37 a few of 6 or 7 or even 8 year old circles are left lingering precariously in old age. The branchlets[es] are elongated only from 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch annually & as [the tassels] are only about 7 1/2 in long. The branchlets are [spindily] left bare The branchlets increase in diameter very slowly, those wh are fifty years old measuring only about 1/4 of an inch. Their age is readily estimated by the marks of the scales of the annual buds These marks are circles around the branch as below [sketch of branchlet age marks]
38 They are so flexible as to admit of being [knotted] like strings. The bark is very soft & resinous, a globule of transparent balsam follows the slightest wound wh is very deliciously fragant The color of the lvs is a pale yellowish green, of the branchlets grayish & purplish seldom white. The trunk is grayish & light cinnamon color The age of this pine is often very great mere slender sprays being from 30 to 50 yrs old I am unable to count the annual rings even by the aid of a good lense. I doubt if any pine in the Sierra forests attain a greater age.
Original journal dimensions: 9 x 14.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist