Category Archives: The Grand Landscape

The overview of the natural landscape.

Thank You Neighbor!

“Neighbor’s Cherry Orchard”
Heatherwood Fall

Our neighbor’s cherry orchard provides a beautiful background for Heatherwood. It has seasonal interest throughout the year. Beautiful light pink blossoms welcome in spring. Lush green highlights the summer months. Striking orange-brown decorates the fall hillside. The snow covered trees provide a striking contrast in the winter. The orchard provides a nice place to take a walk throughout the year and provides a special sweet treat in July.

The orchard and hillside are a good example for “borrowed scenery” for Heatherwood’s Japanese garden. With the limited space in our garden, we wanted to make as much use of the surrounding hills borrowing their character and beauty. As we were laying out our garden paths and tree placements, we consciously identified surrounding areas that we wanted to highlight. We formed the path and placed trees to create framed scenes of the surrounding hills and valley below.

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.

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.

Looking East

Selah Ridge from Garden Pathway
Heatherwood Summer

Part of our design criteria when laying out Heatherwood was to make use of the background geological highlights. Pathways leading from one section to another were located to channel the view to some specific area of interest. This pathway, facing east, highlights Selah Ridge with its basalt lava flow. Also in the background, the view highlights our 1890’s irrigation flume.

Finished ???

“The Lower Forty”
Heatherwood, Selah, WA

Finished … at least for this year! At the beginning of March, this area was a 2.5 acre lawn. Now at the end of August we have completed this year’s landscape project. Six months of work has converted the area into a combination of tree groves, lawn rooms, meadows, and rock gardens with a new patio thrown in. It is now time to sit back and enjoy the gifts of nature. It is so peaceful to sit outside and enjoy a morning cup of coffee or an afternoon beverage. Strolling around the new trees and plantings, we discover nature’s gifts all around. At night, strategically placed lighting highlights waterfalls, specimens, and various sculptures. We are so very grateful for each and every day!

North Cascades

Liberty Bell Peak
North Cascades National Park
, Washington

This post ends my series on National Parks and Monuments that I have visited over the last several years. I know that I have missed some but that is OK.

This image of Liberty Bell Peak was taken from the top of Washington Pass in the North Cascades Highway. The peak has just received its first dusting of snow for the winter. The deciduous Western Larches provide a colorful yellow to light up the side of the peak.

Grand Tetons

“Sunset Over the Tetons and Jackson Lake”
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

After a long day of driving and photo scouting around Grand Teton National Park, I was ready for a nice quiet dinner and a good nights rest. Then this gift was given to me. The heavy clouds of the afternoon sky broke open to present this view of the Tetons and sky reflecting off Jackson Lake. I spent a couple of hours just enjoying the beauty in front of me and waiting for the sunset. I wasn’t disappointed, but did miss dinner. It was well worth it!

Where Are the Sheep … I Mean, Where is My Telephoto?

Joshua Tree Grove
Joshua Tree National Park, California

We saw a majestic big horn sheep wandering around the hills in the park. However, I chose this image as a better representative of the park.

Now here’s the story behind the title of this post. One of my close friends (Mr. G.H. Ferguson) is a wildlife photographer. On this outing, he decided to travel light and carry only a 35mm wide angle lens. About 10 minutes into our hike, out popped a majestic big horn sheep on a ridge right in front of us. He looked down at his 35mm lens, looked up at me, and said aw Xyx?//. The good news was that I had my 200mm telephoto and was able to get a few good shots. Ferg, this image is for you!

Yellowstone Falls

Yellowstone Lower Falls
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

There are so many things to see in Yellowstone. How do I choose what would be a good representative image? During this trip, my focus was on wildlife photography. The best light was in the early morning or late afternoon/early evening. These were also the best times for photographing wildlife. Thus, my landscape images took second priority in the middle of the day. It didn’t stop me though, as I did do a little exploring around the park. Yellowstone Falls was one of the highlights.

We were planning on going to Yellowstone again this year and made all the reservations. The Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to the trip. Maybe next year?