A row of grain bins silhouetted against the morning sun outside of Geraldine, Montana.
I'm not sure if it is the hand of God that guides me on certain days...or just dumb luck, but I do sense there are other forces at work when I am out on one of my 'search and destroy' missions to photograph the beautiful state of Montana.
On this particular morning I was headed to Lost Lake...and I got lost.
One of the big reasons I got lost is because I couldn't find Shonkin. I kept driving and driving...and still no Shonkin. As the sun came up I was growing increasingly impatient. At some point I decided I needed to abandon my primary mission and begin photographing targets of opportunity along the way. So, as I drove near the Highwood Mountains north and east of Great Falls, I literally began chasing the morning light.
I'm not sure how far my truck and I ambled across Montana's empty gravel roads, but at some point I came over a hill and stumbled onto a small town. Shonkin!
I was happy knowing I was closer to finding Lost Lake despite the fact I was horribly late. I weaved my way through the small town looking for something interesting to photograph when I came upon this row of grain bins. I particularly enjoyed their silhouette and the field of fog behind them. I leapt (sic) from my truck, lifted my camera into a firing position, and that's when I noticed a strange circular halo around the scene I wanted to photograph. In all my years of shooting photography I never once encountered a phenomenon such as this.
At first I thought I was seeing a sundog. I lowered my camera to take a better look with both eyes, but then kicked myself in the ass for thinking that in the first place. Sundogs are formed by ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds and in the midst or very cold weather. On this mild morning I had neither. Then I wondered if the fog was playing games with the light and my lens. I didn't know, or much care, so I figured I should probably shoot before my halo went away.
Yes, I was disappointed I didn't make it to Lost Lake before the sun came up. But I wonder if the Lord had other plans for me on this morning. Maybe he had something he wanted me to see.
Oh, that small town I stumbled onto was not Shonkin. Shonkin, it seems, isn't even a one horse town...it's a no horse town, which includes nothing more than an aging train depot and a grain elevator. That's it.
No wonder I couldn't find it.
I was in Geraldine.
25 miles away.
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