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.

How you know you’ve got a keeper

Well, there are many ways…but this is one.  My wife was at a friend’s, painting a portrait of some sort, and on her way home she stopped to grab this photo for me!  I didn’t even know they were doing this in the windows.  I have to admit, when she first said there was a giant “6” in the front windows I didn’t connect it to the Bison.  Duh.  I’m glad she’s got an eye out for things like this!  Now I don’t have to go out in the cold tonight.

When the clouds are on your side

This barn sits south of Mandan, beckoning to me every time I’m near St. Anthony.  Of course, the correct pronunciation is more like “Snatnee” – sometimes even with some h’s in there for good Cherman measure – but I won’t get mired in the details.

 

Some mornings I like a blazing sunset, washing the landscape with brilliant color.  But overcast mornings have their way of bringing out color, too.  First off, there are none of the hard shadows of that piercing sunrise light.  Second, the muted tones lend themselves very well to the color already present.

I’m glad I had the clouds on my side when these photos were taken.  Much of the detail of a beautiful barn like this one would be lost in shadows, and I wouldn’t have been able to photograph both sides of it in one sitting!

Heat haze

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.

Some colour in the sky

I took off work a little early today and roamed Morton County for a bit.  I have to say that Morton County is one of the most beautiful parts of North Dakota (or, as I like to say, “Best Dakota”) due to its variety.  But with all the smoke in the sky, however, it was not a really great photography day.  Nevertheless, I found a few good shots…I will share them over time.

 

Here’s the first – the haze actually worked in my favor with this one.  I figured I had to seek out a subject that would benefit from a drab grayish sky, and thankfully this red roof fit the bill.

As for the post title, that comes from the song that my iPod appropriately served up via its shuffle feature (as it’s wont to do).  A perfect, dreamy tune for the drive back to town under such dreary canopy, since I’d been craving some color in the sky all along.  I think part of the feels I got from this song had to do with the realization that this part of Morton County was overrun by terrorists last year.  Gonna be a while until that memory fades.

I hope the fires in Montana relent soon, not just for the sake of those in danger but also for everybody downwind.  The smoke is a health hazard as well as a nuisance to photographers.  But I do yearn for those clear skies once again.

Dear Mister Postman, we have a President and Vice President

If you find yourself in the post office / federal building on 3rd and Rosser, you’ll be greeted with this wall upon entering the building.  It has the building directory, these large official seal plaques, and up until recently a photo of the President of the United States and his vice president.

 

Above the building directory a photo of the nation’s top executives has hung for as long as I can remember.  As I recall, it took a little while for the photos of The Preezy and Joe Biden to come down after the inauguration of our current president, but it’s taking even longer for the replacement photos to arrive.

 

“Insert president here” apparently.  All we have are hooks, no photos.  It’s easy to make pithy comments about the speed of federal bureaucracy, but really…seven months to hang a pair of photos?  That’s pretty slow.

update: I should point out that the building is operated by the GSA, and the Post Office is merely a tenant – just like the federal courts et al.

Backing the Blue on the road less traveled

back_blue_pallet_60d_15054-6_hdrFor the past few months, Highway 1806 has pulled different duty than usual.  If you don’t live south of Mandan or have things to do at Huff Hills or Fort Lincoln, you probably haven’t been down this road in a long time.  Oh, unless you’re in law enforcement, that is.

This pallet is a nice way for someone to Back the Blue on that road, as plenty of law enforcement would go by over the period of several months.  I’ve seen a lot of things done with pallets, but this one has got to be my favorite!  I’m all for showing our community’s appreciation for our law enforcement heroes.