Thoreau is notably patient in observing nature, able to stand still for half an hour or more, to let the frogs and other creatures overcome their fear or shyness and be overcome instead by curiosity.  Here, he ends up being observed in return by half a dozen faint-croaking frogs.  As the Chinese would put it, ‘you look look me, I look look you’.

‘Tried to see the faint-croaking frogs at J.P. Brown’s Pond in the woods.  They are remarkably timid and shy; had their noses and eyes out, croaking, but all ceased, dove, and concealed themselves, before I got within a rod of the shore.  Stood perfectly still amid the bushes on the shores, before one showed himself finally; finally five or six, and all eyed me, gradually approached me within three feet to reconnoitre, and, though I waited about half an hour, would not utter a sound nor take their eyes off me, – were plainly affected by curiosity.’   27 Mar 1853

Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, Damion Searls (ed.), preface by John R. Stilgoe (New York: New York Review Books, 2009), p. 188-89

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