Thursday, October 27, 2011

Final Autumn 4

This is one of my favourites from this season so far.  I don't know what kind of tree this is; it's in our neighbour's house and is actually the same tree I posted a photo of earlier this week - the gorgeous orange/yellow tree.  Anyone recognize this fruit?  It looks like an upside-down apple to me, but I know it's not an apple tree.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Final Autumn 3

This is the view from our front porch this week.  I love the various colours.  Happy Autumn, indeed!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Final Autumn 2

These leaves are on a sumach tree in our front yard.  I love the bright red and I think the dark center of the leaves is gorgeous.  It makes for a stunning tree this time of year.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Final Autumn 1

We'll spend my last week in the Walla Walla Valley enjoying the valley's autumn beauty.  This is a tree in front of our house.  I love the contrast between the tree and the sky.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


This is Chan Shun Pavilion, the engineering building on the campus of Walla Walla U.  Friday's sunrise struck the glass building just right and I couldn't resist a quick capture of the vibrant glow.  You can see that all the windows on this side of the building are covered with condensation; it got quite chilly Thursday night!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scarf Day

I took this image earlier this week when the morning showed us the first fog of the season.  It's a little early for fog like this, but we had a very mild summer so I'm wondering if winter will hit early this year.  This is 8th Street in College Place.  Notice the changing tree colours?  I'm going to try to get more pictures of this stunning transformation (my favourite time of year!) this weekend.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This is the sky that greeted me as I left home for work this morning.  And with this calm and lovely view, I must share some sad news.  I have only one week left for posting on this blog.  On Oct. 31 I will be leaving the Walla Walla Valley to start a new job and the next chapter of my life in Vancouver, Wash.  I will be serving as Director of Communications for a non-profit organization there that works with troubled and at-risk youth, and while I'm sad to leave the WWV, I am very excited for this next new life adventure.  I may start a photo blog in my new home, and if I do I'll be sure to post a link here for you faithful friends whom I have enjoyed hearing from every once in a while.  I will try to post a picture every day between now and when I leave.  Happy Friday, everyone!  And may you be richly blessed in all you endeavor today.  View more Skywatch Friday posts at the Skywatch Friday website.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Old Transportation

A non-edited photo by my mother, from Klickers.  They had, in addition to pumpkins, a tall haystack with a slide on the other side, old trucks to climb in, an antiques shop, and a produce shop, complete with homemade ice cream.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

From the Good Ol' Days

Another photo from Klickers that my mom took and I edited.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Harvest

This afternoon we went with my parents, who were visiting from out of town, and some local friends to Klickers.  I've mentioned Klickers before; it's one of my favourite places to visit in the fall, especially now that Little Miss is old enough to enjoy it.  This is a picture my mom took and I edited.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What a View!

On Sunday, Husband, Little Miss, and I took a little drive in the country.  I was driving and my goal was to take all the OTHER turns - the ones I never take when we're back there.  I wanted to go somewhere we hadn't gone before, and I succeeded!  We ended up on a gravel road that wound past beautiful houses surrounded by trees, and plenty of fields.  At one point, the view forced me to stop my car and take a picture.  What a stunning view of the valley, don't you think?  And on a very typical autumn day, too. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall is Here!

I am so excited to report that Fall is definitely here in the Walla Walla Valley.  This picture from my cell phone doesn't do this gorgeous tree justice; I will try to get a better picture later this week.  I'm wearing a scarf and a jacket today and am loving the chilly fall weather.  Perfect for tea, blankets, scarves, and my daughter's adorable rain boots.  Which reminds me - I haven't posted a picture of my Little Miss here in a while, have I?  I should do that soon.  So is fall in your area yet?  What does fall look like where you live?  (Or for those of you in the southern hemisphere - what does spring look like where you are?)  Happy October!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baker Boyer Bank

Late summer afternoons in downtown Walla Walla are wonderful.  The kids are back in school so they aren't hanging around yelling and running you over with skateboards, but it's still warm enough to enjoy an iced coffee as you wander down the sidewalk and window shop.  I love this valley!  Baker Boyer Bank has been around since 1869, and its building is still one of the most beautiful in town.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Lot Going On

I know I tend to take a lot of breaks from posting these days, but I've been quite busy lately.  Not least on my list of worries and stresses: my father-in-law was in a farming accident on the other side of the Blue Mountains in La Grande, Ore. 

This is where we spent our night last Wednesday: Providence St. Mary Medical Center Emergency, Trauma One.  Here the ultrasound technician is attempting to find a large enough vein to put an IV in his arm so he can be transported via Life Flight to Portland, Ore., for surgery.  My father-in-law is half-asleep on the bed, lying flat, covered by heated blankets and an air pumped plastic wrapping filled with heated air.  It was quiet, so we just watched the medical professionals do their work.

Though my father-in-law is still in a major hospital in Portland, Ore., he is doing a bit better and is no longer in the ICU (intensive care unit).  We spent the weekend there with family.

Kudos to the staff at Providence St. Mary Medical Center; they never made us feel as though we were in the way as we watched them work, and did what they could to make my father-in-law comfortable.  They also worked quickly and got Life Flight on their way as soon as they could.  This hospital is where I gave birth to my daughter, and I would recommend it to anyone who needs medical care in the WW Valley.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cougar Sighting

 Wes Marcum, a local photographer, got the shot of a lifetime when he saw these two cougars in a field three miles east of Walla Walla earlier this week.  This photo is circulating on Facebook without credit, so if you see it, make sure and post the photographer's name.  Special thanks to Wes for allowing me to post some of his awesome shots.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hazy Daze

Smoky end-of-summer days make for fantastically stunning sunsets.  I took this picture on 4th Street in College Place on Friday, Sept. 9.  There are always fires in the foothills and fields this time of year, and while it makes for hazy horizons during the day and sometimes - at its worst - stinging eyes from the smoke in the air, it doesn't last long, and in the meantime you can enjoy gorgeous views like this.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Summer Ride

These bicyclists had stopped by the "Welcome to Washington" sign on Highway 11 to take a photo of themselves.  The one on the far right is trying to rig up the camera on his small portable tripod and set the timer so he can be in the photo, too.  Just to the right of this image is Stateline Road - the state line between Oregon and Washington.  I was waiting at a red light when I spotted this crew of bikers.  I hope they're enjoying themselves, wherever they are now.  Bicycling is a popular sport in the Walla Walla Valley; the valley itself is quite flat (riding from the west side of College Place to the east side of Walla Walla only takes you up 300 feet in elevation), and the scenery can be quite spectacular.  I often see groups of bicyclists enjoying a ride in the countryside on the outskirts of town.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Good Evening, Night.

Another sunset from this week.  We've been having a lot of brush and field fires (that time of year I'm afraid) and the smoke makes the sunsets unbelievably colourful and intense.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Farewell to Monday

This fabulous sunset took place Monday evening. The photo was taken near a Latter-day Saint church in Milton-Freewater.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Butterfly Sighting

Over the weekend a fine gentleman I know by the name of Terry Koch snapped this photo of a gorgeous white butterfly perched on a dandelion flower in his yard. He was gracious enough to allow me to use the photo for this blog, as he resides in the Walla Walla Valley. Though he's not sure, he thinks this might either be a Western White Butterfly or a Spring White Butterfly. Any butterfly experts out there care to try their hand at identifying this beauty?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Pop and a Crash

So the other night I was sitting in my living room with the back door open to let in some fresh air, and I hear a strange popping noise. I listen, the dog perks up and stares at the door...but nothing else happens. So I go back to what I'm doing, only to be startled by more popping. Finally I get up and shut the door, unnerved at not knowing what the strange sound is. As soon as I sit back down on the couch I hear what sounds like oddly muffled thunder...just over my house. One glance out the back window reveals all: A large branch from the neighbour's tree had broken from the trunk and landed partially on our roof and partly in our yard. It's still partially attached to the trunk, I think. I'm still not sure what to do about this...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Eastside School

There are really some fun treasures you find while driving around on back roads here in the Walla Walla Valley. I've driven past this little gem several times now as it is on the way back to my house after a drive in the countryside. I admire the bell tower every time we pass.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer Sky

The sunsets in the Walla Walla Valley are not easily beat; this one changed so quickly I found myself snapping photos every few seconds trying to catch the beauty of it all. One redeeming factor of summer is that there are fantastic sunsets. Almost makes up for the typical 95+ degree heat (F). (Though I do have to say I've very much enjoyed this mild summer we've been having. I think we have only hit 95 twice, and we've stayed very close to 90 or under most of the summer so far. Very odd.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dreaming Moon

This was taken from my front porch on a lovely evening not too long ago after my family had enjoyed dinner on the patio.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This is my dog, Raina. She's four years old and although people continue to tell me that black labs mellow out around three years of age, she has yet to demonstrate any mellowing. She loves to run, wade in water, play fetch, and chase my 2-year-old around the dining room table (which she, by the way, absolutely loves). She also enjoys dinner leftovers (in her bowl, not from our hands at the table), chewing on rawhide, and playing with other dogs - regardless of size. Here she is taking a breather after a long walk along the Walla Walla River.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


A closer look at one of the plants in my front yard. I didn't plant any of them and I don't know what this is, but it sure has gorgeous huge green leaves.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Languages of Rainbows

My first poetry/photography edit. These flowers grow on a small bush beside our driveway; my parents have matching ones overhanging their back fence, though the plant belongs to their neighbour. I love the stark contrast between the soft purple petals and the loud blood red near the center.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Grain Train

A little bit north on the track from yesterday and we find this abandoned train. I'm sure it moves from time to time as it's not yet covered with graffiti and wasp nests, but there was no engine in sight when I took this picture with my phone on a beautiful summer evening in Walla Walla.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Straight Ahead: Adventure

An August evening drive through the countryside southeast of College Place will produce beautiful serene summer scenes such as this. We'll find the train tomorrow...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Sprinkler

I glanced out my bathroom window while doing the laundry the other day and saw the sun glinting through the droplets watering my neighbour's lawn. I love the summery glow and the deep green of the leaves (though admittedly I did edit this version of the photo).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chloe's Birthday Butterfly

I was sitting at the table waiting to take pictures of my best friend's little girl taking the first bite of her birthday cake at her second birthday party, when I looked down and saw this little guy. My friend's nephew had caught the butterfly and brought it inside, and it was, I'm guessing, recuperating. I set my camera to "macro" and snapped away. It made a fantastic model - it never moved while I took pictures.

Monday, July 25, 2011

More About Walla Walla

I'm quite excited to share with you that the Home Loan Center in Walla Walla has added a page of my blog posts to their website. It allows people interested in moving into the Walla Walla Valley to have an insider's glimpse into the area through my photo blog. If you're interested in learning more about what this valley has to offer (and perhaps moving here to enjoy it every day?), take a look at the Home Loan Center's website.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sky Over the Sweets

On Tuesday evening I went to my first ever Walla Walla Sweets baseball game. The team came to town two years ago I believe, but I haven't gotten to a game until this week. It was fun - a small stadium means great seats just about anywhere you sit, and short lines at the concession stands. Strangely, the weather turned chilly on Tuesday and that afternoon we had a downpour that made us all wonder if we would even get to GO to the game. It didn't rain on us during the game, thankfully, but the clouds sure put on a show.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Athena Caledonia Games

Another annual event (which is actually a TON of fun) is the Caledonia Games in Athena, a 20-minute drive from Walla Walla. This little town (population approx. 1,300) hosts thousands of people every year for an event that celebrates Scottish heritage, people, and culture. My husband's paternal grandmother had a Scottish name and is red-headed; we've traced his lineage back to a small castle on the coast of Scotland, too! Last time I went to the Caledonia Games in Athena we went to the sheepdog trials and then wandered around the displays and booths. This year we went to the tattoo - a "concert" of sorts of pipe and drum bands. As a percussionist I absolutely loved this event. I highly recommend stopping by this 2-day event that takes place on the second weekend of July every year. Next time I will go and hopefully purchase a bodhran, an instrument I've been longing to learn to play.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sweet Onion Festival 2011

On accident, Husband and I ended up at the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival on Sunday. It happens every year, and I've never been to one, but Husband has, and he says it's really nothing to write home about. It's basically just another excuse for people to come and sell things, and it's an easy way to get some WW sweets without having to drive out to the highway and find a roadside farm stand. At the festival you can get anything onion - raw in 20-pound bags, breaded and deep-fried (still better than deep-fried Kool-Aid, I say), caramelized and on top of hot dogs - you name it, you can probably get it at the Sweet Onion Festival.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Grow Your Own

I am envious of anyone who has worked out space for a home garden. I have wanted one for years but haven't managed to convince my husband that we have a place for one - and we really don't, aside from building raised beds, which I'd like to do anyway. Maybe we'll build them this year and get our garden going in 2012...? The above photo was taken by a multi-talented family man who lives in College Place. I loved it so much I asked him if I could post it on my blog and he kindly obliged. Brenden Koch took this photo over the weekend and it features a bean vine taking full advantage of the twine placed there for its pleasure in his family garden. The garden is quite lovely, and I've enjoyed watching it grow via photos on Facebook this season. Everyone's gardens here in the valley are finally able to grow now that we're getting real summer weather, though it took a while getting here this year!

Monday, June 27, 2011


A lunchtime treat on a summer afternoon: Chocolate gelato and a lemon tart from the Colville Street Patisserie in downtown Walla Walla. Can you tell I love this place?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tollgate: E.J. Haney Viewpoint

A 30-minute drive up the mountains from the WW Valley and you get to see this breathtaking view. This is actually where my husband proposed to me, all the way back in April 2004.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Popular Donuts

Want a tasty morning treat at a good price in a convenient location? Popular Donuts is the way to go! (I recommend a maple bar...but I would probably say that about almost every shop that sells donuts. They're my favourite.) Just two blocks from downtown Walla Walla on Hwy 11, this is an easy, nearly necessary stop when in the Walla Walla Valley. Let me know you're in town and I'll even buy you a donut.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Skywatch Friday

Sunset from my living room last week. See how others view the sky above them this week at the Skywatch Friday website!

Friday, June 3, 2011


Please excuse my hiatus as of late; this week has been a hard one for many people, including myself. Early Sunday morning I was awakened by a phone call telling me one of my best friends had lost her 18-month-old daughter, Ryann. It was sudden and very unexpected; she had been happy and healthy her entire life. Apparently she had a very rare disorder so uncommon it doesn't even have an official name, and no one knew she had it. Now, on top of grieving the loss of their first and only child, my friends are faced with extensive medical and funeral expenses. They had just relocated to Nebraska from the Walla Walla Valley, and aren't sure whether or not insurance on the new job had kicked in yet.

In addition to continual emotional support, some friends and I are attempting to help in the only other way we can: Fundraising for their expenses. If you can, please consider donating to this cause. All of the donations will go directly toward medical and funeral expenses for this beautiful 18-month-old girl who was taken from her parents way too soon. No parent should have to plan their child's funeral.

To the right of this post you will see a "Remembering Ryann" box. Click on "ChipIn" to contribute what you can in a secure way through PayPal. Thank you for your support...and thank you for remembering Ryann.

If you would like to read my version of the story of losing Ryann, visit my mom blog.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spring Green

The green of the hillside is stunningly green to me. And no, I didn't edit this photo or have the camera on colour enhancing settings. I think it's the effect of grey, overcast skies above the grass. This is a hill outside College Place in a quiet piece of country.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Road

It looks like this road leads right to the tree behind the hill in the countryside just west of College Place. The clouds look foreboding, don't they?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Skywatch Friday

A sparrowhawk perches on a power line above an open field, watching for lunch on a sunny Sunday morning.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Goodbye Daytime

Another view from my friends' house out in the country just past the state line in Oregon. They own 20 acres and grow alfalfa, corn, and other things, as well as sheep, goats, cows, cats, chickens and dogs.