New Furry Friends

Met some new friends this morning… As I was striding along through the woods I felt eyes upon me and stopped to look around. In the distance I spotted the onlooker, a little fawn mule deer curiously peering out from the wildflowers. I didn’t want to scare the little fellow so I didn’t approach, just shot from where I was at on the trail. Unfortunately the shot was too distant and there were probably some weeds or branches in the way that caught the eye of the camera so that the image isn’t totally sharp and not good enough for printing or stock… but presentable in small format for my blog 🙂 It wasn’t long before the little guy lost nerve and scampered a few more feet into the woods, which was when I noticed a twin fawn also scampering. Couldn’t get a shot of the two of them together, maybe another time.

Fawn Mule Deer

Didn’t see the mommy deer right away, but I figured she wasn’t too far off. Didn’t take more than a few more steps down the trail to prove that assumption correct. She came out from a thicket and began walking towards me… I held still so as not to alarm her and waited. She moved to within probably 30 yards and stopped to watch me with great suspicion. I walked away a few yards to show her I didn’t intend to encroach and found a tree limb on which to steady my camera. I did get some sharp images of the mommy so I’m pretty happy about that, haven’t gotten a good one of a deer in a while.

Doe Mule Deer

Now that I know where she and the babies are, I may sneak in without the doggies again soon and see if I can get some better shots. Anyway, I hope she remembers me that I meant no harm and considers me to be a new friend as well.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

Advertisements

Lost Sheep

I’ve been pondering a new theory as of late, and after last night it has jelled in my mind and I think it is high time to put it down on the old electronic paper. I call this one the Lost Sheep theory, which could also probably be called the separated sheep theory but lost sounds better.

Ephesians 6:12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Whether we like it or not, there is a war raging in another dimension, the spiritual dimension. The war is real and it is vicious and sometimes that war spills over into the physical as well. Here in the physical world there are three kinds of people, wolves, sheep and shepherds, the wolves know who they are. I think there are very few shepherds though, and we don’t always even know who we are. Which is why I’m writing this letter to the shepherds and the sheep both. To the shepherds so they will understand their role, and to the sheep so they will know to stay inside the protective circle of their shepherds.

I can’t count the number of times I have gone to work or gone shopping or hiking or on a photo trip that I have received a phone call, “You gotta get back here right away!“, plug in latest crisis… I also can’t count the number of times I have heard, “Every time you leave, all hell breaks loose!”, which is what got me to pondering this whole theory.

In the natural world predators like to look for a weak member of the herd, perhaps even one that has become separated from the rest. They seek an easy prey that they can quickly kill and drag away before the main herd or the shepherd notices. So it is in the spiritual world as well. There is a real enemy in the spiritual realm who is always looking for someone to destroy.

1 Peter: 8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. “

In many cases the sheep are your children, perhaps one might like to play alone or a teen might align with the wrong friends. In this case it also might be the father who is assigned the role of shepherd and if he isn’t vigilant his sheep will become the target for destruction by the enemy. Maybe it will be work, or television, or the internet that distracts the shepherd and allows his sheep to become separated.

In some cases though, certain people have been assigned the role of shepherd, these are pastors, youth leaders and sometimes even coaches and teachers, etc. Occasionally some shepherds are just regular people mingling with friends, neighbors, and co-workers. And these must constantly be watching to see if there is a soul who is being isolated and targeted.

The hard part in those cases is for the shepherds to figure out who they are… that’s how I got started on this idea… the “all hell breaks loose” part of it. I noticed that for certain people in my sphere of influence, if they stay in my sphere there is peace. If they become separated trouble starts. When I come back, the predators slink back into their corners of darkness to wait for a more opportune moment.

I/m sure this has nothing to do with the physical prowess of the shepherd person, but more to do with spiritual prowess and availability. Now of course to walk in that kind of power the shepherds have to be believers who are paying attention and who are not afraid to get in the fight and get a little bloody sometimes. Some may be shepherds, but if they refuse to leave their football games on television, or their video games and chat rooms on the computer or happy hour or whatever, their sheep will be left defenseless.

There have been no greater tests of my theory than what I have seen in the last few days… First came the physical attacks from a loved one on one of my co-workers, then a car wreck and the shock from that. Then last night at work, an almost indescribable nightmare… as certain wolves at work took advantage of a very rough night to close in and try destroy her completely. I saw what was going on and took steps to make sure my sheep wasn’t seen as separated, and the battle went on all night. In the end it appears the forces of good were victorious and she won the admiration of the entire team, save the jealous predators who found themselves on the wrong side of the battle line. In the spiritual realm, the enemy could see that this sheep had a shepherd watching, this sheep was no longer separated and easy prey, that there was a shepherd who was not giving up a sheep without a fight.

Fortunately for all of us, the forces of good are more powerful than the forces of darkness. But the forces of good need to be vigilant and courageous. We can’t become distracted with our own endeavors or allow fear to stop us from speaking up, or to keep us from doing our God given jobs of providing mercy and comfort to the broken hearted. As a side note, keep in mind that the predators are not easily identifiable, they can be important people in the workplace, church and neighborhoods. They can come in the form of religious people as well, self righteous and self seeking individuals who profess the words of the bible, but do not do them.

To the shepherds I say, remain vigilant. The war never ends, the enemy never rests. I just got done with a major spiritual battle earlier in the summer and I prayed… “Lord, let this be the last one, let me rest now.’. But the prayer was sin and I know God didn’t listen to it. So last night I changed my prayer to “Lord don’t ever leave me out of the fight. May You never find me away my battle station when the war in the heavens spills over into my world.”.

Holidays BT

Have been struggling to come to grips with the first holiday season I will be spending without Trica in 27 years. Last year Tricia was in the wheelchair not able to do any cooking but my sweet friend and awesome gourmet cook, Heike, invited us over to her and Pat’s house for a wonderful day of turkey and excellent old world German cooking. I have been dreading the holidays for a few weeks now, unsure of what it is going to be like to be alone when everyone else is enjoying their families. Now obviously I could just go back to Iowa and have Thanksgiving with my huge beautiful family there if it weren’t for the wreckage of life after cancer and death that I am dealing with here in Colorado at the time. On the other hand after the loss of a life partner you feel alone no matter how many people you surround yourself with.

Ooops, blog post running of the tracks again. So anyway I have been thinking about this a lot lately and last night I dreamed I was running the Mile High Turkey Trot four mile race with a dear friend from what seems like a previous lifetime. When I awoke thinking about the dream it started to come back to me that for quite a few years running the race WAS the way I celebrated Thanksgiving. As far as I was concerned it was the way TO celebrate Thanksgiving. Up at sunrise, pin on the number and head out into a cold blast of November morning air in your shorts and t-shirt. No turkey to buy, no mess to clean up, no relatives to bicker with. Food, no problem… only a runner can appreciate the joy of drinking a cold beer at 10:00 a.m. in your sweaty running clothes in frigid temperatures surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of like minded people. It doesn’t get any better than that 🙂 If the post race snack and libations aren’t enough, someone is always having a Thanksgiving brunch, and a gourmet champagne breakfast is probably cheaper than having to buy a turkey with all the trimmings.

So anyway, that was how Thanksgiving was done before Tricia, or BT as I now call it. Tricia, however had a different idea of how Thanksgiving was supposed to be run and come to think of it, the race was a great source of friction when we first got married. She was mad that I was never there to help start cooking the huge meal that I didn’t want. So year after year the fighting continued until I eventually wore down and gave up the race. Years went by and the Thanksgiving race faded from memory completely, until last night.

So anyway, as I continue down this road back to my life that once was, I remember that I was 30 when we met. I had my own life, my own way of doing things and my own ideas of how things were supposed to be. Little by little it is coming back and I am realizing how much I have missed the freedom of life BT! Well, better get going, this blog has given me an idea for an Examiner Article! Time to write about all the Turkey Trots going on in the Front Range on the Turkey Day! Turkey Day? Who knows, maybe I’ll run the race! It has been a long time but I think if I can claw my way to the top of the Manitou Inline I can probably jog a few miles for a breakfast beer at the finish line in Wash Park 🙂

Changing Seasons

So I put the COMPLETE stamp on summer by finishing my Intemann Trail article for the Examiner. It was quite an adventure that took pretty much all summer, starting with a two and a half hour “short cut” from Red Rock Canyon over to Manitou Springs in quest of my press pass for the Pikes Peak Ascent.

Goats

Mountain Goats on Mount Bierstadt

It was a great summer that included a bunch of things I have been meaning to do for years, the whitewater festivals, visiting the wolves in Guffy, the mountain goats on Mount Evans, climbing 14ers Bierstadt and Yale, climbing the Manitou Incline with my brother and meeting Robin and best of all meeting new friends in person that I had only known through Facebook prior to this summer.

The fall colors come early in the Colorado high country, in fact it still feels like summer in the lower elevations when it is time to go up for the fall pictures. Fall felt like it officially started yesterday with the running of the annual Pikes Peak Road Runners Fall Series I race in Bear Creek Park down in the Springs.

I have to say I am not looking forward to the short days and long hours of darkness but the summer has left me with a bounty of over six thousand pictures to work with over the cold months. I am also looking forward to working on some new projects, including the re-start of my portrait photography services and a new line of T-Shirts now available on my Fine Art website along with many other products that are available there.

So anyway, have a great autumn everyone, I am certainly planning to 🙂

Finality

I wasn’t going to write again on Tricia’s passing, but the events of the day have again turned my thoughts to the grieving process. As I awoke this morning, before I had completely come to full consciousness, I looked over to see if I was going to be able to start moving around without awakening her. Of course I quickly realized she wasn’t there.

Part of my day’s activities involved sorting through possessions in preparation for moving out by the end of the month. At one time I came upon a box of antique quilts that she was particularly fond of and quite indignant with me for misplacing when I moved it here. Funny it was within three feet of her the entire time she was here, I just didn’t remember that I had put it there. So of course I got excited and my immediate reaction was, I can’t wait to tell her I found the quilts! And there were a couple more incidents like that where I came across or had a thought or got a call from someone and my immediate thought was, I can’t wait to tell her.

Some friends had me over for dinner this afternoon and when I returned I discovered packages delivered by UPS on the doorstep. It only took me a fraction of a second to ascertain what the packages were. A couple of weeks ago she spent at least an hour on Amazon, combing the listings for some of our favorite movies. In her wheelchair bound state, watching movies was about the only shared activity we had left that we could enjoy together, and movie time was our favorite time of day. It was with great sadness that I opened the packages to find a couple of our favorite John Candy movies, some wildlife documentaries, a season of the old TV show Rawhide that she loved, and a book she had been trying to find for a long time, the “Cancer Battle Plan”. The packages unfortunately arrived well past their projected delivery dates and ultimately, too late.

That’s when the terrible finality of what has happened really began to sink in. She wasn’t ready to die, she wanted to go on fighting, to glean every bit of life from her time of earth that she was able to experience. But there are things left undone, unseen and unheard. In this mortal life I will never again be able to tell her of the little victories like finding the quilts again. I will never see her in the morning, and we will never have movie nights again. Fortunately final in this mortal world is not final. I know her salvation is secure as we experienced it together on our knees at the altar. The bible says life is but a vapor, but I intend to live the remainder of my years on earth to the fullest and I know that time flies and I will see her again in the next life. So final isn’t that final after all.