Icy Morning on River Road

It’s Monday morning, my one day off! Up at 5:30, peek out the window, see the stars…it’ll be clear this morning! Get ready, hit the road by 7 AM just before the sun rises….and oh, was it worth the wandering! Heading out along Fulton Road the fields were white with frost and the fog faded in and out in a surreal and beautiful way. Turning onto River Road I decided to head to the barn on Slusser Road that I’ve been trying to photograph for two years! It’s 29 degrees outside but the sunrise holds promise.

So often we “look” but do not “see” because we rush through life always on to the next  thing. That thought slipped through my mind as I looked around for that perfect image. Now normally, if I don’t see it immediately, I’m off to look elsewhere for that elusive perfect shot. What would happen, I found myself wondering, if I just stayed put and waited. How would the sunrise play out over the next half hour? What wildlife might stir as the sun’s rays warmed the countryside? Could I rein in my type A personality long enough to stand around in the same area and wait? So, even though by the time I finished thinking these few thoughts I was freezing, I decided to stay put and let the images come to me.  Join me as we experience the sun rise in all it’s glory!

The sun begins to rise throwing rays of pink across the sky…it’s beautiful mixed with the lifting fog…

The old barn in still enveloped in the early morning mist, barely visible through the blush of pink…

The barn, which has drawn me down this road over and over for years, seems even older and more mysterious in the damp morning chill.

As the sun rises higher in the sky it takes on a soft yellow glow which mixes with the pink for pastel perfection over this icy vineyard!

The golden rays spread throughout the sky….this photo is unretouched, though the camera intensify the colors somewhat…

Suddenly off in the  distance birds begin to lift into the sky.  One by one more than a dozen egrets took off and headed South…..when the show is over I have to go see where they’re headed!

High in the sky flocks of smaller birds pass by and the mist in the distance seems to be rising from a body of water…..something else to check out! I would have missed all this rushing around searching out that perfect shot!

With the sun up over the horizon the old barn makes a nice silhouette in the golden glow…The show here is nearly over so I’m off to check out the flight plan of the egrets!

Back on River Road I pulled off to park along Old Woolsey Road and discovered the body of water, hidden by trees in summer, that was the take off point for all the egrets.  River Road was a little busy to cross so I used my Tamron 18-270mm to zoom out and capture a cormorant waiting to catch the first rays of morning sun….

A little to the side the sun finally reached the tree tops…a fact throughly enjoyed by this small egret….

Note to self: get a down jacket that actually zips up and warmer boots before stalking birds on a 29 degree morning again! I could hardly open the car door I was so cold by this point! Moving along in the direction the birds traveled I turned onto Oakwild Road, one of my favorite spots to wander…

I found them! Look closely at the shore line on the right and you’ll see a group of egrets huddled together….as I waited a few more swooped in from the direction of River Road.

Continuing on along Oakwild I spotted another subject I’ve wanted to capture for quite a while…I’ve always loved this old water tower….I have to admit I added the pink to the sky in this one…it was 8am by now and getting too late for a great sky in the western direction. Turning to the east though in response to some noisy birds….

the sky was entirely different! Done with the beautiful early morning rays lighting the landscape,I looked around for something small and colorful to capture….

And spotted this lonely fallen leaf…it’s life slowly slipping away…as it decorated the fence with brilliant color as it’s final act of beauty…

Colorful fallen leaves always remind me of my grandfather who taught me that getting old is the path to wisdom and that sometimes the greatest beauty of all comes  right at the end after a lifetime of living and loving and learning…..He  dearly loved nature and spent hours telling my brother and I stories of his years traveling on horseback through the Sierras….probably why I find my greatest joy wandering out of doors and capturing perfect little moments for a lifetime….

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