November 8, 1858

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Each phase of nature, while not invisible, is yet not too distinct and obtrusive. It is there, to be found when we look for it, but not demanding our attention. It is like a silent but sympathizing companion, in whose company we retain most of the advantages of solitude, with whom we can walk and talk, or be silent, naturally, without the necessity of talking in a strain foreign to the place.


November 7, 1855

in Thoreau’s Journal:

I find it good to be out in this still, dark, mizzling afternoon. My walk or voyage is more suggestive and profitable than in bright weather. The view is contracted by misty rain. The water is perfectly smooth, and the stillness is favorable to reflection. I am more open to impressions, more sensitive, not calloused or indurated by sun and wind, as if in a chamber still. My thoughts are concentrated. I am all compact. The solitude is real too, for this weather keeps other men at home. This mist is like a roof and walls over and around, and I walk with a domestic feeling.


The sound of a wagon going over an unseen bridge is louder than ever, and so of other sounds. I am compelled to look at near objects. All things have a soothing effect The very clouds and mists brood over me. My power of observation and contemplation is much increased. My attention does not wander. The world and my life are simplified. What now are Europe and Asia?

November 6, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Climbed the wooded hill by Holden’s spruce swamp —& got a novel View of the river & Fair Haven Bay —through the almost leafless woods. How much handsomer a river or lake such as ours seen thus through a foreground of scattered or else partially leafless trees though at a considerable distance this side of it—especially if the water is open without wooded shores or isles— It is the most perfect & beautiful of all frames which yet the sketcher is commonly careful to brush aside.


I mean a pretty thick foreground—a view of the distant water through the near forest—through a thousand little vistas—as we are rushing toward the former—that intimate mingling of wood & water which excites an expectation which the near & open view rarely realizes. We prefer that some part be concealed—which our imagination may navigate.

November 4, 1852

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

Autumnal dandelion and yarrow.



Must be out of doors enough to get experience of wholesome reality, as a ballast to thought and sentiment. Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life, this life in the present. Let a man have thought what he will of Nature in the house, she will still be novel out-doors….

My thought is part of the meaning of the world, and hence I use a part of the world as a symbol to express my thought.

November 1, 2016 Photos

November 3, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Our woods and fields are the perfection of parks and groves, and gardens and grottoes and arbors, and paths and parterres, and vistas and landscapes.


They are the natural consequence of what art and refinement we as a people have. They are the common which each village possesses, the true paradise, in comparison with which all elaborately and willfully wealth-constructed parks and gardens are paltry imitations. No other creature effects such changes in nature as man.