Winter-defying hawk

Winter-defying hawk

What majesty in this triologism – a hawk thriving despite a New England winter. ‘The warmest springs hardly allow me the glimpse of a frog’s heel as he settles himself in the mud, and I think I am lucky if I see one winter-defying hawk or a hardy...
Bright-tinted shrubs

Bright-tinted shrubs

Autumn alights with bright-tinted shrubs.  And yes, you need to be on the alert to perceive their full beauty. ‘A passer-by might, perhaps would, have noticed that the bright-tinted shrubs about the high shore on the sunny side were reflected in the water; but,...
Weaving a stanza

Weaving a stanza

Thoreau likens a fisherman’s weaving of a creel to creating a poem about the spring. He shows great respect for skills and care in material things and processes. ‘He was meditating a small poem in his way.  It was equal to a successful stanza whose subject...
Five for the price of one

Five for the price of one

Thoreau packs in a rich deck of similes and metaphors in this short description of the shrub oak.  For the image, I looked for something that conveyed ‘clean as the atmosphere’, but I also like ‘hardy as virtue’ and the idea of being as...
As moderate as …

As moderate as …

A measured, precise, unfussy speaker, this farmer.  I also liked the idea of his not melting the snow where he treads, as if he is himself made of this clean, cold, moderate element. ‘The farmer spoke to me, I can swear, clean, cold, moderate as the snow. He...
As insensible as …

As insensible as …

Of course, we can’t know (yet) how insensible a fungus is, but until we learn otherwise, what a memorable way to convey a loss of wonder.  Apologies to all wondering fungi. And may wonder never become extinct in you, whether or not you resemble fungus....
Dumb as …

Dumb as …

Thoreau doesn’t seem to have had a particularly harmonious relationship with formal religion, and he makes some side-swiping comments about the church and its representatives, while also being an immensely reverent – and in that sense – religious...
The lovable vigour of weeds

The lovable vigour of weeds

Yes, I know what he means.  I’m becoming increasingly tolerant of weeds and have started protecting and even nurturing some. As a result, our lawn is taking on the character of a wild flower meadow, and this week I was heartened to see the first invasion of cow...
Me too

Me too

And sometimes I’m not even sure I know what I think because it’s been so long since I was invited to express it. ‘I am surprised as well as delighted when any one wishes to know what I think.’  23 Mar 1853 Source: Henry David Thoreau, The...

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