Medicine Wheel Park – A Scale Model Solar System

Valley City, North Dakota.

On the campus of Valley City State University, a class project has grown into a 30-acre park and educational destination. The Medicine Wheel is visible from my drone shot in the top of the image above. The wheel is a basic solar calendar that uses the alignment of the sun to the spokes of the wheel to determine sunrise and sunset during each of the four seasons. The center of the medicine wheel is the sun in a solar system model. A short walk will take you by each of the nine planets (including our dwarf planet, Pluto) in the solar system.

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Cellpic Sunday – 11 October 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Last week’s Cellpic Sunday introduced you to the NDSU Horticultural Research Gardens on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo. I had a bit of fun “chasing” another visitor around the flower beds. This little guy would see me and duck around behind some marigolds. He was big enough, however, that I could tell which way he went by the rustling of the plant leaves. At one point, he stopped near the zinnias and picked up something to eat. Apparently, he was hungry enough that he ignored me as I took his picture.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Photo Walk

St. Louis, Missouri.

This week, Amy asks us to take a walk, a photo walk. She writes, “You are invited to share your photo walk, whether park, beach or street.” You can read her challenge post here.

In my travels to new places (for me), I’ve often looked for the local botanical garden to see some of the area’s natural plants and get a feel for the local habitat. That walk through the garden always presents itself with plenty of photo opportunities. For this post, I will share one of my favorite garden visits, a walk through the Missouri Botanical Garden. Continue reading

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

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.

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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