Description of the New Netherlands

19 ters usually terminate with the month of February, at New-Amsterdam, which is the chief place and centre of the New- Netherlands. Then the spring or Lent-like weather begins. Some persons calculate from the 21st of March, new style, after which it seldom freezes, nor before this does it seldom summer; but at this season a change evidently begins. The fishes then leave the bottom ground, the buds begin to swell; the grass sprouts, and in some places the cattle are put to grass in March ; in other situations they wait later, as the situations and soils vary. The horses and working cattle are not turned out to grass until May, when the grass is plenty everywhere. April is the proper month for gardening. Later the farmers should not sow summer grain, unless they are not ready; it may be done later, and still ripen. Easterly winds and stormy weather are common in the spring, which then cause high tides; but they cannot produce high floods. ' The persons who desire to explore and view the country have the best opportunity in April and May. The grass and herbage at this season causes no inconvenience in the woods, and still there is grass enough for horses. The cold has not overcome the heat produced by the wood burnings, and the ground which has been burnt over is yet bare enough for inspection. The flowers are then in bloom, and the woods are fragrant with their perfume. In the middle of May, strawberries are always plenty in the fields, where they grow naturally; they are seldom planted in the gardens, but there, in warm situations, they are earlier. When the warm weather sets in, then vegetation springs rapidly. It is so rapid as to change the fields from nakedness to green in eight or ten days. There are no frosts in May, or they are very uncommon, as then it is summer. The winter grain is in full blossom. The summer may be said to begin in May, but it really is calculated from the first of June, and then the weather is frequently very warm, and there is seldom much rain. Still there are no extremes of wet and dry weather, and we may freely say that the summers are always better in the New-Netherlands than in Holland. . . . Now when the summer progresses finely, the land rewards the labor of the husbandman ; the flowers smile on his countenance ; the fishes sport in their element, and the herds play in the fields, as if no reverses were to return. But the tobacco, and the fruit of the vines, come in in September. There is plenty here for man and the animal creation.