September 2, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

To Walden

The seringo, too, has long been silent like other birds. The red prinos berries ripe in sunny places. Rose hips begin to be handsome. Small flocks of pigeons are seen these days. Distinguished from doves by their sharper wings and bodies. August has been a month of berries and melons, small fruits. First in the descent from summer’s culminating-point. There is a stillness in nature for want of singing birds, commenced a month or more ago; only the crickets’ louder creak to supply their place. I have not heard a bullfrog this long time. The small cornel, or bunch-berry, is in bloom now (!!) near the pond. What great tuft-like masses the cow-wheat makes now in sprout-lands!

As I look over the pond now from the eastern shore, I am obliged to employ both my hands to defend my eyes against the reflected as well as the true sun, for they appear equally bright; and between my hands I look over the smooth and glassy surface of the lake. The skaters make the finest imaginable sparkle. Otherwise it is literally as smooth as glass, except where a fish leaps into the air or a swallow dips beneath its surface. Sometimes a fish describes an arc of three or four feet in the air, and there is a bright flash where it emerges and another where it strikes the water.  A slight haze at this season makes the shore-line so much more indistinct. Looking across the pond from the Peak toward Fair Haven, which I seem to see, all the earth beyond appears insulated and floated, even by this small sheet of water, the heavens being seen reflected, as it were beneath it, so that it looks thin.

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The scenery of this small pond is humble though very beautiful, and does not approach to grandeur, nor can it much concern one who has not long frequented it, or lived by its shore.