Ann Arbor Weather:
Thursday July 18, 2019
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed

Everyone's a Critic

The Observer's culture blog

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

HENRY THOREAU, TRAIN-WINDOW BOTANIST, by Tim Athan

drawing of Henry David Thoreau

One May 21, 1861, Henry David Thoreau passed through Ann Arbor on the Michigan Central Railroad. The poet and naturalist didn't disembark (he was en route to Minnesota), but in his journal, he jotted down a few observations:

Detroit to Chicago. Very level to [Ypsilanti], then hilly to Ann Arbor, then less hilly to Lake Michigan. All hard wood or no evergreen except some white pine, when we struck Lake Michigan, on the sands from the lake partly & some larch before. Phlox varying from white to bluish & painted cup: deep scarlet & also yellow ? or was this wall flower? All very very common thru' Michigan & the former, at least, earlier.

An Amtrak rider today would see the same landscape, but our springs come earlier. By now, the phlox has blossomed and faded.

Thoreau returned home in Concord, where he died of tuberculosis the following May. He was forty-four.

Posted by John Hilton at 11:40 a.m. | 1 comment Bookmark and Share


1 comment:

jerry charbonneau said...

Thanks Tim for sharing Thoreau with us. He was a true scientist with keen observational skills.



June 7, 2018, 12:53 p.m.

Post a comment:

HENRY THOREAU, TRAIN-WINDOW BOTANIST, by Tim Athan:

Your e-mail address: (will not be shown)

Your name:

Please enter the word hello here, to show that you are a human and not a spam robot:

Blog comments are reviewed and edited by the Observer staff and are not guaranteed to be shown on the website.

Previous Posts


You might also like:

Social and Political Activism
Photo: Skateboard Respect
Ann Arbor Tragedies
Dave Talor's history page took on a life of its own.
Patrick Dunn
Restaurants with Birthday Discount
A clickable zoomable map
Nightspots: Oz's Music Environment
Restaurants that are Disability Friendly
A clickable zoomable map
Disabilities
Old Building, New Mission
Agricole Farm Stop will support local producers.
Shelley Daily
The Making of Palmer Commons
How a car desler's parking lot became a commuity meeting place.
Steve Daut
The Orioles Return
Flame colors and flute music
Bob & Jorja Feldman
Arbor Hospice
Delux Drapery offers window treatments in Ann Arbor, Michigan like draperies, curtains, shutters & H
spark ann arbor