Within California’s rugged borders, approximately ninety major rivers claim nearly a quarter of a million miles of running water. Many of these ancient rivers of gold, whose origins in the Sierra Nevada lie in mysterious, volcanic narratives. Others, directly reaching the sea, hold the home waters to historical runs of Steelhead and Pacific Salmon, seemingly infinite in their capacity to remember their lineage. Whatever their peripheral cause and bounty, the rivers of California, veins for the larger, living entity, sustain all life here in the land of fire forests, sage mountains and ranges of light.
Networks of complex river-systems, wide watersheds & ancient ecosystems that have been tracing the land of this golden state long before the coming of all life – forever eroding their canyons, always changing and yet remaining consistent in essential character; individual spirits who draw in light, channels which define this place as much as any other piece of its topography.
The first entry into my investigations of water in California, The Rivers of California #trailpaintings map, is available as a print-quality, high-resolution PDF here. This map features only natural networks of water systems that support lotic (flowing water) ecosystems. Future maps will include spatial-diagrams of lentic (non-moving, ie lakes) syestems, rain-fall, water storage, water distribution, dams, Wild & Scenic rivers, fish populations and aquifer identification across California.
click on image to enlarge. Click here for printable version.