November 29, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

It has been cloudy and milder this afternoon, but now I begin to see in the western horizon a clear crescent of yellowish sky, and suddenly a glorious yellow sunlight falls on all the eastern landscape, russet fields and hillsides, evergreens and rustling oaks, and single leafless trees. In addition to the clearness of the air at this season, the light is all from one side and none being absorbed or dissipated in the heavens, but it being reflected both from the russet earth and the clouds, it is intensely bright. All the limbs of a maple seen far eastward rising over a hill are wonderfully distinct and lit. I think we have some such sunsets as this, and peculiar to the season, every year. I should call it the russet afterglow of the year. It may not be warm, but must be clear and comparatively calm.