December 15, 1837

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Jack Frost…I observe that upon the edge of the melting frost on the windows, Jack is playing singular freaks, now bundling together his needle-shaped leaves so as to resemble fields waving with grain, or shocks of wheat rising here and there from the stubble. One one side, the vegetation of the torrid zone is presented, high-towering palms, and wide-spread banyans such as we see in the pictures of oriental scenery.

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On the other, are arctic pines, stiff-frozen with branches downcast, like the arms of tender men in frosty weather. In some instances the panes are covered with little feathery flocks where number of radii varying from three to seven or eight. The crystalline particles are partial to the creases and faults in the glass and when these extend from sash to sash, form complete hedgerows, or miniature watercourses, where dense masses of crystal foliage “high overarched embower.”


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