and Other Natural History Essays
Henry David Thoreau
by Erin Clark
A Book of Quotations
The Journal of Henry David Thoreau: 1837-1861
Thumbing Through Thoreau
A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau
Walden, or Life in the Woods
6" Display, U.S. & International Wireless
. A white frost this morning, lasting late into the day. This has
settled the accounts of many plants which lingered still.
To Hubbard's Meadow Wood.
I see tree sparrows in loose flocks, chasing one another, on the alders and willows by the brook-side. They keep up a general low and incessant twittering warble, as if suppressed, very sweet at this season, but not heard far.
What with the rains and frosts and winds, the leaves have fairly fallen now. You may say the fall has ended. Those which still hang on the trees are withered and dry. I am surprised at the change since last Sunday. Looking at the distant woods, I perceive that there is no yellow nor scarlet there now. They are (except the evergreens) a mere dull, dry red. The autumnal tints are gone. What life remains is merely at the foot of the leaf-stalk. The woods have for the most part, acquired their winter aspect, and coarse, rustling, light-colored withered grasses skirt the river and the wood-side. This is November. The landscape prepared for winter, without snow. When the forest and fields put on their sober winter hue, we begin to look more to the sunset for color and variety.
Along the Depot Brook, the great heads of Ater puniccus stand dry and fuzzy and singularly white.
The prevalence of this light, dry color perhaps characterizes November - that of bleaching withered grass, of the fuzzy gray goldenrods, harmonizing with the cold sunlight, and that of the leaves which still hang on deciduous trees.
The dead-looking fruit of the alders is now conspicuous.
follow Thoreau on Twitter