June 26, 1852

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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.

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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.