Oak Leaf Stalks (January 24, 1855)
Thoreau, Henry David
January 24, 1855
Type of resource
Scale not given ; 42.435272, -71.340446
"On other oaks the leaves still remained with their leaf-stalks thus reduced to fibres and twisted together. It was wonderfully knotted or braided together, but Nature had made up in assiduity for want of skill. In one instance four leaf-stalks, reduced to fine white fibres and rolled and twisted into strong twine, had afterwards been closely braided together for half an inch in length and in the course of it tied twice round the twig. I think it must be that these leaves died )perhaps in the great drought of last year) while their fibres were still strongly united with their twigs so preserving their flexibility without losing their connection, and so the wind flapping the leaves, which hang short down, has twisted them together and commonly worn out the leaves entirely, without loosening or breaking the tough leaf stalk. Here is self-registered the flutterings of a leaf in the twisted, knotted, and braided twine. So fickle and unpredictable, not to say insignificant, a motion does yet get permanently recorded in some sort. Not a leaf flutters, summer or winter, but its variation and dip and intensity are registered in The Book."
PE 9, pg. 140-141 / 3 Sept 1854 - 12 May 1855 / NNPM MA 1302:24 / T vol. # XVIII / PDF # XIII
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