On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York. It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside. His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.
Of all our wild neighbors the mosquitoes were the first with which we became very intimately acquainted. The beautiful meadow lying warm in the spring sunshine, outspread between our lily-rimmed lake and the hill-slope that our shanty stood on, sent forth thirsty swarms of the little gray, speckledy, singing, stinging pests; and how tellingly they introduced themselves! … the surpassing fineness of their taste was best manifested by their enthusiastic appreciation of boys full of lively red blood, and of girls in full bloom fresh from cool Scotland or England. On these it was pleasant to witness their enjoyment as they feasted. Indians, we were told, believed that if they were brave fighters they would go after death to a happy country abounding in game, where there were no mosquitoes