The Writings of John Muir Volume IV

Mar 11, 2014 by

john muir 4The Writings of John Muir: Volume IV The Mountains of California was originally published in 1898.

Yet another volume from John Muir of incredible nature writings, this volume centered on the mountains of California.  Here are a few lines from the opening of the book:

“Making your way through the mazes of the Coast Eange to the summit of any of the inner peaks or passes opposite San. Francisco, in the clear spring time, the grandest and most telling of all California landscapes is outspread before you. At your feet lies the great Central Valley glowing golden in the sunshine, extending north and south farther than the eye can reach, one smooth, flowery, lake-like bed of fertile soil. Along its eastern margin rises the mighty Sierra, miles in height, reposing like a smooth, cumulous cloud in the sunny sky, and so gloriously colored, and so luminous, it seems to be not clothed with light, but wholly composed of it, like the wall of some celestial city.

Along the top, and extending a good way down, you see a pale, pearl-gray belt of snow ; and below it a belt of blue and dark purple, marking the extension of the forests ; and along the base of the range a broad belt of rose-purple and yellow, where lie the miner’s gold-fields and the foot-hill gardens. All these colored belts blending smoothly make a wall of light ineffably fine, and as beautiful as a rainbow, yet firm as adamant. When I first enjoyed this superb view, one glowing April day, from the summit of the Pacheco Pass, the Central Valley, but little trampled or plowed as yet, was one furred, rich sheet of golden compositae, and the luminous wall of the mountains¬† shone in all its glory. Then it seemed to me the Sierra should be called not the Nevada, or Snowy Range, but the Range of Light.”


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