Isla Roatán – Glass Bottom Boat and Island Tour

Isla Roatán, Honduras.

Just before the pandemic struck the world and was just beginning to be understood as a problem for Wuhan China, we boarded the Carnival Conquest for a cruise to the southern Caribbean. On our first visit to Mahogany Bay and Honduras, we were introduced to the Mesoamerican Reef, an undersea wonder that rivals the Great Australian Barrier Reef. You may recall photos of our visits to the reef from a post I published in March here. Our excursion for the day at Mahogany Bay included a tour of the island and the aforementioned visit to view the reef via a glass-bottomed boat. The image above was captured as we sat on the cruise ship dock awaiting our ship’s customs check and debarkation for our visit. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 12 July 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

For one of my photo projects this year, I’ve been traveling to south Fargo’s Orchard Glen Park to document the park’s transition from spring through Fall, capturing photos as the landscape transits the seasons. Most of the photos have been captured with my Samsung S20U cell phone, and that’s the case with this view of wild phlox which was heavily in bloom throughout the park in early June. I hope, at some point, to include some drone images but lately, when I’ve had the time, it’s been too windy to support safe drone operations. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

But I Digress – Twirling Away Our Quarantine

Orange Twirl

Fargo, North Dakota.

As I am working on this post, it’s late April. We’ve been back in Fargo for nine days and we are honoring the North Dakota Governor’s mandate that snowbirds spend two weeks in quarantine. So far, we are fine here, but going a bit batty from watching TV and doing puzzles. Our bright spot of the day is the online exercise classes we’ve found to keep us at least a little bit active. But I digress from my digression… Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 5 July 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Regular readers have already seen some images captured at Orchard Glen Park here in Fargo. This park, and it’s nearby Forest River Park are new discoveries to my wife, Lynn, and me. Though small, they both pack a lot of natural beauty that is complemented by the Red River of the North which meanders through the area. Indeed, the park and orchard were reclaimed from private owners who sold after a particularly devastating spring flood. The area, prone to annual flooding, was part of a community buyout. I plan to return to the park regularly throughout the summer to capture images throughout the three seasons we are in Fargo. If I’m “lucky”, I’ll be able to capture some “winter” images if we get an early snowfall or two before our annual trip to Arizona. More images to come. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Surprise

This week, Ann-Christine in her photo challenge asks us to feature images that are the result of a surprise. As it turned out, I have two surprise encounters with horses that I thought would be the appropriate responses to this week’s challenge. In the opening image, while traveling through Theodore Roosevelt National Park, we rounded a corner on the scenic drive to discover several cars stopped in the middle of the roadway, no one was going anywhere and people were out of their cars, cameras in hand. A small band of wild horses parked themselves on the roadway much to the delight of the park visitors who happened along at that moment. Continue reading

But I Digress… Keeping Fit in Trying Times

Fargo, North Dakota.

So this week’s feature can be called “Untravel Tuesday.” While COVID-19 is up ticking through much of the country, it has been trending downward in North Dakota. One of the things I missed most over the last few months is daily attendance at the fitness center for my cardio and weight classes. The center I regularly use in Fargo is Total Balance. They offer physical therapy as well as a workout area and exercise classes. I’ve been a member since 2008. Though their physical therapists have been available by appointment, until recently, the center was closed to members. The instructors, however, like many around the country are offering online classes. Now that they’ve re-opened, class sizes are severely restricted with online first-come, first-served signup. In conjunction, they are broadcast via Facebook Live for those who prefer to continue to workout from home. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 28 June 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of ours mentioned Orchard Glen Park in the extreme south of Fargo along the Red River. What we learned upon our first visit is that if we headed further south and then east to the Red River, we would find another park known as Forest River Park. The two parks are less than a mile apart and we’ve discovered they are a popular place for people to explore and bird watch. Situated at an “oxbow” in the river, Forest River Park is about 2000 ft (609 m) by 900 ft (274 m), with the main trail and several smaller trails wandering through the trees. If you look carefully toward the top center of the photo, you’ll see a large house with a red and white roof visible just below the edge of the trees. That house is on the other side of the Red River in Minnesota, the river marking the north, east, and south borders of the park. If your browser allows it, you may have to select the photo to enlarge it for a closer view of the house. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – A Quiet Moment

This week for our Lens-Artists challenge, Patti Moed asks us to share captures of “A Quiet Moment.”  She writes, “Maybe it’s a walk early in the morning or the time you sit down with a book and a cup of coffee.  Include shots captured at home or in your neighborhood, or from a trip to a faraway place months or years ago.” You can view her entire challenge post here.

For my opening image, I am reaching back almost 40 years to my college days. I spent a week with a college buddy backpacking in the backcountry of the Bighorn Mountains near Sheridan, Wyoming. This image was digitally reworked from the original 4×6 snapshot. Early on a crisp, cool morning, we had the fire going as we started our day. Continue reading

But I Digress… Getting Used to the Samsung S20 Ultra

In April 2016, I accepted the volunteer position of Wing Commander for North Dakota Wing Civil Air Patrol. In support of that position, I was provided a cell phone that would provide my staff and our organization’s partners a way to contact me directly. That phone is a Samsung S7 that, by the end of my four-year term, was on its last legs. My own personal phone, a Samsung S6 was little used but beginning to show its age on battery life, even though it was off much of the last four years. Besides, as a reward for my hard work in CAP, I wanted to upgrade to a better phone once my term ended. My wife had acquired a Samsung S9 and its camera system is much improved over both the S6 and S7. My original plan was to probably go with the S10 in April when my term expired. Continue reading