Double Ditch Ice

I ventured out to Double Ditch tonight for a number of reasons, but one of them was to see if it was still blocked off for construction purposes.  Thankfully one can now drive in on the north road, although the walking path heading south to the stone hut is still marked as closed due to construction.

The ice was melted in spots, and definitely had its share of dirt blown into it.  In fact, it was pretty breezy tonight, too.  But I got some cool shots, satisfied my curiosity, and headed home to thaw my fingers.


Oh yeah – one of the other reasons I was out there was to check on my favorite post.  It’s still hanging in there, I’m glad to report, despite the continuous bank erosion.  I remember being able to walk around this post on the left side, although the land to the north of the fence is posted.  That part of the bank has been down below for a long time.  That’s some sturdy barbed wire holding this thing in place!

One thing I didn’t notice in the first photo is the developing clouds on the horizon.  For a better view of those you’ll have to check out the header on my blog’s Facebook page.

Silos – bad in intel, good in camera

The last thing we want in communications or intelligence gathering is a set of “silos” – self-contained paths of information that don’t share or combine with others – but they sure do look cool when they’re beside a lake on a beautiful North Dakota afternoon, with deep blue skies and puffy clouds overhead!

Little cottage

I’m not talking about the place with the best pancakes in Bismarck; rather, this quaint little building I found on a photo jaunt earlier this summer.  Isn’t it lovely?  I bet it would make a wonderful clubhouse…

Foggy memory

There was one perfectly foggy morning this summer where I was roaming northeast of Bismarck and got plenty of really cool shots.  As the sun came up and began to burn of the fog, this was one spot where it was still clinging to anything that could be loosely construed as a valley.

Bridges, not walls

That was the title of one of my speech textbooks in college (among other things, I hold a Speech Communications degree).  I took this shot south of Mandan a couple Fridays ago.  I was so excited to get the golden light from the impending sunrise, but once that happened I found myself seriously underwhelmed.


I like this shot a lot better, from a short while earlier and before the sun broke through the clouds.  I also like the angle better as well.  But part of the fun of this photography hobby is the experimentation part!


This “Studie” (short for Studebaker) sits on my friend’s property, waiting for me to drop by every now and then.  I keep planning on grabbing a tractor and dragging it so it faces north, so I can do a “drive-in” style photo the next time the Northern Lights make an appearance.  That may end up being next year at the soonest, now that winter weather is upon us.

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!