May 10, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

If I am overflowing with life—am rich in experience for which I lack expression—then nature will be my language full of poetry—all nature will fable & every natural phenomenon be a myth.


The man of Science who is not seeking for expression but for a fact to be expressed merely—studies nature as a dead language— I pray for such inward experience as will make nature significant.

May 9

in Thoreau’s Journal 1852:

The bluet (sometimes at least?) begins with a kind of lilac blue—fading through white delicately tinged with blue-to white.


in Thoreau’s Journal 1858:

A dandelion perfectly gone to seed, a complete globe, a system in itself.


May 8, 1853

 in Thoreau’s Journal

It is wonderful what a variety of flowers may grow within the range of a walk & how long some very conspicuous ones may escape the most diligent walker—

If you do not chance to visit their localities the right week or fortnight-when their signs are out. It is a flaming leaf The very leaf has flowered-not the ripe tints of autumn but the rose in the cheek of infancy-a more positive flowering.


May 6, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The Female Maple is more crimson—the male more scarlet. The horse-chestnut buds are so advanced that they are larger than the leaves of any tree.— The elder—the wild cherry thimble-berries—sweet-briars, cultivated cherry & apples &c White birches hazels-aspens-hornbeams-maples &c &c not quite the hickory and alder-are opening their budsThe alders are beginning to. It is pleasant when the road winds along the side of a hill with a thin fringe of wood through which to look into the low land— It furnishes both shade & frame for your pictures…


May 5, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Leave the cut. The woods are now dry & the ground feels crisp under my feet…The shade is even agreeable today. I smell the pines lately; is it because they are starting.? O the huckleberry bird! The viola pedata budded, ready to blossom….Every part of the world is beautiful today— — The bright shimmering water—the fresh light-green grass springing up on the hills—tender firm moss-like before it waves.— the very faint blue sky without distinct clouds is least beautiful of all, having yielded its beauty to the earth….the beautiful etherial not misty blue of the horizon—& its mts., as if painted.


Now all buds may swell methinks—now the summer may begin for all creatures. The wind appears to be a little N of W. The waters still high have a shimmering sparkle over a great part of their surface…

As I can throw my voice into my head & sing very loud & clear there, so I can throw my thoughts into a higher chamber, & think louder & clearer above the earth than men will understand.

May 2, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

I am surprised by the tender yellowish green of the aspen leaf just expanded suddenly, even like a fire seen in the sun, against the dark-brown twigs of the wood, through these leaflets are yet but thinly dispersed. It is very enlivening.


April 30, 2016 Photo:

May 1, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:
All distant landscapes—seen from hill tops are veritable pictures—which will be found to have no actual existence to him who travels to them….


As I looked today from Mt. Tabor in Lincoln to the Waltham Hill I saw the same deceptive slope—the near hill melting into the slope from the base of the near hill to the summit of the further one—a succession of copeswoods—but I knew that there intervened a valley 2 or 3 miles wide studded with houses & orchards & drained by a considerable stream….