John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



[He soon recovered however though} and for a week or so his head & neck were swelled [as if filled with water to] more than double the normal size, [but] nevertheless he ran about as brisk and lively as ever & is now completely recovered. [he ran about in his fussy lively way as usual & soon got well.] The only treatment he got was fresh milk, a gallon or two at a time, forcibly [being fresh milk] poured down his sore poisoned throat [a gallon or two at a time by force].

June 25th} [We feel cordially] [How much at home we are down] Though only a sheep camp this grand mountain hollow is [our camp] now home sweet home [to us] every day growing sweeter. And [at the bottom of this mountain hopper.] I shall be sorry to leave it [even for the higher mountains]. The lily gardens are [all] safe as yet from the trampling horde [sheep

The pasturage is getting bare &] Poor dusty raggey famishing creatures. Many a mile they must [our 2000 have to] go every day to gather their fifteen or [to] twenty tons of chapparal and grass food. [On some of the hills near camp] Scarce a [green leaf is left on some of the hills nearest camp How fortunate they cannot dibble & defile [spoil] the sky with their restless hoofs The day has been golden & precious like all the rest. Clouds .05 seen to the eastward above the high Sierra.]

June 26th} [There is a] Nuttall’s flowering Cornus Nuttallii dogwood [among the inhabitants of the cool stream banks that is very telling] makes a fine show when in bloom [flower]. The whole tree is then snowy white [as a snowbank] with involucres 6 to 8 [10] inches wide.


Along the streams it [It] is a good sized tree the largest [20 or] 30 t 50 feet high with a broad head a trunk when not crowded by [its] companions. [a trunk nearly 2 feet in diameter though the average size of what may be called full grown specimens is perhaps about half these dimensions.]

It likes plenty of cool [cold] water about its roots & is a great drinker like the alder willow & cottonwood & flourishes best on stream banks though it often wanders far from streams in damp shady glens beneath the pines where it is much smaller for their own and I suppose the trees advantage. When the leaves ripen in the fall they become more beautiful than the flowers, displaying charming tones of red and purple and lavender.

[And the showiness of its attire keeps a large] Its showy involucres attract crowds of moths butterflies & other winged[s] people about it [What advantage these visitors makes for the tree I don't know, but so vehement a call as this quantity of color makes to the eyes of insects shows that the tree needs the insects. (Cornus Nuttallii)]

Another [small] [cornel] species grows in [great] abundance as a Chaparral [sic] shrub 6 or 8 ft high on the shady (north) sides of hills [in good shade.], probably C. sessilis. The leaves are eaten by the sheep. [Clouds .05.] A few lightning strokes [shots of thunder] in the distance with rumbling mumbling reverberations.

June 27} The beaked hazel Corylus rostrata var. Californica is common in cool slopes well up towards the summit of the Pilot Peak Ridge. There is something peculiarly attractive in the [leaves of the] hazel, it is 4 or 5 feet high, soft hairy leaves grateful to [touch] and its delicious nuts are eagerly gathered by Indians and squirrels [relished by every palate] [like those of] the oak[s &] other trees plants and shrubs [growing in] of the cool [cold] countries of our forefathers & through them our love for these plants has[ve] I suppose been transmitted.

The [glorious] sky as usually adorned with white moon cloud – slightly amber. [Clouds .05. Cool Spring exhilarating.]

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook05 Img058.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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