April 10, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

….maples and birches in front–with pines in the rear—making a low wild shore…The young trees & bushes now making apparent islands on the meadows are there nearly in this proportion I should think i.e. in deep water— Young maples—willows—button bushes—red osier…

April 9, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Watching the ripples fall and dart across the surface of low-lying and small woodland lakes is one of the amusements of these windy March and April days.

April 8, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The epigaea is not quite out.  The earliest peculiarly woodland herbaceous flowers are epigaea, thalictrum, and (by the first of May) Viola pedata.  These grow quite in the woods amid dry leaves, nor do they depend so much on water as the very earliest flowers. I am perhaps more surprised by the growth of the Viola pedata leaves by the side of paths amid the shrub oaks, and half covered with oak leaves, than by any other growth, the situation is so dry and the surrounding bushes so apparently lifeless.

April 7, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

If you make the least correct observation of nature this year, you will have occasion to repeat it with illustrations the next, and the season and life itself is prolonged.

April 6, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The flower buds of the red maple have very red inner scales now being more & more exposed—which color the tree tops a great distance off.

April 5, 1860

in Thoreau’s Journal:

When I stand more out of the wind, under the shelter of the hill beyond Clamshell, where there is not wind enough to make a noise on my person, I hear, or think that I hear, a very faint distant ring of toads, which, though I walk and walk all the afternoon, I never come nearer to. It is hard to tell if it is not a ringing in my ears; yet I think it is a solitary and distant toad called to life by some warm and sheltered pool or hill, its note having, as it were, a chemical affinity with the air of the spring. It merely gives a slightly more ringing or sonorous sound to the general rustling of inanimate nature. A sound more ringing and articulate my ear detects, under and below the noise of the rippling wind. Thus gradually and moderately the year begins. It creeps into the ears so gradually that most do not observe it, and so our ears are gradually accustomed to the sound, and perchance we do not perceive it when at length it has become very much louder and more general.

April 3, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

When the sun shines unobstructedly, the landscape is full of light, for it is reflected from the withered fawn coloured grass—as it cannot be from the green grass of summer.

The bluebird carries the sky on his back.

April 2, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

To the river-side and Merrick’s pasture. The sun is up. The water in the meadows is perfectly smooth and placid, reflecting the hills and clouds and trees. The air is full of the notes of birds, song-sparrows, redwings, robins (singing a strain) bluebirds, and I hear also a lark, as if all the earth had burst forth into song. The influence of this April light has reached them, for they live out-of-doors all the night, and there is no danger they will oversleep themselves such a morning.  A few weeks ago, before the birds had come, there came to my mind in the night the twittering sound of birds in the early dawn of a spring morning––a semi-prophecy of it––and last night I attended mentally, as if I heard the spray-like dreaming sound of the mid-summer frog, and realized how glorious and full of revelations it was. The clouds are white, watery, not such as we had in the winter. I see in this fresh morning the shells left by the muskrats along the shore, and their galleries leading into the meadow, and the bright red cranberries washed up along the the shore in the old water-mark. Suddenly there is a blur on the placid surface of the waters, a rippling mistiness produced, as it were, by a slight morning breeze, and I should be sorry to show it to a stranger now. So is it with our minds.

April 1, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

With this flower, so much more flowerlike or noticeable than any yet—

begins a new era in the flower season.

[Photo: March 31, 2021]