June 10, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Lupines their pods & seeds–1st the profusion of color. spikes of flowers rising above & prevailing over the leaves.– then the variety in dif clumps rose? purple-blue & white-then the handsome palmate leaf made to hold dew. Gray says from lupus wolf because they “were thought to devour the fertility of the soil.” This is scurrilous. Under Fair Haven. First grew the V. pedata here–then Lupines mixed with the delicate snapdragon. This soil must abound with the blue principle. Is that the tephrosia so forward. The fruit of the cerasus pumila is puffed up, is puffed up like Haw’s plums. The aralia nudicaulis already shows small green berries. The lupine has no pleasant fragrance. The cistus a slight enlargement of the Cinquefoil. The June? cinquefoil


––what the summer can do.

June 9th

in Thoreau’s Journal:


The buck-bean in Hubbards meadow just going out of blossom. The yellow water ranunculus is an important flower in the river now rising above the white lily pads whose flower does not yet appear. I perceive that their petals washed ashore line the sand conspicuously. The green briar in flower. For a week past we have had washing days– The grass waving and trees having leafed out their boughs wave and feel the effect of the breeze. Thus new life & motion is imparted to the trees– The season of waving boughs–and the lighter under sides of the new leaves are exposed. This is the first half of June. Already the grass is not so fresh & liquid velvety as green–having much of its blossom & some even gone to seed–& it is mixed with reddish ferns & other plants–but the general leafiness–shadiness & waving of grass & boughs in the breeze characterise the season. The wind is not quite agreeable–because it prevents your hearing the birds sing. Meanwhile the crickets are strengthening their quire. The weather is very clear & the sky bright. The river shines like silver. Methinks this is a traveller’s month. The locust in bloom– The waving undulating rye. The deciduous trees have filled up the intervals between the (pines.) evergreens. & the woods are bosky now. Is that the Thalictrum Cornuti that shows green stems? at the Corner spring? Gathered strawberries on Fair Haven. rather acid yet.



4:15 Am To Nawshawtuct by boat

A prevalent fog through not quite so thick as the last described–it is a little more local–for it is so thin SW of this hill that I can see the earth through it–but as thick as before NE–yet here & there deep valleys are excavated in it–as painters imagine the red sea for the passage of Pharaoh’s host–wherein trees and houses appear as it were at the bottom of the sea. What is peculiar about it is that it is the tops of the trees which you see first & most distinctly before you see their trunks–or where they stand on earth. Far in the NE there is as before apparently a tremendous surf breaking on a distant shoal. It is either a real shoal i.e. a hill over which the fog breaks or the effect of the sun’s rays on it.


June 8, 1860

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Within a day or two has begun that season of summer when you see afternoon showers, maybe with thunder, or the threat of them, dark in the horizon,


and are uncertain whether to venture far away or without an umbrella.

June 7, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Clover begins to redden the fields generally. The quail is heard at a distance. Buttercups of various kinds mingled, yellow the meadows, the tall, the bulbous, the repens.


The cinquefoil, in its ascending state, keeping pace with the grass, is now abundant in the fields. Saw it one or two weeks ago. This is a feature of June. Still both high and low blueberry and huckleberry blossoms abound. The hemlock woods, their fanlike sprays edged or spotted with short, yellowish green shoots, tier above tier, shelf above shelf, look like a cool bazaar of rich embroidered goods.



June 6, 1857

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

This is June, the month of grass and leaves…Already the aspens are trembling again, and a new summer is offered me. I feel a little fluttered in my thoughts, as if I might be too late. Each season is but an infinitesimal point. It no sooner comes than it is gone. It has no duration. It simply gives a tone and hue to my thought.


Each annual phenomenon is a reminiscence and prompting. Our thoughts and sentiments answer to the revolutions of the seasons as two cog-wheels fit into each other. We are conversant with only one point of contact at a time, from which we receive a prompting and impulse, and instantly pass to a new season or point of contact, A year is made up of a certain series and number of sensations and thoughts, which have their language in nature. Now I am ice, now I am sorrel. Each experience reduces itself to a mood of the mind.


June 6, 2017 Photos

June 5, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The lupine is now in its glory.

lupinedetail (1).jpg

It is the more important because it occurs in such extensive patches even an acre or more together––and of such a pleasing variety of colors, purple-pink or lilac–and white–especially with the sun on it, when the transparency of the flower makes its color changeable.


It paints a whole hill side with its blue–making such a field––(if not meadow) as Proserpine might have wandered in. Its leaf was made to be covered with dew drops– Such a profession of the heavenly–the elysian color–as if these were the elysian fields. They say the seeds look like babies’ faces and hence the flower is so named. No other flowers exhibit so much blue. That is the value of the lupine. The earth is blued with them. Yet a third of a mile distant I do not detect their color on the hill side– Perchance because it is the color of the air. It is not distinct enough.


You passed along here perchance a fortnight ago & the hill-side was comparatively barren––but now you come & these glorious redeemers appear to have flashed out here all at once. Who planted the seeds of lupines in the barren soil? Who watereth the lupines in the fields?


June 4th

A bouquet from this date in Thoreau’s Journal:
1850: The first of June, when the lady’s-slipper and the wild pink have come out in sunny places on the hillsides, then the summer is begun according to the clock of the seasons.
1855: Thus it is after the first important rain at this season. The song of birds is more lively and seems to have a new character; a new season has commenced.
1857: One thing that chiefly distinguishes this season from three weeks ago is that fine serene undertone or earth-song as we go by sunny banks and hillsides, the creak of crickets, which affects our thoughts so favorably, imparting its own serenity.
1860: Now there is a similar departure of the warblers, on the expansion of the leaves and advent of yet warmer weather. Their season with us, i.e. the season of those that go further, is when the buds are bursting, till the leaves are about expanded; and probably they follow these phenomena northward till they get to their breeding-places, flying from tree to tree, i.e. to the next tree which contains their insect prey….The clear brightness of June was well represented yesterday by the buttercups along the roadside. Their yellow cups are glossy and varnished within, but not without.
You may say that now, when most trees have fully expanded leaves and the black ash fairly shows green, the leafy season has fairly commenced. (I see that I so called it May 31 and 27, 1853.)

June 2, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:


The pinxter flower growing as it does as an underwood in the shade of larger trees––the naked umbels of its lively rose pink flowers are seen flashing out against a back ground of green or of dark shaded recesses–