John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



Quercus densiflora a small chaparral at Sisson’s yet yielding large acorns. Saw one tree 20 or 30 feet high, of the Madrona at 2000 ft . Spiraea is very abundant at Sisson’s. Sunset – rosey purple on Shasta’s snows (very pale) Sunrise one pale sheet of sun on top. Gradually little by little, other tips of crests come into the light. The sun is rising in glowing gold.

[Flexilis] [albicaulis] [Gl.] Forests

A twig of pinus [flexilus] on Shasta is less than an eighth of an inch in diameter at the butt and is 36 years old. Tassels about from 1 ½ to 3 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. 59, 43, 45, 21, 39, 47, 83, 56. Average number of fascicles in a tassel – about 50 or about 250 needles. Average length of needles about 1 ½ inches. Needles slightly incurved and tassels inclined upward.


[sketch of branch, needles]

The needles remain on the branch about from 5 to 7 years. They constantly drop from the base of the tassel and grow in yearly installments at the top. But it is not strictly the oldest leaves that drop. Some of the 5 year old circles drop, while here and there a few of the 6 or 7, or even 8 year old circles are left lingering precariously in old age. The branches are elongated only from ¼ to 1/8 of an inch annually, and as the tassels are about 1 ½ inches long the branchlets are speedily left bare. The branchlets increase in diameter very slowly. Those which are 50 years old measuring only about ¼ of an inch. Their age is readily estimated by the marks of the scales of the annual buds. These marks are circles around the branch thus [sketch of branchlet] These branchlets are so flexible as to [admit] of being knotted like strings. The bark is very soft and resinous. A globule of transparent balsam follows the slightest wound, which is very deliciously fragrant. The color of the leaves is pale yellowish green – of the branchlets grayish & purplish seldom white. The trunk is grayish and

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel32 Notebook04 Img009.Jpeg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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