John Muir also known as “John of the Mountains”, was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada of California and Nevada, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is a prominent American conservation organization. John Muir has been considered “an inspiration to both Scots and Americans”.
In Every Walk With Nature One Receives Far More Than He Seeks.
Man Seems To Be The Only Animal Whose Food Soils Him, Making Necessary Much Washing And Shield-like Bibs And Napkins. Moles Living In The Earth And Eating Slimy Worms Are Yet As Clean As Seals Or Fishes, Whose Lives Are One Perpetual Wash.
Keep Close To Nature's Heart... And Break Clear Away, Once In Awhile, And Climb A Mountain Or Spend A Week In The Woods. Wash Your Spirit Clean.
In All My Wild Mountaineering, I Have Enjoyed Only One Avalanche Ride; And The Start Was So Sudden, And The End Came So Soon, I Thought But Little Of The Danger That Goes With This Sort Of Travel, Though One Thinks Fast At Such Times.
One Of The Best Ways To See Tree Flowers Is To Climb One Of The Tallest Trees And To Get Into Close, Tingling Touch With Them, And Then Look Broad.
When California Was Wild, It Was The Floweriest Part Of The Continent.
The Forests Of America, However Slighted By Man, Must Have Been A Great Delight To God; For They Were The Best He Ever Planted. The Whole Continent Was A Garden, And From The Beginning, It Seemed To Be Favored Above All The Other Wild Parks And Gardens Of The Globe.
Only By Going Alone In Silence, Without Baggage, Can One Truly Get Into The Heart Of The Wilderness. All Other Travel Is Mere Dust And Hotels And Baggage And Chatter.
From The Dust Of The Earth, From The Common Elementary Fund, The Creator Has Made Homo Sapiens. From The Same Material He Has Made Every Other Creature, However Noxious And Insignificant To Us. They Are Earth-born Companions And Our Fellow Mortals.
Every Other Civilized Nation In The World Has Been Compelled To Care For Its Forests, And So Must We If Waste And Destruction Are Not To Go On To The Bitter End, Leaving America As Barren As Palestine Or Spain.
The Redwood Is One Of The Few Conifers That Sprout From The Stump And Roots, And It Declares Itself Willing To Begin Immediately To Repair The Damage Of The Lumberman And Also That Of The Forest-burner.
I Suppose We Need Not Go Mourning The Buffaloes. In The Nature Of Things, They Had To Give Place To Better Cattle, Though The Change Might Have Been Made Without Barbarous Wickedness.
The Gross Heathenism Of Civilization Has Generally Destroyed Nature, And Poetry, And All That Is Spiritual.
As Soon As A Redwood Is Cut Down Or Burned, It Sends Up A Crowd Of Eager, Hopeful Shoots, Which, If Allowed To Grow, Would In A Few Decades Attain A Height Of A Hundred Feet, And The Strongest Of Them Would Finally Become Giants As Great As The Original Tree.
In Most Mills, Only The Best Portions Of The Best Trees Are Used, While The Ruins Are Left On The Ground To Feed Great Fires Which Kill Much Of What Is Left Of The Less Desirable Timber, Together With The Seedlings On Which The Permanence Of The Forest Depends.
The Making Of The Far-famed New York Central Park Was Opposed By Even Good Men, With Misguided Pluck, Perseverance, And Ingenuity, But Straight Right Won Its Way, And Now That Park Is Appreciated. So We Confidently Believe It Will Be With Our Great National Parks And Forest Reservations.
The Waving Of A Pine Tree On The Top Of A Mountain - A Magic Wand In Nature's Hand - Every Devout Mountaineer Knows Its Power; But The Marvelous Beauty Value Of What The Scotch Call A Breckan In A Still Dell, What Poet Has Sung This?
Here Ends My Forever Memorable First High Sierra Excursion. I Have Crossed The Range Of Light, Surely The Brightest And Best Of All The Lord Has Built. And, Rejoicing In Its Glory, I Gladly, Gratefully, Hopefully Pray I May See It Again.
A Queer Fellow And A Jolly Fellow Is The Grasshopper. Up The Mountains He Comes On Excursions, How High I Don't Know, But At Least As Far And High As Yosemite Tourists.
Indians Walk Softly And Hurt The Landscape Hardly More Than The Birds And Squirrels, And Their Brush And Bark Huts Last Hardly Longer Than Those Of Wood Rats, While Their More Enduring Monuments, Excepting Those Wrought On The Forests By The Fires They Made To Improve Their Hunting Grounds, Vanish In A Few Centuries.
Beetles And Butterflies Are Sometimes Restricted To Small Areas. Each Mountain In A Range, And Even The Different Zones Of A Mountain, May Have Its Own Peculiar Species. But The House-fly Seems To Be Everywhere. I Wonder If Any Island In Mid-ocean Is Flyless.
The More I See Of Deer, The More I Admire Them As Mountaineers. They Make Their Way Into The Heart Of The Roughest Solitudes With Smooth Reserve Of Strength, Through Dense Belts Of Brush And Forest Encumbered With Fallen Trees And Boulder Piles, Across Canons, Roaring Streams, And Snow-fields, Ever Showing Forth Beauty And Courage.
It Seems Strange That Bears, So Fond Of All Sorts Of Flesh, Running The Risks Of Guns And Fires And Poison, Should Never Attack Men Except In Defense Of Their Young. How Easily And Safely A Bear Could Pick Us Up As We Lie Asleep! Only Wolves And Tigers Seem To Have Learned To Hunt Man For Food, And Perhaps Sharks And Crocodiles.
The Redwood Is The Glory Of The Coast Range. It Extends Along The Western Slope, In A Nearly Continuous Belt About Ten Miles Wide, From Beyond The Oregon Boundary To The South Of Santa Cruz, A Distance Of Nearly Four Hundred Miles, And In Massive, Sustained Grandeur And Closeness Of Growth Surpasses All The Other Timber Woods Of The World.
The Practical Importance Of The Preservation Of Our Forests Is Augmented By Their Relations To Climate, Soil And Streams.
The Coniferous Forests Of The Yosemite Park, And Of The Sierra In General, Surpass All Others Of Their Kind In America, Or Indeed The World, Not Only In The Size And Beauty Of The Trees, But In The Number Of Species Assembled Together, And The Grandeur Of The Mountains They Are Growing On.
Sequoia Seeds Have Flat Wings, And Glint And Glance In Their Flight Like A Boy's Kite.
The Dispersal Of Juniper Seeds Is Effected By The Plum And Cherry Plan Of Hiring Birds At The Cost Of Their Board, And Thus Obtaining The Use Of A Pair Of Extra Good Wings.
Of All The Mountain Ranges I Have Climbed, I Like The Sierra Nevada The Best.
During My First Years In The Sierra, I Was Ever Calling On Everybody Within Reach To Admire Them, But I Found No One Half Warm Enough Until Emerson Came. I Had Read His Essays, And Felt Sure That Of All Men He Would Best Interpret The Sayings Of These Noble Mountains And Trees. Nor Was My Faith Weakened When I Met Him In Yosemite.
I Have Heard Of Texas Pioneers Living Without Bread Or Anything Made From The Cereals For Months Without Suffering, Using The Breast-meat Of Wild Turkeys For Bread. Of This Kind, They Had Plenty In The Good Old Days When Life, Though Considered Less Safe, Was Fussed Over The Less.
I Bade Adieu To Mechanical Inventions, Determined To Devote The Rest Of My Life To The Study Of The Inventions Of God.
Bread Without Flesh Is A Good Diet, As On Many Botanical Excursions I Have Proved. Tea Also May Easily Be Ignored. Just Bread And Water And Delightful Toil Is All I Need - Not Unreasonably Much, Yet One Ought To Be Trained And Tempered To Enjoy Life In These Brave Wilds In Full Independence Of Any Particular Kind Of Nourishment.
I Care To Live Only To Entice People To Look At Nature's Loveliness. Heaven Knows That John The Baptist Was Not More Eager To Get All His Fellow Sinners Into The Jordan Than I To Baptize All Of Mine In The Beauty Of God's Mountains.
Every Natural Object Is A Conductor Of Divinity And Only By Coming Into Contact With Them... May We Be Filled With The Holy Ghost.
How Terribly Downright Must Be The Utterances Of Storms And Earthquakes To Those Accustomed To The Soft Hypocrisies Of Society.
There Is That In The Glance Of A Flower Which May At Times Control The Greatest Of Creation's Braggart Lords.
A Few Minutes Ago Every Tree Was Excited, Bowing To The Roaring Storm, Waving, Swirling, Tossing Their Branches In Glorious Enthusiasm Like Worship. But Though To The Outer Ear These Trees Are Now Silent, Their Songs Never Cease.
I Never Saw A Discontented Tree. They Grip The Ground As Though They Liked It, And Though Fast Rooted They Travel About As Far As We Do.
Trees Go Wandering Forth In All Directions With Every Wind, Going And Coming Like Ourselves, Traveling With Us Around The Sun Two Million Miles A Day, And Through Space Heaven Knows How Fast And Far!
Climb The Mountains And Get Their Good Tidings.
To The Lover Of Wilderness, Alaska Is One Of The Most Wonderful Countries In The World.
The Clearest Way Into The Universe Is Through A Forest Wilderness.
Sheep, Like People, Are Ungovernable When Hungry.
One May As Well Dam For Water Tanks The People's Cathedrals And Churches, For No Holier Temple Has Ever Been Consecrated By The Heart Of Man.
It Is Easier To Feel Than To Realize, Or In Any Way Explain, Yosemite Grandeur. The Magnitudes Of The Rocks And Trees And Streams Are So Delicately Harmonized, They Are Mostly Hidden.
When We Contemplate The Whole Globe As One Great Dewdrop, Striped And Dotted With Continents And Islands, Flying Through Space With Other Stars All Singing And Shining Together As One, The Whole Universe Appears As An Infinite Storm Of Beauty.
All The World Lies Warm In One Heart, Yet The Sierra Seems To Get More Light Than Other Mountains. The Weather Is Mostly Sunshine Embellished With Magnificent Storms, And Nearly Everything Shines From Base To Summit - The Rocks, Streams, Lakes, Glaciers, Irised Falls, And The Forests Of Silver Fir And Silver Pine.
How Glorious A Greeting The Sun Gives The Mountains!
Storms Of Every Sort, Torrents, Earthquakes, Cataclysms, 'Convulsions Of Nature,' Etc., However Mysterious And Lawless At First Sight They May Seem, Are Only Harmonious Notes In The Song Of Creation, Varied Expressions Of God's Love.