Life On Deck

There were two Hittites, Sven and Ole, who dearly loved baseball. They loved the sport so much that a pact was made between them. They each promised the other that whomever died first would come back and tell the other if there was baseball in heaven. Well, time went on and Sven was in an accident and died. Ole missed his friend so much he almost lost his love for playing and watching baseball. A few months went by until one night Ole was awakened by Sven’s voice “Ole, Ole, wake up, it’s Sven.” Delirious with joy Ole asked “Sven is it really you? did you find out if there’s baseball in heaven?” Sven whispered back excitedly “yes Ole, there is baseball in heaven, and one more thing, you are pitching next Tuesday”

As I write this, 2023 is “on deck”, it’s next for most of us. In this hope I made our Christmas card to last a bit longer by flipping it over in the new year

I have been preparing for some future things hopefully “on deck” as well as watching “deck life” in really cold weather through the picture window. I’ll share a few fun shots. Click on any picture to enlarge and forward with the side arrows.

I would encourage you to have a contact card. I don’t know how many time’s I meet total strangers or just strange people I already know. Some want to find my blog or send me an email or want to talk more about spiritual things (being God found his way into our conversation).

I’m approaching 2023 with a list of things that are “On Deck” meaning they are next. I hope to do more than just watch (as fun as that is) what’s on the deck.

By the way, I’m ready either way for next Tuesday

Gary

Disclaimer: Hittites don’t exist anymore so I felt at liberty to pick on them even though it seems their names may distantly resemble Scandinavian, which is my upbringing.

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

86 thoughts on “Life On Deck

  1. I like your on deck idea, Gary. So many things compete for our attention these days. It’s good to have a checklist, or something similar. I like to think in 3’s and 7’s; these are good biblical numbers. 3 top priorities for today, 7 things I want to get done this year, etc.

    Ordering some contact cards is also a great idea. I need to do this.

    Lastly, is that white animal, in the snow on your deck, a ferret?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the 3’s and 7’s idea. It’s simple. Being a caregiver in our situation I’m sometimes happy with one accomplishment outside the house each day.
      The little white animal is an ermine. Often called a weasel but there is a difference. Ermine turn white in winter and have a black tip on tail. They are about the size of a big hot dog. He was trying to catch a bird at the feeder. Ferocious for it’s size. I have one that visits the machine shop and keeps the mice population at almost zero.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Fred. My uncle called just as I hit the publish button. After hearing all the woes I almost asked him if he was pitching on Tuesday but thought better of it as he knows the joke. And yes, Have a great new year Fred.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robert. Only in the shop for the Ermine, Those little things would bite everything moving. One got in our house last winter…wow are they ferocious and fast. My wife wouldn’t go to bed till I caught it. They can bite right through a leather glove. I had to promise some of the furniture it would never happen again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, “hunter and fisherman” sounds so much better than the way I usually describe myself; “doofus who can’t hit the fairway”. I’ll have to try it out on my golf buddies when spring returns.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks sis, fun times. I’m keeping the ermine hopefully outside this year. He keeps thinking he can jump through our picture window. Last year one snuck in the door when it was opened. The gals and buddy went to def con 1 and I was immediately deployed.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. And greetings back to you Erroll. I do look forward to your insights and challenges in 2023 as well. I pray you stay healthy this year. I do miss the warmth of the sun these days. Winter here has challenges and insights to go along. We have not seen much of the sun this December. Even so it’s at such an angle the rays that warm you just glance off here. There’s a spiritual application there…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy. Very fun for such cold weather. Even the grandkids got to see the little Ermine as well as all kinds of birds and squirrels. My son held still and birds lit on him while putting out seeds. Have a great new year and stay warm. Iowa gets cold!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I still like winter Joy, but I find my parameters getting smaller on how long winter is and how cold it can get. Sometimes a cabin in the Kentucky hills sounds good, a small drive to see the southern part of our family.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Gary. This explains why your DNA can handle the Great White North. I always appreciate your work and photography. Hope you had a great Christmas. I also appreciate the baseball reference, the greatest game ever created, one the Lord might certainly have had a hand in, which would mean there actually is baseball in heaven. (“Is this heaven?” “No. It’s Iowa.”) Nevertheless, I think all Christians need to be more cognizant of who the Lord has scheduled to pitch down here next Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Malcolm.
      I was young when I first heard that story. maybe it’s been involved with almost every sport by now. It’s fun with a point though.
      Those downy wood peckers must really get around. They are beautiful and take care of a lot of insects. I trim the fat off steaks and roasts and put in vegetable netting for them in the winter. Lots of birds thrive on that packed source of energy in the cold weather.

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  3. Thanks, as always for sharing your awesome photos. We don’t have a deck, but we have a beautiful weeping birch tree just outside our front room window. It died last year, and we turned it into “lawn art,” since we couldn’t bear to cut it down. We have 8 bird feeders and 2 suet feeders hanging from it. We love watching the birds. Once in a while a hawk from the neighboring field comes to lunch. And at night we have deer who feed on the piles of seed the birds toss out.
    Interesting idea of the contact cards. Yours have an eye-catching design.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kathy. Those kind of birch are beautiful. I can only imagine the birds hanging out there. How fun. I hope the tree isn’t leaning towards the house, birch rot from the inside out fairly quick and the bark looks wonderful until they break off in a storm. It’s hard on windows (I learn the hard way).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wimped out on purpose Matt. I think I would have froze out the grand kids and they might not like fishing or sledding behind the ATV again. They wanted to go fishing on the lake. the snow build up has weighed down the ice and there is 8″ of water on the ice insulated by deep snow. Not a good thing to fill ones boots with water at -15 degrees and -40 wind chills. I wrote about a much warmer trip….https://garyfultz.com/2020/01/13/cold-cold-hands/
      Now you know.

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  4. Thanks for the reflection Gary. It is always good to be reminded that “Tuesday” is coming for us all, but we still have to keep living and having a purpose in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ken. Good to hear from you. I hope your 2023 will be a good year for you guys. Yes, about Tuesdays…When we get promoted we will like what we see. we will not have a limp and I will have much better feeling in my arms, hands and fingers. My humor will even be better.

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    1. Thanks Sean. Because I am a photographer and I take a lot of people fishing, pictures work well. I strike up a lot of conversations with total strangers and a nice looking premium card with three ways to contact me is good enough (not overbearing). I also wanted the back to be a relational tool rather than pushy about knowing the God who created us. It’s a good “ease into” conversation starter. The mood of the contact card is important. That was my approach.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. We have a couple feet of snow that may start melting in March. It does have it’s own beauty and it change how everything outside is done. You can probably still enjoy your picnic table there Anita.

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  5. Love the photos and the three squirrels “on deck”! Is that a white weasel? It is beautiful. May you and your family have a blessed new year. ( cute joke. I will have to tell our son who is always posting dad jokes.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pete. Your son will like the joke. Close cousin to the weasel….an ermine turns white and has a black tip on tail. Vicious little predators for their size. Cute from a distance. I wanted a 3 squirrel and 3 bird picture, so I just waited till they could all be in frame.

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    1. Thank You Stephanie. The animals and birds think it’s their deck judging by how much of a fuss they put up when I walk across it. It does no good to remind them who supplies the food. Come to think of it, There’s something similar in the bible in a few places.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy new year to your household as well. It seems I shovel a lot. If I don’t the door won’t open. We also have the wheel chair ramp which has to be clean at all times. The two outside Christmas trees get edible ornaments for the birds so the trees come alive. My brother gave us a bird feeder and lots of seed so yes, lots of wildlife. I fully expect I will have to chase deer off the deck once they discover sunflower seeds. It’s all fun (so far).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Linda. You get 60’s?? wow. -3 here this morning, highs in teens for awhile (normal to above normal for January – February). It’s hard on fingers taking outside pictures. Yes, have a great new year…happy here so far.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Blessings to you in 2023!! What an outdoor experience you get everyday! Those are wonderful pics…and I read in the comments about the ermine, never heard of one!! Kinda cute but doesn’t sound too friendly!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yes, I took a neighbor fishing today on the nearby lake…The view with snow laden forest edges plus all covered in a deep frost is astounding. Those little ermine are not afraid of anything. Last year my son and I were cutting up some venison in the shop and he had to keep swatting at an ermine determined to get a scrap of meat from him. We finally threw him a chunk of fat to keep the little guy busy.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey would you please remind me one more time what kind of camera you have? And do you use an editing program?
    Also I had to show my daughter and husband the ermine photos …Paige thinks she wants to tame one as a pet!!!🤦‍♀️🤪

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure thing Alicia.
      First on the Ermine as a pet. I would say absolutely not. I would agree with this site https://www.forestwildlife.org/can-you-have-an-ermine-as-a-pet/
      get a ferret as they are a little bigger, more playful but do have a smell as all animals like a stoat will. My youngest brother had a ferret. Fun but would get loose and hide, then crawl under someone’s covers at night and we would her screams. My mother threatened it with a shotgun after one of those episodes.
      The camera I have is a Canon 3ti. Older in the ti series. I have had it 10 years. I do tweak photos if the lighting is a little off or if I took a picture through a window and it’s a bit foggy looking. For that I use very basic photoshop. I also crop pictures, especially for blogs. For Unsplash downloads I don’t do much as I want the original look of the photo there.
      My main goal is getting the framing, lighting, focus and sharpness in the natural picture without much tweaking. Wildlife photos, often need cropping but that means no blurry or out of focus shots. I use a tripod a lot. I use the timer feature a lot. I use the 5x and 10x feature a lot for pin point focus as my eyes are not young anymore.
      I should do a post on some things that help photos for blogs sometime. I have learned a lot in the last few years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol I’ve always said no to a ferret when my kids have asked because of the smell..we do have a hedgehog however but she’s pretty sassy!
        With your camera you must have a good idea of how to use the settings well for focus and sharpness. I also have a T3i and have been getting fuzzy photos so I upgraded to a t7 a few weeks ago but still struggling!
        I don’t like editing much because I think a camera should be able to get a good shot without adding a bunch of extras, like you though I do edit my lighting if needed.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Try setting your camera on a tripod or a table or something. use the manual setting on your lens, not automatic focus. push the plus button (top right on the backside of camera) . Put the camera on A-dep setting with the twist button on top. Once you do all that focus the camera manually. Where ever your square is for lighting and focus that is what the 5x will show you on your lcd screen for a good focus. Put your timer on 10 second timer and when you are satisfied you have a good picture in your screen take the shot. With the picture on your screen use the 5x button again to review for graininess. One other thing to do is look up in your manual how to get maximum depth of field. I always scroll for a little more depth pf field (or maximum depth of field when on a tripod. Then you have some leeway on focus. many of my shots in broad daylight have an iso (internal under menu) setting of 100 for crispness and will shoot at less than 1/30 second or on cloudy days 1/5 second. Also, snow lies to the camera on brightness. I have my internal setting a couple notches brighter. Hope this helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok awesome!! That does sound really helpful! I’m anxious to try it when I get home. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes! Thanks so much Gary, I appreciate it!!

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    1. Thank you Sandra. It’s so good to be Tuesday ready, it gives our life a context and framework for living out each new day with the gifts God has given us. Your artistic photography bears that out.

      Like

    1. Thank you Kim. I had to decide if I was going to share photo’s with the world or withhold and try to sell them. I have a few pictures with an agency but I will probably close that down and put them on my Unsplash free download site. The contact card has already been a good investment. People want to connect with others more than they realize.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Enjoyed your joke! Now to remember it and pass it on to my husband. I’m not a good joke-teller. Also, I’m looking forward to what’s “on deck” in 2023. May you and yours have a blessed New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think about every sport has used that old joke, but it’s fun.
      The card has worked very well for me. I often find myself giving out a card to total strangers I meet. I’ll show them the card and they usually ask for one….I explain the concept of a contact card: “Here is my website, email and phone for texting me, also on the back I often talk about relationships, including our relationship with God”
      …and the conversation goes from there.
      Now reading it…I sound like a salesman

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ben. I don’t know if it’s a computer glitch or not but you gave me about 15 likes on 15 blogs in a period of 2 minutes. You show some great promise as a young writer and as a person following God. You are way more advance than I was at your age. You will be successful if you don’t quit.

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