Dronie Sunday – 7 February 2021

Napoleon, North Dakota.

Last week’s Cellpic Sunday featured a story about the attraction in south-central North Dakota known as Dinosaurs on the Prairie. That image was a snapshot from the ground featuring a view of the collection of machines that wind their way up a hill. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 10 January 2021

Ellensburg, Washington.

The Yakima Scenic Byway is a popular detour from the Interstate highway system in central Washington state. Highway 821 and the drive through this beautiful river valley will be featured in an upcoming Travel Tuesday here. For now, here’s a teaser, an image from my drone of a section of the valley near the city of Ellensburg. Continue reading

Skydio 2 – My First Look at a New Drone

Fargo, North Dakota.

As this is being written in the midst of a Presidential election vote count that is seeming to take forever, I started looking for a diversion from hours on end of talking heads and electoral college maps. An email from one of my Civil Air Patrol (CAP) colleagues alerted me to a webinar featuring information on new drones in our fleet. I sat in on the webinar and immediately got the itch to find out more about this new generation of flying cameras. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 6 December 2020

Custer State Park, South Dakota.

The largest of the four lakes in Custer State Park is Stockade Lake. The park is about a 40-minute drive from Mount Rushmore in the South Dakota Black Hills.  This artificial lake was created by the Stockade Lake Dam, construction completed on April 1, 1934. The dam created a haven for camping, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor recreation. Continue reading

Lindsay Montana – 20 Miles of Train Cars

Lindsay, Montana.

On our way to a family event in early summer, we headed to Glasgow, Montana. On the way, we passed through Glendive, Montana where we transitioned from I-94 to highway 200S. Soon after leaving Glendive, we noticed some grain cars on the tracks that paralleled the road. As we traveled along, we found the cars didn’t disappear after the usual mile or so that represents the typical length of freight trains in the upper Midwest. There were breaks in the line of cars all along the way, leaving enough space for a county road to cross the tracks. 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

Dronie Sunday – 13 September 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Orchard Glen Park in south Fargo is my new favorite park. I finally got the opportunity to get some aerial views from this park of many apple trees. Finding a clear spot overhead would be a challenge, I thought. When I got there, I realized I’d forgotten that there is a paved road that loops around the majority of the apple trees. The road is wide enough to support a vertical ascent without having to worry about getting tangled in the trees. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 2 August 2020

Mapleton, North Dakota.

Sunflowers are a source of oil and food for people and birds. There are two different types grown typically with North Dakota products generally the variety for food rather than oil. The majority of sunflower fields are found in central and western North Dakota, but there are a couple of fields near Fargo. When I learned there is a field near Mapleton yesterday, I grabbed my camera and headed about 13 miles (21 km) to the field that is visible just off I-94 and southwest of the town. Since I wasn’t quite sure where it is located and I didn’t know if it would be photogenic, I thought I’d check it out before committing to a drone flight. Another factor for not using the drone is that it is a bit windy tonight. 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

Dronie Sunday – 19 April 2020

Buckeye, Arizona.

On an early March day, we hit the trail with my Mavic Air drone in the backpack. Our goal, in case you missed it from my last Dronie Sunday, was to hike into the Verrado Trails area toward the Petroglyphs and capture some aerial views of the White Tank Mountains. There aren’t a lot of flat spaces in the desert that are accessible from a given trail, so we hiked along the Petroglyph Trail about a mile before we found a suitable space for launching the Air. Continue reading