Fog with Utility Poles | Mark Lindsay

Short and nasty. A heatwave hit us here in Northern California last week. The summer had been the coldest I can remember. It was fog for weeks, maybe months. After awhile the days blur together into a diffuse mass of whiteness. Then, in a moment, everything got hot. Very hot. A few days later, just as quickly as it came, it was over. The fog whipped in and the whiteness once again prevailed.

As soon as the fog returned I had a sudden urge to hike right up into it. Fog can energize me that way. A few hundred feet up a trail and the world turns to white magic. The most mundane things become beautiful. Alone in the mist I can touch the clouds. The world becomes mine.

There is a trail near here that was once destined to be enormous, planned community. But, a few people with vision and a love for red-tailed hawks stopped it. The dirt roads that would become avenues are now trails. The remnants of the bulldozers slowly erode as do most ambitious plans of men. This trail as at its best in the fog and so on this day it was the only place for me to be.

A string of high-voltage power lines are, oddly, among my favorite things on this trail. They hum as one approaches them. They are alive with potent and ominous energy. They are stoic reminders of what might have been up there—thousands of homes were to be built along with a hotel exactly where the hawks nest. In the fog you can hear the hum before you can see the poles.

I photograph the poles most every time I'm up there. The hawks are elusive. But the poles are always there. Always humming. Always reminding me of man's ambitions and things that could have been.