May 4, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Crossing that first Conantum field, I perceive a peculiar fragrance in the air (not the meadow fragrance), like that of vernal flowers or of expanding buds. The ground is covered with the mouse-ear in full bloom, and it may be that in part. It is a temperate southwest breeze, and this is a scent as of willows (flowers and leafets), bluets, violets, shad-bush, mouse-ear, etc., combined; or perhaps the last chiefly; at any rate it is very perceptible. The air is more genial, laden with the fragrance of spring flowers.

I, sailing in the spring ocean, getting in from my winter voyage, begin to smell the land. Such a scent perceived by a mariner would be very exciting. I not only smell the land breeze, but I perceive in it the fragrance of spring flowers. I draw near to the land; I begin to lie down and stretch myself on it. After my winter voyage I begin to smell the land.