Mountain Friend: John Muir's Birthday

Celebrate the nature advocate by sharing some of his best ruminations.

HUMAN + NATURE: Many a city-dweller, or suburbanite, or beach lover is lucky enough to have a friend or two who reside in the mountains. "I'm going to see a pal of mine with a cabin" is an oft-heard pre-weekend rallying cry from lower-landers looking for a little crisp air and some time spent among the big trees. But while a mountain friend is one thing many people happen to have, regardless of where they live, a Mountain Friend is something a bit different, and a full-stop statement unto its own. Call it a title earned by those advocates who tirelessly work for nature, making their calling to better the present, and future, of the firs and birds and the snow-capped peaks.

JOHN MUIR, during his amazingly full lifetime, became famous for being a true Mountain Friend. His writings supporting wide-open spaces, as well as wilderness-protecting policy, live on, with boldness and beauty, more than a century after his passing. In respect and gratitude, lovers of the Sierra Nevada and all places of peak-laden loveliness pause each April 21 to honor the naturalist's birthday, perhaps via a contemplative hike or picnic near a stream. But if you're at a computer for much of the day, you can still show your appreciation for the Sierra Club founder, the ultimate Mountain Friend, by sharing some great graphics from...

THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION: The official charity for the National Park Service has posted a few moving quotes alongside the snowy expanses Mr. Muir so adored, all in honor of the anniversary of his birth. There's a sentiment or two or six on the list that all lovers of nature can relate to, so whether you share, or simply make one of the graphics your new lockscreen, get ready to get inspired. And to wish you could go to the mountains, this weekend, to see a friend. Of course, even if you don't have a bud with a cabin, the mountains themselves are friendly. John Muir believed so, and his passionate and passionately practiced belief translated into nature-nice advocacy for the ages.

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