November 6, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Climbed the wooded hill by Holden’s spruce swamp—& got a novel View of the river & Fair Haven Bay—through the almost leafless woods. How much handsomer a river or lake such as ours seems thus through a foreground of scattered or else partially leafless trees though at a considerable distance this side of it—especially if the water is open without wooded shore or isles— It is the most perfect & beautiful of all frames which yet the sketcher is commonly careful to brush aside.

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I mean a foreground—a view of the distant water through the near forest—through a thousand little vistas—as we are rushing toward the former—that intimate mingling of wood & water which excites an expectation which the near & open view rarely realizes. We prefer that some part be concealed—which our imagination may navigate.