After a month hiatus…the state Constitution

I know…I haven’t posted in a month. Been busy. But I’ve also been taking pictures, just not posting them. Like this one: the original handwritten draft of the state’s constitution!

I had the good fortune of sauntering about the capitol on a day when state agencies were putting on displays for the legislative session…and I have to say, the State Historical Society probably stole the show with this one!

Not only did they have the Constitution (I don’t recall if it’s proper to capitalize it, but I’m such a fan of this sort of thing I’m going to anwyay) on display, but they also flipped through it carefully. Yes, I got to touch it.

Want some preamble? We’ve got preamble. And a little bit of Article I, too! Ah, I miss the fine art of good penmanship…

How about that…this is an incredible piece of history! Only in North Dakota can you witness something this cool. I did keep an eye out to see if Nicolas Cage was lurking in Memorial Hall somewhere…

How’s that for an amendment? This was the first draft, after all. It was written by multiple authors and contains notes of input from others.

Edits. In the days before Liquid Paper, one simply had to cross things out and write in the changes. After all, this is a draft. Or at least that’s how it started out…

And here are the signers. Pretty wild, seeing all these signatures of men who contributed to, and ultimately approved by adding their names to, this incredible document.

Remember what I said about my love of the lost art of penmanship? Look at these glorious signatures. I might have to dig out my old calligraphy markers and give it a shot. They’re certainly all dried up by now.

Needless to say, this made my day. It made my year, and this took place only a few days into 2023! It’s going to be hard to top something like this. Thank you to the State Historical Society for bringing this piece out for people to view! I suppose some time later it’ll occur to me that these are among the most significant photos I’ve ever taken. History is so amazing.

Hey! In Maddock

One of my favorite road trip activities is to exclaim, “Hay!” whenever we encounter a bunch of hay. Of course, as a city kid I’m not very astute at distinguishing hay from straw, so I had better be careful if I have a farm kid with me. Thankfully I was safe when I saw this beauty while rolling through Maddock a while back.

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Gnarly, dude

I saw this tree along a gravel road in Morton County and had to stop and take a few shots. I had the right sky for something so twisted and nearly grotesque. What a testament to the tenacity of creation!

Clearly this tree has endured some things, but it doesn’t appear as though it’s given up. Reach for the sky!

I’m no Tim Burton, but I see an elegance, a grace, even a beauty in this tree. That’s why I jammed on the brakes as I careened down the adjacent gravel road at 45 mph, threw it in reverse (I drive a manual transmission truck, so I can “throw” it into any gear I please), and whizzed back to take a few shots of this remarkable tree.

The Wreck of the Abner O’Neil (No Gordon Lightfoot parodies forthcoming)

Recently a group of local kayakers made for a viral sensation when they posted photos of the wreckage of the Abner O’Neal, a steamboat from the 1890s. The river’s low levels have allowed the wreck to begin poking out of the water, and anyone coasting downstream from the Steckel boat landing is likely to encounter it. Thus the sensation.

I finally got out there myself. I’d been eagerly awaiting a time like this ever since the State Historical Society posted about it a while back, which allowed me to figure out its exact location. As a certified SCUBA diver, I’d heard about this site but never discerned where to look for it.

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Think Spring

As Austin Powers would say…I’m spent. That’s right, this is my last frost (okay, Rime Ice) photo. I might have more left in the “unedited” category, but they’re going to have to remain in limbo for the foreseeable future.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Spring. Since I pretty much worked straight through 2020, I’m really hoping 2021 will make up for it. I’ve accrued a ton of vacation time, I’ve worked hard to get myself in the best physical condition I’ve seen in a long time, and I have big plans along with some re-evaluated priorities. So bring it on!