Out of the Past
Thoreau
March 4






and Other Natural History Essays



         

Began to snow last evening, and it is now (early in the morning) about a foot deep, and raining.

We stood still a few moments on the Turnpike below Wright's and listened to hear a spring bird. We heard only the jay screaming in the distance and the cawing of a crow. What a perfectly New England sound is this voice of the crow! If you stand perfectly still anywhere in the outskirts of the town and listen, stilling the almost incessant hum of your own personal factory, this is perhaps the sound which you will be most sure to hear rising above all sounds of human industry and leading your thoughts to some far bay in the woods where the crow is venting his disgust. This bird sees the white man come and the Indian withdraw, but it withdraws not. Its untamed voice is still heard above the tinkling of the forge. It sees a race pass away, but it passes not away. It remains to remind us of aboriginal nature.

I find near Hosmer Spring in the wettest ground, which has melted the snow as it fell, little flat beds of light-green moss, soft as velvet, which have recently pushed up, and lie just above the surface of the water. They are scattered about in the old decayed trough. (And there are still more and larger at Brister's Spring.) They are like little rugs or mats and are very obviously of fresh growth, such a green is has not been dulled by winter, a very fresh and living, perhaps slightly glaucous, green.
1853
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