Category Archives: B&W Photography

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!

Bright and Brilliant

Japanese Garden
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

The midday contrasts of the foliage tend to blend together. Deep shadows and bright sunlit leaves tend to obscure detail. Some say that the light is bad and it is not a good time to photograph. But I am here enjoying what is in front of me. How can I make the best of it? Infrared comes to the rescue!

Stop While I Have The Chance!

Old Barn Along Old Valley Highway
Near Buena, Washington

How many times have I driven by this old square barn along the old Yakima Valley Highway? I am afraid to say that it has been way too many. This day, like many before, I said to myself that I would stop on my way back. But this time I drove about 100 yards and turned around.

There are too many old buildings that are either falling down on their own or being taken down for alternative uses of the land in the Yakima Valley. I am committed to stop when I see something rather than say, “next time.” Who knows if there will be a next time.

High Water at Gettysburg

“High-Watermark of Picket’s Charge”
Gettysburg National Park, Pennsylvania

This post continues my series on some of our National Parks. Gettysburg National Park has always been one of my favorite places to visit. My first visit was over 50 years ago, back in 1966 when our family took a cross-country vacation in the “Blue Blimp”, a blue and white Dodge motor home. I was fascinated with the battlefield back then. When we lived in the Washington, DC area, we made several trips with our visitors, learning more each time. During our 16 years in the Philadelphia area, we must have made 9-10 visits. My last trip to the park was 2 years ago, when we visited the Washington, DC area. Each time I visit the battlefield, I learn something new and gain a greater understanding of what what this turning point in the Civil War meant to the Country and our people.

This particular site is a solemn point. It was the farthest point that the Confederates made against the Union forces during Pickets charge. The Confederates sent 15,000 troops across this field and suffered fifty-percent casualties. Gettysburg along with the concurrent Confederate surrender at Vicksburg marked the turning point of the Civil War.

Death Valley Mystery

“The Race Track”
Death Valley National Park, Nevada

What the ????? How did the rock get here? Who or what pushed it? Or was it pulled? Scientists have been studying this since the early 1900’s. Theories have changed over time. In fact, the prominent theory at the time I took this image seven years ago has changed.

The current theory is developed from using time-lapse photography, weather stations, and GPS devices. During the winter of 2013, the elements came together and scientists were able to record the phenomenon of the sliding rocks. During a rain fall followed by an extreme cold night, a thin layer of ice formed. The ice lifted the rocks from the playa surface. The next morning, the ice started to melt creating a thin layer of water between the ice and the playa. The ice sheet started to break up leaving sections of the sheet floating on the water. Winds came up blowing the smaller ice sheets with the embedded rocks across the playa.

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Grotesque #6

“Medeval Rhetoric”
Miller Hall, University of Washington Quad

Viewing and thinking about the old Education Hall (now Miller Hall) grotesques makes me appreciate what a well-rounded liberal arts education would be. Education has many dimensions with various perspectives from different points of view ranging across cultures, times, and topics.

I feel a little remorse not being exposed to this level of learning as I progressed through a technical degree. I missed a lot during my formal engineering and business education. Over the years I have filled in many of the gaps through reading and recently on-line classes. I currently enjoy viewing lectures from the “Great Courses” on-line education programs. It is never too late to continue learning.

This posting will close my grotesque series for the time being.

Grotesque #5

“Grammar Teacher and Students”
Miller Hall, University of Washington

We need more of these!

I remember grammar classes in school when growing up from grade school through the first couple of years in high school. They were not my favorite, but I learned a lot. Throughout my professional career, clear writing was imperative and essential to communicate. I am thankful for the grammar education I received in my early years.

Now, grammar is not formally taught in many of our schools. Much of our communication is through social media. Most of it is extremely poorly written and sloppy.