June 5, 1860

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The first of June, when the lady’s slipper and the wild pink have come out in sunny places on the hill-sides, then the summer is begun according to the clock of the seasons.

June 4, 1839

in Thoreau’s Journal:

I sit here this fourth of June, looking out on men and nature from this that I call my perspective window, through which all things are seen in their true relations. This is my upper empire, bounded by four walls, viz., three of boards yellow-washed, facing the north, west, and south, respectively, and the fourth of plaster, likewise yellow-washed, fronting the sunrise, — to say nothing of the purlieus and outlying provinces, unexplored as yet but by rats.

The words of some men are thrown forcibly against you and adhere like burs.

June 3, 1860

in Thoreau’s Journal:

These are the clear breezy days of early June, when the leaves are young and few and the sorrel not yet in its prime.  Perceive the meadow fragrance.  The roads are strewn with red maple seed. The pine shoots have grown generally from three to six inches, and begin to make a distant impression, even at some distance, of white and brown above their dark green.

The foliage of deciduous trees is still rather yellow-green than green.

June 2, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Clintonia Borealis a day or two….This is perhaps the most interesting & neatest of what I may call the liliaceous? plants we have–– Its beauty at present consists chiefly in its commonly 3 very handsome rich clear dark green leaves….They are perfect in form & color––broadly oblanceolate with a deep channel down the middle––uninjured by insects––arching over from a center at the ground sometimes very symmetrically disposed in a triangular fashion––& from their midst arises a scape a foot high with one or more umbels of “green bell—shaped flowers”––:  yellowish green nodding or bent downward––but without fragrance–– In fact the flower is all green both leaves & corolla–– The leaves alone––& many have no scape––would detain the walker.

June 1, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Within little more than a fortnight the woods, from bare twigs, have become a sea of verdure, and young shoots have contended with one another in the race.

The leaves have unfurled all over the country like a parasol. Shade is produced, and the birds are concealed and their economies go forward uninterruptedly, and a covert is afforded to the animals generally.

May 31, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Some incidents in my life have seemed far more allegorical than actual; they were so significant that they plainly served no other use. That is, I have been more impressed by their allegorical significance and fitness; they have been like myths or passages in a myth, rather than mere incidents or history which have to wait to become significant. Quite in harmony with my subjective philosophy. This, for instance: that, when I thought I knew the flowers so well, the beautiful purple azalea or pinxter-flower should be shown to me by the hunter who found it. Such facts are quite above the level of the actual. They are all just such events as my imagination prepares me for, no matter how incredible. Perfectly in keeping with my life and characteristic. Ever and anon something will occur which my philosophy has not dreamed of. The limits of the actual are set some thoughts further off. That which had seemed a rigid wall of vast thickness unexpectedly proves a thin and undulating drapery. The boundaries of the actual are no more fixed and rigid than the elasticity of our imaginations. The fact that a rare and beautiful flower which we never saw, perhaps never heard of, for which therefore there was no place in our thoughts, may at length be found in our immediate neighborhood, is very suggestive.

May 29, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

It is evident that the virtues of plants are almost completely unknown to us, and we esteem the few with which we are better acquainted unreasonably above the many which are comparatively unknown to us.

May 28, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

It would be worth the while to ask ourselves weekly, Is our life innocent enough? Do we live inhumanely, toward man or beast in thought or act?  To be serene and successful we must be at one with the universe. The least conscious and needless injury inflicted on any creature is to its extent a suicide.  What peace –– or life –– can a murderer have? 

May 27, 1855

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Still a very strong wind from northerly, and hazy and rather cool for season. The fields now begin to wear the aspect of June, their grass just beginning to wave; the light-colored withered grass seen between the blades, foliage thickening and casting darker shadows over the meadows, elm-tree-tops thick in distance, deciduous trees rapidly investing evergreens, haze with the strong wind. How important the dark evergreens now seen through the haze in the distance and contrasting with the gauze-like, as yet thin-clad deciduous trees! 

May 26, 1857

in Thoreau’s Journal:

At the same season with this haze of buds comes also the kindred haziness of the air….

A ladies slipper at Cliffs.

May 25, 1853

in Thoreau’s Journal:

How rapidly the young twigs shoot — the herbs, trees, shrubs no sooner leaf out than they shoot forward surprisingly, as if they had acquired a head by being repressed so long. They do not grow nearly so rapidly at any other season. Many do most of their growing for the year in a week or two at this season. They shoot — they spring — and the rest of the year they harden and mature, and perhaps have a second spring in the latter part of summer or in the fall.

May 24, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

A considerable fog, but already rising and retreating to the river. There are dewy cobwebs on the grass.  The morning came in and awakened me early, ––for I slept with a window open….

May 23, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:
But our wild apple is wild perchance like myself, who belong not to the aboriginal race here, but have strayed into the woods from the cultivated stock, — where the birds, where winged thoughts or agents, have planted or are planting me. Even these at length furnish hardy stocks for the orchard.

May 21, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

The earlier apple trees are in bloom––& resound with the hum of bees of all sizes & other insects. To sit under the 1st apple tree in blossom is to take another step into summer. The apple blossoms are so abundant & full––white tinged with red––a rich-scented pomona fragrance––telling of heaps of apples in the autumn––perfectly innocent wholesome & delicious––

May 20, 1852

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Perchance the beginning of summer may be dated from the fully formed leaves––when dense shade? begins––I will see.

May 18, 1851

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Lady’s-slipper almost fully blossomed…. The shrub oaks are now blossoming. The scarlet tanagers are come. The oak leaves of all colors are just expanding, and are more beautiful than most flowers. The hickory buds are almost leaves. The landscape has a new life and light infused into it. The deciduous trees are springing, to countenance the pines, which are evergreen. It seems to take but one summer day to fetch the summer in. The turning-point between winter and summer is reached.  The birds are in full blast. There is a peculiar freshness about the landscape; you scent the fragrance of new leaves, of hickory and sassafras, etc. And to the eye the forest presents the tenderst green. The blooming of the apple trees is becoming general.

May 17, 1854

in Thoreau’s Journal:

In the case of the early aspen you could almost see the leaves expand and acquire a darker green––this to be said the 12th or 13th or 14th––under the influence of the sun and genial atmosphere. Now they are only as big as a nine pence, to-morrow or sooner they are as big as a pistareen, and the next day they are as big as a dollar. This from its far greater prevalence than the aspens, balm-of-Gilead, white maples, etc., is the first to give the woodlands anywhere generally a (fresh) green aspect. It is the first to clothe large tracts of deciduous woodlands with green, and perchance it marks an epoch in the season, the transition decidedly and generally from bare twigs to leaves. When the birches have put on their green sacks, then a new season has come. The light reflected from their tender yellowish green is like sunlight.