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 – 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

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

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

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

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

Cellpic Sunday – 21 June 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Recently my wife, Lynn, and I discovered a park that’s new to us. In a future Travel Tuesday, I’ll feature a photo story about the park and its beginnings. Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I was busy capturing images of the apple orchard that is the signature feature of the park. In late May, the trees are in bloom and the soft light of a thin overcast allowed me to capture some detail of a pod of apple blossoms. Continue reading