Out of the Past

Thoreau
October 11







and Other Natural History Essays



         

Sassafras leaves are a rich yellow now and falling fast. They come down in showers on the least touching of the tree.

I was obliged to cut a small one white surveying the Bedford road today. What
singularly and variously formed leaves! For the most part three very regular long lobes, but also some simple leaves; but here is one shaped just like a hand or a mitten with a thumb. They next turn a dark cream-color.




Father saw today in the end of a red oak stick his woodshed, three and a half inches in diameter, which was sawed yesterday, something shining. It is lead, either the side of a bullet or a large buckshot just a quarter of an inch in diameter. It came from the Ministerial Lot in the southwest part of the town, and we bought the wood of Martial Miles. It is completely and snugly buried under some twelve or fifteen layers of the wood, and it appears not to have penetrated originally more than its own thickness, for there is a very close fit all around it, and the wood has closed over it very snugly and soundly, while on every other side it is killed, though snug for an eighth of an inch around it.
1853

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