Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Opening paragraphs.................

     The twelfth day of July 1817 saw the arrival of the first of those sultry, sweaty summer days that Concord's farmers knew as dog days.  Their almanacs marked these as beginning July 3 and ending August 11 - the forty-day period preceding the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius - but they knew that the first furnace blase of austral air could come a week or more on either side of the third.  this was good grass-growing weather; red-top, herd's-grass, sheep's fescue, and Canadian bluegrass and the ripening rye and wheat presented a checkerboard of greens, purples, reds, and golds.  Walking the fields were haymakers in white shirts and straw hats, occasionally setting aside their scythes and calling out to one another.

-Kevin Dann,  Expect Great Things:  The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau

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