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photo of the day: Majestic tree in a California vineyard

Jana Ireijo / UGC

Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley, Calif.

Jana Ireijo, an oil painter based in Westport, Conn., took this photo in summer 2011 while visiting California’s Santa Ynez Valley.

The area is located 35 miles north of Santa Barbara and is home to many vineyards.

Ireijo told TODAY.com that she took the photo in order to paint the tree.

“I drove for miles that day … in and around back roads, dirt trails, getting lost in wine country,” she said.  “I took several pictures of old barns, and other trees, but this is the only one that captured the magic that day.”

The region left a memorable impression on Ireijo: “It is a pocket of paradise hidden away from the rest of the world … little red schoolhouses, rolling hills with purple shadows, quiet starry nights and where talk at the local coffee shop is of grape harvests.”

You can see Ireijo’s paintings on her website.

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