Saturday, December 05, 2009

Leaves On The Dirt Road

We live on sort of a dead-end road. It's not technically a dead-end because the road continues from our house out through the vineyards. But the pavement ends after our house and the road becomes dirt and gravel for a little over a kilometer. Most drivers who aren't familiar with the area turn around at the sight of the dirt road and head back.

The dirt part of the road is mostly used by the growers who work in the vines during the year. But there are a number of cars that use the road regularly. We used to use it, too, but after bottoming out a few times on the uneven roadbed, we've pretty much stopped taking the Peugeot that way. It's also a great place to walk since most of the "traffic" out there moves very slowly.

The dirt road meets up with another paved road after a little more than a kilometer and that's the point at which Callie and I normally turn around to head back towards home. The little intersection is out among the vines and is marked by a small stand of oak trees. We don't walk Callie on a leash and I don't like taking her out on the paved road with the faster moving cars.

I've noticed for the past few weeks that, with all the rain we've been having, some of the fallen oak leaves have become "plastered" to the road surface. The town repairs potholes in the dirt road each spring with a limestone gravel that breaks down under the tractor tires to a fine powder. This powder tends to fill in cracks and "cement" the road surface, at least for the length of a season.

So what's a guy with a camera to do other than to take pictures of the leaves? Of course, they're not all oak leaves, but they're all the same brown color. I particularly like the one that looks a little like a christmas tree.

Nature provides so much entertainment. And it's all free. Maybe I need another glass of wine...


  1. Delightful column today! A real "stop and smell the roses" reminder(another glass of wine is almost always a good idea as well.

  2. And only 16 more days to go till ... your birthday :)! Martine

  3. Imaginative and lovely!

    Do you think some of those leaves will fossilize? We'll never know...

  4. Fall and winter have their own beauty when we pay attention.
    December 21 is also my Mom's birthday.

  5. bill, I thought you'd like that.

    martine, yes, time flies.

    suzanne, thank you!

    chris, one day, someone will pump those leaves into her gas tank. Maybe not.

    nadege, true.

    starman, here's to 'ya!

    michael, merci.


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