I can't help myself, this picture of PJ is so adorable that I had to be the proud daddy and post it. We went to the opening of Papa's Pumpkin Patch and introduced him to a lot of new things! He's nine months old now, is quite mobile, and is ready to start talking soon. He's got his dad's big, bright blue eyes and blond hair, so I'm as happy as a dad can be.
If you haven't gone to the pumpkin patch, get out there soon! It's amazing what they do for the kids. I hadn't been there before, since I wasn't a dad until this fall. Don't get me wrong, it's neat for adults too, but until PJ I just didn't have the motivation to get out there. Then by the time I remembered to check it out...it was over for the season! Don't let that happen to you. You won't be disappointed!
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After a long day of organizing photos and walking around Papa's Pumpkin Patch with my wife and PJ, I let them take care of stuff like baths and took off to the sandbar with my camera. I wanted to see two things: what that pile of rocks under the bridge is, and what the new beam is that's sticking out of the west end of the new bridge.
That's when my attention was drawn to the silhouette of one of my favorite, most elusive subjects: the Great Blue Heron. This one was reasonably cooperative, although I never did get too close to him. It turned out that was just fine, as I wanted to include the railroad bridge and the river in the shot. I set up my tripod and was able to take this exposure. What's cool about the herons is that if they perceive a possible threat, they stand still to assess the situation. I clapped my hands to make this bird freeze in his tracks, then took the shot. This bird sat still for the eight seconds needed to capture the moment! Even zoomed into the full size picture, the water is blurred but the bird is not. What a cooperative subject! In fact, if you look at the Grant Marsh bridge in the background, you'll see streaks of lights made by cars driving over the bridge while the camera's shutter sits open.
By the way, the piles of rocks are so they can make a platform out into the water for a track-driven crane to move. Apparently the ones on the barges just aren't going to cut it. And the beam sticking out of the west end of the new bridge? It's a beam. Not that it was a mystery to start with, but it's hard to get a decent look at it while driving over the old bridge. Two questions answered, one awesome (and unexpected) photo to boot. Chalk up one more successful journey in the Bismarck-Mandan area!
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I was working out of state this past week and, on my way back home, got to enjoy Highway 85 through South Dakota. Wow. I don't do a whole lot of traveling that would introduce me to a long, straight shot through sparsely inhabited territory. At times one can see miles ahead, with the straight ribbon of road visible all the way to the horizon.
I made good time but, since the rest of the crew was with me, I was unable to stop and take any pictures. We were all in a hurry to get home after a long week. I'll have to make a special trip for that. It sure is good to be back in North Dakota though!
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This past weekend I ventured over to see the fine folks at the Huntington used book store. The reason: author Cathy Langemo was signing copies of her new book, Mandan, part of Acadia Publishing's "Images of America" series. I got mine...did you get yours?
I really enjoyed Ms. Langemo's book "Bismarck, North Dakota" and even found some photos in there of a personally relevant nature. For instance, a picture of our church building from circa 1912 is contained therein. It was quite a treat, since I was in the process of researching our church's history for an anniversary celebration. I also spotted a somewhat modern shot of the Federal Building on 3rd & Broadway, adjacent to my old home at KFYR-TV. My friend Jamie Dunnigan's car is parked in that shot. In addition, the book is filled with a lot of interesting facts and photos.
I haven't yet had the time to give the Mandan book a thorough read. It's a very busy week for me, and I don't want to give it a superficial glance. I haven't read past the Introduction, but that part alone is full of a lot of interesting local history. I highly recommend these books.
You can find these at your local B&N, but I'd rather suggest that you visit the Huntington store on east Main Street in Mandan instead. If there's another book signing somewhere, of course I suggest attending. I sure will, and hopefully I'll remember to bring my Bismarck book to have it autographed!
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When I had more time on my hands, I used to do a regular Thursday Night Sunset series. Lately it's been more of a target of opportunity, as I haven't been able to set time aside for as many photo adventures. This was from one of my favorite windmills this weekend.
I wasn't sure what I was going to do for sunset, and then time got away from me. This was one of my "old standby" locations, and I dashed to it just in time to capture the last bits of color from the waning sunset.
I just love old farmsteads, old wellheads, and old windmills. This weekend at the downtown street fair I ran into my junior high art teacher, Mr. Paukert, who I haven't seen since 1982 or so. As it turns out, he has an eye for the same sort of North Dakota features, and was selling his work. I was glad to see him and to be reminded that I'm not the only one with a soft spot for the sights of North Dakota.
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