Photo essay: After the Rain
Celebrating "The New California Wine" with an old California wine

Dusk in the Vineyard: Moonrise at Sunset

Followers of the Tablas Creek Facebook page have likely noticed a burst of sunset beauty shots in recent weeks.  That's partly a function of the early winter sunsets, when I'm around more often to take photos, but equally a function of the winter weather patterns, with a mix of clouds and clear skies that gives the setting sun something interesting to reflect and refract its rays.  It is also, less happily, a function of this year's drought, where we've recently been on the southern fringes of serious precipitation, leading to bands of clouds overhead but nothing thick enough to make it overcast and gloomy.

Last night, we got the additional treat of having the full moon rising at sunset, providing competing shows in the eastern and western skies.  I spent a half-hour or so out in the vineyard, and the photos below are some of my favorites.  First, the geometry of the vines at dusk, with bright sky darkening the landscape:

Vineyard rows

The moon was rising, bright and full:

Moon between oaks

The contrast between the rising moon and the silhouetted unpruned grapevines was dramatic.  Call this "moon over mourvedre".  I was amazed at how detailed the moon was through the good zoom lens (click the photo for a larger version):

Moon over Mourvedre

The sunset to the west was equally pretty, in a more conventionally thrilling pallette:

Bands of color

Finally, as I was leaving, I got a great shot of the moon rising through a wisp of cloud turned red by the sunset.  I'm not sure how often this happens (full moon rising at sunset) but it can't be more than a few times per year:

Moonrise at sunset

A small aesthetic reward for being at work late!