John Muir


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All the plain is in full gush and blaze of glory. 7. N.W. 5. Clouds 05. Very warm. Myriads of insects trying their new-made wings. Flowers in full, glad, rejoicing, holiday attire. 8. N.W. 5. Clouds .01. 9. S.E. 5. Clouds .01. 3 new flowers. 10. S.E. 2. Clouds .25. Cumulus bank over coast range. 3 flowers, Leptosiphon or gilia, Polytrichium. Hot. Caught a young hare; it had from instinct all the gait, tricks, and deceptions of old ones. 11. N.W. 6. Clouds .25. 2 or 3 flowers. Leptosiphon androsaca. 12. S.E. 7. Clouds .40. Cumulus. Thunder, rain evening ¼ hr. Young hares abundant. 13. S.E. 5. Clouds .25. Canary music to-day. 14. S.E. 6. Clouds .25. Killed rattlesnake that was tranquilly sunning himself in coiled ease about a bunch of grass. After dislodging him by throwing dirt, I killed him by jumping upon him, because no stones or sticks were near. He defended himself bravely, and I ought to have been bitten. He was innocent and deserved life. 15. S.E. 12 Clouds .30. First grass panicle open. 16. S.E. variable 10. Clouds 70. Rain 2 hrs. Little cress with beautifully embroidered silicle. 17. S.E. 15. Clouds .95. Rain 10 hrs. Flowers rising into life in glorious array. Observed a company of small waders, very rapid on wing, about the size of swallows and as swift. Ash colored belly, white and shining like steel, very graceful, and have many gestures of childee. 18th. S.E. 10. Clouds .30. 19th. S.E. 15. Clouds .95. Rain 8 hrs. 20th. S.E. 8. Clouds .70. After an experience of a hundred days, I cannot find the poetry of a shepherd’s life in sheep apart from Nature. If ancient shepherds were so intelligent and lute-voiced, why are modern ones in the Lord’s grandest gardens usually so muddy and degraded? California shepherds become sheepish. They will not commit great crimes, but only for lack of courage, not because of the possession of greater virtue. The whole

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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