Well, as promised, more of that autumn color. These images were taken from the same location as those taken about three weeks ago (See my post on October 21st), about 10 miles east of Sea Ranch along Annapolis Road. The color has definitely ‘ripened’ and is in full display. The first three images are from bigleaf maples which line many parts of Annapolis Road but often go unnoticed during most of the year until they explode in their fall color. Add a little natural back lighting and these trees seem to glow against the evergreen background of the redwoods and fir trees.
The remaining images are of the local vineyards showing their best crimson colors. As I mentioned in my earlier post, this area doesn’t have the bounty of fall colors that the Northeast has, so we have to find it where we can, even if it’s a planted and cultivated environment like a vineyard.
As I also mentioned in my previous post on Fall colors, I’m a bit conflicted about these woodland vineyards. It’s hard not to be caught up in the beauty and ‘atmosphere’ created by these vineyards, but there’s also a cause for some concern as it relates to the overall quality of the watershed. The last image is provided more for reportage purposes rather than image quality, and shows how vineyards in this area are interspersed among redwood-fir-oak woodlands. Replacing large swaths of heavily forested areas with a monoculture of grape vines can degrade the watershed through increased sedimentation and from runoff due to pesticide (nematicides, insecticides, and fungicides) and herbicide applications. Forest-vineyard conversions also decrease overall forest diversity and is a potential long-term problem for the Gualala River Watershed, our only source of drinking water here at Sea Ranch. If you’re interested in learning more about this issue please visit the Friends of Gualala River website.
My hope is that while you’re sharing in the beauty of this area you will also give some thought to some of the broader issues at play in this very delicate watershed. There’s an old saying that we in the water resources business used to repeat often: “…we all live downstrream from somebody.”
Equipment: Nikon D3s, Nikkor 70 – 300 mm Lens