“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.
Memorial Day was a beautiful Spring day! We woke up to a beautiful morning full of sunshine. It was time for a road trip! We decided to drive to the Palouse and visit Palouse Falls. Three hours later we were waiting in line to enter the Palouse Falls State Park. Many others had the same idea as we did. The drive and wait were worth it.
This image is taken from above the Palouse River just below the Palouse Falls. Recent rain created the green foliage on the plateau and canyon walls. Normally the scenery is pretty brown. The sky was covered by a patchwork of puffy white clouds. The scene was a a gift!
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).
Abstract 1: Barnet Newman’s “Achilles” – National Gallery of Art
Abstract 2: National Gallery of Art – East Wing, Exterior
Abstract 3: Volcanic Cliff
Simple lines of abstract art are intriguing. They can be found everywhere. Some are works created in art mediums (paintings, sculptures, etc.). Others are created by architectural forms. Still others are found in nature.
Abstract 1 is an oil painting created by Barnet Newman titled “Achilles”. I stood and looked at this piece for quite a long time. Rather than try to figure out “what it is meant to be”, I tried to focus on what feeling it brought out in me. The red made me feel a little anxious. I did not resonate with this piece.
Abstract 2 is a photograph of the exterior of the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. I was walking along, looked up and saw these contrasting shapes of shadows and light. It just grabbed me.
Abstract 3 is a photograph of the sheer basalt cliffs cut by the Palouse River during the Ice Age Floods. Nature’s artwork stops me in my tracks. Sometimes I just do not want to leave. It instills me to think about how our would was formed and just enjoy the beauty of nature surrounding me.
Canon 5D MkII, EF 24-105 f/4 L @ 58mm, f/11, 1/15 sec, ISO 200
This is what greeted me as I drove up to the Palouse in SE Washington State for a week of exploring and photographing. The brilliant pink and orange lasted for only a few minutes. I rapidly looked for a place to pull off the highway. By the time I got out and pulled out my camera, the magic was just about over In less that a minute the glow was gone. Too bad it is illegal to stop in the middle of a highway to capture a shot.
I was really excited about the clouds and what I expected to see during the next few days. However, the clouds did not come back during my stay. So I focused on the rolling hills, unique lines, and architectural elements. This trip was for scouting anyway.