in Thoreau’s Journal:
I see much witch hazel in the swamp by the S end of the Abiel Wheeler Grape meadow—some of it is quite fresh & bright—Its bark is alternate white & smooth reddish brown—the smaller twigs looking as if gossamer had lodged on & draped them. What a lively spray it has—both in form & color—!
Truly it looks as if it would make divining rods—as if its twigs know where the true gold was & could point to it. The gold is in their late blossoms. Let them alone & they never point down to earth— They impart to the whole Hill-side a speckled particolored look—