How much of beauty—of color, as well as form—on which our eyes daily rest goes unperceived by us!—Journal, 1 August 1860
I am more interested in the rosy cheek than I am to know what particular diet the maiden is fed on.—"Autumnal Tints"
I am soothed by the rain-drops on the door-sill; every globule that pitches thus confidently from the eaves to the ground is my life insurance.—Journal, 14 November 1839
I suspect that the child plucks its first flower with an insight into its beauty & significance which the subsequent botanist never retains.—Journal, 5 February 1852
I would rather save one of these hawks than have a hundred hens and chickens. It is worth more to see them soar, especially now that they are so rare in the landscape. It is easy to buy eggs, but not to buy hen-hawks. My neighbors would not hesitate to shoot the last pair of hen-hawks in the town to save a few of their chickens! But such economy is narrow and grovelling. It is unnecessarily to sacrifice the greater value to the less. I would rather never taste chickens’ meat nor hens’ eggs than never to see a hawk sailing through the upper air again. This sight is worth incomparably more than a chicken soup or a boiled egg. So we exterminate the deer and substitute the hog.—Journal, 13 June 1853
If any part of nature excites our pity, it is for ourselves we grieve, for there is eternal health and beauty. We get only transient and partial glimpses of the beauty of the world.—Journal, 11 December 1855
If men were to be destroyed and the books they have written were to be transmitted to a new race of creatures, in a new world, what kind of record would be found in them of so remarkable a phenomenon as the rainbow?—Journal, 13 March 1859