John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



the ground as well as the trees is showered [mostly beaded & oozy] with resin [gum] yet keep themselves clean in some mysterious way not a hair is sticky though they handle the gummy cones [burrs] & glide about apparently without care [fear or caution. Fresh [looking] always & pure as a newborn lily untouched in [its] mossy nook so are] the birds too are clean though they seem to make a good deal of fuss washing & preening their feathers [to keep their clothing clean & in repair whether any of these could eat our messes confectionery & keep up appearances has not been proven. Yet though I see that]

Certain flies & ants I see are in a fix, entangled in the sugar wax we threw away cast like some of their ancestors in amber. [& no bee I hope will mistake the stuff for honey. It should be given to the sheep].

[The dull pain continues as the] Our stomachs like tired muscles are [had got] tired [sore] with long squirming [causing the pain of a tired muscle. Never felt such uneasiness before] Once I was very hungry in [I]in the Bonaventure graveyard near Savannah, Georgia, [I was very hungry, fasting] having fasted for

several days then the empty stomach seemed to chafe [& squirm] in much the same way as now, & a somewhat similar tenderness & aching was produced [which was] hard to bear, though the pain was not [far from] acute, [harder]


[than this tea-sugar-and-sheep affair]

We have been dreaming of good bread- a sure sign that we need it.

A queer listlessness comes over me [that I can] hard[ly] to cast off; though it seems so silly. [I] Like the Indians we ought to know how to get the starch out of Fernand saxifrage stalks & lily bulbs and pine bark, etc. [like the Indians]. Our Education has been neglected for many generations. [Now [we are] am too dependent on mills & ploughs.]

Wild rice would be good. I noticed a Leersia in wet meadow edges but the seeds are small. Acorns are not ripe, nor pinenuts nor filberts. The inner bark of spruces might be tried. Drank tea until half intoxicated. Man seems to crave a stimulant whenever anything extraordinary is going on, & this is the only one I use, [no spirits tobacco or opium].

Billy [B] chews great quantities of tobacco which I suppose helps to stupefy & moderate his misery. We look & listen for the Don [Quixote] every hour. How beautiful upon the mountaintop his big feet would be! The day has been glorious in (rich) life-breeding sungold

A perfect sample of mountain summer. Cloudland of noon over the high Sierra .05

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook05 Img069.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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