December 15, 1856

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

I still recall that characteristic winter evening of December 9th: The cold, dry, and wholesome diet my mind and senses necessarily fed on,

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—oak leaves, bleached and withered weeds that rose above the snow, the now dark green of pines, and perchance the faint metallic chip of a single tree sparrow; the hushed stillness of the wood at sundown, aye, all the winter day, the short boreal twilight, the smooth serenity and the reflections of the pond, still free from ice; the melodious hooting of the owl….