It's summer. It's a pleasure to be able to say that. I wasn't sure we were going to have a summer this year. However, July has been beautiful. Two weeks ago we had a few days that were uncomfortably hot, but this week is perfect — dry, sunny, and warm. Almost hot but not quite.
I took these photos last Friday on my morning walk. You can see that the Renaudière vineyard is now in its "carpet of green" phase. Workers have been out trimming the leggy top canes off the vines. There are a lot of grapes now, despite the excessively wet, chilly weather of May and June.
I love going out in the morning when skies look like the ones in these photos. So does Callie the collie. The ground and grass are dry, so she doesn't come back a muddy mess. Neither do I. Even if the weather turns wet and chilly again soon, we will have enjoyed this nice spell.
I've been walking the same paths and trails around and through the vineyard for 14 summers now. It's hard to believe. It doesn't get boring. It keeps me fit (as fit as I can be at 67 years old). It gives me thinking time. I feel like I lived in California forever — nearly 18 years — but soon I'll have been here that long too.
Sometimes I think about living somewhere else — in a big town or a city, for example, or in a house that doesn't have so many stairs to climb — but then I realize how much I would miss walking out the back door into space as beautiful as this vineyard. It's beautiful in every season.
Notice that there are no utility poles or overhead wires anywhere in sight. There are few or no cars. There are few other people out walking, especially early in the morning. Callie and I have the place to ourselves, except during times when workers are out pruning the vines. Callie knows all those people, and she enjoys seeing them as much as they enjoy seeing and talking to her. This is her 10th summer at La Renaudière.