Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – What a Treat!

This week Tina challenges us to share images that reflect the “Treat” part of that Halloween phrase, “Trick or Treat!” Her share of tips from a wildlife photographer is a treat in itself and advice that I could have used on my own recent trip through several national parks. You can read her entire challenge post here.

I start my response with a real treat. A couple of baseball seasons ago, Lynn and I attended a Cactus League spring training game in Goodyear, Arizona. I don’t even remember the teams that were playing. As we drove into the parking area, we saw three huge semi-trucks and trailers emblazoned with the Budweiser logo. Walking toward the stadium entrance, we saw a team of handlers unloading the Clydesdales and the wagon from the trailers. We stood there in amazement as they let us watch from no closer than only 6 feet (2 meters) from these beautiful animals. It was truly a treat to see the organization developed around hitching up the team, one horse at a time.

Upon our return to North Dakota in April, we visited with friends who mentioned a city park in Fargo that I’d never heard of. Orchard Glen Nature Park has become my favorite city park. In November, I feature a photo story about the park. It is now a community orchard where people and families can help themselves to cherries, plums, pears, and several varieties of apples. The rules indicate the fruits picked are for personal use only. Climb at your own risk.


The park is located along the Red River, and when we visit, we almost always see a fisherman or two trying their luck at fishing. I usually ask, “How’s the fishing?” and receive varying answers. One gentleman shared his morning catch via a cell phone photo. Caught earlier in the day, he’d already released the fish, but not without capturing photographic evidence of his “fish story.”

On our recent journey through western states, near Cody, Wyoming, it was a treat to see the largest herd of elk I’ve ever seen. This shot is of the leaders of the herd, already some distance away. We were stopped on the highway because the bulk of the herd was blocking the highway, stuck behind fences that were tall enough that they couldn’t easily jump. I couldn’t count them all, but I suspect they numbered well over a hundred individuals. In a few weeks, I will share more photos and some details of what I’ve learned firsthand about the problem with fences and migrating animals. Needless to say, this story won’t be all “Treat”, the fences they encounter are the “Tricks” in their lives.

My last example turned out to be a surprise treat. During our recent western states trip, we purposely picked scenic byways rather than Interstates for our travels. On our way back to North Dakota, after leaving the Grand Tetons, we were on our way to Devils Tower. Since it’s a long drive, we picked the shortest route recommended by Google’s Maps program. We were amazed to discover that the road is also a scenic byway, the Wind River region. The scenery on this highway is spectacular and was especially enhanced by the fall colors of the trees which just so happened to be at the peak. You can bet there will be more on this beautiful highway in a future post.

Thanks again to Tina for a great challenge topic!

John Steiner

18 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – What a Treat!

  1. Always a treat when we get to know about places to go that we never went to before! A beautiful park would be lovely for a treat – and you sent us one – never heard of this great idea of a community orchard. I am sure we do not have it in Sweden. Love those beautiful horses – for me a very special treat, John – thank you! I am also looking forward to seeing more from the Wind River region!

    • Once privately owned, when the county purchased the area to remove houses that perennially flooded, I’m glad the county turned that orchard over to the Fargo Park Department and that they decided to maintain the orchard that wasin one resident’s “back yard.”

  2. Terrific response John! Lived the fisherman’s photo and the idea of a park where everyone can pick the fruit! Your beautiful image of the Clydesdales reminded me of a fond memory from when I was just a Chile. My mother took us to see them at a local shopping center. It had to be some 60 years ago but I remember it vividly. They are just so magnificent! Special thanks for that!

    • Indeed, especially given the quantity I saw that day. I just finished a post to be published next month specific to that incident and how the rancher’s fences impact the migration patterns of elk, pronghorn antelope and other wildlife.

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