February 9, 1855

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Snowed harder in the night & blowed considerably. It is somewhat drifted this morning. A very fine & dry snow about a foot deep on a level. 


It stands on the top of our pump about 10 inches deep almost a perfect hemisphere or half of an ellipse.

February 8, 1841

in Thoreau’s Journal:

My Journal is that of me which would else spill over and run to waste.— gleanings from the field which in action I reap. I must not live for it, but in it for the gods— They are my correspondent to whom daily I send off this sheet post-paid. I am clerk in their counting room and at evening transfer the account from day-book to ledger.

It is as a leaf which hangs over my head in the path — I bend the twig and write my prayers on it then letting it go the bough springs up and shows the scrawl to heaven. As if it were not kept shut in my desk—but were as public a leaf as any in nature—it is papyrus by the river side—it is vellum in the pastures—it is parchment on the hills— I find it every where as free as the leaves which troop along the lanes in autumn— The crow—the goose—the eagle—carry my quill—and the wind blows the leaves—as far as I go— Or if my imagination does not soar, but gropes in slime and mud—then I write with a reed.


It is always a chance scrawl, and commemorates some accident—as great as earthquake or eclipse. Like the sere leaves in yonder vase these have been gathered far and wide—upland and lowland.— forest and field have been ransacked.

February 7, 1859

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

Evidently the distant woods are more blue in a warm and moist or misty day in winter, and is not this connected with the blue in snow in similar days?

February 6

1841 in Thoreau’s Journal:

When I select one here and another there, and strive to join sundered thoughts, I make but a partial heap after all— Nature strews her nuts and flowers broadcast, and never collects them into heaps— A man does not tell us all he has thought upon truth or beauty at a sitting—but from his last thought on the subject wanders through a varied scenery of upland meadow and woodland to his next— Sometimes a single and casual thought rises naturally and inevitably with a queenly majesty and escort like the stars in the east.


Fate has surely enshrined it in this hour and circumstances for some purpose— What she has joined together, let not man put asunder.— Shall I transplant the primrose by the river’s brim—to set it beside its sister on the mountain? This was the soil it grew in—this the hour it bloomed in—if sun, wind, and rain came here to cherish and expand it–shall not we come here to pluck it? — Shall we require it to grow in a conservatory for our convenience?

1855 in Thoreau’s Journal:


February 5, 1855

in Thoreau’s Journal:


 In a journal it is important in a few words to describe the weather, or character of the day, as it affects our feelings. That which was so important at the time cannot be unimportant to remember.


February 2, 1860

in Thoreau’s Journal:

It is remarkable that the straw-colored sedge of the meadows—which in the fall is one of the least noticeable colours—should now that the landscape is mostly covered with snow—be perhaps the most noticeable of all objects in it for its color.  —& an agreeable contrast to the snow—


I frequently see where oak leaves–absorbing the heat of the sun have sunk in to the ice & an inch in depth & afterward been blown out–leaving a perfect type of the leaf with its petiole & lobes sharply cut–with perfectly upright sides–so that I can easily tell the species of oak that made it. Sometimes these moulds have been evenly filled with snow–while the ice is dark–& you have the figure of the leaf in white.


February 2, 2020

February 1, 1857

in Thoreau’s Journal:

A laborer on the RR—tells me it is Candlemas day—(Feb 2d) tomorrow—& the winter half out—half your wood & half your hay—&c &c—& as that day is so will be the rest of the winter.