This Year's Ice-out Date for Thoreau's Walden Pond!
your prediction on this "Contact
Us" form. We'll send news this spring when Walden Pond becomes
ice-free and we'll announce the contest winners.
naturalist Henry David Thoreau lived out in the woods in what is today Walden
Pond State Reservation. A Concord Village resident of the 19th century,
Thoreau wrote of simplicity, finding your own way in life, and watching
the natural environment around you. He kept ice-out records for the pond--today
an official Journey North Ice-out Observation Post-- in the mid-1800s and
recorded them in his celebrated book, Walden.
Compare Thoreau's ice-out records from the 1800s to those for the late
1900s and early 2000s, collected by Journey North students.
Collected in the 1800s by Henry David Thoreau:
in the 1900s/2000s by Journey North students:
Then and Now: More About Walden Pond
Thoreau wrote in his book, Walden.
on the snow-covered plain, as if in a pasture amid the hills, I cut
my way first through a foot of snow, and then a foot of ice, and open
a window under my feet, where kneeling to drink, I look down into the
quiet parlor of the fishes..." Henry David Thoreau, from Walden.
one hunderd and fifty years later, naturalist Steve Carlin at Walden Pond
State Reserve lets us know when the ice goes out. "We experienced
a warmer than usual winter this year and as a result, though the pond
froze over in mid-January, it was never very thick or safe enough for
park visitors to walk on. It was a tough winter for those who like to
ice fish or ice skate at Walden Pond," reports Steve.
"One of the best times to visit the ice on Walden is during the early
morning when there is total silence except for the great creaking, cracking
and thumping noises the ice on the pond makes. I have had the pleasure
of listening to Walden's song many mornings and so did Thoreau. He wrote,
'The pond began to boom about an hour after sunrise, when it felt the
influence of the sun's rays slanted upon it from over the hills; it stretched
itself and yawned like a waking man with a gradually increasing tumult,
which was kept up three to four hours.'"
This! Journaling Question
to Thoreau's records, what was the average ice-out date during his
time? What is the average date during our time, according to records
kept by Journey North students? How might you explain the change?