in Thoreau’s Journal:
The small scull cap & cress & the mullein still in bloom. I see pigeon woodpeckers oftener now with their light rears. Birches & elms begin to turn yellow—& ferns are quite yellow or brown in many places. I see many tall clustered bluish asters by the brooks like the A undulatus. The blue stemmed golden rod is abundant bright & in its prime. The maples begin to be ripe. How beautiful when a whole maple on the edge of a swamp is like one great scarlet fruit—full of ripe juices— A sign of the ripening—every leaf from lowest limb to topmost spire— is a-glow. The woodbine is red too & its berries are blueing. The flattened black berries of the cucumber root—with the triangular bases of its leaves tinged red beneath as a sort of cup for them.
My red ball fungus blossoms in the path in the midst of its jelly. As I was walking through the maple swamp by the Corner spring I was surprised to see apples on the ground—and at first supposed that some body had dropped them, but looking up I detected a wild apple tree, as tall and slender as the young maples and not more than 5 inches in diameter at the ground. This had blossomed & borne fruit this year— The apples were quite mellow & of a very agreeable flavor—they they had a rusty scraperish look—and I filled my pockets with them. The squirrels had found them out before me. It is an agreeable surprise to find in the midst of a swamp so large and edible a fruit as an apple. Of late we have much cloudy weather without rain. Are not liable to showers as in summer—but may have a storm. The lentago berries appear to drop off before or as soon as they turn. There are few left on the bushes. Many that I bring home will turn in a single night. The sassafras leaves are red. The huckleberry bushes begin to redden. The white actaea berries still hang on—or their red pedicels remain.
My friend is he who can make a good guess at me. — hit me on the wing.