February 3, 1856

in Thoreau’s Journal:

We go wading through snows now up the bleak river, in the face of the cutting northwest wind and driving snow-steam, turning now this ear, then that, to the wind, and our gloved hands in our bosoms or pockets. Our tracks are obliterated before we come back. How different this from sailing or paddling up the stream here in July, or poling amid the rocks! Yet still, in one square rod, where they have got out ice and a thin transparent ice has formed, I can see the pebbly bottom the same as in summer.

It is a cold and windy Sunday. The wind whistles round the northwest corner of the house and penetrates every crevice and consumes the wood in the stoves, — soon blows it all away. An armful goes but little way. Such a day makes a great hole in the wood-pile. [It] whisks round the corner of the house, in at a crevice, and flirts off with all the heat before we have begun to feel it.

Some of the low drifts but a few inches deep, made by the surface snow blowing, over the river especially, are of a fine, pure snow, so densely packed that our feet make hardly any impression on them.