Before settling down in the “Perch’s” Adirondack settee, our visitor takes a few moments to enjoy the scene that folds out below. From here, the stroller can view the Selah-Yakima gap, the rural Selah valley and rolling hills, and the Heatherwood landscape as a background to the Japanese garden stream and waterfalls. The dense cloud cover provides a contrast to the normally bright blue summer skies of the Yakima Valley. It is now time to sit down, relax, and enjoy a little peace with the rushing water and the song of birds providing nature’s wonderful music.
This posting is the conclusion for our stroller’s walk through Heatherwood’s Japanese Garden. There is much more to see and enjoy, but those will be left for a future stroll.
Turning the corner, the path straightens out and the view opens up. Our visitor is presented a picturesque scene of the Selah Bluff on a beautiful Eastern Washington blue sky day. One of the design aspects of our Heatherwood garden is the use of borrowed scenery from the surrounding area. We make liberal use of it!
“Two White Barns and Steptoe” The Palouse, Washington
I started out searching for these iconic two white barns in the fields of the Palouse. I first focused my images on the two white barns. I wasn’t excited about what I had created. They were just nice photos of two white barns. I stepped back and asked myself why I was making the images. It was the wonderful Palouse sky and the quaint farm setting in the rolling hills around Steptoe Butte. I switched my perspective to the overall setting and away from the iconic barns.
The Columbia River Lava flows make up most of the bedrock of the Palouse. Fifteen to eighteen million years ago fissures in southeastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, and southwestern Idaho spewed out great lava flows over the Columbia Basin. Steptoe Butte created by a metamorphic rock protrusion 400 million years ago rises 1000 feet above the lava flows.
Springtime in the Palouse is a wonderful time to practice my skills using infrared photography. The bright green winter wheat and the great clouds add to the experience. It was a cool windy day with rapidly moving clouds. Patches of sunlight rolled along the hills. I spent about an hour and created almost 100 images trying to catch different patches of sunlight crossing the two curvy hills at the same time. Patience paid off as I was able to catch the bright strips of sunlight on the two ridges.
The clouds make this infrared image of our neighbor’s pasture. We “borrow” this scene for our lower Heatherwood garden. We are surrounded on three sides (N,E, and W) by hills and look over a valley to the south. In the design of Heatherwood, we have opened up and framed vistas of the surrounding countryside. There is always something interesting to explore with our eyes and imagination.
“Overlooking Heatherwood and the Valley Below” Heatherwood Spring
It was a sunny late afternoon. The lower yard was in bright sunlight and the valley below was covered with clouds. I had not photographed in infrared in over six months, so I decided to grab my IR camera and play with the light and shadows.
Spring is the time to work with infrared photography as all the green emerge from the deciduous trees and the spring grasses. I look forward to experimenting and improving my IR skills as the hills turn green around us.
There are just four weeks until the first day of spring. Though there is still snow on the ground at home, temperatures are getting warmer and my mind is starting to transition to spring. I am starting to think about spring trips to Northwest gardens like the Seattle and Portland Japanese gardens. We have not been to either one since the fall of 2019 prior to Covid-19. Each time I visit a garden, I come back with a mind full of ideas. Right now, we are focusing on selecting the right type of rhododendrons, azaleas, shade trees, deciduous shrubs and ground covers for Heatherwood’s Japanese garden. I am ready for a little inspiration.