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Exhibit item: FRANCIS FLORABOND (FANNY) PALMER, The Mountain Pass, Sierra Nevada, 1867, hand colored lithograph on paper

Exhibit item:
The Mountain Pass, Sierra Nevada, 1867
Hand colored lithograph on paper.

Environmentalist John Muir imagined the untroubled life of a California grizzly before the flood of humanity arrived to challenge its right to inhabit the land.

Our National Parks, 1901

"The Sierra bear, brown or gray, the sequoia of the animals, tramps over all the park, though few travelers have the pleasure of seeing him. On he fares through the majestic forests and caņons, facing all sorts of weather, rejoicing in his strength, everywhere at home, harmonizing with the trees and rocks and shaggy chaparral.

Happy fellow! His lines have fallen in pleasant places - lily gardens in silver-fir forests, miles of bushes in endless variety and exuberance of bloom over hill-waves and valleys and along the banks of streams, caņons full of music and waterfalls, parks fair as Eden - places in which one might expect to meet angels rather than bears.

In this happy land no famine comes nigh him. All the year round his bread is sure, for some of the thousand kinds that he likes are always in season and accessible, ranged on the shelves of the mountains like stores in a pantry.

From one to another, from climate to climate, up and down he climbs, feasting on each in turn, - enjoying as great variety as if he traveled to far-off countries north and south.

To him almost everything is food except granite. Every tree helps to feed him, every bush and herb, with fruits and flowers, leaves and back; and all the animals he can catch, - badgers, gophers, ground squirrels, lizards, snakes, etc., and ants, bees, wasps, old and young, together with their eggs and larvae and nests. Crunched and hashed, down all go to his marvelous stomach, and vanish as if cast into a fire."

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