Friday, September 4, 2009

SIDE TRIPS part fifteen—Amber Grain

Washington State’s Highway 2 just out of Spokane goes almost straight in an east-west direction. But it goes Up and Down and Up and Down over random humps and hollows of dirt deposited like snow drifts over the last bazillion years.
This region north of the Snake River along the Washington-Idaho border is known as “The Palouse,” or “land of short thick grass.”

Native peoples fished the rivers and cultivated the soil for millennia. The Nez Perce people of the area developed a breed of horses with spotted coats that became known as Palouse horses. Gradually the name evolved into “Appaloosa.”


The Lewis and Clark Expedition explored the area nearly two centuries ago. They were followed by pioneers along the Oregon Trail. Before long the fertile hills and prairies became the wheat belt.

It was harvest time when I drove through. On one side of the highway big grain combines were at rest;

the crop gathered and hauled away leaving a buzz cut stubble field. On the other side of the road was a lady (using the term loosely here) with a camera trying to take pictures of the wheat.

Waiting for the sun to come out from behind this one little cloud.

Wait for it….wait for it…

Finally…

Amber waves of grain.

5 comments:

Pam said...

Thanks for the side trip Leenie - great to see these different parts of the country, and to know the history of the Appaloosa horse.

Linda Sue said...

Wheat- wow! Gorgeous shot! Why more people don't grow wheat instead of crab grass is beyond me- Maybe it is the lack of sunshine here ...Great open shots- Can breathe again...and SEE for miles!I wondered where Appaloosas came from, very spirited spotty bums! Wonderful photos!

Linda Sue said...

ALSO- That first shot is just begging to be painted by you...Awesome!

ELIZABETH said...

I almost don't want you to reach home.

Janie said...

Nice shot of the wheat, worth waiting for the sun!
Interesting to learn the derivation of the name appaloosa.