Sunday, June 16, 2024


Saw this pod of pelicans about a year ago at the Bullshead Reservoir just north of Eagle Butte, Alberta.

They would repeatedly swim in one direction then turn around and swim in the opposite direction, all the while excitedly flapping their wings.  Not sure what that was all about but they seemed completely consumed by the activity.

As soon as they spotted me they retreated to the rear of the reservoir, away from prying eyes.

It's always a treat to see pelicans.

Photographed on May 30, 2023.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Heather's Garden

Gardening has been keeping me busy; there's always lots to do in spring to get everything looking nice again.  And yesterday I finally had a chance to get out to Saint Margaret's to clean up Heather's Garden.  I wasn't sure what I'd find...last summer was one of the driest seasons on record plus there was some bitterly cold weather over the winter months. 

I wasn't expecting much (occasional pessimist that I can be) but was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the perennials had survived...and one of the prairie crocus was already in full bloom.  In a nutshell, all the really tough plants made it through some extremely harsh conditions.  Maybe one day I'll learn their innermost survival secrets but in the meantime I'll simply enjoy doing my best to take care of them.

We've been lucky this spring to have had some rain and a few showers.  So far we've already had more rain than we had all of last year.  Nice to see things turning green and flourishing.  In three weeks or so I'll plant some annuals and a few more perennials to fill in the empty spots.  I think Heather would like that.

Photographed at Saint Margaret's Church and Cemetery near Eagle Butte, Alberta on May 19, 2024.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Summer Landscape

Lovely, n'est pas?

And now, gardening duties beckon.  See you soon.

Photographed near Westhazel, Saskatchewan on July 16, 2023.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Elkhorn Township School #4

The largest of the four schools in Elkhorn Township and it's a real beauty.  The design is one of the grandest I've seen in all of northern North Dakota.

This handsome old school is only about four miles southeast of the third schoolhouse.  And, to see all four schools is only a seven mile trip through the countryside...and a beautiful countryside it is.  Time well spent.  

Little school out on the prairie...

...and bales.

The State Historical Society of North Dakota has done an excellent job of documenting the past, making their website invaluable when it comes to research.  I've spent countless hours "finding" new spots to visit on my road trips.  "Thank you" for all your dedicated work in keeping history alive.   

Photographed in Elkhorn Township, North Dakota on June 18, 2023.

Monday, April 08, 2024

Elkhorn Township School #3

As with the previous two Elkhorn schools, this one stands just to the side of the road in a lush green pasture.

The original building was quite small though obviously there was an addition at some point in time.  Doesn't really look like a purpose-built schoolhouse, does it?  In fact, on my trip through the area in 2017, I drove right past thinking it was probably an old homestead.  Further research a couple of years later revealed it to truly be an historical school.  

Elkhorn Township School #3 is only about a mile southwest of the second one.  

Some prairie roses blooming on the east side of the building.  Yes, I did stop to smell the roses. 

Photographed in Elkhorn Township, North Dakota on June 18, 2023.

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Elkhorn Township School #2

The second Elkhorn School stands barely three miles west of the first one.

I love the design of both schools...small but elegant  And here the bell tower is still upright, just as it was when I visited in the fall of 2017. 

East facing windows meant lots of morning light for the kids early classes.  

The many ponds and sloughs all through North Dakota were full from spring runoff and rain so this red-winged blackbird must have felt right at home.

Photographed in Elkhorn Township, North Dakota on June 18, 2023.

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Elkhorn Township School #1

Some photos from a spring road trip through parts of North Dakota last year.   

Elkhorn Township is in the extreme northwest corner of the state, and while researching the area, discovered there had been four schools built over the years for the ever growing population in the early days on the frontier.  

I couldn't find any specific dates as to when they were built or how long they were in service but was happy to find that all four were still standing...some in better condition than others.  This is Elkhorn Township School #1...ravaged by time but still holding on.  

This part of the world was settled mostly by people of Scandinavian descent, and going to school here was where all their youngsters learned to speak English...who in turn taught their parents.  Most everyone still living here are direct descendants of those Northern Europeans who originally settled the area.  In many ways, not much here has changed for well over a hundred years.  

Photographed in Elkhorn Township, North Dakota on June 18, 2023.

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Spring Flowers

Filled a mini-fridge full of spring bulbs this past fall so I've been enjoying spring flowers (indoors, of course) for the past couple of months.  Still have about another month's worth yet to bloom.  This is the first time I've forced bulbs in years but will definitely be making it an annual event in years to come.   

Photographed on May 25, 2024.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Easter Sunday

Some handsome wooden carvings of Jesus, Mary and Joseph for Easter Sunday.

Photographed at Saint Joseph's Cemetery near Frenchville, Saskatchewan on May 25, 2022.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

The East Wing of Saint Mary's

Saint Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church dates back to 1914 with additions in 1920 and then again in the mid-50's.  The photos here were taken in the latter addition completed in 1956.  I felt quite at home there in the east and it being the same vintage and all.

Photographed in Yorkton, Saskatchewan on December 17, 2019.