in Thoreau’s Journal:
9 1/2 PM to Fair Haven. Moon little more than 1/2 full — Not a cloud in the sky—a remarkably warm night for the season, the sound almost entirely bare. The stars dazzlingly bright. The fault may be in my own barrenness, but methinks there is a certain poverty about the winter nights sky. The stars of higher magnitude are more bright & dazzling and therefore appear more near & numerable, while those that appear indistinct and infinitely remote in the Summer—imparting the impression of unfathomability to the sky—are scarcely seen at all. The front halls of heaven are so dazzlingly lighted that they quite eclipse the more remote. The sky has fallen many degrees.
The river has risen and flooded the meadows again. The white pines now seen against the moon, with their single foliage look thin.
These are some of the differences between this and the autumn or summer nights.
The stiffened-glebe under my feet—the dazzle and seeming nearness of the stars—the duller gleam from ice on rivers & ponds— the white spots in the fields & streaks by the wall sides where are the remains of drifts, yet unmelted. Perhaps the only things that spoke to me in this walk, was the bare lichen covered grey rock at the cliff, in the moonlight—naked and almost warm as in summer.