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

Note: photoremedy.me is published as a labor of love. Please feel free to share the site, or any of our posts, with others. Our Home Page always features an option for our readers to sign up to immediately receive new material as an email. We hope you will become a part of our photoremedy network.

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Image of the Year: 2014 Poll

Photos and article by Greg W. Gilstrap. It’s that time of year again: a time when much of the country is covered in varying degrees of white, and when we here in the Arizona Valley of Sun are enjoying glorious sunshine and warm days. At night, we are blessed with the opportunity to squeeze in temperatures that can hover near, or just above, freezing. The cool evening air is a particular blessing for those of us who are from places where more extreme temperature variances are traditionally recorded. A little cold is often embraced, but I have to say it goes a long way for me.

With the promise of a new and even better year rapidly approaching, it’s once again time for our (third) annual Photoremedy Image of the Year contest. As with our previous efforts, we are offering what we like to refer to–tongue in cheek–as a “Chicago-style” approach to voting.  This means you can “vote early and vote often.” If you love a photo, follow the poll’s progress and don’t be afraid to share it with your friends or to come back to register extra votes for good measure. More than 1,000 votes were registered each of the last two years. The poll can be found at the bottom of this post, after all of the photo candidates are offered.

2013 Image of the Year Finalists. Winner: Cannon Beach (top)

2013 Image of the Year Finalists. Winner: Cannon Beach (top)

The 2014 images below include traditional photographs and some that feature significant digital art enhancements. Like many, I enjoy both forms of artistic expression. All of these pieces were captured and developed while pursuing photoremedy. Click on the ‘Background and Initial Post’ tab above for our working ‘photoremedy’ definition. Check out the options, and then select the image that you feel is worthy of being crowned Photoremedy Image of the Year. The contest closes at midnight MST, New Year’s Eve.

1. Stations of the Cross Early in 2014, we visited Denver’s spectacular Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for our good friend Paul Louderman’s ordination as a Catholic Deacon. The Basilica features exquisite stained glass and poignant salvation history art. I was particularly blown away by this image taken of a tiny “stations of the cross” sculpture depicting the moment when Jesus was stripped of his garments.Station Of The Cross -1j

2. Lake Mead Marina Since Las Vegas is so close to our home, Mary and I generally go there for a couple of short visits each year. If you time it right, there are great hotel rates to be found, and there are always awesome culinary options. On the way to Vegas, we’ve sped past Lake Mead turn off dozens of times. This year was different. We are so grateful we slowed down and took the road less traveled. If we hadn’t done so, we would have missed out on incredibly enjoyable photoremedy at the Lake Mead Marina.

Lake Mead Marina

3. This Ain’t a Kiss Our hometown, Anthem, features green parks and walking trails. The “big park” is always full of action, ranging from kids at the big playground and riding the small train to pets on leashes and water fowl on the lakes. It, too, is a great place for photoremedy. While tagging along with my wife and one of our grandchildren in 2014, we came upon this scene near one of the fishing ponds. While it may look like these two are loving on each other, they were not. These aggressive drakes were actually involved in a territorial tussle of sorts when their beaks got stuck together. It took a few minutes for them to break free. After that, they appeared too tired for brawling; each of them then headed in different directions.

At Anthem, AZ Community Park

4. Life is a Splash Our grandkids have blessed our lives with much love, laughter, and hope for the future. As grandparents, it seems Mary and I are a bit more in tune with the young ones’ sense of awe and wonder than we were with our children. This thought was hilariously reinforced during a summer outing when our oldest grandson got a bit of a shock at the Anthem Splash Pad.Emmett Splash 2b (1 of 1) - Copy

5. Z is for Zebra Awe and wonder is also produced when we take the young ones to places where they can closely observe–or interact–with animals. Litchfield Park’s Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium is one of our favorite experiences in the metro Phoenix area. Not only do the kids love it, but so do I. Each time, I seem drawn to the artistic potential that zebras offer. Zebra images are often illustrative of the protective power of coming together.I See You  (1 of 1)

6. Will I See You Tonight? Coming together for dinner is often one of the foundational building blocks of healthy societies. I feel like this digital image beautifully illustrates the warmth that can be produced when people gather together in small and intimate places for good food, a refreshing drink, and neighborly conversation. Cheers!Ingo Final fapj w border

7. Local Character Good food, in interesting places, can often tell you a lot about a local community. What does the Two Hippies Beach House tell you about the emerging eclectic Phoenix restaurant vibe?

Two Hippies Beach House - 501 East Camelback Rd., Phoenix

8. Coming Home This summer, a few of our Arizona family members returned to Kansas for a few days with our families in, and near, where Mary and I have roots. Tiny Aurora, Kansas isn’t a major stop on the tracks these days. But, from here, many of Mary’s relatives (and teachers, if you will) learned a lot about life, love, and community. To me, it is more than “just another small town.” It’s still a remarkably important place that shaped a bright future for Cloud County and beyond.Auroa tracks sunrise 1j

9. Up on Main Street I am as impressed as anyone with Frank Lloyd Wright designs, modern architecture, mater-planned communities, and expensive marble buildings. If you want to know the type of place where I’d most like to enjoy a “nice cold one,” however, this is it–up on Main Street.

Downtown Aurora, Kansas

10. Save St. Joseph The past few times that I’ve been back visiting with Mary’s relatives in Cloud County, Kansas, I feel this extraordinary pull to enjoy a little photoremedy in tiny St. Joseph. I am so impressed with how the community has been devotedly maintained–in particular how the historic local Catholic Church there has been lovingly maintained. There’s even an impressive YouTube video about Guardians of The St. Joseph Church Foundation. Check out their efforts.

St. Joseph Cathedral - St. Joseph, Kansas

11. I Got Your Back Another great Kansas stop is the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park (metro Kansas City area). During our summer trip there, our granddaughter got to meet her second cousin for the first time. They really enjoyed the attraction, and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to capture images like this. They went running into the Nature Trail entrance, and suddenly stopped cold in their tracks. Then, with a gentle touch, I could almost hear him say, “I got your back!” Of course, knowing young boys, he might have been saying, “This looks scary. You first!”I Got Your Back 1fapj (1 of 1)

12. Elliott Bay Sunset Our youngest son is attending school in Seattle, Washington. We have spent the past two Thanksgivings there with him. Mary and I have really grown to love the city–particularly when it offers sunset views like this one from Elliott Bay.Elliott Bay Sunset 1j

Note: Photoremedy.me is published as a labor of love. Please feel free to share the site, or any of our posts, with others. Our Home Page always features an option for our readers to sign up to immediately receive new material as an email. We hope you will become a part of our photoremedy network. Special thanks to Andrew Gilstrap for adding his special touches to this post. In my humble opinion, he is one of the best writers and editors in the Phoenix market.

Kids in Kansas

Traveling to Kansas this summer, as always, provided ample doses of photoremedy. In addition to connecting with some of my favorite rural areas and participating in the Shane Hoesli fund raiser that were featured in previous posts, I also had a chance to snap some pretty important toddler photos. Amanda and Stephen’s Isabella got to meet–and spend some quality time with–her Great Grandpa Bill (my Pop).

Amanda, who has always loved the Sunflower State, got to let Isabella go for a run near a spectacular sunflower field.

I was finally able to take some pictures of Cecily – my niece Katy’s and her husband Chris’s precious daughter.

Isabella got to spend quite a bit of time with Colton – Erin (another one of my nieces) and her husband Jason’s son. The two tiny tots were a little shy with each other at first, but eventually bonded and were especially adorable when they spent time with the animals at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.

We’ll wrap up our Kansas photoremedy in our next post by taking a look at a few more favorite pictures; we will also offer a step back in time with a photo from just across the border in a charming Missouri village.

Farley, Missouri

Farley, Missouri