The richness of the light of these days: John Muir

Warm and bright, the valley was spanned by fibrous bows of white cloud, heated masses of air from currentless ovens of chambered and bushy rocks lifted by newborn winds and bourne whole or in fragments about the open gulf of the valley…the richness of the light of these days recalls our best mellow autumns andContinue reading “The richness of the light of these days: John Muir”

Dreamed in the sunbeams: John Muir

From his unpublished journals written in his sheep-herding days, before Muir came to stay in Yosemite Valley: Dreamed in the sunbeams, when the sheep were calm, the plan of a hermitage: walls of pure white quartz, doors and windows edged with quartz crystals, windows of thin smooth sheets of water with ruffling apparatus to answerContinue reading “Dreamed in the sunbeams: John Muir”

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado: l901

From Our National Parks, published in 1901: No matter how far you have wandered hitherto, or how many famous gorges and valleys you have seen, this one, the Grand Cañon of the Colorado, will seem as novel to you, as unearthly in the color and grandeur and quantity of its architecture, as if you hadContinue reading “The Grand Canyon of the Colorado: l901”

Science never saw a ghost: John Muir

After a few years in the Sierra, encouraged by friends, in the 1870's John Muir quit his job running a sawmill in Yosemite Valley and began to explore the Sierra mountains in earnest. At the same time he began to take scraps of paper along with him on his forays into the higher elevations, andContinue reading “Science never saw a ghost: John Muir”

A Hymn to the Parks (behind the scenes with Ken Burns)

Those who like "behind the scenes" type looks will enjoy a profile of Ken Burns' friend and documentary co-writer, Dayton Duncan, available through The Pennsylvania Gazette. The research Duncan and Burns brought to the subject of the national parks impresses. Here's Duncan on John Muir's persuasive powers: “John Muir was an eloquent person, but theContinue reading “A Hymn to the Parks (behind the scenes with Ken Burns)”

Muir Lake: Another Perfect Day

Was I really here? A little over a week ago? Can't quite believe it…miss it already. I know that posting vacation pics is a little cheesy in this oh-so-serious blog, but here's my justification: One day's exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers' plates. NoContinue reading “Muir Lake: Another Perfect Day”

Happy Birthday, John

Here it is April 21st, John Muir’s birthday, and here is a quote from Muir’s notebooks about another great Scot’s birthday, Robert Burns. Like nearly all Scots, Muir was a huge admirer of Burns, and on his birthday in l906, wrote a long appreciation of him. Here’s the part I want to highlight, from theContinue reading “Happy Birthday, John”