Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eating the Easter Bunny

I went into Bright's Candies this afternoon after lunch for a treat, and this is what they are making this week: Easter chocolates! Ducks, chicks, bunnies, eggs, and more, and their displays sport pastel spring colours and artificial grass-filled Easter baskets. What a fun job this must be to use molds to create just about anything in chocolate! (Though I'm certain one would not be interested in eating as much chocolate after working here all day...)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Skywatch Friday

My neighbours have a weather vane on top of their shed that always catches my eye when the sky is lit up behind it. The geese silhouetted against this post-rain sunset were just too beautiful to pass up earlier this week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If's Official

Well March 21 was the first day of spring, so it's officially here. The plants seem to realize it, too; every morning I see more buds, more blooms and more green. The valley is returning to life! I found this little beauty on a walk in College Place.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pour Ciel

This post is special, just for my friend Cieldequimper over at Versailles Daily Photo. I told her a week or so ago that the daffodils should bloom in time for her arrival in the valley, and LOOK! Here they are, Ciel! Ready to welcome you home. Happy Spring, everyone (now that it officially IS spring...)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Taste of the Valley

Clearly this is not the elite taste of the valley ($6.50 wine isn't going to be amazing), but here you have it. I believe that all (or at least most) of these bottles were made right here in the Walla Walla Valley. With nearly 150 wineries in Walla Walla and the surrounding area, there is plenty of wine to be had. I, unfortunately for any of you interested, am not a wine drinker, so I can't fill you in on anything about these fine-looking decanters (which, for all I know, could be mostly cooking sherry and the like). I love how elegant they look, and how beautiful the labels can be.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Signs of Spring 4

Tree flowers! I love this tree, which I pass on my way to most meetings outside my office. In just a few weeks (perhaps even a few days), this tree will be covered in delicate white flowers such as these early arrivals. I just love the lacy look of them and the fragile beauty of the petals on each bloom. I'm not sure what kind of tree this is, but it is probably related to the dogwood.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Drive in the Rain

It's easy to do this time of year...go for a drive in the rain. If you're lucky, it will clear before you get back inside and you'll get a glimpse of a rainbow against the darkened sky. This shot was taken on a back-road in Milton-Freewater, amongst the orchards and farmhouses. I love driving in the countryside in each of the seasons for special reasons:

Spring: Everything is turning green and everything looks new.
Summer: It's much cooler among the fields, orchards and plants than it is in the city surrounded by cement, brick and asphalt!
Fall: The apples, pears, cherries, and plums are ripe and colourful on the trees.
Winter: The stark contrast of the dark, naked fingers of trees and vines against the white snow and grey skies is fun to photograph.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Okay, are you ready for some wonderful springtime shots from around the WW Valley? Some beautiful new companions have joined what was my single white crocus only a week and a half ago. Aren't they lovely? I love being greeted by this brilliant flash of colour every evening when I pull into my driveway after work. I'm looking forward to taking pictures of the dogwoods again this spring! Their flowers are the prettiest of the season, I think. Also, behind these small blooms you can see the tops of the tulips and hyacinths pushing their way through the warming soil. They were absolutely gorgeous last year; I can't wait to see them again soon! Three cheers for spring!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Skywatch Friday

I drive past this field and farmhouse every day on my way to and from work. The sky was irresistible on this particular evening, and I love the silhouette of the tree against the soft colours in the clouds.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Davis Orchards

If you drive the back-roads of Milton-Freewater you'll pass more orchards than you can count, and it's impossible to figure out which ones belong to which orchard-owner. Davis Orchards is actually owned by the grandparents of a guy I went to elementary school with back in the day, and he actually married the love of his life here, in a clearing amidst the apple trees on a beautiful late summer evening. I pass this lovely entrance to their farm only occasionally, but I always remember that beautiful wedding when I do.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Signs of Spring 3

I love that everywhere I look there are signs pointing to the change in seasons. Although I still prefer the change from summer to fall, this is an exciting beautification of the earth, as well. I'm looking forward to the large lilac bush outside my office window adding colour to my daytime view again. It's budding green, so it's on its way! New life is emerging on this young tree, too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Photo courtesy of Rapidfyre, Inc.

If you're looking for web design in Walla Walla, this is the man you need to talk to.

This is Charles. He is President and CEO of Rapidfyre, Inc., a top-notch web design company in the great city of Walla Walla. If you want quality work done on a reliable schedule, and are interested in working with someone who has integrity, experience and ability, talk to Charles. If you need someone you can depend on to get the job done while exceeding expectations, Charles is your man. Need I go on? Rapidfyre serves a variety of clients from around the United States, all while focusing on quality photography. I know for a fact they love people over there, so stop by and see if Rapidfyre can fill your need. Check out their website by clicking the link above and tell them Becky sent you.

Note: I'd like to start a series of featuring real people from the valley, which will mean stretching myself beyond my comfort zone and forcing myself to talk to people I may not know. The talking isn't the problem; it's the asking for a photo that has me nervous. If you're from the area or know someone here, feel free to make suggestions of people I can feature!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where's the Other Half?

On this side of the building the windows are surprisingly intact, and the grey door you see on the right edge of the picture looks fairly new. Like I said in yesterday's post, someone frequents this place, but I never see them do it. While on a walk earlier this week I noticed the front half of a truck sitting outside this photogenic door. I wonder where the other half is, and why they are separated.

Friday, March 11, 2011

No Tresspassing

I'm sure at some point in this building's history this pipe was used to load whatever was stored in this cement structure into trucks that would transport it to wherever it was sold or used. (You can see another image of this building in yesterday's post.) Perhaps it was grain, or maybe it was sand for de-icing roads in the winter. Whatever it was used for in the past is apparently either defunct or has moved to something more high-tech and convenient, because no one uses this building anymore. No one except perhaps gangs and maybe a few homeless people who use it for shelter. I never see people there, but the junk sitting on the ground outside the building changes and moves, so I know someone frequents this place...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feeling Small

This building is situated in the middle of a neighbourhood in "suburban" Milton-Freewater - if such a thing is possible. I don't know what it used to be, but these days it's simply an abandoned building. If the photo were edited just right I think it could resemble something along the lines of Chernobyl. "No Tresspassing" signs line its sides at eye-level, and any pane of glass that used to be intact in this building's few windows has long since been punched through with items surely tossed for that express purpose.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Signs of Spring 2

Again, not a black and white photo, but simply taken when the sky was a tad grey. This silhouette of a tree branch in my front yard demonstrates, like yesterday's crocus, that spring is here. The branches of trees across the valley are budding and it excites me; I know that one morning I'll wake up and the dogwoods will be in full pink and white glory and these trees in my front yard will surprise me with bright yellow. I love spring in the Walla Walla Valley!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Signs of Spring

My front garden is very unfortunately situated in terms of growing plants and raising flowers. While I love the shade when I want to eat a summer dinner out on the front porch, my bulbs take twice as long as anyone else's to push through the damp spring earth because they don't get the sun they need. So while crocuses are popping up in droves across town, this is the lone flower in my front garden. But I can't tell you how thrilled I was to discover it this past weekend! Spring has arrived, ladies and gentlemen - no matter what the weather forecast says!

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Monday...

Let's take a little break, shall we? Start the week off right with a coffee and perhaps a good book. Welcome to the downtown Starbucks. Those gentlemen are enjoying the comfiest seats in the house. The chair I'm sitting in is probably the least comfy. Take note of this when choosing your seat next time you buy a drink here. This Starbucks was recently remodeled and in my opinion the remodel didn't do anything except rearrange the place. The hallway down to the restrooms is stacked high with cardboard boxes...apparently they didn't plan well for storage when remodeling. And though they have more room behind the counter now, you can barely open the door and squeeze inside when there's a line because it blocks the entrance. Not well thought-out in my mind...but who asked me?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


This is the front of Cayuse Tasting Room, affiliated with Cayuse Winery, one of the valley's nearly 200 wineries. This particular winery is located across the border in Milton-Freewater, and the soil where the grapes are planted is quite rocky. The winery owner has a theory that the rocks soak up heat and heat the soil, making for a tasty grape, which in turn makes for a delicious glass of wine. It must be true because although this tasting room was set up and painted bright yellow nearly two years ago, it has never once been open. The winery sells wine as quickly as it can produce bottles, and is therefore always sold out, with nothing to offer tasters. The storefront does the winery's advertising well, though, don't you think?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Inland Octopus

This is the valley's local toy store, Inland Octopus. I honestly have no idea why it's called that, so if any local is reading this and knows the answer, please share in the comments. The mural above the entrance to the store is quite controversial in the valley, and has garnered some national news coverage. Walla Walla's downtown foundation has regulations regarding signage and storefronts. The foundation believes that this mural violates the code for downtown storefronts, and they have filed a civil suit against the store, charging them $100 per day until they either a) remove the mural or hide it with something acceptable or b) win in court. In my opinion the mural adds character and fits perfectly with this particular toy store. I've been told by some people I know that their kids love it - and what else should matter? It's a toy store, designed for kids. Regulations and foundations aside, what do you think of it?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Skywatch Friday

Believe it or not this is not a black and white photo. I simply took it on a very grey day. The tree is budding, which means spring is well on its way here in the Walla Walla Valley. Springtime skies here often look like this...full of rain. Welcome to spring in the WW Valley!

You can view more Skywatch Friday shots from around the world by visiting the Skywatch Friday website.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Country Drive 9

Welcome to Milton-Freewater! This water tower greets everyone entering the town on Highway 11 from the south. Thanks for joining me on this week-long drive through the countryside surrounding the town centers of Walla Walla, College Place and Milton-Freewater. If you joined us mid-drive, you can start from the beginning by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Country Drive 8

Rain in the valley usually means snow in the mountains. You can see along the horizon the end of the Blue Mountains, white with fresh snow.