You can call it “little church on the prairie” or “church in the middle of nowhere”, but Union Point United Church has a very interesting past. It’s the last remnant of the small town of Union Point, Manitoba. Situated in the middle of divided Hwy 75 just south of Ste. Agathe. The original church was built in 1887, burned down in 1939, and was rebuilt in 1940. The town vanished in the 1950’s, steamboats, stagecoaches, and steam engines stopped here in the late 1800’s. The town of Union Point was an important stopover point for many settlers heading west.
Once in awhile the photography gods are kind. While travelling on the Trans-Canada highway west of Regina, this crop duster was spraying right next to the highway, on a nice bright sunny day over the bright green crop. I even had the camera ready with polarizer mounted in the front seat, resting on my wife’s lap. This shot was at only 200mm on full frame, ISO 640, f/4.0 1/1250 so the aircraft was pretty close.
At the entrance to the Great Sandhills in Saskatchewan, Canada. These old hanging boots are a memorial to John Booth who was a caretaker of the Sandhills Stockman’s Association from 1950 – 2007, he was a local rancher and lived in the area his entire life. You can read the story of this dedication if you visit the Great Sandhills near Sceptre, Saskatchewan, which honours his memory of kindness and love for this place.
If you are interested and willing to travel through the sparsely populated area near Leader, Saskatchewan, you can find many great examples of old abandoned farm houses and out buildings. This was a great example we found complete with a rusty oil drum and tipped over outhouse.
An old pull type Case Combine or harvester on the Canadian Prairie, southwestern Alberta, Canada. Technically not really a combine but I’m not sure of the official name for this old farm equipment.
Tall Grass Prairie, in Assiniboine Forest, Winnipeg, Canada. This is a reclaimed section of several hectares in the autumn of 2012.
Old GMC truck and farmhouse, note it does have modern electrical service.
Horse Portrait, shot in Saskatchewan on a dreary day. Got a little lucky when the sun popped out briefly to highlight the front Quarter Horses mane as they started to gallop off.
Towering Cumulus cloud, developing into a soon to be Cumulonimbus over Winnipeg.
Storm clouds dissipating at dusk, with an almost full moon.
Living on the Canadian Prairies, at times can seem like a disadvantage for the travel or landscape photographer. But it really isn’t, there is a huge diversity of things to photograph. And I’m not only referring to fields of Canola, or Wheat. Sure there aren’t majestic mountains, many waterfalls etc. But if you search for interesting subject matter, you will find it. Often in your own backyard, granted the Black-Eyed Susan shot above is from Assiniboine Park, but I consider it in my own backyard. Sometimes you need to look a bit closer, or be a little more creative but great images are everywhere.
Here are a few recent landscapes shot in my own big backyard of Southern Manitoba. Now tell me the Lake images couldn’t pass for exotic coastal location’s. Keep in mind your own neck of the woods is exotic to people from other parts of the world. I have seen evidence of this time and time again. In Banff or Assiniboine Park, I have seen Japanese tourists in awe of the common squirrel. Several years ago I was short-listed in the International Travel Photographer of the Year competition. Competing with images from around the globe including the Great Barrier Reef, Images of Africa, people riding the trains in Bangladesh etc. My images were of, you guessed it, Canola fields and Agricultural landscapes from Southern Manitoba. But to judges in Europe they were exotic enough. Although I didn’t win, it was a good lesson in appreciation for the Prairie Landscape.
Rainstorm over Canola
Lake Winnipeg sunset
Pelicans on the Red River