March 10, 1853


in Thoreau’s Journal:

This is the first really spring day. The sun is brightly reflected from all surfaces, and the north side of the street begins to be a little more passable to foot-travellers. You do not think it necessary to button up your coat….

Something analogous to the thawing of the ice seems to have taken place in the air.  At the end of winter there is a season in which we are daily expecting spring, and finally a day when it arrives.

March 9, 1854


in Thoreau’s Journal:

Boiled a handful of rock tripe (Umbilicaria Muhlenbergii) (which Tuckerman says “was the favourite rock tripe in Franklin’s journey”) for more than an hour. It produced a black puff, looking somewhat like boiled tea-leaves, and was insipid, like rice or starch. The dark water in which it was boiled had a bitter taste, and was slightly gelatinous. The puff was not positively disagreeable to the palate.


March 7, 1859



in Thoreau’s Journal:

There is no ripeness which is not, so to speak, something ultimate in itself, and not merely a perfected means to a higher end. In order to be ripe it must serve a transcendent use. The ripness of a leaf, being perfected, leaves the tree at that point and never returns to it. It has nothing to do with any other fruit which the tree may bear, and only genius can pluck it. The fruit of a tree is neither in the seed nor in the full-grown tree, but it is simply the highest use to which it can be put.


March 6, 1858


in Thoreau’s Journal:

The river is frozen more solidly than during the past winter, and for the first time for a year I could cross it in most places.  I did not once cross it the past winter, though by choosing a safe place I might have done so without doubt once or twice. But I have had no river walks before.

March 5, 1857


P3020014.jpeg in Thoreau’s Journal:

The lilac buds cannot have swolen any since the 25th of Feb– on ac. of the cold– On examining–they look as if they had felt the influence of the previous heat a little– There are narrow light green spaces laid bare along the edges of the brown scales–as if they had expanded so much.

March 3, 1861


in Thoreau’s Journal:

Hear that there was a flock of geese in the river last night. See and hear song sparrows to-day; probably here for several days.

March 2, 1854


in Thoreau’s Journal:

What produces the peculiar softness of the air yesterday & today—as if it were the air of the south suddenly pillowed amid our wintry hills— We have suddenly a different sky—a dif- atmosphere. It is as if the subtlest possible soft vapour were diffused through the atmosphere. Warm Air has come to us from the S. But charged with moisture—which will yet distill in rain or congeal into snow & hail—

March 1, 1854


in Thoreau’s Journal:

This morning the air is still, and, though clear enough, a yellowish light is widely diffused through the east now, just after sunrise.