a national online publication of woodbury university

Lynne Thompson

Los Volcanes de Brea

Micro-fossils: primordial woods, insects, mollusks,
seeds, and pollen grains. Covering the asphaltum:
dust, leaves, waters, old bones that darken the pit.

Rancho La Brea, once a salt mine, now Hancock Park,
is mired with the remains of tens of thousands of years.
Found during one expedition, 1769, led by Sr. Portola,

dire wolves, saber-toothed cats, pill bugs trapped in
tar geysers issuing from land-like springs. Magpies,
garter snakes, mammoths, scimitar cats. Well-kept,

trace of the La Brea woman (who probably suffered
a violent death at eighteen or twenty) ritually interred
with dog. Also found: falcons, ragweed, one Andalusian.

Photo Credit: Scott Larsen
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