June 30, 1852


in Thoreau’s Journal:

Nature must be viewed humanly to be viewed at all––that is her scenes must be associated with humane affections––such as are associated with ones native place for instance.

June 27, 1840


in Thoreau’s Journal:

Our hour is a sabbath––our abode a temple––our gifts peace offerings––our conversation a communion––our silence a prayer.

June 26, 1852


in Thoreau’s Journal:

I have not put darkness duskiness enough into my night & moonlight walks––every sentence should contain some twilight or night–– At least the light in it should be the yellow or creamy light of the moon ––or the fine beams of stars & not the white light of day.  The peculiar dusty serenity of the sentences must not allow the reader to forget that it is evening or night, without my saying that it is dark. Otherwise he will of course presume a daylight atmosphere.


The earliest water surfaces as I remember––as soon as the ice is melted present as fair & matured scenes––as soft & warm reflecting the sky through the clear atmosphere––as in midsummer––far in advance of the earth. The earliest promise of the summer––is it not in the smooth reflecting surface of woodland lakes in which the ice is just melted? The liquid eyes of nature––blue or black or even hazel.  Deep or shallow––clear or turbid.  Green next the shore the color of their iris.

June 25, 1853


in Thoreau’s Journal:

P.M. To Assabet bathing place. Found an unusual quantity of Amelanchier berries. I think of the two common kinds, one a taller bush twice as high as my head, with thinner and lighter colored leaves, and larger, or at least somewhat softer, fruit, the other, a shorter bush, with more rigid and darker leaves, and dark blue berries, with often a sort of wooliness on them. Both these are now in their prime. These are the first berries after strawberries, or the first and, I think, the sweetest bush berries, somewhat like high blueberries, but not so hard.

June 23, 1852


in Thoreau’s Journal:

The pretty little Mitchella repens with its twin flowers spots the ground under the pines with its downy petalled cross shaped flowers & its purplish buds.


June 22, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Listen in every zephyr for some reproof.  It is the sweetest strain of the music. Its satire trembles round the world. We cannot touch a string––awake a sound but it reproves us….


Not a music to dance to, but to live by.

June 21, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal: 

Nature has looked uncommonly bare & dry to me for a day or two. With our senses applied to the surrounding world we are reading our own physical & corresponding moral revolutions. Nature was so shallow all at once I did not know what had attracted me all my life.


I was therefore encouraged when going through a field this evening, I was unexpectedly struck with the beauty of an apple tree –– the perception of beauty is a moral test…

June 20, 1850

in Thoreau’s Journal:

And then for my afternoon walks I have a garden––larger than any artificial garden that I have read of––and far more attractive to me, mile after mile of embowered walks, with animals running free & wild therein as from the first––varied with land & water prospect––and above all so retired that it is extremely rare that you meet a single wanderer in its maze –– 


No gardener is see therein no gates nor… You may wander away to solitary bowers & brooks & hills….

June 19, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Green early blue-berries on hill sides passim remind you of the time when berries will be ripe. This is the ante-huckleberry season–when fruits are green.

Maybe the huckleberry- bird best expresses the season, or the red-eye.

What subtle differences between one season and another! The warmest weather has, perchance, arrived and the longest days, but not the driest. When I remember gathering ripe blackberries on sandy fields or stones by the roadside, the very berries warmed by the sun, I am convinced of this. The seasons admit of infinite degrees in their revolutions.


Found one of the purple orchises in an open meadow.

June 18, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Methinks I saw & heard goldfinches.  Pyrolas are beginning to blossom. The four-leaved loose strife. The longest days in the year have now come. 


June 17, 1853


in Thoreau’s Journal:

There are some fine large clusters of lambkill close to the shore of Walden and in the Peak fronting the south–– They are early there & large ap. both on account of the warmth & the vicinity of the water –– These flowers are in perfect cylinders sometimes 6 inches long by 2 wide––and 3 such raying out or upward from one centre i.e. 3 branches clustered together.


Examined closely I think this handsomer than the mt. Laurel which we have.  The color is richer––but they do not show so well at a little distance and the corymbs are somewhat concealed by the green shoot and leaves rising above them, and also injured by the mixture of the dry remains of last years flowers––


June 16, 1854



in Thoreau’s Journal:

Nymphaea odorata.  Again I scent the white water-lily, and a season I had waited for has arrived. How indispensable all these experiences to make up the summer!

June 15, 1852


in Thoreau’s Journal:

The fields are blued with blue eyed grass a slaty blue. The epilobium shows some color in its spikes. How rapidly new flowers infold—as if nature would get through her work too soon. One has as much as he can do to observe how flowers successively unfold. It is a flowery revolution to which but few attend. Hardly too much attention can be bestowed on flowers. We follow we march after the highest color—that is our flag—our standard—our “color.”  Flowers were made to be seen not overlooked. Their bright colors imply eyes—spectators.— 

June 14, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Went through the woods along the old Canal to Haynes’ Pasture from the height of which we looked down on the rich New-Hampshire wood we had come out of––the ground rising within the wood gave it the appearance of woods rising by successive stages from a smaller growth on the edge to stately trees in the middle.  & Nobscot was seen in the S.W. through the blue furnace mist. This seems the true hour to be abroad sauntering far from home–– Your thoughts being already turned toward home––your walk in one sense ended–– You are in that favorable frame of mind described by De Quincy, open to great impressions––& you see those rare sights with the unconscious side of the eye––which you could not see by a direct gaze before––


Then the dews begin to descend in your mind & its atmosphere is strained of all impurities –– And home is farther away than ever––here is home ––the beauty of the world impresses you–– There is a coolness in your mind as in a well–– Life is too grand for supper.––  The wood-thrush launches forth his evening strains from the midst of the pines. I admire the moderation of this master–– There is nothing tumultuous in his song––he launches forth one strain with all his heart & life & soul––of pure & unmatchable melody––and then he pauses and gives the hearer & himself time to digest this and then another & at suitable intervals.  Men talk of the rich song of other birds––the thrasher––mocking bird––nightingale––but I doubt I doubt–– They no not what they say; There is as great an interval between the Thrasher & the Wood Thrush as between Thompson’s Seasons & Homer.  –– The sweetness of the day crystalizes in this morning coolness.

June 12, 1853


in Thoreau’s Journal:

The leaf of the rattlesnake plantain now surprises the walker amid the dry leaves on cool hill-sides in the woods–– Of very simple form but richly veined with longitudinal & transverse white veins. It looks like art.

June 11, 1851


in Thoreau’s Journal:

No one to my knowledge, has observed the minute differences in the seasons. Hardly two nights are alike. The rocks do not feel warm to-night, for the air is warmest; nor does the sand particularly. A book of the seasons, each page of which should be written out-of-doors, or in its own locality wherever it may be.