Thoreau, February 21, 1855

When I have entered the wooded hollow on the east of the Deep Cut, it is novel and pleasant to hear the sound of the dry leaves and twigs, which have so long been damp and silent, more worn and lighter than ever, crackling again under my feet, – though there is still considerable snow about, along wall-sides, etc., – and to see the holes and galleries recently made by the mice (?) in the fine withered grass of such places, the upper aralia hollow there. I see the peculiar softened blue sky of spring over the tops of the pines, and, when I am sheltered from the wind, I feel the warmer sun of the season reflected from the withered grass and twigs on the side of this elevated hollow. 

 A warmth begins to be reflected from the partially dried ground here and there in the sun in sheltered places, very cheering to invalids who have weak lungs, who think they may weather it till summer now. Nature is more genial to them. When the leaves on the forest floor are dried, and begin to rustle under such a sun and wind as these, the news is told to how many myriads of grubs that underlie them! When I perceive this dryness under my feet, I feel as if I had got a new sense, or rather I realize what was incredible to me before, that there is a new life in Nature beginning to awake, that her halls are being swept and prepared for a new occupant. It is whispered through all the aisles of the forest that another spring is approaching. The wood mouse listens at the mouth of his burrow, and the chickadee passes the news along.