The new fall styles are in

Here we are…another autumn season! I have had a gut feeling for a while that this season will be short and sweet. So far we’ve got the sweet! The colors of the leaves have become spectacular.

I’m incredibly busy – still – so I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to get out with my camera to capture some fall colors before the leave are gone, but I’m going to give it my best shot! I already took an unscheduled day off to bolt to Pembina Gorge with my sweetie, and I hope to post those photos soon. So even if I’m tied up for much of this season, I won’t end up empty-handed!

I fall for this photo every fall

Morton County is one of the best places in North Dakota for a photographer. It has so much variety of terrain – Badlands-like formations in its southeast regions, scoria roads in the west, buttes and wetlands dotting the landscape within its borders, and plenty of the “old farm stuff” I like so much. Then there are places like this one.

This is perhaps my favorite shot of this spot. It may be familiar to you…it was the cover photo for a calendar produced by one of my clients. I love the sky in this one too. Guess what – I had to Photoshop the sky in the first one. Those darn cloudless skies again…but this one is 100% legit.

I like the first one because it gives Morton County some props. It will always be one of my favorite places to roam!

The grass was greener

I actually have a backlog of photos to share, and most of them are from prior to “the autumn browning” which arrived some time ago. So here’s a cool old barn I spotted while bolting to another photo location.

I thought this yellow house looked pretty cool, too…although it’s from yet another photo trip. It’s interesting…I can look at a photo like this and tell you where it’s at and the photo trip from whence it came. Considering I have around 150,000 photos in my collection, that’s saying something.

A slightly different perspective of the same old house on a hill. I was blessed with interesting skies that day. I actually dislike going out on clear, sunny days…clouds make photos so much more engaging, and I had perfect clouds to work with this day.

I’m going to work on that backlog of photos to share, and hopefully get some interesting winter photos to add to them! Stay tuned.

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.

Reflection

2021 has been as busy as 2020, unfortunately…although it has allowed some photography time. Sadly, I’m not posting them in a very timely fashion because I’m really busy. Take this photo, for instance: at the time when it was taken, there was still ice on Lake Sakakawea.

I really liked the reflection on the perfectly calm water. I’ve been doing a lot of personal reflection lately, too, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there just isn’t enough time. When I do take time off, I end up working at least as hard as when I’m on the job!

I’m working on a better work-life balance, but right now I’m still in the “as soon as I get _____ done…” phase. Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll get to do some more roaming with my gear and decompress a bit. Meanwhile, if I have opportunity, I do have plenty of photos to share. Stay tuned.

Stumped again

I found this stump in a pretty remote spot within the boundaries of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park one morning. I’d slept in the back of my truck, enjoying a hot summer night, and woke up just before the sun to head into the park for one of my favorite photos ever – one which had me slogging up the Little Missouri in bare feet to capture just the right angle at just the right time. Afterwards, I went poking around the park for a little while – shoes on, once I left the water – and discovered a few gems like this one. Then it was on to the Ice Caves, which was an adventure in itself.

 

Along the way, in a spot where you’d have to be going there to get there, I found this little eroded column with a cactus adornment.

 

One thing about hardy plants like weeds and cacti, they sure are determined! This was actually almost as tall as I, and it was an unexpected discovery as I trekked across previously unexplored (by me) territory.

I did make it to the Ice Caves, and I hope to go back someday…and hopefully the trip there will be as unique as the destination.

Right place, right time

I visited Yellowstone earlier this year, and it was simply the perfect time to do so. I got this amazing shot thanks to two people: a friend who pastors a church in Cody, who told me of the vantage point far away from where all the congestion of the usual tourists, and my wife, who dialed in the best location with regard to the trees in the foreground.

When I say it was the perfect time to visit Yellowstone, I wasn’t kidding. While Yellowstone is normally intolerable because of the sheer number of people everywhere, this time was the complete opposite. There was hardly anyone there.

This is the parking lot at Old Faithful. It’s statistically empty by normal standards. We walked right up to the geyser, stood front and center while it did its thing, and hopped back into the car…all in a matter of minutes.

I hadn’t expected to even get a vacation this year, but thankfully it worked out. I’d booked everything in advance and planned it since 2019, so any cancellation would have been an enormous disappointment. But I was able to squeak it in – important items at work which I simply couldn’t work around were cancelled or moved, my schedule opened up for the entire ten days, and my boss gave his blessing. So my family and I got to enjoy some much needed rest!

Naturally I have a ton of photos from this trip, but now I’m too busy again. So it’ll be a while till I post them.

Bismarck-Mandan area has the best autumn colors (Part 6)

Sadly, this autumn has been brief, cold, and gray…and I’ve been way too busy to get out. But last year was perhaps the best photo fall I’ve ever had. Worth reposting. Six posts in all, I believe. Here’s the sixth.

Digging deep for one last blast of fall photos. This one is from the beginning of fall, when leaves were just beginning to turn. I noted the appearance of that first little patch of orange in the background.

 

This tree had green and orange bursting forth. What an amazing sight!

 

One more shot into the valley…looking toward the Square Buttes from north of Bismarck.

 

This is at the Crown Butte Dam on my way home from a long and particularly productive photo roaming day.

 

Final photo of the night and of this series. The moon was up, the sun was going down, and I revisited this old automobile camping out under a hilltop tree. It was the perfect conclusion to a very therapeutic day of roaming.

That’s it for foliage photos, but I have tons of additional North Dakota shots to share. Stay tuned!