May 11, 1854


in Thoreau’s Journal:

The shower is apparently going by on the north. There is a low dark blue black arch—crescentlike in the horizon sweeping the distant earth there with a dusky rainy brush—and all men like the earth seem to wear an aspect of expectation — There is an uncommon stillness here disturbed only by a rush of the wind from time to time––

May 10, 1853


in Thoreau’s Journal:

He is the richest who has the most use for nature as raw material of tropes & symbols with which to describe his life….I pray for such inward experience as will make nature significant.

May 9, 1853


in Thoreau’s Journal:

This has been almost the first warm day––none yet quite so warm. Walking to the Cliffs this afternoon––I noticed on Fair Haven Hill a season still-ness as I looked over the distant budding forest & heard the buzzing of a fly–– 

May 8, 1852


in Thoreau’s Journal:

How dead would the globe seem—especially at this season if it were not for these water surfaces…We are slow to realize water—the beauty & magic of it. It is interestingly strange forever….I look round with a thrill on this bright fluctuating surface on which no man can walk—whereon is—no trace of foot step—unstained as glass.

May 6, 1852

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

Bluets now just begun.— Dewy calls it Venus Pride! Gray says truly “a very delicate little herb” — “producing in spring a profusion of handsome bright blue blossoms fading to white with a yellow eye.”  I should say bluish white.

May 6, 1851 in Thoreau’s Journal:

How important is a constant intercourse with nature and the contemplation of natural phenomenon to the preservation of Moral & intellectual health. The discipline of the schools or of business–can never impart such serenity to the mind.

May 5, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Every part of the world is beautiful today— — The bright shimmering water—fresh light-green grass springing up on the hills—tender firm moss-like before it waves.— the very faint blue sky without distinct clouds is least beautiful of all, having yielded its beauty to the earth—& the fine light smokes—sometimes blue against the woods.— and the tracts where the woods have been cut the past winter. The beautiful etherial not misty blue of the horizon—& its mts, as if painted. Now all buds may swell methinks—now the summer may begin for all creatures. The wind appears to be a little N of W. The waters still high have a fine shimmering sparkle over a great part of their surface—not so large nor quite so bright as in the fall.


As I can throw my voice into my head & sing very loud & clear there, so I can throw my thought into a higher chamber, & think louder & clearer above the earth than men will understand.

May 3, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:


How cheering & glorious any landscape viewed from an eminence!  For every one has its horizon & sky. It is so easy to take wide views.

May 2, 1859


in Thoreau’s Journal:

I am surprised by the tender yellowish green of the aspen leaf just expanded suddenly, even like a fire seen in the sun, against the dark-brown twigs of the wood, through these leaflets are yet but thinly dispersed. It is very enlivening.