Painted Canyon – Scenic Views of North Dakota’s Badlands

Painted Canyon Rest Area, North Dakota.

At the edge of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in the North Dakota Badlands, I-94 carries travelers toward or away from Montana. If you are traveling this route, even only passing through, you owe yourself a stop at mile marker 32, the Painted Canyon Rest Area. From high on the scenic overlook, you will get a commanding view of the National Park that may just encourage you to delay your destination and visit the park. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 4 October 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Fargo is the home of North Dakota State University and those season-wining Bison football teams. As a land grant college, NDSU is also an agricultural research university of some repute.

On the west edge of the campus, a small collection of gardens features plants native to the climate in the upper Midwest. In early September, my wife and I stopped there for a few minutes. I came to the realization after all that Fargo does have a botanical garden, something I have always thought was missing in Fargo. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Symmetry

This week, Patti Moed asks us to think about symmetry. She writes, “Architects in ancient lands, like Greece, Rome, China, and Egypt, experimented with form and balance. They discovered that the human eye likes patterns and architectural features that are symmetrical. That’s why a row of pillars or arches is pleasing to the eye.” You can read her entire challenge post here. Continue reading

Merci Train – Forty and Eights

Scottsdale, Arizona.

After World War II, it was no secret that Europe had a long road to recovery and in 1947, more than 700 American box cars containing about $40 million dollars in relief goods provided by principally individual Americans were delivered to France and Italy to help the formerly occupied nations recover. Two years later, in February 1949, forty-nine French railroad box cars filled with thousands of gifts of gratitude were shipped to the United States. There was one boxcar for each of the 48 states and a boxcar to be shared by Washington D.C. and the territory of Hawaii. The rail cars were French box cars, military transport freight cars dubbed Forty-and-Eights because they were rated to carry 40 troops or 8 horses. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 27 September 2020

Bloomington, Minnesota.

In mid-July, we traveled to Bloomington Minnesota to attend the funeral of a family member. We arrived the day before and checked into a hotel near the Minneapolis airport. Our view from our 9th-floor windows faced to the southwest. I happened to look out the window almost at the conclusion of “blue hour”, that time between sunset and night. I could see the last few moments of twilight reflected in the glass of the taller buildings southwest of our hotel. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Inspiration

Medora, North Dakota.

For this week’s “Inspiration” challenge by Tina Schell, I am putting a bit of a historical twist in play. You can read Tina’s post here.

Regular readers of this humble blog know of my love for North Dakota. It was the home of my birth, and though I spent my formative years in other states, in the late 1970’s I was drawn back to the state by the opportunity of a new career. Finding a lifelong home in Fargo, I retired from that career in support of education.

Continue reading

Sunflower Fields Forever – Or Was That Strawberry???

Cass County, North Dakota.

North Dakota is a small state, just over 760,000 residents estimated in 2019. Much of the land in the state is devoted to agriculture, and most people know the reputation of North Dakota winters. That fact proves the phrase, “Make hay while the sun shines.” A drive through Rural North Dakota yields many colorful fields in mid-summer. Canola fields glow in bright yellow, wheat goes from green to those “Amber waves of grain” that “America the Beautiful” reminds us. The most spectacular commodity, though, is the sunflower. Perched atop a strong stalk, a bright yellow flower mimicking the sun welcomes the day facing our nearest star, and each head turns as the day goes on, flower facing west at the end of the day… until it gets large enough that its head can no longer turn. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 20 September 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Last week I posted a dronie view of the Red River from Orchard Glen Park. While we were at the park to use the drone, I grabbed some cellphone pics as well. Shot on the same day, here’s a more “up close and personal” view of the lake from the shoreline. This day found the river a beautiful blue color. All of the other shots captured earlier in the season featured the usual muddy brown river. It was so calm there was nary a ripple on the surface giving a great reflection of the trees and sky. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Negative Space

For this week’s Lens-Artists challenge, Amy asks us to think negative, er, ah, negatively speaking, er, I mean, consider negative space. (OK, time to get serious.)

Amy writes in part, “Negative space is the area around the main subject of your photograph. This space is empty or unoccupied.” You can read Amy’s entire challenge post here. Continue reading

Aerial Views – A Gallery of Dronie Shots

Fargo, North Dakota.

It’s been over a year since I purchased the Mavic Air drone. For private pilots like myself, it is very easy to add the FAA license for Part 107 (commercial drone operations) to my rating, and the North Dakota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is one of the leaders in drone operations for CAP. I wanted to be involved but had never flown a drone before. Knowing that a drone would add to my camera collection and provide a fresh perspective to my photoshoots, I decided to buy my own for both training and photography purposes. I haven’t used it nearly as much as I expected, but some of that lack of use can be attributed to the pandemic. In any case, after a year’s operational experience, I thought it might be time to share (and reshare) some of the images captured both during training and on my travels. The opening photo was captured during a late afternoon practice flight. The long shadows and golden tones give away the late afternoon time frame. Continue reading