Last weekend, while biking home from nearby Coppola Winery, I stopped on Independence Lane to admire a weathered water tower overlooking a vineyard. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry that day and didn’t have time to paint.
The following Saturday I returned under clear blue skies, the air a crisp seventy degrees. This time, it felt like a vacation, and I reveled in the beauty of the autumn landscape, exhilarated to be out riding.
Leaning my bike against a fence post, I surveyed the area for a good place to sketch. While catching my breath, I delighted in the grape vines’ glowing red leaves, took several photographs, then settled down in the shade of an olive-green bush to draw.
Wooden water towers are scattered all around Sonoma County and most were built about 100 years ago. Back in the day, water was pumped out of the ground using a windmill and stored for later use in a tank at the top of the tower. Gravity provided enough water pressure to supply fresh, running water for a nearby home. Although most water towers have fallen under disrepair, some have been refurbished into guest houses and B&Bs for an almost tree house like experience.
After I finished painting my sketch, I packed up my gear and headed home in the warm afternoon sun.