filled the heavens to the south with their fairy-like display.” “The brighter glory of the Nor Lts [Northern Lights] the whole heaven blazed, both N & S; the lights swept onwards & then returned again; & suddenly a whirlwind seemed to pass across the sky driving the flames before it & gathering them together at the zenith, where there was a sparkling & crackling as of burning fire wh almost dazzled the eyes of the onlooker then the storm seemed to cease the light died slowly away, there was nothing left but a few hazy flecks wh [sailed] across the starlit sky. Such a display of N Lts I haved never seen either before or since.” The southern sky was as usual radiant with the N. Lts streamer after streamer.
Shooting up to the zenith, each more brilliant than the last.” End of First Crossing of Greenland Farthest North. Nov 27 “There has been much less of the aurora borealis lately—still, tho faint there has been a little every day from beginning of our drift” Nov. 28 see 3 pgs ahead Dec. 5. In the afternoon we had magnif. ar. bor.—glittering arches across the whole vault of the sky from the E toward W.” Dec 8. Hanson came down to give notice of what really was a remarkable appearance of ar. bor. The deck was brightly illuminated by it & reflexions of its light played all over the ice. The whole sky was ablaze with it, but it was brightest in the S; high up in that dir. glowed waving masses of fire. Later Hanson
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist