John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



of dry wood & blankets [for fire and warmth.]

The average height of this pine is here about 15 ft. But farther south it attains a height of 30 or 40 ft. The highest most [snowpressed] about 2 ft. [feet] In scattered, wind beaten, and snow-pressed clumps, often many stems come from one root. They are resinous and make excellent fires.

Storms of frozen mist are of frequent occurrence, at these high elevations, which when wind blown freezes upon the needles & branches of the pine forming wedge shaped icicles [laid] flat against them on the wind-ward side. Though they would appear to have been formed on the [other] lee side.

When the sun falls among these iced pines the effect is perfectly glorious [sketch: cross section of branch & ice.]

When the tassels are spiked with young snow crystals a fine silver gray is produced. They are frequently so loaded as to droop.

On the flank of Shasta (south) there is [no] well defined belt of P. [Pinus] contorta & monticola separating the silver firs from the highest flexilis as is the case everywhere from Castle Peak to


the southern extremity of the range.

Starting from Sissons at an elevation of 3500 ft. sugar pines. Libocedrus Abries concolor [P. grandis], and [pinus] Ponderosa, and a few R. tuburculata [Rhagodera tuberculata] [altinnata] with small black oaks.

1000 ft [feet] higher the oaks disappear, and [pinus] [abies] grandis concolor reaches perfection

Abies Douglasii p. [pinus] seudotsuga [pseudotsuga] laxifolia comes in with concolor [grandis] but is not very abundant here.

A thousand feet higher, or so P. Grandis takes all the forest, excepting a few specimens of Douglass, and Libocedrus; then quite abruptly gives way to [abies magnificia] (picia Amabilis) which constitutes the whole forest up to the height of 8000 feet. There it splices with pinus flexilis which runs up to 10,000 feet.

In the splice only a few P. Contorta & Monticola appear. So few as to be scarce noticable [noticeable].

In the P. Amabilis a. magnifica I did not observe a concolor grandis or any other tree, in a belt of 2 or 3 miles in width. No such exclusiveness is instanced in the southern portion of the range.

The [Amabilis] Magnifica of the south, is however, more perfect, less storm-broken, larger, and more

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel32 Notebook04 Img011.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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