May 1st, ’69. N.W. 5. Clouds .05. The purple sky of evening and morning is very regular at this season. 2. N.W. 6. Clouds .05. The plants of the plains are rapidly finishing their course. Many have sown their seeds, but still undecayed assist the landscape with color of stem or persistent calyx and involucre. Some have dry chaffy stars of five rays like a flower composed of the withered involucres. Others have the seeds with calyx and cor[olla] attached, spread in silvery shining heads, thus giving the charm of a second flowering. The death of flowers in this garden is only a change from one form of beauty to another. 3. N.W. 10. Clouds .05. 4. N.W. 12. Clouds .10. Cool. 5. N.W. 10. Clouds .10. Cool. 6. N.W. 12. Clouds .8. Thunder in mountains. 7. N.W. 10. Clouds 05. Warm. 8. N.W. 10. Clouds .05. Hot. 9. N.W. 6. Clouds .05. Hot. At a ranch just out of sight of the plains in the first oak planted foothills a great number of handsome birds have made homes in a piazza in hanging nests. I never saw birds so elegant and beautiful choose the confusion of a human home – the safety and scenery of an old barn – before the pure purple and green of the forest or plain. I observed one that had a nest beneath an old dirty mop which accidentally had been left against a fence. Nevertheless, with all this depravity, they are sweet singers and are well dressed,--Carpodacus, house-finch. 10. N.W. 6. Clouds .05. Warm. 11. N.W. 6. Clouds .08. Warm. 12. N.W. 10. Clouds .10. Hot. 13. N.W. 10. Clouds .10. Hot. At Snelling’s ranch: The sun is a few degrees above the ground and is shining dimly through fleecy clouds that
Original journal dimensions: 14 x 18 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist