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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No time today for the lake, but this morning the New York Times published an article by Cornelia Dean, “Thoreau is Rediscovered as a Climatologist,â€? which relays information from a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Charles G. Willis et al., “Phylogenetic Patterns of Species Loss in Thoreau’s Woods are Driven by Climate Changeâ€?—which draws inferences from (among other data sets) Thoreau’s detailed phenological observations in Concord from 1852 to 1858.

In June 1861 Thoreau visited Minnesota in a vain attempt to regain his health. He stayed briefly at a boarding house on the south shore of Lake Calhoun, and botanized in the area. His journal mentions Lake Harriet in connection with loons, crab apples, floating sand, a wild rose, “yellow Erigeron,� and Chrysopsis villosa (golden aster). See The First and Last Journeys of Thoreau, ed. Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, 2 vols. (Boston: Bibliophile Society, 1905), 2: 73, 104, 109, 115.