The Palouse

IMG_6075 by cheri sabraw

We entered the Palouse without knowing it.

As far as the eye could see were golden undulating hills that looked like Mother Earth  had experienced a serious case of the shivers.

From Spokane to the Snake River and on into the Columbia River Gorge, the Palouse astounds the eye with her quiet vast blanket of bumps. On these hills, enormous combines–bigger than any others I have seen in Iowa or Kansas–crawl upward, cutting the wheat in an act that seems to defy gravity. It is a stunning sight and nothing like any other land form I have ever seen. IMG_6070My husband reminds me that in the old days, when the USC  football team would travel to Washington State University in Pullman, the network sports announcer, Keith Jackson, would say, “Well, here we are…..ready for the Trojans to take on the Cougars…here in the Paaaaaa–looooose!” IMG_6069 IMG_6071 The top of this hill has been tilled, ready for new planting. Truly, this is the grand home of Shredded Wheat. Eventually, the Palouse allows herself some some variation on her legumish theme. IMG_6103In a scene that hardly looks real, the Snake River offers a different style of life to the Palouse but she ignores him. In a spontaneous desire to experience the recesses of her hills (as opposed to riding a combine), we stop to play golf. The clubhouse is visible, but the course lies in the secrets of the Palouse. IMG_6086

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
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10 Responses to The Palouse

  1. I see future paintings in some of these.

  2. wkkortas says:

    You had me at Keith Jackson.

  3. Richard says:

    Harvesters are frequently seen to levitate. Something to do with a square apple pi and the area of a crop circle.

  4. Richard says:

    Doubtless she declines the river’s overtures for she sees no reason to move on, petted and fussed as she is.

    The single isolated tree defies any suggestion it might be a blot on the landscape, but why is it there?

    Beautiful pictures and text to match.

  5. Cheri says:

    I do not know but you can see that they have plowed around it and under its canopy.
    I would like to see the Palouse when the hills are green. Thanks for your comment, Richard.

  6. shoreacres says:

    I finally finished reading that linked article. I was most interested in the sections on farming practices, and fires. It sounds to me as though they were experiencing some of the same problems current in Britain, because of road-to-road farming, the loss of hedgerows and cover, etc. But it also seems as though certain problems are being at least turned around.

    The land is gorgeous. I love the single tree. It’s like a single walker at the shore — it makes the space seem emptier than if nothing were there.

    I couldn’t figure out why Palouse seemed so familiar, even though I knew nothing about the area. Finally, I pinned it down: the Appaloosa horse. I’m sure there’s no connection, etymological or otherwise, but that’s the echo I heard.

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