Picture a Ping Pong Spring

Right now we are on the “pong.” for the 11th time. Last night the weatherman drew a big circle around our area on the northern Minnesota with a “to be determined” announcement as the time approaches. If this…then that type statements gave me a ray of hope for that profession. I have to admit, honesty is much more attractive than putting a spin on reality.

Ahh, reality. I’m watching the players around us here in nature with such a prolonged spring. Last night I went down to the lake to attempt a sunset reflection picture in an open spring. The rest of the lake (maybe) has two feet of ice. I took some pictures as beavers interrupted me. I listened and looked for the pack of wolves down the shoreline made throaty moans and long howls in the still air. They will choose a deer, pursue and take it down. They are extremely good at their craft.

Take a peek at some very recent pictures of spring. Thaw, snow, freeze, melt. Click to enlarge and for a clickable slide show.

I am a bit jealous of the many pictures of spring from somewhere else where buds, flowers and green grass (I think you call it) abound.

Speaking of reality…I told my wife a couple days ago, for her birthday I was going to get on my personal top secret “time machine” and document going forward and coming back. I would then report to her when spring would actually come to the north woods where we live. I documented it with this picture of me in my red checkered shirt and hat on… I have to turn the pedals quite fast to get there as you can see. I am also barely in the picture coming back.

Me and me… not photoshopped or layered. I can explain if interested

My report “I’m sorry honey, I could only go two weeks ahead and there is still rain and snow happening and the flowers are not pushing up through the snow”

On a personal note, I’m tired of the winter spring run-off in their 3rd overtime; so are the animals and birds. The geese, swans and ducks are all finding little puddles of water to remember how to swim. I see the beaver are hungry and have cut about 15 smaller trees down. I had a small lens in low light taking pictures and they were very close to me. I heard one say to the other “I think we can take him”. The deer, um, well, I can’t repeat what the deer said when I got too close to their little field.

Gary

PS…many of these pictures and more can be downloaded free from this link unsplash

Also, if you have not read my real life story dealing with an Angry Beaver I show my humorous side…enjoy

Published by Gary Fultz

Outdoors Man, Hunter, Fisherman, Guide, Writer / Author, Photographer, Public Speaker, Musician, Song Writer, Story Teller, Follower Of Jesus. Love God and family and total strangers

66 thoughts on “Picture a Ping Pong Spring

  1. Woke up this morning to a snowstorm here in southwestern Colorado. We always get at least one big snow in April. I don’t envy you of those long northern winters. Your images are gorgeous and perfectly convey the cold and silence of the winter (even though it’s “officially” springtime now). I always enjoy your posts. Here’s hoping springtime finally finds you up there. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank You Mike. That eans a lot coming from a guy with such perfect images. You get some really big storms. I remember skiing the mountains in April several times. I had never seen a foot an hour before. .

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great pictures, Gary. Thanks. I especially like that sunset shot. It encapsulates very well all the others and sets an awesome scene for the coming days. You are blessed to be there (at least this time of year). I don’t have the understanding to understand forty below, for what? Forty days? Probably why the deer say what they say. But they always survive. At least most. I’m sure you’re way past looking forward to real spring and all the greatness it brings, especially during this time of Resurrection, which real Christianity cannot exist without. He kept saying He was going to die but would come back to life again. If He didn’t it was all for naught. He proved who He was by it. It is why resurrection of the spirit must also be a personal thing for every believer. Otherwise winter never ends.

    Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks RJ. forty below with 20 below highs for three weeks only some winters…this winter was way below the averages most of the winter.
      I am hoping to record and post a song I wrote (probably after Easter) on Thomas from doubt to belief “Song Of Thomas”. This Easter season always reminds me that if Christ did not actually beat death, neither will we. We would be no better than all the smoke and mirrors of our political climate world wide these days. Both my mother and my wife’s mother looked forward to meeting their risen savior and Lord this time of year.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Lol! You had me chuckling with the time travel! Love it.

    I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and now live in South Carolina…we already have strawberries ripening. It’s the craziest thing. I no longer get to see the snow as much, and when it does snow it’s gone by noon, but I’m learning what it means to have “toad chocking” rains and tornado and hurricane warnings. It keeps us on our toes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jennifer, I don’t know if I could trade mountains for anything…even spring strawberries tho tempting. I might trade Minnesota for awhile. .I can handle snow, but extremely high winds…plus you have more snakes and spiders.
      Ya, the time travel thing. still in trial mode and “not going to happen” according to my family.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s 7.30am here on a bright and sunny warm autumn day and will be heading to a high of 24 degrees Celsius with some showers later this afternoon. 😁
    This took me to another world (literally) and I thoroughly enjoyed the beaver story too! 😂
    Hope spring stays for you soon Gary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes jo, it is another world. 2 degrees Celsius here and now it started to rain. Glad you enjoyed the beaver story. They do get quite large, most do not get over 50 pounds, and have teeth that can chew down a huge oak tree if they want.
      I am hoping for spring soon although the 10 day forecast has the temps getting colder before warmer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amazing little critters to be able to do that! Your night time imagination in that story reminded me of how we once scared a Japanese homestay student when we took her camping. After hearing our story about killer “drop-bears” (koalas…not the cuddly variety 😉) who like to randomly drop down on your head at night if you leave your tent, she never did leave her tent. 😆

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Please stop hogging all the cold. Send it to the Southwest where we’ve already hit 100 degrees. Not ready for summer yet. I’d send some warmth if I could. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love the idea Judy. If someone figured out how, they could control the world. As a teenager 50 years ago I watched the news tell about Sweden getting 100 inches of snow when we had almost none for winter. Sometimes the weather sure gets lopsided around the world. I remember leaving Minneapolis at -20, landing in San Diego at 70 dgrees and traveling over the mountains to the Anza Borrego desert at 104 degrees all the same day to learn some beginners photography.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve often said that we need a national water system along side the oil pipelines, so we can move water around. No one’s listening. Wow. That’s s brutal change in temps, but a cool opportunity.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your pictures are truly fab, Gary!
    What I love about the winter is the clarity & freshness, so brutally in your face and all over the place – no room for pretense, just truth, cold facts so to say… that’s what I associate with winter…
    I bet HE is pleased when we marvel at HIS creation and HIS genius…
    Your pictures and nature stories paired with thoughts about GOD are a great way to evangelize – you keep reminding us of HIS greatness and you are inspiring us in a very unique way…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Eva. It is challenging to make a slice of life fit into a frame to say something. If it’s inspiring in any way, I am pleased. I am constantly reminded that the tiny slices of life conveyed in word and/or picture can hold the keys to knowing what is important, frivolous, expedient, finite and eternal.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your photographs of the North woods are amazing! You have captured so much beauty here. I can understand that you are longing for spring after the long winter. Thank you for sharing the magic of this place where you live…ice and snow, light and shadows. I enjoy all of your photos throughout the seasons, winter, summer, spring, and fall. I do like your squirrel photos…you capture their personalities! I especially liked your swan photographs. Thank you for sharing your gifts composed in words and pictures…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Linda. the subjects make me look like a good photographer. That’s my theory as I have so much to learn.
      I suspect a part of getting good shots is just getting out there when it is necessary rather than when it’s convenient. Those swan s are the hardest to get close enough to get any decent shots. I would say their eyesight is very keen and their level of wariness is very high. I am eagerly awaiting the hummingbirds, that will mean it’s warm weather to stay.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very modest when it comes to your photography! I look forward to the hummingbird photos. They are such awesome creatures. God is so very good, and He continuously blesses us with wonderful things in the world around us. Wishing you blessings as you capture all this magic to share with your camera!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank You Linda, I plan to keep clicking away at things that inspire or I hope will inspire. The wildlife here is numerous so I find my wife laughing at me when I am talking to the deer out the patio door…”a little more to the left please!”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou Stephanie.
      It’s a 30 second time exposure. I also gave myself 10 seconds to get in the shot. peddled the exercise machine for 15 seconds and then stood still by it till the camera clicked. Now you know. All that is needed is low light and hope there are no winds blowing the trees in the background. Oh, and a good tripod is essential

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh, sorry. I reread my comment and that’s probably true. You can’t do it with a cell phone. It can only be done with a regular SLR camera with those features. my creative brain unleashed, thinks of the desired picture and then I try to figure out a way to get it with the camera that I have. Sometimes it’s quite impossible. Then I look to see how expensive the right equipment is to get that shot. Usually I don’t have that much money…sigh

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  8. Gary, you always provided good giggles with your STUNNING photographs. I’m glad you find honesty a good thing–honestly, as beautiful as your area is, I could not handle the cold! I’m a wimp! I do wonderful visiting my sons in their cold homes; but they, and the grandkids, give sufficient warmth and my tears warm me all the way home. Do you submit your pictures to conservation magazines? I read about your photography trick. Sadly, I don’t have a camera anymore. My iPhone seems to take good pictures, but it’s definitely not the same. This morning I was supposed to head to an elementary school north of here to teach the writing process to about 200 3rd grade students in an assembly. I had my mini-split units running cold air as it was humid and 70 degrees through the evening. I had to cancel the event as we had severe storms, tornado threats, and I’m not sitting here typing you with torrential downpours and it’s 40 degrees and windchills in the 30’s. I DID have to mow my yard last Saturday (that’s grass as we call it ;-)! Take care, Gary! You and yours stay safe and blessed! I pray Spring springs soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Karla. I am living vicariously through many (like you) have encouraged me in the “spring come soon” chant. I am a bit giddy myself as the rain/snow quit and moved north (it will wrap around and get us tomorrow and the next day they say). my son an hour away will get about a foot of snow while I look for my swim wear to send a “wish you were here” picture to him.
      LOL on my time machine picture. If it were actually true I could take more pictures, document it to the nth degree and no one would believe me anyway….No wonder Thomas acted like the rest of the disciples were out of their mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. If you build a “Transporter” like Star Trekkies get to use, I will trade you houses for December through April!
    Our winters are pitiful attempts to mimic the snow and ice north of us, and we only get one or two a year worth any salt. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In the part of Wisconsin where we live I have seen snow one day and then nice warm spring weather a day or two later. As much as I enjoy the snow, and blowing the snow with the Toro, I’m looking forward to mowing the lawn. Our lawn is now about 50% green, which is an encouraging sign. I love hearing more birds as they return to our area. Thanks again for your pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wayne, you have about 3 more weeks of spring and fall there compared to here. When I lived in Spooner it was about two weeks difference. I would call dad at -20 and he would have -40. Such a difference.
      Glad you enjoy the pictures as I enjoy taking them.

      Like

  11. Great pictures, thank you for making them available. Here in southern IL spring and winter are still struggling for control. I think spring is winning out but April is staying true to form with lots of rain. My husband and I will be traveling into northern Mn with a group of teens this summer to work and do a VBS around Red Lake. It’s beautiful country up there—but I do prefer our weather as uncertain as it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Donna. Our family lived in the center of the Red lake area in Ponemah for awhile as my father was an educator. Very rough place to attempt to raise a family. Now we live close by and know the area and different cultures well.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow. Its really a wintery spring mode over there. 😊
    We had few days of swinging into winter here too. But afterwards we got back into spring.
    Let’s keep the hope that spring will come forth soonest too. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Gary, I can just imagine those swans fighting for puddles. There were quite a few of them if I remember correctly…what a flurry of feathers. But at least they blend in with the snow, right? It could all appear quite peaceful from the distance, (I bet swans are majestic even when they fight) as long as the geese stick to their own territory. I saw a male and female duck together this past week. Just the two of them. That usually means ducklings are on the way. How do the ducks time that up there in the north woods…? Are they like snow bunnies?
    Beautiful photography as always!
    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deb
      These birds, swans, geese, and ducks are all just trying to find food right now. The swans spend time sitting on the ice in the middle of the frozen lakes and go to flooded fields part of the day to forage. The last two days it has snowed continuously and has been between 12 and 25 degrees with 30 mph winds. There are no places to build nests for any of them right now except in sloughs in the woods… they are thinly iced. dangerous but do-able.
      I think the Lord has instilled in them a very tough survival mode. Me, I wouldn’t last a night without my high tech gear.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That is true. I brought teenagers into the wilderness (after much training and the right gear) on snowshoes with polks (a gear toboggan) at -38 degrees F.
      I have enough stuff to be dangerous to myself and others.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. No sleigh dogs. The polk has a hip belt with poles attached to the belt and the sled. A person exerts the same energy pulling a polk with 300 pounds of gear as wearing a 50lb backpack going through snow.
    So If one is 50 pounds overweight….lets not go there.
    However, I have heros in the family on survival (a small plane crash in Alaska) I put a small piece together on my other blog. I now see myself as a wimp and I don’t think I want to prove otherwise.

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  15. It takes folk of hearty stock to live in northern Minnesota; I am not one of those! I’m quite comfortable in New York where it gets cold and hot enough to demonstratively complain but we’re happy here. Snow, ice and I get along very well when I’m looking at them from my window under a blanket drinking a cup of hot cocoa. I would not last 2 weeks in northern Minnesota! It is lovely, though, and the photos are exceptional, Gary!.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Nancy, If you moved here you would fall in love with it, then you would get used to it and enjoy it (I suspect you are secretly hardy)
      I also understand as it was 12 degrees this morning and the sun rose on a new blanket of snow.
      All the migratory birds have arrived to sit on the ice and wait for spring as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, you’re right about one thing, Gary: I am of hardy stock! Perhaps one day if I get to travel out west I’ll fall in love with the beauty of nature out there. Until then, I’m content to get lost in your stories and photos! Wishing you and your family a very Happy Easter and a lovely Spring! ♰ 🌹

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The good news Keith is there is plenty of elbow room in the north country. This last winter was a harder one. Lot’s of snow and extra cold. If you are determined to be hardy and have fun in the snow, this is a good place to retire.

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