John Muir


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12 surpassingly glorious with glowing silver clouds than I have ever seen it before (views of ) forests,& (of) & rocks, (wh) reposing in sunshine (a sunlit circle) as seen from some commanding dome are difficult to describe (notwithstanding they all are) tho motionless & [clearline] in the light but if these[y] (y) (sky bottoms) were in motion ever dissolving & [combining] into countless combinations they would exhibit the difficulties that clds do in description only clds not only change [forms] but their outlines are seldom clear & their varying densities present Still another element of change as they absorb or reflect [transmit] the Sunlight. An irregular garment of cloud covered the Cath [Cathedral] Rock, extending across the valley in front like a vail formed of angels [angles], but also drooping

13 back of the rocks. This garment extended from near the bottom of the rocks to the top, & high above the upper portion was one downy edged massive Cornice of glowing Silver of a texture refined beyond thought & burning with a whiteness like that of a blast furnace (up)on the projecting [bosses] of the lower portions of the robe the Sun burned with equal whiteness but in thinner (filmed) portions back in the shadows the dark unlighted rocks appeared ( as if with them Cold gray granite holding here & there a handful of pines (they) were) that seemed to be gazing from windows of fire. Around these gauzy portions of cloud there was shown all shades of light from the close whiteness of silver [fannedd] (blown) to (highest) whitest glow [down] through every tone of gray to the blackness of (pines) & the shadowed rocks & pine trees.

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