September 21, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The maples begin to be ripe. How beautiful when a whole maple on the edge of a swamp is like one great scarlet fruit—full of ripe juices— A sign of the ripening—every leaf from lowest limb to topmost spire— is a-glow.

September 20, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Not a fish can leap or an insect fall on it but it is reported in lines of beauty—in circling dimples—as it were the constant welling up of its fountain—the gentle pulsing of its life—the heaving of its breast.  The thrills of joy & those of pain are indistinguishable. How sweet the phenomena of the lake—! Everything that moves on its surface produces a sparkle. The peaceful Pond!

September 19, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The soapwort gentian cheers & surprises with solid bulbs of blue from the shore—the stale grown purplish. It abounds along the river—after so much has been mown.

September 17, 1839

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Nature never makes haste; her systems revolve at an even pace. The bud swells imperceptibly, without hurry or confusion, as though the short spring days were an eternity. All her operations seem separately, for the time, the single object for which all things tarry. Why, then, should man hasten as if anything less than eternity were allotted for the least deed? Let him consume never so many æons, so that he go about the meanest task well, though it be but the paring of his nails. If the setting sun seems to hurry him to improve the day while it lasts, the chant of the crickets fails not to reassure him, even-measured as of old, teaching him to take his own time henceforth forever.

September 16, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

I am invited to take some party of ladies or gentlemen on an excursion, – to walk or sail, or the like, – but by all kinds of evasions I omit it, and am thought to be rude and unaccommodating therefore. They do not consider that the wood-path and the boat are my studio, where I maintain a sacred solitude and cannot admit promiscuous company. I will see them occasionally in an evening or at the table, however. They do not think of taking a child away from its school to go a-huckleberrying with them. Why should not I, then, have my school and school hours to be respected? Ask me for a certain number of dollars if you will, but do not ask me for my afternoons.

September 14, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Like the fruits, when cooler weather and frosts arrive, we too are braced and ripened. When we shift from the shady to the sunny side of the house, and sit there in an extra coat for warmth, our green and leafy and pulpy thoughts acquire color and flavor, and perchance a sweet nuttiness at last, worth your cracking.

September 13, 1859

in Thoreau’s Journal:

There are various degrees of living out-of-doors. You must be outdoors long, early and late, and travel far and earnestly, in order to perceive the phenomena of the day. Even then much will escape you. Few live so far outdoors as to hear the first geese go over.

September 11, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The conspicuous & handsome bluish masses of A puniceus erect or fallen stretch in endless rows along the brook — often as high as your head— Sometimes make islands in the meadows.

September 10, 1860

in Thoreau’s Journal:

If you sit at an open attic window almost anywhere, about the 20th of September, you will see many a milkweed down go sailing by on a level with you, — though commonly it has lost its freight, —notwithstanding that you may not know of any of these plants growing in your neighborhood.

September 9, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

And next the redness became a sort of yellowish or fawn colored light & the sun now set fire to the edges of the broken cloud which had hung over the horizon—& they glowed like burning turf.

September 8, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

While the grass is fresh the earth is in its vigor. The greenness of the grass is the best symptom or evidence of the earth’s youth or health. Perhaps it will be found that when the grass ceases to be fresh & green or after June—the birds have ceased to sing—& the fireflies too no longer in myriads sparkle in the meadows—

September 7, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

A certain refinement & civilization in nature which increases with the wildness. The civilization that consists with wildness. The light that is in night. A smile as in a dream on the face of the sleeping lake.  There is light enough to show what we see—what night has to exhibit—any more would obscure these objects.

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.