Ghostly Spirits – Salton Sea

Ghosts- Fish Out Of Water
Ghostly Spirits – Fish Out Of Water

I have finally finished processing my Fish Out Of Water series. This series represents my impressions when visiting the Salton Sea.

The Salton Sea is a complicated place. It is not entirely man-made and not entirely natural. As the Salton Sink, it would fill and evaporate about every 400 years (they believe). In 1905, the perfect combination of nature and man, a wet winter and broken agricultural canal, flooded the area and created today’s Salton Sea. In the 50’s this area was to be the next playground oasis in the desert. However the sea continued to evaporate, salt concentrations increased, and nitrogen-rich agricultural runoff  caused huge summer algae blooms. These conditions led to a annual summer tilapia die off which pretty much put a kibash on the summer water fun.

When visiting the sea, you cannot escape the sight of dead fish at various states of decay. At the northern ends the fish are mummified and nearly whole. As you move south there is more decay. Ghostly Spirits is from an area in the middle where fish get covered with mud and slowly dissolve. Here, however, they appear to be crawling out of the earth.

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More Fish Out of Water – Yin and Yang

Tilapia Series

Tilapia Series

Fish Out of Water a Set by Nancy Lehrer

Two more images  I made last weekend at the Salton Sea. The sea is a product of mother nature formed between 1905 and 1907. It was a playground during its heyday in the 1940’s and 50’s and is an important wildlife preserve. It is now in decline due to a combination of water diversion, agriculture, and time. Do we save the sea or let it run its course?

It is difficult to visit this area without thinking about the fish. At the top northern most areas of the sea, the fish are mummified and whole. As you go south, where there is more water intake and moisture, the fish are decayed and skeletal. Finally at the very bottom is the marshy area of the Sonny Bono Wildlife Preserve. These two images are from the mid-area of on the east side where the beach is formed of beautiful pink barnacle shells.