[Boston—Tuesday, 13 October 1863]

October 13. Took the cars for Lexington at 12 a.m. The day was of the purest autumnal beauty; we drove from L. down to Bedford Springs about 1½ miles. There we found a lake in front of the house quiet and full of sunshine. The keeper of the house came to us while standing by the lake side and offered to row us about. We stepped in and enjoyed a long afternoon of Nature’s truest enchantment. The man had known Thoreau and as we found ourselves on Thoreau’s ground it was natural to talk of him. There were the houses for the musk rats which he describes and the red berries of the black alder and the purple asters he loved so well. We were never tired of watching the brilliant trees and moving clouds reflected in the quiet face of the lake. Occasionally a hawk would move over on still wings but no human sounds were heard until the children came from school. We were delighted to watch some ducks in the pond. They were not wild but they jumped into the pond as soon as they could move and had fed and cared for themselves ever since. How calm and peaceful the scene was! Our guide told us he once sounded Walden pond. Its greatest depth is 110 feet. The water is so clear that the pebbly bottom can be seen at the depth of 30 feet.

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