John Muir


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spots hereabouts. Forest of birch has a poplar here and there, and is becoming more extensive as to the area it covers compared with that of the prairie. Vast amount of pasturage apparently untouched, either by scythe or cattle. Flowers of wayside showy on fine geranium abundant here, and a campanula willows. See large lake off to north. No settlers hereabouts or fields in sight. Land rich, grass dense and tall, fires seem to prevent the birch from taking possession of all the huge country. 8:00 A.M. of yesterday’s time. Temperature 74. Barometer 520 feet. Opener region. Birch in smaller patches and scrubby. Village by a lake, some hay made. Some garden patches of vegetables. Low range of hills like a stream bank in distance to south. We are going up grade, here is a stream with visible current and with dimpling, swelling banks and braes - a marked change and relief from the dead lake bottom or sea-bottom levels [illegible] here and the Urals. Here too are little fields of barley and oats still green. The driest patches just turning yellow. No dust this morning, rain here yesterday or last night. Geranium 3 feet high, flowers pale purple, nearly 2 inch diameter and abundant. Tall larkspur or monkshood. Old villages very far apart. Blocks of old tall birch show the scrubby areas second growth.

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Original journal dimensions: 9.5 x 16 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