Colorful trio

This has been a challenging year for autumn photos. The trees appear to have had a really rough year, especially along the river bottoms. That means a photo like this, with trees full of leaves of any color, is a real commodity in 2023. Hopefully the trees make a full recover for next year!

A spot of color

Most of North Dakota in a nutshell here. We ain’t exactly known for our trees, ya know. But every now and then there’s a beauty like this one, and it stands in stark contrast to the open prairie. I like to think that makes us appreciate them more. After all, we don’t have many opportunities to experience that “can’t see the forest for the trees” thing!

Autumn road

I love a cloudy day when the leaves are changing. It wasn’t only cloudy, though, it was rainy. And rain plus dirt tends to equal mud. I found a lot of mud on the back roads of Morton County. In fact, I had quite a time pressure washing it from my truck when I got home! But shots like this make it all worthwhile.

Cabin in the rain

I love this little cabin. I check on it every time I drive Around the World, if you’re old enough to know what that means. This time, while checking out the fall foliage, I got what I think might be my first rainy autumn photo of it. This year has been unusually green, so the leaves have a really nice contrast to their surroundings this year.

I’ve heard multiple people mention how green this year has been. Even though much of our state has technically been in a drought, around here it has been a different story. We’ve also been spared from destructive thunderstorms and late summer wildfires. I’m glad to say it’s been a relatively uneventful summer, from a meteorological perspective. Now hopefully it’ll be a nice photogenic autumn!

First day of autumn? I was there.

I had some spare time – okay, I didn’t, but I took the time anyway – to finally get out with my cameras for a while in search of this year’s autumn photos. I’m glad I had a nice, cloudy day to work with; photographing autumn leaves works so much better in the diffused light of a cloudy day. Normally the clouds are my nemesis, but not today!

I started at Fort Lincoln, and what better place to start than at this old abandoned car? Yes, it’s out there…if you’ve never found it, you haven’t wandered around the park enough yet.

I’m actually a little late; that golden tree behind the car would have looked fantastic a few days earlier, before it dropped most of its leaves. Even so, the car looks pretty cool with that hint of color behind it.

I wandered to the north end of the park road to check out some of the stone staircases, and this one definitely came through for me. If you want to do the same, the lower staircases still have green leaves on all sides. There’s still time…I doubt it’ll be too long before all those leaves turn gold. The trick is getting there before they drop, like the tree behind that car I mentioned earlier.

The top of the hill looks pretty spectacular, as do the trees lining the road up to the blockhouses. It’s not easy to get an angle of both, by the way. I didn’t bring a drone, as I don’t have one that’s waterproof. The rain was off and on all day today.

But this is my favorite shot of my Fort Lincoln visit. It took a lot of adjusting to get this just right: I wanted to get the earth lodge positioned just right beneath the tree, avoid the other lodges to the left and right, include a bunch of the texture of the clouds, and show a little of the grasses between me and my subjects. It was a matter of scooting a foot or two this way, another foot or two that way, constantly adjusting my position in two dimensions until I got what I wanted. And it worked!

I have some additional photos from the day, too, after I left the park and meandered around Morton County. Those will be posted next.

My new favorite autumn spot: Tetrault Overlook

I’ll come right out and say it: the single greatest hindrance to my photography hobby is gas money. More directly, the lack of gas money is an enormous obstacle. So when I got the chance to head to the Pembina Gorge area with my sweetie, I jumped all over it. I had some recommendations from friends, and this one turned out to be perfect…

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He brakes for rainbows

I don’t know what kind of bushes these are, but I do know they’re amazing. My sweetie first told me about these as she showed me some photos she took with her phone while out for a walk. Naturally I had to investigate them for myself! Here are a the first of many photos from this area. I presume you caught the B-52’s song title reference in the title of this post…

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It’s easy being green…and gold

Shifting gears slightly, let’s take a look at a feature which became my favorite this year: light green colors mixed with gold as the leaves were mid-metamorphosis. It seems we have such quick autumn periods most years – and I’ve been so darn busy for the last few years anyway – that being able to enjoy the leaves in mid-transition hasn’t been a luxury available to me. Well, this time I got to enjoy it…

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