September 6, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

In the woods near the top the Vib. lantanoides Hobble bush-Am. in fruit—mostly large & red but the ripe dark blue. or black like the V. nudum— what I have formerly falsely called Moose-berry.

September 4, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

See one or 2 lilies yet.

The fragrance of a grape-vine branch, with ripe grapes on it, which I have brought home, fills the whole house. This fragrance is exceedingly rich, surpassing the flavor of any grape….

Would it not be worth the while to devote one day each year to collecting with pains the different kinds of asters––perhaps about this time––and another to the goldenrods?

September 3, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The Soapwort gentian out abundantly in Flints-Bridge Lane—ap. for a week—a surprisingly deep faintly purplish blue….it has the flowering of the sky.  The sky has descended & kissed the earth….Why come these blue flowers thus late in the year.

September 2, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

It is always essential that we love to do what we are doing, do it with a heart. The maturity of the mind, however, may perchance consist with a certain dryness.

August 30, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The clearness of the air which began with the cool morning of the 28th ult— makes it delicious to gaze in any direction….Coolness & clarity go together.

August 29, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

All these high colors in the stems and leaves and other portions of plants answer to some maturity in us. I presume if I am the wiser for having lived this season through, such plants will emblazon the truth of my experience over the face of nature, and I shall be aware of a beauty and sweetness there.

August 27, 1855

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Goodyera Pubescens–Rattle-snake Plantain is ap. a little past its prime– It is very abundant on Clintonia swamp hill-side quite erect with its white spike 8 to 10 inches high on the sloping hillside the lower half or more turning brown–but the beautifully reticulated leaves which pave the moist shady hill-side about its base are the chief attraction. These oval leaves perfectly smooth like velvet to the touch about 1 1/2 inches long–have a broad longitudinal white white mid-rib & 4 to 6 white parallel veins very prettily & thickly connected by other conspicuous white veins transversely—& irregularly—all on a dark rich green ground.  

Is it not the prettiest leaf that paves the forest floor? As a cultivated exotic it would attract great attention for its leaf– Many of the leaves are eaten. Is it by Partridges? It is a leaf of firm texture partially not apt to be eaten by insects or decayed– & does not soon wilt. So unsoiled and undecayed– It might be imitated on carpets & rugs–some old withered stems of last year still stand.

August 26, 1855

in Thoreau’s Journal:

More wind & quite cold this morning but very bright & sparkling autumn-like air–-reminding of frosts to be apprehended–-but hear a rumor tempting abroad-–to adventure….The red maples of Potter’s swamp show a dull purple blush-–& sometimes a low scarlet bough-–the effect evidently of the rain ripening them….

August 25, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Yesterday was a hot day, but oh, this dull, cloudy, breezy, thoughtful weather in which the creak of the cricket sounds louder, preparatory to a cheerful storm!

How grateful to our feelings is the approach of autumn! We have had no serious storm since spring. What a salad to my spirits is this cooler, darker day!

August 24, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The year is but a succession of days, and I see that I could assign some office to each day which, summed up, would be the history of the year.

Everything is done in season, and there is no time to spare.

The bird gets its brood hatched in season and is off.

August 22, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The elder bushes are weighed down with fruit partially turned, and are still in bloom at the extremities of their twigs….Perhaps fruits are colored like the trillium berry & the scarlet thorn to attract birds to them.

August 21, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The coloring and reddening of the leaves toward fall is interesting; as if the sun had so prevailed that even the leaves, better late than never, were turning to flowers — so filled with mature juices, the whole plant turns at length to one flower, and all its leaves are petals around its fruit or dry seed. A second flowering to celebrate the maturity of the fruit. The first to celebrate the age of puberty, the marriageable age; the second, the maturity of the parent, the age of wisdom, the fullness of years.

August 20, 1858

in Thoreau’s Journal:

P. M. – To Poplar Hill & the Great Fields.

It is still cool weather with a NW wind—  There is more shadow in the landscape than a week ago—methinks—& the creak of the cricket sounds cool & steady.  The grass & foliage—and landscape generally are of a more thought inspiring color—  —suggest what some perchance would call a pleasing melancholy— 

In some meadows, as I look southwesterly the aftermath looks a bright yellowish-green—in patches— Both willows & poplars have leaves of a light-color at least beneath—contrasting with most other trees—This weather is a preface to autumn.

August 19, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The skunk cabbages—& the trilliums both leaves & fruit are many flat prostrate—the former decaying and all looking as if early frosts had prevailed….The red-stemmed (?) cornel berries…

August 18, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Elizabeth Hoar shows me the following plants which she brought from the Wht Mts the 16th ult. Chiogenes hispidula creeping snow-berry also called Gaultheria & also vaccinium hispidula–in fruit. –– with a partridge berry scent & taste.