John Muir


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19 brush or log [from] there [worlds] were the thing not suggested by man foresters such is the sense of fitness & completeness I have fancied in marking the beauty of some lovely [grove] how could it be bettered when another limb or leaf of all the myriads combined. How if this dead stump or white [mast] were removed & never yet could see room for even such paltry improvement. See the fineness of finish how each catches the light look at this dead forest, burned its branches down curved around the [ ] like a white fog or cloud or overgrown with lichen as if still burning. There is dead stump woodpecker on it & alive with mosses & lichens homes too for beetles & ants & so when we walk the [aisled] defiles of the woods over ridges through meadows & still cool glens we find each in perfect beauty as if God had everywhere done his best in putting it in order that very day

The mtn [mountain] [meads] meadows (Sep 1st) are now being [painted] delightful blendings of brown yel [yellow] & green on wh [which] the [mellow] sunbeams [seem] to [love] to fall

20 One can see to read by a good campfire at dist [distance] of 100 yds.

The Sierra can hardly be said to have any remnants of an ancient flora for the whole range has been so lately plowed up by the gls [glaciers]. Same of meadow edgings so lately made that we can positively say their forests are the first ever grown upon them

So also of landslip soil.

Camped the other day upon meadow sloping to the San Joa [Joaquin] at angle of 30° [degrees] everywhere beneath the (green &) flry [flowery] sod could [hear] the rush & swirls of running water. An ancient landslip had choked the gorge with boulders wh [which] gradually acquired this fine sod of vegetation & [beneath] the stream still ran in cascades forming a cascade covered. I slept on it for the sake of the music wh [which] was sweetly & rarely varied.

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 20 x 15 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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