Walden Pond

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Thoreau wrote, It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.  In my mind no saying is more appropriate to what you see when you visit Walden Pond just outside of Boston.

Henry David Thoreau wrote Life In The Woods  in 1854 which details his experiences living in a rough cabin on Walden Pond which was owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson.  From the way Thoreau described it, I always imagined Walden Pond was someplace way out in the Wilderness.  In fact it is just outside Concord, Massachusetts and Thoreau could reach “civilization” with a relatively short 30-minute trek out of the woods.

Today, Walden Pond remains a beautiful spot and one where it is good to “see” things.  There are the families on the small beach and older men of European descent who insist on wearing those skimpy bathing suit bottoms that makes you wonder what they were thinking when they tried it before heading out.  Young lovers walk hand in hand on the trail that loops the pond.  Asians eat rice in plastic bowls on colorful blankets under trees.  Dogs splash.

The walk around the water takes about an hour and offers some great views.  Nearby is the Emerson Manse where Emerson wrote much of his works and the bridge at Lexington which marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

A view of the trail surrounding Walden Pond
One of the several coves on Walden Pond 
Walden Pond
The outline of Thoreau’s cabin. Pretty small place to spend two years.


  1. I think the whole point was that Thoreau spent most of the time in Nature, not in the cabin. 🙂 Lovely photos; I’d like to visit there someday.


    1. I’ve always suspected that Thoreau was a bit too much too much. He was very self absorbed and seems to have liked himself better than others. In any event he did find a nice place to while away a couple of years, thanks of course, to Ralph Emerson who basically made the whole “nature” thing bearable for him. It’s an easy trip. I hope you see it soon.


  2. I discovered Thoreau in my undergrad years, at about the same time everyone was reading Siddhartha by Hesse. Thoreau affected me deeply. Thanks for these photos.


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