Steptoe Butte and the Palouse

When I moved to the Palouse, I didn’t realize just how photogenic the landscape was. Then I saw ads for the Palouse in Popular Photography. It turns out, people will pay good money to come and photograph the region, and here I am living there not taking advantage of my home turf. I’ve only been on Steptoe Butte once before, and it was in the winter with not much snow on the ground. So I was quite glad when Simon came back to visit and suggested we go out and shoot the Palouse. We hit Steptoe Butte at the right time while it was covered with balsamroot and lupine, and the fields of the Palouse alternate between the green of new wheat and brown of a freshly plowed field. Simon also came with an arsenal of lenses that we shared. I knew I needed to get a nice long lens, but now I really know how much a long lens can complement landscape photography.

Steptoe Butte and a country road.
Steptoe Butte and a country road.
Steptoe Butte rises behind a Palouse farm.
Steptoe Butte rises behind a Palouse farm.
Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Arrowleaf Balsamroot
A sea of green.
A sea of green.
Plowing fields.
Plowing fields.
Balsamroot over the Palouse
Balsamroot over the Palouse
The small town of Steptoe among the hills.
The small town of Steptoe among the hills.
The fading sun captures the dust of farmers tilling their fields.
The fading sun captures the dust of farmers tilling their fields.
There's not much native prairie left on the Palouse.
There’s not much native prairie left on the Palouse.
Contrasts and patterns of the Palouse.
Contrasts and patterns of the Palouse.
We had hoped for a sunset, but this is the best we got.
We had hoped for a sunset, but this is the best we got.
We came across this moose on the way down. It made up for the lack of a sunset.
We came across this moose on the way down. It made up for the lack of a sunset.

Good sunsets often occur after a day of rain and storms. The following Saturday, scattered rain storms swept through the area. I was in Moscow with Erin and Clara at the annual renaissance faire, which is more like an arts festival than a true renaissance festival. As evening approached, I noticed an end to the rain on the horizon to the west. I checked the radar and Steptoe Butte was clear. So we headed back up so I could show Erin the beauty of the floral displays, and to capture the sunset over the Palouse. It wasn’t quite as vivid as I wanted, but I got some color in the clouds and it was much better than the sunset on my previous visit.

Rains in the distance over the Palouse
Rains in the distance over the Palouse
Field of Lupine
Field of Lupine
Lupine on Steptoe Butte
Lupine on Steptoe Butte
Sunset on Steptoe Butte
Sunset on Steptoe Butte

Sunset on Steptoe Butte

Sunset from the lupine field on Steptoe Butte.
Sunset from the lupine field on Steptoe Butte.
Pink clouds as the sun sets.
Pink clouds as the sun sets.

 

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