As the juniper is the most stubborn and unshakeable of trees in the Yosemite region, the Mountain Hemlock (Tsuga Mertensiana) is the most graceful and pliant and sensitive. Until it reaches a height of fifty or sixty feet it is sumptuously clothed down to the ground with drooping branches, which are divided again and again into delicate waving sprays, grouped and arranged in ways that are indescribably beautiful, and profusely adorned with small brown cones. The flowers also are peculiarly beautiful and effective; the female dark rich purple, the male blue, of so fine and pure a tone. What the best azure of the mountain sky seems to be condensed in them. Though apparently the most delicate and feminine of all the mountain trees, it grows best where the snow lies deepest, at a height of from 9000 to 9500 feet, in hollows on the northern slopes of mountains and ridges. But under all circumstances, sheltered from heavy winds or in bleak exposure to them, well fed or starved, even at its highest limit, 10,500 feet above the sea, on exposed ridge-tops where it has to crouch and huddle close in low thickets, it still contrives to put forth its sprays and branches in forms of invincible beauty, while on moist, well-drained moraines it displays a perfectly tropical luxuriance of foliage, flowers and fruit. The snow of the first winter storm is frequently soft, and lodges in due dense leafy branches, weighing them down against the trunk, and the slender, drooping axis, bending lower and lower as the load increases, at length reaches the ground, forming an ornamental arch. Then, as storm succeeds storm and snow is heaped on snow, the whole tree is at last buried, not again to see the light of day or move leaf or limb until set free by the spring thaws in June or July. Not only the young saplings are thus carefully covered and put to sleep in the whitest of white beds for five or six months of the year, but trees thirty feet high or more. From April to May, when the snow by repeated thawing and freezing is firmly compacted, you may ride over the prostrate groves without seeing a single branch or leaf of them. No other of our alpine conifers so finely veils its strength; poised in thin, white sunshine, clad with branches from head to foot, it towers in unassuming majesty, drooping as if unaffected with the aspiring tendencies of its race, loving the ground, conscious of heaven and joyously receptive of its blessings, reaching out its branches like sensitive tentacles, feeling the light and reveling in it. The largest specimen I ever found was nineteen feet seven inches in circumference. It was growing on the edge of Lake Hollow, north of Mount Hoffman, at an elevation of 9250 feet above the level of the sea, and was probably about a hundred feet in height. Fine groves of mature trees, ninety to a hundred feet in height, are growing near the base of Mount Conness. It is widely distributed from near the south extremity of the high Sierra northward along the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington and the coast ranges of British Columbia to Alaska, where it was first discovered in 1827. Its northernmost limit, so far as I have observed, is in the icy fiords of Prince William Sound in latitude 61°, where it forms pure forests at the level of the sea, growing tall and majestic on the banks of glaciers. There, as in the Yosemite region, it is ineffably beautiful, the very loveliest of all the American conifers.