Join Me On The Butte

I’m not sure about anyone else, but I simply can’t enough of the rolling hills and farmlands of eastern Washington state, so get ready for more of the Palouse region.  The weather couldn’t have been nicer either.  So glad that I remembered to bring the clouds with me too.  🙂_DSC0755Poppies, amongst other species of wildflowers, were seemingly everywhere, which truly added to the country feel of the area.DSC_5472_DSC0735These green grasslands almost look like someone rolled out the green carpet over the hilly landscape.  Place a lone tree in the distance, blue skies with a dash of clouds overhead, and you’ve got some type of “allergy-preventative medicine” scenery.  LOL_DSC0741Along our ways, we spotted a beautiful great horned owl sitting in a nearby tree with its eye glued on us.  Looks like a wise, old owl too.DSC_5532Of course, the bees were out in force doing their pollinator thing on all of the beautiful wildflowers.
DSC_5537We drove up to the top of Steptoe Butte again.  I had Tom walk over to the railing to give perspective to the area of farmlands that it overlooks.  It’s an entire 360 degree view.img_1218Every slight turn of your head yields a different perspective, as different fields are growing different crops to be harvested.  _DSC0758The struggle for me is always … do I want an encompassing shot that’s more wide angle or do I want to zone in midway or perhaps tightly to show more detail?DSC_5552Then there’s always … do I want a traditional landscape orientation or do I want to use a portrait orientation to bring out some of the variations in the farmlands?DSC_5554DSC_5555Decisions, decisions, decisions … usually it’s a bit of each … or when the beauty is so endless, a lot of each.  LOL_DSC0775DSC_5559Even the clouds play a role in how the scenery plays out.  Literally after just shooting a scene, you can look back momentarily later and see something totally different, as the light and shadows are dancing on the landscape.DSC_5560DSC_5561We just can never seem to get enough of being up in the Palouse and eastern Washington area.fullsizerender-5Check out this fascinating cloud display!  Yep, you can be sure that just like visits in the past, we’ll be back to get more._DSC0750Before we go, we wanted to be sure to give a big THANK YOU to Rebecca Tifft.  She played host to us when we were in town.  Look for her images on her Facebook page “Rebecca Tifft Photography”.  She has not only many images from the rural farmlands of the area, but also many from her years spent in Alaska, Denali NP specifically, as a tour driver.  She’s seen it all.  Not to be forgotten, we visited with Phil & Karen Kunst who live also in the area.  Phil’s photography work is in a class of its own.  If you aren’t aware of it, check it out on flickr @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/phils-pixels/.  While Phil couldn’t join us for some photography outings, we understood … he was helping Karen as she hobbled about after having foot surgery.  What a great guy!  Of course, Karen’s a sweetie too.  Don’t forget Teddy … woof, woof.  Getting together with friends made along the way, bonded initially by photography, but now considered to be like family.  Thanks everyone.img_1174

Next Up:  Birding action

© 2016  Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography

http://www.tnwaphotography.com

The Palouse Mystique

In mid-June, I flew from the sunny beaches and cool breezes of the Coronado region of  San Diego, CA to the rolling hills and rich fertile farmlands of eastern Washington … specifically the Palouse region.  I had been there a year ago – loved it – and vowed to return at that time.  The time was now.  🙂

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Probably the most popular and photographed area of the Palouse is from the summit of Steptoe Butte.  From there, you can see miles and miles (and then more miles) of the rolling hills and farmlands that make the Palouse region such a favorite with photographers … and not just landscape photographers either.  🙂

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I mean, who could resist playing with the light, which dances all over the landscape, depending on the weather, clouds, and time of day.  It’s so hard to concentrate on one thing … your eyes catch the beauty from every angle.

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This particular visit to the butte, we hit very different weather than last year.  Rain, heavy clouds, and varying winds were present, which was causing a challenge for me.  I fluctuated between getting broad landscape shots one minute, then more focused to a particular feature observed in the landscape.

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At some points, an even tighter, almost cropped view, was used.  In the Palouse, it really doesn’t matter … it’s all beautiful in my opinion.

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While hanging out on Steptoe, there were even wildlife opportunities, as the marmots seemed to be just about everywhere!  Of course, then I became even more confused as to what to shoot!  LOL

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On one of the days that we were visiting, we drove over to Uniontown and visited the Dahmen Barn and the artists’ workshops as well.  It was there that we got a lesson in the importance of all of this rain we were experiencing.  See, though for me (at least at the moment) the rain was an unwelcome guest, we learned about the importance of the rain to the farmers in the area … see these farms have no man-made irrigation systems and desperately depend on nature’s rain.  “Liquid gold” is what they call it.  I guess I can live with it, in fact embrace it, now.  It’s all about perspective and mine was “adjusted”.

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The perimeter of the Dahmen Barn is a work of art in itself … a fence encompasses it entirely – made up of wheels only … a virtual trip down memory lane and a way of life for the years gone by.  I can’t help but think the stories that could be told by each wheel or cog.  Mind boggling, I say.

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To my delight, the farm land immediately next to the barn was covered in newly bloomed canola fields, ironically courtesy of the recent rainfall.  It was amazing to see and in my opinion, impossible to capture the beauty through the lens … but of course, I had to try.

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As if it wasn’t already exciting enough, we happened to notice a nest nearby.  After careful inspection, we noticed it was occupied by 2 red-tailed hawk young ones.  Older than babies, but not yet ready to do much else but test their wings.  At least one of the parents flew over the nest periodically.

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Also a must to visit are the area small towns that dot the outskirts of the farmlands.  Such history in the area … it was hard to get Tom to leave and head back to the rolling hills again.

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If you ever find yourself in the area, please do yourself a favor and stop for a day or two.  You’ll be glad that you did!

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Stay tuned for more blogs shortly … Canadian Rockies and Montana!!

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© 2014  Debbie Tubridy @ http://www.tnwaphotography.com