Visions of the Palouse

The Palouse, about 70 miles south of Spokane, Washington is a majestic region especially during the harvest season. Sometimes called the Tuscany of America, there are patterns, designs and strong lines creating a visual palette of colors. Below are a few of the photos I have processed so far. All are available for purchase by clicking here.

Sunflowers in the Palouse-CW-0696

Sunrise in the Palouse-CW-

Abandoned Barn in the Palouse-CW-1028

Grasshopper in Sunflower-CW-0686

Wheel Fence_DSC1107-CW-1107

The Palouse

Group Photo 1Our recent trip to the Palouse in Washington State was a visually exciting and memorable trip. My wife (Dorothy) and I went with a group of six other photographers led by Jennifer King along with her associates Jeff Silkstone and David Culp. The group was a diverse and fascinating bunch of folks ranging in age from the thirties to the eighties. We had an artist, a cardiologist, a former publisher and a nun! My background and Dorothy’s (accounting) is rather dull compared to all that. More importantly, from the review of our photos that were shared on the final day, all were excellent photographers.

It was a trip filled with intense heat (upper 90’s), plenty of driving (800 miles in five days), extremely dusty dirt roads where you sometimes could not see the car in front of you, and only a few hours’ sleep each night. We were not deterred! After getting up at 3 AM, and a quick snack, we left the motel around 4 AM each morning, resulting in some wonderful sunrise photos and great light until we generally took a break around 9AM for breakfast, a nap or other personal stuff before heading out again around 4PM until the sun came down.

We photographed the majestic rolling hills of the Palouse, sometimes called the Tuscany of America, old barns, many that may not make it through another winter, wind turbines, garbanzo bean, wheat and sunflower fields. You will see many of my photos in future posts.

.IMG_5177

The most unexpected, illuminating, and even heartwarming part of the trip was an unexpected stop near a wheat field. Just off the road sat an older man, a woman and a young teenage boy. They were sitting nearby a truck and some other equipment drinking beverages to help ward off the heat. For some reason, our lead car with Jennifer pulled off the road nearby. We sat there for a moment or two wondering what was going on. We later found out the farmers were thinking the same thing. Our own personal nun, Sister Rose Marie, walked over to the people and began talking to them. We all soon joined and began a wonderful interaction. First let me say, they were a warm, engagingly friendly and welcoming family. They talked about their harvesting of the wheat, the long hours and dirty work. The woman’s name was Heather Marie, the daughter of the older man who originally owned the farm, now run by his son. As a child Heather Marie worked on the farm. She now lives in Key West, Florida with her husband cinematographer Jaime Reynoso (Bloodline) and has three young boys.  IMG_5171                                                                   Soft White Wheat

Every year Heather Marie brings her boys up to the Washington farm for the harvest season, not only to help out, but to show them her and their granddad’s roots. The work is hard, the days are long, the sun is hot, and the combines kick up dust as they harvest the wheat. As we continued to talk, they invited us to ride up to where they were currently doing the harvest. This even though, it was quitting time for them. We rode up in their trucks and met the rest of the family and a co-worker. They answered all our questions and happily posed for photos. Before leaving Sister Rose Marie gathered the farming family in a circle and said a prayer blessing them.IMG_5182                                                Sister Rose Marie, in the hat, leading a pray

Needless to say, this was not part of Jennifer’s schedule. It was just one of those unplanned happy and memorable accidents.

Now, back home, begins the task of post processing. I will be sharing some photos here and on my photography page on this website, as well as on my Photography website. Hope you will join me.

 

 

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Maine’s Pemaquid Point Lighthouse was commissioned by President John Quincy Adams in 1827 and was built that same year. Construction did not go well due to the use of salt water in the mortar mix. In less than ten years the structure began to fall apart and was replaced by a second Lighthouse in 1835.

The lighthouse was voted by the state’s residents to be featured on the Maine quarter as part of the 50 State Quarters Program issued by the U.S. Mint. The program began in 1999. Maine’s quarter was the 23rd in the series, issued in 2003.

Pemaquid Lighthouse_CW Fixed-0101

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse DSC0099-CW (1 of 1)

Pemaquid Lighthouse_CW Fixed-0089

 

Humpback Whale Taking the Big Dive

Humpback whales are beautiful, graceful and  majestic mammals ranging 40 to 60 feet in length, weighting as much as 44 tons. We were fortunate to catch a couple of Humpbacks on a recent trip to Boothbay Harbor in Maine.

Humpback1_DSC09671 (1 of 1)

 

Humpback2_DSC9672 CW (1 of 1)

 

Humpback3_DSC9672-CW (1 of 1)

 

 

 

 

 

The Puffins of Eastern Egg Rock Island

A recent trip to Boothbay Harbor in Maine provided my wife and me with the opportunity for a boat trip to Eastern Egg Rock Island, an Audubon Society run sanctuary for Atlantic Puffins. The day was beautiful, a little cool out in the ocean, but more important was the number of Puffins that made themselves available to us to photograph.  They are uniquely colorful looking creatures, only about ten inches in length.

No one is allowed to land on the island, except for Audubon employees and volunteers, so we had to shoot from the boat. Subsequently, the distance and the rocking of the boat made photographing a bit challenging at times. Still, with a little bit of luck and assistance from the Puffins, we got the shots.

Three Puffins_DSC9748_CW (1 of 1)

 

Tow Puffins_DSC9704_CW (1 of 1)

 

Puffins-Eastern Egg Rock Island _dsc9755-CW (1 of 1)

Hubbard Country Store – Hancock, Vermont

hubbards-general-store_dscn095_cw-0955

Hancock, Vermont is a small town with a population of 323 people, as of the 2010 census. A couple of years ago we did a road tour of Vermont starting in Burlington and traveling in a circular route to various spots where we planned to stop and photograph. Hancock was not on the list; it was a town that happened to be on the route we were taking. Sometimes the unexpected happens and it works out.

Hancock was named after John Hancock, the prominent patriot and  statesman who also served as President of the Second Continental Congress. Among  other functions, Hancock twice served of Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. John Hancock was arguably the most prominent signer of the Declaration of Independence, so much so, that the phrase “put your John Hancock on that paper” became a common alternative for signature.

While on our road trip, we stopped for a few minutes and took a some photos of Hancock’s “downtown” area. The above photograph of Hubbard’s Country Store, located on Route 125, was closed. I later found out it went out of business a few years ago. The original owners, Earl and Mamie Hubbard, sold the business to Bill and Irma Perry who ran the store until it closed. In 2013, the store was auctioned off. The winning bid was made by Jonathan and Sara Deering.

Inside, the place was a mess with the floor buckling and parts of the ceiling coming down. In early 2014, friends and neighbors began to help Jonathan and Sara renovate the local landmark. I took the  above photograph in late September 2015. From the outside, it still did not look like any improvements were made. The new owners and their friends though were hard at work inside. The revitalized store finally opened in 2016.

Maybe, we’ll get back there some day and see the revitalized store.

Windows as a Theme in Art

Windows let us see. They let light, air and the sun come into our lives. In art, windows have been used by many artists as a framing device, as a means of a way to make us look. Over the years, I have used windows as my own tool of expression. Below are a few example…

Waite's River, Vt._DSC1016 -CW-1016

Vermont

NYC Macy's (1 of 1)

New York City

San Felipe del Neri Church-CW (1 of 1)

New Mexico

Serious Pizza -Vt-015 (1 of 1)

Vermont

Methodist Church at Cades Cove_DSC5968-B&W-CW-5968Church Window in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee

 

Window View CW (1 of 1)

Smoky Mountain of Tennessee

El Santuaario de Chimayo Window View -CW (1 of 1)

New Mexico

Outside my Window_DSC_1132-CR

Yellowstone National Park

Ghost Ranch Reflection_DSC_2394_CR

Ghost Ranch , New Mexico

Window Reflection_Vt-DSCN0943-CW-0941

Vermont