John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



[July 20th] Fine calm [crystal] morning. Air tense & clear, not the slightest astir breeze [sparkling yet warm & summery bland][all the world in sight] Everything shining the rocks with wet crystals all the plants with dew, each receiving sunshine like living creatures getting breakfast big spangling globes that have been all night abuilding[like a drop of dew][The meadows well laden with dewdrops ] how fine are the particles [drops] in a shower of dew [showers] Thousands required for a single drop [one] [which have been] noiseless rainstorm of night growing in the dark as silently as [grows] the grass. What pains are taken to keep this wilderness in health – how fine Nature’s methods. How deeply with beauty overlaid the ground covered earth, the crystals with mosses & lichens & low spreading grasses & flowers [covered them]These with larger plants leaf over leaf with [all its beauty of form & color] ever changing color & form the broad palms of the firs outspread over these, the azure dome over all & star above star, showers of snow & showers of rain, showers of dew, floods of light, floods of invisible [seas of] vapor, clouds [curtains], winds [over all making all the sky bloom in colors like a flower] & all sorts of weather, The interaction of plants on plant, animal on animal, etc, beyond thought[& making all this vast wilderness of rocks glow with spiritual beauty. # Yonder stands [there is] the X Trans to pg [82] [Yosemite] South Dome its crown [in the sky] [looming] high above our camp though its base is [we are] 4000 feet below us [above its base] A most noble rock seems full of thoughtful clothed with thoughtful God-like majesty [like a god] No sense


of dead stone [rock] about it, all seems spiritualized, neither heavy looking of light [seems poised] steadfast in serene strength [grandeur][immeasurable power] like a god [Where shall we find a bare unvital spot in all this holy wilderness.] Begin here with bed etc. from pg 78

July 20

[Have nothing to do now with the wool flock. Billy sees to all that business sauntering off through the woods to meadows green every morning behind the dusty horde. Seeming to glory in his important command now enjoyed with honors undivided] Our shepherd is a queer character & hard to place in this wilderness. Following the sheep he carries a [big pistol] heavy six shooter swung on one side [hip] from his belt & his luncheon [mostly] of bread & bacon or [a mess of dripping] mutton, [fresh from the frying pan] on the other. The ancient cloth [rag ancient & shiny] [shinier] in which the meat fresh from the frying pan is tied serving as a filter through which the clear [warm tallow] & gravy juices drips down over his right hip & leg [in little clustering stalactites] This oleaginous [mutton] formation is soon broken up however & diffused & rubbed [in] evenly into [all] his scant apparel by sitting down, rolling over, crossing his legs while resting on logs, etc., making shirt, trousers [pants] & blanket watertight & shiny. Mixed with gum & resin, these [it] become[s] [sticky] so adhesive that pine

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img041.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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