The Palouse, a region in the northwestern United States that includes southeastern Washington and north central Idaho, is a veritable magnet for landscape photographers. When photographed in the raking light of early morning or just before sunset, its sensuous hills look like abstract paintings.
Colors vary with the season. Among the crops planted at different times of the year are wheat (wheat, winter wheat and spring wheat), barley, canola, mustard, lentils, garbanzo beans and dry peas, each adding its distinct color to the palette.
The hills of the Palouse, formed during the ice age, are often compared to the landscape of Tuscany. The source of its name is unclear. It is thought to have derived from either the Palus Indians, or the French-Canadian fur trader’s word, pelouse, meaning, “land with short and thick grass.”
Photograph by Christine Haines.