Thoreau's Journal: 06-Oct-1857

Think what a change, unperceived by many, has within a month come over the landscape! Then the general, the universal, hue was green. Now see those brilliant scarlet and glowing yellow trees in the lowlands a mile off! I see them, too, here and there on the sides of hills, standing out distinct, mere bright and squads perchance, often in long broken lines, and so apparently elevated by their distinct color that they seem arranged like the remnants of a morning mist just retreating in a broken line along the hillsides. Or see that crowd in the swamp half a mile through, all vying one another, a blaze of glory. See those crimson patches far away on the hillsides, like dense flocks of crimson sheep, where the huckleberry reminds of recent excursions. See those patches of rich brown in the low grounds, where the ferns stand shriveled. See the greenish-yellow phalanxes of birches, and the crisped yellowish elm-tops here and there. We are not prepared to believe that the earth is now so parti-colored, and would present to a bird’s eye such distinct masses of bright yellow. A great painter is at work. The very pumpkins yellowing in the fields become a feature in the landscape, and thus they have shone, maybe, for a thousand years here.


Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine living in an era where life was so freakin boring that one has to get excited about trees changing color for entertainment!

Either that or Thoreau was among the first of the men who are being turned into metrosexuals by women, who paradoxically still long for he-men and not the nice guys.

No wonder Thoreau never got married.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you have heard of one being a "naturalist"? Thoreau was one of the first American naturalists. So that is what he is doing being excited by the fall colors and other natural phenomenon.

I wonder what gets you excited - MTV, Brittany or a new SUV? Maybe you can't imagine living in a different era than the one you're stuck in because you lack imagination...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... doing Britneey in an SUV.

Definitely more interesting than staring at a tree.

See, I have quite the imagination.

Poor Thoreau, stuck in the boring and superstitious 19th century. It wasn't really his fault, though.