John Muir


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68 Now we have learned that Yo Crk [Yosemite Creek] with its branches is like broad branching elm trunk scarcely [tapering] for ten ms [miles] giving of on W [west] side a few light sprays, then suddenly [dividing] & radiating into many [blossom covered] forks every one Silvery bright [abounding everywhere] blooming throughout to the tops of tiniest sprays with cascades & their [falls] innumerable [adorning all its basin] [Wreathing] its dome paved basin with a [bright] lace work of waters, [thrilling] filling the air with a lace work of song Now that we have acquired a general knowledge of this [tree] noble stream as it lies [slant] against the mtn [mountain] side among its trees & rocks let us now endeavor to procure yet one more view of it from top [to] base all at once, before finally leaving it Just as a botanist after studying a tree closely [examining] its roots & branches & bark & leaves climbing among its branches analyzing its fruit & flowers on walking

69 away turns round at a little [distance] to obtain a last general view of the whole, We have examined the roots & branches of Yo Sem Crk [Yosemite Creek] [trees] & gathered [ ] its fruits & blossoms let us also halt on walking away to seek a general view sep [separate] from [other] whose branches interlock But our general view is not so easily obtained because our water tree is so big The tree of the botanist sometimes stand alone Spreading free in the [wild] & he can go round it & observe it to his hearts content & at the worst its branches are interlocked & half hidden in other trees but our tree is lying half hidden down slant against the mtn [mountain] in many among domes places overgrown with pine trees & grass but let us imagine that we have raised this tree setting it straight on end just as a farmer raises an apple tree that has been blown slant by the wind There stands our tree twenty miles high clean on the dark blue sky trunk & blooming boughs glowing white burning in the sun. Lakes in the sunny foliage The whole picture Like [fruit] [worthy] fruit for such a [tree]

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Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 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