heads above forest palms, and sometimes a third forest of smaller palms beneath these, the ground grassy and sunny beneath the 3 story forest, perfectly free from entangling underbrush or vines; only in rich bottoms along streams many vines, especially grape. A very large portion of Fla open sunny woods evidently so kept by fire, but why stems of pines so naked to so great height don’t know. A few lilyaceous plant red flwrs and pink, revolute petals, narrow, ab along the shore of Keys and 2 vines leguminous tangling the mangroves. Part of shore white sand and dry flat covered with tall grasses and flwrs extending back into palm tangles. We got started home to Key West about 2, arrived 10:30 against a head wind, much tacking; fine show of light of KW for hrs ere we go ashore, too late to catch steamer for Tampa. [Nov 16]. Drove around town, a miserable place of squalid shanties, mostly with sickly cats, dogs and pale weak looking Cuban cigar makers. Saw a wonderful ficus, or banyan, tree at Barracks, 10 ft or more of compound trunk from descending roots changed into trunk timber, bracing, reinforcing the most complicated trunk imaginable, leaves shiny bright green, thrifty looking. No wind can overthrow such a tree. Steamer did not arrive until
Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist