October 22, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

To Walden

Ebby Hubbards oaks now turned a sober & warm red & yellow have a very rich crisped & curled took—especially against the green pines—  This is when the ripe high colored leaves have begun to curl & wither—then they have a warm & harmonious tint. First they are ripened by the progress of the year & the character of each appears in distinct colors. Then come the severe frosts & dulling the brilliancy of most—produces a harmony of warm brown—or red & yellow tinges through out the forest.— Something like marbling & paining over it—making one shade run into another.  The forest is more rug-like…


In consequence of the above winds—& clouds—we have tonight a bright warm sunset  (to me on the water) after a cool gray afternoon—lighting up the green pines at the NE end of the pond—every yellow leaf of birch or aspen or hickory is doubly bright—& looking over the forest on Pine Hill I can hardly tell which trees are lit up by the sun-shine and which are the yellow chestnut tops.  Thus both the spring & autumn tints or aspect of the woods reminds me of the sunshine.  The first has never so good a setting and foreground as seen from the middle of a lake rising from the water’s edge— The waters edge makes the best frame for the picture & natural boundary to the forest.