I’ve been on a mission ever since I heard it – that some grapevine leaves change color in the fall. I’ve been dying to see it for myself, and hopeful that I might get some decent photos to share with my mom and my Florida peeps. I have not been able to enjoy the fall foliage for years, and the idea of amber and ruby grapevine leaves had me totally enamoured. Odds were slim though, as we’ve already had a couple of early frosts, and frost will suck the life from a grape leaf almost immediately. (See my previous post on frost.)
While on the sorting table with one of our custom crush winemakers, the Eds got the skinny on a colorful swath in the Bella Terra Vineyard. Edward and I took off early the next morning with my camera, the gate code, and a capricious smile. If we missed this, it would be another year before another opportunity would come. Grey clouds overcast the sky, but my hope would not be dampened.
We were told that the Malbec block was most extraordinary. Sure enough, we could see the variations in the distance as we crept up the hill. I felt so lucky to have discovered this wonderful snippet of glory. Having chosen the row for my photographic venture, we slowed to a stop and… Behold! A gorgeous fawn was having breakfast!!
Omg Omg Omg! How fortunate! How lovely! I froze.
I was worried that I would scare her off if I opened the door, and I desperately wanted this on film. I began by rolling down the window and zooming in as far as I could. After framing a few shots, I ventured out. Fallen leaves crackled under my feet as I inched my way toward her. “Be still honey,” I wished with all my might. I paused, reframed and zoomed in again before continuing my timid trek. She looked me in the eye and I held her gaze attempting to reassure her that I meant no harm. I reached the very edge of the row of Malbec she had been savoring and relented my pursuit. I was close enough. I snapped a few frames and admired her beauty and courage. Just as I let out a final, contented sigh, the sun broke through the clouds, and the leaves burst forth in an incredible brilliance. I had scarce the chance to press the shutter, when the sun retreated once again. It was a miracle shot and a magical experience that I will never forget, here in the Walla Walla Valley.