December 5, 1853

 in Thoreau’s Journal:

Many living leaves are very dark red now the only effect of the frost on them—the checker-berry—Andromeda—low cedar and more or less lambkill—&c. Saw & heard a downy woodpecker on an apple tree—have not many winter birds, like this & the chickadee, a sharp note like tinkling glass or icicles  —  The chip of the tree-sparrow also & whistle of the shrike is not wintry in the same way?—& The sonorous hooting owl—  But not so the jay & E. Linaria —& still less the crow.  Now for the short days & early twilight—in which I hear the sound of wood chopping.  

The sun goes down behind a low cloud & the world is darkened—the partridge is budding on the apple tree—& burst away from the pathside.  Fair Haven pond is skimmed completely over—  The ground has been frozen more or less—about a week—not very hard….

Before I got home the whole atmosphere was suddenly filled with a mellow yellowish light equally diffused—so that it seemed much lighter around me than immediately after the sun sank behind the horizon cloud 15 minutes before. — Apparently not till the sun had sunk thus far did I stand in the angle of reflection.