July 24, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

For a week or more I have perceived that the evenings were considerably longer and of some account to sit down & write in. Ate an Early-Harvest apple of my own raising yesterday––not quite ripe. The scent of some very early ones which I have passed in my walks, imparting some ripeness to the year, has excited me some what. It affects me like a performance a poem a thing done––and all the year is not a mere promise of Nature’s.


How far behind the spring seems now––farther off perhaps than ever––for this heat & dryness is most opposed to spring. Where I sought for flowers in April & May I do not think to go now––it is either drought & barrenness or fall there now. The reign of moisture is long since over  ––  For a long time the year feels the influence of the snows of winter & the long rains of spring––  But now how changed!  It is like another & a fabulous age to look back on. When earth’s veins were full of moisture & violets burst out on every hill-side. Spring is the reign of water–– Summer of heat & dryness. Winter of cold.  Whole families of plants that lately flourished have disappeared. Now the phenomena are tropical. Let our summer last long enough & our land would wear the aspect of the tropics.–– The luxuriant foliage & growth of all kinds shades the earth & is converting every copse into a jungle. Vegetation is rampant ––  There is not such rapid growth it is true, but it slumbers like a serpent that has swallowed its prey. Summer is one long drought. Rain is the exception –– All the signs of it fail for it is dry weather–– Though it may seem so the current year is not peculiar in this respect. It is a slight labor to keep account of all the showers the rainy days of of a summer–– You may keep it on your thumbnail.