Cut Bank, Montana.
On an overnight stay at Cut Bank, Montana, I happened to notice the photo of a high trestle bridge on the wall in the lobby of our hotel. It reminded me very much of the High Line Railroad Bridge at Valley City, North Dakota. I asked the hotel clerk about the image and if the bridge happened to be in the area as other images in the lobby appeared to be. I was surprised by her answer. Not only is it nearby, it actually is located just behind the hotel. Indeed, if we had a room on the opposite side of the hotel, we’d have probably seen the bridge from our hotel room window. Continue reading
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
We left Theodore Roosevelt National Park on our way to Glacier National Park in Montana. Time for a break, we pulled off U.S. Highway 2 at Malta to visit the Montana D.O.T. Rest Area at Trafton Park. While getting out of the car in the parking lot, an old bridge caught my eye. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
OK, so I took a break from my drone photography this winter. It’s been a busy season for me between Civil Air Patrol activities, nearby travel destinations, and even a Caribbean cruise (just before CoronaVirus, fortunately.) Part of my issue revolved around how to get to a photogenic place in the desert where I could set up the drone. The carrying case I had been using for the Mavic Air is a repurposed video projector bag that once belonged to a long-since broken projector. It wouldn’t be the best way to schlep the drone and accessories on a hike. Continue reading
During this summer’s travels, we stopped on our way to Antonito, Colorado at Pleasant Valley Campground near the small town of Howard. The summer getaway place of our friends Fred and Ellen became a good place to show off the Mavic Air. We walked over to a part of the campground with open skies and launched. Located next to the Arkansas River, the view of an abandoned railroad track and gravel road made for a decent composition. Continue reading