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.
“Experienced tractors for sale – Cheap!” Here’s a little more history of the Palouse. Scattered across the Palouse next to old barns and fields are old farm equipment. Here was an anomaly. This enterprising individual had collected a variety of old tractors of the 40’s and early 50’s vintage (I think) and put them on display.
The site brought back early memories of my childhood growing up on an apple orchard in the upper Yakima Valley. I can remember riding on my grandpa’s John Deere crawler working in the orchard. It was hard to start with the hand crank in the front. But when it did, what a roar it made. I remember sitting on my grandpa’s lap pulling the turning handles to to make the machine turn. It took all I had, pulling with two hands and my whole body. What a thrill! I was heart broke when he traded it in for a wheeled tractor.
Driving along the back roads of the Palouse is an excursion of modern mechanized farming mixed with remnants of a bygone era. We encountered this barn along a dusty dirt farm road. My mind started to wonder who it was build by and when it was built. What was its and its owner’s history? It must have been a relative small farmer since the building itself was small compared to many of the large barns in the area. How could a small farmer survive? This one probably did not for very long.
About an hour prior to taking this image, I was at the top of Steptoe looking over the Palouse Plain. (Refer to the first image of this series I posted about a week ago.) Now I am at the bottom of Kamiak Butte looking across the plain up to Steptoe Butte. In this image, I am trying to emphasize the curves of the fields and how they “feed up” toward Steptoe. The small bales of hay in the middle field add a little scale to the image.
Driving along back roads in the Palouse is a treat. Views of rolling hills caught my eyes. Graceful lines of hills and and the contrast of cut and plowed fields ran everywhere. I stopped to collect a set of images. As I got back into my car, I looked up to the embankment above me and saw this contraption of whirligigs looking over the edge. Farm implements have unusual shapes as this hay raker demonstrates. What is more impressive is to see one working in the field.
It has been over 3 months since I last posted an image. It’s been a busy summer. Since my last post, the user interface for WordPress has changed a little. So here goes …
I will be trying to catch up with the photography that I have been doing over the summer through a series of mini-projects. The first will be from a recent trip to the Palouse in southeastern Washington. The view from Steptoe Butte was a flowing mixture of golds and various shades of brown. It was a cloudy morning with very little contrast. Then the sun broke through illuminating bright streaks across the landscape. The whole scene changed drastically. I chose to focus my images on small vignettes as opposed to the overall landscape. This lone tree and lines of the freshly plowed fields caught my eye.
Memorial Day was a beautiful Spring day! We woke up to a beautiful morning full of sunshine. It was time for a road trip! We decided to drive to the Palouse and visit Palouse Falls. Three hours later we were waiting in line to enter the Palouse Falls State Park. Many others had the same idea as we did. The drive and wait were worth it.
This image is taken from above the Palouse River just below the Palouse Falls. Recent rain created the green foliage on the plateau and canyon walls. Normally the scenery is pretty brown. The sky was covered by a patchwork of puffy white clouds. The scene was a a gift!
Can you imagine these falls during the Ice Age Missoula Floods? Water was rushing over the top flat rim of the plateau at 70 miles per hour! The existing falls is but a small trickle of what was.
The amazing geological history of Eastern Washington continues to fascinate me. The current falls are 187 feet tall. The Ice Age Flood falls were about twice in height. Basalt on the canyon walls was created by a series of lava flows between 15 & 18 million years ago. The Missoula Floods creating the canyon occurred 12 to 15 thousand years ago (just a spec of time in our geologic history).