Palouse Revisited

The Palouse is located in southeastern Washington. It is the designation given to an area with rolling hills that have been formed over thousand of years from wind blown dust and silt. The best view of these rolling hills can be seen from Steptoe Butte. We love The Palouse. So do so many other photographers! The place to set up your tripod to get the ‘classic’ Palouse landscape is up on Steptoe Butte. This butte is a big thumb right in the middle of it all. It is a Washington State Park (annual fee for a statewide permit is $30). The road winds up and around and around and around. There are several prime spots and you can count on having the company of many other photographers on any evening to photograph the deep shadows on hills of wheat and canola. From Steptoe Butte the rolling hills look like giant sand dunes, no surprise since they were formed in much the same way.

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You might have noticed that some of these hills are pretty steep. You might also have thought that the usual straight line farming would no work well (think errosion of soil). So, how do farmers plow and harvest these hills? Well, I checked into it and found out that at one time that was a serious problem. The hills are, in fact, steep enough to cause tractors and combines to tip over. An innovative solution was found by Raymond Hanson (age 19) in 1941. He invented the control mechanism that then lead to the development of a self-leveling combine!! This system allows the chassis and cutting part of the machine to follow the slope of the hill while the body and cab remain vertical. This is the number one wheat producing area of the country.

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When we first arrived in Palouse the canola plants had not started to produce their flower which gives the landscape that gorgeous yellow that we love. By the time we left it was just beginning to show up in some fields. There was just a hint of it in some of the first photographs above.

When we first arrived in Palouse the canola plants had not started to produce their flower which gives the landscape that gorgeous yellow that we love. By the time we left it was just beginning to show up in some fields. There was just a hint of it in some of the first photographs above.

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Someone has quite a collection going!!

Someone has quite a collection going!!

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Wrapping Up Tom's Trip

With a week to cull, edit, sort and decide . . . here are some final images from Tom's trip to Palouse and back.

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Tom enjoyed havinng you along and sharing his 'finds'. We are both looking forward to shooting together on our next trip.

Have a great weekend.

Last of Palouse

Tom winds up his stay in the Palouse area. Here are some images that we have not seen before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And perhaps my favorite so far . . . well, maybe a co-favorite!

He has enjoyed your comments. When Tom returns home he will get to the many photos he has not even processed yet. My hope is that he creates a gallery of his final selects on his website. When he does we will let you know.

Tom is in Portland today with the Japanese Gardens as his choice of shooting location. I am looking forward to the photos.

Have a great day!