Saturday, August 15, 2015

Footsteps II


(Continued from preceding post)

This is a place of vast stretches of arid land. (Photo by Tom Baugh)
We were searching for the emerald green of rare springs and seeps. (Photo by Tom Baugh)
Gold and Silver are evocative colors but on this trip and many others before it, we were searching not for mineral wealth but another kind of wealth and another color. It was emerald we were looking for, not the emerald of the gemstone but the startling plant-green of those rare oasis of  vegetation surrounding springs that very infrequently seep from the base of hills alongside the two-lane country roads. Native American people were the first humans to visit these small islands of green with their cool waters and sheltering willow and cottonwood trees. It didn’t take long for wandering Europeans, following the course of the Carson and Walker rivers and to stake their claim. Domestic livestock would soon graze in what would one day be called wet meadow complexes.  In fact, the complex we had been asked to visit was the site of an old stagecoach stop on the dusty gravel trail from one western Nevada mining camp to another. In our soon sopping tennis shoes we squished along trails where stagecoach stock had once been turned out to graze and moccasins and hobnailed boots had wandered.  In one way or another everyone who came here left their mark. In fact, our visit was, in part, to help erase at least some of those earlier marks. but there was really very little left for us to do because the current landowner had a strong sense of stewardship.

Ours were not the first footprints in these wet meadows. (Photo by Tom Baugh)
Several of us have formed a study group to address Environmental Aesthetics. For those who are interested, please  contact me at

(Continued in next post)