I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gold Is Where You Find It.

I made some cookies with the help of Cutter, kitchen dog extraordinaire.  The recipe is on the back of the package. I reduced the sugar, added some wheat germ and baked them. They were really good, if I do say so myself.
"Excellent" said the Prospector. Then, as if to make the whole day better, we went to look for GOLD.
The day was beautiful and cool. I can't tell you where we went, but we drove half way to a place were we could leave the car and then hiked to a dry river bed.
This is an old mining road that is filled with history. 
I always expect to see a ghost on a donkey coming toward us on the path. There is history here. It is in the wind and under the fallen leaves. It's a feeling... a connection with the past.
Then we come to "The place were the ferns grow". It is where one, small creek flows down into a bigger one.
Now, before the rains, there is no water. But an abundant amount of ferns tells us that there is a lot of moisture under the surface.

This is the time of the year to dig the bedrock, in the creek below. This is the time that comes before the rains and after the rattlers have gone back into their dens. Without water we have to carry buckets of dirt back with us or use a dry washer. Because we are quite far from the truck, it would be an huge effort to bring the equipment out here. The Prospector usually fills buckets and bring them back home on his ATV but today was different.Today he wanted to show me the new place that he has been digging.
I kind of knew where this place was but not the exact spot. These small claims are secrets. Areas of "don't ask, don't tell" and only shared with trustworthy friends... and (sometimes) wives. Prospectors are very closed mouth people when it comes to finding gold. They love to show you the nuggets but they will never tell you where they found them.
We turn and hike down  the hillside to the larger creek below. It's a tough climb down but the Prospector has made a trail, of sorts, that helps the descent. Finally we get to the creek and the beautiful BEDROCK. For more information  about why bedrock is so important in gold recovery take a look at this site. This guy really knows what he is talking about.
Even aside from the fact that gold is now at $1723.20 an ounce, it's beautiful and you can still find it sitting in the bottom of streams and rivers here in California. And, you get to be in some of the most lovely places on earth.
Bedrock is ancient. It's beautiful and it's not going anywhere. It's always in some beautiful place that makes me want to pitch a tent and live, as Thoreau said, "deliberately".

This is where the wild things live.
 Where bears and wildcats come to find water and solace with the creatures of the night.
Where rock and tree root tangle together for support.
And the mosses wait for the moisture of the first rains.

A Buckeye waits to become a tree,
And the only sound in the quiet stream bed is my husband's trowel scooping dirt and a red winged hawk over head.
We will never become rich doing this but the fun of looking for the gold and the beautiful peace of this place will bring us happiness beyond riches. As Robert Service wrote in one of  his poems .

"There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting; 
It's luring me on as of old; 
Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting 
So much as just finding the gold. 
It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder, 
It's the forests where silence has lease; 
It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder, 
It's the stillness that fills me with peace."



  1. so did you find any...how cool is that...like a treasure hunt...that gnarly tree is awesome by the way...this sounds like a whole lot of fun...and cookie to boot...

  2. What a beautiful way to spend an afternoon....gold or no gold! I love this time of year.

  3. Ah lovely photos Farmlady and a beautiful place. I do hope you find some lovely big nuggets, frosting on the cake so to speak!

  4. I absolutely love your connection with nature and the fact that you share it with me makes it even better! Beautiful photos, beautiful narrative, beautiful. Was there any gold to be found?

  5. yes, it's not the destination, rather the journey that brings the most joy! How fun...and magical...the last photo...is that a broken piece of mirror? Such a gorgeous place to ramble and wander.

  6. what a magical way to spend an afternoon!!! I kept waiting for the elves and fairies to appear. Riches are all around us - if only we slow ourselves and open our eyes! Thank you for this richness!

  7. Did you find any??? The post was golden regardless, but I was hoping for a picture of a nugget(s) :-D.

  8. Wow what a great post. It was like I was there with you. The photos are all just great. I hope you did find some nuggets but if you didn't the day was spent in a lovely beautiful place. Have a blessed day and a great Thanksgiving. Madeline

  9. I think this is my favorite post of all of your posts! Beautiful words. And I love Robert Service.
    xo, Cheryl

  10. thanks for taking us along again. I kind of needed to go :-)


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