Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Summer

Summer, 2020.

Happy Independence Day! I am writing this post a week in advance thanks to knowing that the entire July Lens-Artists Challenge schedule has been published. We will be traveling that week to a neighboring state for a celebration of life. Travel this year is risky due to the pandemic, so you can bet we will be taking appropriate precautions as we travel and visit with family. I know this summer will be different in many ways than most, but summer will come and go and people will take advantage of the warm weather to do at least some of the usual summer activities. The opening photo features a fireworks display from the Pyrotechnics Guild. Sequenced to music, it was one of the most spectacular displays I’ve ever seen.

Summer is the time when I get to fly. Though the season got a late start for us, I have gotten my usual flight with an instructor on board to make sure that after an eight-month hiatus that I am ready to be trusted with an expensive aircraft under my control. At this point, I’ve already completed six glider tows and as a tow pilot trainer started working with another pilot to get him requalified for another year’s tow pilot duties. This newly reprocessed photo is what it looks like to a glider pilot when getting ready to enter the landing pattern at 5N8, the FAA designator for the airport at Casselton, North Dakota, our Civil Air Patrol glider base.

The boys of summer are also getting a late start this year, games in Fargo to begin on July 3 in a 60-game shortened season. The attendance will be limited to no more than 2000 (less than 50-percent capacity), every other row will be unavailable, and social distance between family groups will be the rule for spectators at the game. As usual, we purchased a multi-game flex pack long before the pandemic, so we don’t know if we will be comfortable at a game or not. We will check it out and be ready to leave if we don’t like what we see.

One of the highlights of our summer is attending the play produced by Fargo-Moorhead’s Trollwood Performing Arts School. As you might guess, their season is not happening this year given the pandemic’s risk to the normally large numbers of students who enroll in the program every year. This will be the first year since the program’s inception in 1978 that they shut down classes and production.

Many eastern Dakota residents eschew the city and head for the lakes in the summer, if only for the weekend. This image was captured from the shore at Lake Itaska State Park, only 105 miles (169 km) from our home. The canoe is in the lake itself but the rocks upon which the girl is walking mark the start of the mighty Mississippi River as it starts its 2348-mile (3779 km) journey toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Another casualty of summer is the loss of the many music festivals around the country. This image from a few years back features the annual “Shake the Lake” festival normally held the weekend prior to the fourth of July. In researching for this post to confirm the festival was canceled this year, I discovered that the festival is closing permanently. It had grown too large, according to the producers who want more of a local flavor. In recent years, most of the attendees (like us) were from out of the region.

A day by the lake, in this case, at Fort Whyte Alive Nature Preserve in Winnipeg, Manitoba is a great way to enjoy nature and social distance on a summer day. I’ll be looking forward to sharing pictures of the four seasons in July. Stay safe in these troubled times.

Amy is the host for this week’s challenge. You can read her original post here.

John Steiner

17 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Summer

  1. The opening shot is fantastic, John! So enjoy these various summer activities and celebrations via your lens. Thank you for sharing.
    Enjoy your travel, stay safe.

  2. Nicely done John – quite a variety of summer fun, many of which , sadly, are cancelled this year. I’ll be curious about the baseball experience when you have it, to see if it lives up to your hopes for safety. Enjoy the glides and your family visit (of which, of course, I am quite envious!). Stay safe!

  3. Good job, John. A lovely taste of summer with a little sadness attached, what with cancellations and all. I love the girl on the stones and the back story that she’s crossing the source of that great river. Stay safe.

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