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.
The river valley has been breathtaking this year. I have had friends comment that the cottonwoods haven’t given this kind of color in years, perhaps due to fungus or other issues, possibly even going back to the flood.
Fall in North Dakota is always a gamble; some years we get an early frost and the leaves drop while still green. Other years we get nice fall colors…for a day. This year, despite a couple of days of punishing wind, things have held on and provided lots of enjoyment.
An instructor once told me, while demonstrating part of the parachute rig on the standard issue Army F-4 pilot flight suit, that “if you eject and land in a tree in North Dakota, you deserve to die.” We don’t have the expansive forests some states enjoy, but the trees we do have sure put on a show this year. The skies helped, too.
Am I done with fall photos? I think I still have a few. I’ll share them here, and then I’ll work backwards. I’m pleased to report that, in addition to a plentiful autumn photo harvest, this has been a very fruitful summer for me in that regard as well! I’ve spent my time taking them, and will have all winter this year to steadily post new ones as I find time to process them.
I had to run several errands today, and being out in the smoke from wildfires in Canada, Montana, and other points west caused me to begin developing a headache pretty quickly. I decided to knock off a little early and lie down at home to ditch my discomfort, but on the way I drove to the capitol for a few minutes to grab some shots for posterity’s sake. For the title of this post I couldn’t help but take you back to 1977 and a little Sanford & Townsend. Here are the resulting images:
For a while the sun seemed to blaze, so it may have emerged from behind a cloud up above all the smoke below. So these shots have a far different tone to them. Here’s looking northwest toward MDU’s corporate campus.
Hopefully the people fighting these fires, and who have been fighting them for a long time, get victory with a little help from some precipitation in the next few days. We’ll be beneficiaries as well – this smoke is a health hazard as well as an eyesore. No, really, it does make your eyes sore. Here’s the song reference for the post title:
Here are a couple more shots from Friday, when I didn’t let the haze of smoke from fires in Montana, Canada, et cetera get in the way of a great photo day. I’m actually starting to like the drab background it provides, without any cloud distractions and the change to the color cast of the light in the foreground.
Take this shot, for example. I was going to post it later on its own with something about “leaning” in the title, but it is actually a great example of the diffused light provided by the haze. And, just like a previous photo, the color of the otherwise drab building stands out against the gray background better than a brilliant September blue.
More to come! I went out thinking the light was giong to kill any chance of good photos but came home with a whole pack of candidates.
Oh yeah…the post title comes from this dreamy song by Walls… a wonderful little instrumental track just perfect for roaming the North Dakota countryside.
This was actually my first photo of the morning last Sunday when I went out before church to chase the dense fog. I’d been watching the data and was certain that we’d have a thick blanket of fog in the morning, and I was right. It was fantastic!
I suppose you could attribute inspiration for the post title to a song if you prefer. My iPod has been serving up some wild 80s stuff lately, such as the Bats, Stranglers, Daysleepers, Severed Heads, and the like, so why not a little Robert Scott?
As the old poem goes, the fog comes on little cat feet. The hail on June 9th, 2001, however…well, that came in its own indescribable fashion. The most noteworthy memory of this is the two underpasses on 7th and 9th Streets filling up with ice and water. I was at a friend’s house that evening and remember walking to Thayer Avenue just east of St. Alexius to watch the city clearing chest-high piles of hail stones with a payloader and grader!
In the process of going through old motorcycle racing video tapes last week I found the footage of this event, footage I had presumed lost. This was before I was into photography or videography, so even though I had a digital camcorder at the time I did not have a steady hand. But shaky amateur footage is better than none, right? Have a look:
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it was over ninety degrees out that evening, so once all the hail fell it began to melt and give off steam. That’s why it seems so dark and foggy, it was a sauna outside. My camera gave multiple high humidity warnings before actually shutting down to protect itself. 12th Street was half river, half avalanche for the duration of this storm. It was unbelievable. The hail piled up in a low spot at 12th Street and Thayer Avenue, forcing the city to bring in heavy equipment and dig/plow it out. . The clouds were incredible. And the underpasses needed to be dug out and cleared by that same sort of heavy machinery.
Do you remember this storm?
A couple of nights ago I saw these really wild clouds east of town, and had to snap a photo once I got home. They remind me of jellyfish in a way…tendrils hanging down and all that. Or perhaps something from a science fiction feature?
Work and stuff is so chaotic right now that I haven’t had much time to chase any sunrises or sunsets, so to catch these clouds at such an opportune time was a really nice break!
In several years past the leaves have fallen from the trees so quickly that there hasn’t been much opportunity for photography. 2016 will not count as one of those years. While I’ve been beyond busy lately, I did manage to take a couple of trips roaming around and pointing my cameras at some of the fall colors.
I have some other fall photos too, but it’s a busy morning – so I’ll have to stop there for now.