two weeks ago, i had an early saturday morning assignment to photograph a tour of an abandoned copper mine site that was open to the public for the first time since it closed. the epa is still trying to figure out what to do with the land where the ely mine used to sit. the assignment turned out to be less of a shoot and more of a four hour long hike through the gorgeous vermont woods, which was a fine way to start my working weekend. the ground is really that orange at the top of the hill, where the actual copper deposits used to be. it’s really a wonder that all of us don’t have third arms growing out of our foreheads.
the smelting process creates a by-product that is not orange. it’s called slag. there are huge piles of it at the base of the mine.
access to the mine was created through the mouth of an existing cave. the opening still exists in the face of the mountain. it’s huge.