Creator

John Muir

Creator

[John Muir]

Recipient

[Jeanne C.] Carr

Transcription

(Consider the grasshoppers how they grow & go)


[drawing of grasshopper in grass] Yosemite Valley Sunday Sep 27th 1874

Dear Mrs Carr.

I have been down bathing in the Langes. I wonder if I will ever know another river like this. After plashing & lasing in the spangling crystal I swam across to examine a section of the bank & found charred bark ten feet below lake & flood deposits. In a vertical portion of the bank I discovered two small frogs of a new species each snugly nestled in a dainty [illegible] from which they could look out over the water they are not water frogs however. I swam over with them in my hand holding them aloft & when I ducked them they made a great nervous ado I have them in my room hoping they may sing like crickets or tree frogs for me in the night In walking over the peebles I received some tingling lessons [illegible] drift formations upon the soles of my feet. The wind sifted deliciously through my reviving flesh, & thrilled every fiber. The afternoon sun shimmered upon the glossy poplars bright as upon the rippled currents of the river. A thicket of tall waving golden rods warms the south bank & the while valley is fully light like a lake in wh’ one instinctively loves [illegible] as if it were water I chased a grasshopper & finally [illegible]ed the lusty fellow & made him attempt to fly over the river into wh he fell & I ran out & captured him before any of the trouts. Another larger one few up wh’ I also succeeded in driving into the river but just as I got within arms length a trout caught him by the legs & drew him down. I clipt the wings of the first & carried him to my room to experiment upon his habits & movements. Here is an exact copy of his walking embrosderd track natural size wh’ I got by compelling him to walk across a plateful of fine sand in my room I showed the original track to an Indian, but he only grinned & didn’t [gabe?]. [Blacki?]- Chinaman was also puzzled, & thought it might be writing. Billy Simms happened along & [illegible] for Kellogg & Keith. I showed him the track & he guessed it might be that of a tarantula or centipede. No 1 in the fig is made by the middle feet No2 by the front feet & No 3 by the feet of the [ big?] jumping pair. fig 4 is made by his body & is more or less [continuous?] according to his weariness or the depth his feet sink in the sand. The three figures at the head are copies of the tracts he makes in jumping Fig 1 are made by the front pair, 2 the second 3 the third & 4 by the body in crouching.

[drawing of tracks here and on both sides of letter]

It is beautiful is it not & the track [embroidery?] of the gray lizard is still more beautiful.

[in margin: (The above grasshopper in the grass is supposed to have walked once up both sides & along the bottom, & jumped thrice on the top of the page.)]

Location

Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1874 Sep 27

Source

Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier

muir03_0174-md-1.pdf

File Identifier

Reel 03, Image 0173

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 http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/Fees-and-Forms-.html

Owning Institution

The Huntington Library. 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

1984

Pages

1 page

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