John Muir


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[continues from page 34] 36 motionless my brown shirt was like the junipers & [evidently] she lost sight of me—after long & most perfect caution & de-liberation she turned & moved slowly toward me. Stopping constantly to look & smell her movements down through mtn [mountain] side over bogs [logs] over rocks over all kinds of brush were most admirable never [straining] although making enormous leap. After coming within 60 or 70 yds [yards] of where I sat she sniffed eagerly in my direction like a dog turning up her head & trying in different directions, then catching my scent she bounded [up] suddenly snorting loud & quick until out of sight round the edge of a small fir grove. Soon she came on again with the same matchless caution, again catch my scent & bound away again. This she repeated four or five times after wh [which] I ceased to watch her. I think her fawns were hidden [ ] in the chaparral. It is always in such wild unfrequented [cañons] that they go to for the purpose of rearing their young, have often seen their beds, while forcing my way over & under the most impenetrable jungles of ceanothus manzanitas & chinquapin. Saw two fawns groping their way down the mtn [mountain] this morning. While I sat watching the deer as she bounded & snorted, a squirrel evidently excited by the noise came out & climbed a big boulder beneath me & looked out at her performances patiently & attentively as myself. While yet nearer to me a fussy chipmunk too restless & heedless for such affairs busied himself about a dainty supper wh [which] he accomplished in a most admirable manner by climbing in a thicket of shadbushes whose fruit was ripe. All the animals were apparently ready to [own] me as a friend & brother today. At noon I slung down my heavy bundle wh [which] was galling my shoulder & sat down to cool & take breath beneath a will [willow] spruce. After resting a moment I began to sketch a view up the [cañon] & soon became wholly absorbed. After I had been working ten or fifteen minutes holding my page steady with my left hand a chipmunk came whisking beneath my up curved arm & sat evidently astonished upon the middle of my sketch then whistled and sprang off to a tree trunk within 5 or 6 feet of me & stared looking at me the very picture of puzzlement. When I went to bed I examined the various rooms in the big cedar but discovered no next of mouse or squirrel but in the night I was awakened from sound sleep

37 by something about or on or under my head. After the performances of the light pawed or jawed rat mole or squirrel that stole my coffeepot lid & spectacles & barometer I kept my barometer in my bosom & made a pillow of my provisions but did not think the hatchet in any danger yet after repeatedly waking & watching I caught sight of a large squirrelish whitish looking animal trying to drag it from beneath the tree by a buckskin string with wh [which] the handle was tied. I thumped with it on the tree trunk to frighten him but in a minute he would return chattering his teeth in a way provokingly like a rattlesnake Just a few minutes before dark a bird that was near to me came into the juniper as if at home there (about the size of canary ash color darker about rump. 2 yellow bars on wings) On starting down the can [cañon]side in the [morning] was surprised to find the largest of the four Sierra Gentians, standing about carelessly in the [brush] as if quite at home, found it very abundant all way to bottom & all over bottom & up the other side in all kinds of soil & company & climate. One of the commonest of plants, had never seen it but once this side of the Sierra before. Also an hour before sunset discovered a noble Anenome all gone to seed. Silky head of [Achenia] an inch & half dia [diameter] flr [flower] must have been at least 2 inches A few patches in rough slate avalanche blocks on E [East] side the [cañon] at Elevation of 8400 ft [feet] just above where the big lower Ritter Cascade [860 feet altitude slope 30°] enters the [cañon], first Anemone in Cal [California] – the sight sent me bounding to a certain hillside in Wisconsin where a Nuttaliana [Cam] in clouds in spring, & a daz [dozen] golden rods & asters gathered, & added gold to gold [& purple] in autumn. [No] purple When I came in sight of various gl [glacial] fountains on these [ ] I said there must be a very deep & steep walled [cañon] [there] at their meeting place. A kind of Slate Yosemite & I feared it might be difficult to cross in [ ] [ ] [minarets], & I was right, for certainly this Joaquin Can [Cañon] is the most remarkable in many ways of all [ ] [ ] a most astonishing number of separate meadows [ ] [ ]. Contained in the Can [cañon] as part of it a composite

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Original journal dimensions: 15 x 18 cm.

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