It’s raining again

I hope this puts the tune “Remarkable Cows” in your head – why should I have all the fun?  I took a little time to roam with my cameras on Friday, thinking I might get some drone time, but the rain dampened those expectations.  It also came down on these cows, some of whom showed that just because you’re big and slow doesn’t mean you’re stupid.  They found shelter on the porch of a dilapidated house in their pasture.

 

I don’t blame ’em – it’s no fun getting soaked when all you’re trying to do is get the weekend off to a decent start.  Unlike me, they have no waterproof gear.  So, mama took the kiddos to the porch for some respite.

 

It’s rather pragmatic, but I don’t know why I found it so amusing.  So amusing, in fact, that I didn’t notice that the chimney of the house had tipped over.  I only spotted that later when looking at the photos.

I don’t know why I found these cows so amusing.  I guess since I’m a city/mountain kid.  In any case, good for them.  We should all spend more time hanging out on the front porch.

A little color, nonetheless

While there have been some holidays, Friday was the first day I took off this year as far as I can recall.  Been a busy spring.  I headed out with my gear for a day of roaming, even though this is not a fantastic time for photography.  Everything is brown, no matter how nice the weather is outside.  But I did manage to find some color here and there.

The wind was ridiculous – there’s no way I was putting a drone in the air.  Of course, as soon as I rolled in to Bismarck the wind quit entirely.  I just had to laugh.  I didn’t come home empty-handed, even though I fought the wind at every turn.  Gradually I’ll roll out the pictures I brought home.

Hopefully the last snowy post of the season

On a very white, overcast day recently I decided to pay a visit to an old friend, a house that I’ve liked to check in on frequently that isn’t too far from my property.  I took the opportunity to explore a few new angles, as I had some drone batteries I needed to run down to 50%.

 

Since it’s already April, the bleak winter scenes are losing some of their appeal, but I was totally into it back when I flew to these shots.  Sometimes in the winter you get days where the air is just heavy – it’s like the entire outdoors is one giant soundproof room.  I love days like that.  They remind me of growing up in the Rockies where the mountains and their thick blanket of snow seem to absorb all the sound.  It’s so serene.

 

Of course, there was nothing serene about my propeller noise, but I did manage to enjoy the day anyway.  Coming home with some nice pictures to play with in Photoshop didn’t hurt, either!

Now I hope we can get to some green photos as quickly as possible.  With the snow gone, we’re left with brown grass and leafless trees.  This is why I prefer autumn in North Dakota to the spring; the weather is about the same, but in the fall we have green whereas in spring we’re stuck with brown.  Regardless, I look forward to the turning of the season.  It can’t happen quickly enough!

(Updated) This is about how bleak I feel right now

Well, actually this photo has more color than it should if I want it to convey my frustration with this continued wintery weather.  I should be riding motorcycles to work and doing all kinds of other fun Spring things, and I’m craving some green vegetation as well.  Now I hear there’s a chance for another winter storm next weekend…well, that’s just fantastic.

Well, you know what?  In that case, let’s make it a MONSTER.  I’m talking Spring 1997.  If we have to put up with this kind of meteorological nonsense, then let’s go all-in.  I want ten feet of snow, delivered sideways.  In fact, I dare Mother Nature (whom I don’t believe in) to hit me with your best shot.  Yeah, that’s right…a Pat Benatar reference.  Bring it.

(UPDATE): There will be no winter storm in the Bismarck-Mandan area.  How do I know?  Simple…I stretched the main belt in my snowblower last weekend, and had to spend a ridiculous amount to get new belts (one replacement, one spare) shipped here before the upcoming weekend and predicted storm.  As soon as I did that, the forecast models began nudging the area of heaviest snow southward.  If I just run out and by a sled we’ll be totally in the clear.  Maybe I should set up a GoFundMe…?

Old glory

I love when I spot something like this.  The Stars and Stripes.  Old Glory.  The colors.  I’m proud of my country, and I love seeing patriotism on display wherever I go.  I think it’s something we take for granted here in North Dakota.  Thankfully I don’t live in a place where people claim the flag stands for anything other than the greatest country on earth.

Blue cross (no blue shield found nearby)

Conditions were just right when I passed this old prairie church, giving me a cool (literally) look around the place.  While I didn’t catch any of that wonderful sunrise or sunset light that typically flatters an old abandoned prairie place, I did get color of a different sort.  One can arrange to go inside this old church, but I was just passing through and didn’t have the time.  Maybe on another journey…

I normally see things black & white, just not through my camera

When I sent a photographer friend of mine a color copy of this photo, he mentioned that it would look really cool as a black and white. I hadn’t thought about that, not only because the blue of the sky that day was unbelievably vivid, but also because I don’t normally go for black and white photography. I took his advice, and it really made the clouds stand out.

With that in the back of my mind I came across a couple of photos from last summer that I thought might lend themselves to black and white nicely. I’ve included them here. First is this abandoned church, which I believe is in Kief. It’s incredibly overgrown, and the black and white helps lessen its camouflage. My great uncle George, the ultimate outdoorsman, used his color blindness in similar fashion to spot deer when we were hunting in the mountains.

 

In the case of this abandoned school, it helps make things ominous on an otherwise sunny summer day.  Too bad this land was posted; it would have been cool to get past the gate.

Maybe down the road I’ll revisit a few of my shots and try to re-envision them as black and whites, and see if the technique reveals anything the full-color photos do not.

Love Shack and Elevation

I decided to title this post from a pair of song titles by two of my favorite 80s bands, although U2 didn’t do Elevation until 2000.  This little shack is nestled in the trees of Venturia, North Dakota.

 

It doesn’t have the tin roof (rusted) from the B-52’s song, but it’s still a wonderful looking little place.  I found this down the road from my next subject.

 

The sun was trying to punch a sunset through the clouds as I photographed this elevator, but it wasn’t having much success.  The overcast sky had just developed as I made my way into town.

 

I had a willing subject, though…this elevator stood tall and made for some nice shots.  A gloomy sky actually works pretty well on a wintery day.

After visiting these two spots and roaming around town for a couple of minutes, it was on to my next spot.  Eventually I ended up at the Berlin Baptist Church I wrote about earlier.