Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – The Ordinary

This week, guest host I. J. Khanewala challenges us to share The Ordinary. From the challenge post: “Perhaps you are wishing you had found a less ordinary place. But then something happens as you look around and begin to assess everything as a photo. Suddenly parts of the ordinary no longer look mundane. Share that moment from your archives. Or better still, enter the zone, and bring those moments back with you to share.” You can read the entire challenge description here.

Being a born North Dakotan, I find it difficult to call anything in the state “ordinary”, but for the purposes of this challenge, I’ve selected several images that give me a sense of an ordinary day in my home state. The image above is one of many I have captured at the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks games over the years. We buy at least one packet of tickets each year so that we can spend an ordinary summer evening at the ball game. If we go on Friday night, there’s even a good chance that there will be a fireworks show after the game.

Hawks Nest-1

High on a hill in central North Dakota, a communications tower juts forth from the highest point in the area. On an ordinary summer day, several Civil Air Patrol members found ourselves enjoying the view at the top of the hill as some of our equipment housed in the small radio shack required maintenance.

Sonali Garden-2

There is nothing ordinary about a day spent in Sonali’s Garden, built to honor the memory of a daughter in Bismarck. Sonali’s parents provide loving care in keeping up the garden for all to enjoy on an ordinary summer evening.

North Dakota’s parks provide hours of enjoyment on those many ordinary days when people gather to enjoy the North Dakota sunshine. If we are spending any time in Bismarck at all, my wife and I stop at the garden. If we are lucky, we might just get a chance to say hello to Sonali’s parents as they tend the garden.


At another park, near Jamestown, North Dakota, we happened upon a man and his dog enjoying the summer day. Note the long string that appears to be coming from his chair and exiting the image near the upper right corner. On this ordinary day, he is also flying a kite.

Sunflower Field-1

North Dakota is an agricultural state, so it is completely ordinary to find crops growing in the fields. My favorite fields are filled with those golden sunflowers. North Dakotans have plenty of opportunities to view these ordinary sunflower fields. You see, the state leads the nation in sunflower production. In 2020, for example, North Dakota farmers harvested 1.34 billion (with a b) pounds of sunflower products. In that sense, these beautiful plants are quite ordinary for the state.

John Steiner


  1. Well John, you’ve done a lovely commercial for your home state! Had no idea it was a major sunflower provider – my favorite flower โค๏ธ. And appreciate your pointing out the string – I’d have missed it! Terrific response to the challenge as always

    • Thanks. I do love North Dakota’ wonderful summers. Not so much those winters, though I have plenty of friends who think we are nuts for leaving the state each November for six months. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. That sunflower field may be an ordinary sight for you but I find it glorious! That’s one of the joys of this theme – one person’s ordinary is another’s exceptional ๐Ÿ˜€

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