John Muir


image preview


4 sq At dawn a multitude of bird voices were heard aloft in the tall firs & sugar pines far & near Soon they came to my [grove] landing above my head looking down with merry morning twitterings pecking at the fir buds and burrs for breakfast insects one little full breasted nubbin with white belly & dark [back] & wings with dark bar around side of head Also brown [wren] following the curves of furrows in bark of fir & a dainty [canary] with orange bosom uttering sweet [spicules] of music that fills [ ] [ ] the air & [ ] like frost crystals [from pines] in a [winters] frosty morning. Stellar Jay was here too & the woodpecker but by 9 o’clock [not one] every wing was [visible] still. The butterflies in the meadow & dragonflies & buzzing bluebottles & a few small grey mosquitoes. [The] [wind] waked the sleeping firs wh threw tremulous & [waving] shadows on the green meadow ground & tall stumps barred it with [shadows] black & straight as if ruled Squirrels notes were mingled with the birds earliest

5 (Their first notes is a fine musical sparrowy chattering half chatter half chirp) We all are the offspring of rock & sunshine

They begin their work & [then soon] was heard the thumping [sounds] of falling cones for they are all ripe now & they are cutting them off to store away for winter beneath logs and leaves. One fine and confiding & bold fellow eyed me for a time then came toward me in nervous bird-like dartings [ ] [ ] a small fir above my head then descended ran across my coat skirts & hastened away looking over his shoulders as if filled with unsatisfied curiosity & astonishment. The forest edgings are here intensely & [excitingly] beautiful. Tall spires of fir mingled with sugar pines with outstretched arms fringed along the base with chestnut & dogwood & with shadows shivering & waving on the smooth meadow. How many miles of edging is there in the sierra?

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 20 x 15 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

Rights Management

To view additional information on copyright and related rights of this item, such as to purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.


John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist