Imago lacus

The picture above was taken by a dear friend, the American poet Debra Kang Dean (please do not use it without permission). I met Debra three years before, when I went to Walden to work with his late husband Brad, a great Thoreau scholar. Once we spent hours tracking this quotation: "Some men go fishing all their lives without ever realizing it's not fish they are after." We concluded that Thoreau never wrote it, but si non è vero...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer 1860

July 9. Clears up at noon. [...] There is a smart shower at 5 P. M., and in the midst of it a hummingbird is busy about the flowers in the garden, unmindful of it, though you would think that each big drop that struck him would be a serious accident.

Sept. 1. P. M.—To Walden. [...] See how artfully the seed of a cherry is placed in order that a bird may be compelled to transport it. It is placed in the very midst of a tempting pericarp, so that the creature that would devour a cherry must take a stone into its mouth. The bird is bribed with the pericarp to take the stone with it and do this little service for Nature. Cherries are especially birds' food, and many kinds are called birds' cherry, and unless we plant the seeds occasionally, I shall think the birds have the best right to them. Thus a bird's wing is added to the cherry-stone which was wingless, and it does not wait for winds to transport it.

H. D. Thoreau

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