April 30, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The season advances by fits & starts you would not believe that there could be so many degrees to it….Yesterday I would not have believed that there could have been such an improvement on that day as this is-–short of mid summer or June. My pocket being full of the flowers of the maple––elm &c my handkerchief by its fragrance reminded me of some— fruitful or flowery bank I know not where.


April 29, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The acorns among the leaves have been sprouted for a week past—the shells open and the blushing (red) meat exposed at the sprout end where the sprout is already turning toward the bowels of the earth….


—Pick these up & plant them if you would make a forest.

April 28, 1852

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

How suddenly the flowers bloom…..The spring flowers wait not to perfect their leaves before they expand their blossoms. The blossom in many cases precedes the leaf so with poetry? ––they flash out. In the most favorable locality you will find flowers earlier than the May goers will believe. This year at at least one flower (of several) hardly precedes another….

Photos, April 27, 2017

There is no important change in the color of the woods yet––  There are fewer dry leaves–buds color the maples–and perhaps the bark on some last year’s shoots as the willows are brighter & some willowcovered with catkins––& even alders maples elms & poplars show at a distance.


The earth has now a greenish tinge….


April 23

in Thoreau’s Journal:


There is a season for everything, and we do not notice a given phenomenon except at that season, if, indeed, it can be called the same phenomenon at any other season. There is a time to watch the ripples on Ripple Lake, to look for arrowheads, to study the rocks and lichens, a time to walk on sandy deserts; and the observer of nature must improve these seasons as much as the farmer his. So boys fly kites and play ball or hawkie at particular times all over the State. A wise man will know what game to play to-day, and play it. We must not be governed by rigid rules, as by the almanac, but let the season rule us. The moods and thoughts of man are revolving just as steadily and incessantly as nature’s. Nothing must be postponed.


Take time by the forelock. Now or never! You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this, or the like of this. Where the good husbandman is, there is the good soil. Take any other course, and life will be a succession of regrets. Let us see vessels sailing prosperously before the wind, and not simply stranded barks. There is no world for the penitent and regretful.


I find but one red-maple fairly in blossom on a few twigs over the water today. I think therefore the 22nd will do for the very earliest.


Photo April 22, 2017


April 20, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

A very pleasant & warm afternoon—the earth seems to be waking up—Frogs croak in the clear pools on the hillside where rocks have been taken out—& there is frog-spawn there & little tad poles are very lively in the sunny water.


I find some advantage in describing the experience of a day on the day following. At this distance it is more ideal like the landscape seen with the head inverted or reflections in water.


April 19, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

That oak…it stands like an athlete & defies the tempests in every direction.  Its branches look like stereotyped gray lightening on the sky…Like an athlete it shows its well developed muscles.


How sweet is the perception of a new natural fact! —suggesting what worlds remain to be unveiled….


April 13, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

A driving snow storm in the night & still raging—5 or 6 inches deep on a level at 7 AM.


All birds are turned into snow birds. Trees and houses have put on the aspect of winter. The travelers carriage wheels, the farmer’s wagon are converted into white disks of snow through which the spokes hardly appear. But it is good now to stay in the house & read & write. We do not now go wandering all abroad & dissipated—but the imprisoning storm condenses our thoughts— I can hear the clock tick as not in pleasant weather— My life is enriched— I love to hear the wind howl. I have a fancy sitting with my book or paper—in some mean & apparently unfavorable place—in the kitchen for instance where the work is going on—rather a little cold than comfortable— — My thoughts are of more worth in such places than they would be in a well-furnished studio.