Fog

3 Nov

The Coastanoan People of San Francisco were discovered very late during the first wave of European Settlement by the Spanish. They lived in a veritable Shangri La, rich coastal fishing grounds providing salmon, Abalone, tuna, crab, Maui Maui – in great abundance; a superb climate in land (warm and sunny for most of the year) fertile soil, rich forests of lodgepole pine, redwoods, cedar and spruce for fire wood,

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grasses and leaves for building materials;

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a varied Geology with hot springs (like Harbin) in the North, flint for knapping arrow and spear heads and a fantastic natural harbour in San Francisco Bay.

I wondered how it was that the Spanish and later the Russians had failed for so long to wreak their colonial havoc on this beautiful Eden.

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This view of Linda Mar beach in Pacifica (Southern San Francisco) taken on the 1st of November underlines the paradisiacal quality of this land. The view left is of great rolling pacific breakers inhabited these days by skilful surfers, whales, sharks, dolphins, pelicans and seals

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Well don’t let this scene fool you. For most of the year segments of this coast are completely shrouded in dense fog. Only in the autumn and spring does nature lift her protective vale and reveal this land in all its fabulous glory.

My brother, Simon, who lives here suggested that this is why the early Conquistadores sailed on by, they relied heavily on close coastal navigation by land marks, and the shores here are steeply shelving, reef infested and bedevilled by strong rip tides.

It did not take long for the later colonialist Spanish to make short work of the indigenous people – assimilation through religious conversion(‘missionizing’), imported disease and economic exploitation was a lethal and tried and tested combination leading to social change in favour of the coloniser.

When the fog does descend you can almost here the echoes of the Coastanoans, fishing and singing and living in the land. Let the fog descend I say.

 

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