John Muir


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10 It is the motion perhaps more than the vast breadth of these waterfall rainbows that so impresses the observer as spray clouds of ever varying density drift & rush outward & upward the colors of the bow vary & flow & flap in flame like masses in corresponding intensity This is perhaps the largest broadest most reservoir like accumulation of color that is to be found about the valley ([It] mingles with the forest trees bathing in color as with water shades of color pulsing through the green & yellow foliage with glorious effect) At foot of Upper fall at present the spray wh [which] boils & whirls upward hundreds of feet out of the Crater mouth of the ice cone is irised in the morning & [even] [evening] Sun from the foot of the mountain near Ind Can [Indian Cañon] the colors [it] exactly appears to be issuing unsorted & welling upward & flowing over on all sides as if from a grand [sub] underground fountain Seen from up the valley towards [Lamon] a few [hours] in the morning Thus a

11 magnificent mass of irises wh [which] seems to intermingle with the whole body of the fall [for a] throughout a section several hundred feet in length The Lunar bows of the upper fall are very impressive glowing in such calm amid the wild uproar & weird shadows that surround these have color as distinctly [banded] as those of the Solar bow but less strong. Their subdued tints & blendings are wonderfully impressive Seen in bows of such size & in such place & [time] They may be seen in all of the months when there is sufficient water to form their spray & for 8 or 10 nights a half moon under favorable circumstances make a grand bow even the outer fainter bow is [frequently] distinctly visible. The lun [lunar] bow of the up [upper] fall from the bench E [east] of fall is for some time after moon rise an arc about 400 ft [span] set on end One end planted in the wild spray at the bottom the other in the [column] on [level] with bench, going lower of course and becoming less upright as moon rises [higher]

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