Monday, April 4, 2011

Palouse Sunset

_DSC5979_DxO nx 72dpi, originally uploaded by Donnie Fulks.

Taken from Steptoe Butte near Colfax, WA. From my June 2010 trip. One of the rare and brief moments of sunshine on that trip. This view is looking east into Idaho at the horizon.

This region was once a vast grassland until the late 1800's until it was discovered that the region was suitable for wheat production. Wheat and lentils are the main crops with much lesser amounts of rape.

The distinctive hills are surprisingly steep- up to 50degrees. In the early 1900's the hillside combine was invented for use in this unique geography. Today, it is not unusual for farms to span thousands of acres and the largest tractors and farm equipment are used for crop production.

Lentils are the lime green fields. In June, lentils have just emerged. The lentils shown here are just 2" to 6" tall. The dark green fields are wheat- probably winter wheat. At the time of my visit farmers were topdressing the wheat with fertilizer with sprayers over 100 feet wide. The brown fields are wheat stubble from the prior year's harvest.

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