Tuesday, 30 December 2014

How the touch of the flowers makes one's flesh tingle!

Numb from the holidays? Climb into a tree like John Muir and write...

The hemlock (Tsuga Mertensiana) is the most beautiful conifer I have ever seen; the branches and also the main axis droop in a singularly graceful way, and the dense foliage covers the delicate, sensitive, swaying branchlets all around. It is now in full bloom, and the flowers, together with thousands of last season's cones still clinging to the drooping sprays, display wonderful wealth of color, brown and purple and blue. Gladly I climbed the first tree I found to revel in the midst of it. How the touch of the flowers makes one's flesh tingle! The pistillate are dark, rich purple, and almost translucent, the staminate blue, --a vivid, pure tone of blue like the mountain sky, --the most uncommonly beautiful of all the Sierra tree flowers I have seen. How wonderful that, with all its delicate feminine grace and beauty of form and dress and behavior, this lovely tree up here, exposed to the wildest blasts, has already endured the storms of centuries of winters! 

You can find more of the beautiful illustrations and experiences from John Muir's My first Summer in the Sierra courtesy of the Sierra Club (which Muir founded) here http://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/writings/my_first_summer_in_the_sierra/

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