Near the end of March, 1845, Thoreau starts work on his cabin by Walden Pond.
By the middle of April, the frame of the cabin is set, and he digs a cellar. So far, so good.
By May, 1845, with some help from his friends, his cabin is complete. (Wow, that made it sound really easy. Anyone want to help Shmoop build a cabin? It'll take two months, tops.)
Thoreau finally settles into life at Walden Pond. He tends to his bean-field, entertains the occasional visitor, and stops by the village from time to time – not too shabby.
On one particular trip to the village, Thoreau is arrested for not paying a tax, and he spends the night in jail. (His cabin is kind of like solitary confinement anyway, right?)
Back in the game, Thoreau goes for a fishing trip at Baker Farm. At the sound of thunder, he takes shelter with John Field and his family.
Thoreau spends a lot of time observing plant and animal life. At one point, he catches ants in the middle of a fierce battle. On the lake, he plays chess with a loon. Sounds like a day in the life of a really lucky middle schooler.
At the end of August, Thoreau goes grape-picking. What a grape idea. Yeah, we went there.
As fall begins to roll in, our author notices that the colors of the maple trees are starting to turn –very New England.
In November, Thoreau – ever the preventive type – starts building a chimney for the winter.
As expected, there are quite a few snowstorms, and Walden Pond freezes over.
Even in winter, Thoreau has visitors, including a poet and a philosopher. Hey, you take what you can get when it comes to winter visitors in a frozen over pond-side cabin.
Thoreau takes some time to visit the surrounding ponds to observe animal behavior.
Back on his own turf, our guy cuts a hole in Walden Pond's ice, and observes the fish that are swimming under the surface.
More pond fun: Thoreau surveys the pond to determine where its deepest point is. We won't spoil the excitement by telling you the answer.
Thoreau observes ice cutters as they harvest ice from Walden Pond. One guess as to whether or not he likes this.
At the end of the winter, the ice on the pond begins to melt, and so does the soil.
With the onset of spring, the woods begin to fill up with flowers and active animals and birds. You know what this means: more observing.
On April 29, Thoreau sees a night-hawk dancing in the sky.
By May, more species of birds fill the skies, and pine trees cover the earth with their pollen –sweet, sweet spring.
His second year at Walden follows much the same cycle as the first year, but he spends little time discussing it.