Under the Grapevine

Grapevine is a place, a town at the southern tip of the San Joaquin Valley.  I learned when I first moved here that when you start to cross over Tejon Pass you say, “I’m crossing over the Grapevine.”   It is quite a climb in just a few miles to the 4, 000 foot pass.  In the summer you are warned to turn off your air-conditioning so that the car doesn’t overheat.  That was not a problem on Saturday morning.  My problem in crossing the Grapevine was that it was so beautiful I kept stopping to take pictures.  I hope you’ll enjoy them.

Can you guess what lush crop is growing at the foot of the foothills?

As you are heading south, if you look to the southwest, this is the view you see.

Have you guessed the crop?

What captures your attention?  The mountains in the distance, the green crop, the patch of sunshine beneath the thick blanket of clouds, or the heavy sky?  For me it was the sun turning the mountains copper-colored as I looked west.  I hardly wanted to post this picture, yet as I analyze it I appreciate it.

The sign MIGHT tell you, if you could enlarge the photo enough. Or would it?????

Some of you may know without a sign.  I was still captivated by the sun sneaking through the moisture laden sun-blockers to tan the hills.  I couldn’t resist the texture of the canyons in the mountain sides.  Mostly I was captivated by the falseness of it.  When I was in school in the midwest, I remember seeing pictures of the west, and I didn’t think that the pictures could possibly be real.  How could plateaus be so flat and still be at such a high elevation.  How could the sky look so ethereal?  But here it is years later, still looking like Tinkerbell could pop into the picture sprinkling  fog dust any second.

Have you guessed yet? I had to get closer before I knew for sure.

Have you ever seen anything that looked so healthy?  If I eat a few of these I might turn into the Jolly Green Giant.  Instead I am just turning into the Jolly Giant.

Were you right? Did you guess carrots?

I didn’t pull one up to check, but they look similar to the ones I have grown.  Mine never looked this good, and they always come out short or twisted.