February 24th 2023

Living on a large ranch in the hills of Napa Valley, I'm always stunned by the incredible views and the ever-changing seasons. Having grown up in California where seasonal changes are usually very minimal, and even more so, in San Diego where there are no seasonal changes at all, you can imagine how exciting seeing snow is. Now don't quote me, but I believe It's been over 50 years since the last time it snowed this much in the Napa Valley area. So you can imagine my surprise when I woke up and saw a blanket of snow outside my bedroom window!

Without hesitation, my fiancé and I sprung out of bed this morning, just like in the movies, and bundled up to step out into the delightful crisp, cold air. It seemed like the dogs (Scout and Nala) were also shocked and very excited. We were stunned to see the ranch, which in the winter is normally covered in lush green grass, now transformed into a winter wonderland, with everything coated in a layer of snow.

After I made sure to grab my camera, we decided to drive out and take a walk along the open wilderness side of the ranch where the creek runs through. I knew I had to take pictures to document this whole anomaly, but as a photographer sometimes I struggle with balancing moments that I want to capture on camera and moments I want to stop and take in with my loved ones and experience without the camera. However, it is easier to balance these things when you have a ton of time to do both. I was so grateful it was on a day when Austin and I both had the day off with no plans other than to run around in the snow. I'm happy to say I ended up getting to experience the moment both with and without my camera!

After spending some time exploring the ranch, we decided to take a drive out to Lake Berryessa to see if the snow had made its way there as well. As we drove out of the hills and into view of the lake, We were so excited and awestruck to see how the snow had affected the lake. The green hills surrounding the lake stood out in bright vibrant contrast against the white snow-capped mountains that sat at higher elevations. We pulled over and got out of the car so we could get some better pictures and take it all in. There was not a soul out on the road or the lake. We were, from what we could tell, totally alone. Unfortunately, the snow did not last the whole day and it quickly melted off as the afternoon went on.

As we made our way back home, I couldn't help but feel grateful for this unexpected snow day. It's not often that you get to experience something new in a state you've lived in for so long, and I felt lucky to have witnessed such a rare event, especially the day after my birthday! As a photographer, I knew that these moments were meant to be captured and shared whether that's for my own personal memories or to create stories and inspire others to go out and have an adventure of their own.