Heatherwood Fall Colors #3

Liquidamber Styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ (Sweet Gum)
Heatherwood Fall

A pair of liquidambers frame the entry area to Heatherwood. I planted them three years ago, before we added the other entryway planting areas and replaced the flowering plum trees with Green Vase Zelkovas. I am attracted to them because of their prominent upright shape, their brilliant fall color, and their “spikey” fruit.

I first planted three liquidambars in our Woodinville, WA garden 25 years ago. I did not have much luck. The first winter after I planted them, we had a very wet snow storm followed by a freeze. The trees still had their leaves and the weight of the snow and ice bent them over to the ground. While we lived there, they never regained their form. Our first year in Fountainville, PA we planted a row of five liquidambers along the road in our front yard. They became the star of our front yard landscape. So when I moved back to Selah, I had to add a pair to a prominent place in our landscape.

Heatherwood Fall Colors #2

Oak Leaf Hydrangea
Heatherwood Fall

Oak Leaf Hydrangeas are my favorites with their four season interest. In the spring, their dark green leafs unfurl. Summer brings out their beautiful conical flowers. Brilliant fall colors surround the faded brown blossoms in the autumn. In the winter most of the leaves drop leaving their exfoliating cinnamon-brown bark and their brown flower heads. A light dusting of snow highlights their beauty.

Heatherwood displays several Oak Leaf Hydrangeas throughout the garden, including a few in the Oak Grove.

Heatherwood Fall Colors #1

Oribe Japanese Lantern
Heatherwood Fall

The Oribe guide post lantern leads one to a quite place dedicated to a tea ceremony. The form was created by Lord Furuta Oribe (1544-1615). Lord Oribe was a famous tea master who practiced the Sukiya way of life. In our Heatherwood Japanese garden, the Oribe marks a wash basin for one to wash their hands prior to a tea ceremony. At this point, Heatherwood deviates from a traditional Japanese garden. Instead of a tea house, we have a lounging area with Adirondack chairs were we frequently have a glass of wine instead of a cup of tea.

Harbinger of a Beautiful Day

Cherry Tree Silhouette Against Early Morning Sunrise
Heatherwood Fall

As I watched the sun rising, the cloudy sky turned a brilliant yellow orange. I just knew it was going to be a crisp beautiful autumn day. As soon as it got light enough, I grabbed my camera and went out to try to capture a feeling of the changing colors in our Heatherwood garden. I will follow up with some of the color I witnessed in my next several posts.

Early Morning Sunrise

Sunrise on Southern Ridge
Heatherwood

As the sun rises over the eastern hills, these lenticular clouds lit up like they were on fire. A glorious fall day was on its way.

I saw the sun rising to the east as these clouds were moving in from the west. I quickly grabbed my camera with a long telephoto then stood and waited until the clouds moved over the trees on the southern hill crest. A few seconds later the clouds broke up and the sun rose above the western hills. The moment was gone.

It pays to have a camera with the right lens ready when the moment arises. I typically have 3 cameras with different lenses ready most of the time.

A Little Brightness for the Day

Yellow Rose
Heatherwood Rose Garden

Our rose garden is still full of color. However, most of the blooms are past their prime and are a little tattered. It is hard to find a full crisp fresh rose without a few defects in the petals. So with my macros, my focus is on color, shape, and lines. I am continuing to work with creating “softness” with some of my rose images. I combined two images, one in focus, and one out of focus and blended them together to achieve the above result.

So here’s a little brightness for your day! There is always something in the world to celebrate.

Soft

“Soft Beauty”
Heatherwood Rose Garden

As I was photographing in our rose garden, I came across these two roses snuggled together. I remember thinking, “How soft and peaceful.” In post processing I tried to enhance that feeling.

There are so many interesting things to focus on in our Heatherwood garden. I have a difficult time really working a specific image since there are so many other distractions all around me. I tend to hop from one flower to another flower, vignette, or view constantly. When doing so, I tend to fall into a “photo-snapping” mentality and loose my contemplative creativity. I really need to work on this.

360 Degree View

Selah Bluff
Heather Heights, Selah, WA

Aspens, cattails, grasses, and the dark sky frame this ridge on Selah Bluff. From the top, one has a 360 degree view. The Wenas valley is to the north. Mt. Rainier can be seen to the northwest, Mt. Clemens to the west, and Mt. Adams to the southwest. To the east are the ridges of the Yakima River Canyon. To the southeast are the Yakima Firing Center and Rattlesnake Mountain. Looking south I can see our neighborhood, the lower Selah Valley and the Selah-Yakima Gap. It is a place to put down my camera and just enjoy nature and the open area around me.

Livelihood of Our Garden

Natches-Selah Irrigation Canal
Heather Heights, Selah, WA

Only a 10 minute walk from the house will bring us to our irrigation canal. It is one of the last open areas in existence. Built in the late 1800’s, it has served the area well for many years. As time has passed, there is a need to maintain lower water loss and better control the amount of water released from the ditch to the various areas. Soon it will be replaced by a pipeline. What a loss to progress!

This is just one of the many places around our home to explore. Oh, how I wish I were a kid again!

Without this source of water, our Heatherwood garden would be just a dream.

Peaceful Walk Around the Neighborhood

Neighbor’s Pasture
Heather Heights, Selah, WA

It is nice to live in the country. Our home is right in the middle of an area of small pastures. On the east we have a neighbor’s pasture with cows. On the west, our neighbor has five horses and a small grove of apple trees. Farther north we have a riding stable and pasture with a cherry and apple orchard above. We can walk along the paved roads of the neighborhood and view the valley below as well as catch glimpses of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. We can stroll through orchards and along irrigation ditches and flumes catching bits of nature. If we get ambitious, we can climb to the top of the ridge above us and get a 360 degree of the countryside around us. And of course, we can stroll in our little garden arboretum.

So, if we ever feel closed in, all we have to do is open the door and take a walk. It’s nice to live in the country!