“Experienced tractors for sale – Cheap!” Here’s a little more history of the Palouse. Scattered across the Palouse next to old barns and fields are old farm equipment. Here was an anomaly. This enterprising individual had collected a variety of old tractors of the 40’s and early 50’s vintage (I think) and put them on display.
The site brought back early memories of my childhood growing up on an apple orchard in the upper Yakima Valley. I can remember riding on my grandpa’s John Deere crawler working in the orchard. It was hard to start with the hand crank in the front. But when it did, what a roar it made. I remember sitting on my grandpa’s lap pulling the turning handles to to make the machine turn. It took all I had, pulling with two hands and my whole body. What a thrill! I was heart broke when he traded it in for a wheeled tractor.
Driving along the back roads of the Palouse is an excursion of modern mechanized farming mixed with remnants of a bygone era. We encountered this barn along a dusty dirt farm road. My mind started to wonder who it was build by and when it was built. What was its and its owner’s history? It must have been a relative small farmer since the building itself was small compared to many of the large barns in the area. How could a small farmer survive? This one probably did not for very long.
About an hour prior to taking this image, I was at the top of Steptoe looking over the Palouse Plain. (Refer to the first image of this series I posted about a week ago.) Now I am at the bottom of Kamiak Butte looking across the plain up to Steptoe Butte. In this image, I am trying to emphasize the curves of the fields and how they “feed up” toward Steptoe. The small bales of hay in the middle field add a little scale to the image.
Driving along back roads in the Palouse is a treat. Views of rolling hills caught my eyes. Graceful lines of hills and and the contrast of cut and plowed fields ran everywhere. I stopped to collect a set of images. As I got back into my car, I looked up to the embankment above me and saw this contraption of whirligigs looking over the edge. Farm implements have unusual shapes as this hay raker demonstrates. What is more impressive is to see one working in the field.
It has been over 3 months since I last posted an image. It’s been a busy summer. Since my last post, the user interface for WordPress has changed a little. So here goes …
I will be trying to catch up with the photography that I have been doing over the summer through a series of mini-projects. The first will be from a recent trip to the Palouse in southeastern Washington. The view from Steptoe Butte was a flowing mixture of golds and various shades of brown. It was a cloudy morning with very little contrast. Then the sun broke through illuminating bright streaks across the landscape. The whole scene changed drastically. I chose to focus my images on small vignettes as opposed to the overall landscape. This lone tree and lines of the freshly plowed fields caught my eye.
Capitol Reef National Park is full of unusual forms, outcroppings, ridges, valleys, and canyons. Everywhere I turned, I saw a different formation. Questions flashed across my mind. How were they formed in the first place? When were they created? What was the landscape like at the time of the creation? What was the driving natural force that changed the landscape? What forces caused the erosion to occur in a specific way? Why are there different colors and tones? What are the legends that surround the formation’s history?
Does Navaho Dome reflect the lined face fo wisdom or the peaks and swirls of child’s play? Maybe it is both …
On my last day at Capitol Reef I decided to just drive around and scout some of the areas for a future trip. It was mid-day when I saw some interesting shadows on these rock protrusions. The scene looked pretty flat in color. My mind turned black and white. I like clouds and shadows. Here were both.
On another adventure earlier this spring, we went to Smith Rocks State Park along Highway 97 in Oregon. It a beautiful spring day during local school’s spring break. There was a huge crowd with the same idea as we had to soak up the rays and explore. We took a casual walk along the gorge rim. Others were hiking the steep trails and climbing the shear faces of Smith Rocks (way outside of our physical condition or skill level). It was a great day!
Can you imagine these falls during the Ice Age Missoula Floods? Water was rushing over the top flat rim of the plateau at 70 miles per hour! The existing falls is but a small trickle of what was.
The amazing geological history of Eastern Washington continues to fascinate me. The current falls are 187 feet tall. The Ice Age Flood falls were about twice in height. Basalt on the canyon walls was created by a series of lava flows between 15 & 18 million years ago. The Missoula Floods creating the canyon occurred 12 to 15 thousand years ago (just a spec of time in our geologic history).
This was my first stop at Capitol Reef National Park following my stop at the Visitor’s Center. It was mid-day, the sun was bright, and there were no clouds. So what … I started thinking black and white from the start. I walked around until I was able to frame “The Castle” with the two trees.
To me “The Castle” really did look like a castle overlooking the valley below. It was a good way to start my exploration of Capitol Reef National Park.