Friday, February 22, 2019

Where the Mustard Grows



If you had to give February a color, which one would it be? Gray for rainy days? White for snow? Charcoal for stormy skies?

Here in wine country is has to be yellow. This is the month when the vineyards turn yellow - it's mustard season. It happens gradually, you almost don't notice it. And then suddenly one day you look around and the vineyards are a-glowing.


Doesn't it look almost like spring? Well... don't get me wrong, it sure is beautiful and you think it's warm and you can leave your comfy jacket at home, but then you turn around and you see this.


Sure, the snow doesn't reach down into the valley - and I'm grateful for this - but it does get cold. When we drove to one of my favorite wine valleys - the Dry Creek Valley where most of these photos were taken - we wore winter jackets and never stayed outside too long. Just long enough to take some pictures and capture this beautiful time. Otherwise - it's been freezing.


When the mustard starts to bloom the work in the vineyards also starts again. Everywhere we saw activity in vineyards, workers cutting back and trimming the vines, getting ready for the breaking of the buds in a few weeks. Other vineyards still lay dormant, but certainly not for long anymore. There is a lot of work to do.


The California Quails were busy, too. I'm sure they enjoyed the first warming rays of sunshine after the big storms we had. Some vineyards were completely flooded from the past heavy rains.


I love the patterns that the vines make. You can see in the image below that these vines are waiting to be trimmed and cut back so that we will get our next year's fill of delicious wine. Yes, it's a lot of work. Tending a vineyard is definitely not my idea of spending my time (but drinking the result certainly is!).


The mustard season doesn't last too long, but long enough to enjoy it for a few weeks. When it's over the buds will soon break and the cycle starts again.



I love the gnarled base of the vine against the fresh and luminous yellow of the delicate mustard flowers.

By the way, mustard doesn't grow in every vineyard. There are winter vineyards completely free of any mustard or only a sprinkle of them. They are beautiful as well.





17 comments:

Karen Lakis said...

This is beautiful! Yellow is definitely not the color of February in my neck of the woods! I guess I think of it as mostly white and gray with random days of bright blue skies. I never knew that mustard grows in the vineyards!

Linda said...

Stunningly beautiful Carola.

I love mustard. I don't like the word nostalgia. It doesn't fit the love and longing that a sight, sound or smell can evoke. Mustard does that ....brings on a wistful yearning for childhood, where we laid in it, made doll bouquets with it and sometimes ate it. Especially the 4th picture, it urges me to remove my shoes, pull my hair out its binds, and take off for a good long while.

Enjoy your day.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Beautiful images. The yellow of the mustard is a happy thing to see in winter. My husband and I always say if we hit the lottery, we want to buy a vineyard! Just a fantasy because we certainly would not want to do the work either.

Our colors were definitely white and grey where we used to live. Being in a new climate for our first winter, I am not sure yet what color I would associate it with yet. We are now seeing pinks and whites blooming on trees which is wonderful!

Sarah Huizenga said...

I am honestly just delighted to see your green grass, and the yellow is a beautiful addition. Yes, just brown, gray and white here.

krishna said...

Pictures are amazing!

Debbie said...

your images are absolutely gorgeous!! such a pretty flower bathed in beautiful light!!

your words and descriptions are so mesmerizing as well!!

enjoy your sunday!!

Terra said...

Your photos are outstanding. We owned an apple farm and the yellow mustard glowed between the trees just like in your vineyard photos.

Michelle B said...

It looks like spring! The yellow is gorgeous between the grape vines. I can just picture you jumping out of your car for the picture and right back in the car because of the cold weather. I would do the same. :) Our February colors are brown, grey and there has been some white...but not today thank goodness.

David Gascoigne said...

The mustard is ceetainly an amazing burst of colour and the California Quail are the icing on the cake.

Jeanie said...

I like your yellow February much better than my white one. It's very beautiful. And your photos show it off to best advantage.

Mae Travels said...

The seasons in a vineyard are all colorful, in my experience. After the yellows, I think there are other colors of flowers — or maybe they are weeds. I’ve seen roses growing between the vines as well. Beautiful photos!

Best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Red Rose Alley said...

The mustard is beautiful. It's lovely to see all that YELLOW in February. It's been raining a lot here, and not much color, but I love the rain. The California Quails are such pretty birds, aren't they? Thanks for sharing all this color on a dreary day, Carola.

~Sheri

*I hope you got my address for the greeting cards. I sent it through e-mail. : )

handmade by amalia said...

I love this field of yellow, could brighten even the gloomiest day.
Amalia
xo

Kokopelli said...

Beautiful photos! This year February is bright blue (like in bright blue skies). We had 20°C today. It might be the last warm day in a row of 10 or 12, but definitely too warm for February.

Lowcarb team member said...

Isn't the mustard an amazing colour …
So nice to see the California Quail.

I enjoyed seeing all of your photographs.

All the best Jan

Magic Love Crow said...

This is so beautiful! I really enjoyed the information too! Thank you! Big Hugs!

wisps of words said...

Never knew that wild mustard, grew between vines, in some vineyards. How lovely....

And it must contribute to the fertility of the ground. Or the vineyard owners would eradicate it.

Just beautiful...!

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