October 10, 1857

in Thoreau’s Journal:


This is the end of the sixth day of glorious weather, which I am tempted to call the finest in the year, so bright and serene the air, such a sheen from the earth, so brilliant the foliage, so pleasantly warm (except perhaps this day, which is cooler), too warm for a thick coat, yet not sultry nor oppressive, so ripe the season and our thoughts. Certainly these are the most brilliant days in the year, ushered in perhaps by a frost morning, as this. As a dewey morning in summer, compared with a parched and sultry, languid one, so a frosty morning at this season compared with a merely dry or frosty one. These days you may say the year is ripened like a fruit by frost, and puts on the brilliant tints of maturity, but not yet the color of decay. It is not sere and withered as in November. See the heaps of apples in the fields and at the cider-mill, of pumpkins in the fields, and the stacks of cornstalks and the standing corn. Such is the season.

October 9, 1853

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

The red maples are now red & also yellow & reddening. The white maples are green & silvery also yellowing and blushing— The birch is yellow —the black willow brown. The elms sere brown & thin —the bass bare—the button bush which was so late is already mostly bare except the lower part protected — The swamp wht oak is green with a brownish tinge. The Wht ash turned mulberry The white maples toward Ball’s hill have a burnt white appearance— The white oak a salmon color & also red— Is that scarlet oak rosed?— Huckleberries & blackberries are red.

The leaves are falling…


October 8, 2016: Photo

October 5, 1857

in Thoreau’s Journal:

There is not now that profusion, and consequent confusion, of events which belongs to a summer walk. There are few flowers, birds, insects, or fruits now, and hence what does occur affects us as more simple and significant,


as the cawing of a crow or the scream of a jay. The latter seems to scream more fitly and with more freedom through the vacancies occasioned by fallen maple leaves.

October 3, 1858

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Standing on the railroad, I look across the pond to Pine Hill, where the outside trees, and the shrubs scattered generally through the wood, glow yellow and scarlet through the green, like fires just kindled at the base of the trees, a general conflagration just fairly under way, soon to envelop every tree.


The hillside forest is all aglow along its edge, and in all its cracks and fissures, and soon the flames will leap upwards to the tops of the tallest trees.

October 2, 1856

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The scarlet leaves and stem of the rhexia, some time out of flower, make almost as bright a patch in the meadow as the flowers did…


The prinos berries are in their prime, seven sixteenths of an inch in diameter. They are scarlet, somewhat lighter than the arum berries. They are now very fresh and bright, and what adds to their effect is the perfect freshness and greens of the leaves amid which they are seen.


October 1, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

A severer frost last night. The young & tender trees begin to assume the autumnal tints more generally—plainly in consequence of the frost the last 2 mornings.

PA051506 (1).jpg

The sides of the bushy hills present a rich variety of colors like rug work—but the forest generally is not yet changed.