November 15, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

A very pleasant Indian summer day.  P.M. To Ledum swamp. I took up the river from the railroad bridge. It is perfectly smooth between the uniformly tawny meadows, and I see several muskrat cabins off Hubbard shore, distinctly outlined, as usual, in the November light. I hear in several places a faint cricket note, either a fine z-ing, or a distincter creak; also see and hear a grasshopper’s crackling flight. The clouds were never more fairly reflected in the water than now, as I look up the cyanean reach from Clamshell.


A fine gossamer is streaming from every fence, tree, and stubble, though a careless observer would not notice it. As I look along over the grass toward the sun at Hosmer’s field beyond Lupine Hill, I notice the shimmering effect of the gossamer, which seems to cover it almost like a web, occasioned by its motion, though the air is so still. This is noticed at least forty rods off. I turn down Witherel Glade, only that I may bring it tufts of andropogon between me and the sun.