Down the Drain

Warmer than average winter temperatures continue to send winter snows from the previous weeks down the drain.

Toward the middle and end of last week minor local flooding was predicted along the Walla Walla and Touchet Rivers. The west-side of the state has much more than the lion’s share of the flooding but I figured it’d be interesting to take a look at what was happening locally.

Thursday evening I found a few spare minutes to head towards Bennington Lake along Mill Creek. The light at sunset was great and I knew I didn’t need to find photos for Friday’s paper but couldn’t pass up the opportunity. (Finding great light at sunset during the winter isn’t an everyday occurrence.) Not having to produce something to publish allowed me to be pickier about what I wanted to shoot and how.

Mill Creek was running much higher than normal and had a lovely chocolate milk color from the run-off. The speed of the flow kept any kind of wildlife or other activity off the creek so I looked elsewhere for some sort of interaction.

I didn’t see much at the time and actually shot this frame rather casually, thinking the two checking out the high water, as I was, fit nicely but it wasn’t anything worth submitting.

Nikon D700, ED AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 VR at 90mm, f/2.8, 1/8 sec. and ISO 400.

UN-PUBLISHED: Nikon D700, ED AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 VR at 90mm, f/2.8, 1/8 sec. and ISO 400.

Turns out I like it more now. Must be the red fleece that stands out on the earth tones above and the lovely bluish-purple reflection of the sunset on the water below. It also captures some of the strength in flooding water where many other flood photos look less dangerous, like the ones below.

Friday I decided to swing towards Touchet and take a look out there. Outside of Touchet, just off the edge of the highway, I found a flooded pasture with several horses grazing. Two of the three horses were confined to an upper area of the pasture while one was curious enough about the water to take a look, and a drink.

Nikon D700, ED AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 VR at 140mm, f/2.8, 1/2500 sec. and ISO 200.

UN-PUBLISHED: Nikon D700, ED AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 VR at 140mm, f/2.8, 1/2500 sec. and ISO 200.

This was about the extent of the extremely minor flooding I found. The shrubs in the middle of the water and the telephone pole sitting in water are possibly the only signs that it’s actually flooded, otherwise it could be a stream through the pasture.

A flooded field just outside of Touchet provided my favorite image from the morning though. It’s nothing special, but watching the whirlpools spin in line and suck twigs and branches in was fun. Reminded me of the changing seasons, bringing heavy snowfall and cold temperatures for several weeks followed by sun and relative warmth that creates the flooding. How quickly things change and how quickly they will change again.

Nikon D700, Sigma EX HSM 14mm f/2.8 at f/2.8, 1/1000 sec. and ISO 200.

UN-PUBLISHED: Nikon D700, Sigma EX HSM 14mm f/2.8 at f/2.8, 1/1000 sec. and ISO 200.

None of these pictures appeared in the paper. They could have easily accompanied a story on some of the minor flooding in the area but the flooding ended up being too minor for this weekend’s paper. The photos ended up being sucked down the drain along with the flooding.

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  • [...] UN-PUBLISHED: Nikon D700, ED AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 VR at 90mm, f/2.8, 1/8 sec. and ISO 400. Turns out I like it more now. Must be the red fleece that stands out on the earth tones above and the lovely bluish-purple reflection of the …[Continue Reading] [...]

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