May 1850

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The fresh foliage of the woods in May, when the leaves are about as big as a mouse’s ear, putting out like taller grasses and herbs. 

In all my rambles I have seen no landscape which can make me forget Fair Haven. I still sit on its Cliff in a new spring day, and look over the awakening woods and the river, and hear the new birds sing, with the same delight as ever.  It is as sweet a mystery to me as ever, what this world is.  Fair Haven Lake in the south, with its pine-covered island and its meadows, the hickories putting out fresh young yellowish leaves, and the oaks light-grayish ones, while the oven-bird thrums his sawyer-like strain, and the chewink rustles through the dry leaves or repeats his jingle on the tree-top, and the wood thrush, the genius of the wood, whistles for the first time his clear and thrilling strain, ––it sounds as it did the first I heard it. The sight of these budding woods intoxicates me….


The strong-colored pine, the grass of trees, in the midst of which other trees are but as weeds or flowers,  —a little exotic.