Thursday, April 30, 2009

Have you visited the library lately?

Always a good source of information and entertaining stories. I just joined the Friends of the Library.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

100 Year Portrait

Grandview is one hundred years old this year. This past Saturday the streets in the center of town were blocked off for the taking of a Community Portrait". Grandview Fire Department's Laddeer 18 engine was ready for the photographer, Teresa Kollmar, to climbe to the top to take the photo. According to last week's local paper, "Kollmar has already had a 'practice climb' last week near Grandview Middle School with instructions from Grandview firefighters so she won't fall off the ladder when reaching out to snap the shot."

It was a good thing they didn't ask me to take it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Tuesday is Senior Citizens' Day at the Legends Casino. The shuttle makes stops at senior housing areas.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crop 5--grapes

Both juice grapes and wine grapes are grown in the Yakima Valley. These plants do not seem to be pruned as severely as most, though it could be the perspective of the photo.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crop 4--apples

These young apple trees are trained to make harvest easier come the fall. The apple crop ripens in September-October. Washington is famous for its Red and Golden Delicious apples, but newer varieties such as Fuji and Gala are more and more popular.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Crops 3--soft fruit

I believe these are peach trees--but they might be apricots. The blossoms are similar. Apricots ripen in August and peaches in August or September, depending on the variety.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crops 2--cherries

Cherries will be the next major crop that comes to harvest in the Valley. Cherry harvest roughly follows the asparagus, starting in mid to late-June and continuing into July. Two popular varieties are Bings and Rainiers.
A famous Washington native got his nickname from the cherries--you know Harry Lillis Crosby as "Bing".
Weather in June is crucial to the success of the cherry crop. Heavy rains swell the ripening fruit and cause it to split. The wind machines used in the spring to heat the orchards are sometimes used to blow dry the fruit to prevent this from happening. Bright silvery streamers are sometimes hung in the trees to deter birds. Another method of scaring off the birds is a noise cannon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Crops 1--asparagus

A series about the crops of the Yakima Valley
The first crop in the Valley is asparagus--being harvested now through about mid-June. I posted this close-up of asparagus growing and ready to cook last year in Katney's Kaboodle.

Monday, April 20, 2009


We saw this traveller in Naches the other day. I have a stationary recumbent bike, but I don't know about traveling down the highway on one of these.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

continuing orchard heating...

After the skywatch interlude, I wanted to bring you the third method of heating the orchards. Ice!!

Overhead sprinklers coat blossoms with water which promptly freezes. The coating of ice insulates the blossoms from the even colder air that follows. This particular picture may actually have been the result of irrigation sprinklers being left on overnight, but you get the idea.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mt. Adams sunset skies

The bird was an added bonus. Click this to see it enlarged, and click on over to Katney's Kaboodle to see its neighbor to the north, Mt. Rainier, during the same sunset (with the same bird.) Then, stop by the SkyWatch site to link to the skies all over the world.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Other heating alternatives

Some orchards still use the old fashioned smudge pots when frosts necessitate heating. If the temperatures go really low, both the smudge pots and wind machines might be used at the same time. You can imagine the expense last year when oil prices were so high and the frosts quite heavy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The other kind of wind

While we are talking about wind and wind machines, here is a shot of the blade of one of the wind generating turbines that was under construction last fall in the Goldendale area. You can click this photo to enlarge it so that you can better see its size in relation to the other vehicles on the road. This blade itself is probably twice as large as the entire agricultural wind machine shown yesterday.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


To clarify Sunday's post that showed the wind machines in the orchards, here is a closer view of a wind machine. These are not the huge turbines that produce electricity in more and more regions of the world. Though they tower over the trees in the orchard, they are miniatures in comparison to those power generating behemoths.

The air temperature in the spring is critical to the development of fruit. When a heavy frost hits at the wrong moment, an entire crop could be lost. At these times, farmers choose among several methods to keep their trees warm. The wind machines are one of them. The machines circulate the warmer upper air to mix it with the cold to provide temperatures safe for the developing buds.

Monday, April 13, 2009

High School Hyjinx

The large letter L created by some Lasalle High School students sometime in the last several years still looms large on the ridge, visible from their campus in Union Gap.
If you look closely, you can still see traces of the V below and to the right of the L--but not the arms of the E created in it by unknown East Valley students a couple of years ago.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Patchwork

The Valley's patchwork of fields varies from season to season, within seasons, and from one area to another. Here is spring--at least right now this spring. This patchwork of orchards and vineyards is punctuated by a lot of wind machines--I see at least fourteen. (I posted about them at Katney's Kaboodle last spring.)

Previous seasonal patchwork posts can be found:
I think I should find a particular spot with a good variety of crops and post a monthly shot.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another sign of spring

Suddenly we see forsythia wherever we go.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday Gray Skies

This is the same cross at Holy Family Church that I showed a night-lit view of in December. Symbols in the cutwork circles include the Trinity in the arms of the cross, and the seven sacraments.
Other SkyWatchers can be found here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Just as fleeting as he was difficult to focus in on. As soon as I had moved to another angle, he was gone. But SPRING IS HERE! New leaves are sprouting on the mountain ash, even as a few of last season's berries still hang on.

Monday, April 6, 2009


The pool at the club after aerobics

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Looking down the road

...into Yakima from way west on Summitview Road.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Theme Day--Yellow

The concept of an Ice Cream Happy Hour struck me as wonderfully funny when I took this photo.
Theme Day happens the first of every month at City Daily Photos around the world. Today's theme is yellow. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants .