Thursday, November 4, 2010

Where the Heck Have I Been? I Really Don't Know Any More . . .

October? What happened to October? I can not explain October.

A thick gray fog has clouded over my brain and there is a vague memory of a pink taffeta-adorned ballerina superhero and a brown duster-cowboy hat wearing Wyatt Earp. We traipsed through a nearby neighborhood since no one trick-or-treats on our street (It's just not possible).

I could not believe my ears when I heard the complaint, "My bucket is too heavy!" after 45 minutes, thus I know it was a dream. So much for Halloween. And October. . .

After clearing my head I thought about doing some photography to align my brain cells to their proper orientation. They needed straightening and organization. Maybe the linear configuration of the vineyards would do the trick. Their soft lines with muted colors contrasting with the soldier-like presentation was calling me to attention.


Ella and I made a morning visit to the vineyards across the street as the sun lazily stretched upward through the weak marine layer that covered our valley. The dramatic changes in the vineyard colors were lovely enough that a three-year old was in awe of the botanical presentation, seemingly wrapped just for us.

Crisp golds and burning purples chased the dangling vines, warning of the impending leaf loss and winter. Demonstrating survival strategies at their finest, deciduous plants know it is time to go bald for the winter.


The bald hill in the background called Lion's Peak provided a constant silhouette which captured my attention. It was a game for me to see how many angles I could find of this local landmark while featuring the changing of the vines. (I've not hiked all the way to the top of Lion's Peak and it's on my short list to conquer.)

Then there were grapes! A tremendous amount all still on the vine! Why?

Shouldn't they all have been picked by now?? I guess these were left for the birds? I thought about all the water used to make grape vines grow and the amount of mature grapes left on the vines and was puzzled. I guess I should have found some staff at the winery to answer my queries.


Ella asked, "Can I try one?"
I replied, "Yep. Go ahead and have a grape."


"Why aren't they big grapes, Mom?" The little thoughtful questioner asked.
"Well, these are wine grapes, Ella. Table grapes are big," I simply explained.

Then Lion's Peak roared softly again. It had to be pictured once more with a foreground of organized vineyard. The steeply sloping hills surrounding this winery were sparred from deforestation. The oak woodlands are all protected as wildlife habitat within a conservation easement. That's a good thing.


My attempt to capture the arching rolls over the low hills were not entirely fruitful. Maybe the hills were not dramatic enough to get the "look" I was trying to "picture."


Taking pictures was a fine excuse to stand on the roof of my truck and leave muddy foot prints up there for the rain to wash away. It was an excuse for my side kick to play in the truck bed and ask any and all questions without interruption. Best of all it was a reason to meander through the vine rows with my not so baby-girl, lady-girl, daughter-girl on a quiet Thursday morning. We were walking along slowly, my big Mommy hand holding a littler Ella hand, strolling through the vines. I can remember my leather clogs sucking in droplets of water and her shiny black patent boots collecting dew and shedding it off. The sound of a peregrine falcon screeching . . .

All this before the crush of the real day was a great comfort. To spend just a few quite minutes with a little girl who is growing so quickly . . .

Moments. Gather them one at a time.

14 Comments for OSL:

IanH said...

Julia, welcome back! Great photos!

Captain Dumbass said...

Sounds like a pretty great way to start the day. Love the vineyard pics. It's funny how similar they are to the Okanagon Valley up here where our wine is grown.

Cheryl said...

Wow! You made me miss having a little girl and Mommy adventures. Sigh... mine is 28 now.

Sharkbytes said...

Julia! I've missed you, my friend. The pictures are great, I love the contrasts of the gray and barren but organic, with the organized bright vineyards. Welcome back!

Julie Harward said...

I'd say you have remembered all the most important things! I love every one of these pictures...so gorgeous! :D

Rural Rambler said...

You have a vineyard right there by you?!!!! Great pictures Julia and Ella, how lucky to reach out and enjoy one of those grapes!

WhisperingWriter said...

You went to a beautiful area. Love the colors.

Grand Pooba said...

I am now dreaming of a valley of free flowing wine. Why must you rub it in my face that you live by a winery?

Beautiful pics!

theUngourmet said...

This post leaves me a wee bit misty eyed. What a nice moment in time with your sweet girl. Just why are those grapes still on the vines?

Mel said...

What a lovely morning. And if you find out where October went (and the rest if the year, for that matter), let me know.

Doris Sturm said...

Aw, what a beautiful post - what a perfect way to start the day. I wish I were there too...those vineyards look magnificent in their autumn colors. What a wonderful life! Thanks for sharing it with us. The photos are spectacular!

With love,
Doris and Gizzy
p.s. what about your new/bigger house?

Doris Sturm said...

Aw, what a beautiful post - what a perfect way to start the day. I wish I were there too...those vineyards look magnificent in their autumn colors. What a wonderful life! Thanks for sharing it with us. The photos are spectacular!

With love,
Doris and Gizzy
p.s. what about your new/bigger house?

Elizabeth Leigh said...

Loved this post Julia! I thought the pictures were beautiful!! It looks so peaceful, colorful, and beautiful out there... and what a lovely & perfect mother/daughter morning;)

Kim G. said...

Such beautiful photos! Classic California. Love it.