A sixth of autumn colors

Digging deep for one last blast of fall photos.  This one is from the beginning of fall, when leaves were just beginning to turn.  I noted the appearance of that first little patch of orange in the background.

 

This tree had green and orange bursting forth.  What an amazing sight!

 

One more shot into the valley…looking toward the Square Buttes from north of Bismarck.

 

This is at the Crown Butte Dam on my way home from a long and particularly productive photo roaming day.

 

Final photo of the night and of this series.  The moon was up, the sun was going down, and I revisited this old automobile camping out under a hilltop tree.  It was the perfect conclusion to a very therapeutic day of roaming.

That’s it for foliage photos, but I have tons of additional North Dakota shots to share.  Stay tuned!

Cinco de fall color

What can I say, I like old farm stuff.  I don’t know if it’s due to some nascent feeling that I missed out as a city kid…more likely it’s a by-product of beginning to feel my own age.

This was a “bucket list” photo. I’ve wanted to get this shot for over ten years.  FINALLY.  Nice hill, nice sky, nice old cabin…and beautiful autumn leaves.

 

The tree on the left lost its leaves very early. The ones growing out of this old stone structure, however, put on a brilliant display.

Having dramatic skies to work with doesn’t hurt, either.  The skies on this day alternated from unfavorable to fantastic all day long, from before sunrise until after sunset.

Gold and green on the branches, red and brown on the buttes.  I love these hills, they make for a great backdrop no matter what the season.

No, I’m not done yet.  This has been my most productive autumn photo season yet!

Fall colors, part quattuor

I’m spent on the whole “counting in French” thing…besides, I had to switch to Latin in honor of my first Latin instructor, Mandan’s beloved Ed Axtmann, who passed away this week.

This was when the fall colors were just starting to emerge, at the “abandoned” Binek mine.  Yes, someone still lives at the site, although it ceased operation long, long ago.

 

Open air outhouse – if you’ve really gotta go or don’t have a thing for modesty, feel free.

 

See the capitol hanging out beneath the boughs of this tree?  It sits along Apple Creek Road.  Still got a little bit of green in there…

 

This row is south of Bismarck in the wildlife management area.  I caught just the right skies, but getting the sun in the right position behind those branches was a challenge.

 

This is a tree I spent plenty of time photographing.  I even got full of all kinds of crunchy and pokey stuff lying beneath its branches.  Might be fun to revisit it later and post the results of that half-hour dalliance.

Have I exhausted my quiver of fall photos from 2017?  Hardly.  Even as the cruel North Dakota wind threatens to strip these trees bare, I’ve already got plenty of fun photos so far.  And I’m not ruling out a few more before we’re left with nothing but sticks and bare branches for the winter!

Fall colors, part troix

Still more fall colors.  I’m actually astonished at how many nice autumn photos I have…in fact, this is my best year ever!

 

The river valley has been breathtaking this year.  I have had friends comment that the cottonwoods haven’t given this kind of color in years, perhaps due to fungus or other issues, possibly even going back to the flood.

 

Fall in North Dakota is always a gamble; some years we get an early frost and the leaves drop while still green.  Other years we get nice fall colors…for a day.  This year, despite a couple of days of punishing wind, things have held on and provided lots of enjoyment.

 

An instructor once told me, while demonstrating part of the parachute rig on the standard issue Army F-4 pilot flight suit, that “if you eject and land in a tree in North Dakota, you deserve to die.”  We don’t have the expansive forests some states enjoy, but the trees we do have sure put on a show this year.  The skies helped, too.

 

Am I done with fall photos?  I think I still have a few.  I’ll share them here, and then I’ll work backwards.  I’m pleased to report that, in addition to a plentiful autumn photo harvest, this has been a very fruitful summer for me in that regard as well!  I’ve spent my time taking them, and will have all winter this year to steadily post new ones as I find time to process them.

Fall colors, part deux

I actually, without even realizing it, have had a very fruitful autumn photo season. I posted a few shots yesterday, and here is the second installment.

I liked this assortment of color, found at McDowell Dam on Wednesday afternoon. A little bit of everything, except one color is obscured somewhat…

…which is why you take the shot from another angle. I’m not exactly sure which of these two I like best yet.  Leaning toward this second one.

Here’s a nice row of golds and reds, with very little green remaining anywhere but on the grass.  I love the reds, maybe because they’re less common out where I tend to roam.  They’re typically part of somebody’s landscaping.

 

Here’s the other angle of that scoria road I mentioned yesterday.  I actually took the time to process this one, instead of just posting the raw of the other angle.  This, too, is one of those shots where I can’t decide which angle I like best.

 

Here’s yesterday’s shot with the same color treatment.  I like the tree being close and larger, but now you don’t see the hills in the background on the left.   Hm…

Yes, I have more…but that’s all for now.  I hope to share a few more tomorrow. 🙂

Fall colors, part one

I took Monday off and roamed around a little bit with a shot list I’d been working on for a few days prior, and I must say I had a very fruitful time. While many of the shots I got have some lovely fall foliage in them, I haven’t taken the time to process those yet. I’ve got quite a backlog of photo and video work projects that I need to get done, so personal stuff is going to have to hold off for a bit. But I did manage to stop for some shots of trees along the way…

 

I love the gold and green here.  Could have used a little red, but that’s going to be in Part Two of this little series.

 

I nabbed a couple angles of this shot, one being behind this one a little way and illustrating the curve of the road differently.  But I ultimately chose this one.  I might have to take another look at the other shot for Part Two as well.

 

This had lots of green and lots of gold…but the setting sun made the green a little hard to pick out.

I have a few more coming, so stay tuned!

 

 

Still posting

Yes, I’m still posting.  And I’m still posting about this post!  I had to check on it the other day in the rain, and it’s still hanging in there.  Literally.  There is no soil around it, only the barbed wire wrapped around it.

I’m getting ready to start Year Twelve of this blog, and I’ve got plenty of photos to share.  I took so many this summer that I can definitely make it to Spring, not to mention the additional new photos I hope to add this winter!

A different corner

Yeah, that’s a song title reference I never thought I’d make.  This old corner is on a shuttered school house that my wife and I encountered on a recent photo journey.  The kids were at camp, so we got to run around with cameras until midnight!  Ain’t love grand?

 

This is the old school house.  The corner is on the left of this photo.  We were actually just getting started when we came across this building, and it was the beginning of a very fruitful photography day.

I’m guessing it’ll take me into winter to start processing the photos I’ve been able to acquire over the summer.  I’d had some dry spells in recent memory, but this summer made up for everything.  I doubt I’ll be as busy this winter as last, so there will be plenty of time to share new images!

Smoke from a Distant Fire


I had to run several errands today, and being out in the smoke from wildfires in Canada, Montana, and other points west caused me to begin developing a headache pretty quickly.  I decided to knock off a little early and lie down at home to ditch my discomfort, but on the way I drove to the capitol for a few minutes to grab some shots for posterity’s sake.  For the title of this post I couldn’t help but take you back to 1977 and a little Sanford & Townsend.  Here are the resulting images:

 

Let’s start off with a shot straight south over the mall.  The horizon fades off pretty quickly.

 

Looking west over the DOT building, same deal.  I can’t see past the east hill of Bismarck.

 

Looking north is pretty much the same.  The big tower next to Dakota Carrier Network is obscured.

 

Looking out over the legislative wing, even “Harvard on the Hill” (my affectionate name for Bismarck Junior State College) is fading away in the haze of smoke.

 

For a while the sun seemed to blaze, so it may have emerged from behind a cloud up above all the smoke below.  So these shots have a far different tone to them.  Here’s looking northwest toward MDU’s corporate campus.

 

Normally you’d be able to see Bismarck Airport looking southeast like this.  Not today.

 

See the Missouri River?  Just barely, past the cathedral.  This view got more obscured as time passed.

 

Looking over toward the no longer functional water tower near Tower Avenue.  It isn’t actually on Tower Avenue; it’s on the south side of that block, technically on Avenue F.

 

The Energy Center of Excellence building, one of Bismarck’s finest, is the last thing you’ll see before the horizon goes white.

 

Just a fleeting glimpse of the river as we zoom in past the water tower.  The smoke really seemed to pack in between the trees.

 

Looking south, one could barely make out Kirkwood Plaza, Kirkwood Mall, whatever you prefer.  Even the Kirkwood Tower was only slightly visible.

Hopefully the people fighting these fires, and who have been fighting them for a long time, get victory with a little help from some precipitation in the next few days.  We’ll be beneficiaries as well – this smoke is a health hazard as well as an eyesore.  No, really, it does make your eyes sore.  Here’s the song reference for the post title:

 

An old car kind of weekend

A friend of mine had posted a picture of an old abandoned car recently that caught my eye not just because of the car body, but because of the unique landscape behind it.  He’d been roaming and had no specific idea where he took the photo, so I thought I’d go hunting.  I knew which county it was in and a general orientation, so I did some research on Google Earth and headed out.  I caught a few surprises along the way, including some vehicles – which I’ll focus on here (pun intended).

 

This is the first shot of the morning.  We had layered fog and some wild clouds, too…so the rising sun made for a pretty spectacular morning.  This is actually a drone photo, as I tend to use UAS cameras for shots even as low as 18 inches if necessary.

 

Next was this old guy, sitting next to a garage on a parcel of land I have wanted to photograph for two years.  I got the owner’s contact information in March of 2016 but was reluctant to call for permission last year because of all the NODAPL jackholes roaming Morton County last year and the increased fire danger this year.  Today was a beautiful day, I called and got permission, and the rest is history.

 

This little guy is on that same property.  I took a few different angles, but this is the one that worked out the best.  Morton County is so beautiful that I have to make sure to show some of those rolling hills in the background.

 

This truck isn’t going anywhere, at least until someone spoons some tires onto those rims.  It was fenced in with a bunch of cows anyway, and they seemed completely uninterested in the truck or me.

 

This is the vehicle I wanted to find.  See why the background caught my eye?  Very reminiscent of the Badlands.

 

One more, although you can imagine I shot tons of different angles.  The ground had begun swalowing up this car’s frame and floorboards. With such amazing terrain on all sides it was a regular smorgasbord of photo opportunities.

I had a blast working my way around south central Best Dakota, then bolted home for tacos.  What a fantastic way to spend my Saturday!