Tag Archives: Eastern Washington

Blue Skies and Green Grass

“Future SW View Area”
Heatherwood

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.

A Walk Along a Garden Path (Part 2)

Peek at Bright & Shiny Garden”
Heatherwood Garden

Here I stand just starting to make my turn on the path, I catch a glimpse of Mary’s “bright and shiny garden” directly ahead. (Aside: When we started planning the garden, I asked Mary what she would like to see. She quickly said, “something bright and shiny.” So we designed a small garden of bright perennials that would bloom from spring through autumn.)

Before I make my turn to the west, I look back south where I had come from. I see the garden’s center circle with a specimen Zelkova. Over time the tree will grow covering the center pathway with its branches. It will be a great shade spot. Beyond our neighbors houses I can see the gap along the hill separating Selah from Yakima.

“Center Circle”
Heatherwood Garden

Now I finally turn westward to exit the path. Patience … see Part 3.

A Walk Along a Garden Path (Part 1)

“Path to Where?”
Heatherwood Garden

Where does this path lead? It seems to disappear as it turns first to the right and then to the left. All of our garden paths are designed to create a little mystery. The beginning of the path forces the walker’s eyes to the north and our house and the ridge behind. As the grasses, plants, and near by trees grow, the curving path will lead the walkers eyes to the surrounding plantings.

Nearing the top bend in the path, I look to my right (east) and see the various young plants in our rock garden that separates our upper and middle lawns. Over time the shrubs, perennials, and ground cover will fill in to create an Alpine-style rock garden.

Rock Garden
Heatherwood Garden

As I stare to take the turn to the left, I see the colorful “bright and shiny” garden directly in front of me. Stay tuned to Part 2 …

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.

A Different View

“Mary’s Perspective”
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

This image is Mary’s view for my previous post. She sees the world through “bright and shiny” lenses, hence the beautiful tones of aqua and yellow. The following is her perspective:

Extraordinary

Sometimes reality just doesn’t do it for me.
I want to see a world as I think it should be
and, maybe, not exactly as it is.

One of my favorite colors is teal or almost any
combination of blue and green.  Those colors conjure
both seawater and plants, some of the real necessities for life.

So why not make the tree leaves teal?
It’s true that they don’t usually come in that exact shade.  
I know that, but just once I want this tree to be how I want it to be.

Thank you for playing around with the color
and making blue/green leaves and warm, yellow light peeking through.
It’s a little thing and maybe a trick, but I think it is beautiful. 

For a few moments, this tree is just a little bit extraordinary. 

Mary Dahlin Graf

Something a Little Different

Japanese Garden Entryway Gate
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

It was hot (>95F) and it felt good standing in the shade for a moment. Why did I take this image? I was drawn to the line of wisteria and the bright blue sky. It was another good opportunity for infrared photography to pull out the bright wisteria foliage and highlight the brilliant blue sky of a summer day in Eastern Washington.

Bright and Brilliant

Japanese Garden
Yakima Area Arboretum, Washington

The midday contrasts of the foliage tend to blend together. Deep shadows and bright sunlit leaves tend to obscure detail. Some say that the light is bad and it is not a good time to photograph. But I am here enjoying what is in front of me. How can I make the best of it? Infrared comes to the rescue!

A Nice Day’s Drive

Mt. Hood and Columbia Gorge
Oregon and Washington

On a clear day, it is hard to beat the drive down to Bend, Oregon from Eastern Washington along US Highway 97. Leaving the Yakima Valley, the snow peak of Mt. Rainer is in the NW, and Mt. Adams overlooks the valley from the west. Reaching Goldendale, Mt. Adams is to the NW and Mt. Hood is to the SW. Turning the bend on Highway 97 heading down into the Columbia Gorge, Mt. Hood is dead ahead (as in this image). Climbing back out of the Gorge to the Oregon Plateau, Mt. Adams is to the north and Mt. Hood is due west. Continuing south past Shaniko, one sees a little turn out with a clear view of the Cascade Range. From here, Mt. Adams is in the far north, Mt. Hood is in the NW, and Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three-fingered Jack are to the west and SW. Traveling south out of Madras Mt. Jefferson rises prominently above the farm lands to the west. Approaching Redmond, the Three Sisters and Broken Top are seen to the west and SW. Then Mt. Bachelor rises up as you enter the Bend area. It is a pretty impressive four hour drive on a clear day, which is pretty common in sunny Eastern Washington and Oregon!

Longing for Adventure

Steptoe Butte
The Palouse, Washington

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.