Thursday, September 22, 2022

Skies of Smoke

It was one of those summers....thousands of acres burning in the Eagle Caps of the Wallowa Mountains. There were four named fires, manned by hundreds of firefighters.  In the wilderness, the policy is to "monitor" the fires; lower down where there are ranches and tiny hamlets, the goal is to suppress.  Unfortunately, the "monitored" fires jump into popular areas, threatening long-established camping areas. 

So the view this summer was smoke. 

On a fairly clear day, the Grande Ronde Valley could see the smoke of the fire(s) in the wilderness. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

August , August, August

Junior Rodeo and sunflowers; that's August for me!  Our 13-year-old great-niece is active in junior rodeo events...Central Oregon, Southern Oregon, Nevada, and multiple NE Oregon sites.  I finally bought a telephoto lens that I've wanted for a few years so I can record rodeo activities.  Goat tying and barrel racing are Kennedy's two strongest events. 

This is also the month of sunflower crops blooming in the Grande Ronde Valley. Sunflower crops are rotated, so it's always fun to drive and find the fields that are blooming this particular year.  Although our extended daily temperatures are in the high 90's and 100+, it's almost Fall, y'all!


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Top of the World


It had been two years since we visited Indian Rock on Mt. Emily, the western border of the Grande Ronde Valley.  Although it was the last weekend of July, the patchwork of the fields 5600 feet below still included a lot of green fields.  (Mt. Harris is that mountain across the valley; it is 5600 feet tall.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Rodeo Time -- 75th Anniversary

 The second weekend of July means Elgin Stampede time...a four-day event that attracts huge crowds of people.  I love photographing rodeo, but I simply don't have a camera lens that is adequate for the low light and fast action.  Each year, I have to try anyway.  Because my husband and I were making a trip to see the family of our only grandchild, I had some frustrating practice with saddle bronc riding at the only session we were able to watch. 

Friday, July 1, 2022

Peony Season -- My Very Favorite

Three of my four siblings and I raise and LOVE our peonies.  We exchange photo texts every day of our new blooms, and we bemoan the fact that the season is just too short. My husband just finished expanding my main planting place by cutting a 5'x14' section of lawn and spreading 55 cubic feet of bagged planting soil. I will move some of the plants that are crowded and add 2 or 3 new ones this fall.  About 16 are named because I bought them from a peony grower; the rest are ones I dug from my late mother's expansive peony garden several years ago. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Truly Spring!

 For what seemed like months, we had rain, rain, rain.  The temperature stayed under 70---which was a big change from last year when June temperatures set records.  Everything has grown like crazy, grass, flowers, and weeds!  

This is Indian Valley, where my hometown of Elgin is located.  Every season, I drive north several miles to get this view. The mountain that borders the south end of the valley is Mt. Harris. (Actually, Mt. Harris is at the northeast end of the huge Grande Ronde Valley.)

15 miles north of town, cattle are truly up to their bellies in grass. 

Wild lupine blooms an abandon during spring; yellow lupine is earlier than my favorite purple. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Oh That Yellow!

 Canola (rapeseed) has shown up as a new crop in the Grande Ronde Valley, which already boasts an amazingly wide range of crops. This means there are large patches of the brightest yellow when the crop begins to flower. As in every sprinkler-irrigated crop, the giant sprinkler wheels stay where they are as the crop grows up around them.  Today, Papa Quail was standing guard on one of the wheels. That generally means the female and brood are somewhere in the field below him.