and Other Natural History Essays
Henry David Thoreau
Winter Tree Line
The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson & Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau's Rediscovered Last Manuscript
Walden, or Life in the Woods
Our Common Dwelling
Henry Thoreau, Transcendentalism, and the Class Politics of Nature
An Observant Eye
The Thoreau Collection at the Concord Museum
6" Display, U.S. & International Wireless
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
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.
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