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?
Harvesting wheat and wind
Okay, one more. I’ve caught combine action for a few days now, but couldn’t pass up this one. I was driving east out of Wilton when I spotted this combine working next to the wind farm. The juxtaposition of the combine and the wind turbine tell a big part of North Dakota’s story, harvesting wheat and wind for people across the Midwest, even the world.
Again, as you may notice, it’s the Golden Hour of sunset and the skies and air have that reddish glow that I’ve mentioned the last couple of days.
I think this image would make a good postcard, or a good image to represent North Dakota.
Combine in the dust
The sun is about to go down, it’s just at the top of the image and in the right place to create a ghost-like effect on the working combine. Harvest dust throws a red cast on the horizon this time of year and creates red sunsets, too.
The red glow of the golden hour
If you back off from the work, you’ll find a more realistic view of the working combine, but again, notice the reddish cast to the image. It’s called “The Golden Hour” but it’s more copper than gold to me, or perhaps more “peach.”
Harvest provides opportunity for dramatic coloring of photos, and a level of high expectancy in town. Out in the field it also provides a meal or two for scavenging cats looking for a field mouse. Overhead, hawks circle looking for the same meal, and yet this season, I hope to photography one or two of the birds.
Soft green wheat field
North Dakota’s evening beauty is nothing if it is not soft, even after a passing storm. What starts as a rugged black field sprouts green in the spring and then as the small grains develop their head, the field softens.
Cows graze storm passes
In this case, the soft small grain field is marked by the tire tracks of a sprayer that had gone through the field a few days earlier. Off in the distance the evening glow of cumulus clouds signify that someone is about to get some rain.
Meanwhile several miles south of the wheat field, cows graze as another storm passes. The softness of the pastoral hillside and the cotton ball clouds create a sense of peace that is typical of North Dakota: calmness even as the storms pass. The calm pastoral beauty of North Dakota is best seen in the evening, the “golden hour” when the harsh light of the mid-day sun has passed and now the indirect light of the western setting sun adds contrast to the countryside.