Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Vineyard

Many farmers in Kentucky are abandoning tobacco as a staple crop. Some turn to vegetables, or just raise cattle. Hay is so high priced this year, I'm sure those who can get in an extra cutting of hay will do so. Kentucky has long has a reputation as a producer of bourbon whisky, but in the 1800's it was well known for wine as well. More modern farmers are turning to wine making as their primary activity. In addition to planting and tending the vines, gathering the grapes, and bottling the wine, they have learned about the entertainment function of wine making.

Last evening, for example, our Sunday School class made the drive to New Castle, Ky, and the Smith-Berry Vineyard and Winery, for a delightful evening of wine tasting, Bluegrass music, great food, an art exhibit, and (ta-daa) birding! Dick and I were the only ones who appreciated the birding, I'm afraid. A big tobacco barn has been turned into the catering center/bandstand and dance floor. We brought chairs and an appetite, while listening to Hog Operation - how's that for a Bluegrass band name! I don't care for red wines, usually, but continue the search for one sweet enough for my palate, and Smith-Berry has a sweet red wine called Flat Rock Red. I recommend it.

I did not take binoculars and camera, planning to just enjoy our friends and the music, without thinking about birds. Dick still had his equipment in the car, thank goodness. Between sets, we walked down into the vineyards, just to enjoy the evening. The Tree Swallows swooped around, then landed on the wires supporting the vines. They must have been either exhausted or tame, as they sat and let us walk fairly close before taking wing again. I was delighted, since I have been unable to get any photos of the Swallows at the Falls. They were joined by Eastern Kingbirds and several Meadowlarks. At one point, I thought I even saw a Horned Lark! We got Dick's camera from the car, and went back for some great swallow photos and a movie. Another wine tasting/birding trip is called for, since I did not get to try any of the white wines. Nor did we see any hawks, who should have been patrolling these open grassy fields. AND, the nearby barn missing half a roof looks like a fine place for an owl or two to establish residence.

Sunset happens every day. But sometimes, you enjoy one more than others. It's a matter of being in the right place at the right time, like so much else in life.

1 comment:

Bob Lenning said...

I love your sunset picture. Sure wish that I'd been the one who took it. And I especially wish that I'd been there to see it live.