Survived another Sunday… Not my best day in the eyes of the Almighty though I am sure! The day was going pretty well, managed to get showered shaved and off to church 🙂 That’s where things began to falter though. Managed to say “shit” in church, right in front of the pastor while spilling coffee all over the snack table. Fortunately I was not struck by lightning and God refrained from the “Smite” clause yet again. Surely I am getting close to my 70 times 7 limit though 😦
Picked up my friend for some house hunting out on Teller 1 and then proceeded on into Cripple to see if another house I was wanting is still up for sale. For sale sign is still out front, so that was gratifying. As long as we were there with some spare change it seemed like a good idea to try a few spins at the casino, which turned out to be a good idea as we had some fun, drank a free beer and managed to escape with enough to pay for the gas and our meals for the day 🙂 Once again I am happy to report that I was not “Smote… Smitten?” on the spot for a few additional infractions on the Lord’s Day!
Was a bit disappointed that I didn’t see one example of wildlife on the entire trip. One time I saw a whole herd of elk along Teller 1, but of course I didn’t have my camera. Word got out I was coming back with my camera so all the elk have hidden themselves deeper in the wilderness and I am sure I will not see them until such time as I forget to bring my camera.
I was fortunate the other day to get some nice deer pictures at dusk which I am slowly working on, and I am definitely appreciating my new version of Photoshop CC. I hadn’t upgraded in a long time, in fact not since Photoshop CS2 so I am just now discovering wonderful new tools that perform in one step things that used to require “actions” to accomplish. CC is an online download so it didn’t come with a bound book to read, just the online documentation. Online docs are OK but I really like to have a book in my hand that I can read cover to cover. So this time I am just kind of poking around randomly, catching up at a snails pace. My latest discovery is the “haze” tool in the special effects slider on “Bridge” It is an amazing tool for bringing density back into a capture obscured by fog or smoke haze. It also works well for lessening the effects of low light at dusk. At any rate, the tool is making my dusk picture of these deer a snap!
So… starting off the new week on a good foot. We found a house that might be a good possibility, a bit small but surrounded by solitude and beauty. I think we could make it work! Looking forward to spring and the extra light provided by Daylight Savings that will give me another hour to grab a few dusk pictures before each day’s end 🙂
The Winter Solistice, the event which converges all the forces of orbit, angle and rotation to bring about the end of the Northern Hemisphere’s plunge into the darkness of winter will officially hit Colorado this afternoon at 4:03 p.m. Mountain Time. The science of it all is complex, but for me it is simple, the sun will begin it’s travel northward and our brothers and sisters down under will be saying g’day a bit later each morning for the next six months.
It may be insignificant to some, but for me the Winter Solstice is my new year. I despise the short days and the long hours of darkness that disrupt my whole outdoor lifestyle, and just knowing that each day is a little longer gives me a lift on this day. With Christmas and the calendar New Year holidays approaching I know the rest of the month will pass quickly and 2015 will be upon us before we know it. As January wears on the days will become noticeably longer and here in Colorado it means that the chances for many days of extreme cold are numbered. Of course at 9000 feet of elevation it will continue snow well into April and sometimes even May but I can handle that. It’s the below zero stuff that I experienced in my youth that I find most difficult to bear in my old age.
I have to say 2014 was an eventful year and unfortunately not such a good one. I experienced the loss of my beloved friend of 17 years, my border collie Sweet Pea. A lot more time was spent shuttling back and forth to hospitals than I expected and my stock photo business took a bit hit with the resulting diminished time spent on it along with the eventual loss of my main camera. But there were some high points as well. 2014 was the year that I finally got my framing and printing website underway and also began writing in earnest for the Examiner. 2014 was the year that I started this blog and finally got my Linked In and Twitter profiles set up and working well for me. In 2014 I met new friends and was adopted into a loving church family that has given me the strength to continue moving forward in the face of loss and hardship.
And almost unbelievably, after hundreds of facebook posts, blogs and Examiner articles, word came in yesterday from my fellow wolf warriors that wolves in some of the worst wolf killing states of all had been placed back under the protection of the Endangered Species List in the Great Lakes Region after having been betrayed by the Federal Government years ago. Now at the end of 2014 I am gratified to report that wolves in a total of four states comprising some of the worst violators of the spirit of the law have been brought back under the protection of the ESA. Oregon and California are already taking steps to assure that wolves in those states will not face the atrocities perpetrated upon them in other places.
With the advent of longer days and more sunshine I am hoping that 2015 will be a great year. It appears that many of the changes implemented by Getty / iStock, including the introduction of the subscription license, are beginning to take effect as the long drain on the customer base is reversed and buyers return from sites where they took their business in quest of more price options. I have begun to scout out new camera models, comparing prices and specifications while keeping an eye on the calendar looking forward to events I might attend to photograph and write about. Maybe 2015 will be the year I can organize a tour of the Wolf and Wildlife Center in Guffy and maybe I will finally get to travel across the high plains of southern Colorado to attend the great whitewater festival along the Arkansas in Salida next summer. Maybe I will travel to the Lost Creek Wilderness and take some of the hikes described in the book I bought last winter at this time.
Halo on the Pikes Peak
This afternoon as I write I am looking out of the big window in the reading room of the library it looks like the peak is wearing a halo. The mountain is a temperamental lady though, one minute she is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen and the next she seems like she is trying to kill you. The forecast has called for a snowy solstice this year and I can’t think of a more appropriate way to reflect on the end of the solar year in 2014 than fresh snow on Pikes Peak. Here’s to a great start to the new solar year!