Nature Legend: John Muir, in Person

Actor Lee Stetson summons the great naturalist at Sequoia Grove Winery.

Lee Stetson

GENTLE BUT FIERCE FORESIGHT: When we think of inspirations, those leaders who stood for a cause and saw it through despite the fashions of the era and opinions and which was the wind was blowing, we very often find people who held a fierce foresight gently but persistently delivered. There are few, in history, to match John Muir, a man as tall in spirit and dignity as the trees he loved, for those qualities. Not only did Mr. Muir write beautifully of places in the Sierra and throughout California, but he championed those places, not as destinations to be developed but as sacred spots that should remain forever wild and unto themselves.

A SPECIAL CELEBRATION: Born in Scotland, Mr. Muir went onto to co-found The Sierra Club, and his legacy is remembered throughout the Golden State always, but especially come his April 21 birthday, which happens to be the annual eve of Earth Day. Several spots around the state remember the naturalist in myriad ways, but it is a lovely and moving treat to receive a visit from the legend himself, in the form of actor Lee Stetson. Mr. Stetson, who was seen portraying John Muir in the Ken Burns' series "National Parks -- America's Best Idea," will call upon the Sequoia Grove Winery on Saturday, April 25 to stage a trio of performances recalling the gentle but fierce friend to the wilder world.

EARTH DAY CELEBRATION: The Rutherford vineyard is throwing a five-hour bash, with timed tickets at thirty dollars apiece. There shall be pizza, from Pizza Politano, and there shall be vino, too, of course. The wine flight hails from Sequoia Grove's 2012 Historic Vines Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine and pizza and a moving performance that is tied to California, history, the land, and a man who is much admired? All during his birthday week? It's a fine way to raise a toast to John Muir and all of the earthy goodness he so passionately protected.

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