John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



We have been out of bread [for] a few days & begin to miss it more than seems reasonable for [though] we have plenty of meats and sugar and tea [mutton & tea & sugar]. Strange we should [feel food poor in so rich [should be so feebly dependent in so fruitful] a wilderness. The Indians put us to shame [in food getting] [I suppose could teach us a lesson in food getting here that would put us to shame, & so also might] so do the squirrels, - starchy roots & seeds & bark in abundance Yet the [momentary] failure of the meal sack disturbs our bodily balance & threatens our best enjoyments in squirming sorrow. [to bring down soul & all to the ground.]


July 3} [Clouds .02 – Rich] Warm [day]. Breeze just enough to sift well through the woods & waft sweet [the] fragrance of pine and fir. [carry away the steaming balsam] from a thousand thousand fountains

The pine and fir cones are growing well oozing resin and balsam [[on pine

X Transpose spruce & fir, & balsam, gum & rosin [fragrant and fat] rich as ever rose to mountain sunshine is oozing fast & flowing]] dripping from every tree and seeds are ripening fast, promising a fine [forest] harvest.

The squirrels will have bread. [Soon the pine nuts will be available for] They eat all kinds of nuts [them] long before they are ripe & yet seem to suffer never in stomach.


July 4th} [Clouds .05.] Day of immortal beauty

The air beyond the flock range growing sweeter & more fragrant from day to day like ripening fruit Its pores are fairly filled [laden] with [gum & balsam & the finest] the essences of the woods [a thousand [purple and golden] blooming gardens.]

Mr Delaney is expected to arrive soon from the lowlands with a new stock of provisions & [to assist in] moving the flock to fresh [higher] pastures.

[[All the vegetation available for sheep within range of this camp has already been bitten short & bitten again until scarce a green leaf is left within the height a sheep can reach above ground.

Of grass usually regarded as the staple food of sheep there was but little here at first & the main dependence was upon the different species of Ceanothus bushes called deer-brush the leaves & tender shoots of which are relished as they well may be for they have a pleasant aromatic taste & are preferred by the deer to the finest grasses

[The pastures ? for both grass and brush]This feed however is exhausted for miles beyond camp in every direction & since the hungry paunches must be filled they must go farther, & a merry race they lead]]

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook05 Img064.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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