As I was heading east on 46 West to take the cans out at the Paso Robles house tonight, the sky was amazing. The only decision I had to make was from which vineyard I could get the best views for taking pictures of them. After considering Veris and Doce Robles, I finally decided on Zenaida, since I haven’t visited their vineyards for a while and I love their hills and oaks. So I pulled off and parked. From the parking lot, I walked west across the vineyard, thinking I could keep my boots from getting too muddy if I stayed on the grass. That strategy stopped working when I saw the cattle. To get to them, I had to walk between the vines and it wasn’t all grass there.
Keep in mind that every time I drive past the pasture where these cattle graze, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get close enough to photograph them. There’s never anywhere to park along the highway except the bike lane, and I believe that’s a no-no. So I drive on past. So as I walked west in the Zenaida vineyard, I saw the cattle straight ahead, very close to the fence. Unfortunately, it was a bit wet in the rows between the vines, and the grass didn’t begin to cover the mud. But I wanted those cow pictures. I was unhappy that I had not been able to locate my camera with the optical zoom before I left home, so I had to settle for the one that doesn’t give clear zoom pictures. This limited my ability to get the shots I wanted of the expressions on the faces of the cattle as they curiously looked at me. The fence was another barrier I had to work around. I really think cattlemen should make the size of the holes in the fences a bit larger to accommodate camera lenses. I did get a few decent shots to play with later, so I turned back to the sky.
I cheated a bit on the shot above and used a dusk setting because I didn’t want to miss the bit of color in the clouds. You can see why I think it still might rain again tonight.
After taking my leave of the cattle, I headed quickly back toward the car in the parking lot, since I wanted to get the cans out and be back home before dark and more rain. This is how the sky looked toward the east, with the dusk setting still in place.
When I got back to the car, I took another look west to see the sky as it looks above. I was pretty sure that was as colorful as the sky would get, so I got in the car and continued to drive east. I learned a valuable lesson as I saw a glorious sky in my rear view mirror with nowhere to pull over. It’s not over until it’s over applies to sunsets, and leaving a couple of minutes too soon can keep one from seeing the grand finale — or at least getting a photograph of it.