It is not a very long, time since Merrill & I paid you a visit but now I am away in California - [I hardly ever see anybody?] & sometimes I am lonesome. I wish you could come to my shanty, I would tell you about the flower & the mountains & the birds & you would tell me all about lessons & everything about [illegible]lia - Most of the winter days here are fine & warm & sunny just like summer days - The stars in California twinkle more than the stars that are above Wisconsin - I had a nice walk about a month ago from beyond the Tuolumne river, the [Traills?] for miles were all
strewed with quartz crystals - & they made the ground look starry as the sky. I looked at them so much that I saw the glinting & flashing of thousands of them after I shut my eyes to sleep. Here is a precious little fern that I found far up in the Yo-Semite rocks, the day before I found it I was at what is called the Ribbon falls, I went too near & got all wet in the spray, & it made me sick, & when I was setting at the campfire that night I looked up past the top of the rocks & happened to see two of the stars that belong to the great bear & they made me think of home, & then I was loney. Now whenever I feell bad I always find something good to make up for it, & so sure enough next day I found this delicate little creature
of a fern. Its little cove home is on the north side of the valley a thousand feet up the rocks, some of the spray of the great Yo-Semite falls come to it One or two little white flowers were with it, & some mosses were on the floor bright & shinning as the drops that wet them, I found a great many pretty ferns & flowers in the Yo Semite Valley, & I will give you some. This is the smallest fern I ever saw. This is a dark stormy night. The wind is loud, & the rain is pouring from the black sky in torrents, five or six of my lambs died today. & I think that far more will die tonight. It makes me sorry to see the little things die - I hope when spring comes you will gather some flowers for
me & send them in a letter, some of the big Anemones I want you call them gopher blows, I suppose you have your uncle Dan with you now - I wish you would tell him that I received his Avery letter of Sep' 27th that I want him to send his "plans" before I answer it, because I have something to tell that I don't wish to tell before he tells his latest plans - There are no trees where I am nor any bushes but the little birds find shelter in the rocks. God has made little houses for them little caves, little shelf berths - Where they are cozy & warm, but my poor sheep have no shelter I hope that you are very happy & that you will have a very happy new Year
[in margin: Bid everybody happy new year for me from your [illegible] John If you see Annie & Jessie [illegible] tell them that I am going to write to them soon. Tell Joanna Muir that I rced her letter of Oct 25 & will write a great long answer when I am not lazy]
[Yosemite, Calif ?]
Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 26.5 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from [John Muir] to Annie [Galloway], [ca 1870]." (1870). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1361.
Reel 02, Image 0365
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