John Muir


image preview


12 Butterflies flitted briskly over the gls. A few were [ ] also bugs & flies, on wh the little dusky headed sparrows were feeding. A small insect 1/16 inch long with divergent antennae black & frisky covered the snow. A dozen or so on sq inch of surface, they jumped from crag to crag of ice crystals a distance of 1 inch or more & [retreated] with the liveliest motions betraying great haste down in the crystals their cold rocks when alarmed or pained by being breathed upon they wholly disappeared in the crevices of the icy snow [Liveliest] little fellows ever seen in so cold a region. Surface of the snow is much pitted & scalloped with the heat from the leaves & burrs & tassels of pine. Pine tassels frequently drill smooth cylindrical holes vertically into the snow or slanting upwards on

13 a hills slope by the [directive] action of the barbed leaves. The Williamson spruces are escaping one by one from their hard winter discipline, leaving a pit showing where buried nature takes care to cover her plants—Thus also with stiff pines, thus limbs bent forward on lower side a loving squeeze. [sketch of 2 branches showing needles] Sunset warm rosy light on gl. Later down vall purple & red clouds grows [picturesquely] [cast] on pale [grp] [portraying] of sky. [Pond] [ ] [ ] [ ] in wh [frogs] [sing]

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

Rights Management

To view additional information on copyright and related rights of this item, such as to purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.


John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist