I have followed the travels of Henry David Thoreau as he tried to understand nature, wildness, wilderness, and civilization during his lifetime (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862). He lived most of his life in Concord, MA, traveling and writing books about: the woods of Maine including his hike up Mt. Katahdin, the state’s tallest mountain; his travels to Cape Cod; and his life at Walden Pond. He had great insights into the meaning of nature, wilderness, and wildness for people and the role of people within nature. Here are some of the calendar of events they encountered and saw in modern times. I will update this during the year.
The complete description of my travels following where Henry David Thoreau lived and went is in my book: Botkin, D.B., 2012, ebook, No Man’s Garden:Thoreau and a New Vision for Civilization and Nature (New York, Croton River Publishers). The stories told here are from this book.
How Thoreau Spent several Christmas Days
On Christmas Day, December 25, 1853, when he was 36, Thoreau went for a walk near to Concord and wrote that “Staked to Fair Haven and above. . . . About 4 P. M. the sun sunk behind a cloud, and the pond began to boom or whoop . . . It is a sort of belching, and, . . . somewhat frog-like. . . . It is a very pleasing phenomenon, so dependent on the altitude of the sun.” A few years later, on December 25, 1857, when he was 40, he wrote that he had “Skate[d] on Goose Pond” and on Christmas Day the next year, he wrote “The ice on the river is about half covered with light snow. . . I go running and sliding from one such snow-patch to another . . . It is so rough that it is but poor sliding withal.”
Very good account on Thoreau’s experience within nature.
What is your opinion on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s works about nature and a person’s connection to it?
Daniel Botkin says
Thanks for writing.
Good question, but I focused on Thoreau and have not gotten into Emerson.
Also a good suggestion.
Daniel Botkin says
Thank you very much. Glad you enjoyed it. I have also written another book where I followed the trail of Lewis and Clark, using canoes, horseback, hiking, and automobiles. It is “Beyond the Stony Mountains: Nature in the American West from Lewis and Clark to Today. Lewis and Clark were incredibly remarkable men in many ways, and the book discusses that as well as how the American west has changed in 1805.