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.