September 1, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Great is the beauty of a wooded shore seen from the water, for the trees have ample room to expand on that side, and each puts forth its most vigorous bough to fringe and adorn the pond. It is rare that you see so natural an edge to the forest. Hence a pond like this, surrounded by hills wooded down to the edge of the water, is the best place to observe the tints of the autumnal foliage. Moreover, such as stand in or near to the water change earlier than elsewhere….How rich and autumnal the haze which blues the distant hills and fills the valleys. The lakes look better in this haze, which confines our view more to their reflected heavens and makes the shore-line more indistinct. Viewed from the hilltop, it reflects the color of the sky….Beyond the deep reflecting surface, near the shore, where the bottom is seen, it is a vivid green. I see two or three small maples already scarlet, across the pond, beneath where the white stems of three birches diverge next the water….They cannot fatally injure Walden with an axe, for they have done their worst and failed. We see things in the reflection which we do not see in the substance. In the reflected woods of Pine Hill there is a vista through which I see the sky, but I am indebted to the water for this advantage, for from this point the actual wood affords no such vista.