John Muir


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the slippery lines for hours, screaming with delight when a poor fish was caught, some of them too heavy to be landed with the line, were hooked by a sailor in a boat with a short pole. A few handsome bass and rock cod caught and a beautiful delicate star fish with countless tentacles, coral like, it soon died and became brittle and fragile, breaking in pieces. Five main rays with central fine lobed disc. The five rays bifurcating again and again until fringing into fire tendrils. Arrived at Sitka at 3pm. Took short walk. Found H. H. Henshaw, as we were examining old cedar logs on the beach. Looked unlike a naturalist. I asked about the Alaska pine and soon saw that he knew something. He said contorta 75 to 100 feet high flat topped, without limbs for 30 feet 2 ft in diameter. Medium. Bark occurred on island 20 miles from Sitka. Went with us into a bog, cleared by Russians. Saw many trees, mostly small and conical. Broad with densely leaved ascending branches ten to twenty feet high. A few thirty feet with clear stems and less bunchy. More tree like. One foot to 18 inches in diameter abundant. (see sketch) A good many also at Wrangel in old boggy clearings. None in the woods hereabouts. Saw some old slender, flat topped trees in a bog near the Auk glacier. Went into museum and saw curiosities. Black stone carvings the best. Found Mr. Grinnell, collecting birds, petrils, two species. Auks, murres, cormorants, etc, cross bill, humming birds, evening thrush. Mr. Grinnell, a young man I met at Mr. McClatchie at Pasadena last winter. Called on Mrs. Vanderbilt. Found that she was not Mrs. De Gross, still girlish looking and a fine housekeeper, flowers, shells, dainty baskets from Uunalaska, etc. Called on the Governor, Judge Shakeley and had pleasant chat. Said all the timber in Alaska was required for home use, none could lawfully be shipped from the territory. Said there was no danger from fire in these forests, but there is. I have seen many places along the shore that had been burned,

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15 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