John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



and millions of charming plants [lovely flowers] with leaves & flowers so small they form no [visible] mass of color visible at a distance of a few hundred yards [green but show the gray disintegrating granite between them.] Beds of [Beautiful] azure daisies [seen here & there] [in clumps which] smile confidingly [sketch cutout on reverse side of page] in moist hollows & along the banks of many small rills [house…..] with several [ ] of [sp…] of [ ]…[…inuula[s]] etc. & patches of suffruticosa a very beaut…es [in mats], Here I also [ortho…]…ning heathwort colored with…dark green folia[ge]…[shaggy & good for]…heather erigeron & Bryanthus [on Brit for] Scotl…botanical prizes & the hemlock I have ever seen [most] & two pines [one]…axis droop in a [...ucal prizes is a sp…way & [in form of] [droopings] bran…oliage [is close] cover…ing wind & it is now in full[& the branches bloom & the flowers together with thousands of last season [brown] cones still clinging to the drooping sprays [branchlets] display wonderful wealth of color brown & purple & blue. Gladly I climbed the first tree I found to revel in the midst of it. How the touch of the flowers make ones flesh tingle. The pistillate are dark rich purple & almost translucent. [droops in a singularly graceful way from the ground to the top the axis itself also drooping. Gladly I climbed the first specimen I saw to gather the beautiful clusters of cones, rich brown. {The young growing cones are purple, less than & inch in length & almost translucent & exceedingly beautiful. Never saw anything so fine in the cone line before. The staminate cones are as


[sketch removed]

[interesting as the fertile ones being] The staminate blue [in color] a vivid uncommonly pure tone of blue like the mountain sky. [as if they had got some of the very sky into them]. The Mountain pine is also a brave storm enduring tree closely related to the Sugar Pine though the cones are only about 4 – 6 inches long. The largest trees are from 5 to 6 feet in diameter 4 feet above the ground the bark rich brown. This other new pine is the albiacaulis the species that forms the timberline where it is so dwarfed that one may walk over the top of a bed of it as we may over snow pressed chaparral. How boundless the day seemed as [it] reveled in [the barren abundance [beauty] of these storm beaten sky gardens so vast a congregation of onlooking mountains all around the horizon, strange & admirable it is that the more savage & chilly [cold] & storm chafed the mountains the glow on their faces & the finer the [the finer & more exquisitely spiritual the] flowers they bear. They do not seem to have grown out of the dry rough gravel of disintegration [stones where we find them] but rather they appear as visitors, a cloud of

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img063.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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