Our National Parks

Jun 14, 2013 by

parksThe Scottish-American John Muir is known as one of the early advocates for the preservation of American wilderness. He wrote many letters, essays and books chronicling his adventures and travels through the wild lands of American parks.  OUR NATIONAL PARKS is filled with sketches that were originally published in the Atlantic monthly and include:

The wild parks and forest reservations of the west, The Yellowstone national park, The Yosemite national park, The forests of the Yosemite park, The wild gardens of the Yosemite park, Among the animals of the Yosemite, Among the birds of the Yosemite, The fountains and streams of the Yosemite national park, The Sequoia and General Grant national parks, The American forests.

Here are a few paragraphs from the book to give you a feel for his writing:

“The present rivers of the Sierra are still young, and have made but little mark as yet on the grand canons prepared for them by the ancient glaciers. Only a very short geological time ago they all lay buried beneath the glaciers they drained, singing in low smothered or silvery ringing tones in crystal channels, while the summer weather melted the ice and snow of the
surface or gave showers.At first only in warm weather was any part of these buried rivers displayed in the light of day; for as soon as frost prevailed the surface rills vanished, though the streams beneath the ice and in the body of it flowed on all the year.

When, toward the close of the glacial period, the ice mantle began to shrink and recede from the lowlands, the lower portions of the rivers were developed, issuing from cavelike openings on the melting margin and growing longer as the ice withdrew; while for many a century the tributaries and upper portions of the trunks remained covered. In the fullness of time these also were set free in the sunshine, to take their places in the newborn landscapes; each tributary with its smaller branches being gradually developed like the main trunks, as the climatic changes went on. At first all of them were muddy with glacial detritus, and they became clear only after the glaciers they drained had receded beyond lake basins in which the sediments were dropped.


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