John Muir


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The [form] of perfect tree is an [ellipse] the aged blunt & dome-like at the top, the younger sharp & slender but not at all spray or arrow like the fir or Yellow p [pine]. The Colossal brown trunks are [topped] with infinite can [canyons] & beauty often [branchless] to a h [heigh]t of 200 ft. Yet not altogether leafless for slender sprays issue at intervals flecking the brown pillars with green as if pinned on put on for the sake of ornament only - The cones measure about 2 inches long by 1 ½ inch dia [diameter] bright green in color Made up of about [40] diamond-shaped scales lined round & round inside with thin tissue of rich Purp [purple] color. each containing from 5 to 8 seeds or from 2 to 300 in a cone. The seeds are

The timber is [ ] being easily worked & not liable to warp is the most durable of all woods [ever] observed. A specimen in my poss [possession] durable as granite on wh [which] it grew When a giant falls it makes a regular trough in the ground 4 or 5 ft deep & 15 or 20 wide like a rounded ditch. When burned [never] before The trees grow in ditch this formed & reack [reach] a h [heigh]t of 150 ft, dia [diameter] of 4 or 5 ft, while the furrow retains fresh lves [leaves] scare begin to be filled or changed in any way by [weathering].

The colony matter. Should [chen] grin at least [or] drink juice

to make for children - as a dream - a true tree lover his eye brightens as he gazes on the grand Sequoia Kings that stand grand around [h]is cabin & wh [which] seems as much a part of the woods as squirrels nest in & finely alive to their silent influences in the bark, Pets the mtn [mountain] quail & the squirrels talking to them as to friends & striking the tender Sequoias a foot high hoping they will yet become giants reach full [stature] of their race & rule the woods.

While camped near in a fir grove on the head of [ ] [ ] Southmost tributary of Big Creek a branch of the Merced I caught sight of a commanding granite dome looming above the trees. Called Wah-mello by Inds [Indians] & though now studying [trees] I could not resist [skiing] to its summit. Here I obtained glorious views of the forests filling the Fresnoe memorable spires of Yel [yellow] pine stretching many a mile, the forests of Sugar Pine, with outstretched feathery arms & towards the Southwest The Kingly Sequoias rising higher in massive imposing congregations There is something wonderfully impressive in Sequoias at a distance They can easily be recognized miles away produce foliage in [dense] masses.

One is seen crowning a ridge rising head & shoulders above companion pines with inexpressible majesty on their massive crowns [are] beheld in dense close together companies their [ ] [outturn] [curves] extending specific & therefore recognizable at great distances.

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