In search of mossy trees & mustard: Napa Valley, California

I just love road trips, and recently we went to Napa Valley to find mossy trees and mustard. We really start out with no particular destination in mind; just what we want to find. And, we were successful!

First we found a beautiful grove of oak trees that had moss growing on them. Next we found some wine vines with mustard growing under them. Then we stopped for lunch at the Buttercream Bakery in Napa–one of our favorites when shooting in the city of Napa.

After lunch, we drove some more and returned to the city for some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream which is another of our favorite stops. Then we photographed the 911 Memorial. We shot it the last time we were there, but the light was different. This day the sun shined through the glass plates, illuminating the names of locals who died in that horrific attack.

Of course we made some more stops on the way home until it was too dark to shoot. What a fun day. I do love road trips.

Just a follow up on my previous blog: I am looking into what competitions are available for non-professionals and continuing my Photoshop studies.

Deja vu: Mossy trees and mustard, Lake San Antonio, Monterey County, California, part 2

Do you remember the mossy trees and mustard that I went all the way to Napa Valley to shoot? Well, I found the trees in our campground and the mustard in the countryside here at Lake San Antonio.

It’s amazing how much I’ve learned through photography, and I don’t mean learning the art. I’ve studied birds, flowers and trees! So during this trip I had the opportunity to educate my husband in the flora of the area. Sadly, because the lake is so low now, there wasn’t the opportunity to see many water fowl. There were plenty of turkey vultures though.

In addition, I became acquainted with the various stages of the dreaded fox tail from beautiful to mowed down so they stick in your socks and dogs paws. All weekend I picked fox tails from Gem’s hair, checked his ears and made sure he was tick free. The little guy was happy to be home.

In this post, I’ll give you the campground tour including the mossy trees. You’ll have to wait for the next post to see the mustard.

Dial “M” for manual, mossy trees and mustard: Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley is the place to go to find mossy trees and mustard plants, and shoot on manual. It’s actually where I had a significant breakthrough on shooting manual. I think I have a smidge more to learn, but I’m mostly there.

Known for its wineries and beauty, Napa Valley was the target for our Exploring Photography Meetup group a couple of weeks ago. We met for lunch and then went off in search for mossy trees and mustard. We had four in our car, and without written directions, we were relying on memory to follow the verbal directions given us. Of course that didn’t work, so we just followed our noses!

Before lunch, we did stop at Turnbull Winery to look at their Ansel Adams exhibit. We took the time to shoot what we could of the winery.

After lunch, we found mustard (a yellow wildflower that seems to grow well under the barren grape vines) accidently while driving to where we thought we remembered the mossy trees to be. It was a small and accessible field–a great find.

Luck followed us to the mossy trees also. These trees had lichen hanging from the barren branches, giving the trees an eerie look. We saw the trees but then went up to the Chappellet Winery and was quickly dismissed back down the road! We did stop to shoot the trees.

Now on to the mossy trees and mustard, both shot in manual!