Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Golden Meadow
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Golden Meadow
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 120mm Schneider Super-Symmar HM f/5.6 lens, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 2 exposures, 164 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Golden Meadow

Elkhorn Road, Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Luis Obispo & Kern Counties, CA, 3/31/2017

On a sunny afternoon in early spring, I explored Elkhorn Plain in California’s Carrizo Plain National Monument. The previous winter’s heavy rains had brought forth a rare super bloom of wildflowers throughout the state, and as I drove along Elkhorn Road, I realized I was in Bloom Central! In this remote flowery paradise, a text message arrived from my best friend, Kai Gorbahn, and so I stopped and replied with a snapshot of the millions of golden flowers I could see from my car window. I wanted to share more of beautiful California with my Canadian friend, and I found my opportunity a few miles further south. I discovered the pristine golden meadow you see here and used my large format view camera to capture the scene on film. These are native California goldfields (Lasthenia californica) spreading out toward the Temblor mountain range, with distant Temblor Peak visible near the left. I was thrilled to find the meadow undamaged by footprints or any other human touch. Perhaps the “Road Closed” sign I drove past miles back had been helpful after all! A few hundred years ago, California’s Central Valley was a vast grassland where antelope and elk grazed, and wildflowers graced the spring landscape. Today, Carrizo Plain survives as an idyllic remnant amid the state’s urban and agriculture development.

Golden Meadow

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