The Heat is On

Mary and I have adopted a new approach this year to combating Arizona’s annual ‘fry your hands (among other things) on the steering wheel’ season. We’ve been ‘Rving it,’ alternating between roughly two weeks in the mountains about an hour to the north of our Anthem, AZ home and then approximately two weeks back home. It’s an ideal situation, as the temperatures generally drop significantly as we head north and we are close enough to make day trips back for medical appointments (there have been a bunch this year) and family matters.

ZaneGrey1j

Not only has it helped us beat (and appreciate) the heat, it has also provided awesome photoremedy opportunities.

Clear Creek Church - Near Camp Verde, AZ

Clear Creek Church – Camp Verde, AZ

We have at stayed three different campgrounds and are happy to report they all have a lot to offer.

Quail Ridge http://www.quailridgervpark.com/

Zane Grey RV Park http://zanegreyrvpark.com/

Verde Valley Thousand Trails http://www.thousandtrails.com/arizona/verde-valley

Each of these parks are located no more than 20 minutes or so from Camp Verde. Even better, they are also a short drive from several awesome visitor destinations and extremely photogenic areas. Over the next few weeks, many of the photographs captured during our in-state summer pursuits will be featured. Stay cool and stay tuned.

Near Verde Valley Thousand Trails RV Resort

Summer Storm – Near Verde Valley Thousand Trails RV Resort

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Thanksgiving Thoughts

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I find myself hoping I will taste the perfect turkey and fixings (again) this year. Meanwhile, I’m sure those who know me best are just hoping I won’t be the perfect turkey (again) this year!

Le Crueset - Kerland Commons, Scottsdale

Le Crueset – Kerland Commons, Scottsdale

Fall is always glorious in Arizona, and, with the holiday season catapulting towards us, I’m giving thanks for the opportunity to get out and enjoy photographing a small sample of the Grand Canyon State’s seemingly always interesting people, scenery, and places. It’s also provided the opportunity to continue to attempt to refine my digital art and fine art photography skills.

Back in 2011, the year I started writing about the joy and healing power of photography, I shared some of my Thanksgiving thoughts that November. I reviewed it today, and found myself in the same frame of mind. I’ll wrap up today’s post with the same words that concluded that initial Thanksgiving photoremedy.me post.

When we embrace that there is one greater than us, it is much easier to look for the blessings in our lives at all times. It is much easier to be humble in our victories and hopeful when we face great challenges. It is much easier to understand the importance of giving thanks always.

Anthem Community Park

Anthem Community Park

The Birth of Something New

As part of the ongoing photoremedy.me effort to encourage others to explore the “good medicine” that can be delivered to those who are passionate about the pictures they take and make, we occasionally share research or thought processes that support the healing nature of creativity.

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch (fine art photography)

Today’s thought comes from Jan Phillips in her book, God Is at Eye Level.

We get so caught up in the flurry of our lives that we forget the essential thing about our art–that the act of creating is a healing gesture, as sacred as prayer, as essential to the HGR Pink Fower 1j (1 of 1)spirit as food is to the body. Our creative work reveals us to ourselves, allows us to transform our experience and imagination into forms that sing back to us in a language of…who we are, what we are becoming, what we have loved and feared. This is the alchemy of creation: that as I attempt to transmute a feeling or thought into an artistic form that can be experienced by another, I myself am added to, changed in the process.

As we center ourselves in the act of creating, attune to our inner voice, a shift occurs in our consciousness, allowing for the birth of something new. Our attention is no longer on time and demands and errands. It is caught up in the metamorphosis of one thing into another. What begins as a cocoon emerges a butterfly. What once was sorrow may now be a song.

All of the photos featured today are photoremedy.me originals, and were taken at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Like many of Arizona’s celebrated resorts, it is a great place to stimulate the “birth of something new.” It is a great place for photoremedy.

Arizona Spring Flowers

Flower Quote 2

Each Spring, I experience the seemingly inexorable pull towards Arizona flower-related photoremedy. I know those who have not visited the Great American Southwest have a hard time picturing flowers in the desert; it is almost as difficult as trying to imagine a Redneck passing up a cold beer. The colorful gems, though, flourish during the Spring in Arizona’s breathtaking Sonoran Desert. They triumph on the ground and on trees, while consistently painting the ancient mountains in brilliant Spring colors.Gavilan Peak 1j

Flowers can also be appreciated in well-manicured gardens. Traditionally, I have focused a greater percent of my efforts on capturing Spring wildflowers. This year, however, garden-grown varieties have received most of my photographic attention. African Daisy 1j

A few of the of the images I have captured (and developed) this year are featured in the gallery below. Just click on any image to view the selections in slide show mode.

Note: The photoremedy mission is to encourage those fighting chronic pain and other afflictions to consider using photography as a powerful tool to move their focus away from the pain. In the process, we strive to enhance readers’ ability to see beauty and experience elevated joy in their lives. There are many gifts that can accompany health challenges; one of the greatest offerings is it frequently forces sufferers to set better priorities for their lives and assists them in seeing the world in new and more meaningful ways. 

Birds and Beasts

I See You  (1 of 1)

We consistently use the photoremedy term throughout the blog. What is photoremedy? It is simply the impressive range of benefits associated with the “good medicine” that photography offers those who get a healing-like rush from the creative process associated with taking and developing compelling images.

Got a light- (1 of 1)

Bird in flight 1j (1 of 1)

Want guaranteed photoremedy? Grab the kids and/or grandchildren and head to a local park that features birds and waterfowl or a local wildlife zoo. It’s worked wonders for me in 2014. Some of the images I’ve captured this year are featured in the gallery below. Just click on any image to view the selections in slide show mode.

Calm Duck 1j (1 of 1)

Off the Strip

The days of $9 hotel rooms and 99-cent shrimp cocktails are long gone for Las Vegas travelers, but good deals are still out there if you look carefully and time it right. During our recent home renovation project, we had to be off our floors for a few days. We ended up going to Vegas because the rates for off-the-strip resorts were less than half of what they were for limited service hotels on our side of Phoenix.Harley_Davidson-2 (1 of 1)

We generally stay on the strip, but this time we made a point of seeing new sights in the Vegas area. The adventure created some great photoremedy opportunities as we checked out Freemont street at night, visited Lake Las Vegas for the first time, and poked around scenic Lake Mead. Click on individual images below to view in slide show mode.

Mary and I aren’t big gamblers, but we do enjoy visiting Vegas frequently. The new Hoover Dam bypass has made it less than a five hour drive from our home – even with the multiple stops I need to make to stretch my legs and generally load up on fresh ice for my back. Regardless, one thing is always certain when visiting Las Vegas. There is always–whether you are on the strip or off of it–plenty of opportunities to snap a few memorable images.