But I Digress… Reader Favorites in 2021

This week I posted my Lens-Artists response on Saturday, so for my usual Thursday post, I thought I’d try something different. This post features links to my most-read posts for 2021.

Number 10

This Lens-Artists Photo Challenge was published February 18, 2021, and titled Glimpse Into Your World. In this post, I shared some of my aviation stories. (Don’t worry, they are short stories punctuated by photos.) Click on the image above each number on the list to visit the respective post.

Number 9

Smithfield Virginia is a city that was developed in the 18th century and is home to some of the earliest history of the then colonies of Great Britain. The post recounts our visit with a photo tour hosted by a cousin who lives in a nearby community.

Number 8

High above the Missouri River in the city of Bismarck, North Dakota, on land once occupied by Chief Looking and his Mandan Indian tribe, there is now a state historical archeological site. In this article from November 6, 2018, we visited this park and discovered a beautiful memorial garden created to honor the memory of Sonali Seth. Whenever we get the chance, we visit the park and the garden to enjoy the sunset over the Missouri River.

Number 7

In June 2016, I published a photo story about the Shrine of St. Joseph of the Mountains, a Catholic shrine featuring stations composed of wood and concrete. This shrine is now part of a larger retreat and conference center. While we were there, we happened upon a very moving tribute to a dearly departed person that was in process.

Number 6

In one of my first published images from the drone I acquired in 2019, I shared how starlings were attracted to the noise and movement of the drone while flying over Lake McConaughy. The post also features images captured from the dam and reservoir near Ogallala Nebraska. The major recreation area is a popular camping site in the summer, and I learned something about sharing the skies with our avian friends when flying the drone to capture images.

Number 5

In November 2020, we were on a road trip through Montana and we happened upon a long line of train cars apparently being “stored” on an unused 20-mile section of track. Some drone images feature the unusual line of grain cars and the small unincorporated community of Lindsay, Montana.

Number 4

On a Sunday drive in 2017, we headed west to Valley City, North Dakota. Known as the City of Bridges, Valley City is built around the Sheyenne River. If you stop at the city’s visitor center, you can even get a map that shows you how to visit each of the bridges in the city. The opening photo features that High Line Bridge that rises high above the valley and spans the entire width of the valley. On June 13, 2017, we visited seven bridges in total.

Number 3

In July 2021, the Lens-Artists team asked me to host that the first week of the month. The challenge, #155 On the Water, was popular, no doubt because of all of the Lens-Artists Challenge responses. The post featured some of my favorite images captured near water, from morning dew drops to the crowded beach scene on Grand Turk Island in the Caribbean.

Number 2

Her name is Dignity. A tribute to the Native American woman, the stainless steel sculpture used three Lakota Native Americans as models to create the face. The statue overlooks the Missouri River at Chamberlain South Dakota and stands to honor the first residents of the region. The article, published February 18, 2020, documented my second visit to the monument. The story features more background on Dignity and her creator as well as the beautiful and scenic location high above the river valley at Chamberlain.

Early view of Main Street.

Number 1

The most popular post on my blog in 2021 wasn’t actually written by me. In 2016, my son, Josh, was writing his own blog and after a joint visit to Siler City, North Carolina, he wrote a guest post on my blog about our visit. The article, posted on February 16, 2016 featured images from both my camera and his.

This article has been viewed far and away more times than any other blog post on my site. I attribute it to the title, The Changing Face of the American South: Siler City, NC. What I find most interesting is that its first four years of publication averaged about the same number of hits per month as any of my more popular posts. In 2020 and 2021, however, hits on this post increased 7 fold over previous years. As this article is being written on January 5, 2022, the post has already averaged almost as many hits in January as the average monthly number of hits in any given month in the first three years since publication.

There you have it, my top 10 posts for 2021. Click on any of the images above to visit the original post.

Happy New Year.

John Steiner


  1. Thank you, John, for taking us to these beautiful, special places your have travel through your fabulous photos. The statue of Dignity is stunning!

  2. I think my favourite would be Smithfield, Virginia. I love the tour around the old houses, those moments of suspended time that allow to imagine life in the past.

  3. A great set of 2021 images, John! Several bloggers have shared their reader’s favorites–a great idea! I liked what you did and included the link on my Sunday Stills post (2021 in the Rear-View Mirror). Numbers 2 and 3 are stunning!

    • Thank you! I cannot take credit for the reader favorites, and seeing other people’s examples, I thought it is a good idea that I needed to emulate.
      It was also interesting to review the history of the posts to see what readers still find interesting.

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