Goleta, California — vulnerable to development. Camerawork 1995, composite 1997
Monarch butterflies from parts of the western United States overwinter in dense colonies on the California coast. I visited some in the eucalyptus groves of Goleta. While photographing them on their roosts in trees and flying through shafts of forest sunlight and blue sky, I also looked down to the forest floor where eucalyptus leaves, seed pods, and a few unlucky butterflies had fallen. A mirror image splice of my photograph revealed this ancient American Monarch face watching us. Will we continue to leave a place for their lives, or will we take every last piece of coastal habitat for our own purposes? But what did I see through my camera? Good elements, but no, at that moment I did not imagine the mask.