Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Digger Pine Cones

Digger Pine Cone - Tehama County  2007

Digger Pine Cones - Tehama County  2007

Mike's 2007 trip involved taking photos of Digger Pine cones in preparation for a photo project he was working on.

Yes, the term "digger" was meant as a form of derision—a term of contempt meant to describe the California natives. But with the long slow passage of the days, months and years the opprobrium has faded. Ironically, it was the hydraulic gold miners themselves who were more deserving of the word.

Latter-day revisionists, with good intentions, I'm sure, have attempted to remedy the historical injustice by renaming the tree. “Gray pine,” we're now supposed to call it.

But this effort only compounds the affront. From the poetic standpoint this erases the “Diggers” from our shared history. And in the end, the poetic standpoint is the enduring standpoint. So, with apologies to those who might be offended, I have elected to continue calling this pine the Digger Pine. 

- Rebecca Saito

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