Observation Quotations


Carlyle said that how to observe was to look, but I say that it is rather to see, and the more you look the less you will observe.—Journal, 13 September 1852
Children appear to me as raw as the fresh fungi on a fence rail.—Journal, 7 November 1839
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?—Walden
Fishermen, hunters, woodchoppers, and others, spending their lives in the fields and woods, in a peculiar sense a part of Nature themselves, are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation. — WaldenWalden
Flowers were made to be seen not overlooked.—Journal, 15 June 1852
For my part, I feel that with regard to Nature I live a sort of border life, on the confines of a world, into which I make occasional and transient forays only, and my patriotism and allegiance to the state into whose territories I seem to retreat are those of a moss-trooper. Unto a life which I call natural I would gladly follow even a will-o’-the-wisp through bogs and sloughs unimaginable, but no moon nor fire-fly has shown me the cause-way to it. Nature is a personality so vast and universal that we have never seen one of her features.—"Walking"
From the right point of view, every storm and every drop in it is a rainbow. — Journal, 11 December 1855—Journal, 11 December 1855
Here and there a pilot-boat was towing its little boat astern toward some distant foreigner who had just fired a gun, the echo of which along the shore sounded like the caving of the bank. — Cape CodCape Cod
How imperceptibly the first springing takes place!—Journal, 3 March 1859
How swiftly the earth appears to revolve at sunset which at midday appears to rest on its axle.—Journal, 21 December 1851
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