A Fourth In the Wild

Halter Ranch Vineyard

Wild

 

Today as I wound my way toward the ranch I turned a corner and startled a red-tailed hawk as it was picking a young gopher snake up off the middle of Vineyard Drive.  It flew in front of my car and the snake slipped from its talons, falling into the brush along the roadside.  As we prepared for the day a full grown bobcat wandered nonchalantly across the lawn directly in front of the tasting room and made its way down into the creek.  This was the first time any of us had seen one in the flesh.  While making our way back from feeding and watering the chickens we startled a barn owl on the covered bridge.  It flew to a nearby oak branch and gazed down at us as if to say “I am incredulous at your being here.”

In the wake this third wildlife event, I realized that human activity along Adelaida Road and Vineyard Drive was at probably about 10% of what it normally would be due to the holiday.  Two additional realizations immediately struck me.  First, it is amazing how quickly wild things appear even during the briefest respite from humanity’s noise and presence.  Second, such moments are becoming exponentially more scarce, and so today is very special beyond it being special for cultural reasons. I cannot help but gush at the astounding beauty in the quiet of this mostly wild ranch and the beautiful creatures we share it with.

And so I will unabashedly say, our wines and doors and eyes and minds are open on this fine Fourth. A happy one to all.  If you catch a moment and the inclination, sneak away from the beaches and explosives for a time–back to whatever wild place is nearest, maybe with some wine in hand–to take a quiet, respectful look at all the other living things that are celebrating today.



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