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(Courtesy Tim Hull)

(Courtesy Tim Hull)

On our April 15, 2014 issue cover, Raul Santana plants the last three trees at the end of every row of a new Honeycrisp orchard near the city of Yakima, Washington.

Owner Taylor Orchards used a GPS-aided planting system to do the main work, followed by the installation of underground irrigation at the end of the rows. Then, the last three trees were planted by hand. A trellis system completed the project.

The soil theme covers are often challenging images to find and reproduce. Dirt is, well, brown. Monochromatic. It can suck the life out of a photo when printed. This image, though, has blue sky and clouds, vanishing sight lines, and, a big plus, human activity. The closeup detail of the soil texture in the foreground is nice, too. Thank you, Tim Hull!

The photo was taken on April 12, 2012, in the early afternoon and shot at 1/640th sec., f/8.0, ISO 200, using a Nikon D300s digital camera with an AF-S Nikkor 18-70mm 1:3.5-4.5G ED lens. The photographer is Tim Hull,