John Muir on Bees

Recently, we recommended an essay called "Locusts and Wild Honey" by our local hero, John Burroughs (1837-1921).

Today, we recommend writings by Burroughs' contemporary, John Muir (1838-1914). In particular, a chapter entitled "The Bee-Pastures" from a book called The Mountains of California.

Richly depicting a long since vanished California, with its "continuous bed of honey-bloom" so thick a walkers' foot "would press about a hundred flowers at every step," the essay is a balm on a cold winter day like today, when honeybees and their flowers seem like distant, thrumming dreams.

A favorite passage to whet your appetite:

"The great yellow days circled by uncounted, while I drifted toward the north, observing the countless forms of life thronging about me, lying down almost anywhere on the approach of night. And what glorious botanic beds I had! Oftentimes on awaking I would find several new species leaning over me and looking me full in the face, so that my studies would begin before rising."John Muir
John Burroughs


KC said...

separated at birth?

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Kind of looks that way, don't it?

amarilla said...

I had never heard of JB until last week. What a discovery. I'm so glad to come across your recommendations and any more you might have because I have little time and no idea where to start.

I think I will love Burroughs, like him I am a strident devotee of Emerson but not so keen on Thoreau, who strikes me as an elitist. I'm also interested to learn that he was also a defender of Whitman.