The Blizzard

The weather has been miserable for photography these days, haven’t had my camera out in over a week. Summer is pretty rough for taking pictures in the mountains. Between the intense sun, haze and later on smoke unless we are very fortunate the mountains are barely visible. The wildlife spends the warm lazy days lying in the shade in the highest elevations, coming out only in darkness to forage for food.

Three does in snow

Which got me to thinking about winter and my favorite activity, snow shoeing 🙂 I was recalling this photo shoot… the snow was just coming down so hard for several days without a break, we were just buried under several feet of snow. So much snow in fact that the wildlife was having difficulty moving around to get food. That year there was a herd of deer trapped in the mountains that was surely going to starve to death without assistance. The Wildlife Service was going to abide by it’s strict no interference policy and just let the animals die until there was a massive outcry from the public and they were forced to relent. Bales of hay were finally airlifted by helicopter to rescue the stranded animals, but the public was strictly forbidden to take matters into their own hands in other affected areas. Fortunately Coloradans are generally rebels and no one listened to the authorities, saving many animals that would have perished.

I lived a short distance from a game reserve where someone had delivered a couple of bales of hay to our beloved herd of deer, but unfortunately the snow was so deep that they could not get to it. Since I walked that forest every morning looking for pictures for my stock photo business I knew the area like the back of my hand, including each and every game path throughout the entire area. So I got the idea to put on my snowshoes and pack down their paths so they could move around. The snowplows had been by once so the snow on the street was only about a foot deep and getting to the woods was pretty easy. However, once I hit the deep snow it was an entirely different story! But I persevered, diving into the waist deep snow with short steps so that there would be a good solid path for the animals. I remember the snow getting deeper and deeper until I was struggling through chest deep powder gasping for air and having to stop and rest after only a few steps. My snowshoes would plunge almost all the way to the ground and then become covered with all the snow on top of my feet. It was all I could do to lift each foot out of the deep trench for another step. For a while there I thought I was going to spit out my lungs!

Winter Deer.jpg

I could see the deer in the mist, looking on curiously. They were quite used to me walking through there with my camera so there was no alarm and they didn’t try to run. Mostly they were hanging out under the thickest trees to avoid getting buried while they slept. I of course had brought my camera, well protected by my Aquatech rain cover, in case I could get close enough to the deer to get some pictures. Multitasking I guess it was 🙂

And indeed, I did get some of the greatest deer in snow pictures that I have ever managed to obtain! At one point I was struggling to get through some snow and brush when I burst into a clearing and found these three beautiful ladies staring at me like, “Hey, what’s going on?” I also found a few more cuties just hanging out, eating the bark and leftover leaves on the ubiquitous scrub oak trees prevalent in that area.

Doe-Pair

Most gratifying of all though was the sight of the deer beginning almost immediately to use the pathways that I had created for them 🙂 They seemed very grateful for the assistance and I was grateful for the opportunity to have done my part in the great effort made by fellow Coloradans to spare the animals from great suffering. In fact it worked so well that I made it a habit from then on to don my snowshoes and keep their paths clear for the rest of my remaining time in the Parker area. It is now one of my fondest memories from my time life there 🙂

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Destruction

I have been enjoying immensely the time I have recently spent in the solitude of the wilderness, time that I spend walking and communing with the Almighty. Time I also spend seeking, experiencing and photographing His creation. The furry creatures whose paths I cross are always busy about their business of eating, drinking and occasionally caring for their young if they happen to have them. They are never threatening, usually just curious and sometimes afraid. Even the so called predators are normally just busy searching for food and completely uninterested in the lives and activities of humans.

Doe and fawns

Doe watching over her fawns

So another thing I wonder about as I walk in the creation is how can some people spend their lives caring for and protecting the creation while others can think of nothing but destruction. Some are intent on killing and maiming, others in their lust for money and power destroy the air and water. Politicians are bought and sold by the highest bidder to enact policies that remove any obstacles to their greed. Others dream up wars, sometimes to eliminate people who don’t believe as they do, sometimes to take territory that doesn’t belong to them and sometimes to just have power over others.

There are many activities God would have us busying ourselves with and as I commune with Him on my walks and hikes I have been wondering if my work trying to help the wolves, other animals and the environment honors Him. Is He only concerned with souls, or is He also concerned with the rest of His creation? As is often the case, the answers to my questions come from His written Word. At the end of the age, when those who seek to destroy for their own gain have overpowered the good in this world, His Word says: “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:18.

To destroy them which destroy the earth. So God is watching over His earth, keeping track of who destroys it so as to put a stop to it before it is too late. But what is the earth? Is it just the dirt we walk on? Of course not, the earth is the planet and everything on it, the people, the animals, the environment that sustains us, the blue sky, clean air, clear water, oceans, fish, trees and the and the great beauty and magnificence that makes this world a pleasant place to live. God loves His entire creation and watches over it with great concern. So beware to those who think that they they are doing good by participating in the greed in the name of business, killing, maiming, polluting and poisoning in secret. God is watching and remembering, for it is also written: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord “ Romans 12:19.

Wolf Action Group

I am happy to report that everything came together and my interview with the Wolf and Wildlife Action Group (WWAG) article is published on the Examiner. The response has been swift and spirited with my greatest one day readership of any article I have written as of this time. It seems the subject has struck a nerve.

It is fascinating that no other animal evokes such emotion as the wolf. Most people are captivated by its majestic beauty and freedom. Few other creatures are as photographed as the wolf. However, just as the animal is loved by the many it is despised with a pathological hatred by the few who have somehow interjected themselves into positions of power and authority and are determined to wipe the wolf off the face of the earth.

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

I am saddened to report that the very day that my article was published, fresh images of bloody dead dogs crossed my news feed following a vicious wolf hounding attack, probably in Wisconsin where this sadistic activity is legal, even encouraged. There are also reports that a new wolf and coyote slaughter contest was approved in Idaho complete with wildlife officials encouraging children to join in on the bloody fun.

I am astonished at the ignorance and stupidity of an entire fringe of our modern society that seems to believe that an entire species of animal is lurking in the woods with a plan to cause problems for humans. Such an evil plan that the normal rules against animal cruelty for rest of society are suspended for their holy war on the wolf. Rules that have landed many dog fighters in prison with felony convictions do not apply in the war on the wolf. Dog fighters are considered some of the most despicable of all people for their cruelty, yet this fringe group of so called hunters is given a pass.

Perhaps the war on the wolf is allowed to continue because the word hasn’t gotten out to enough good people in this country. Stay tuned as the WWAG continues its war against cruelty. There will be more campaigns at the capitals of the wolf killing states and I will be publishing more interviews on the Examiner. Be sure to subscribe to my news feed on the Examiner to receive free updates and articles. In individual articles the “subscribe to author” button is located near the bottom of the page.

Wolves

Today my heart and mind is with the wolves as a new hunting season begins. After being hunted, trapped and poisoned nearly to extinction during the previous century they were saved by the Endangered Species Act and efforts to save them converged upon Yellowstone National Park as new packs were introduced into the wilderness. However, just as they were beginning to thrive, the Bush administration removed them from the list.

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

Now, hunting and trapping have resumed with the mindless hatred and ferocity that nearly permanently removed them from the face of the American landscape. Barbaric trapping and hunting practices that would result in felony animal cruelty charges and prison time for the normal citizen are supported morally and financially by the states that promised the Bush administration that they would develop responsible wildlife management plans. These magnificent animals are trapped with barbaric leg hold traps and left for days to suffer in the elements without food or water. In Wisconsin, hounders are allowed to unleash packs of dogs to rip wolves and their pups apart in vicious encounters that often leave dogs dead as well as the wolves they are pursuing. The government encourages it and even reimburses the so called hunters for the loss of their dogs. One famous rocker and gun rights activist advocates shooting the wolves in the stomach with a .22 rifle to prolong their suffering.

I have recently met a new group of online friends who are doing something about it. They are taking the fight for these noble animals to the doorsteps of the capitols in the states where these sadistic activities are advocated. They say “The pen is mightier than the sword.”, so I will be using my digital pen to raise awareness of this group’s activities to win the hearts and minds of citizens in these states. Perhaps together we will be able to bring about change and once again save the wolf from destruction. Subscribe to my S. W. Krull Imaging Examiner news feed to receive free coverage of our fight for the wolves.