The Greening of the Palouse

Visitors to our part of the west anytime between mid-July and October must wonder about the apparent desolation of the place.  Apart from the mountains, everything is some shade of brown, and out on the steeply rolling hills of the Palouse there are very few trees, most of them scrubby.  Golden ripe wheat, fields of stubble and the weedy dirt of fallow brown provide a lot of texture but within a limited palette.  Something else is happening now.  Huge ranges of newly planted winter wheat are coming up a brilliant green against plowed furrows of deepest black.  Pretty soon the higher elevations will be frosted with snow.  By March you can look out over a landscape you swear is carpeted in the most luxurious green velvet ever.  It’s an amazing place. We drive the 150 miles between here and Spokane once or twice a month, and it always changes, it never looks the same twice.  Some visitors wonder about a drive that seems so remote from everything.  We wonder at a drive that is so intimately up close to everything and always someplace worth being in.

2 thoughts on “The Greening of the Palouse”

  1. A beautiful description and appreciation of what might be regarded as a desolate landscape! In English literature, that is called an idyll (from Greek eidyllion, or little picture). In later Greek literature, that is also called by the rhetorical term, ekphrasis, or descriptive digressison. Thank you for the eye-opening picture!

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