August 6, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Methinks there are few new flowers of late. An abundance of small fruits takes their place.  Summer gets to be an old story–– Birds leave off singing as flowers blossoming––i.e. perhaps in the same proportion….I see some delicate ferns, in the low damp woods by the brook, which have turned whitish at the extremity.


Cohosh berries have just begun to be white––as if they contained a pearly venom––wax white with a back spot (or very dark brown) imp eyed. The leaves of one of the cornels (alternate leaved––to else round-leaved) are some of them turned lake color.


The weeds and now very high & rank in moist wood paths & along such streams as this. I love to follow up the course of the brook & see the cardinal flowers which stand in its midst above the rocks––their brilliant scarlet the more interesting in this open but dark cellar like wood––


the small purple fringed orchises with the long dense spikes––all flower––for that is often all that is seen above the leaves of other plants–– Is not this the last flower of this peculiar flower kind; (i.e. all flower & color––the leaves subordinated)? & the mimulus ringens abundant & handsome in these low & rather shady places. Many flowers of course, like the last are prominent, if you visit such scenes as this––though one who confines himself to the roads may never see them.