John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



Shaded by tall [silver firs] Douglass spruces and [Libocedrus] Incense Cedars. How well we slept last night in the heart of the grand old mountains.

June 1 Never did spicy mountain bed seem more delightful. The plumes of the libocedrus & round squirrel tail branchlets of the Douglass spruce of which my bed is [mine was] made [besides being elastic & cool was] are deliciously fragrant as well as elastic and soft while

A number of small waterfalls on the river & side streams about us made delightful music in the night [were heard distinctly after] darkness & silence [& tranquility of night came on making] a soothing though intensely earnest sound and besides these, many small voices were [I] heard before going to sleep that I could not make out – of birds, some of them, & frogs of several [many] species & perhaps [a] wild cat [or panther].

June 9th} This first day at our first truly wild camp was warm and cloudless in every way infinitely delightful. [A warm cloudless day of exquisite finish.] How big & boundless it seems, how full [of its pores of [fragrance and] spiritual life. So crowded are its hours with] pure fountain beauty and life [& love]. I can scarce remember its beginning. It seems a kind of eternity [when I am most free.] New beauties unfolding all about us. This is just the flush & prime of Spring[time]. The ferns are unrolling

Their fronds -some of the Woodwardias are already six feet high [big ones 6 feet high already, the Woodwardias] near the riverbrink. Saw some fine rock-ferns, Pellaeas mostly. & larger fields of the common pteris aquilina [bracken] on sandy levels that are not too dry. Now we are [seem] bravely


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shut out from all lowland [the vulgar] sights & sounds [of the busy lowlands]. The trees about our camp [are] stand close & tall giving ample shade while in back from the river banks most of the [the immediate background there is] sunshine [is] reaches the ground [falling free in abundance] calling up many a flower, purple Monardella & scarlet Zau[s]chneria being characteristic species with various Eriogonums & a crowd of Gilias. Charming lovable little things. Modest contented & cheerful. [I love them.]

There is a delightful little shrub (Chamaebatia foliolosa) belonging to the rose family [in the cool halfshaded portions of the [sugar] pine woods (where a good deal of sunshine reaches the ground sifting through the pine needles.) It grows close together]

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook05 Img029.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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