“American Canyon Roadside”

“Look around, isn’t the world simply amazing? Even from the window of a car, the passing world beckons us to partake.” – Ed Lehming

I experience this all the time, even when driving, or in this case, as a back seat passenger, there is so much beauty all around us, we just need the eyes, and mindset to see it. I, for one, can’t turn this off. Everywhere I look is an image waiting to be enjoyed.

Case in point, this roadside scene, enjoyed and photographed while exiting California’s Napa Valley on Highway 12, just outside of Creston, on our way back to Sacramento. It’s a scene etched into my memory; this scene of rolling hills, oak trees, vineyards, and sunshine. Oh, so California!

As I noted in earlier posts, we had experienced overcast and rainy days, but the clouds were thinning at this point, allowing some sunshine to spill through, lighting up the hillside. In my memory, this valley is the gateway to Napa and Sonoma and I wonder, how many millions of people have travelled this road and never give thought to just how lovely the journey is?

Perhaps it’s the Canadian in me, appreciating something uncommon in my southern Ontario countryside? We do have rolling hills, and vineyards, but it’s just not the same as this place.

What I have found interesting is how the landscape has changed over the years. It seems every flat space and many hillsides, which once sat bare, excepting local grasses and wildflowers, is filled with vineyards, a testament to the economic value of California wines. At least there is agriculture, rather than the blight of new housing developments I’m experiencing near my home. The ‘sprawl’ is green an lush, not brick, mortar, and concrete.

All the more reason to enjoy this pastoral scene, even in a photo, knowing it may change by the next time I visit.

iPhone 12 Pro @ 52 mm
1/657 sec, f/2.0, ISO 25

8 Comments on ““American Canyon Roadside”

  1. Beautiful photograph and reflections. I live just west of there, in Sonoma County. Indeed, all open land is quickly converting to grapes. It was apples when I first moved to the area some 30 years ago. Both are beautiful although the apples took less water than the grapes do. In fact, I think they were dry-farmed. But apples don’t pay well. The grapes have more issues with water, especially during this long drought, not to mention such a large scale mono-crop. On the other hand, I suppose it brings a lot of jobs. In any case, I do love the drives and views and never tire of them. Like you, I’m glad the hills haven’t been covered in houses.

  2. Photographing the visual evolution of a landscape seems like a interesting photo challenge. The Florida Everglades where I live near would make a nice place to photograph change that’s happening as human population encroaches. I’m curious if your blog will be continuing in 2023?

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