One Saturday in North Dakota

After I left On-a-slant village, I drove around the countryside looking for interesting views, abandoned stuff and beautiful landscapes. I didn’t have to go far, which was good since I had to pick up my husband at some point in the afternoon and didn’t want to make him wait around for ages.

This first shot is one of the only elderly barns I saw. Most of the others were modern; made of steel. But this one made me turn around and walk into the farmer’s field. It’s a little different than the ones most common in Wisconsin. Our barns usually have rounded roofs. I was so happy it was set on a little rise and that I could frame it with those trees. The other buildings and the house are in a small dip between the barn and the field. The colors are muted and I love the texture of field itself and the bit of green on the top of the roof.

Sometimes in company

At first I was hopeful I was looking at some pronghorn antelope, but no…just some white tails. This is mostly how I see them, but have never gotten a shot like this. I like it.

Flying the flags

The day before, we were eating lunch in Bismark and remarked that we’d never seen such a crop of filthy cars. This is why –


Pretty much all the roads in this area are dirt apart from state highways. Once you get out of the cities proper, it’s all dirt. I was very glad I wouldn’t have to clean the rental car.

Like up where I live, there’s plenty of nothing, but in ND it’s just a little different. There are more hills and the soil is a different color and of course the dearth of trees. This might be the Heart river, but I’m not sure. I didn’t notice a sign and I didn’t take note on the GPS at the time. Most of the other streams around look to be too small to be this waterway. It might not get much traffic when it isn’t frozen (it looks pretty shallow), but when it is lots of people and animals use it.

Run through the heart

Seems there might have been another bridge over it, but only the abutments are left. Isn’t the sky glorious? It contrasts so well with the colors in the hills. Very lucky indeed. North Dakota winters are harsh and unpredictable, but it was sunny and in the mid-30s. Almost like the mild weather was just for me.

Finding the traces

Strangely, at least to me, I didn’t find much in the way of abandonment. If there hadn’t been a barbed-wire fence blocking me from this field, I would have gone right in. Isn’t it an amazing little cabin? I love the light of the lowering sun. It shows up the interior just a bit and gives it depth and definition.

Brief day is done

On the flights from Wisconsin to North Dakota, I noticed the heavy forested areas giving way to agriculture across much of Minnesota. By the time you get to ND almost all the trees are gone. On the descent into Bismark I was goggling at the lack of trees and how barren things looked compared to northern Sconnie. I’ve never seen anywhere like it. So distinctive and different. I really liked it and am again glad to live in a country with so many different environments, ecosystems and geological formations.

Way past long

Hard to believe that shot is from the same day; just a few minutes from the river photos. That’s how fast the weather moves in in North Dakota. The wind is fierce. Often a blizzard will dump a lot of snow down only to have it blown into huge drifts leaving much of the rest of the ground bare, or nearly bare. I’m glad we have trees to protect us here in Wisconsin.

Rust never sleeps

By the time this posts I will have been in California for a week – what a change! We’re doing some tasting and visiting at our favorite wineries, but there is a road trip and an overnight in a place neither of us has been so that will be interesting. I hope I find something good to put in front of the camera.

11 thoughts on “One Saturday in North Dakota

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  1. I’ve always thought the Great Plains are a real challenge for photography. The spectacular vistas are (mostly) missing and thus one must find something visually interesting in the mundane. I vote that you succeeded in that with these photos.

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