January 10, 1856

in Thoreau’s Journal:

I love to wade and flounder through the swamp now, these bitter cold days, when the snow lies deep on the ground, and I need travel but little way from the town to get to a Nova Zembla solitude, to wade through the swamps all snowed up, untracked by man, into which the fine dry snow is still drifting till it is even with the tops of the water andromedia, and half way up the high blueberry bushes.


I penetrate to islets inaccessible in summer, my feet slumping to the sphagnum far out of sight beneath, where the alderberry glows yet….and perchance a single tree sparrow lisps by my side; where there are few tracks even of wild animals. Perhaps only a mouse or two have burrowed up by the side of some twig, and hopped away in straight lines on the surface of the light, deep snow, as if too timid to delay, to another hole by the side of another bush, and a few rabbits have run in a path amid the blueberries and alders about the edge of the swamp.

This is instead of a Polar Expedition, and going after Franklin.