in Thoreau’s Journal:
It is very cold and windy— Thermometer 26+. I walk to Walden & andromeda ponds— It is all at once perfect winter. I walk on frozen ground 2/3 covered with a sugaring of dry snow—& this strong & cutting NW wind makes the oak leaves rustle drily enough to set your heart on edge—
A great many have fallen ever since the snow last evening. Take a citizen into an oak sprout land out when there is a sugaring of dry snow—& a cold cutting N.W. wind rustles the leaves. A sympathetic shiver will seize him. He will know of no fire to warm his wits by. He has no pleasing pursuit to follow thro’ these difficulties—no trap to inspect—no chopping to do— Every resounding step on the frozen earth is a vain knocking at the door of what was lately genial Nature—his bountiful mother—now turned step mother— He is left out side to starve— The rustling leaves sound like the fierce breathing of an endless pack of wolves half famished from the north––impelled by hunger to seize him.