Out of the Past
Thoreau
January 4






and Other Natural History Essays

Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
American Writer

Chestnuts
Chestnuts
Winter Tree Line
Winter Tree Line
Walden
Walden
Kindle Edition

The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson & Henry David Thoreau
The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson & Henry David Thoreau

Journal, Volume 5
Journal
Volume 5

Wild Fruits
Wild Fruits
Thoreau's Rediscovered Last Manuscript

Walden, or Life in the Woods Poster
Walden, or Life in the Woods
Poster

Our Common Dwelling
Our Common Dwelling
Henry Thoreau, Transcendentalism, and the Class Politics of Nature

An Observant Eye: The Thoreau Collection at the Concord Museum
An Observant Eye
The Thoreau Collection at the Concord Museum 


Kindle
Kindle
6" Display, U.S. & International Wireless



         

Still ice is left on the trees, but to-day is a windy and blustering day. The quantity of ice on the birches being reduced, they are still more wand- or faery-like. Tall ones, with no limbs for half their height, are gracefully bent over, and are now swaying from side to side in the wind, exactly like waving ostrich-plumes, as delicate as the spray on frosted windows. 

This is the fourth day of the ice. The landscape is white, not only from the ice on the ground and trees, but from the snow which fell yesterday, though it is not an inch deep. In respect to snow, the winter appears to be just beginning.

I must call that swamp of E. Hubbard's west of the Hunt Pasture, Yellow Birch Swamp. There are more of those trees than anywhere else in town that I know.

The sight of these trees affects me more than California gold. I measured one five feet and two inches in circumference at six feet from the ground. We have the silver and the golden birch. This is like a fair, flaxenhaired
sister of the dark-complexioned black birch, with golden ringlets . How lustily it takes hold of the swampy soil, and braces itself!

In the twilight I went through the swamp, and yellow birches sent forth a dull-yellow gleam which each time made my heart beat faster... I walked with the yellow birch. The prinos is green within. If there were Druids whose temples were the oak groves, my temple is the swamp.

The animals do not use fire; man does. At first there was a pile of cold fat pine roots on the icy rock. A match was rubbed, fire elicited, and now this fire is the most emphatic and significant fact hereabouts. Fire slumbers never far off, and the friction of a match can awaken it.
1853
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