February 25

The heart of North Dakota beats to the rhythm of agriculture. Three grain elevators behind the bent steel heart represent two things — the lifeblood of agriculture to North Dakota, and the center of the state, McClusky.

Another one of those cold bleak days wrapped the region in winter. It’s tough to find much that is visually appealing to photograph, but this juxtaposition of the three elevators and the steel heart tell a story — and add to that the post-processing of cold and grainy filters and you can sense the atmosphere.

However, before you get to McCluskey, coming up from the south, a bright yellow mailbox will grab your attention.  I don’t know how many times I’ve passed this mailbox, overwhelmed by its color and missing the fact the two statues of Dalmatians posed under the mailbox.  This time, I literally stopped my truck, backed down the highway that I’d just driven.  (Remember, there’s little or no traffic out here, especially in winter.  Just try this maneuver in the populated area where you may live.)  I grabbed the shot, and headed off toward McClusky.  But you can be sure that when I pass this mailbox now, I look for the canine carvings.

After getting shots of the mailbox and McClusky, I finished my circuitous route through Burleigh and Sheridan counties, stopping one more time to capture an image that represents North Dakota. Finger drifts across the gravel road, and an unused red schoolhouse with a blue sky background presented a nice contrast to the dreary landscape that started the afternoon when I started my day’s search for capturing my daily image of North Dakota.

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