Henry David Thoreau
Ice on the Oise River
by Gustave Loiseau
Thoreau's Rediscovered Last Manuscript
Walden, Civil Disobedience, Life Without Principle, Slavery in Massachusetts, A Plea for Captain John Brown
Walden & Civil Disobedience
and Other Natural History Essays
Thumbing Through Thoreau
A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau
Walden, or Life in the Woods
6" Display, U.S. & International Wireless
To Hubbard's Bridge and Holden Swamp and up river on ice to F. Pond
Crossing, just below pond; back on east side of river .
Skating is fairly begun. The river is generally frozen over, though it will bear quite across in very few places. Much of the ice in the middle is dark and thin, having been formed last night, and when you stamp you see the water trembling in spots here and there.
I can walk through the spruce swamp now dry-shod, amid the water andromeda and Kalmia glauca. I feel an affection for the rich brown fruit of the panicled andromeda growing about the swamp, hard, dry, inedible, suitable to the season. The dense panicles of the berries are of a handsome form, made to endure, lasting often over two seasons, only becoming darker and gray.
How handsome every one of these leaves that are blown about the snow-crust or lie neglected beneath, soon to turn to mould! Not merely a matted mass of fibres like a sheet of paper, but a perfect organism and system in itself, so that no mortal has ever yet discerned or explored its beauty.
I see also what I take to be rabbit's tracks made in that slosh, shaped like a horse's track, only rather longer and larger. They had set out to cross the river, but, coming to open water, turned back.
When I speak of the otter to our oldest village doctor, who should be ex officio our naturalist, he is greatly surprised, not knowing that such an animal is found in these parts, and I have to remind him that the Pilgrims sent home many otter skins in the first vessels that returned, together with beaver, mink, and black fox skins, and 1156 pounds of otter skins in the years 1631-36, which brought fourteen or fifteen shillings a pound, also 12,530 pounds of beaver skin.
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