Read THEIR BEAUTY. of Wild Apples, free online book, by Henry David Thoreau, on

Almost all wild apples are handsome.  They cannot be too gnarly and crabbed and rusty to look at.  The gnarliest will have some redeeming traits even to the eye.  You will discover some evening redness dashed or sprinkled on some protuberance or in some cavity.  It is rare that the summer lets an apple go without streaking or spotting it on some part of its sphere.  It will have some red stains, commemorating the mornings and evenings it has witnessed; some dark and rusty blotches, in memory of the clouds and foggy, mildewy days that have passed over it; and a spacious field of green reflecting the general face of Nature, ­green even as the fields; or a yellow ground, which implies a milder flavor, ­yellow as the harvest, or russet as the hills.

Apples, these I mean, unspeakably fair, ­apples not of Discord, but Concord!  Yet not so rare but that the homeliest may have a share.  Painted by the frosts, some a uniform clear bright yellow, or red, or crimson, as if their spheres had regularly revolved, and enjoyed the influence of the sun on all sides alike, ­some with the faintest pink blush imaginable, ­some brindled with deep red streaks like a cow, or with hundreds of fine blood-red rays running regularly from the stem-dimple to the blossom-end, like meridional lines, on a straw-colored ground, ­some touched with a greenish rust, like a fine lichen, here and there, with crimson blotches or eyes more or less confluent and fiery when wet, ­and others gnarly, and freckled or peppered all over on the stem side with fine crimson spots on a white ground, as if accidentally sprinkled from the brush of Him who paints the autumn leaves.  Others, again, are sometimes red inside, perfused with a beautiful blush, fairy food, too beautiful to eat, ­apple of the Hesperides, apple of the evening sky!  But like shells and pebbles on the sea-shore, they must be seen as they sparkle amid the withering leaves in some dell in the woods, in the autumnal air, or as they lie in the wet grass, and not when they have wilted and faded in the house.