Ann Arbor Weather:
Thursday December 05, 2019
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed

Everyone's a Critic

The Observer's culture blog


Archives for May, 2018

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


Previous Posts


You might also like:

Restaurants with prices Over $30
A clickable zoomable map
From Toys to Furniture
Gardner-White opens in Arborland.
Sabine Bickford
Scientific Matchmaking
How an Ann Arbor friendship linked Jim Ottaviani and Stephen Hawking.
Lois Kane
Photo: Send YCS Students to DC
Ann Arbor, A Poem by Meaghan Prindle
Adventures in the Humanities
A mom returns to high school.
Shelley Daily
Sleeping Tiger Imports
New Age arrives at Briarwood
Sabine Bickford
Restaurants - African & Caribbean
Photo: Send YCS Students to DC
Joe's Pizza Opens
Authentic New York pizza on South U
Sabine Bickford
Semi news
Delux Drapery offers window treatments in Ann Arbor, Michigan like draperies, curtains, shutters & H
spark ann arbor