Sangre de Cristo Easter

Easter, my favorite morning of the entire year. It is so quiet on resurrection morning, no commute traffic, no construction chaos, no hustle and bustle, just the beautiful silent peace that this day brings. I wanted to watch the sunrise but didn’t quite make it out of bed in time to get all the way down to my overlook to view it. Still beautiful though, and it seemed appropriate to celebrate the morning in the shadow of the mountains named for His sacrifice, the beautiful Sangre de Cristo “Blood of Christ” Range of Colorado.

Sangre De Cristo Mountains

Sangre De Cristo Mountains

As I neared the top of the hill that I like to visit I could see a small pocket of fog at the base of the foothills which I thought was kind of cool and worth a stop for a couple of pictures. But that sight was nothing compared to the scene that unfolded a few steps later. The entire Arkansas River Valley was filled with a silky sea of fog at the base of the towering peaks, the best pictures I’ve been able to capture yet this year… A beautiful Easter gift from my Savior to me on the day of His greatest gift of all, the free gift of salvation for all who will accept it.

Hoping for a peaceful and joyful day for all my readers and to everyone on this wonderful Holy Day. He is Risen!

 

 

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Cripple Creek Ice Festival

Winter has definitely returned to Colorado with a vengeance this week! We had our coldest night of the entire winter season the other night with the mercury dropping to -4 overnight. Which really isn’t too bad considering two years ago the temp dropped to -24 in Woodland Park and -37 in Divide just a few miles north of here!

Cripple Creek Ice Festival

Part of the ice festival in Cripple Creek Colorado

But if we were going to have a cold week, this was the one to have it, the week of the annual Ice Festival celebration in Cripple Creek. Unfortunately I was working during the best part of the festival, but at least I got to see it. I was tempted to take the camera down and get some shots, but after fighting the crowds last year I decided against it. Not a fan of random crowd shots anyway.

However one benefit of the cold weather is that the ice sculptures have not yet melted. Today on my walk to work before first light I discovered that the street is still blocked off and the lights are still illuminating the sculptures. I didn’t have my good camera so these with my phone camera are not the best, but it was kind of magical to be there when there were no other people around πŸ™‚ So I just walked up the street and snapped some shots as best as I could in the dark with my extremely unimpressive phone camera.

Cripple Creek Ice Festival

Ice sculptures and holiday lights on the casinos in Cripple Creek Colorado

These two were my favorites, my favorite one being the castle. Oh, the town keeps the holiday lights up until after the ice festival, so I got a two-fer for my efforts. Hope you enjoy the pictures and maybe you can make it down to Cripple Creek next year!

These shots are not of sufficient quality to put on my website, but please be sure to visit if you want to see more Cripple Creek, mountains, wildlife, sports and and nature photographic art!

 

Happy Winter Solstice

Alone in the woods in the coldness and darkness of the Rocky Mountain winter Christmas and the New Year holidays become meaningless dates on an arbitrary calendar, nights to be endured not celebrated… The birth of Christ, celebrated all over the world by families almost certainly did not occur exactly on the 25th of December anyway. In those Spartan circumstances another date becomes meaningful, tangible and measurable. It is the solstice, the day when the sun halts it’s southward journey assuring us that the next day will be a little lighter, for some an encouraging concept even if only a few seconds at first.

Fortunately the great celestial moment is not quite as important to me this year. After a decade of sickness, death and hardship I am finally on the rebound with a new town, a new job and a new home. Amazing what modern insulation, a solid roof and a good furnace can do to ease the hardship of a Colorado winter!

Rest assured the birth of my Saviour has not been forgotten, in fact the miracle of a new start making me all the more appreciative of His great mercy and divine provision. Personally I subscribe to the belief that He was born on the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles, the clue given by the Apostle John as he describes His coming to tabernacle among us. 

Although I will not refrain from the joy of the traditional holiday season this year, I feel no guilt in also celebrating the wonder of His magnificent creation, marked today by the amazing annual astronomical event in the heavens 

So it is my sincere hope that my readers will also receive some comfort in knowing that the light of day is on the increase and the warmth of spring is not that far off!

Happy Solstice!

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving, ​This day in November of the year 1621, when the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians gathered at Plymouth to give thanks to the Almighty for their survival and a bountiful harvest.

This Thanksgiving I too give thanks for my survival, the culmination of a decade of hardship, loss, sickness and death. I Watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles for the first time in years, a long tradition abandoned after Tricia’s passing. To be honest I wasn’t sure I would ever want to celebrate the holiday again and I am stunned at the developments of this year. 

The year began with an injury severe enough to prevent me from my usual duties unloading trucks at Walmart, another winter of wretched survival and the terrible isolation of life in a 1971 camper trailer.

This Thanksgiving finds me in a new home in a new town with a new career, surrounded by friends and family and a turkey baking in the oven. I know none of this would be possible without a miracle crafted in Heaven by the Almighty Himself and there are no words to describe how grateful I am.

I am well aware however, that there are many still living in quiet desperation who will not be celebrating in comfort this year and it is my fervent prayer that the Lord will sustain them through the hard times as he did me.

 “I will give you beauty for ashes and turn your morning into dancing.”

Independence Day

The Fourth of July, the day we celebrate the signing in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence from the rule of England and the king. The day that our forefathers informed the king that their basic rights to life liberty and pursuit of happiness were unalienable, given to mankind by the Creator and not man or man’s government. For well over two centuries Americans have been free to get jobs, create businesses and save money for their family and their future with limited interference from the federal government. It is truly a day to be celebrated and to ponder on the great gifts that our Creator has given to us.

declaration-of-independence-PHowever as I think upon and study the text of this document, I am struck by how much our own government has become similar to the tyranny of the king that we are commemorating our independence from. Interestingly, the first few tenants of the declaration refer to the passing of laws. First of all, β€œHe has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”. How often have laws that would benefit the general populace been blocked by some federal judge? The second tenant states, β€œHe has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.”. How often have we finally gotten laws passed through much sweat and tears only to have our elected officials decide not to enforce them? And finally the third tenant, β€œHe has refused to pass other Laws for the accomodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.”. How often have we put people in office with the hope that they will finally represent the will of the people and do the things we need them to do to protect and defend us only to have them turn their backs on us and immediately begin defending their own interests and the interests of the government, just as the representatives of the king did in the colonial days. An impoverished people can never be great and our government has done so much damage already, our jobs taken away from us and given to those in India, China and Mexico as our own people now work for slave wages in the service and fast food industry, many on food stamps to get by and many more working two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

But I digress, here’s a good one from the text, β€œHe has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”. The parallel here should be obvious to even the most casual observer. Here’s another good one, β€œHe is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy [treachery] scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.”. This too is so obvious as to scarcely need explanation, but the list of terrorist attacks committed by foreign “mercenaries” our irresponsible government officials have allowed to infiltrate our cities and towns is long and getting longer.

So on this day let us study the words of this sacred text and try to comprehend what we are celebrating and what we have already lost in just a little over two centuries. I pray that we will not allow ourselves to unwittingly revert to the rule of the king without even a fight. Already the battle is going to be long and hard to regain many of our unalienable rights from decades of overreach by our own version of the β€œking”. The words of the Bible, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.“. If we turn our heartsΒ  to the real King and humble ourselves, we can win back this great land and our liberty.

 

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


Winter Solstice 2014

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.

Coyote

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

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!

End of Summer

The Labor Day weekend is a bittersweet time where I live, especially the Monday holiday. It is unofficial end of summer and the highway through town will be jammed with cars and pickups pulling camper trailers. Thousands will stream out of the mountains to head back to their homes in the cities and plains of the Midwestern states to start school and go back to their jobs. It will be a good day to avoid the highways and byways and to just stay home and get things done around the house.

The mountains will become quiet and a peaceful cool will settle in as autumn sets in. This is my favorite time of year for photography as the aspen trees change and the mountains take on their mantle of gold before becoming covered in winter’s blanket of white. Fall is my favorite time in the mountains. The storms of summer will come to an end and the days will be filled with beautiful late summer sunshine providing excellent lighting for landscape photography. I like to get out during the week to enjoy the solitude of the workweek when even the weekenders are absent from my favorite places.

I also look forward to participating in many of autumns great events. This year I plan to attend Oktoberfest in Woodland Park and we are going to have our own ultra marathon in the Pike National Forest not too far north of town. And I am already looking forward to my annual hike up the Crystal Falls Trail to Crystal Reservoir to see the colors on the big Peak.

Today however, winter and snow are on my mind and on this crazy day on the roadways I will stay home and make preparations for the inevitable onslaught of white.