April 4

Not much going on today — still digging out from the spring snow storm.  Some people had their lives totally upended by the surprise snow.  You can see how in 24 hours the drifts are gone and bare ground is starting to show through.  But that doesn’t help the owners of this Subaru who had to leave their upended car.  It could be weeks before power is restored to many of the people in southwestern ND because of all the power lines and transmission lines that are down.

Ice crack at Devils Lake

So, Red and I headed up north to Devils Lake to see something other than spring storm messes.  We wanted to check out the condition of that international quagmire.  The Canadians won’t let North Dakota control the flooding because some of the “biota” may flow in to Canada.  So, Devils Lake residents are forced to lose their land because the Canadians are afraid water will carry something that migratory birds are not already carrying back and forth.

On this evening, the sun was setting over the lake and creating a glowing stripe where the ice was separating on the lake — another sign of spring.

While in the area, I tried to find a high enough hill to shoot the landscape, but was unsuccessful. We did find a bit of Spanish influence on the region in this Catholic Church.  Established in 1885,Our Lady of Seven Dolors Church (Sisseton and Wahpeton) at Fort Totten, was originally under the Dioceses of Jamestown, then in 1897, Diocese of Fargo.

It was written in 1922, the financial burden for the Seven Dolors Mission was borne by the Grey Nuns who built the church, the priests’s house, maintain both, provide fuel, altar furnishings and implements for worship.

It’s a solid building and photographers in the area could capture it 12 months out of the year and get all kinds of reflective colors.

April 3

Boy was I surprised to come home from western North Dakota to find this!  A spring snow storm in the central part of the state while I had been out shooting a custom motorcycle, enjoying a ride down the road while other parts of the state were tossed back in to winter.

I hadn’t even been able to get home because a large transmission line carrying power to Minnesota and other eastern states had been taken down by the snow and wind, and Highway 83 was blocked.

I should have suspected there was something back home that was not right. When I got to New Salem I could see toothpicks sticking out of the new snow. They were power poles that had been snapped off.

Power was out in many of the towns on the western edge of the storm and for good reason. Those wooden poles could not stand up to the 6 inches of heavy wet snow and 40 mile an hour winds.

I couldn’t get directly home because of the downed power lines, but took a back road route up the Missouri River across the prairie to my home, only to find that the streets had been plowed,  but access to my home was shut off.  I only had to wait a day or two until it all melted.

Such is the short lifespan of spring snow storms in North Dakota.