Palouse is a challenging place to photograph. I took probably 5 trips in the past 1 year, and while I was happy to capture some images of the rolling hills from the Steptoe Butte, I was never happy with the similar views of the rolling hills as everyone else was getting from the same vantage point.

So, one friday afternoon I drove out to Palouse to capture the sunset at Steptoe Butte and the surrounding area. I was scoutting the area from the top with a 400mm lens, and I see this small tree in the distant place that looks very nice. I was trying to capture it from the top of the Steptoe butte, but it did not turn out as well as I hoped.

So the next morning, I decided to go find this tree and see if I can get a close up picture of it. I also brought a spotting scope, so I could further see the area and I got myself generally familiar with the surrounding area. Then I was starting to drive randomly but somewhat towards that direction. I wasn’t sure where it was, but I remember that I had to cross a bridge, a sign and a funny looking house on the left.

I found it. Parked the car next to the bridge and started to walk. After about 20 minutes into it I gave up. I was following the drainage/irrigation ditch, and it was a hard walk. I was soaked up to my waist due to the morning dews on the grass and other plants, plus the muddy shoes. I guess if I could have cut through the wheat field, it would have been shorter walk, but I did not want to walk into someone else’s field.

So, I decided to drive back to the Steptoe and see if I can see another way in from the top. Then I ran into Vitali sleeping in his car!  So, we both decided to figure out where this tree is, and we do eventually find it after consulting maps, GPS and spotting scope. Apparently there is a little dirt road that you can take straight up to the tree! So, much for my walking along the drainage ditch idea…

We took million pictures around it, but around the sunset, the below image is what I captured. It is a time lapse merge of the same scene. one shot right after the sunset, and another shot a couple hours later when the stars came out.

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