Slowly the wounds heal. From the 1930s through the 1960s, a century after the famous assault on the western flank of the Sierra Nevada, photographer Alma Lavenson explored the gold country to see what had become of it. In the Malakoff Diggings, once the scene of intensive hydraulic mining that ripped the hillsides for their hidden gold, Lavenson found the sharp gouges softening as rain smoothed the hard edges and plants gradually reclaimed the earth. Monuments to a moment of furious environmental destruction, the old mines also memorialize nature's ability to heal itself over time.
Between French Corral and Nevada City, Nevada County