Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!

We have such a mild winter here in the San Francisco Bay Area compared to folks up in New England or the Great Lakes area (or anywhere that has real snow, for that matter!)  Oh, we do get some snow here, but it is well-behaved, staying in the mountains where it belongs.  Never-the-less, it is always wonderful to see the first real signs of spring -- the bright green of fresh grass on the hills, the yellow flowers of oxalis and wild mustard in the meadows, the pinks and whites of the flowers blooming on the plum trees that are naturalized remnants of the plum orchards that once covered the Valley of Heart's Delight.

We travel through the scenic Los Gatos foothills to get to Vintages every day the shop is open.  Driving aside the Guadalupe Creek and through Shannon Valley is a great way to brighten up our mornings.  I snapped these photos one day last week while it was raining a gentle drizzle, making the greens greener, the flowers sparkle and the turkeys take refuge under a tree.

The blue vinca flowers contrasts so beautifully with the lush green of the vines near the creek.

While the moss on the trunk of an old oak tree stands out so green against the the gray bark.

The stars of the exhibition are the flowering trees.  Just love 'em!

This tree swing, hanging alone from a branch, is just waiting for someone to relax and take in the natural beauty of the meadow.

The area is still quite natural, and even though it is populated (somewhat sparsely by Silicon Valley standards) with old ranches and contemporary estates, wild animals are still in evidence.  In addition to the wild turkeys, we regularly see hawks perched on tree branches and turkey vultures soaring above.  The local deer seem undeterred by humans and predators alike, while bobcats and mountain lions, foxes and coyotes can be seen on occasion.  The few local ranches along our route keep goats and horses -- I love the horses!
 
Spring has Sprung at Vintages too.  More on that in a later post.

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