John Muir


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Pg 172 Arctic Experiences. Polaris [Expedition 1871 led by Charles Francis Hall]. “On the 10th instant about 5 AM there was a bright arc in the sky extending from the W.rn horizon toward the E. & reaching up to the zen [zenith]. This continued only about an hour…. At one time some narrow bright stripes were visible. Whether this was a true ar [aurora], or some unique electrical phenomenon, was the query debated by the scientific corps. (Polaris) Pg 226. Dec 6 Last night there was a fine display of N.rn lights. What first attracted my attention was a peculiar dark segment immediately over the hor [horizon] & as I had often seen the ar bor [aurora borealis] spring from just such a beginning I watched it closely & soon intensely luminous

streamers from it rising to a height of about 30 [degrees]. pg 254 At about midnight the heavens appeared to be all on fire; from the S W to N E from the hor [horizon] to the zen [zenith] it was shooting here & there like flames of fire in a strong wind. The light at one time was almost overpowering. Pg 361. Last night there was another auroral display covering almost the whole heavens The electric flashes were v [very ] brilliant; at first the undulations were of a graceful & tremulous motion & then “Anon as if a sudden trumpet spoke banners of gold & purple were flung out; fire-crested leaders swept along the lines, which from the gorgeous depths like meeting seas rolled to wild battle. ____________________________________________________ The hurrying tremulous host [JM] Mtns [mountains] so finely finished so immutably serene they seem never to have been touched by a [storm] JM [John Muir]

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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