John Muir


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Gliding up the Rio Negro, banks draped here and there with living canes, beautiful green tufts alternate along the stem at joints five or six inches apart. Stems very slender, green, elastic while alive, but became brittle when dry and soon fall and decay on the ground. This species is said to fruit and die in fifteen years from the seed. At 3:00 P.M. we are still at Rio Negro, the railroad engine having broken down. Have been sauntering along the river bank studying the trees. Ar. very thrifty, growing on the rich bottom land. The branches covered with ferns and orchids. Other trees still more lavishly adorned. Large red-flowered Amaryllis in great abundance. A composite shrub six or eight feet high covered by very smooth bark on the main stems, three inches in diameter. It covers densely large areas, subject to fires. No ray flowers. A young Ar. about fifty feet high has head nearly globular, about thirty-five feet in diameter. In young vigorous trees, say seventy-five years old, seventy or eighty feet high, each tuft at the end of the main limb makes a distinct head readily seen at a distance of half a mile or so. The young leaves paler green than the old. Only the tips of tuft combined with the crown, however, show distinctly yellow. The general color is dark green. Here at Rio Negro the young trees growing on the river bottom are

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Original journal dimensions: 10 x 17 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