Minnesota Sky

Girls’ weekend with the Lemonade Book Club is one of my favorite annual rituals. The rules are simple: no husbands or partners or children [except nursing newborns]. We gather for a couple of days at a rural Minnesota lake home and relax. We talk of books and stories read over the past year. We laugh. We tease. We reflect. We celebrate friendship and all that is right in the world. We walk. We eat. We drink red wine and Jane’s yummy slush. We sleep. We enjoy. We are grateful.

Those of us traveling home in a Dodge minivan [not miniman as Michele likes to say] on Sunday afternoon enjoyed a brief visit to the tiny town of Snellman, Minn. The intent was to stop for a few snacks. However, the van refused to start when it was time to go. Silly van. A wrecker from 20-some miles away was called to evaluate the situation. Thanks to a D.L. Towing worker and his trusty Booster Pac we made it home later than expected, but safely.

Walkers

Lake Scenes

Shadow

Sky Above Birch Lake

Snellman, Minnesota

Tow Truck Guy

Assistance in Snellman, Minnesota

Wind farm near Rugby, N.D.

While I appreciate landscape photography and hold nature photographers in high esteem, I find myself drawn to making images that show a relationship between the natural world and man-made objects. I came to this conclusion after putting together another set of images from a recent road trip around North Dakota. My primary task on the trip was to create a collection of portraits for a client. However, as time allowed I photographed a handful of roadside attractions and other items of interest.

The photographs above and below were made outside of Rugby, N.D. Wind farms are becoming an increasing addition to the state’s landscape.

Wind Farm near Rugby, N.D.

North Dakota State Capitol Building

The North Dakota State Capitol Building [pictured above] stands 241 feet, 8 inches tall.

'Geese in Flight'

The Enchanted Highway is without question one of my favorite roadside attractions in North Dakota. Small metal geese like the ones pictured above and below line a dirt road that leads to a parking area and the base of “Geese in Flight” – a massive metal sculpture created by Gary Greff. There are at least half a dozen different creations spread along a 32-mile stretch of highway. The Enchanted Highway begins at Exit 72 on Interstate 94 and continues south to the charming community of Regent.

"Geese in Flight"

As an aside, I must be in the habit of looking down at the ground. That’s how I noticed the worm featured in an earlier entry and how I came to photograph the remains of a blueberry muffin [pictured below]. Guess the muffin wasn’t very good… .

Muffin + Dirt

Richardton, N.D.

I’ve been on the road A LOT over the past couple of weeks photographing all over North Dakota for a client – more on the specific project after it is published later this summer.

Most recently, I logged 1,200 plus miles over five days. The road trip took me from Fargo on the east side of North Dakota to Beach on the state’s west side. From there, I headed north to Williston with stops in Minot, Cando, Devils Lake and a few other places before returning home. So, basically I crossed the length of North Dakota twice.

While my shooting schedule was tight, I grabbed a few shots here and there. Rural North Dakota provides endless photo opportunities.

HAMBURGER MEATS [pictured above] is located in Richardton. The landscape [below] was found along Highway 16 north of Beach. The remaining two photos depict a hotel parking lot in Devils Lake and the efforts of a worker at a state rest stop.

An alternate route to Williston

Devils Lake, N.D.

Along Interstate 29

Landmark: Views of the Moorhead Power Plant

The old Moorhead [Minn.] Power Plant appears to stand watch over the surrounding neighborhood and nearby Red River. Up close, the structure offers a visual delight in terms of both texture and line. The building’s future is uncertain and undergoing study.

Earlier this year, the Plains Art Museum requested submissions for views of the structure or work inspired by it. The resulting exhibition – “Landmark: Views of the Moorhead Power Plant” – features work by seven artists and opens in early June. “Stack” [pictured above] is one of three photographs that I contributed to the exhibit. Other artists are: Janet Flom, Juliet Hanratty, George Pfeifer, Richard Skauge, Gin Templeton and Britta Trygstad.

The museum is encouraging visitors to share their ideas about the building’s possible re-use. I encourage you to do the same.

Worm + Doormat + Water

I’ve always been fascinated by the behavior of worms on rainy days. They surface in parking lots, sidewalks and other spots coated with rain water.

This fellow caught my attention this morning as I made my way into Dakota Montessori School in Fargo, N.D. He was still working his way through a maze of treads and pebbles when I returned a bit later with a macro lens.