At 8 A.M. we are running through prairie like expanse of hay and grain shocks and cocks, dotting the fertile levels far as eye can reach. Not a tree in sight for miles except at town and villages. No homesteads. Weather pleasantly cool and sky half cloudy. No dust since entering the mountains from Tiflis. At 9 A.M. pass block of few square miles of planted forest, elm chiefly oak and Nigundo, about 15 feet high. Like the strips along the railroad to fence out drifting snow. Elevation about 600 feet at sea level. Prairie less fertile or more exhausted. Grain and hay short. 12:50 crossed branch of Don at 10 A.M. 200 feet above sea level, and now running along its left bank. Land poorish, grass and corn and wheat mostly short like in parts of Kansas. Thin cover of glacial drift, bedrock crumbling slates very wide. Terrace banks of streams hereabouts and southward showing copious flood streams of glacial period. 2 P.M. 700 feet above sea level, grain ripe, crop better, many cattle. Homes of peasantry whitewashed and neatly thatched with straw. A good many Dutch windmills. Seldom have been over 5 or 600 feet all day. Vivid lightning, sheet sort which lighted all the landscape with its fields and towns. Many zigzag bolts discharged through the sheet.
Original journal dimensions: 9.5 x 16 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist