John Muir


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27 browns & grays & yellows in the general chaparral like growth on the mtns. Below mostly olive peach apricot plum orange chestnut etc. with very ornamental yews etc. about chateaus. What is above to height tree & bush growth I don’t know. Not a single gl [glacier] visible now from the lake as far as I have been. Once hundreds, a true mer de glace. [sea of ice]. Priests in black gowns & broad black [shovel] felt hats too numerous for the poor population. All of them fat merry and devil-may-care looking. Forgot to mention that at Martigny there is a wide market place shaded by over 100 Sycamore trees- in 5 rows [a] 28 about 20 ft apart wh [which] by skillful pruning make a solid roof or ceiling of shade. They are about a foot or 15 inches dia [diameter] the trunks about 15 ft high at which height by cutting off the branches they spread out horizontally & interlace. The branches are again & again cut making a swollen callus end from wh [which] many branchlets sprout. The ground beneath is hard macadam & is constantly trodden & wheeled over yet every tree is vigorous a more delightful shade & a more perfect I [never] saw. Few trees would endure such usage above & below.

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 8.5 x 14.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist