November week 3 – Orange, Yellow and Red

the fall the temperatures drop and the daylight fades, the leaves stop making food.  The chlorophyll begins to break down and the green color dissipates.  Always present in the leaves are the lesser amounts of yellow and red pigments, hidden by the dominant green in the season of growth.

Sunny days followed by nights below 45 degrees account for a greater intensity of color.  We have experienced that pattern this past week. The yellows and reds and oranges have been emerging on the grape vines along the Russian River Valley, Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. (wine country as we call it).

When I first came to Northern California, a native of upstate New York, I didn’t think we had distinctive seasonal changes.  How can there be a fall with out the reds of the Maples and the yellows of the Vermont Birch trees?

But both the vineyards and Eastern Sierras account for true fall frenzy. This turning foliage in the vineyards has its own innate majestic and mystical qualities.  The human soul is drawn to these changing colors of the vines for both their symbolism and beauty.

The vine metamorphosis in repetitive seasonal changes gives glimpse of the movement from life to death and life again. We are drawn into a spiritual experience that invites us to participate in the transformation of life.  As we head toward a day of Thanks – giving I sing the lyrics of Jann Aldredge Clanton’s Hymn:  We Give Thanks to You, Dear Earth:

  • We give thanks to you, dear Earth, For your gifts so rich and rare,
  • For new life you bring to birth, Teaching us your tender care.
  • May we nurture you each day; Wisdom always guides our way.
  • (Tune:  For the Beauty of the Earth – Music by Conrad Kocher)

Wisdom and the Earth’s own tender care are gifts well worth being thankful for and seeking after.  Could they not lead us to a more equitable and peaceful world?

Low afternoon light and a little fill flash and a fairly wide angle lens helped me best capture these images.

My second image is a detail from the hoses used to suck the fish and crab catch out of the haul of the fishing boats docked in San Francisco waiting to catch the Dungeness.  Here too, repetitive pattern gives impact to the image.  You don’t even need to know what is in the photo for it to be a successful image.

Dungeness Crab are part of most Bay Area holiday offerings.  I don’t think they are being hauled in yet. Fishermen are asking $2.50 per pound, and processors want a price closer to the $1.75 rate of the past few years.  Lets give the fishing folk the $2,50 and let the feasting begin!  The rest of the world may head to the shopping malls for black Friday.  But as for me, it on to the steaming pots!

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