September 26, 2014 Colfax, Washington

Palouse white barn
Palouse white barn

White Clouds and Impossibly Blue Skies

Took a drive west on Route 26 this morning just to explore the area, looking for barns or whatever I might come across.

What I didn’t expect to come across was any kind of photogenic wildlife here in farm country on a bright, sunny morning.

Elusive pheasants
Elusive pheasants

Yet, only a few miles from the fairgrounds, I zipped by what looked like a pair of ring necked pheasants quite near the highway on the edge of a harvested wheat field. If you have ever come across these birds, you know just how colorful they are. I stopped, removed the landscape lens from my camera and dug out my big 600 mm lens ( that has not seen a lot of use as of late ), attached it to the camera body, changed all my landscape camera settings from landscape to birds in flight settings, turned the car around and headed back to the pheasants. Just as I spotted them again, they, of course took flight across the road and all the way to the far edge of the opposite field, pretty much out of range.

A little farther down the road, I come across a neat old barn, do the lens and settings change in reverse, take a couple of shots and head back down the road. Another pair of pheasants ! Stop, repeat lens and settings change, and this takes time, and in the cramped quarters of the Prius, handling a 600mm lens is a bit of a challenge, turn around and head back to where the birds were seen … and they are gone. Well, this went on two more times along this road and I have nothing to show for it. I get frustrated missing these shots. I have always carried two camera bodies, one set up for landscape work and one with a long lens attached set for wildlife shots. But my trusted old D300 died a few months back and I haven’t replaced it yet, not really wanting to shell out the big bucks necessary to add a second D800, and so, I continue to miss shots I would have had little trouble getting in the past. Guess I am just going to have to break down and bite the bullet.

Turned north at Endicott and headed up to St. John, then took Route 23 south back to Route 195 south to home. Nothing extraordinary along this route, although I did see a fair number of hawks along the way, along with the pheasants.

In the afternoon, with bright blue skies and beautiful cumulus clouds beckoning, I headed east on Route 272 to the town of Palouse, then beyond into Idaho to check out a little campground right on Route 6 in the town of Potlatch.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Palouse white barn
Palouse white barn
Colfax Barn
Colfax Barn
Shed and Clouds
Shed and Clouds
Shed and Clouds
Shed and Clouds

Retraced my steps back to Palouse and headed south on Route 27 to the college town of Pullman, Washington where I did some grocery shopping at a new Walmart. From there, jumped back on Route 195 north to Colfax and home.

 

Clouds over Palouse
Clouds over Palouse
Clouds over Palouse
Clouds over Palouse
Clouds over Palouse
Clouds over Palouse
Clouds over Palouse
Clouds over Palouse
Clouds over Palouse
Clouds over Palouse
A distant tree
A distant tree

All along this route, I had to keep stopping for cloud shots over the wheat stubble, the sky was just impossibly blue, and the air had that wonderful autumn crispness to it. Just another gorgeous day in paradise! There is supposed to be a couple of not so great days coming, but when it clears I intend to retrace this route and explore all the farm roads between Route 195 and Route 27 to see what’s there.

Wind turbines
Wind turbines

At sunset, I headed back up to the top of Steptoe Butte to see if late light could possibly be as good as morning light over the Palouse. It wasn’t.

Sunset abstract
Sunset abstract

Though there was a fairly nice sunset, the warm late low light over the rolling fields just didn’t produce any decent images.

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