School’s out for summer

This schoolhouse sits in the town of Griffin, which some would label as a ghost town. I don’t know about that, but I didn’t take the time to find out. This was a surprise discovery I saw from the road as I was bolting further west for a couple of photo targets.

This is the Langberg School, located in the far southwest corner of the state. The storms which had clouded the skies just a short while earlier had moved on, giving me a nice, sunny summer backdrop for this photo.

It’s sad to see these old schools in such disrepair, just like the churches and farmsteads. But they’re incredibly photogenic, and fun to hunt down (and discover along the way).

Sentimental startup

I wasn’t able to see the warbirds which stopped in Bismarck this week (aside from a glimpse of them circling town), but I have been able to see them on previous visits. This is a video I shot with my boy back in 2013, as the B-17 “Sentimental Journey” started its engines and began to taxi out for a flight around the capital city.

Fox on the lawn

This little guy decided to poke his head in the window at our vacation condo while we were having supper. My wife’s cooking smelled REALLY good, and he took notice.

We don’t feed wildlife, but he decided to put on quite a show for us. Apparently he figured we’d be more likely to toss him some chow if he looked as adorable as possible.

Thankfully I had my camera handy, so I was able to capture some nice shots from his display of cuteness. That didn’t help his chances of getting any grub, but he didn’t know that.

I have to hand it to him, he’s quite photogenic. I’m pretty sure he’s well practiced in this routine. It wasn’t working on me, though.

On that note, he took off along the shore to find someone else more likely to indulge him. Thankfully the eight little baby Mallards who had been hanging out along the shore were nowhere in sight, because I’m quite sure a couple of them would have become a meal.

I’m glad our guest decided to stop in, but I’m adamant that feeding wildlife is not in their best interest. It was a good lesson to teach my kiddos, while getting some great photos at the same time.

Finally

I’ve passed this old farmhouse on Highway 83 innumerable times. I’d marked it in my GPS as a place worth investigation years ago. I finally seized an opportunity to check it out one evening (as you can tell by the long shadow), and it did not disappoint.

Nestled in plain sight

After several grueling months, I did something I haven’t done in a long, long time: take a vacation. Along the way, I spotted this wonderful old barn along the highway. I couldn’t help myself: I had to pull off to the side of the road and snap a few shots. What a great start to what has been a fantastic vacation.

Signs of a sense of humor

I know it’s now called Auto Value auto parts store, but it’ll always be Hedahl’s to me. When I go there for things like the absolute best floor squeegee ever, or paint supplies and gaffer’s tape, I always end up in the paint section.

When you go to the paint section of the store, you go through this doorway. What is cool about it, and I noticed this a long time ago but don’t remember blogging about it, is the sign hanging at the top of the doorway.

I suppose you have to be a King of the Hill fan to get this, but if you do…it’s hilarious. I got quite a chuckle out of it, but my kids had no idea what I found so funny. Inside jokes are the best jokes.

Naturally, you’d wonder what the sign will say on the way back out of the paint section. Well, you wouldn’t be disappointed.

Who doesn’t appreciate a good Christopher Walken reference? Now I’m going to have visions of him dancing in the video for Weapon of Choice, or perhaps even the hilarious Talkin’ Walkin podcast done by Kevin Pollack, I presume as an homage.

It’s great to see that folks around town have a sense of humor and a penchant for inside jokes!

Topless at sunset

I spotted this old barn a long, long time ago, but had never really spent any time with it. I had to fly some drone batteries down to 50% for storage (LiPo batteries do not like to be stored at 100% charge) and took the opportunity to investigate. While the wooden top of the barn is gone, the concrete base is well intact.

It wasn’t long before the colors in the sky began to change, as I’d arrived while the sun was getting real low (obvious Incredible Hulk / Avengers reference here). While this presented some interesting challenges due to shadows, it also gave me a broad spectrum of sky to work with.

As the sun vanished beyond the horizon, I got one last splash of purple. And that was that. All batteries were discharged to the proper range, I was out of usable light, and it was time to head home.

Weekend at Brady’s

I made it to Mandan briefly this weekend for a family affair, and accomplished something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time: take a photo of the Brady’s Used Auto Parts building. It’s still shocking to see it in this state, as Brady’s has been a landmark for so many decades. Gee, I feel old.

The land is posted, so I had to take these photos through the fence. Thankfully I had some nice conditions to work with, and my hands fit through the rectangles in the fence just enough to work my phone camera!

One last pano to fit it all in. End of an era…

My fondest memory of Brady’s was when I pancaked the two driver’s-side rims on the $25 car I was driving at the time (long story) and he helped me pick out two replacements for ten bucks a piece. That seems like a lifetime ago, too. Man, I gotta knock off this reminiscing!

Caught out of position

I haven’t had much time to get out with my cameras for a few months, but I tried to take a brief pause from my work day today to catch the B-52 flyby. I had been clued in about the flight path a little earlier, and wanted to shoot from the south, but I couldn’t find an angle I liked. I ran out of time and punted, shooting instead from the north.