April 10 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

….maples and birches in front–with pines in the rear—making a low wild shore…The young trees & bushes now making apparent islands on the meadows are there nearly in this proportion I should think i.e. in deep water— Young maples—willows—button bushes—red osier…


April 9, 2016 Photo

April 9, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The male red maple buds now show 8 or 10 (counting everything) scales alternately crosswise—


& the pairs successively brighter red or scarlet, which will account for the gradual reddening of their tops. They are about ready to open.

April 8, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The epigaea is not quite out. The earliest peculiarly woodland herbaceous flowers are epigaea, anemone, thalictrum, and (by the first of May) Viola pedata. These grow quite in the woods amid dry leaves, nor do they depend so much on water as the very earliest flowers.


I am perhaps more surprised by the growth of the Viola pedata leaves by the side of paths amid the shrub oaks, and half covered with oak leaves, than by any other growth, the situation is so dry and the surrounding bushes so apparently lifeless.

April 7, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Now the sun is low in the west the northeasterly water is of a peculiarly etherial light blue, more beautiful than the sky—


and this broad water with innumerable bays & inlets running up into the land on either side—& often divided by bridge causeways—as if it were the very essence & richness of the heavens distilled and poured upon the earth, contrasting with the clean russet land—& the paler sky from which it has been subtracted—nothing can be more elysian. Is not the blue more etherial when the sun is at this angle— The river is but a long chain of flooded meadows—

April 5, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

You may see anything now, —the buff-edged butterfly and many hawks along the meadow;


and hark! while I was writing down that field note, the shrill peep of the hylodes was borne to me from afar through the woods.

April 3, 1856

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Hosmer is overhauling a vast heap of manure in the rear of his barn, turning the ice within it up to the light. Yet he asks despairingly what life is for, and says he does not expect to stay here long. But I have just come from reading Columella, who describes the same kind of spring in that, to him, new spring of the world with hope, and I suggest to be brave and hopeful with nature.


Human life may be transitory and full of trouble, but the perennial mind whose survey extends from that spring to this, from Columella to Hosmer, is superior to change. I will identify myself with that which did not die with Columella and will not die with Hosmer.


April 1, 1855

in Thoreau’s Journal:

When I look out the window, I see that the grass on the bank on the south side of the house is already much greener than it was yesterday. As it cannot have grown so suddenly, how shall I account for it?


I suspect the reason is that the few green blades are not merely washed bright by the rain, but erect themselves to imbibe its influence, and so are more prominent, while the withered blades are beaten down and flattened by it.