Thursday, October 29, 2015

John Muir

Did you know that John Muir, the famous American conservationist, spent a couple of years here near Meaford in 1864-66?   He was exploring and botanizing, in between working at the Trout Hollow sawmill on the Bighead River.  There's a historic plaque commemorating his time here overlooking the valley in a small park just north of the old Epping church corner.

Muir is widely known as a staunch advocate of protecting wilderness in the western United States and a leader in developing the U.S. National Park system.  He is especially identified with Yosemite National Park.  But actually 3 countries claim him - Scotland where he was born, this tiny region of Canada where he spent a year or two, and the U.S.A.

This is the location of the plaque, overlooking the valley.  Can you see the fence?  Just right of centre at the bottom of the photo are two blue blazes, marking a Bruce Trail Side Trail - they're painted on a fencepost.

The information sign provides one quote written by Muir while he was here in the valley, in late May of 1865:

"We live in a retired and romantic hollow.  
Our tall, tall forest trees are now alive, 
and the mingled ocean of blossom and leaves, 
wave and curl, and rise in rounded swells further and further away.  
Freshness and beauty are everywhere - 
flowers are born every hour - 
living sunlight is poured over all, 
and every thing and every creature is glad - 
our world is indeed a beautiful one..."

You can almost see the dip of Blue Mountain on the left where it drops down to Georgian Bay.

Here's another fence, built by a farmer to keep his cattle in, along the boundary of a Bruce Trail property I had to go out and check.

And this is our own meadow.  The light snowfall two weeks ago outlined the trails I mow quite effectively.  And there's a bit more fence.

Caught this view across the fields a couple of weeks ago too, on one of my drives around the rural roads.


A second dull, grey, windy rainy day here; hoping to get back to sunshine soon!

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  1. just beautiful rural views! you can keep that snow up there, though. :)

  2. I had always thought of Muir out here on the west coast. - Margy

  3. Oh my you've already had snow. It looks so pretty and peaceful but I'm with TexWisGirl (you can keep it to yourself).

  4. Your meadow looks beautiful covered in snow, but it seems a bit early for that white stuff! Gorgeous views and fences. Thanks for sharing about John Muir.

  5. Beautiful photos, and I never knew Muir spent time i hour neck of the woods!

  6. Thanks for sharing the Muir piece. He was such a reflective writer and thinker. What a treasure he was, and what a treasure he left for all of us.

    Love the fence shot!

  7. Lovely scenes! I read one of Muir's books and it was wonderful.

  8. I had no idea John Muir once lived in Canada. thanks for sharing that info. I'm liking your pics of the snowy ground. Hoping our mountains get some of that white stuff.

  9. Heartfelt words so true. Love that photo of your garden plot with the snow.

  10. No wonder Muir fell in love with the area. So pastoral and peaceful. I have not read anything by Muir and I should.

  11. Beautiful! It's so nice to have these pictures to gaze at when it's dreary outside. Same here: we are ramping up for lots and lots of rain. :-)

  12. I once visited Muir Woods in or near San Francisco as a child. A never to be forgotten day of beauty. Love your fences!

  13. Gorgeous shots! I didn't know that about Muir. He was an extraordinary, wise man, the sort who still has lessons for us today.

  14. Didn't know Muir had lived there.
    NICE shots. Favorite is number 4, the fence with just a touch of snow.

  15. Wow! Such views. Have a great weekend!

  16. I love how the light snow highlights the beautiful landscape. The last photo is very pretty with the cows. I like cows. :)