Category Archives: The Sky

Heatherwood Japanese Garden Stroll #21 – Conclusion

“View From the Perch”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

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.

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Heatherwood Japanese Garden Stroll #18

“View of Selah Bluff”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

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!

Iconic Palouse

“Red Barn & Clouds”
The Palouse, Washighton

It was a beautiful day to capture an iconic Palouse red barn scene. The sun was out, highlighting the barn front, while the clouds provided a contrasting background. The plowed field circled the barn framing it in the scene. The barn just seemed to “pose” for our workshop group in this beautiful setting. Great morning!!!

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The Palouse Sky

“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.

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“Thank You!”
The Palouse, Washington


Sun-fired billows top a melancholy base of grays and dull pinks.
Cool spring green alternates with curves and shadows.
One scene; infinite possibilities.

Mary Dahlin Graf

What a great way to end a wonderful day. The sun was on the horizon setting the clouds on fire. We gazed up and shouted “Thank You!” in unison.

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Tracking Clouds … A Great Way to Pass the Time

“Lone Trees & Clouds”
The Palouse, Washington

I have many wonderful memories of my childhood growing up at the “Ranch.” Many times I spent what seemed like hours, laying on the lawn, gazing up at the clouds, watching them move across the sky changing shapes. Some things never change. On my recent trip to the Palouse, I saw these two trees out in the middle of endless hills of green fields. The bright blue sky was filled with puffy white clouds. I stopped and watched the clouds move across the sky casting shadows on the green hills. An hour went by like a flash as I watched and waited for the shadow patterns in the background to frame the tree while not shading the tree itself or the area in front of it. What a great way to spend a peaceful early afternoon in a beautiful part of our state.

Exploring the Back Roads

“Lonesome Road”
The Palouse, Washington

One of the things I enjoy the most is just driving around exploring the countryside. An old dirt road, rolling hills, puffy clouds puts my mind at peace. I stop in the middle of the seldom traveled road not worrying about another car or truck coming by. I pause and enjoy what I see around me and contemplate how this beautiful land has been used to support a long abandoned homestead and now as a section of a large mega-farm. Sometimes I create an image with my camera. Sometimes I just drive on with the image as a memory in my mind.

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“Sunlight on the Curves”
Palouse, Washington

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.

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Clouds, Trees, and a Fence

Neighbor’s Pasture
Heatherwood Spring

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.

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