John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



in these blessed mountains, the tree pastures [pastures] into which

[our eyes are turned. Here there, everywhere all very gods of the plant kingdom. Godful, beautiful only Generation after generation living their sublime century lives, aging & passing away with no human eye to see them but all the while in sight of Heaven and the stars loved & watched & admired in what to us seems useless [stony] solitude. How blessed [rich] the lot of what glorious eye-pastures these forests are [clear unveiled] human eyes nowadays. How [infinite] rich our inheritance the pastures into which such blessed mountains our eyes are turned to feed & grow. Here or there everywhere all is Godful - clean beauty only.

Found a fine live-oak today 6 ft [in diameter] thick near the ground. A Douglass spruce 7 feet, & a twining lily with 60 purple flowers the stem of which was 8 feet long.

See page 80 The weather is charmingly glorious receiving morning [intensely pure 3 & crisp 1 & spicy 2]

Down the long piney slopes the sunbeams pour gilding the pines are awakening cheering everything and happy save the hungry sheep are [breathing] our fragrance [with warmth not in the least oppressive

Fragrant] Large patches of Monardella on sunny hills. New ferns unrolling [ferny nooks] far up the branching streams

3) How sweet & peaceful & inspiring the songs of our Merced waters though almost sad in its [?] deep solemn tones [seriousness the anthem of these Merced waters on the mountain]

One is truly melted into these divine landscapes

And [as] made superior to death and [all that] fate [may bring] as if already in a better heaven than the most inspired mortal

[86] [inserted section]

June 16th} One of the Indians from Brown's Flat got right into the middle of our camp this morning unobserved. I was seated on a stone looking over my notes & sketches, & happening to look up was startled to see him standing grim & silent within a few steps of me. [He seemed] as motionless & weather stained as [if like] an old tree stump that had stood there for centuries. All Indians seem to have learned this wonderful way of walking unseen, making themselves invisible like certain spiders I have been observing here, which in case of alarm, caused for example by a bird alighting on the bush their webs are spread upon, immediately bounce themselves up & down so rapidly on their elastic threads so rapidly only a blur is visible. The wild Indian's power of escaping observation even where there is little or

No cover to hide in [him] was probably slowly acquired in hard hunting & fighting lessons, while trying to approach game, take enemies by surprise, or get safely away [from them etc] when compelled to retreat & this experience, transmitted through many generations, seems at length to have become what is foolishly called Instinct.

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook05 Img046.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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