As a designer, the contrast of elements found in nature inspires my creativity. But particularly, the colors of fall are a feast for my eyes. Every year, especially at the end of October, we head up to Apple Hill near Placerville, California for some apples, of course, but also to take in its beauty. Along with its fruit orchards, this Gold Country attraction is host to pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, vineyards and their wineries.

As the days begin to shorten and the weather cools, this particular October day was warm and sunny. The colors were so vibrant as our journey took us through many sites along these mountain roads. I couldn’t help but capture it through my camera lens.

It all began with a walk through some apple orchards. The apples looked beautiful on the tree, but were begging to be picked. I could only imagine its sweet, juicy crunch.
We passed this farm where varieties of fir trees await their Christmas fate. Their form and texture are rustic and stoic against a backdrop of clear blue sky.
The leaves of grapevines begin their colorful transformation and their fruit is ready for harvest.
We make our way to a pumpkin patch carved out of the forest to hunt for its autumn gems.
Here is a treasure with its vibrant hues of orange and green.
Looking closer, a ladybug makes its way across the striations of this variety.
The engineering behind this machine reminds me of my grandpa and his love of tractors.
There is a simple beauty to agrarian architecture.
Tin roof, rusted… on this log cabin, it transports me back to the gold rush era.

With our load of pumpkins, we move on to find local vineyards to experience some California varietals. Most wineries offer complementary tastings, understanding that they may entice a purchase.

The peeling tree bark from a madrona tree (namesake of Madroña Vineyards) has such an interesting texture and color variation.
I love the composition of the madrona branches playing against the needles of this evergreen.
Depth of field, along with the opposition of light and shadow, provides additional interest to the madrona limbs.
Upon arrival, Boeger Winery welcomed us through the framed entrance of its gate.
The picturesque setting at Boeger was originally the 1850s homestead of the Fossati-Lombardo family in the rolling Sierra hills. The original house, cellar and distillery are still used today.
The original distillery, once used to make brandy, overlooks the pear orchard.
Vibrant color and texture of plants frames the old 19th century board and batten construction of this building with its carriage doors and awning window.
Wine grapes surround the steep, rocky terrain of the vineyard.
Maintaining the sense of history, this antique flatbed truck is one from the collection found sitting around the property.

It was a beautiful, relaxing day. As always, it is nice to take a leisurely weekend drive through the countryside. Finally, with our apples, pumpkins, and a bottle of wine in hand for dinner, we head back home for the evening.

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