistibly attractive to taste of birds as the colour is to the sight of man.”
“This hour may seem late, in consideration of familiar habits, but the flame-tree is in the shadow of the highest peak of the island, and consequently does not receive the earliest of the benedictions of the sun.”
“When the flame-tree flowers, it is to tell of the coming of the nutmeg pigeon, when eggs and dainty young are to be obtained with little trouble.”
“When in September the flame-tree is a dome of red, sun-birds gather by the score — the gayest of all the revellers.”
“The gold of the gin-gee, the reds of the flame-tree, the umbrella-tree, and of the single and double hibiscus are reflected from his shining feathers, as he flutters and darts among the blooms, often sipping on the wing after the habit of the humming-bird — which he resembles even to the characteristic expansion of the tail feathers.”
“Less conspicuous in its blooming than the flame-tree, it flourishes everywhere — on the beaches with its roots awash at high tide; on the rearguard of the mangroves, leaning on the white-flowered CALOPHYLLUMS; on the steep hill-sides; on the borders of the jungle, and gripping scorched rocks with naked roots.”
“She had plenty to eat, as much tobacco as was good for her, and outer raiment that in gaudiness outrivalled the flame-tree and the yellow hibiscus.”
“While the flame-tree — few and confined to the beaches — flashes into bloom — an improvident blaze of colour, without a single atoning green leaf — the umbrella-tree charms for several months with a combination of graceful foliage and a unique corollary of singular flowers.”
“It tells, too, of the simple life spent in seclusion in contradistinction to the “envious court” of the roysterers in the glare of the leafless flame-tree.”
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