This wagon was an unexpected find last weekend, and one of my favorite rainy day photos. Actually, considering I had a very short window of time in which to operate, I had a very profitable day from a photo hobbyist standpoint!
Speaking of “on the wagon”, I have been abstaining from drinking pop for eight months now. I sleep better, and I know it’s better for me. I’ve had an appetite spike since ditching caffeinated fizzy stuff, so I have to be careful of that. Headaches have diminished, though, and my wife is happy. But drinking water is so boring!
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.
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.
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.
Here’s a closer shot of the face of this fallen structure. I was actually here because of a prairie church right across the road, but once I was done photographing that building I had to dart over here. These turned out better than the church, actually, due to too many trees in the way of the church building.
I took the opportunity to “explore the space” a bit, trying a few different framing options. I couldn’t decide how near or far I wanted to be, how wide or tight I wanted the shot to be. So I went for all of ’em.
A friend of mine from Jamestown stopped in my studio a couple of weeks ago and told me about a really neat old church he’d passed on a road trip for work. I didn’t know there was a church where he described it, and none of my resources showed it there, so I had to go check it out last weekend. Here’s what’s left of it: Berlin Baptist Church.
My urgency was because, once we located the spot on Google Earth, I could tell that the roof had been stripped and all the rafters were visible. It wasn’t the kind of random thing that weather or time would do; this church was being dismantled. To be honest, I didn’t even expect it to still be here.
It looks to me like someone just plain ran out of time last year, and had to stop working on the structure. The foundation and its windows are intact. The floor is mostly intact as well. The roof and walls have been removed up to the front portion of the church, where the balcony and steeple remain…for now.
This was an amazing building…and wow, what a spot! The cemetery is on the left of this photo, in the background to the north. To the south is a large frozen lake. I can only imagine what this place was like in its heyday.
The frozen lake helped convey to me the bleak future for this old church. It’s sad to see them go. It isn’t that people quit going to church or abandoned their faith, but that so many small communities are fading away and smaller families mean fewer butts in the seats. After a while, there aren’t enough people to keep even a small church going when you’re out on the prairie.
This was a soundly built church building. I don’t normally crawl around or in old buildings I find, but I had to make an exception here. Besides, it hadn’t reached this condition through deterioration. It was still solid, just waiting to be parted out.
It got dark really fast while I was gaping in awe at this breathtaking find, so I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of the sign until I was on my way out. The church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1988, meaning it was here before the Dakotas achieved statehood.
I imagine I’ll have to check in on this magnificent church’s remains this spring before they vanish for good. So many of my favorite prairie places are disappearing, so I’m always glad to know that I got photos of them before they faded into history. I didn’t get to see this one before it was almost completely gone, but in its current state I think it tells a moving story.
I stumbled upon this leaning barn over a month ago. In fact, I’d forgotten I had these photos of it! It sure was cool, though. I’m always worried when I see barns like this, as photogenic as they are. With such a lean, it’s hard to imagine they’ll be standing for long.
There were some other cool buildings in the area, but I only had so much time and battery – and my fingers were getting cold. Despite the limited flight time I was able to come away with some pretty neat pics!
I spotted this fella southeast of town a few weekends ago, and hung out to capture the rays of the sunrise in the background. First trip out with two new lenses and a new 360 degree camera, so I was stoked! This is actually in the yard of the farm I posted about in my recent “Cold ones in the fridge” post.