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U C u lit A R Y

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NUMBER /< f~

Fringed Gentian (page 83}



AUGUST 16, 1856-AuGUST 7, 1857


Hubbard's Bridge and Water-lilies



Wil I






AUGUST 16, 1856-AuousT 7, 1857








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CHAPTEB I. August, 1856 (2Br. 39) 3

Cynoglossum officinale Cassia The Roadside Garden
A Red Huckleberry A Sociable Afternoon Desmodiums

The Prevailing Goldenrods and Asters The River rising

The Pearly Everlasting Decodon A Robber Bee
Chimney Swallows' Nests Shipwrecked Grasshoppers
August Freshets A Proposed High-Water Record A Fish
Hawk and an Eagle A Blue Heron A New England
Landscape Aster macrophyttus A Lost Pig Catching
the Pig Rattlesnake-Plantain Cardinal-Flowers The
Hatching of a Tortoise A Camphor Barometer An After
noon Expedition Cranberrying Vaccinium Oxycoccus
A Successful Afternoon The Hairy Huckleberry Wildness
in Concord The Worship of Stones No Room for Passen
gers Viburnum nudum Berries.

CHAPTER II. September, 1856 (JSr. 39) 60

Beautiful Fungi Asters and Goldenrods Wild Pigeons
Discoveries Salix lucida The Changing of the Leaves
The Sin of Bathing Viburnum nudum Berries To Brattle-
boro, Vermont Botanizing in Brattleboro The Connecticut
River Leather-Wood The Coldwater Path Chester
field Mountain A Saranac Panther Histories, Old and
Modern Fall Mountain With Alcott in W T alpole, N. H.
List of Plants obtained on this Excursion Gathering Wild
Grapes on the Assabet Asters and Mayweed Raising
Teasels A Dextrous Barberry-Picker The Pear Crop
and the Huckleberry Crop Corydalis in Bloom The Gol
denrods and Asters A Fine Afternoon Arum Berries
Desmodium and Bidens Seeds Wild Grapes A Canada
Lynx General Hull Strong Drink and Mowing.


CHAPTEK III. October, 1856 (JErr. 39) 96

Milkweed Seeds A Small Crop of Cranberries Four Little
Irish Boys and a Horse Autumnal Tints The Alligator
The American Lion Mrs. Swisshelm's Cougar Puffball
Architecture Homely Things Twittering Sparrows
The Asters and Goldenrods Chestnuts An Old Concord
Shopkeeper Flocks of Sparrows Laurel Glen Harvest
ing An Offensive Fungus Fallen Leaves Fringed Gen
tians Chickadees Chestnuts The Theme is Nothing

One of Minott's Hunting Stories Flocks of Sparrows

Myrtle-Birds An Inquisitive Bird Milkweed Pods
Wachusett Gossamer Minott's Guns Minott at a
Turkey-Shooting Gambling on Concord Common Fa
ther's Father Beatton, the Storekeeper To Eagleswood,
Perth Amboy The Cougar A New Viburnum The
Persimmon Some Other New Jersey Trees.

CHAPTER IV. November, 1856 (Mr. 39) 137

Wild Grapes New Jersey and New England The Cat's
Winter Coat A Hungry Yankee Perth Amboy Oysters.

CHAPTER V. December, 1856 (Mr. 39) 144

A New England Farmer The Shrub Oak Melvin, the
Hunter Improving the First Snow Whitman's "Leaves
of Grass" A Strong Appetite The Concord Countrymen
Nature's Winter Colors A Cat, a Mouse, and a Cock
An Interview with the Shoemaker Studying Botany A
Pair of Nuthatches Simplicity A Walk along the River
Otters' Tracks The Otter in Concord Snow-covered
Weeds The First Skating The Pickerel-Fishers The
Grand Old Poem called Winter The New England Novem
ber Notes From Bradford's History Oak Leaves in Decem
berThe Hooting of an Owl A Winter Sunset The
Murderous Lincoln Bridge Minott's Wood-Lot Our
Brute Companions Peter, the Pig-Butcher Rake-toothed


Icicles A Characteristic Winter Evening A Woodcock or
Snipe Shrub Oak Leaves A Cold Ride Lecturing at
Amherst, N. H. A Country Tavern Cracks in the Ground
Walden frozen over An Owl's Hooting The Red of
the Andromeda The Oak Leaves in Winter The Crack
ing of the Ground The Spicy Seeds of the Lycopus The
Walden Fishermen Snakes' Eggs The Diplomacy of

CHAPTER VI. January, 1857 (Mr. 39) 203

Returning to Nature Happiness in Nature A Walk in the
Woods and Fields Skylights Rough and Smooth Dry
Leaves on the Snow Minott's Life Casey, the Guinea
Negro The Cold Friday Running a Line Lecturing
A Negro's Answer Solitary Woodland Walking The
Country Club Travelling A Strain of Music The Ice
Floor Cocoons A Song Sparrow The Tracks of Mice
The Treatment of Travellers A Boy's Cave in the Snow A
Flock of Snow Buntings Minott on the Cold Friday Very
Cold Weather A Song Sparrow in the Yard.

CHAPTER VII. February, 1857 (2Er. 39) 235

Fitchburg in Midwinter Theodore Parker The Infidelity
of Church-Goers A Crazy Hen A Frost-covered Glaze
Quails in the Barn-yard Perpetual Music Simplicity of
Life A Hardy Old Man A Puffball A Friendship
ended Willow Hedges Voyaging Arabian Bargaining
A Frozen Caterpillar Concord History The Ruins of
the Lee House The Lee House Chimney How to catch a
Pig An Old Inscription Daniel Webster's Farming
The Chimney's Composition A Crust of Manners Mil
dew on the Ground A Gossamer Veil Listening for the
Bluebird A Mouse's Nest The Minott House The Bird
and the Ear Friendship The Thread of the River
Curled Cinders from a Burning House Puffballs Clergy


CHAPTER VIII. March, 1857 (Mr. 39) 285

Gusty Weather Rice's Poetic Life A Red Squirrel The
Great Lakes Botanical Notes The First Green Blush
A Woodchopper's Rustic Beetle The First Dawn of Spring

Goodwin's Fuel and Emerson's Nuthatches A Talk
with Agassiz Humphrey Buttrick on Guns Croaking
Frogs The First Planting A Talk with the Blacksmith
The Earliest Voice of the Pools Tortoises The Painted
Tortoise Buff-edged Butterflies Tortoises Plowing
Croaking Frogs and Hylodes Cannon-Balis.

CHAPTER IX. April, 1857 (.Ex. 39) 315

A Genuine Wayfaring Man At Ricketson's A Croaking
Frog Toads The New Bedford Library Bayberry
Tallow New Bedford Fishermen Ricketson's Shanty
Catching Smelts Civilization and the Fishes To the Mil-
dleborough Ponds A Strange Turtle Carrying Home the
Turtle The New Bedford Climate The Walden Pond
Society Birds up River The White Birch A Nature-
loving Girl A True Merman A Birch-Bark Box Scud
ding Wind-Clouds A Snake in the River Killing Snakes

Out of Doors Showery Weather Ricketson's Fear of
Lightning Spicy-scented Ants.

CHAPTER X. May, 1857 (Mr. 39) 349

The Universal Ring of the Toads A Morning for a Cruise
A Strange Toad or Frog The Trill of the Toad Some of
Minott's Stories Earthworms Corduroy At Gilson's
Mill, Littleton Freedom in Thought The Bay-Wing's
Song The Strain of a Sparrow Wood Tortoises Birch
Nymphs Yellow Birches The Spicy-scented Ants
Pines in Pastures Checkerberries The Assabet Stone
Bridge Awe and the Potato-Rot Nervous Invalids
May Training An Apple-Grafter A Threatening Cloud

A Hummingbird A Thunder-Shower Opportunity
and Enterprise Uvularia perfoliata Blue Sky after a
Storm Gowing's Swamp A Large Ants' Nest.


CHAPTER XI. June, 1857 (Mr. 39) 396

The Bobolink's Song A Sprouting Willow The Gentle
man Traveller The Creak of Crickets Tortoises in Gow-
ing's Swamp Contemporary Plants Seasons and Senti
ments An Afternoon with Minot Pratt John Thoreau's
Clothes The Indigo-Bird The Boston Natural History
Rooms At Watson's in Plymouth To Clark's Island
Daniel Webster and the Sea-Serpent General Winslow's
Adventure Lobster-Catching A New-born Colt To
Manomet Down the Cape on Foot Taken for a Peddler

A Ride on a Blackfish Family Prayers An Indian Vil
lage Yarmouth Friends Village A Village Street
Harwich A Cranberry-Patch A Noble Lake Brewster

Eastham and Wellfleet A Mother-Carey's-Chicken
An Old Wreck A Humane House Highland Light
Walking on the Beach Oil on the Water The Telegraph
Station The Wind at Highland Light Fog on Cape Cod

The Bay Side Bones of Blackfish and Whales Mt.
Ararat A Night in an Attic A "Master Mariner" By
Steamer to Boston A Black Duck's Nest An Owl's Nest

Farmer's Collection of Eggs A Wasps' Nest.

CHAPTER XII. July, 1857 (J2r. 39-40) 465

The Hairy Huckleberry Andromeda Polifolia Minott on
Duck-Shooting A Large Pickerel Young Pickerel A
Bumblebee's Nest A Promethea Moth Black Willow
Seeds Tephrosia Springs The Price of Friendship
A Swarm of Wood Flies Ferns To Boston on Way to
Maine Woods The Freetown Turtle To Portland and
Bangor Looking for an Indian Guide A Camping Outfit

At Moosehead Lake The Northeast Carry A Par
tridge with Young The Making of a Canoe New Views

Great and Small Dr. Johnson's Willow Sand Cherry.

CHAPTER XIH. August, 1857 (JEfi. 40) 500

The Raspberry Air of Maine Old Engravings of Lexington
and Concord A Little Trout-Pond.


FRINGED GENTIAN Carbon photograph (page 83) Frontispiece










AUGUST, 1856 (^T. 39)

Aug. 16. 8 A. M. To Cassia Field.

Chenopodium hybridum, a tall rank weed, five feet
at least, dark-green, with a heavy (poisonous?) odor
compared to that of stramonium; great maple (?)-
shaped leaves. How deadly this peculiar heavy odor!
Diplopappus linarlifolius, apparently several days.

Ambrosia pollen now begins to yellow my clothes.

Cynoglossum officinale, a long time, mostly gone to
seed, at Bull's Path and north roadside below Lep-
pleman's. Its great radical leaves made me think of
smooth mullein. The flower has a very peculiar,
rather sickening odor; Sophia thought like a warm
apple pie just from the oven (I did not perceive this).
A pretty flower, however. I thoughtlessly put a hand
ful of the nutlets into my pocket with my handkerchief.
But it took me a long time to pick them out [of] my
handkerchief when I got home, and I pulled out many
threads in the process.

At roadside opposite Leighton's, just this side his


barn, Monarda fistulosa, wild bergamot, nearly done,
with terminal whorls and fragrance mixed of balm
and summer savory. 1 The petioles are not ciliated
like those on Strawberry Hill road.

Am surprised to find the cassia so obvious and abun
dant. Can see it yellowing the field twenty-five rods
off, from top of hill. It is perhaps the prevailing shrub
over several acres of moist rocky meadow pasture on
the brook; grows in bunches, three to five feet high
(from the ground this year), in the neighborhood of
alders, hardback, elecampane, etc. The lower flowers
are turning white and going to seed, pods already
three inches long, a few upper not yet opened. It
resounds with the hum of bumblebees. It is branched
above, some of the half-naked (of leaves) racemes
twenty inches long by five or six wide. Leaves alter
nate, of six or eight pairs of leafets and often an odd
one at base, locust-like. Looked as if they had shut up
in the night. Mrs. Pratt says they do. 2 E. Hoar says
she has known it here since she was a child.

The cynoglossum by roadside opposite, and, by side
of tan-yard, the apparently true Mentha viridis, or
spearmint, growing very rankly in a dense bed, some
four feet high, spikes rather dense, one to one and a
half inches long, stem often reddish, leaves nearly
sessile. Say August 1st at least.

Some elecampane with the cassia is six feet high,
and blades of lower leaves twenty inches by seven or

1 Apparently the same kind in Loring's yard.

2 I observe it myself.


What a variety of old garden herbs mints, etc.
are naturalized along an old settled road, like this
to Boston which the British travelled! And then there
is the site, apparently, of an old garden by the tan-
yard, where the spearmint grows so rankly. I am in
toxicated with the fragrance. Though I find only one
new plant (the cassia), yet old acquaintances grow
so rankly, and the spearmint intoxicates me so, that
I am bewildered, as it were by a variety of new things.
An infinite novelty. All the roadside is the site of an
old garden where fragrant herbs have become natu
ralized, hounds-tongue, bergamot, spearmint, ele
campane, etc. I see even the tiger lily, with its bulbs,
growing by the roadside far from houses (near Leigh-
ton's graveyard). I think I have found many new
plants, and am surprised when I can reckon but one.
A little distance from my ordinary walk and a little
variety in the growth or luxuriance will produce this
illusion. By the discovery of one new plant all bounds
seem to be infinitely removed.

Amphicarpsea some time; pods seven eighths of an
inch long. Mimulus ringens four feet high, and chelone
six feet high!

Am frequently surprised to find how imperfectly
water-plants are known. Even good shore botanists
are out of their element on the water. I would suggest
to young botanists to get not only a botany-box but a
boat, and know the water-plants not so much from
the shore as from the water side.

White morning-glory up the Assabet. I find the
dog's-bane (Apocynum androscemifolium) bark not

6 JOURNAL [Ana. 16

nearly so strong as that of the A. cannabinum. Ama-
ranthus hypochondriacus, how long?

Minott says that the meadow-grass will be good
for nothing after the late overflow, when it goes down.
The water has steamed the grass. I see the rue all
turned yellow by it prematurely. Bathing at Merrick's
old place, am surprised to find how swift the current.
Raise the river two feet above summer level and let it
be running off, and you can hardly swim against it.
It has fallen about fifteen inches from the height.

My plants in press are in a sad condition; mildew
has invaded them during the late damp weather,
even those that were nearly dry. I find more and other
plants than I counted on. Very bad weather of late
for pressing plants. Give me the dry heat of July.
Even growing leaves out of doors are spotted with
fungi now, much more than mine in press.

Aug. 17. P. M. Walked with Minot Pratt be
hind his house.

Hypericum Canadense well out at 2 P. M. Ludwigia
alternifolia still with red or scarlet calyx-lobes to the
seed, roadside this side H. Shattuck's. Aster miser
some time, turned purple. A. longifolius not long.
Hieracium Canadense. Pratt describes finding one or
two small yellowish plants on the edge of his field
under the hill, like a polygala, but twice as large,
stiff, and points of the flowers turned down [?]; leaf
clover-like, three-foliate. Russell had suggested genista.
He has in his garden the mountain fringe (Adlumia
cirrhosa), which grows in Maine and he thought in



the western part of this State. Also wood geranium
(G. dissectum (Big.)) from Fitzwilliam, though Gray
seems to think that the Carolinianum has been mis
taken for it. Rhus copallina already going to seed by
the wall, apparently on what was W. E. C.'s ground.
Saw again the red huckleberry and the white hardhack.
I think this the lay of the land:

The red huckleberry is as easily distinguished in the
green state as when ripe. It is then red with a white
cheek, often slightly pear-shaped, semitransparent with
a lustre, very finely and indistinctly white-dotted. I do

8 JOURNAL [Auo. 17

not perceive any very marked peculiarity in the bush,
unless that the recent twigs are red. The last year's a
peculiar ochreous color and the red buds in the axils
larger. It might be called Gaylussacia resinosa var.

Aug. 18. P. M. To Beck Stow's.

Now, perhaps, get thoroughwort. The lecheas in
the Great Fields are now turning red, especially the
fine one.

As I go along the hillsides in sprout-lands, amid the
Solidago stricta, looking for the blackberries left after
the rain, the sun warm as ever, but the air cool never
theless, I hear the steady (not intermittent) shrilling
of apparently the alder cricket, clear, loud, and au
tumnal, a season sound. Hear it, but see it not. It
reminds me of past autumns and the lapse of time,
suggests a pleasing, thoughtful melancholy, like the
sound of the flail. Such preparation, such an outfit
has our life, and so little brought to pass!

Hear a /amtf-warbling bird amid birches and pines.
Clear-yellow throat and breast, greenish-yellow head,
conspicuous white bar on wings, white beneath,
forked tail, bluish legs. Can it be pine warbler ? The
note, thus faint, is not like it.

See black and white creeper.

Yellow Bethlehem-star yet, and indigo.

Saw yesterday and some days before a monster
aphis some five eighths of an inch long on a huckle
berry leaf. I mistook it, as before, for a sort of loose-
spun cocoon. It was obovate, indistinctly ribbed, of


long, loose, white, streaming down, but being touched
it recoiled and, taken off the leaf, rolled itself into a
ball. The father of all the aphides. (Enothera pumila

Aug. 19. P. M. To Fair Haven Hill.

Dog-day weather as for clouds, but less smoky
than before the rains of ten days ago. I see Hyperi-
cum Canadense and mutilum abundantly open at 3 p. M.
Apparently they did not bear the dry, hot weather of
July so well. They are apparently now in prime, but
the Sarothra is not open at this hour. The perforatum
is quite scarce now, and apparently the corymbosum;
the ellipticum quite done. The small hypericums have
a peculiar smart, somewhat lemon-like fragrance, but

The dangle-berries in Hubbard's Grore have a
peculiar, not very pleasant, flavor and a tough skin.
I see white buds on swamp-pink, just formed, also
green checkerberries about grown.

In the radula swamp the sweet scent of clethra; *
some peculiarly bright orange toadstools with a wavy
edge. Now for spotted aralia leaves, brown pupils with
yellow iris amid the green.

The whorled polygala is a plant almost universally
dispersed but inconspicuous.

I spent my afternoon among the desmodiums and
lespedezas, sociably. The further end of Fair Haven
Hill-side is a great place for them.

All the lespedezas are apparently more open and
1 Which lasts ten days at least.

10 JOURNAL [Auo. 19

delicate in the woods, and of a darker green, especially
the violet ones. When not too much crowded, their
leaves are very pretty and perfect.

Ivy berries dry and apparently ripe on the rocks
(Toxicodendrori) .

Low blueberries, though some are a very little wilted,
are very sweet and good as well as abundant. Huckle
berries getting to be suspected. What countless va
rieties of low blackberries! Here, in this open pine
grove, I pluck some large fresh and very sweet ones
when they are mostly gone without. So they are con
tinued a little longer to us.

Lobelia spicata still.

The wind rises and the pasture thistle down is blown

Lespedezas and desmodiums are now generally in
prime. The latter are an especially interesting fam
ily, with commonly such delicate, spreading panicles,
the plants themselves in their distribution so scattered
and inobvious, and the open and spreading panicle
of commonly verdigris-green flowers (in drying) make
them to be unobserved when you are near them. The
panicle of flowers often as large or larger than all the
rest of the plant, with their peculiar chain-like seed-
pods, rhomboidal or semiorbicular, or with concave
backs. They love dry hillsides. They are not so abun
dant, after all, but I feel an agreeable surprise as
often as I come across a new locality for desmodiums.
Rarely find one kind without one or two more species
near, their great spreading panicles, yet delicate, open,
and airy, occupying the August air. Like raking masts


with countless guys slanted far over the neighboring

Some of these desmodiums, the paniculatum, Mari-
landicum, nudiflorum, rigidum, and Dillenii, are so
fine and inobvious that a careless observer would look
through their thin flowery panicles without observing
any flower at all. The flowery beds of D. Marilandi-
cum reveal themselves to me like a blue-green mist
or gauze veil spread on the grass. I find them abun
dant in some places where I am sure there were none
last year. They are outsiders, few and far between,
further removed from man's walks than most plants,
considering that there is such a variety of them. A dry,
thin family of many species, nowhere abundant, yet
widely dispersed, looking out from dry hillsides and
exercising their dry wit on the race of man. The les-
pedezas and D. Canadense, more stiff and wand-like,
nearer to man and his paths. The D. rigidum, Dillenii,
etc., etc., more spreading and open, thin and fleeting
and dispersed like the aborigines. They occupy the
same dry soil, too.

When huckleberries are getting stale on dry hill
sides, amid the huckleberry bushes and in sprout-lands
and by paths you may observe them. The broad meshes
of their panicles rarely catch the eye. There is some
thing witch-like about them ; though so rare and remote,
yet evidently, from those bur-like pods, expecting to
come in contact with some travelling man or beast
without their knowledge, to be transported to new hill
sides; lying in wait, as it were, to catch by the hem
of the berry-pickers' garments and so get a lift to new


quarters. They occupy a great deal of room, but are
the less obvious for it. They put their chains about
you, and they cling like savage children to their mother's
back or breast. They escape your observation, as it
were under bare poles. You only notice as far up as
their green sails are set, perchance, or to the cross-
trees, not the tall, tapering, raking spars, whence are
looped the life-lines and halyards. Or it is like that
slanting mast and rigging in navy-yards where masts
are inserted.

Aug. 20. Rain all night and to-day, making it a
little chilly. Though I sit with open window, I should
think it uncomfortably cool with it closed. Some must
have a little fire.

Aug. 21. Rains still all day, and wind rises, and
shakes off much fruit and beats down the corn.

The prevailing solidagos now are, 1st, stricta (the
upland * and also meadow one which I seem to have
called puberula); 2 2d, the three-ribbed, of apparently
several varieties, which I have called arguta or gigantea
(apparently truly the last); 3d, altissima, though com
monly only a part of its panicles; 4th, nemoralis, just
beginning generally to bloom. Then there is the odora,
5th, out some time, but not common; and, 6th, the
bicolor, just begun in some places.

The commonest asters now are, 1st, the Radula;
2d, dumosus; 3d, patens; 4th, say puniceus; 5th, cor-
difolius ; 6th, macrophyllus ; (these two a good while) ;

1 That is, arguta var. juncea. 2 That is, true stricta.


7th, say Tradescanti; 8th, miser; 9th, longifolius ;
(these three quite rare yet); 10th, probably acumina-
tus, some time (not seen); llth, undulatus; 12th,
Icevis; (these two scarcely to be seen yet).

N. B. Water so high I have not seen early meadow
aster lately.

Aug. %2. Fair weather at last.

P. M. Up Assabet.

Owing to the rain of the 8th and before, two days
and two nights, the river rose to within six inches of
the top of Hoar's wall. It had fallen about one hah ,
when the rain began again on the night of the 20th,
and again continued about two nights and two days,
though so much did not fall as before; but, the river
being high, it is now rising fast. The Assabet is ap
parently at its height, and rushing very swiftly past
the Hemlocks, where it is narrow and choked with
rocks, I can hardly row against it there. I see much
hay floating, and two or three cocks, quite black, car
ried round and round in a great eddy by the side of
the stream, which will ere long be released and con
tinue their voyage down-stream. The water is backing
up the main stream so that there is no current what
ever in that, as far up as my boat's place, at least.
When I rest on my oars the boat will not after any
waiting drift down-stream. It is within three inches
of the top of Hoar's wall at 7 p. M.

I notice three or four clumps of white maples, at
the swamp up the Assabet, which have turned as red
(dull red) as ever they do, fairly put on their autumnal


hue. But we have had no dry weather and no frost, and
this is apparently a premature ripening of the leaves.
The water stands around and affects them as it does

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