Pick-up shot

It was a nice, sunny morning.  I was roaming the county roads, checking out spots I’d marked in my GPS long, long ago.  There were some targets of opportunity I’d marked but never had the chance to actually photograph.  This was one of them: a windmill which has seen better days, yet is still standing tall.

I always find little extra bonus items on these roaming trips, and today was no exception.  It’s amazing how sometimes I can spot something that I swear I must have driven past at least a handful of times, but which has obviously been there all along.  That was the case with this windmill.

 

The moon wanted to get into the picture.  I wish the angle would have been better to break out the telephoto and cheat the perspective to make the moon appear larger in this shot, but I just didn’t have physics on my side that day.

I love to roam.  As things start changing for Autumn, I’m now faced with a primal urge to get out and chase stuff with my camera, investigate things I’ve mapped for future photo jaunts, and make the best of the time before the trees become barren and the landscape a dull gray.  Winter has its own opportunities, but September is my favorite.  Hopefully, although my schedule is absolutely stacked, I can make the most of it.

Road of rediscovery

I’ve been going back through my photos and keyword tagging the ones I’ve missed or neglected over the past few…well, for a long time.  I’m finding a lot of gems that I’ve never posted, good intentions and all that notwithstanding.  This is one of them.

The sad part is that I’ll never be able to get this photo again.  Developers have begun to carve up this landscape north of Bismarck, so those golden fields are now beginning to show homes and sheds.

I’ve run into this situation quite a bit lately, where a photo subject or setting I’ve treasured in the past has disappeared.  Sometimes it’s like this, where development has encroached upon the spot and cluttered it up.  Other times it’s an old farmstead or windmill that’s collapsed into history.

I could get all wistful and bemoan the fact that these subjects or spots are lost forever, but I choose to focus on the fact that the photos I did get are that much more precious.

Got it before it’s gone

I first noticed this windmill along, long time ago.  I’ve never gotten a close look at it, though, because there have always been cattle on the land where it sits.  Among the rules I have for my photo hobby are tenets like obeyance of No Trespassing signs, not entering old structures (out of safety and respect), and avoidance of disturbing livestock at all costs.  So I’d always just continue on down the road.

This particular windmill is being encroached upon from all sides as new neighborhoods continue to be developed in every direction.  They’re awfully close at this point, which leads me to believe that at some point this windmill will disappear just as some of my other favorites have.  Thankfully, after an evening of playing with the kiddos (and every water snake and frog they could catch and collect) at the lake nearby, I was able to get a closer look without causing a disruption.

 

Even now, this is pretty much the only angle available, unless one wants a highway or someone else’s backyard.  It was sufficient.  I got a little bit of a sunset, although I had to push the colors a bit.  Those darn horizon clouds always snatch the sunset away early!  As you can see, the head of this windmill has seen far better days.  Regardless of its physical condition, however, I think it’s inevitable that it’ll be gone in the not-so-distant future.  Unless the cows or their owner say otherwise.

I need some color

Everything’s been so blah lately because of the smoke from fires which, thankfully, are not in North Dakota.  But we get the byproducts.

I’ve got friends in Redding who are on edge because of the perennial California wildfires, friends in Hawaii who have to deal with the “vog” (volcanic fog) from the constant lava flows, a friend from Fiji who’s actually in the States for a while but I’m sure is keenly aware of yesterday’s massive earthquake offshore.  I don’t know if any of my old acquaintances are in regions of Canada that are on fire (probably, since most of western Canada is ablaze).  My old stomping grounds in Montana is having its share of issues as well.

As a photographer, I can whine about the fact that I don’t have any blue skies with puffy clouds to work with, and even when the occasional thunderstorm rolls through it’s obscured by the gray stuff.  Hardly compares to the real-world problems that others are experiencing, this smoke being only an indicator of what’s far worse upwind, but it’s still got me a bit grumpy.

Before the fires really ramped up, I stopped at this church to take some photos from different angles for a project I’m working on, and my favorite (even though it doesn’t fit the project layout) is this one featuring the colored glass in the steeple.  And, even though the sky is gray, at least it has some texture…and it didn’t smell like a bonfire.

Rub a dub dub

A church, and old house taking a faceplant, and a tub.  I guess that completes my checklist.

If that was a toilet, it’d be gross…but since it’s a tub, I guess it’s amusing!  If it was a kitchen sink, that’d leave room for one more cliche’.

Adjacent to that first photo, but deserving of its own color treatment, is this old house…complete with its on backyard tub.

One of the things I love about old homesteads and farmsteads is the way they evoke images of what they must have looked like when brand new, or when home to a family, or on the day they were left behind.  Sometimes they also make one wonder…why and by whom were these bathtubs so strategically placed?

One of the better barns

I absolutely love this structure.  I even had some decent conditions in which to photograph it.  There was some sort of farm implement parked incredibly close to it, but from the right angle I could avoid all that.  This barn almost looks like it’s half elevator, half barn!

Padiddle

The game of Padiddle is a source of mild contention in our house, since my wife is from the south and calls it “Piccadilly.”  I’ve never heard of anyone call it that.  Apparently Wikipedia agrees with me, so Neener Neener!

Sometimes when I’m out flying around in the middle of nowhere I’ll spot a gem like this, often behind an old farmstead or something that doesn’t let on what sort of treasures lie behind it.  Then it’s time to hover and catch a few shots before moving on.

Shame on you, KFYR-TV. You should know better.

I was so dismayed to find my former employer handling today’s small plane crash with such amateurish incompetence, I wasn’t even sure how to address it.  Whenever there’s a fatality of any sort, media should take care to give the authorities time to handle notification of loved ones before plastering it all over their pages/airwaves/the net.

I’ve been extremely critical of “those ambulance chasers at KXMB” in the past, but it seems they’ve gotten much better after some personnel and ownership changes over there.  When KFYR-TV was first sold by Meyer Broadcasting, our new employers had an edict on the first page of the new employee handbook that we were not going to engage in sensationalism or irresponsible journalism.  Well, they’re a few owners down the road from those days, but still…

What has me so up in arms?  In the story referenced in the screen shot above, the text of the article on the website even states that authorities are not releasing any information pending notification of family.  Well then, why show the airplane with its N-number clearly visible?

The other local media, KXMB included, used this photo from MCSD.  The tail number is obscured out of respect for the people who are about to get some very awful news from law enforcement.

I have some background in this – I watched an uncle find out about his son’s suicide because the recovery of his body was shown on TV.  There’s no excuse for this sort of thing…a TV news story is gone in minutes, sometimes seconds, without anything to gain from sensationalizing or capitalizing on the grief of others.

Monica and Alan should have known better, especially with their combined experience in this business.  This sort of story requires discretion, and none was shown here.  If it didn’t occur to anyone that they should blurred out or otherwise obscured the tail number of this aircraft, then they can hardly call themselves The News Leader.

The public and family of the deceased pilot deserve an apology for this one.