John Muir


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Also oats being now cut for hay. Potatoes frost killed in the spring, 2nd crop now barely large enough to use. Drove around lake close to mountain foothills. Fire and snow avalanches have made sad havoc in the mountain forests (Englemann spruce chiefly). Gaps taken by aspen and here and there by round-headed clumps of willow producing novel effects, some of the slopes strikingly dotted with spheres 10 to 20 ft. diameter. Stopped on river bank in woods near Big Springs for lunch. Arrived 1:15, left 3:40, arrived at home camp about 6, completing a very telling 2-day trip of 60 or 70 miles. Friday, 22nd. Calm and cloudless as usual. Temperature at sunrise about 65⁰. The Teton Range clearer than since my arrival. Snow fields and small glaciers? visible. Found new species of gentian back of cottage like propinqua; same species I found at Upper Ranch, 6 miles North from main camp. Went up to ranch this P.M. with driver. Had fine trip; left at 2, got back at 7:15. Found Douglas spruce principal tree near top of ridge and of south side mountains of great upper meadows. Mountain ash common, mint, tall Solomon seal. A tall malva, 2 vaccinium. Rich vegetation in general, very rich and still green and flowery. The autumnal tints rapidly spreading. Frasera gone to seed and utterly dry. Golden-rods and asters in prime and mountain ash fruit, yellow and red, ab [undant] but leaves eaten by insects or blighted more or less by mycelium of fungi, etc. Grass still green, or greenish, getting brown over all the great meadows, nowhere dry enough to burn. No danger of forest fires yet. Cloudy today for first time since arrival. Saturday, 23rd. Cloudy, with showers in distance. Rather sultry. No breath of wind. Drove with Mr. Gran 6 miles to canyon about 100 ft. deep, feathered with blue mountain silver fir, very spiry, densely fruited, silvered with balsam cones about 3 in. long, 1 ½ diameter. Douglas spruce sparsely mixed with firs. Started at 5 P.M. Arrived at camp 7:30. Sunday 24th. Clear, hushed, calm, shimmering, whispering, slow-sliding river. Sweet, infinitely peaceful Sabbath. Sky cloudless, silvery pale around horizon. Tetons dimly visible. Temperature at 8:30 about 80. In the P.M. drove to old mill through the pines. A good many Douglas Spruce on the higher ground, old and young, the tallest about 100 ft. The climate too dry and cold, 30 or 40 below zero, for anything like full development like the Puget Sound

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Original journal dimensions: 9 x 15 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