John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



Sep [September] 2) This has been a grand red rosy crimson day. A perfect glory of a day. What it means I don’t know. [but] It is the first change from tranquil sunshine with purple morning & evenings [& dawns] & still white noons. This was nothing (however) like a storm however the average cloudiness amounted to only about .08 & there was no sighing in the woods to betoken a big weather [any great] change [in the weather]. The sky was red in the morning & evening, not the ordinary purple glow, but in separate well defined clouds remaining motionless as if anchored in dense mountainlike masses around the jagged mountain-fenced horizon. A deep red cap bluffy around its sides lingered a long time on Mt. Dana & Mt. Gibbs dropping so low as to hide most of their bases but leaving [free the] Dana’s round summit free [of Dana] which seemed to float separate & alone over the big crimson cloud [range]. The Mammoth Mountain to the south of Gibbs & Bloody Canyon striped spotted like a tiger with snow banks & clumps of dwarf pine [like a tiger] was also favored with a glorious crimson cap in the making of which there was no trace of economy – a huge bossy pile colored with a perfect passion of crimson which seemed important enough to be sent off among the stars [to whirl] in majestic independence [in its own path through space]. One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness & fertility of Nature [the] inexhaustible[ility] abundance amid what seems enormous waste


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And yet when we look into any of her operatio[n] within [reach] [of our] minds we see that no particle of her [huge piles of] material is wasted or worn out. It is [an] eternally [flux of change] flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty. [Not an atom as far as we can see is either wasted or worn out.] & we soon cease to lament waste & death & rather rejoice & exult in the [eternal unspendable] imperishable unspendable wealth of the universe & humbly watch & wait the reappearance of everything that melts & fades & dies about us feeling sure that its next appearance will be better & more beautiful than the last.

[It was a grand show &] I watched the growth of these lands of the sky as eagerly as if new mountain ranges were being built. Soon the group of snowy icy peaks in the recesses of which lie the highest fountains of the Tuolumne, Merced, & N. [North] fork of the San Joaquin rivers are

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook 009 Img047.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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