Sunday, November 30, 2008

Man's Best Friend

A man and man's best friend enjoying the walk along the Southfork trail. It was a beautiful November day, and perfect for a quiet walk in nature. (In spite of the mud!) Along this trail we met only 3 people: A hiker, a bicyclist, and a dirt bike rider. It was a fantastic excursion!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Curiosity II

Here's a close-up of the white berry-bearing bush. (Hooray for alliteration!) Anyone know what these are? They're beautiful, and fit the season so well! I would love to have some sprigs of this to liven up an evergreen display this time of year. This bush is growing along the south fork of the Walla Walla River. This week I've been featuring close-up shots taken while on a walk along this trail (commonly known as Southfork) last Sunday. For a more artistic shot of these berries, see yesterday's post.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Another close-up shot from Southfork, especially for Skywatch Friday! The berries pictured here silhouetted against the sky were all along the beginning part of the Southfork trail. They were white, which, if I'm remembering the little survival training I've had, would mean they were probably extremely poisonous. (Can anyone confirm that the lighter the colour, the more poisonous berries are to humans?) I'll post another photo of the bush so you can see the colour exactly. I liked this photo because of the gradient sky and seasonal silhouettes. More Southfork to come...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nature's Accessories

Another close-up day... I'm not a horticulturist, or a mycologist (a word I used while posting this - it's a scientist who studies fungi), so unfortunately I can't tell you what this is exactly. It was everywhere along the trail at Southfork. It would appear (after consulting Wikipedia) that mosses are not fungi, but I didn't read the entire entry on "moss." So I'm not really sure if this is a moss or a fungi, but whatever it is, it's beautiful. The colour is cool and it looks like this branch is attempting to dress its finest - in spite of having lost all of its summer accessories. More of Southfork to come...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


On Sunday, my husband and I went to Southfork, a popular walking/biking area to the southeast of Milton-Freewater. There is a picnic area and campground there, as well, known as Harris Park, but it is closed for the season. This is a beautiful time of year to go, as the summer crowds are gone, and the earth is preparing for a "long winter's nap." I of course took my camera to stock up on great WWV shots, and think I did fairly well at grabbing some interesting things to show you. My focus on this trip was, for some reason, close-up shots. So there will be a few of those this week, but all are from the Southfork area. Today's shot is of a mushroom turned upside-down. No, I didn't pluck and turn it myself - I found it this way! I just loved the uniformity of the underside of the mushroom. Oh, by the way, it's called Southfork because the trails take you on a tour along the south fork of the Walla Walla River. I'll show pictures of that this week, too.

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Frost

Well, last night we got the first real frost of the season. I love this time of year! The air feels clean, the plants and trees are dressed in sparkling white, and my breath fogs the air in front of me as I walk. It certainly feels as though the holidays are upon us, and it makes me smile.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cotton Balls

While at a friend's house a few weeks ago, I was standing in the driveway, waiting, and looked up. The sun was sinking toward Australia, and the clouds were alight with a faintly golden glow from the setting sun. The shape of the clouds, too, drew my attention; they looked like a pile of cotton balls or pillows. I really wanted to jump into them and float around, relaxing. Someday...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Evening Out

In October I accompanied a friend of mine to a camp a few hours from home. We were to be counselors for a young women's retreat held there, as well as the musicians for song service each worship time. Each of the counselors was given responsibility for four young women, aged anywhere from 13 to 17. My girls were all 13 years old, and had so many different personality traits! It was an eye-opening, inspiring experience, which was also frustrating and exhausting at times. But I think I'll do it again. On the last night of the 3-day retreat, there is a banquet held in the cafeteria which is all windows and faces over the lake. Girls were given sarongs to fit the "Paradise" theme, but were also free to wear their own formals or other dresses if they'd like. One of the girls in my cabin opted for an adorable black strapless dress with tiny white polka-dots. These shoes, borrowed from her 16-year-old sister, capped the outfit. As she sat waiting for the dinner bell to signal the start of the banquet, she dangled her feet down over the edge of the bunk bed, and I grabbed my camera to capture the moment.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Add ImageThis beautiful bush greeted me for several weeks as I pulled into the parking lot at work. It grew more and more vivid every day, and I admired it each morning. Last week I noticed it losing its leaves. The colour was deep and almost bloody, and each morning there were fewer leaves on the branches, and more on the ground below. I was very sad about the loss of this cheeful autumn beauty. But THIS week, I noticed something new: Berries! All of the vivid colouring, the deepening, the loss of leaves - it was all leading up to something else beautiful. Here is a close-up of how that same bush looks now. Amazing, isn't it?!? I love this time of year.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Welcome to Washington

Another poorly composed sign shot. Sorry. This is what greets drivers as they cross the aptly named Stateline Road headed north on Highway 11/State Route 125. Washington is NOT ever least not on the eastern side of the state. The western side stays fairly green all winter, but over here it turns brown in October/November and doesn't start colouring up again until March. This sign, however, IS ever green. And for those who commute into WW/CP for work every day (housing is cheaper in M-F, and jobs are scarce, so this is a frequent occurance), this sign is a regular, familiar, and probably not often noticed anymore view.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good Morning

The view along the highway between Milton-Freewater and College Place is sometimes stunning. On this particular morning, it certainly was. The mountains (which sometimes resemble hills...depends on where you're from) are the Blue Mountains, and are actually decently tall; the highest peak is over 9,000 ft. Driving them in the winter can be quite hazardous.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reid Hall

Earlier this summer I went to a sustainability forum at a local college. It was well-attended (this was taken before the main event started), and I learned some valuable things. Discussions ranged from saving gasoline, to wind power, to heating houses, to public transportation, to the local farmer's co-op. All three of our local institutions of higher education co-sponsored this event with other local businesses, which was quite inspiring to note. The forum took place in Reid Hall on the Whitman College campus in Walla Walla.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Autumn is Flying By

And winter will soon be here. Thanksgiving (for those of us in America) is coming up next week, the trees are almost completely bereft of leaves - and colour - and the air is actually foggy/hazy in the mornings. This early fall view of a pasture west of College Place shows some tell-tale "end of summer" green. That's quickly slipping away around the valley; soon all there will be is brown. I do look forward to Thanksgiving, though - the colours of the table will be reminiscent of the gorgeous show of autumn splendor we had earlier in the fall.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Morning

This beautiful church in Walla Walla is the First Congregational Church. My sister-in-law was married here, and it's as beautiful inside as it is outside. I recently posted a photo taken from the inside of the church. You can see it here. This was taken on a silent Sunday morning, before anyone was arriving at churches yet. The sun was up, and it was a beautiful day, but the silence made the sacredness of the church even more alive.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I stopped to take a picture of something else early this summer, and across the road, this gentleman pranced up to the fence and posed for me. He swished his tail around a couple of times, and threw his head up and down. He kept trying to get my attention, even stomping his foot a bit. Finally, I laughed and said, "Okay, okay!" and snapped this photo. He seemed placated, and wandered over to munch on some more grass.

Friday, November 14, 2008


It's not as sharp as I'd like, but this was the sky that greeted me a few days ago when I opened my dining room blinds. Looks like blackberry, raspberry, peach, and orange sherbet to me. Mmm! Makes me hungry.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Colourful Salad

Another look upward on a beautiful sunny autumn day. These trees were each a different colour, and it was stunning! The blue sky offset the colours terrifically. Most trees around here either have no more leaves or their leaves are about half gone. This was taken late last week, and it goes right along with my unofficial "Colours of Walla Walla" series.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Tumult

With the morning yesterday came rain. And it stayed all day. This was unfortunate (but expected) for the Veteran's Day parades that happened in the valley (one in College Place and one in Walla Walla). However, when asked if they wanted to cancel the parade, the VFW group said, "If the Lord wants us to march in the rain, we'll march in the rain!" So the parade went on, and in spite of the soggy weather, a surprising number of people turned out to cheer the veterans, wave at the people in tanks, fire trucks, and sports cars, wave miniature American flags, and catch the candy thrown their way by several of the parade participants. I'm sure there are still some pieces out there lying in puddles. This photo is what greeted me when I came out of my office yesterday morning to run an errand.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Rememberance

Today in America we celebrate Veteran's Day. In Europe it's known as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day. Whatever you call it, the point is that we are all thankful for the freedoms we enjoy in our respective countries, and are thankful to our veterans for risking - and sacrificing - what they did in order to keep our lives the way they are. War is something I can't imagine, even though we're involved in a semi-war currently. It's not visible to me, and I've never known what it's like to live in fear of attack, such as during WWII and other wars. So thank you, men and women who have risked and given up family, years, and life for America. You are the reason this flag can fly. Thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Golden Roof

I can't resist looking up when I'm walking under trees. This time of year the glance is more rewarding than usual, as there are colours one only sees during autumn. This tree caught my eye and I actually left my path and wandered over to it just to see what it looked like as a canopy. I was not disappointed. The leaves are very close to being gone for the season, and that means it will be harder to find nice pictures to post. So I continue my unofficial "Colours of the Walla Walla Valley" series in the hopes that you will enjoy the season as much as I do.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


This rock was wedged into the fork of a tree on the Walla Walla U. campus. I'm not sure who put it there, or what it symbolizes, but I liked it. And I suppose it's up for interpretation. Take from it what you will...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Autumn Fruits

I've mentioned before that the Walla Walla Valley is a farming community. This is just one example of that: an orchard. The drive along the highway between Milton-Freewater and Walla Walla is littered with orchards - pears, peaches, cherries, apples, and more. I'm not sure what fruit these trees bear in early fall, but they are bearing a beautiful fruit in November; the beautiful colours caught my eye while on a drive in the countryside.

Friday, November 7, 2008


It's Skywatch Friday, and if I can, I try to post something to go along with that, even though I'm not registered there. The patterns in the clouds were fun and I like the gold and blue hues of the early morning sky over Milton-Freewater.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Place to Rest and Read

I've been showing a lot of fall colour shots recently, but I can't help it! The leaves are very quickly deserting their posts and very soon...too soon, perhaps...there won't be any colour left to show. So I've been focusing on that, and I hope you don't mind my unofficial "Colours of the Walla Walla Valley" series. This shot was taken in front of the Walla Walla U. library. The bench was donated by the class of 2008. I love the colour, and all the leaves caught my attention.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The four male mallards were so intent on surrounding the lone female that I couldn't help but think they were her bodyguards. They were enjoying an autumn morning excursion on the creek that runs behind the "dollhouse" subdivision. They were slightly leery of coming too close to me as I stood on the bridge, but they didn't go too far away for me to get a photo. I think they may have been hopeful that I'd share some of my bagel with them. (I didn't.) I had taken a bagel and orange juice back to one of the benches along this creek to enjoy a morning break from my computer. It was just what I needed that morning.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


This photograph was taken last winter at Mt. Hope, the College Place cemetery I've posted a photo from previously. (You can view that post here.) It was chilly and the wind was going full-force, but the flags caught my attention. Flying together in formation was the American Flag and the Christian Flag. How appropriate, I thought. So I've posted them together here as a reminder on this important day in our country. (For those who don't know, today is the day we find out who our next president will be.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Road in the Wood

This photo could be labled "Dollhouses 7," because it was actually taken along a walking path that runs behind some of the houses in that subdivision. It used to be my favourite place to go walking, but we have since moved, and it is not as close as it used to be. Every once in a while, though, I still find an excuse to go wander around back there and take in the beauty and silence of the walk. This is one of my favourite spots along the trail - especially this time of year.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


When we were little, our parents used to take my sisters and I to visit Grandpa and Grandma in Ohio. We loved visiting, but riding in the car wasn't always so much fun (we couldn't afford to fly). So, 45 hours later, we'd end up in Grandpa and Grandma's driveway, with Grandma standing on the back porch waving and smiling, and Grandpa standing in the driveway with his hands in his pockets. Ohio has a certain look and feel to it, just as any area does. But sometimes, I can be reminded of those years past - and Grandpa and Grandma, who are both now resting - by looking down a certain street. This one, located in College Place, does a pretty good job of taking me back to the streets of Ohio when we'd visit Grandpa and Grandma in the little green house with the white and green awnings.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Sabbath

This is my favourite barn in the world. It just begs to be photographed in any light, season, hour, or angle. So I accept the invitation and snap away. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This one, I think, did. The barn is located along College Avenue in College Place. I've actually posted a photo of this barn previously, and you can look at it by clicking here. Hope your Sabbath is as glorious as this photo looks.