Henry David Thoreau has long been revered for his writings and observations on the natural world. His words evoke his environment with stunning clarity as well as his own innate sense of wonder. His journal, from which the text of Of Woodland Pools, Spring-Holes & Ditches is drawn, shares these strengths, providing an intimate view of Thoreau’s day-to-day existence.
The selected excerpts are pulled from the months of March, April, and May, and all pertain to what are now called vernal pools—temporary pools of water, free of fish, at their peak in the spring, and the breeding ground for numerous creatures.
In this volume, Thoreau’s words are accompanied by twenty-eight engravings by artist Abigail Rorer. The delicacy and detail of these engravings make them the perfect companion to Thoreau’s words, adding another layer of beauty to his observations. Each engraving is a work of art in and of itself, enriched by the text and Thoreau’s visionary descriptions. The engravings are based on the woods and vernal pools explored by Thoreau, lending them undeniable authenticity.
Thoreau once proclaimed, “I have an appointment with spring.” Through his words and Rorer’s art, so too does the reader.