mountains on the west side, 50 to 75 miles distant Wooded foothills Grain shock. 1:45 P.M. Yet larger hay and grain fields, buckwheat in flower. Oats still green. Half the area of wide rolling prairie under cultivation, towns numerous, mostly miles from the railroad. 3:00 P.M. Barometer 150 feet. Lovely sunny day, not too warm. Valley here very wide from blue hills to mountains 100 miles or so, with many side valleys while the elevation of the country in general is so slight the valley bounds are ill-defined. With simple drainage in some places, this Ussuri Valley could be made one of the most productive in the world, and support a hundred times as many inhabitants as it now does. Indeed, the same may be said of most all Siberia. It is not generally known how vast the agricultural resources of Russia are, and to how slight a degree they as yet have been developed, even in the older, thickly settled of European Russia, and to think of famines in such a country, and yet many severe famines have occurred. The slowness and imperfectness of the development of these rich prairies is marvelous. None of the famous prairies of Iowa, Wisconsin, or Illinois in all their virgin richness offered more generous farms on easy terms to settlers, either in climate, ease of cultivation, or abundance of timber within available distances. August 27th. Fine, cool, bright. At 7:00 A.M. turn into mountains, running through level fields of millet, beans, oats, etc. Chinese careful cultivators. 8:30, turn into mountains, follow of course a stream. A Baldwin compound engine pushing at 850 Barometer 1600 feet. The loveliest flowers, asters pale blue, the finest growing on rocks or good soil flowering profusely. Bluebells, spiraea, rose, dryas, veronica, thistle, etc. Trees - larch, pine, double many-topped kind, oak, birches, 2
Original journal dimensions: 11 x 16.5 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist