I walked out of a lunch appointment on Friday and immediately noticed a jet on a very unusual trajectory over Bismarck, far out of position compared to the track usually taken on approach to Runway 13. It was a short leg, and they were still banking south of Main Avenue. Even better, it was a touch-and-go. Well, being the curious type, I had to see what was up. That’s when I snapped this shot and realized it was a Navy plane, not some wayward bus driver or something.
Just doing laps, as you can see. A few down the Runway 13 way, followed by a few down Runway 31. Cruising Main, almost. My flight app did give an ADS-B entry for this aircraft, but being a military plane that was all I got. The desktop app, however, was blank. No worries, it doesn’t take long with “the Google” to narrow down that this is a P-8A Poseidon. There’s a good chance it’s from Whidbey Island, home to those F-18s which stopped in for A&B Pizza about this time last year. AirSOC has an article about the P-8A at Whidbey Island, which you can read here.
This is a particularly cool aircraft (Wikipedia), even though it isn’t as exciting as a fighter jet. It’s a sub-hunter, and apparently a pretty modern one. Just like those F-18s last year, which are actually two-seater Super Hornets loaded with all kinds of electronic warfare equipment, this plane is chock full o’ goodies. First off, look at all the antennae on the top. The 737-800 this is based on doesn’t have those. It’s also capable of deploying anti-submarine weapons once it detects ’em. Sweet. Want to know more about some of the toys? Click on this link.
A few more laps, and they were out of here. I listened to a little bit of the CTAF banter on my handheld transceiver, then went on with my day. I had put in a long week, and it was time to knock off early and play photographer for a while.
My weekend travels brought me to this little farmstead, where I spent a few pleasant moments with a piece of old farm equipment with the morning sun’s rays streaming from the clouds in the background to the east. Satisfied with our moment together, I turned my attention to the nearby house.
I have a policy of not entering or otherwise tampering with old buildings, but to merely appreciate them from outside. Well, I found myself drawn to the front steps for a quick photo. That’s when I noticed something amusing therein.
The refrigerator in the entry was a happy find. No, I didn’t go in for a closer look, I was happy right here. But given the temperature early Saturday morning, the idea of there being some “cold ones” inside brought a grin to my face.
And as for that old piece of farm equipment? We’ll get to that another time.
2018 is an exciting time…plenty of new photo gear to try out. So I took a little time Friday afternoon to visit a church nearby that I hadn’t stopped to investigate before: the Glencoe Sloan church, southeast of Bismarck-Mandan on Highway 1804.
I had a good photography year last year, and one thing I did (but didn’t post on the ol’ Blog) was to chase down many old prairie churches. Some were abandoned, some were almost wreckage, but all were beautiful in their own way.
I hope to work on a calendar or some other project featuring these churches, but I still have a few I’d like to add. On my travel budget, that might have to wait for a bit. But you’ll see them, I can assure you.
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.
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.
Shoegazing is a style of music from my beloved 1980s, basically because the artists would stare downward with appropriate angst while belting out their melodies on stage. I could not ascertain what this windmill was focused on, but I doubt it had anything to do with Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine.
The last thing we want in communications or intelligence gathering is a set of “silos” – self-contained paths of information that don’t share or combine with others – but they sure do look cool when they’re beside a lake on a beautiful North Dakota afternoon, with deep blue skies and puffy clouds overhead!
I’ve been back to this church a couple of times, and I wish one of them would have been with autumn colors. I won’t go into detail here, but I’ve got a side project involving abandoned prairie churches that will probably contain a plethora of angles of this place. It’s truly a joy to work around!
Do I belie my 1970s upbringing with that post title? Too bad. My kids and I set out for this old Dodge with the intention of working the entire sunset with it as our subject. It was a wonderful trip. The kids are finally old enough to appreciate not only the photography aspect, but the beauty of hiking out in the middle of nowhere and exploring.
I have way more shots from this area than I’ve got the energy to post for now, but let it suffice to say that there was a different sunset in every direction. The first shot in this post shows the long, linear clouds that eventually blazed over Bismarck-Mandan at sunset. This shot shows the brilliant pinks and purples that greeted us from the north; and my kiddos took plenty of shot featuring a blazing orange and gold sunset to the west (behind the camera in this shot).
Not only was this photo jaunt a success, but I have turned the corner with my kids as far as convincing them of the joys of rural photography. Next time I head out roaming, I expect to have a couple of enthusiastic companions! Maybe each with a camera of their own…