John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1863


[mass] of such soil from the geology of the In [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] such soil does exist & there we invariably have little inland prairies one of [several] acres is by [MN/WI/me] & if northern Illinois should charge us a price of some shape & size It would not be possible to detect the change for exactly the same plants vegetation are present in the same number & species in both An annual battle is fought by the trees and prairies for supremacy. The hardy weather-beaten oaks stand around cased in mail thick corky bark holding them strong angular knotty arms over the wished for territory & casting handfuls of acorns upon [it] [every] [fields/fall] but in [rain/vain] Fire the Maker & preserver of prairies [sepals/repels] the [invaders] the saplings are cut off by [the] ground but they do not yield. The old oaks

safely in their corky mail still shake acorns from their [hanging] arms & the young [soothing/nothing] [ ] live in the root & send up more and larger shoots every spring with [ ] shining confident leaves but again the fire blade cuts their tender bark & drives every vestige life back into the ground. The same battle is fought year by year the young oaks increase in size all the root & expand at the surface of the ground into a hard broad gnarled disk like the lobed edges of the geography lichen These are well known to the settlers in improving their [lands] and are called grubs. This annual cropping of all the young trees & bushes all [trees] were [one] gives [ ] preserves [prairies] & [prevents] openings their orchard like appearance & prairie vegetation for the trees being sparse they live in light & are thus enabled to adopt their natural

Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook04 Img003.jpg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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