My First Summer in the Sierra (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin, 1911 - Agriculture - 353 pages
23 Reviews
Famed naturalist John Muir (1838-1914) came to Wisconsin as a boy and studied at the University of Wisconsin. He first came to California in 1868 and devoted six years to the study of the Yosemite Valley. After work in Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, he returned to California in 1880 and made the state his home. One of the heroes of America's conservaton movement, Muir deserves much of the credit for making the Yosemite Valley a protected national park and for alerting Americans to the need to protect this and other natural wonders. My first summer in the Sierra (1911) is based on Muir's original journals and sketches of his 1869 stay in the Sierras. Hired to supervise a San Joaquin sheep owner's flock at the headwaters of the Merced and Tulomne Rivers, Muir sets out for the mountains in June, returning to the Valley in September. He describes the flora and fauna of the mountains as well as his visits to Yosemite and his climbs of Mt. Hoffman and other peaks in the range.
  

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Review: My First Summer in the Sierra: Illustrated Edition

User Review  - Suzan Powers - Goodreads

Excellent edition of John Muir's third book of his life as a naturalist. It has contemporary photographs alongside his original drawings. Ever the botanist, Muir's endless descriptions of the ... Read full review

Review: My First Summer in the Sierra

User Review  - RJ Robledo - Goodreads

John Muir's importance to the preservation of America's wilderness treasures cannot be overestimated. With this book, he called attention to the beauty of the Sierra Nevada, causing America to view ... Read full review

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Page 295 - For a' that, and a' that, Their dignities, and a' that, The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth, Are higher ranks than a' that. Then let us pray that come it may, As come it will for a' that That sense and worth o'er a' the earth, May bear the gree, and a' that. For a' that, and a' that, It's coming yet, for a
Page 155 - The noble walls sculptured into endless variety of domes and gables, spires and battlements and plain mural precipices all a-tremble with the thunder tones of the falling water. The level bottom seemed to be dressed like a garden sunny meadows here and there, and groves of pine and oak; the river of Mercy sweeping in majesty through the midst of them and flashing back the sunbeams. The great Tissiack, or Half-Dome, rising at the upper end of the valley to a height of nearly a mile, is...
Page 20 - We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, as if truly an inseparable part of it, thrilling with the air and trees, streams and rocks, in the waves of the sun, a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal.
Page 175 - Perched like a fly on this Yosemite dome, I gaze and sketch and bask, oftentimes settling down into dumb admiration without definite hope of ever learning much, yet with the longing, unresting effort that lies at the door of hope, humbly prostrate before the vast display of God's power, and eager to offer self-denial and renunciation with eternal toil to learn any lesson in the divine manuscript. Muir's "divine manuscript" and Wordsworth's "Characters of the great Apocalypse" were in fact pages from...
Page 325 - One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature - inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death...
Page 172 - ... and trousers water-tight and shiny. His trousers, in particular, have become so adhesive with the mixed fat and resin that pine needles, thin flakes and fibres of bark, hair, mica scales and minute grains of quartz, hornblende, etc., feathers, seed wings, moth and butterfly wings, legs and...
Page 319 - This day just like yesterday. A few clouds motionless and apparently with no work to do beyond looking beautiful. Frost enough for crystal building, glorious fields of ice-diamonds destined to last but a night. How lavish is Nature building, pulling down, creating, destroying, chasing every material particle from form to form, ever changing, ever beautiful. Mr. Delaney arrived this morning. Felt not a trace of loneliness while he was gone.
Page 315 - Probably more free sunshine falls on this majestic range than on any other in the world I've ever seen or heard of. It has the brightest weather, brightest glacier-polished rocks, the greatest abundance of irised spray from its glorious waterfalls, the brightest forests of silver firs and silver pines, more starshine, moonshine, and perhaps more crystalshine than any other mountain chain, and its countless mirror lakes, having more light poured into them, glow and spangle most. And how glorious the...
Page 29 - The sheep were sick last night, and many of them are still far from well, hardly able to leave camp, coughing, groaning, looking wretched and pitiful, all from eating the leaves of the blessed azalea. So at least say the shepherd and the Don. Having had but little grass since they left the plains, they are starving, and so eat anything green they can get. 'Sheep men* call azalea 'sheep-poison,' and wonder what the Creator was thinking about when he made it.
Page 169 - Now the storm is over, the sky is clear, the last rolling thunder-wave is spent on the peaks, and where are the raindrops now what has become of all the shining throng? In winged vapor rising some are already hastening back to the sky, some have gone into the plants, creeping through invisible doors into the round rooms of cells, some are locked in crystals of ice, some in rock crystals, some in porous moraines to keep their small springs flowing, some have gone journeying on in the rivers to...

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