Note: This blog was published last week when Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors was hiatus so only some followers were able to view; I am re-posting this on the TD link for wider distribution.
Two months ago, the plan was to visit the small town of Lodi, CA to photograph the migrating Sandhill Cranes visiting from the Arctic regions. Expectation was to spend the whole day in Lodi.
We were on the road early, before the sunrise to get shots of the sunrise and Sandhill Cranes still in the water. These birds were in existence over 2.5 million years ago; I took a photo of a Sandhill Crane statue in the emperor’s throne room in the Forbidden City (Beijing, China) in 2004 so that gives you an indication that they were in existence a long time ago.
Here are a few shots (morning and evening) of the cranes.
After the morning shoot, we headed out for brunch and to wait for the rest of the photographers to join our meetup. I didn’t think we were going to find doors to photograph at this outdoor event but never say never (look closely and you’ll see some doors).
We were cruising the back country roads on the return to the marsh lands where the cranes called home for the winter months when we passed an interesting winery. Our event organizer decided it was worth a stop since we had time to kill to see if we could get a tour and some wine tasting. Turns out, the Lucas Winery in Lodi, is a great place to visit. They are a boutique winery producing a limited number of barrels of organic and other wines and the friendly staff gave us a great tour and history of their winery.
The owner, David Lucas, converted an old barn into a wine tasting showroom and barrel aging room (which made for some nice photos). He was an avid surfer (in the country no less) and had surfboards displayed in the showrooms (we were told that a surfboard designer shaped a wooden surfboard on site). In this photo, the wooden barn doors hang open while modern storefront doors greet visitors at the entrance.
Visitors participating in the wine tasting are shown the bottles of wines as they enter the winery and are greeted by friendly staff like Jane, who gave us an excellent tour of the property and its history.
We were allowed to see the cool temperate room holding their barrels of wine. The wooden surfboard designed and fabricated on site is displayed on some of the barrels.
The vineyard leaves were turning color telling us that most of the year’s harvest was done but there was still some fruit on the vines. They had owl houses placed throughout the vineyard as a natural solution to control some burrowing pests from damaging the vine’s roots.
We completed the wine tour with visions of returning in the future while doing another birding event in Lodi. There is something special in visiting a small winery where they add a more personal touch to their tours and I’d like to thank Jane Lopez for showing us around and having her General Manager, Sara J. Black, making sure that we were well taken care of. The owner, David Lucas, might be seen incognito walking among the guests, just as you might envision a surfer to do.
Thanks for visiting my post and thanks to Norm 2.0 for his creation of the Thursday Doors website. For more posts and photos of doors by others please go to: Thursday Doors.