June 26, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

I have not put darkness, duskiness enough into my night and moonlight walks. Every sentence should contain some twilight or night. At least the light in it should be the yellow or creamy light of the moon, or the fine beams of stars, and not the white light of day. The peculiar dusky serenity of the sentences must not allow the reader to forget that it is evening or night, without my saying that it is dark.


June 25, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

P.M. To Assabet bathing place. Found an unusual quantity of Amelanchier berries. I think of the two common kinds, one a taller bush twice as high as my head, with thinner and lighter colored leaves, and larger, or at least somewhat softer, fruit, the other, a shorter bush, with more rigid and darker leaves, and dark blue berries, with often a sort of wooliness on them. Both these are now in their prime. These are the first berries after strawberries, or the first and, I think, the sweetest bush berries, somewhat like high blueberries, but not so hard.


Much eaten by insects, worms, etc., as big as the largest blueberries or peas. These are the “service berries” which the Indians of the north and the Canadians use…I felt all the while I was picking them, in the low, light, waving, shrubby wood they make, as if I were in a foreign country. Several old farmers say, “Well, though I have lived seventy years, I never saw nor heard of them.” I think them a delicious berry. No doubt they require only to be more abundant every year to be appreciated.

June 23, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The mountain laurel in bloom in cool and shady woods reminds one of the vigor of Nature. It is perhaps a forest-rate flower, considering its size and its evergreen leaves.


The flower, curiously folded in a ten-angled, pyramidal form, is remarkable. A profusion of flowers with an innocent fragrance. It reminds me of shady mountainsides where it forms the underwood.

June 22, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The strawberries may perhaps be considered a fruit of the spring, for they have depended chiefly on the freshness and moisture of spring, and on high lands are already dried up;


a soft fruit, a sort of manna which falls in June, and in the meadows they lurk at the shady roots of the grass. Now the blueberry, a somewhat firmer fruit, is beginning. Nuts, the firmest, will be the last.

June 21, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The adder’s-tongue arethusa smells exactly like a snake.


The perception of beauty is a moral test.

This small, dry hillside is thus a natural garden….It would be pleasant to write the history of such a hillside for one year.

June 19, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The waving June grass shows watered colors like grain….The clover is now in its glory, whole fields are rosed with it, mixed with sorrel, and looking deeper than it is. It makes fields look luxuriant which are really thinly clad. The air is full of its fragrance…The robins sing more than usual, may be because of the coolness.


Buttercups and geraniums cover the meadows, the latter appearing to float on the grass, of various tints…The light of June is not golden but silvery, not torrid, but somewhat temperate. I see it reflected from the bent grass and the under-sides of leaves.

What subtle differences between one season and another! The warmest weather has, perchance, arrived and the longest days, but not the driest. When I remember gathering ripe blackberries on sandy fields or stones by the roadside, the very berries warmed by the sun, I am convinced of this. The seasons admit of infinite degrees in their revolutions.

June 18, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

I think the blossom of the sweetbrier, eglantine (now in prime), is more delicate and interesting than that of the common wild roses, though smaller and paler, and without their spicy fragrance.


But its fragrance is in its leaves all summer, and the form of the bush is handsomer, curving over from a considerable height in wreaths sprinkled with numerous flower. They open out flat soon after sunrise. Flowers whitish in middle, then pinkish rose, inclining to purple toward the edges.


June 18, 1840 in Thoreau’s Journal:

I am startled when I consider how little I am actually concerned about the things I write in my journal.

June 17, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

No fog this morning. At early dawn, the windows being open, I heard a steady, breathing, cricket-like sound from the chip-bird (?) ushering in the day.


June 17, 2016: Photo

June 17, 1853 in Thoreau’s Journal:


One of the most attractive things about the flowers is their beautiful reserve.

June 12, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal

The blue flag, Iris versicolor. Its buds are a dark, indigo-blue, beyond the green calyx…its fringed, re-curved parasols over its anthers, and its variously streaked and colored petals…it belongs to the meadow and ornaments it much.


Ever it will be some obscure, small, and modest flower that will most please us.


June 12, 1853 in Thoreau’s Journal:

The leaf of the rattlesnake plantain now surprises the walker amid the dry leaves on cool hill-sides of the woods;


of very simple form, but richly veined with longitudinal and transverse white veins. It looks like art.


June 11, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Lupines, their pods and seeds. First, the profusion of color, spikes of flowers rising above and prevailing over the leaves; then the variety in different clumps, rose? purple, blue, and white; then the handsome palmate leaf, made to hold dews.


June 11, 1851:  No one to my knowledge, has observed the minute differences in the seasons. Hardly two nights are alike. The rocks do not feel warm to-night, for the air is warmest; nor does the sand particularly. A book of the seasons, each page of which should be written out-of-doors, or in its own locality wherever it may be.