John Muir


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78 the rock tablets on wh [which] they are produced are constantly hidden & [there] the comets are so abundant as to be inseparable & are besides mostly hidden except far above in profuse labyrinth of convolving spray The reason that although the [stream] torrent of comets is at high stages of water continuous [while] the exploding notes are [wieldy] & irregularly intermittent [sketch] is because unless influenced by winds of peculiar character most of the comets [pass] leap out into free air & pass the rocks on wh [which] at other times they [wreck] in safety As for the origin of those hissing kissing sounds wh [which] wrap themselves about the central notes like a net they are produced by the chafing against the wall of that portion of the fall wh [which] is broken into fragments [in] [drops] about the size of rain drop. [Of] this truth I made a close observation one [moonlight] night when

79 I visited the fall for the purpose of observing the lunar [bows] that reach such splendid development in the ample spray. The lowest bench wh [which] extends behind the fall on wh [which] the exploding notes are made is about 400 ft above the base of the & communicates with an accessible platform of rock by a fissure about 6 [inches] wide affording a good foothold to those who are not afraid of mere appearances of danger After reaching the bench wh [which] is about 3 or four feet wide by means of this [fissure] one can approach the might falls as it thunders past as nearly as he likes. One night after [enjoying] the glorious night song of the fall & the wondrous rainbows of the moon circling in [glorious] calm the wild uproar about the [bottom] of fall I went out on the narrow bench close alongside the [mighty] wild rushing waters & began to admire the rare beauty of the thin gauzy waters [tissue]

Date Original



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