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The Palouse

May 2009: Exploring the Palouse in Spring

Over Waves of Green
The view down from Steptoe Butte reveals the complex and wonderful contours of the land.
Blow Wind Blow
A relic from the past watches over one more young crop.
Into the Lush
Everywhere, there is green. Each plant filling a niche, growing, flowering, reproducing. It is a dream that we live in.
And It Was
It was someone's dream... someone's home. Every window a decision. Every wall, a child's memory. Every doorway, a story. Now, it is pretty but mute.
It is Loved
There is no reason for this tree to be here... except that it is loved.
Focus on the View
Why should fences be boring?
In Rolling Hills...
Under blue sky and white cloud, brown dirt yields green life to the sunlight.
And on and on it goes... interrupted by thin slices of towns and roads.
One More Season?
The previous winter's heavy snow took many barns. How many seasons will this one see? Hang on a while longer... for the next generation must know you... the current one dreams only of money.
Sweet Sunlight
Lupines wave goodnight to the setting sun.
The Photographers
They attempt to capture the sky, but don't realize... they are the stars.

August 2008: Exploring the scenic byways of the Palouse during harvest season

Your Bread... Growing
A field of wheat awaits harvest below stormy skies in the Palouse. Wheat is the most common crop grown in this rich agricultural area.
Palouse Sunrise
The picturesque rolling hilltops of the Palouse region catch the early morning sun. Prior to being settled by westerners, these hills were covered with native grasses and small patches of forest.
Barn and Flowers
An old barn sits over a fallow field of flowering plants. Crops are regularly rotated to help keep the land healthy.
The Dahman Barn is surrounded by fence made from old wheels. The fence was built over a 50 year period by Steve Dahmen. The barn is now used as a studio, exhibit space and learning center.
Field of Gold
A field filled with healthy ripe wheat is as good as gold for the farmer. But, nobody counts the harvest until the money is in the bank.
A combine mows down the wheat for harvest. When the combine fills, it transfers the load to a waiting truck. During the peak of the harvest season, there is a lot of work to do. These combines run nearly non-stop. It's amazing to ponder the amount of work that was required to harvest these fields prior to mechanization. Hundreds of men and horses were required to do the work that one combine can do today.
Amber Waves
Steptoe Butte rises over 1000ft from the surrounding landscape, and provides a unique view. These hills were deposited and sculpted during the last ice age, which left a rich loess soil.
Tree and Sky
A lone tree watches over an expansive freshly shorn wheat field, while the evening sky rises above.
The patterns of soil and wheat provide a striking contrast in the early morning light.
Wind Power
Old windmills like this once pumped water into a catch basin whenever the wind blew. Today these are mostly supplated by electric and solar wells. Just a few of these skeletons remain standing.
The sharp patterns of freshly harvested land provide a striking surreal contrast to the soft sky.
In addition to wheat, crops include lentils, barley, garbanzo beans, hay, canola and more.
Making Hay
Bales of hay await a pickup on a farm south of Moscow, ID.

Where is it?

The Palouse is a region located in southeastern Washington state, extending into parts of Idaho. The largest towns are Pullman, WA and Moscow, ID. The rolling hills extend north beyond Tekoa, WA, and south to the Snake River.

Before you go...
The Palouse looks quite different as the seasons progress. In late spring, the fields are green. The harvest season peaks around early August on most years. Winters can be harsh and cold - expect many of the smaller side roads (many of them with gravel beds) to be difficult or impassable.

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