John Muir


John Muir


Mrs. [Jeanne C.] Carr


[4]colors giving still greater pledges of happy life to every living creature of the spring but a loud energetic snow- storm possessed every hour of yesterday. Every tree & broken weed bloomed yet once more, All summer distinctions were leveled off All plants & the very rocks & streams were equally poly- p[illegible]. - This morning winter had everything in the valley. The snow drifted about in the frosty wind like meal & the falls were muffled in thick cheeks of frozen spray. Thus do winter & Spring leap into the Valley by turns each remaining long enough to form a small season or climate of its own or going & coming squarel in a single day. Whitney says that the bottom has fallen out of the rocks here (which I most devoutly disbelieve) [(Well?] the bottom frequently falls out of these winter clouds & climates. It is seldom that any[in margin: long transition [slant?] exists between dark & bright days in this narrow world of rocks] 00504[1] Yosemite Apr 5th 70Dear Mrs Carr, I wish you were here today for our rocks are again decked with deep snow, Two days ago a big gray cloud collared barometer dome,-the vast booming column of the upper falls was swayed like a shred of loose mist by broken pieces of storm, that struck it suddenly, occasionally bending it backwards to the very top of the cliff, making it hang sometimes more than a minute like an [inverted bow?] edged with comets - A cloud upon the dome & these ever varying rockings & bendings of the falls are sure storm signs, but yesterday morning sky was clear, & the sun [hovered?] the usual quantity of[5] I know that you are enchanted with the April [illegible] of your new home. You enjoy the most precious kind of sunshine & by this time flower patches cover the hills about Oakland like colored clouds I would like to visit these broad outspread blotches of social flowers that are so characteristic of your hills but far rather would I see & feel the flowers that are now at fountain lake, & the lakes of Madison Mrs Hutchings thought of sending you a bulb of the Cal' lily by mail but found it too large -she wishes to be remembered to you. Your Squirrel is very happy. She is a rare creature I hope to see you & [illegible] soon in the [illegible] have a

[2]the balmiest spring sunshine into the blue other of our valley gulp[illegible]. But ere long ragged lumps of cloud began to appear all along the Valley rim, coming gradually into closer ranks, & rising higher like rock additions to the walls; From the top of them cloud- banks, fleecy fingers orchid out from both sides & met over the middle of the meadows, gradually thickening & blackening untill at night big confident snowflakes began to fall. We thought that the last [illegible] had been withered & reaped long ago by the glowing sun, for the blue- birds & whins sang spring, & so also did the bland unsteady winds, & the brown meadow opposite the house was spotted here & there with blue violets, Ca[illegible] spikes were shooting up through the dead leaves[3]& the cherry, & brier rose were unfolding their leaves; & besides these spring [note?] may a sweet mark & word that I cannot tell, but snow fell all the hours of today in cold winter earnest & [now?] at evening there rests upon rocks, trees, & weeds, as full & ripe a harvest of snow flowers as I ever beheld in the stormiest most opague days of mid winter Apr 13thAbout 12 inches of snow fell in that last snow storm. It dis- appeared as suddenly as it came snatched away hastily almost before it had time to melt, as if a mistake had been made in allowing it to come here at all A week of Spring days bright in every hour without a stain or thought of the storm came in glorious[6]great deal to say to you which I will not try to write Remember me most cordially to the Doctor & to Allie & all the boys, I am much obliged to you for those [botanical?] notes etc. & I am ever most cordially yours John MuirApril 5.1870.00504



Date Original

1870 Apr 5, 13


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0243

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



2 pages



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