February 12, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

I find that it is an excellent walk for variety and novelty and wildness to keep round the edge of the meadow. The ice not being strong enough to bear, and transparent as water, on the bare ground or now just between the highest water mark and the present water line is a narrow, meandering walk rich in unexpected views and objects.

The line of rubbish which marks the higher tides, withered flags and seeds and twigs and cranberries, is to my eyes a very agreeable and significant line which nature traces along the edge of the meadows. It is a strongly marked, enduring, natural line which in summer reminds me that the water has once stood over where I walk. Sometimes the grooved trees tell the same tale. The wrecks of the meadow fill a thousand coves, and tell a thousand tales to those who can read them; our prairial, mediterranean shore…


If you cannot go on the ice, you are then gently compelled to take this course, which is, on the whole, more beautiful, to follow the sinuosities of the meadow.


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