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.

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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

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

Cellpic Sunday – 6 September 2020

Casselton, North Dakota.

On a recent trip to Casselton where the North Dakota Wing Civil Air Patrol (CAP) homes their glider, in the distance, I heard train whistles blowing the warning at road intersections as the engine drew closer. Normally, when the train passes the airport just yards from the airport border, it’s usually a Burlington Northern freight train. This time, I was surprised to see Red River Valley and Western livery on the two engines that were headed southerly. (Livery in this context means an insignia or symbol that identifies the object as it relates to an individual or corporation.) Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 30 August 2020

Jamestown, North Dakota.

Since early in the pandemic, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) has been volunteering for missions to assist state and local agencies in many ways. Given my availability to assist, I’ve been part of North Dakota’s team of volunteers who help coordinate the delivery of PPE, test kits, and other necessary supplies. Early on, our wing’s pilots delivered PPE around the state and even moved supplies between North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota at the request of the respective state governors. For many weeks, our mission in North Dakota went dormant as the supply chain filled up and the National Guard and other agencies were able to support the needs of our healthcare system in the state. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 23 August 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

The Red River is often a muddy brown because wind and water flow stir up the river bed as the river flows north into Canada and its mouth at Lake Winnipeg. In future weeks, I’ll be focusing on Orchard Glen Nature Park, a small but beautiful area complete with an apple tree orchard. I’ve been stopping by every two weeks or so documenting the changes since last Spring, and I hope to be able to capture some Winter images before we head to Arizona. 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

Neowise – Once in a Lifetime Sight

Deep Space.

Well, actually from Fargo, North Dakota, a view from a comet that is making the news. It won’t be in the news again for another 6500 years due to its very long elliptical orbit. By the time you read this, it may already be gone out of sight. I learned a lot about night photography when capturing the images here and I will share what I learned for the next time a celestial visitor comes within photographic range in our night skies. Continue reading