Close Window

Gold rush

Gold Rush

Dear Friends –
Some 173 years ago, a shiny yellow substance, known as gold, was discovered near my home in Placerville. The word rapidly got out and before one could blink an eye, a rush of people from all over the world arrived hoping to make themselves wealthy.

Gold is not what brought my family to California, and I struggle to decide whether that rush was a good turn of events overall. I rather think that – on balance – it was more bad than good. The California Gold Rush resulted in environmental disaster, mayhem, and genocide with whole civilizations of original peoples being nearly wiped out…. but I guess a few miners did get wealthy.

But this spring of 2021, I am hitting the trails near the original gold discovery site and finding a different sort of gold. It is robust and beautiful and is decorating the hills everywhere with its swaying gilded blossoms. Poppies… more than I have ever seen in the 40 years I have lived here which is a bit puzzling considering that the winter rainfall has been so low. But I am grateful nonetheless.

The word is getting out about this glorious gold also, but this time we are not seeing mayhem and murder as a result. One could argue that there is environmental impact, but in large part visitors park in designated places and stick to the trails that have been created by the American River Conservancy (ARC). Perhaps, we are learning to be better land stewards. Let's hope for that.

This 11x14" oil on canvas painting will be available once it is framed and perhaps the money should go to the ARC – an organization that has done incredible work to preserve the natural beauty here and to create trails that make it all accessible to you and me. If you are interested in this, let's talk.

margie lopez read
Facebook: Donation Art