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John Muir

by Charles Sprague Sargent

From Sierra Club Bulletin, John Muir Memorial Number, Vol. 10, No. 1 (January, 1916).


Few men whom I have known loved trees as deeply and intelligently as John Muir. The love of trees was born in him, I am sure, and had abundant nourishment during his wanderings over the Sierra, where for months at a time he lived among the largest and some of the most beautiful trees of the world. No one has studied the Sierra trees as living beings more deeply and continuously than Muir, and no one in writing about them has brought them so close to other lovers of nature.

Muir and I traveled through many forests, and saw together all the trees of western North America, from Alaska to Arizona. We wandered together through the great forests which cover the southern Appalachian Mountains, and through the tropical forests of southern Florida. Together we saw the forests of southern Russia and the Caucasus and those of eastern Siberia, but in all these wanderings Muir's heart never strayed very far from the California Sierra. He loved the Sierra trees the best, and in other lands his thoughts always returned to the great sequoia, the sugar pine, among all trees best loved by him; the incense cedar, the yellow pine, the Douglas spruce, and the other trees which make the forests of California the most wonderful coniferous forests of the world. With these he was always comparing all minor growths, and when he could not return to the Sierra his greatest happiness was in talking of them and in discussing the Sierra trees.


Source: Sierra Club Bulletin, Vol. 10, No. 1 (1916 January)


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