Monday, July 26, 2021

Keeper of the Plains

 A couple Saturdays ago the Flint Hills Writing Project met at the Keeper of the Plains statue in Wichita. I received drone authorization from the FAA to fly a quick mission over the Keeper for a quick picture.  This is due to airspace restrictions in the area.  While I took this photo, another group was shooting a video.  They can be seen in the upper right corner of the picture.

The four areas of the pedestal represent the four elements, earth (upper left) air (upper right), water (lower left), and fire (lower right).  The stones surrounding it represent the 28 days between the full moons.  The seven fire pots near the fire region light up each night for fifteen minutes depending on the weather.

For information on the statue:

Friday, July 16, 2021

East Troublesome Fire Continued

This is a continuation of the East Troublesome Fire.  I went back and oversaturated some of the color to show the life coming back to the burn scar.  Please see my previous blog post:
for more information. Prints available, please contact me at father_thunder(at)

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

East Troublesome Fire Recovery Late June 2021

 The East Troublesome fire started on October 14th, 2020 northeast of Kimmerling, Colorado in the Arapaho National Forest.  The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but this fire became the 2nd most damaging wildfire in Colorado history. The fire claimed a total of 192,457 acres.  Due to low humidity, high winds (the worst day had gusts up to 60 mph), and fallen trees due to beetle infestation, the fire grew 120,000 acres in one day. making it the most rapid-fire expansion in state history.  

Arapaho National Park is still closed and they are currently in a recovery mode called the Emergency Stabilization-Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER).  This is where they will limit the run-off, soil erosion, and protect threatened species' environment.

 The fire nearly made it to the eastern side of Estes Park and to the eastern suburbs of Grand Lake.  Two people died in the Troublesome fire that refused to evacuate.  The fire was brought under control due to a winter storm that hit the area, increasing moisture in the area, cold weather, and lower winds.  Winter conditions greatly slowed the fire and it was 72% contained by November 19th.  By Thanksgiving of last year, the fire was not a threat to any communities.  In the end, over 400 houses and structures were destroyed.

While in Colorado we drove up Co-125 and documented what it looks like now.   While walking around, I found a pile of ashes that looked nearly identical to the soil, except there was no strength to it and my foot sunk down into the hole they covered. 


Sorry for the long post.