P. M. - to Walden and thence via Cassandra Ponds to Fair Haven and down river.
There is still a good deal of ice on the north sides of woods and in and about the sheltered swamps. As we go southwestward through the cassandra hollows toward the declining sun, they look successively, both by their form and color, like burnished silvery shields in the midst of which we walked, looking toward the sun. The whole surface of the snow the country over, and of the ice, as yesterday, is rough, as if composed of hailstones half melted together. This being the case, I noticed yesterday, when walking on the river, that where there was little or no snow and this rough surface was accordingly dark, you might have thought that the ice was covered with cinders, from the innumerable black points reflecting the dark water. My companion thought that cinders had fallen on that part of the ice.
The snow which three-quarters conceals the cassandra in these ponds, and every twig and trunk and blade of withered sedge, is thus covered or cased with ice, and accordingly, as I have said, when you go facing the sun, the hollows look like a glittering shield set round with brilliants. That bent sedge in the midst of the shield, each particular blade of it being married to an icy wire twenty times its size at least, shines like polished silver rings or semicircles. It must have been far more splendid here yesterday, before any of the ice fell off. No wonder my English companion says that our scenery is more spirited than that of England. The snow-crust is rough with the wreck of brilliants under the tree, - an inch or two thick with them under many trees, where they last several days.
When, this evening, I took a split hickory stick which was very slightly charred or scorched, but quite hot, out of my stove, I perceived a strong scent precisely like that of a burnt or roasted walnut, - as was natural enough.