John Muir


[Theodore Roosevelt]


image preview


4 The most abundant and influential are the great Yellow pines, the tallest over 200 feet in height, and the oaks with massive rugged trunks four to six or seven feet in diameter, and broad heads, assembled in magnificent groves. The shrubs forming conspicuous flowery clumps and tangles are Manzanita, Azalea, Spiraea, Brier-rose, Ceanothus, Calycanthus, Philadelphus, wild cherry, etc; With abundance of showy and fragrant herbaceous plants growing about them or out in the open in beds by themselves - Lilies, Mariposa tulips, [Brodiaeas], Crobids - several species of esch, Iris, Spraguea, Draperia, Collomia, Collinsia, Castilleia, Nemophilia, Larkspur, Columbine, Goldenrods, Sunflowers and Mints of many species, Honeysuckle etc etc. many fine ferns dwell here also, especially the beautiful and interesting rock-ferns, - Pellaea, and Cheilanthes of several species, - fringing and rosetting dry rock piles and ledges; woodwardia and Asplenium on damp spots with fronds six or seven feet high, the delicate [MaiTenhair] in mossy nooks by the falls, and the sturdy broad-shouldered pteris beneath the oaks and pines.It appears therefore that Hetch Hetchy Valley far from being a plain common rock-bound meadow, as many who have not seen it seem to suppose, is a grand landscape garden, one of Nature's rarest and test precious mountain mansions. As in Yosemite the sublime rocks of its walls seem to the Nature lover to glow with life whether leaning back in repose or standing erect in thoughtful attitudes giving welcome to storms and calms alike. And how softly these mountain rocks are adorned, and how fine and reassuring the company they keep - their brows in the sky, their feet set in groves and gay emorald meadows, a thousand flowers leaning confidingly against their adamantine bosses, while birds bees butterflies help the river and waterfalls to stir all the air into music - things frail and fleeting and types of permanence meeting here and blending as if into this glorious mountain temple Nature had gathered her choicest treasures, whether great or small to draw her lovers into close confiding communion with her.[illegible]


Martinez, Calif.

Date Original

1907-09-09 00:00


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 16, Image 0995

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

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Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

Page 6


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