[Charles Sprague] Sargent
Martinez Dec 28. 1898
My dear Prof Sargent
I'm glad you're miserable about not going to Mexico, for it shows that your heartwood is still honest & loving towards the grand trees down there, though football games and Connecticut turkey momentarily got the better of you. The grand Taxodiums were object enough for the trip, & I came pretty near making it alone, would certainly have done it had I not felt childishly lonesome & woe-begone after you left me. No wonder I looked like an inland coot to friend Mellichamp. But what would that sharp observer have said to the Canby huckleberry party gyrating lost in the Delaware woods, & splashing along the edge of the marshy bay "froggin and crabbin" with devout scientific solemnity!!! Mellichamp I liked ever so much, & blessed old Mohr more than ever
For these good men & many, many trees I have to thank you, & I do over & over again as the main blessings of the passing year. And I have to thank you also for Grays writings - Essays, etc. which I have read with great interest. More than ever I want to see Japan and eastern Asia. I wonder if Canby could be converted to sufficient sanity to go with us on that glorious dendrological trip. Confound his Yankee savings bank! He has done more than enough in that line. It will soon be dark. Soon our good botanical pegs will be straightened in a box and planted, and it behooves us as reasonable naturalists to keep them trampling and twinkling in the woods as long as we can.
As to the big tree fruit - I have not seen enough to be quite sure
that it is annual. We have one tree on the ranch. I have watched it pretty closely the last two years & have never seen fruit of two seasons on it at once. At present it has about 40 or 50 cones on a dozen branches or 20, all about the same size, & apparently mature, with plenty of seed. If these cones are two years old where are the yearlings? I can't find a single cone younger than those with ripe seed. Moreover the branchlets on which the cones are show only one years growth.
Hereafter I mean to watch this tree still more closely - try to find some fertile flowers & mark them.
I see by the newspaper that the Rainier Reserve is to be band to sheepmen at the rate of $5. per 1000 sheep!!
Wishing you & family & Silva Happy New Year
I am Ever Yours
1898 Dec 28
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to [Charles Sprague] Sargent, 1898 Dec 28." (1898). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2330.
Reel 10, Image 0575
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