John Muir


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walking on the edge of the great plant ocean that I can get sight of this first palmetto in a grassy place almost alone. Some Magnolias were near it and bald cypress but it it was not shaded by them. They tell us that plants are perishable soulless creatures – that only man is immortal, etc. But this, I think is something that we know exactly nothing about. Anyhow, this Palm was indescribably impressive and told me grander things that I ever got from human priest. This noble vegetable has a plain gray shaft, round as a broom handle, and a crown of varnished channeled leaves – a plainer plant that the humblest of Wisconsin oaks, but whether rocking and rustling in the wind or poised thoughtful and calm in the sunshine it has a power of expression not excelled by any plant high or low that I have met in my whole walk. This, my first specimen, was not very tall, only about twenty-five feet in height, with

Date Original

July 1867


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