Uh oh. I knew this would happen

You’re probably familiar with the St. John’s Church up in Arena, North Dakota. Well, it’s time to pay it a visit as soon as you can; it is unlikely to remain intact for much longer.  If you know what to look for you can see in the photo above.

 

The block foundation has collapsed on both sides, but that’s nothing new; it’s been like that for a couple of years.  But the back has collapsed as well, causing these support beams to shift and tilt backward.  They have been the only thing keeping the church from collapse.

 

As you can see, the entire church has settled backward and the front section is beginning to pull away from the main structure.  That means the entryway and steeple may not last much longer.

 

Seriously.  Once this settles back far enough and the beams give away, it’s all over.  If you have never seen this church before, now’s your time.  If you’re familiar with it, better pay it a visit before the inevitable occurs. I’ve got a fond connection with this place, and it’s going to be heartbreaking to see it go…but the clock is ticking.

Left the hood open

It’s been a while since I’ve been in the right place at the right time with the sunset and an old farmstead.  Now that the kids are old enough, it’s time to take them (and their new cameras) with me.  Sometimes an old farm will have a surprise, like an old car or tractor, to add to the mystique.  In this case, all the ingredients came together quite nicely.  And I needed it; I’ve been a bit of a workaholic lately.

Grand

I don’t know why it struck me the way it did, but I suddenly found myself marveling at how large this barn is.  It must have been quite an undertaking to build it, and I bet it was a fantastic asset when this Fallen Farm was operating in its heyday.  That’s the sort of thing that, on its most basic level, enthrals so many people when they see old buildings in decay.

It’s a neat journey to imagine what the structures must have been like when they were a home, a business, and a way of life.  It’s remarkable what it must have taken to build them way back then, to get the materials and labor to a remote location and construct something that people would later drive by and photograph.  It’s nice to wonder how the mundane had become so enchanting over the years and even generations.  And, of course, to wonder how many lives had been affected by these buildings.

 

Finally, there’s the wistful realization that these structures don’t have much time left.  Many of my favorite Fallen Farms are no longer in existence.  Maybe later this year I’ll feature a few.

On the wagon

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!

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.

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.

Can’t pick my favorite angle

I’ll be up front about this: most of the angles of this old barn are similar. But I like them all, especially for their subtle differences.

 

And how about those clouds? What a fantastic sky on such a brilliant, sunny day. With a sky like this, it’s possible to get a good photo with just about anything.

 

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.

 

Do you have a favorite? I can’t pick one. I may have to down the road, but for now I find the entire batch satisfying.