Stone in love

I love it when surprises present themselves as I amble along on my photo roaming trips. This is one of them. In fact, it’s merely one building of many sitting on a little farmstead west of here a ways.

I’d love to say I have a ton of closeups here, but the mosquitoes were far too large, plentiful, and aggressive. They didn’t seem to care one bit how much Deet I’d slathered upon myself. So I worked the area a bit, ducked back into the truck, and continued on to my next planned photo waypoint. But I marked this one in my GPS, and I intend to be back.

Hut on a hill

I spotted this little guy right along the road on a recent trip up Highway 1804. It’s actually in a farm yard, but I found this little building and pair of trees much more interesting than the old house.

Given the lean of this little shack, I don’t know how much longer it’ll be around. I have a lot of photos of places that are no longer there…perhaps over the winter I’ll look back through them and post some updates.

Rain at the Row

I was on my way to a pair of elusive photo destinations I’ve been trying to reach forever, and figured I had a couple of minutes to veer over to Thresher’s Row. I haven’t been there for a while, so I figured it was time.

What was nice about this particular time was the color in the grass, and the wispy rain in the background.

I took advantage of a break in the rain and flew for some video and airborne stills briefly, getting back on the ground just in time before the rain resumed. Then it was time to move on to an even bigger adventure.

Boom

I had some time to kill on a sunny day recently, and I went out roaming as I’m prone to do. I found this old red machine southeast of Bismarck, its boom reaching for the sky, and had to stop. I’d actually marked this particular piece of equipment in my GPS years ago – 2008, to be exact – but hadn’t come across the right conditions for a photo. This, however, was my day. The right sun, the right sky, and the beautiful green field came together to finally grant the photo I had in mind.

When the elevator tries to bring you down…

I just heard Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” before choosing this elevator photo for today’s post. It’s one of two near Danzig, North Dakota. My wife and I were on a photo trip, and I’d been talking about small towns and elevators and train tracks, what happens when the trains stop coming, and that sort of thing. It’s sad to think of towns that have declined over the years, but if I start to become too wistful about the idea I can cheer up with a nice photo.

Lean forward

I spotted this barn on a recent photo trip, on my way to an entirely different objective. I’m glad I noticed it; in fact, the farmstead upon which it sits was a photographic gold mine. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

The barn itself has settled, the walls long gone, but the roof is hanging in there pretty well. I liked the angle of it pitching forward. I wish I could have seen it before it fell, but it still felt pretty grand on this sunny Friday afternoon.

One more for the road

I ran out of time on a recent photo trip, losing my race with the sun toward my last objective. I had a spot in western North Dakota I would have liked to reach at sunset, but I found so much good stuff along the way that I simply ran out of time. No worries…this is one of the unexpected stops I made along the way, and it ended up being my last photo location of the day. You can see how low the sun is already.

I tried to make it as far west as I could anyway, since I needed to fuel in Bowman for the trip home, but as I scrubbed the bugs off my windshield and listened to the gas pump churning away I made the decision to call it a day and head back to base. With all the opportunities I had to wield my cameras and drone that day, I was quite satisfied.

Back on its haunches

A friend from Pensacola and I recently took a trip up to Arena to check on the old church which has been the anchor of the town’s remains. While it still stands, technically, I think a more accurate term would be that it sits.

The concrete floor has finally given way, and the wooden braces have punched through. That allowed the entire building to shift backwards, which I believe is the only reason it’s still precariously upright.

As you can see here, the fact that the church pivoted back and onto the dirt behind the back wall is what has kept it upright after the failure of its supports.

Sadly, that’s also what is tearing this building in half. The front part of the church is separating due to the shift in the building and the lack of support beneath the area where the two parts join.

The front of the church is still being propped up by what’s left of the cinder block wall, but that isn’t going to last much longer.

The front of the church has also pulled away from the steps.

The steps themselves have begun to pull apart as well.

The back of the church looks okay at first glance, but you can see the extent of the damage at the front as the two parts of the structure are separated even further on the east side.

Naturally the chimney was an early causalty. I took this photo a long time ago.

So, sunset is on the way for this old church. It’s one of my favorite local photo spots, and it’s sad to see it go. Often when a building gets to this state of disrepair and instability, responsible parties destroy it before time does the inevitable. After all, it is unsafe. I’ve tried to stop by periodically to chronicle the demise of this beautiful little church, and I don’t care to imagine the day when it no longer remains.

Valve job

I noticed something really cool while taking photos for the owner of a farmstead northwest of the Bismarck-Mandan area. Obviously it was a beautiful day, as you can tell from the green pasture and blue sky above.

This is an inventive way to block the door of the shop. The hasp doesn’t quite line up okay, but by grabbing a spare valve and dropping it into place, it’s easy to keep things closed.

I love the ingenuity of rural North Dakota.

One for the bucket list

I spotted this old farmhouse while out roaming a couple years ago, and was curious about it (naturally)…but, since there were cattle on the land, I wasn’t about to try getting any closer (including by air). I always planned on swinging by again to try getting a better look, but I had no idea when that might be.

Fast forward to Spring 2019 (Did we have a spring? I may have missed it.) – I was poking around south of Bismarck-Mandan, and figured I’d try my luck despite the wind. Thankfully, I was able to fly around a little bit during a lull in the stiff breeze.

This house sits on a hill, providing a nice angle from above. It looks like at least one addition was built at some point.

The funny thing is, due to the wide angle of the drone camera, I kinda like my original photo, shot from the road with a telephoto lens. It gets the water in there better, as well as those lovely Morton County hills.

I’m told that this house may not remain much longer, so I’m glad I was able to investigate a bit – at least enough to satisfy my curiosity. There’s a growing list of sites for which I was too late, and a comparable number of sites which have disappeared since I photographed them.