Cache Creek Nature Preserve (CCNP) is a microcosm of California history. Native Americans, farmers, miners and environmentalists have fought and cooperated for rights to use this 130-acre space. Only 25 minutes from Davis, it’s an accessible place to get away for an afternoon and learn about riparian habitats. Throughout the 20th century, however, mining the creek’s gravel reserves took precedence. Machines and open pits dominated the landscape, extracting gravel to fuel suburban construction. Today, some of those same mining companies fund the Cache Creek Conservancy’s restoration effort.
This image is a composite of seven photographs. With my camera on a tripod, I panned 180 degrees from left to right with about 30 to 40 percent overlap on each picture. Later, I merged the images on Adobe Photoshop. You can’t tell at first, but my fisheye lens heavily distorts this image. The long flat expanses of grass you see on the left and right of the image are not really perpendicular. I was standing on top of a straight levee.
Currently, an on-campus group called the Art of Regional Change (ARC) is working on a series of oral histories that, combined with photographs, archival images and public documents, will become a public history on an interactive website. You will be able to look at a map of the preserve, click on a site and hear a poet, miner or environmentalist tell their story about that site.
To find out more about CCNP, visit cacheconserv.org and for more information about ARC, visit artofregionalchange.ucdavis.edu. And of course, show us your panoramas – submit a Student Snapshot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jeremy Raff