John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



the fall strikes a ledge & bounds out in the characteristic comet shaped masses all the way to the bottom when from the foreshortening effect the whole tremendous flood seems to not strike with rock breaking dashing but to sink & settle with infinite softness like down in a still room.

At 12 o’clock M. [midday] in the spring it is magnificently irised (all the way down) making the most impressive display of irised water I ever saw

The iris bow in front near the head of the fall (seemed to be) was broken up & mingled with the rushing comets until all the fall seemed stained with rainbow colors & poured forth from some color fountain leaving no white water at all visible from top to bottom. The solid masses seemed to push the irised spray ahead of them which streamed back enclosing the head of each comet until all the mass seemed colored. Making the most glorious spectacle conceivable.

The Main Upper Yo [Yosemite] Fall

before passing over the brink at head it comes forward calmly & gracefully swaying this way & that. About a hundred yards from the brink it makes a fine cascade of 25 to 30 feet fall at foot


of which its waters are calmed in a deep round pool

After resting here it makes another cascade & enters another pool somewhat smaller than the first.

From this second pool the stream glides swiftly down a hollow curve in a sheet of superb lace until it reaches the tremendous verge where the lace structure is broken up & dashed into a coarse mealy mass in passing over some rough corrugations of the brow of the precipice. Thus fully prepared it goes to its grand descent covered with a crisp mantle of glassy crystalline beads & foam

[sketch: projecting slab 100 ft above bench standpoint where kissing clashing sounds are produced.; x small side fall from water running along narrow ledge to gap x]

View from Sunnyside bench (top of wall Trees etc)

The trees in bottom of the valley Libocedrus & yellow pines are very beautiful in the mellow sun-light spires proudly erect, no underbrush, the foliage singularly warm & yellow, tips free & as well defined as church spires though massed below. A few tall dead masts peeled from top to bottom are white (without bark) & one that has not been long dead still retains its

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel32 Notebook01 Img017.Jpeg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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