The Palouse, Part 1 of 3

January 18, 2018  •  12 Comments

The Palouse is a region in southeastern Washington and north central Idaho.  It is a major agriculture area which mainly produces wheat and legumes.  At one point the Palouse was Washington's most populated region, even surpassing the Puget Sound (Seattle) area.  Many people have never even heard of the Palouse and I was one of them up until about 3 or 4 years ago.  I saw some photos that a friend had made and they reminded me so much of Tuscany that I really wanted to go.  I was finally able to  arrange  to go on a photo tour of the Palouse last summer.  The tour was led by Jack Lien, a native of the area who was an excellent tour guide.  

Map of the Palouse areaMap of the Palouse area

The above map shows the area of the Palouse where we went.   We stayed in Colfax, Washington. The forest fires in Alberta, BC and Washington made for very hazy conditons which made it challenging for making photos.  As you will be able to see in some of the photos, there is a definite haze in the skies.  Apart from rolling hills in the Palouse, there were also many abandoned barns and other interesting structures  we stopped to photograph.  Since I was there in August, harvest season was in full swing.  In the spring, the hills are alive with greens but during harvest season, there are fields of gold.  I will definitely try to go back in the spring as well since it would be so different.

Palouse (1 of 69)Palouse (1 of 69)

On the first evening we were hoping for a sunset but the air was much too smoky.   You can barely make out the hills in the background.  Still I thought this barn was interesting enough to include it.  Since there was no color, I chose to process  the photograph  in a sepia tone.  

Palouse (2 of 69)Palouse (2 of 69)

During the same night we came across this beautiful lone tree.  Again because of the lack of colours, I liked the black and white version of the photo better than the color one. 

Palouse (4 of 69)Palouse (4 of 69)

The next morning we went out to photograph some sunflower fields.  

Palouse (3 of 69)Palouse (3 of 69)

Palouse (5 of 69)Palouse (5 of 69)

There is a well known spot in Whitman Country where you can find a number of old and  colorful farm trucks.  

Palouse (6 of 69)Palouse (6 of 69)

Palouse (7 of 69)Palouse (7 of 69)  

Of course being farm country, there were barns everywhere.  I couldn't decide if I liked the photograph in color or black and white better so I included both.

Palouse (8 of 69)Palouse (8 of 69)

Palouse (9 of 69)Palouse (9 of 69)

The rolling hills of the Palouse.  Because I was there in August during harvest season,  there were golden hills  everywhere.  

Palouse (10 of 69)Palouse (10 of 69)

I really enjoyed  making photos with the patterns of the fields. 

We went back to  photograph the same tree from the first night.  This time there was a bit more of a sunset but you can still see how hazy the skies were.

  Palouse (12 of 69)Palouse (12 of 69)

The next morning we were up early to photograph the sunrise.

Palouse (13 of 69)Palouse (13 of 69)

This shot and the next few shots show off the patterns of the wheat fields.

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One of the many barns we drove by.

Palouse (22 of 69)Palouse (22 of 69)

A very well known wagon wheel fence at Dahmen Barn.  This barn was used as a commercial dairy operation until 1953.  The surrounding wheel fence was built over a 30 year period with contributions from the family and friends.  There are actually wheels from almost  every type  of machine.  Today there are over 1,000 wheels.

Palouse (23 of 69)Palouse (23 of 69)

Palouse (24 of 69)Palouse (24 of 69)

Palouse (25 of 69)Palouse (25 of 69)

Another abandoned? farm.  We were always careful to not trespass on any of the farms so all shots were taken from the road.  The Palouse is a very popular spot among photographers but unfortunately, there are many who trespass on private/abandoned land  and give a bad name to  the rest of us.  

Palouse (26 of 69)Palouse (26 of 69)

Palouse (27 of 69)Palouse (27 of 69)

I really enjoyed the landscape in this part of the world. 


Sandy Dunstone(non-registered)
Marsha, I can only repeat what the other commenters have already said: missed your blogs and outstanding photos. You find wonderfully interesting places to visit for shooting. Thanks and keep up the awesome work during the winter.
Bill Porter(non-registered)
We have missed your posts Marsha. These shots are excellent as is the norm. and why we look forward to your posts. I have a cousin in this part of the state.
janice Balesic(non-registered)
Beautiful images. It has been so long since I have heard from you and miss the blogs and you at the club.
Your life has been so busy doing so many interesting things.
I have never been to the Palouse but it is on my bucket list and your images have only confirmed how beautiful it is. I am off on a road trip that will take me into Arizona. I know that you were there and would love to see your images.
Take care of yourself and keep the blogs coming!!!
Lynn Muller(non-registered)
Absolutely stunning photos, Marsha! How I have missed them. The different colours and patterns in the fields is mesmirizing.
The photos of the fields are beautiful. They almost look abstract with the curves and colours. I usually prefer colour but I agree that where there was smoke, the b/w was a better choice. I l really like the sunrise photo of the trees wel. It's great to see one of your blogs again. I hope you go back in the spring so we can see the changes.
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