Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Spring

This week, Tina Schell continues with the Lens-Artists challenge that asks us to share images of the four seasons. Spring is the season of rebirth. Given a new normal in the world as we adjust to new rules and limitations, Tina shares the hope that springs eternal from the new growth and new life that emerges from the long winter. You can read her entire challenge post here.

Since retirement, I have spent the last eight springs in the Arizona desert. Given that, my images include a few desert spring photos. A spring day is a great time to visit the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. All of those desert plants that we think of as scraggly shrubs show their colors if but briefly.

My wife, Lynn, and I usually find ourselves back in Fargo by late spring. Though when the topic of baseball comes up, we think of “The Boys of Summer”, spring training and the early season games start in the spring. At least they do in most years. This image of the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks game was captured on such a late spring day in a previous year. This year, their season started on July 3 due to the pandemic.

After the long, cold North Dakota winter, one of the trees in our yard bursts forth in color, then transits to the usual leaves of green. For those few days, the magnificent color is a welcome sight over the carpet of newly greened grass.

This spring we discovered a new place to visit, a park in south Fargo. Orchard Glen Nature Park features a grove of apple trees that we happened to capture in full bloom on a lucky visit to the park.

In the Sonoran Desert, when rain is most plentiful during the winter in the world’s wettest desert, the yellows predominate the landscape. Near Buckeye, Arizona, the brittlebush plant creates a sea of yellow.

In North Dakota, spring is often accompanied by flooding of the major river valleys in the state. Most years, the waters exceed their banks as you can see by this shot of the James River south of Jamestown, North Dakota. The normal river flow can be seen by the parallel tracks through the water. Most years, there is little damage as the areas adjacent to the river are either vacant or protected by dikes or other artificial boundaries. Some years, however, the volume of melting snow during unusually warm spring days results in moderate to severe flood damage as the melt finds its way to the nearest stream or river.

Looking forward to autumn and winter photos for the upcoming photo challenges in July, I conclude this springtime feature with the delicate Mexican Primrose blossom captured in the Desert Botanical Garden on our first spring visit there.

John Steiner



    • I toured Minot after the flood as a guest of the Minot School District staff focusing on school damage. At the time, I worked in the IT Department at Fargo Schools. I was part of a team providing advice and assistance. We also saw some of the neighborhood areas that were lost. I know that was not a good time for our friends and acquaintances in Minot.

  1. A lovely tour of your springtime world John, although I don’t think I’d want to be in that flood zone. Your image af the springtime yellows reminds
    Me of my lucky experience with the amazing desert bloom, so gorgeous. Az is a great place for springtime beauty, as you’ve shown

    • Thanks. With North Dakota’s flat terrain, it is so prone to flooding. There are minimal “natural basins” to help collect excess water so it spreads far and wide.

  2. As always, wonderful photos.

    As for the floods, North Dakota seems like a great place to live, but like everything else trade-offs exist. Hawaii is beautiful, but incredibly expensive. West Virginia is extremely affordable, but has been economically depressed for decades. Arizona has amazing weather for much of the year, but is very hot for four months. (Phoenix averages 110 days a year with a high temperature of 100° or higher.)

    Your situation of living in Arizona during the colder parts of the year is a great adaptation, but requires extra logistics not everyone can manage. My wonderful wife and I would love to live in, say, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho from June to August and in Arizona the rest of the year, but such an arrangement is not in the cards.

    • Always a trade-off. No matter where one selects. I consider myself fortunate to have the Arizona option as long as our health allows us to travel. When the time comes, however, our home is North Dakota. We will be there, winter be damned!

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