Back to the lake!
Well, I’ve had a little more down time with this project (and photography in general) than anticipated, but it’s given me plenty of time to think about what I want to accomplish in this next phase of the Owens Lake Project. The last few years have involved an unexpected career change, a move to northern California, and a complete shutdown of this website for the past year thanks to a hacking attack. That last event was finally resolved last week and I’m excited to be up and running, and with a site redesign to boot. It’s good to be back! The Owens Trails project, part of LADWP’s Owens Lake Master…
This was never supposed to happen.
So how do you go from dealing with a public utility that has to be dragged kicking and screaming through decades of litigation just to get it to fix a public health disaster it inadvertently created to having that same utility embrace and manage an elaborate set of wildlife and bird habitats, complete with public access to invite people into this strange but beautiful place? You do it with data, you do it with heart, and you do it with years of dogged persistence. That somewhat oversimplifies the process by which we arrive today (tomorrow, technically, for the public dedication), at the opening of the Owens Trails at Owens Lake…
So what does spring migration look like at Owens Lake? BIRDS EVERYWHERE!
I’m looking forward to telling you more later this week about the official opening of the Owens Trails installation at the lake, but in the meantime I thought I’d share some images from this year’s spring migration. Every species has a different migration pattern–some make stunningly long journeys, others less so; it’s the range of bird life on the lake in spring that’s truly impressive, however. This is just a small sampling of the hundreds of species who use the lake as a migratory stopover.
Owens Lake Project on Exhibit through 2017
If you didn’t have a chance to see the Owens Lake Project exhibit at G2 Gallery in Venice, California or again at the Interagency Visitors’ Center in Lone Pine last year, it’s now up for a third time! The Eastern California Museum in Independence (very much worth a visit whenever you’re in the area) opened a year-long showing of the project last month, paired with some historical photos of the lake. The juxtaposition of old and new photos is quite striking (and kudos to Jon Klusmire at the museum for this perfect and fascinating approach). The images from the first phase of the project are now part of the museum’s…
A second exhibition of the Owens Lake Project in 2015!
First, a HUGE thank you to those of you who donated to the GoFundMe fundraiser–most of my data was recovered, and the exhibit this summer at the G2 Gallery went on with no problems or delays. I could not have done this without your help, and I am both grateful and humbled. Those of you who donated at the level to receive a complimentary print from me can expect them within the next week (my techno-nightmares have continued, unfortunately–my PC desktop went belly-up about 10 days ago, which slightly delayed my ability to print those images; it’s been an interesting year, to say the least!). For those of you who…
I need your help!
The link is here. After four years of work on my documentary photography project on The Owens Lake Project, I’m finally on the verge of showing it to the public in the form of an exhibit. Beginning June 10, renowned environmental photography gallery, G2 Gallery – Second Chance: The Owens Lake Project in Venice, California, will be showing my Owens Lake Project in their beautiful exhibition space. Mounting an exhibit is always an expensive affair, and this one will require between $2,000 and $3,000 to print and frame the prints for exhibit. This project has always been a labor of love, with all of the associated expenses up to this point…
Hidden in plain sight: Owens Lake is a mecca for birds and wildlife
No, really–it is. Most who have just a passing familiarity with the lake think of it as a bone-dry lakebed in the Eastern Sierra, devoid of life and water, and little more than a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Recent photography projects on the lake don’t help much in that regard, such as David Maisel’s Lake Project–which is a stunningly beautiful photography series on the lake, but which leaves the viewer with the wrong impression that the lake is lifeless and beyond redemption. In fact, Owens Lake has never been entirely dry. Natural springs and seeps ring its western shore, and multiple aquifers lie just beneath the lakebed’s surface. Those year-round water sources,…
Things have been quiet here for a while–here’s why.
Long time, no see–but let me assure you that the Owens Lake Project isn’t just still alive, things are about to get VERY busy around here (and around the lake). First, a little background to catch you up on the details. Just as I was ramping up work on my project a couple of years ago, everything hit a state of suspended animation. LADWP, along with several groups working to restore Owens Lake, was part of an ongoing working group loosely known as the Owens Lake Master Plan Committee. That group met regularly to discuss, negotiate and occasionally battle over plans to include more habitat restoration and maintenance along with…
Even before it was drained mostly dry, the Owens Lake was exploited by entities both public and private for the riches it had to give up, and for its ability to transport materials mined from the Inyo Mountains that rise from its eastern shore. As this project goes forward, I’ll look at the ways the lake has been used–and as a result almost ruined. These photos give just a taste of what that exploitation has wrought. Read more about the project here.
The Owens Lake at a distance–the only way most people ever see the lake–appears to be a wasteland, a dead and dusty plateau. But even before restoration efforts began, the lake supported life at its fringes around the few areas still fed by springs and artesian wells. And now that the LADWP has begun rewatering the lower Owens River and expanding shallow flooding in the lakebed, life has rushed back in with astonishing speed, giving just a hint of what the lake could look like with further restoration and reminding us all what was lost when the Owens was drained dry. Read more about my project here. A Red-Winged Blackbird…