January 18th

in Thoreau’s Journal:


This is a very mild, melting winter day, but clear and bright, yet I see the blue shadows on the snow at Walden. The snow lies very level there, about ten inches deep, and for the most part bears me as I go across with my hatchet. I think I never saw a more elysian blue than my shadow. I am turned into a tall blue Persian from my cap to my boots, such as no mortal dye can produce, with an amethystine hatchet in my hand. I am in rapture at my own shadow. What if the substance were of as ethereal a nature?



That wonderful frostwork of the 13th and 14th was too rare to be neglected….Take the most rigid tree, the whole effect is peculiarly soft and spirit-like…Every man’s wood-lot was a miracle and surprise to him….