John Muir


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6th. N.W. 6 Clouds. 25. Cool. 7th. S.E. 6 Clouds .80. Slight rain sprinkle. Flowers in rich plats opening fresh and pure as ever did the best of uncursed Eden. Golden Comp. No. 7 – rays 8 or 10, horizontal purple outside, calyx-like involucre single, constantly one leaf to each ray. Disc flowers 20 x 30, rich waxy yellow. Stamens and pistils beautifully united, white pist[il]s united in a head or dome. L[ea]v[e]s pinnatified, a most delightful plant. 8th. S.E. 15 Clouds .95. Rain 6 hours, also in night. All streams full again, weak sheep dying. Mosses, liverworts, and cresses in full prime of health and stature, violets coming in deeper ranks. Observed small plant on rock with pair of undivided cotyledon l[ea]v[e]s. Next leaf higher – 3 parted,--next 5 p’ -- next 7 with great regularity. Parents sometimes lecture children for snipping paper into fanciful shapes. How busily the Creator is at work to-day upon ornamental flower tissue. Those terribly correct parents ought to consider their Creator and learn of Him, or, to be consistent, include Him in their fault-finding lectures forbidding waste of time on frivolous fancy. These grasses and flowers would make as good and as much mutton without so great pains of nicking and printing. 9th S.E. 15 Clouds .98 curtainy around horizon. Rain ½ hour. Cold. Rich purple bed of Alfileria. Explored rocky tributary of Niagara Creek. The smoothest whitest of mist is laid evenly over foothills conforming to every hollow and curve like a downy mantle of infinite fineness and lightness. We speak of mist as touching the mountains or lying upon plains, etc., but no name, no word is suitable (is fine enough) for the fair expression of mist contact with anything. 10th S.E. 15 Clouds 1.00, one equal sheet. Rain 12 hours. v[ery] cold, stormy day. All streams full, the plains in soak. My sheep too cold and wet to feed, ran from shelter to shelter behind hills. There is a wonderful charm about so rainy and dark a day. The whole plains one shallow lake. 11th. S.E. 15. Clouds .95. Light dusting of snow last night. The snow line of the mountains for the last month has been 30 or 40 miles distant upon the upper foothills, but this morning it reached down below the last foothills to the very plains. About 100 of my sheep died during the night. They lay in groups of 3 or 4 in the wind shelter of hollows and rocks. Behind my cabin, close against the wall, there were piled this

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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