17 In the plainest opens commons of Nature how infinite the nooks when only the loving eye can approach the holy recesses is [grove] [mead.] rock. Mossy dells & cups made of [thin] or [fine] stones- wedged together by some torrent here Nature does the very dearest things Here her sweet unutterable serenity is manifested & felt.
The shimmering of sun on pine needles- pines are more interesting than firs – Fir lvs [leaves] never move only branches [move] but worth all one can pay to witness their gracefulness
The common purity of nature is something wonderful – how she does so vast a number of different (& kind of ) things cleanly without waste or [dirt] (never showing [filth]). I have often wondered by what means bears wild sheep & other of the large animals were so hidden at death as here to be [in]visible One may walk these woods from year to year without ever suffering a single terrible smell How beautiful is all death
18 Bluff of grey vesicular lava on head of east[ ] of largest tributary of San Joaquin on south side emptying a few miles below Chiquito
Another mass of same kind lava 6 or 8 miles to the NE. Another on Big Creek of Merced
pollution defilement squalor are words that never would have been created had man lived conformably to nature birds insects bears die as cleanly & are disposed of as beautifully as flies the woods are full of dead & dying trees yet needed for their beauty to complete the beauty of the living. 20 ms [miles] above here I found a dead mtn sheep there lay its gray hair & wool & while [horns] like disintegrating granite or quartz & a heap of brown chrysalids that sheep had taken [ ] & [ ] that moment in the air with rainbow tints more beautiful than the fancier fairies or angels of human conception One would never think of [ ] [in][removing] a single dead
Original journal dimensions: 20 x 15 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist