John Muir


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any landscape so wonderfully disturbed as this one. If the Creator were to bestow a new set of senses upon us, or slightly remodel the present ones, leaving all the rest of Nature unchanged, we would never doubt that we were in another world, and so in strict reality we would, just as if all the world besides our senses were changed. [Jan.] 7th. W. very light, S. & W. Clouds .5 fleecy and bright. A magnificently lighted cloud rested for a long time upon one of the foothills, a few miles away. Trees peered above it very clearly. It appeared to have become too heavy in some way and sunk – foundered from its fellows to the bottom of the great ocean of purple air. The sunset is most resplendent – by far the most glorious in color of all the California sunsets I have ever beheld. The clear sunsets of these plains are exceedingly fine and beautiful, and when one in full repose opens himself to their influences he will find himself happier than he dare tell, but blurred as we commonly are, the gorgeousness of an evening like this is far more impressive. This is like a Wisconsin summer sunset, only the clouds are upon a smaller scale. The flakes and hillocks and tufts and crumpled furrows of cloud are exquisitely saturated in purple and gold, and all the edges are on fire. Below the clouds float delicate films of yellow upon pale green and blue – a great many dots also and islets and bars have place on the blue, and their crimson was rich and faultless as that of the main continents. A most glorious day, for which I thank God.

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 14 x 18 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