Category Archives: The Grand Landscape

The overview of the natural landscape.

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?

The Reef

“The Reef”
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park encompasses the Waterpocket Fold. This fold runs about 100 miles north and south. It was formed 50 -70 million years ago along a fault during a mountain building period in the Western states. Movement along the fault created these monoclines rising as much as 7000 feet. More recent activity 15- 20 million years ago of the Colorado Plateau uplift and resulting erosion exposed the surface of the monoclines. As much as 10,000 feet of strata representing 270 million years of geological history has been exposed in some areas.

The Badlands

The Badlands National Park, South Dakota

The Badlands were formed by a series of depositions and then erosion. Seventy-five million years ago, the area what is now the Badlands was a part of an inland sea extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Pole. The lowest levels are sea bed depositions. From 75 to 45million years ago, plate movement gradually forced up the Rocky Mountains and created a depression which is now the Badlands. During this period, erosion from the raising mountains and volcanic action deposited various layers of material in the depression. Starting about 500,000 years ago the Cheyenne and White Rivers carved out the deep valleys through the area. Torrential rain storms and wind have been eroding the area at a rate of one inch per year.