These are some of Andrea's Holyhocks - they live in Lakota, North Dakota.
This is one of the many ducklings we saw as Andrea was chauferring me all over the countryside so I could do photography. There were two major lakes near Lakota: Devil's Lake and Stump Lake. The water table has become so high over the past 10 years or so, they have merged into one. This is great for the waterfowl - not so great for trees, roads and homes that have to be moved out of the way. Andrea's Chuck told us that homes threatened by the expanding waters are moved during the winter - across the frozen lakes.
And this is Andrea standing by her zip code. She works for the Post Office. Andrea occupies most of my fondest childhood memories. Her mom was my mom's niece and we traveled from northeast Nebraska to visit them in Denver throughout my growing up years.
On our way to Andrea's, we attended a wedding in Aberdeen. Sorry - no pics as I took the wrong camera with me to the festivities. That would be the one with the dead battery... made me want to say some downright unChristian things at the time, but everyone else in attendance had cameras with good batteries, so the event was properly documented. Anyway, after the wedding, on our way to Andrea's we stopped in Jamestown, North Dakota and fell into this cute little tourist trap. It is home to a sweet little historic village, a herd of buffalo (including the white one getting a drink of water in the foreground) and the "world's largest buffalo statue" in the background. The day after we visited Jamestown, Andrea drove me past the farm in Walsh County where the white buff's mother was born. They produce at least two white ones, which are actually albinos, each year - very unusual occurance.
In Jamestown, we stopped at a Hardees for lunch and I had the funniest experience. I noticed that there were several tables occupied by folks who had obviously just come from church. While we were waiting for our food, I left our table two or three times and every time I came back, the other people looked at me with a friendly smile and nod of recognition - the way you would look at someone you had known all your life and had just attended church with. I'm told this is typical Dakotan friendliness. I found it quite charming. I hope I can be as friendly and welcoming to strangers as they were to me.
Can you guess what this field is? Cliff? Anyone?
This is what canola looks like before it goes to seed, gets harvested and becomes oil. I wonder if olives are this pretty before they get made into oil? Does anyone have a picture of blooming olives to share?
That's all for now! There must be more pictures around here somewhere...