March 12, 1854

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

Memorable is the warm light of the spring sun on russet fields in the morning.

A new feature is being added to the landscape—and that is expanses of & reaches of blue water.

 

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March 11, 1854 in Thoreau’s Journal:

On Tuesday, the 7th, I heard the first song-sparrow chirp, and saw it flit silently from alder to alder. This pleasant morning, after three days’ rain and mist, they generally burst forth into sprayey song from the low trees along the river.  The development of their song is gradual, but sure, like the expanding of a flower. This is the first song I have heard.

March 10, 1853

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

This is the first really spring day. The sun is brightly reflected from all surfaces, and the north side of the street begins to be a little more passable to foot-travellers. You do not think it necessary to button up your coat….

Something analogous to the thawing of the ice seems to have taken place in the air.  At the end of winter there is a season in which we are daily expecting spring, and finally a day when it arrives.

March 9, 1854

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

Boiled a handful of rock tripe (Umbilicaria Muhlenbergii) (which Tuckerman says “was the favourite rock tripe in Franklin’s journey”) for more than an hour. It produced a black puff, looking somewhat like boiled tea-leaves, and was insipid, like rice or starch. The dark water in which it was boiled had a bitter taste, and was slightly gelatinous. The puff was not positively disagreeable to the palate.

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March 7, 1859

 

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

There is no ripeness which is not, so to speak, something ultimate in itself, and not merely a perfected means to a higher end. In order to be ripe it must serve a transcendent use. The ripness of a leaf, being perfected, leaves the tree at that point and never returns to it. It has nothing to do with any other fruit which the tree may bear, and only genius can pluck it. The fruit of a tree is neither in the seed nor in the full-grown tree, but it is simply the highest use to which it can be put.

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March 6, 1858

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

The river is frozen more solidly than during the past winter, and for the first time for a year I could cross it in most places.  I did not once cross it the past winter, though by choosing a safe place I might have done so without doubt once or twice. But I have had no river walks before.

March 5, 1857

 

P3020014.jpeg in Thoreau’s Journal:

The lilac buds cannot have swolen any since the 25th of Feb– on ac. of the cold– On examining–they look as if they had felt the influence of the previous heat a little– There are narrow light green spaces laid bare along the edges of the brown scales–as if they had expanded so much.

March 3, 1861

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

Hear that there was a flock of geese in the river last night. See and hear song sparrows to-day; probably here for several days.

March 2, 1854

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

What produces the peculiar softness of the air yesterday & today—as if it were the air of the south suddenly pillowed amid our wintry hills— We have suddenly a different sky—a dif- atmosphere. It is as if the subtlest possible soft vapour were diffused through the atmosphere. Warm Air has come to us from the S. But charged with moisture—which will yet distill in rain or congeal into snow & hail—

March 1, 1854

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

This morning the air is still, and, though clear enough, a yellowish light is widely diffused through the east now, just after sunrise.

February 29, 1852

 

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

From Pine Hill looking westward I see the snow-crust shine in the sun as far as the eye can reach,  —snow which fell yesterday morning. Then before night came the rain, then in the night the freezing northwest wind, and the day where before yesterday half the ground was bare, is this shining snow-crust to-day.

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February 28, 1860

in Thoreau’s Journal:

As I go down the Boston Road–I see an Irishman wheeling home from far–a large damp & rotten pine log–for fuel– He evidently sweats at it & pauses to rest many times. He found perhaps that his woodpile was gone before the winter was–& he trusts this to contend with the remaining cold. I see him unload it in his yard before me–& then rest himself. The piles of solid oak wood which I see in other yards do not interest me at all, but this looked like fuel.  — It inspired me to think of it. He will now proceed to split it finely–& then I fear it requires almost as much heat to dry it, as it will give out at last.  

How rarely we are encouraged by the sight of simple actions in the street– We deal with banks & other institutions where the life & humanity are concealed–what there is. I like at least to see the great beams half exposed in the ceiling or the corner–

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February 27, 1851

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

Walking in the woods, it may be some afternoon, the shadow of the wings of a thought flits across the landscape of my mind, and I am reminded how little eventful are our lives. What have been all these wars and rumors of wars, and modern discoveries and improvements, so called? A mere irritation in the skin. But this shadow which is so soon past, and whose substance is not detected, suggests that there are events of importance whose interval is to us a true historic period. 

February 26, 1841

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in Thoreau’s Journal:

In composition I miss the hue of the mind. As if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning and evening—without their colors—or the heavens without their azure.

February 24, 1857

in Thoreau’s Journal:

A fine spring morning. The ground is almost completely bare again. There has been a frost in the night. Now at half past eight it is melted and wets my feet like a dew. The water on the meadow this still bright morning is smooth as in April. I am surprised to hear the strain of a song-sparrow from the river side,

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and as I cross from the causeway to the hill, thinking of the bluebird, I that instant hear one’s note from deep in the softened air…Their short rich warble curls through the air…It seems to be one of those early springs of which we have heard, but which we have never experienced.

February 23, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

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What evidence is there of spring? This light & warm sun–which compels us to throw our outside coats open wide–or take them off–even to seek the shade for coolness– — This rapidly melting snow & these sparkling currents by the roadside– this softened ice–but above all the warble of a single blue-bird that came to us out of the softened air.