Shadows on a Montana Wheat Field

Shade and shadows are so very commonplace that I spent the past week looking through files of photos looking for something that excited me. Today I spent some time enjoying my photos from our last trip through the Canadian Rockies and the U.S. Northwest. I remember taking this photo. I remember the beauty of the shadows cast by moving clouds across the ripening wheat, making a continually evolving scene. People who have lived or driven through the vast wheat fields of the Great Plains understands how surprising and unexpected a captivating evolving wheat field is.

Leya is hosting the Lens-Artists Challenge with the theme of Shade and Shadows.

Which Way – to the Red Horse Diner

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A couple of posts ago featured a window with a view from inside the Red Horse Diner – where Jim & I indulged our hankering for a hamburger and fries. We always split meals so we also claim the right to split our guilt. Some may call it rationalization.

We like the atmosphere of diners, Jim has the Michigan guy thing of loving anything cars, and we both love the taste of a cholesterol filled burger and fries. We had a really good time and I might be pushing it a bit to think I can frame it to be included in San’s Which Way photography challenge. But here in the U.S. we unfortunately almost always have to rely on an automobile to travel any where. As soon as roads were built, signs popped up telling drivers where to get their cars filled with gasoline and serviced.

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And if you look closely you also see signs for finding comfort from sodas to ice cream and most importantly what people in the U.S. call “restrooms” although they areĀ  intended not for resting but relieving oneself.

And of course a map is always useful for helping people find which way they need to go.

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We stopped in Oregon once for gasoline and the attendant saw me sitting in the car with a map spread across my lap. He became excited and exclaimed, “How quaint, you are using a map.” Of course I use a map, it is the only way to find my way when I don’t know where I’m going.

Windows with a View

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We were slowly heading south, biding time until we could get into the campground outside of Portland, Oregon. We were staying a few nights in Ellensburg, Washington and decided we needed a burger so went to The Red Horse Diner. It looked like a fun place to visit with lots of Mobil Gas signs – but that post will come.

This post is about a window with a view, although when in a place like this with so much to look at, I wonder how many people notice the view out the window.

To see more interpretations of window with a view or to participate, you can visit Becky.

Bonneville Lock and Dam

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Jim was excited about visiting the Bonneville Locks and Dam – and he is so accommodating about going where I want to go for photo taking, how could I say no. And I do find machine-type things interesting.

The Bonneville Dam, on the Columbia River in the Columbia Gorge, was started in 1933 and provided jobs for about 3000 people during the depression through the Public Works Administration (their literature). Jim went into the turbine building where the generators are and found it really interesting and impressive. The generators are enormous.

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Salmon use the Columbia River for spawning and building the dam would interfere with this so the Corps of Engineers brought on several experts in fisheries. Building fisheries to get fish past something as big as this dam had never been done before so their plan included fish ladders and fish locks for the fish going upriver and passageways for the juvenile fish going back to the ocean. After the fish navigated past the dam it became evident that the fish preferred the ladders to the locks. After watching them fight the rapids going through the ladders and sometimes being swept backwards, this surprised me.

At any rate, I chose to view and photograph the salmon going up the ladders through the viewing windows instead of going to view the generators with Jim.

There is a fisheries complex by the dam and they do a lot of research and activities to make sure the fish populations are healthy and growing as salmon fishing is an important economic activity in the area – especially for Native Americans. I heard a guide say that they have people counting the fish going up the ladders – now that sounds like a mind-numbing job. They also distinguish between fish bred in the wild and those in the hatchery, by the presence (or absence) of the top fin just in front of the tail. Some have one, and others don’t depending on where they started their lives.