the great central bee pasture

John Muir is aware. As I read this book, I am amazed by his attention to the world around him. I also love his way of framing beautiful nature in a string of descriptors. It’s romantic and on a day in these mountains like today, perfectly placed. Here is a selection from the chapter “The Bee-Pastures.”

When California was wild, it was one sweet bee-garden throughout its entire length, North and South, and all the way across from the snowy Sierra to the ocean. Wherever a bee might fly within the bounds of this virgin wilderness–through the redwood forests, along the banks of the rivers, along the bluffs and headlands fronting the sea, over valley and plain, park and grove, and deep, leafy glen, or far up the piny slopes of the mountains–throughout every belt and section of climate up to the timber line, bee-flowers bloomed in lavish abundance. […] The great Central Plain of California, during the months of March, April, and May, was one smooth, continuous bed of honey-bloom, so marvelously rich that, in walking from one end of it to the other, a distance of more than 400 miles, your foot would press about a hundred flowers at every step.

—John Muir


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