Street signs and Ranches

North Dakota's ranch country

You don’t have to go far outside of the North Dakota Capitol City to find a different kind of busy intersection.  A local gang hanging out under the street sign, looking for trouble doesn’t have the same meaning in North Dakota as in other places.

Street signs are abundant any where people are moving — they have to know where they’re going.  And that’s true out in Morton County, just west of Bismarck. If you take some of the local roads you’ll find you are directed down the road to households within the same extended family — all building their legacy on the prairie — with the help of mother cow and her calves.  At least I think they were there to help.  I didn’t bother them. That cold icy stare was enough to keep me in my truck.

In this July jaunt through the hills of west river (Missouri River) North Dakota I had no idea where I was going, or where I was and frankly the street signs didn’t help much, so eventually I turned around, but not until I brushed by a bit of isolated civilization in the wide open pasture and grazing of western North Dakota.   It’s a good part of my portfolio, shooting this model I love to photograph — North Dakota. Mykuhls Photography

September 29

Producing for the world

A pastoral scene in the center of the state says more than just that it’s pretty out here.  Much of the world depends on the quiet activity of North Dakota producers.  Here, the farm with livestock buildings, the small grain field and the giant wind turbines tell a story of hard work, industry and support for others.   The wind turbines send power to Minnesota and points east.  The livestock and grain go worldwide to feed others.

On this autumn day, I was headed down the road about 30 miles south of the geographic center of the state when I topped a hill to catch the juxtaposition of three of the state’s leading industries — small grains, livestock and energy. Photographically, I like the colors, the peace and the  cleanliness of an image such as this.

Just out of curiosity, what is the sense you feel when you see a pastoral scene such as this?

June 7

deer by farm

I’m telling you, it is green green green out here.

Check out this deer by a farm near Washburn.  She pauses long enough to check me out as I slow down to check her out.  (Kinda like a meet or meat market bar encounter, huh?)  She had run across the road ahead of me. I marked the spot where she crossed and looked up the hill. My slowdown at that point was concern enough for her to turn to look at me before she took off.

I have that impression on people, too. Take these two riders for example. They were headed north past Wilton when I pulled over on Highway 83, a divided highway to catch their images.  They looked at me, then kept going.

And again, notice the green.  Is it this green where you are this spring?

January 18

Christmas lights still shine

South of Washburn along highway 83 is one of the most photogenic farms anywhere.  Don and Diana Peterson have a show place of neatness.  Their Christmas lights are very tastefully mounted on their white fence, their barn and their home.  They asked me to go up on a hill a mile or so away to shoot it for their 2010 Christmas card, but well, the $2400 lens I would need for that isn’t in my bag.  Instead I shot it from the highway and stylized it a bit.  However, later in the month, I went back to see what I could do.