the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Autumn in the Palouse

May and June are probably the most popular months for photography in the Palouse. But in preparing my up coming Palouse guide (to be published by Snapp Guides sometime next year), I thought I should visit the area in all seasons. The area is not known for fall colors, but there are a fair number of cottonwood, aspen and other trees to provide color in the area. So Tanya and I headed over to the Palouse in mid-October to see what we could find.

I only had a day and a half to explore and look for fall color. Not really enough time to cover the area, but from my previous explorations, I had a good idea where to look. I found that some of the cottonwoods were in prime color, but others had already lost most their leaves. Most the aspens were looking good, though some had lost a lot of leaves, and many smaller shrubs and scrubby trees had color as well.

Of course, most of the area is covered by agricultural fields and barren of trees. Many of the beautiful golden fields I found in August had been plowed under, and some already replanted with next year’s crop. A few fields were just starting to sprout green wheat seedlings, but overall the main color scheme was brown and dusty yellow.

I made a visit to Steptoe Butte for sunset, it was good as always. However, because of the active plowing of many fields, there was a lot of dust in the area. I’d suggest the view from Steptoe would probably be clearer in the morning on most October days.

Overall, I was happy with what I came home with, and would have liked to spend a few more days there. However, I think the photo opportunities don’t quite rank up there with what is available in May, June, and August. That said, if you want to get something truly unique from the Palouse, October is a great time to go.

The featured photo above is a 3-shot panorama of a scene along State Route 272 east of Colfax. More photos are below. Leave a comment and let me know what you think of autumn in the Palouse.

This cottonwood along Tennessee Flat Road had already lost most of its leaves.

While this cottonwood at a barn along Shawnee Road was in its prime colors.

Here’s the covered bridge near Manning Road, the aspens have lost most their leaves, but the cottonwoods looked good.

The maple trees at the Cordelia Lutheran Church were looking pretty good.

The cottonwoods near this barn on Faught Road were looking colorful as well.

The scrubby trees on the slopes of Steptoe Butte were quite colorful.

I’ll leave you with this tree on Steptoe Butte bathed in the warm glow shortly after sunset.

8 responses

  1. Heide

    “I’ll leave you with this tree on Steptoe Butte bathed in the warm glow shortly after sunset,” he says casually, as if he doesn’t realize he has just left his reader breathless with admiration and wonder. 🙂

    November 5, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    • Thank you Heide for the smile (dare I say a laugh) your comment gave me. I guess every artist wants their viewers to have an emotional response to their work; I’m honored by your response – thank you.

      November 6, 2018 at 8:41 am

  2. Heide

    Always glad to bring a smile (or even a laugh)! But mostly just calling ’em as I see ’em, Joe — and your work always resonates.

    November 6, 2018 at 9:47 am

  3. Just great photography. I like especially the barn shot. Btw, without trees and all the plains, I imagine this a windy countryside?

    November 7, 2018 at 2:55 am

    • Thanks for you kind compliments. Yes, the Palouse can be windy, especially on the tops of the hills – there are a number of wind turbines in one part of the Palouse, and the wind is often a problem when photographing on the top of Steptoe Butte (though it was calm when I was there recently). However, it is not overly windy, and much less windy that some other parts of the state, such as the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains.

      November 19, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      • Thanks for your response!

        November 20, 2018 at 3:06 am

  4. Vicki

    Not to mention that it is a great time to catch a Cougar Football game! Never a bad time to visit the Palouse!
    Go Cougs!

    January 2, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    • Much harder to find a room to stay in during those football weekends however!

      January 3, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.