Out of the Past

Thoreau

November 20






Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
American Writer

Cranberry Bush
Cranberry Bush

Maples and Birches
Maples and Birches
by Joseph Holmes

The Adventures of Henry Thoreau
The Adventures of Henry Thoreau

A Young Man's Unlikely Path to Walden Pond
The Maine Woods
The Maine Woods

Walking
Walking

Transcendentalism: Essential Essays of Emerson & Thoreau
Transcendentalism: Essential Essays of Emerson & Thoreau

Walden's Shore: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science
Walden's Shore
Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Science


Essays by Henry David Thoreau
Essays

Delphi Complete Works of Henry David Thoreau
Delphi Complete Works of Henry David Thoreau
Kindle Edition

Walden
Walden

"An Insect View of Its Plain"
"An Insect View of Its Plain"

Insects, Nature and God in Thoreau, Dickinson and Muir




         

It is a common saying among country people that if you eat much fried hasty pudding it will make your hair curl. My experience, which was considerable, did not confirm this assertion.

Horace Hosmer was picking out to-day half a bushel or more of a different and better kind of cranberry, as he thought, separating them from the rest. They are very dark red, shaded with lighter, harder and more oblong, somewhat like the fruit of the sweet-briar or a Canada red plum, though I have no common cranberry to compare with them. He says that they grow apart from the others. I must see him about it. It may prove to be one more of those instances in which the farmer detects a new species and makes use of the knowledge from year to year in his profession, while the botanist expressly devoted to such investigation has failed to observe it.

The farmer, in picking over many bushels of cranberries year after year, finds at length, or has forced upon his observation, a new species of that berry, and avails himself thereafter of his discovery for many years before the naturalist is aware of the fact.

Desor, who has been among the Indians at Lake Superior this summer, told me the other day that they had a particular name for each species of tree, as of the maple, but they had but one word for flowers; they did not distinguish the species of the last.



It is often the unscientific man who discovers the new species. It would be strange if it were not so. But we are accustomed properly to call that only a scientific discovery which knows the relative value of the thing discovered, uncovers a fact to mankind.

1850

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