John Muir


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46 is a very favorite pursuit [with] [me] I discovered the cause of my difficulty. The W [west] dip of the slate is as developed at the upper end of can [cañon] that the stream is huddled up & made to flow out of sight as if on its edge [sketch: river bed cross-section N [north]; San Joaquin Valley (upper)] 3 miles above the mouth of Mineret tributary there is a beautiful fall (40 ft) (50 wide) on the main stream it is approached through a fine tall grove & has sublime background of all the mtns [mountains] Saw weasel very handsome trying to catch young robin Going along this morning past a huge old juniper trunk wh [which] had been torn from the mtn [mountain] above by [avalanching] Saw a grouse rise from the side of it & fall as if dead in the grass at my feet. She allowed me to approach within 5 ft then flapped & limped & made dying groans I thought she had a nest in some of the many nooks of the big trunk whose brown bark was all hanging about it in flakes favorable for concealment & for nest making I wanted to find the eggs but on going close to the log was surprised to see young grouse rise from my very toes nearly as large as their mother The grouse cares long & well for her little [ones] I have often noted the motherliness of the grouse in her notes to her young & in her deprecating cries for their sakes when homo appears. How far ahead of even the oldest [grannies] of tame hens in true wisdom Frost in fissured slate often lifts sections from a surface thus by water getting [in] [its] seams gl [glacier] [further] [on] [top] also [small] [section] uplifted First grand cascades on San Joaquin above mtn [mountain] tributary 5 ms [miles] above where passes from small lake basin to lake basin both v [very] beautiful & showing how ice rises in passing the lips of basins 47 9th night The whole [ascent] descent is 280 ft Camped at head of can [cañon] (main Joaquin) at elevation of 9800 ft. Here the river divides one fork running Lyellward the other up towards Ritter. The Ritter fork comes down the mtn [mountain] side here in a grand network of cascades wonderfully woven as all slate cascades of great size near [summits] where slate has clvg [cleavage] well pronounced. The mtns [mountains] rise in a circle showing [their] grand dark bosses & delicate spires in the starry sky down the cañon a company of sturdy long limbed mtn [mountain] [pines] show nobly all the rest of the horizon is treeless because moraineless. How fully is all the forms & languages of waters winds trees flrs [flowers] birds rocks subordinated to the primary structure of the mtns [mountains] ere they were ice sculptured When all was planned & ready a film of ice was poured over the mtn [mountain] plate & Lo all this development the photography of God Linneas [Linnaeus] says that Nature never leaps wh [which] means that God never shouts & spouts & speaks incoherently. The rocks & the sublime cañons & all waters & winds & all life structures, animals & angels meadows & groves & all the silver stars are words of God & they flow smooth & ripe from his lips Never saw so large & many gentians as today (G frigida) counted 33 on patch size of my hand some 1 1/4 inch in dia [diameter]. Ursa Major is nearly horizontal has gone to rest so must I am in a small grove of will [willow] spruces [&] [ ] feathery boughs are extended above my head like [hands] of gentle spirits Good night to God & his living Sierra [Nevada]

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Original journal dimensions: 15 x 18 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