Somewhere in North Dakota.
This week Amy celebrates the sun that gives us life and brightens our days. There are billions of suns in the universe. Still, only one is close enough for us to have become a routine part of our daily existence in more ways than being responsible for the planet’s continuing existence as we know it.
Amy writes, “We will explore the sunlight and things under the sun, whether it’s in the morning, middle of the day, and/or before sun goes down.” You can find her entire challenge post here.
For my challenge response, I will mostly focus on those summer days when we have the longest time to enjoy the sun. Around the time of the summer solstice in June each year, North Dakotans enjoy an average of almost 16 hours to enjoy the sun. In my opening photo, even though we can’t see the sun through those layers of clouds, its light is shining across Turtle River State Park appearing to ignite the trees.
This beautiful antique aircraft is mimicking the color of the sun as if to say, “It’s time to share the morning skies with you, Mr. Sun.” The airplane is about the same age as I am. The Cessna model 195 was manufactured between 1947 and 1954. Cessna’s first aircraft with all-aluminum construction was available in both civilian and military versions.
At Valley City, the Hi-Line Bridge has carried railroad traffic since 1908, and it still is in use today. At the time of construction, it was the longest bridge of its height in the world. Today, at 3,860 feet (1,180 m) long and 162 feet (49 m) over the Sheyenne River Valley, it remains one of the longest and highest bridges in continued use in the United States. Early one morning, positioned so the bridge shielded my camera lens from the morning sun, I captured this image of the eastern ascent where it rises toward its maximum height over the Sheyenne River.
Just east of the town of Napoleon, North Dakota is a tribute to a modern “dinosaur”, the threshing machine. A local farmer, John “Custer” Grenz gathered a collection of steam threshing machines. He lined them up in a row on his farm and even though he has passed on, his family honors his memory by continuing to share his collection with the public. The sun was responsible for helping to grow the crops, and the threshing machine was responsible for helping to harvest them.
Even with hazy skies, the morning sun reflected gold off of the brick facade of this house in the ghost town formerly Sims.
Sunflowers are a major crop in North Dakota. This view from my drone was captured in the late afternoon. When sunflowers are young, their heads turn to follow the sun as it travels across the sky every day. When the plants mature, however, the heads are too heavy to turn. In this image, the heads are facing easterly even though the late afternoon sun is just off to the left side of this view that is looking to the northwest.
In that same field about an hour later, the sun much closer to the horizon, I captured this portrait of a sunflower. I know I’ve shared this image in challenges before, but humor me. It’s one of my all-time favorite images.
I would be remiss in not including a winter image, especially considering winters are so long in North Dakota. This is a view from the front steps of a friend’s home on Christmas day in 2017.
Thanks to Amy for her challenge that allowed me to share some of my favorite sunny images of North Dakota. To view any of these images in HD on my high-definition Flickr site, just click on it. Or you can view and scroll through the entire album in HD here. Next week, for the last challenge in August, it’s Ann-Christine’s turn to provide the theme. If you’ve been considering joining the challenge each week, but aren’t sure how to get started, you can find out here.