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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Fifty Eight: Man and nature -- expressing our relationship with the environment > Gold Rush remnant, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, California, 2008
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Gold Rush remnant, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, California, 2008
17-MAY-2008

Gold Rush remnant, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, California, 2008

In 1848, James Marshall discovered gold in the American River, and within a year, thousands of miners came to California from all over the world to find their fortunes.
Some of their rusting equipment still remains visible. I photographed a piece of 160-year-old mining machinery in the glow of a late afternoon sun along a dry creek bed leading to the American River. Gold is a natural product, historically valued by man for its beauty and scarcity. I thought the pool of golden grass evoked the natural beauty of gold. The rusting piece of metal machinery offers an incongruous presence symbolizing the heavy hand of man upon the environment. It lies forlorn in the weeds, now as useless as the greedy dreams of those who once lived and worked and died here during the Gold Rush.

Leica V-Lux 1
1/320s f/5.6 at 13.1mm iso100 full exif

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Phil Douglis27-May-2008 18:30
Wonderful thought, Tim. When I look at this image now, I see each of these golden blades as symbolic 49er.
Tim May27-May-2008 17:18
I might add that the multiple blades of grass evoke for me the sense to the thousand who came to seek the gold.
Phil Douglis27-May-2008 05:47
Thanks, Carol, for this comment. I think it is fitting that the golden light remains, even though the gold is long gone. The rusty machinery, although now nothing but a useless relic, serves as a reminder of what happened here 160 years ago.
Carol E Sandgren27-May-2008 05:02
It is interesting that another natural product does still exist here, that being your elusive, golden light, but one cannot make one's fortune with light in the same way as gold. I like that the rusty piece of machinery, now useless lies in the golden light, perhaps it is a reminder of what things were, and the fact that the most valuable things in life are everyday phenomenons.
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