is a remarkably close and tall growth of grass 4 ft. high or so, lush and broad leaved, as good as is to be found in any farmer’s field. For hay it would make easily 5 tons per acre, so rich is the soil and constantly receiving more from day to day during summer thaws by additions from above, while this same soil undrained cannot grow grasses at all. Bushes also grow up, alder and willow, where the ice is farther below the surface. For grass, however, a foot of soil or thereabouts, laid on solid ice, is sufficient for most luxuriant growth. A few others plants mixed with the grass, a yellow Senecio and Artemisia, large and showing the effects of this strange system of cultivation. There is a curiously located mass of beaver sticks, alder, about 8 ft. dia[meter] mostly peeled, resting nearly on the glacial ice, and with about 2 ft.
Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist