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By John Muir

John Muir (1838-1914) was once a Scottish-born American naturalist, writer, and early suggest of protection of U.S. desolate tract. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, specially within the Sierra Nevada mountain diversity of California, were learn by way of hundreds of thousands and are nonetheless renowned at the present time. His direct activism helped to avoid wasting the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia nationwide Park and different desolate tract parts. The Sierra membership, which he based, is now some of the most vital conservation corporations within the usa. His writings and philosophy strongly prompted the formation of the trendy environmental movement.

This Penguin Classic--Muir's first book--puts a pioneering conservationist's ardour for nature in excessive reduction. With a poet's sensitivity and a naturalist's eye, Muir celebrates the Sierra Nevada, which he devoted his existence to saving, and recounts his breathtaking visits to Yosemite Valley, Kings Canyon, Sequoia Groves, and Mount Whiskey. The Mountains of California is an affecting get together of uncooked nature by way of one in all its such a lot ardent defenders.

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I could see only the one sublime mountain, the one glacier, the one lake; the whole veiled with one blue shadow—rock, ice, and water close together without a single leaf or sign of life.

Many of the starry snow-flowers, out of which these banners are made, fall before they are ripe, while most of those that do attain perfect development as six-rayed crystals glint and chafe against one another in their fall through the frosty air, and are broken into fragments. This dry fragmentary snow is still further prepared for the formation of banners by the action of the wind. But far the greater part, after being driven into the sky again and again, is at length locked fast in bossy drifts, or in the wombs of glaciers, some of it to remain silent and rigid for centuries before it is finally melted and sent singing down the mountainsides to the sea.

A series of rugged zigzags enabled me to make my way down into the weird under-world of the crevasse. Its chambered hollows were hung with a multitude of clustered icicles, amid which pale, subdued light pulsed and shimmered with indescribable loveliness. Coming again to the surface, I noticed boulders of every size on their journeys to the terminal moraine—journeys of more than a hundred years, without a single stop, night or day, winter or summer. The sun gave birth to a network of sweet-voiced rills that ran gracefully down the glacier, curling and swirling in their shining channels, and cutting clear sections through the porous surface-ice into the solid blue, where the structure of the glacier was beautifully illustrated.

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