Thursday, September 30, 2010

Welcome Back!

While Whitman College resumed classes for fall term back in mid-August, Walla Walla U just opened its doors to students again on Monday. The university is on a quarter system, as opposed to Whitman, which is on semester. This means that Whitman College begins in mid-August but has graduation in mid-May, whereas Walla Walla U begins at the end of September but doesn't have graduation until mid-June. Personally, I prefer the quarter system, simply because it means I only have to have each class for ten weeks - which was especially good for the classes I didn't like! This banner welcomes folks back to the campus every year, hanging across College Avenue. The tall building in the background is Foreman Hall, one of two women's residence halls on campus.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WW Traffic

This is a common sight around the valley: Tractors going down the roads. Fortunately the drivers are quite courteous and always stay close to the shoulder so you can go around them easily. This one was actually going pretty fast; I'd guess it was going close to the speed limit, which is 25 mph on this road.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pink Sparkles

This is at the same breast cancer fundraiser on Main Street last week. I couldn't get close enough to the horse to get a good picture (all I had was my phone's camera), since they kept walking around. Kids could pay a couple of dollars (100% of which went toward helping cancer patients at a local hospital) for a horse ride around the block. The horse was, of course, decked out in pink and even sparkled in the sunlight.

Monday, September 27, 2010


On Friday the city closed down the corner of 1st Street and Main for a breast cancer awareness event called "Paint the Town Pink." The event featured pink hair extensions, pink cupcakes, pink lemonade, pink bracelets, pink t-shirts and more. All proceeds went to cancer patients at a local hospital. This booth was by the coordinating organization, JUGS, or Just Us Girls Sharing. For $20 you could get one of the t-shirts you see hanging at the end of the table here; it is for men and says "Guys Supporting JUGS." Perhaps a little inappropriate but I must admit it caught my eye and I did chuckle. Click on the picture for a better view.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Old Glory

After a rainy afternoon, the sun broke through the clouds as it sunk toward the horizon and in the process, shone a spotlight on the American flag that flies near my home. Though this would make a perfect Independence Day shot, I couldn't wait another 10 months to use it, so I hope you'll forgive me for a patriotic shot out of "season," though I post this with the disclaimer that patriotism should be a year-round thing, not just felt and celebrated in July. While I'm not always proud to claim I'm American (there are a lot of people in my country who do really stupid things), generally speaking, I really am glad I live here. Where do you live, and why are you glad to live there?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Welcome to Milton-Freewater

This water tower greets visitors and residents alike as they enter Milton-Freewater from the south side. Up until recently the painting on the side of this tower was a paint-brush style caricature of the Blue Mountains and a couple of trees and said, "Welcome to Milton-Freewater, at the base of the Blues." I noticed a couple of months ago that this new colourful sign replaced that old one, and I must say I like it a lot better.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Raindrops Keep Fallin' on the Glass

On the way back from a visit to my in-laws last weekend it rained pretty steadily. I enjoy close-up pictures of raindrops, so decided to take this opportunity to practice. It will start being more grey and rainy across the Walla Walla Valley as it turns into October; rain is a staple of autumn in this valley. I don't mind it, and of course it's good for our water supply, so I don't complain about the rain, but a lot of people get down and gloomy this time of year.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


A 30-minute drive from Walla Walla will take you to the little Oregon town of Pendleton, nestled at the foot of some hills at the junction of Interstate 84 and Oregon Highway 11. The Pendleton Round-up (some of you might be more familiar with the term "rodeo") took place this past weekend, and the town was bustling with vendors, participants, visitors, and wannabe rodeo stars. Here's a view of the round-up arena from a hill on the other side of town. Note the collection of white tents near the bottom left of the picture. Those are all vendors peddling their wares to those who come to this famous round-up. I didn't go this year, but hope to next year; if I do, I'll share photos, for sure.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Farmer in the Dell

Until I moved to the WW Valley, I didn't know what a "dell" was, or whether the farmer in the song being there was a good or bad thing. Though this is a quite small dell, it kind of gives you the idea; it's a low area surrounded by hills (too small to be considered a valley). The song "The Farmer in the Dell" talks about someone who might live in a little place like this, located on the south side of Walla Walla.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Balin' Out

This is another common sight around the valley these days; after the harvesters cut the hay, the balers come through and do their job. Finally, the bales are stacked all in one place, like this. Each of these large bales probably weighs between 500 and 1,000 pounds each and requires special equipment to move them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Harvest Time

It's harvest time, and all across the Walla Walla Valley are fields of wheat stubble, cut down for baling and stacking by machines such as this one. It's a beautiful time of year.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blue Moon

From what I've learned, blue moons only happen once every 7.4 years. And in case you're wondering, a blue moon is the second full moon within a calendar month. While this was not one of them, me managing to shoot a semi-clear photo of the moon happens just as frequently! This was taken outside my house in August.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Night in Day

Playing around with my black and white setting...photographing the afternoon sky created an interesting effect.

Lovely Flora

Flowers found along the path around Jubilee Lake: Pipsissewa, I believe. Not that great of a shot, but you get the idea, right?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Good Dog!

We went camping near Jubilee Lake with some friends of ours and both they and we brought our dogs. Theirs loved to fetch sticks in the water and wouldn't let size stop her. She brought this small dead tree back without a second thought.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jubilee Lake

A short drive into the mountains around the Walla Walla Valley brings one to Jubilee Lake, a lovely place to camp, hike, canoe, swim and picnic. We happened to visit on a beautiful day in August this year.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Close-Up Wildlife

Some of the smaller wildlife of the Walla Walla Valley: A caterpillar that has probably (if it survived) turned into a beautiful butterfly...what kind I can't tell you. Anyone know?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Oh Deer!

The wildlife in the Walla Walla Valley includes deer; I believe these are white-tailed deer. Anyone want to correct or confirm this?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beautiful Blues

The Walla Walla Valley is nestled at the base of the Blue Mountains on the eastern side of Washington and Oregon. The Blue Mountains are called such because in the right light, the trees covering the hills and mountains give them the appearance of being of a blue hue. I'd say they look blue in this picture, wouldn't you?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Goodbye Poland

Okay, two weeks away from home and we must say goodbye to Kolobrzeg, goodbye to Poland, and goodbye to Europe. I took my daughter's toy moose with me (I'm sentimental like that) and here he is, watching Kolobrzeg and Poland slip away, mile by mile, in the bus on the way to our transfer bus in Szczecin (pronounced sh-CHEH-cheen). Thank you for joining me on this little trip...I wish I could show you more, but we must get home to the Walla Walla Valley. Bon Voyage!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Poland 13

Downtown Kolobrzeg. I thought the fountain looked like a dandelion flower.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Poland 12

The forests around Kolobrzeg were enchanting. I loved them, even in the rain. Perhaps...moreso in the rain...?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Poland 11

My sister took me out for kawa, or coffee, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they often offer coffee with ice cream in it. It was delicious! We got kawa twice and I tried it both with and without ice cream and enjoyed them both.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Poland 10

In Kolobrzeg, it was spring at the end of May. The flowers were in full bloom, it rained frequently, and I never did leave the apartment without a jacket. Back home in Walla Walla, it was already in the 80s (F) and folks were wearing shorts, t-shirts and sandals. I was amazed to see such gorgeous flowers in the middle of downtown Kolobrzeg.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Poland 9

And here is the famous Baltic Sea coast of Kolobrzeg, Poland. Beautiful.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Poland 8

These Mute Swans covered the beaches around the Baltic Sea, on the edge of which Kolobrzeg is situated. They were fairly friendly, as in they didn't run from people right away. They had relatively small "personal space bubbles" and allowed us to get quite close before acting nervous and padding in the opposite direction. They are so elegant.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Poland 7

I love European architecture and this was my first experience with non-western style. Here are a few of my favourites.

One of two museums in Kolobrzeg, the History Museum.

A church in a small town outside of Kolobrzeg.

More of Kolobrzeg.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Poland 6

The double rainbow that said "Good evening" the first night I was there. View from the apartment I stayed in.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Poland 5

Checking out the grocery store. It looked very similar to those in America, however the packaging was smaller and all in bags - very few things in boxes. That included breakfast cereal, which was weird to me, since almost all of our cereal comes in boxes in America.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Poland 4

Evening in Kolobrzeg. This was also seen from the apartment I stayed in during my time in Poland.