All By Myself
On our second full day in the Palouse I let Brent sleep in … his choice really. I got up at 4-something, turned on the coffee maker … already set up with Starbuck’s French Roast brought from home. It’s not that I could have been without coffee anywhere in Washington State. There are coffee shops and sheds converted into drive-thrus everywhere. In Colfax, the one across from our mom & pop hotel had a neon sign that simply read, ‘Caffeine’. They all had unique names, like ‘Bada Bean’ for example. So I downed my first cup of coffee, threw on the clothes I had laid out the night before and headed out into the dark … to Steptoe Butte, for the second morning. A bit scary, the road to the top winds around and around, getting very close to the edge and with no guard-rail. I made it without going over the edge though. It was windy and I was thankful for the extra layers. There were a few linear clouds present which at least made it a bit different than the day before. Here I zoomed out to the max and got a layered shot before the sun made an appearance.
After spending some time on the butte, I wandered around on my own. I had never heard so much quiet or felt as alone as I did that morning. I traveled well-maintained dirt roads and barely saw anyone else along the way. I could stop in the middle of the road, set up my tripod and no one bothered me.
In the Palouse it is all about the wheat as I am sure you have figured out by now. It is the perfect place for it. They get a lot of rain in the spring and almost no rain in the summer providing ideal conditions. We learned that winter wheat is planted in August after the harvest. This is why some of the fields have been plowed. The seeds winter over and sprout in the spring when the rains come. The winter wheat is the darker and thicker looking wheat. Summer wheat is the lighter, more slender variety. They also grow a few other grains as well as lentils which are green in the field at this time of the year.
In the afternoon we went to Palouse Falls State Park a few hours away. The area was dry and Grand Canyon-like. The beautiful falls plunged 200 ft. into a pool before emptying into the Palouse River. Unfortunately I mistakenly over-wrote the card that contained these images. It was middle of the day light but I was hoping to be able to do something with them. Oh well … now I’ll have to come back!
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Tags: farms, hills, Palouse, photography, rolling hills, Washington State, wheat