Creek by Zillah

Yakima Valley Creek. Oil on Canvas. 12 x 24.

Our place names around here are so odd. This creek is near a town called Zillah. Yes, I know it sounds like a name I came up with playing Boggle. Zillah. Those of you steeped in Washington state lore will know Zillah as the home of the Tea Pot Gas Station (on the National Historic Register!) Others will think I made up the name. So I've decided to skip Zillah and call this Yakima Valley Creek, since it's that too.

For years I worked in environmental conservation and one of the most interesting things I learned was the impact trapping had on the landscape of eastern Washington. Today when I travel there it's mostly a dry area but before the trappers came 150+ years ago there were far more beavers and the wetlands they created. Great habitat for many species. Those have been gone a long, long time and we're a little poorer for that. There would have been more streams like the one above. And of course, more salmon.

Comments

Jeff said…
As a fellow Zillbilly, If find it a little sad the you discount our name as unmemorable. I fact I think it is quick memorable. You just have to associate it with the right context. Like Godzillah. Zillah is a fairly religions town (churches out number taverns on the order of 8 to 1). And if you were a teenager growing up there it kind of resembles some bad Japanese B movie mix radioactive lizards.

I still think the painting is great.

Jeff
Jeff said…
Due to my previously comments horrible grammar, I will try again. Shows me to type without re-reading.


As a fellow Zillbilly, I find it a little sad that you discount our name as unmemorable. In fact I think it is quite memorable. You just have to associate it with the right context. Like Godzillah. Zillah is a fairly religions town (churches out number taverns on the order of 8 to 1). And if you were a teenager growing up there it kind of resembles some bad Japanese B movie mix radioactive lizards.

Jeff
Lisa McShane said…
Thanks Loriann!

Jeff - thanks for becoming one of my followers! I think the name - like many around here - is odd. Not unmemorable - but the opposite! We do have interesting place names: Issaquah, Sequim, even Yakima. Adds color to the state.
Jeff said…
The way I have it from Zillah lore. Is that it comes from one of the first settlers in the area. A lady named Zillah Oaks. I also did a search and found a town in Libya.

I should note that a lot of your paintings really do a good job of capturing the area. I have always tried to tell people from the west side about the beauty of the east.
You do a great job of capturing it.
Scott Schuldt said…
Nice work. You should see the Zillah section of the Yakima sometime (Sunnyside dam to Granger - my definition). It's wild as heck - all braided with lots of logjams, gravel bars and white pelicans. Kind of scary in a canoe.