P. M. - To Walden.
The snow is about a foot, or probably a little more, deep on a level, and considerably drifted, but on the pond it is not more than five inches deep on an average, being partly turned into snow ice by the sinking of the ice, and perhaps partly blown off.
Many catbird-nests about the pond. In apparently one I see a snake’s slough interwoven. The leaves of red oak shrubs are still quite bloody-colored. All of the pitch pine cones that I see, but one, are open. I see prying into the black fruit of the alder, along the pond-side, a single probably lesser redpoll (?). Yellowish breast and distinct white bar on wing.
Monroe is fishing there. As usual, a great pickerel had bitten and ran off, and was lost, he supposed, among the brush by the shore. He tells of an eel up the North Branch that weighed seven pounds; also that George Melvin, spearing one night, speared a large owl (probably cat owl) that sat near by.
For a couple of days the cars have been very much delayed by the snow, and it is now drifting somewhat. The fine dry snow is driving over the fields like steam, if you look toward the sun, giving a new form to the surface, spoiling the labor of the track-repairers, gradually burying the rails. The surface of the snow on the pond is finely scored in many places by the oak leaves which have been blown across it. They have furrowed deeper than a mouse’s track and might puzzle a citizen. They are more frisky than a squirrel. Many of the young oaks appear not to have lost any leaves yet. They are so full of them that they still sustain some masses of snow, as if there were birds’ nests for a core. I see the great tracks of white rabbits that have run and frisked in the night along the pond-side.