A black-and-white photograph from 1948, taken in a canyon near Los Angeles, shows a group of seven mostly bearded and bare-chested men holding long wedges of watermelon. Their faces range from beaming to contemplative, their physiques from ascetic yogi to muscled surfer, and their stance, as though emerging from a bush, invokes their nickname: “Nature Boys.” “We all had a common desire to abandon civilization and to live a natural, healthy life, ” one of them later reflected. Their needs were minimal: sun, water, fresh produce, and some companionship. Another photograph shows them beatifically playing mandolin, guitar, and drum, bare-chested on a sunny sidewalk. These are the only two known photographs showing this loose group of what might be called proto-hippies, or perhaps California Naturemenschen, together. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Four Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 44 The False Mirror Compositions inspired by the iconic clouds—and surrealist sensibilities—of René Magritte. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Boaz Nechemia Meet Jerusalem’s favorite weatherman. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Fredi Otto One scientist's mission to prove the link between extreme weather and climate change. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Here Comes the Sun A spotlight on the summer solstice. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Swept Away A short history of wild weather on-screen. Arts & Culture Issue 38 In Season Can charged weather recharge the mind?