This knoll of Autumnal  vines above I photographed last year in late afternoon, as its leaves yellow’d and fell into the ground or floated in the gusty breezes.  Where I live , on a mountain ridge which borders Napa & Sonoma valleys, the seasons show not only in the trees, but strikingly so in these mountain vineyards.  But something very dismal has been taking place on the mountain very near by.

Change is difficult, but I suppose is necessary all the same, or we’d become rigid as logs in our outlook of the world. Well, one colossal change which has taken place in my life, is that the vineyard very close by, through which rows and roads Emma & I walked frequently for years (her whole life), acres of historic vines, has for the most part been ripped out of the ground, and are presently heaped in massive sad piles.  They are gone, and yet,at least I am grateful that I have these photos to remember them by.

These vines which were plucked out of the rocky soil of the mountain only weeks ago, once produced wines which won ribbons in blind tastings in France in their glorious past. They were beautiful and they were as jovial friends I’d pass by and wave to so often, as I would also the friendly workers who tended them.

When they were colorful and turning gold to crimson in my favorite months of October & November, they spoke of the cooling marine air pouring over the ridge, and they reminded me how happy I was that it is indeed Autumn… finally !

When they were bare as we walked along their long shadows in January, with uncut branches like tendrils, they spoke in words wintery and woody, and they spoke of the promise of a new year ahead.

As they became cropped & pruned it was is they were led to the starting gate at the race, building excitement from within, in February,  with thick grasses carpeting the earth.

Then to leap out at the blink of vernal influence, and their main branches sprouting new growth in March !

And in April & May, the poppies come…


I have in recent weeks mourned their death. These old vines as I walked by them almost everyday while knitting, were very important to me, a part of me.  Ah but this life, death, and rebirth, and planting new is to be expected.  I wanted to make acknowledgement to the changes in this post, and my bereavements too, and even Emma’s as surely she notices, and misses her meadow walk along the canyon cliffs….

Meadow desktop

*  *  *

But hey, let me cheer things up a bit I thought I’d mention a happy thing !  Kirra has won the giveaway from my book review & interview with Jean Moss, and I want to congratulate her !

((Kirra, I have sent your address to Taunton press , who have replied already that the book is on its way, and hopefully very soon the book will be in your mailbox, in time for you to make those great little gifts for your friends & family.))

Seasonal times indeed, with the gift-giving time of year nipping at crafters’ heels, time for us to leap for our needle cases and dig through our stashes and shop for more yarn as its officially 11 weeks until Christmas…yikes!!!

:: crack of whip echoes ::

Lets make tea and calmly collect our thoughts, shall we?

What gifts you planning to make this coming holiday season?


13 thoughts on “Seasonal

  1. It’s so hard when people come and take over something you value and you have no way to see or understand what and mostly why? It seems such a shame. These times are such trials its so good to have things to make which bring us joy and friends who care along with us and we all do care. Such beautiful memories.

    What is your favorite tea for this time of year?

        • I’ve never found a tea I could stand to drink. This is probably because I had a cup of lipton tea from a tea bag as my first tea experience when I was 12 and I never got past that. It was so oily! I don’t drink coffee either, I like my caffeine cold and fizzy!! However, I want someday to find a tea I like.

  2. Oh, Jen. That is so sad. Seems like most of the old vines are disappearing. Where I live we are losing a lot of our hay and corn fields to new vines. I’m afraid that we’re going to lose our wild turkey population along with it. Sometimes change is so hard on the soul.

  3. It’s ironic that I have found your blog (because of the giveaway) after leaving the bay area. My husband and I used to travel between Highway 1 and 101 all the time. We loved Annapolis Winery and all the hidden places in the hills in Sonoma and Humboldt counties. I love your sweaters.

    • Hi Kathy , thanks ! There are sooo many beautiful vineyards and old wineries (and new) in California, it makes one dizzy. I rode through Alexander Valley only last weekend, from the coast, through Healdsburg… with the vines all starting to turn, but some red grapes still not harvested. It was absolutely gorgeous !

    • Oh thank you Kay ! xx Actually , it’s not too horrible, not like they’re going to develop housing neighborhood, just planting new vines. But in the meantime, it looks like Mars, and will for a few years. Ah, but I’m busy making more trails through the woods ! When you come 😉 we’ll walk them. 🙂 xx

  4. I can so relay to your sentiment, Jen. My favorite hiking spot next to the high school is in full construction force. The beautiful pumice canyon/land has been sold to a developer recently after years of free use to the community…Like you, I have many fond memories and photos to enjoy. It holds a special place in my heart. Autumn is here too…perfect knitting days/nights. I so look forward to your next design adventure 😀

    • Hello Sarah! I am so amazed you come out of the sky and post on Yarnings… what a blast, like old times ! Well, I’m sad to hear about your canyon turned into housing. But the vineyard close-by is only being replanted with new vines, fortunately. I oughtn’t complain. 🙂 xx

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