December 8, 1850

in Thoreau’s Journal:

It snowed in the night of the 6th and the ground is now covered.  our first snow 2 inches deep  A week ago I saw cows being driven home from pasture—  Now they are kept at home. Here’s an end to their grazing. The farmer improves this first light snow to accomplish some pressing jobs—to move some particular rocks on a drag, or the like—  I perceive how quickly he has seized the opportunity.  I see no tracks now of cows or men or boys beyond the edge of the wood—suddenly they are shut up—the remote pastures & hills beyond the woods are now closed to cows & cowherds aye & to cowards  I am struck by this sudden solitude & remoteness which these places have acquired. 


The dear privacy & retirement & solitude which winter makes possible—carpeting the earth with snow, furnishing more than woolen feet to all walkers, crounching the snow only.  From Fair Haven I see the hills & fields aye & the icy woods in the Corner shine gleam with the dear old wintery sheen.