Various and Sundry

Going through my camera a few days ago I came across some photos I'd planned to put on the blog but had neglected to download.

These first two are from last May.  This hayfield, on the neighboring Luchetti Ranch, was nearly ready to be cut and whoever had been spraying happily left the old tractor in the middle of the tall grass for me to photograph.  On the skyline is Cobb Mountain, the tallest of the old volcanoes in South Lake County.

In the background of this photo are the South Hills, the one thousand acre backcountry of our ranch, with the Meadow Barn just in front.

These two I took in a Walnut orchard near Chico, CA.  I liked these because of the contrast between the symmetry of the trees and the random chaotic light of the afternoon sun coming down through the branches.

Walnut trees are interesting because they are actually a combination of two different species of Walnut grafted into each other, an innovation pioneered by Luther Burbank, a well-known horticulturist from nearby Santa Rosa, CA.  The dark base and root system of these trees are Black Walnut and the white upper portion are English Walnut.  The fruit of the English Walnut is more desirable though the Black Walnut is a stronger tree.  The combination of the two produces an ideal orchard tree.  The United States is the world's largest exporter of Walnuts, 99% of which are grown in orchards like these in California's Central Valley.