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The Mountains Of California
by John Muir
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"Mr. Muir is a nature-lover of a fine type, one of the best the country has produced."
Making your way through the mazes of the Coast Range to the summit of any of the inner peaks or passes opposite San Francisco, in the clear springtime, the grandest and most telling of all California landscapes is outspread before you.
There are two trees in the Sierra forests that are never blown down, so long as they continue in sound health. These are the Juniper and the Dwarf Pine of the summit peaks. Their stiff, crooked roots grip the storm-beaten ledges like eagles' claws, while their lithe, cord-like branches bend round compliantly, offering but slight holds for winds, however violent. The other alpine conifers--the Needle Pine, Mountain Pine, Two-leaved Pine, and Hemlock Spruce--are never thinned out by this agent to any destructive extent, on account of their admirable toughness and the closeness of their growth. In general the same is true of the giants of the lower zones.
About the Author
Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, The Age of Missing Information, and Long Distance: A Year of Living Strenuously, among other books. He lives in upstate New York.
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