John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



fringed on top come stealing over the dark forest of firs & along the south wall of the valley from Cathedral Rocks to the Sentinel

The tops of (Cathedral) the rocks are dipped in it but they still show dimly through it, Now a gap in the cloud reveals an island-like section of the forest that seems to float with the clouds wholly separate from the earth

Small flakes of cloud are wandering about hither thither over the (crowded spires of the forest) [pine] groves brushing the(ir) tips of the tallest pines & mazing lingeringly as if seeking for something they had lost. The falls sing stormily for the wind is blowing hard & (with voices that tell of) telling something unusual. This wind is not from the icy summits of the range but from the sea distilling through redwoos [redwoods] threading ferny gulches & flower enamelled [enameled] passes of the coast mountains [of the] flowing over the golden plains now in (all their) glory of bloom & up the rocky valleys & canyons, through the sweet-rosiny pinewoods, pressing & breathing in grand waves of air among the huge granite cliffs like seawaves on a rock-bound coast.

And to every rocky dome & brow of Yosemite


& to every garden & grove of my sunnyside is granted a [special] portion of this previous wind [&] in as special a manner as any prayed-for blessing is bestowed upon [a] saints.

Long through the clouds are thrust lances of moonlight [that] wh [which] fall upon the meadows sharp & stiff looking as icicles

Yosemite Creek

The whole vertical descent of Yosemite Creek from the beginning tributary rills of its highest fountains back of Mt [Mount] Hoffman to its confluence with the Merced in (Yo) [Yosemite] the valley is about [7000] 6500 feet – a [very] few slender threads back of Mt [Mount] Hoffman reaching perhaps 500 ft [feet] higher making the extreme [descent] lol [between] the vall [valley] & [ftns] [fountains] fall about [5600] 7000 ft [feet] And the extreme length of the stream is about 15 to 20 miles.

Not one of the [thousand] unnumbered silver threads that gather from the mountain sides to form [the] Yo [Yosemite] Creek cease to sing (a single moment) except in passing thru [through] a few small lakes & (or level) meadows though that singing is mostly low & tranquil & in the late summer when the[ir] lower courses [are quite obliterated] of many of them fail in the dry sun heat.

Every branch of that wide-spreading tree of of streams sings like a bird, sings like

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel32 Notebook01 Img005.Jpeg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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