Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Vision Thing

I conceived my 2015 Pt. Reyes photography project just as I was wrapping up my Circumannuation of Mt. Tamalpais which is chronicled at the beginning of this blog. (To begin the circumannuation I deleted all the previous posts going back to 2007.) I did a separate blog with the Pt. Reyes project, deleting the whole thing when the year was done. 

Deleting the blog had been my vision from the beginning, though I wasn't sure I would be able to go through with it as the year progressed. I did go through with it, though, and am still glad even with five years of hindsight. I was inspired by Tibetan and Navajo sand mandalas, or sand paintings, whose intricate preparation is a means of bringing order and wholeness to bear on a point of discord or imbalance. When its work is done it's poured into a nearby river or returned to the earth.

The other day I was going through some old magazines that have been in the same small pile for years, thinking it might be time to toss them in the recycling bin. Instead I realized why I'd saved them in the first place, including a couple issues of Bay Nature magazine that touch on Pt. Reyes. One of them, from 2005, looks back on the Vision Fire that had burned ten years before. 

The image above, with the morning sun trying to burn through the fog, was made on Mt. Vision in 2015, twenty years after the fire. This part of the mountain didn't see the worst of the flames, which started south of this location and destroyed 43 homes before burning all the way down to Limantour Beach.

Right now Mt. Vision Road remains closed (it's been a long time!) due to the possibility of fire danger. This image looking northeast from Inverness Ridge over Tomales Bay and out toward Mount St. Helena was made near the 1995 fire's starting point. Apparently a couple of teens thought they'd put out their illegal campfire, not realizing embers remained deep in the forest duff where, a couple of days later, strong winds kindled those embers back into flame.

Mugwort and Fennel, Graffiti & Coastal Gumweed

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