Tag Archives: Eastern Washington

360 Degree View

Selah Bluff
Heather Heights, Selah, WA

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.

Peaceful Walk Around the Neighborhood

Neighbor’s Pasture
Heather Heights, Selah, WA

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!

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!