John Muir


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Some of these clds have a baseless unsolid appearance but most seem to live calmly & strongly on invisible foundations (that are vividly suggested though unseen.) Repose is spoken in every gesture & those of Cath Rocks had all the fervor of white light of the most glorious cascades & falls (possessed by the spangle clouds of the river when passing a slope of peebles) without any of (its) their (dazzling) throbbing. thunder 14th Frosty morning Clear Sunshine all day Falls well bordered with ([ice of]) frozen spray. When [wh] in falling [when] (ever [untill]) it is expanding & is cracked off by [ ] sun rain strikes Keeps up a heavy echoing cannonade till noon. Sun from “Blacks” the upper Fall about 11 o clock is irised (throughout) from base of glowing sun beaten ice [hill] to a height of 3 or 400 feet.


The forests seen from the meadows are showing forth their winter beauties without stint the pines [half their silver needles] half their needles silvered in the light wearing a great deal of warm Yellow with their green rise in single spires or in groups & massive bands [with a grace] ever fresh, ever more & [ever] more beautiful to the eye that sees loves [it] them (ever.) Ranging in front of the pine groves & hiding their bases are the oaks, leafles & stricken through & through with light. Yet giving a most delicate effect of color & also of form The color in the clear sunshine is dark gray & purple with noble trunks & arch making branches (all) clearly cut in outline black on purple & gray. In front of these rise here & there along streams (like Yo Sem or Tenaya,) rows of Poplars white as milk [then] appears the

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