Tag Archives: photography

Clear water, muddy water (Walden 127)

Thoreau describes the remarkable clarity of Walden Pond, the water of which was “so transparent that the bottom can easily be discerned at the depth of twenty-five or thirty feet.”

It’s one thing to say that. It’s quite another to show it and make it vivid. Here’s how he does it: Continue reading


The last blooms

Flowers won’t be blooming too much longer where I live. This late in the season a frost could do them in at any time. I find myself looking more closely in October than in, say, July, when the summer still seems endless. When you feel the nights growing colder, you know it’s time to enjoy the season before it changes.


“A delicious evening” and how to prepare for it (Walden 87)

sunset, Holmes Lake, NE

Sunset on Holmes Lake, Lincoln, Nebraska.

“This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore. I go and come with a strange liberty in Nature, a part of herself.” —Henry David Thoreau, “Solitude,” Walden Continue reading

Where you live right now (Walden 45)

Wilderness Park, Lincoln, Nebraska

Wilderness Park, Lincoln, Nebraska

“At a certain season of our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible site of a house. I have thus surveyed the country on every side within a dozen miles of where I live…  Wherever I sat, there I might live, and the landscape radiated from me accordingly… Well, there I might live, I said; and there I did live, for an hour, a summer and a winter life; saw how I could let the years run off, buffet the winter through, and see the spring come in.” — Henry David Thoreau, Walden Continue reading

Count the turtles

Holmes Lake, Lincoln, Nebraska, April 20, 2014

Holmes Lake, Lincoln, Nebraska, April 20, 2014

Spring is here, at least where I live. I drifted in my kayak closer and closer to these turtles but they didn’t move, even when I was practically on top of them.

Do yourself a favor and get outdoors. There’s so much going on this time of year, but you have to get out there and look for it. It’s amazing how much fun you can have at a city park with an inflatable kayak and a point-and-shoot camera.

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Thoreau’s “business” (Walden 19)

Not Walden Pond, but Holmes Creek, Nebraska, just above Conestoga Lake, early morning, July 2010.

Not Walden Pond, but Holmes Creek, Nebraska, just above Conestoga Lake, early morning, July 2010.

So far, Thoreau has had plenty to say about the high value his neighbors place on things that he doesn’t think are all that important. He’s spoken repeatedly of seeking something higher, more noble. What esoteric wisdom is he seeking, anyway? Or, as a Concord resident might have asked, what’s his line of business? Continue reading

The finest qualities of our nature (Walden 5)

2013-04-28 019_2sThe finest qualities of our nature,

like the bloom on fruits,

can be preserved only by the most

delicate handling.

Yet we do not treat ourselves

nor one another

thus tenderly.

— Henry David Thoreau, “Economy,” Walden

(Thoreau wrote poetry as a younger man before focusing almost exclusively on his essays. To me, he never ceased to be poet, and so, now and then throughout this project, I’ll set some of his quotes in stanzas so they can be read as little poems.)

(About  “A Year in Walden”)