Farmer’s couch and fisheye

On the road to Hood River, Oregon! It’s the first day of our trip and I’ve already forgotten all the stress at work. A day all of the sudden seems to be filled with much more time. And gliding down the highway with 55 miles an hour is a very smooth sail.

North California passes by: dusty, dry fields, fields with sunflowers, fields with tomatoes, rice fields, olive orchards.

June is well entertained with a variety of fruits, her discovery of the word Popel and the thing itself and covering her eyes with her feet.

Three hours North of Home we found our first overnight spot on a rice and tomato farm, right next to the chicken hutch. We found Giusti Family Farm through harvests hosts network, which is basically couch surfing for RVs. Sandra and Rich welcomed us late in the evening, showed us the RV spot with full hook up and wished us a good night. June snuggled with bear on her bunk bed. Bastian and I enjoyed spicy sausage from the BBQ in the blue light of Bommel’s back side (entertainment area of the r-pod) and observed a fist-sized spider with a body that looked like cold lava stone, walking around the legs of our camping chairs.

The new fisheye lens had celebrated it’s debut. First day in use and it already had to lay down in the dirt. Camera on the back, lying on the ground pointing the fisheye up into the sky to collect some starlight and some of the light of the distant farms. I have to figure out the right settings to catch the light of the milky way better.

Miniature farm

Today morning Bommel got an invasion of mosquitos. At least it felt as if they swarmed in. Judging by the size of the blood spots they left, they actually invaded Bommel during the night as well, enjoying us (or more likely only me as I seem to be right in the center of there preferred flavor range).

Rich gave us a big tour through his gigantic barns. He restores a fifth wheel which is probably 3 times the size of our trailer and has a motorhome that is almost two times the size. Than he showed us his gems, four Dodge old-timers. Bats were loudly chatting with each other while Rich lifted the sheet from a dark green Dodge Pickup which he got from his son for his 57th birthday. Beautifully restored, all original parts, original colors.
After we saw a barn room, at least as big as our apartment, where he works on his other hobby the model airplanes, a ‘You’ve got so much space here!’ slipped over my lips.

‘That’s the problem’, he laughed. ‘Everybody brings more and more stuff. I’ve got a bunch of kitchen things over there in case you need something.’

Bommel on the Giusti Family Farm

‘Hey, do you want some cherry tomatoes? Or zucchini? Let’s see what’s ready.’ and so we continued the tour in his garden. He picked basil, sage, squash, zucchini and tomatoes for us while small, brown lizards jumped out of our way and he talked about the tomato fields and the rice fields. ‘80 acres of rice field use as much water as a three bedroom four people household in a year.’ As the concept of acres is a mystery to me, I had to look up later it’s 0.3 square kilometers, 300,000 square meters. That’s actually a very large rice field. I mean, I had expected a tiny rice field to need a lot of water throughout a year as it is usually looking like a square shaped lake. Lots of water.

Sandra brought also a brown bag full of the sweetest cherry tomatoes and we were invited to come back to stay over night any time. Lovely people.

The pictures are not exactly taken from the same spot, but almost. The first one was taken camera lying on the back (on the display) on the ground with 30 seconds and ISO 640 at F4.0 at around 10pm. Next time I’ll try that with the remote control and a longer exposure. The second was taken with ISO 500 and 1/6400 sec and f4.0 at around 10am. Don’t ask me about the ISO 500 at daylight. Guess I didn’t really know what I was doing.


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Inge is a travel photographer and blogger, Mom, Kite Surfer, Project Manager. Writer, reader, Adventurer. Barefoot when ever possible. 

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