John Muir


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8 clouds, the heaving comets come down past us with tremendous energy & with lightning like flash yet do not reach the bottom. Many dissappear in a splendid (folds of) whirling spray, convulsing [storm] of spray Some are suddenly exploded with a deep [ ] rocky thuds that shake the [cliffs] valley. These explosions are made by the striking of heavy comets upon a flat ledge 500 [or/&] 400 ft at base. The outburst of air all around the center of explosion shows that much air was confined by the water, a very lovely effect is produced at this time in the day by the shining of sun [ ] [between] behind the fall & the dark shadows on the wall of the [every] shooting comets [they] so white [thier] shadows so black [S] comets, watch [how] shoot with [tremulous] wondrous as a fixed frigid column. How vastly more wonderful in its life ever forming [every] decaying [every] [ ] hymms of the ages.

9 Rainbows This is no form of [bow] so grand in its size or [noble] in simplicity & repose as the rainbows of the open plains & valleys under the open dome of the sky, but amid the rains forms & fine ground mists of the water [streams] [there] is an abundance & variety of iris[ed] bows that is [inconceivable] to [those] one who [has] is not a mtn [mountain] dweller. Rainbows of every conceivable texture & size [haint] the thousand falls of evry mtn stream both in bright day & bright night. Even bright morning in spring time & nearly all mornings are [thru] bright the black walled re entering angle at the foot of the lower Yo Sem fall is [ ] filled with flowing irised [sprays]. When observed from a distance of 200 yards or so it is 70 or 80 ft in height & our [ ] gets long & of a richness & purity that [sun] on the wet black wall of [ ] is glorious beyond conception.

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