John Muir


[Joseph] Le Conte


image preview


2& character may be positively known. Glaciers retired slowly & steadily from the foot of the range to their present shadowy hidings in the summits, where they are now dying one by one. These glaciers seem to have been followed by a [illegible] of arctic plants of varying width from first to last At least they are now so followed. Because Arctic plants now exist in bogs of some portion of the Alps, they are supposed to be the remnants of a once generally diffused Cold flora". I doubt the truth of this hypothesis, but will offer no opinion but I am very sure that no Arctic flora ever was generally diffused over the western slope of this portion of the Sierra Nevada since the formation of glaciers. The different members of this flora followed their food-procuring glaciers just as young chickens follow the scratchings & cluckings of a mother hen, they ascended the mtns with a breadth of numbers measured by the breadth of climate bearable by them & by the kind & quantity of their food - heat & dro[illegible] behind -, ice & uneatable rocks before. They are now about as broadly diffused as they ever were. The glacial year of this mtn' slope with its plants & seasons, may be compared with its common year of twelve months. In spring the snowline creeping upward


New Sentinel Hotel Yo Semite Valley

Date Original

1872 Apr 27


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0807

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

Page 2


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle