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.
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!
After 3 weeks of smoke-filled skies and hazardous air quality warnings, blue skies finally emerged. The local and other western state wild fires had filled our little place of peace with a heavy layer of smoke. It was hard to spend much time outside without a burning sensation in my lungs. Finally a strong breeze pushed the smoke out of †he valley. It felt so good to walk around our garden and breath fresh clean air.
The point where this image is taken is the future site of a small outdoor room/sitting area from which we can hide and enjoy a peaceful view of our garden, house, and ridge above. The lawn area will be closed in with shrubs and small trees providing a private shady area for a cozy bench. It will be a peaceful area to take an afternoon break in the shade and enjoy the scene above. Planning for the future keeps my imagination going.
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.
“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!
I had planned to visit the Palouse in June to see the spring greens and yellows. It just wasn’t meant to be. I am yearning to get out with my camera for an adventure. Maybe later on this month I will be able to travel for a couple of days out to the Palouse. It should not be too crowded so I will be able to maintain social distancing during the trip. Warm summer breezes and softly blowing grains will be waiting.
“As the Hills and Sky Roll By” The Palouse, South Eastern Washington
In my last posting, I used a long exposure to blur the clouds in the image. In this image I let the camera do the work as I panned the camera along the rolling hills to create the blur. I saw clear contrasts between the light and shadows on the rolling hills and the white clouds and the blue sky above. In addition, I was gifted the contrasting orange-brown color of the hills against the blue color of the sky. Together they all combined for a nice abstract.
What a wonderful gift was given to me while meandering along some back roads north of Walla Walla in the Palouse. Layers of clouds were moving above. It was breezy and fairly dark. It felt like a storm was about to come in. I had an eerie feeling around me. My partner stayed in the car while I ventured out.
I took a long exposure to capture the movement of the clouds. I looked at my image and got excited as I saw rays emerging from the barn almost fighting with the clouds moving across the image. Two different air streams were layered on top of each other. One set of clouds was moving easterly while the other was moving south easterly toward me.
It is time for me to go to the Palouse to wander again. The rolling hills, old homesteads and clouds are calling. Hopefully some local travel will be possible in the relative near future.
I casually walked home through cherry orchard, taking my time and looking all around me. I looked up and saw this protrusion of Selah Ridge overlooking the orchard. I felt like it was a sentinel watching over the rows of trees getting ready to bloom. Blossoms should be emerging very soon. I will keep my eyes open so I can take another adventure through the blooming orchard.
This image is another perspective of the photograph in my prior post. It is also an infrared (IR) image, but processed in black and white. This is typically how I handle infrared images focusing on the contrasts of dark sky and light clouds and foliage from the trees.
A positive ramification of our “stay at home” order is that I can spend a good part of my day working on my photography skills. I enjoy experimenting with different methodologies to create moods and feelings. One of my next endeavors will be to combine IR and long exposure photography into B&W images. Rather than facing each day and thinking about what I cannot do, I much prefer to envision what I can do. It is a time to explore, examine new things, experiment, and learn. I really do not have time to think about what I can’t do.