Water, Commons, and Eden

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A trail up Mount Toro, peering out between Coast Live Oak and a fenced cow pasture to the left. Foothills like these surround the valley, populated with chaparral interspersed among dry grasses.
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An afternoon blaze takes out a sizable tract of maritime chaparral in 2014.
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Lizard blends into the sand of a dune at Fort Ord National Monument.
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Salinas Valley from Mount Toro in drier times.
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A Spreckels foothill faces a setting sun, eclipsed by the next hill over.

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Overlooking a seldom-filled “vernal pool” just after sundown.
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The foothills of Fort Ord from Spreckels.
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High-school-days shenanigans from a path overlooking the Salinas Valley’s farmlands.
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Overlooking the Salinas Valley from Mount Toro.
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The sun peers through smoky fog. The smoke comes from the Soberanes Fire, having drifted north from Big Sur. The Soberanes Fire was then the most expensive fire in world history.
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Coastal live oak and native grasses rejoice after an unusual rainy season. My mother and her dog rejoice in the grasses and oak.
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A dry creekbed. 36.6249582,-121.6919874
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Fungi creep onto wood in a dry creekbed.
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A path splits in Fort Ord, foregrounded by coyote bush.

Also worth discussing the commons and grace in terms of food production in Salinas.

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And picking apart the moral obligations we have around our food and its production in a country of 340 million people.

Below, seasonal migrant farmworkers pick cabbage from a field along the Salinas River.