John Muir


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Reddish (lower) in the [middle] dark gray below was unenlightened gray (pearly) These clouds were about as dense looking as the rocks & being blown slant against Cath [Cathedral Rocks] by west wind seemed like overlapping strata of red & yell [yellow] formations. This direct light shone coming up the valley from these heavy luminous clouds [& was] made a rich blend with that met by reflected light from the great glowing [ ] [ ] Tis [Tissiack]. Water ouzels in rapids [very] busily engaged in diving in the shining river. Could see first stroke of wings sometimes held head under I & O [in and out] in rapids so as to make the current flow over them in a smooth white crystalline shell [like a] as if they were incased in bell glass. They alighted usually in the water with a dainty slanting glint. Clouds formed [in] dense after sunset. Then all clear &


starry & moony. Just enough of sunshine to dry rocks a most delightful day

4th Fine bright bland well-balanced day the first since the setting in of the rains. [Fine] Mirror pools are now set in convenient places among the meadows the fragrance of the pines & cedars is delicious. The rocks are clean washed & pearly all snowclad above the tattered snow skirts reaching as low as from 2000 to 2500 above bottom valley. The South Dome is never so impressive as when decked in her first snows She is then so palpably adorned & so infinitely supremely glorious in her robes & jewels that were all the other [features] of the val. [valley] removed she would still all alone form a shrine for the worship of O. she is acknowledged Queen of all the valley rocks. Remove the Yosemite walls Sentinel [Sentinel Rock] & El Cap [El Capitan] & every

Date Original

December 1872


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist