A Walk in the Wild: Continuing John Muir's Journey

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." – John Muir
Went to the John Muir exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California this morning. Because I already knew a lot about Muir and have visited Yosemite, Muir Woods and the Sierras, I was in and out in an hour or so. But if you don't know much about the conservationist or haven't visited the landmarks he explored and helped save, you could wonder around the exhibit for a long time, as there is plenty to read and watch, as well as installations that will engage all your senses.

There are a few installations mimicking nature, like a sequoia tree,  a waterfall, glaciers; and a replica of John Muir's cabin in Yosemite. There are also dioramas; dessicated animals; Muir's collection of dried plants identified by botanists and other visual botanical studies; cases with Muir's journals filled with his notes and sketches, and the gadgets he used to examin the subjects he picked to study; and letters documenting Muir's communication exchange with government (Theodor Roosevelt era) in efforts to conserve these beautiful natural landmarks.

OMC also brought out their egg collection from the natural history permanent collection, which is a rarity since naturalists are not allowed to steal eggs from mothers for study purposes anymore (unless it's due to known mother's death or inability to incubate).

It's a great exhibit to encourage kids to get into naturalism, conservation, environmentalism, and other sciences. And it encourages everyone to see thoroughly when exploring the wilderness.

Overall, a nature buff day in the national park, just indoors. I'm glad Muir's work is being payed tribute and exposed, and hope it inspires a new generations of conversationalists.

Notes and things I overheard or learned: A biologist working on the field could still find about 75 new species per decade. Especially in caves.

Watch documentary on John Muir:

Watch John Muir in the New World on PBS. See more from American Masters.

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