5th of January 1852…
Today the trees are white with snow — I mean their stems and branches — and have the true wintry look, on the storm side. Not till this has the winter come to the forest. They look like the small frostwork in the path and on the windows now, especially the oak woods at a distance, and you see better the form which their branches take. That is a picture of winter, and now you may put a cottage under them and roof it with snow-drifts, and let the smoke curl up amid the boughs in the morning. Continue reading
4th of January, 1851…
The longest silence is the most pertinent question most pertinently put. Emphatically silent. The most important question, whose answers concern us more than any, are never put in any other way.
It is difficult for two strangers, mutually well disposed, so truly to bear themselves toward each other that a feeling of falseness and hollowness shall not soon spring up betweem them. The least anxiety to behave truly vitiates the relation. I think of those to whom I am at the moment truly related, with a joy never expressed and never to be expressed, before I fall asleep at night, though I am hardly on speaking terms with them these years. When I think of it, I am truly related to them.
3rd of January, 1856…
Just beyond the Assabet Spring I see where a squirrel, gray or red, dug throught the snow last night in search of acorns. I know it was last night, for it was while the last snow was falling, and the tracks are partly filled by it. This squirrel has burrowed to the ground in many places within a few yards, probing the leaves for acorns in various directions, making a short burrow under the snow, sometimes passing under the snow a yard and coming out at another place; for, though it is somewhat hardened on the surface by the nightly freezing and the hail, it is still quite soft and light beneath next the earth, and a squirrel or a mouse can burrow very fast indeed there.
In many places it has dropped the leaves, etc., about the mouth of the hole. (The whole snow about ten inches deep.) I see where it sat in a young oak and ate an acorn, dropping the shells on the snow beneath, for there is no track to the shells, but only to the base of the oak. How independently they live, not alarmed, though the snow be two feet deep.
2nd of January, 1856…
Probably the coldest morning yet, our thermometer 6 deg. below zero at 8 a.m.; yet there was quite a mist in the air. The neighbors say it was 10 deg. below zero at 7 a.m.
…Crossing the railroad at the Heywood meadow, I saw some snow buntings rise from the side of the embankment, and with surging, rolling flight wing their way up through the cut. I walked through the westernmost Heywood swamp. There are the tracks of many rabbits, both gray and white, which have run about the edges of these swamps since this snow came, amid the alders and shrub oaks, and one white one has crossed it. Continue reading
1st of January, 1856…
Walden is covered with white snow ice six inches thick, for it froze while it was snowing, though commonly there is a thin dark beneath. This is now, therefore, bare, while the river, which was frozen before, is covered with snow. A very small patch of Walden, frozen since the snow, looks at a little distance exactly like open water by contrast with the snow ice, the trees being reflected in it, and indeed I am not certain but a very small part of this patch was water. Continue reading