Monday, October 21, 2013

Massage for the body and mind ...

When my neurosurgeon and regular physician recommended therapeutic massage to help recover from spinal surgery, I was thrilled!  It's sure better than pain meds!  After just two sessions at AZ Therapeutic Associates, I'm feeling better.  It's not just the massage, it's the atmosphere as well.  Here are a few examples to show you what I mean.

The property is located in an older part of Phoenix and is graced by beautiful flowers and trees.

An old house has been converted into a colorful, yet serene, environment for massage and healing.

In fact, a small Buddha greets visitors at the entrance.

And we are reminded to be grateful for what we have and what we can create in our lives.

Beautiful wood planks are overhead and the waiting area is very calming.

And after the massage, you can meet the resident cat.  She's actually a feral cat that lives in the back of the property, but she comes out for food.  I was surprised she let me get this close for a photo.

Yes ... therapeutic massage is a great way to spend an hour, both physically and mentally.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Obedience Class

During this competition obedience class, I took a camera instead of a dog. ☺  Here are just a few of the dogs learning and having fun.

Fiona is a Belgian Tervuren heading in for the recall.

Roxz is a Westie ... going as fast as those little legs will move!

Hunter is also a Tervuren who absolutely loves to run!

Here's another shot of Hunter ... that's pure joy on his face. ☺

Martin is a Belgian Malinois who loves his leather glove.  How much??? You'll see!

See what I mean? Martin will jump to any height to grab that glove!

Fiona is working on the proper heeling position.

Pebbles is another Westie ... just look at the attention she gives her handler.

Roxz knows what she's supposed to do, too ...

And so does Martin.  Don't forget: his payoff is that glove. ☺

Hunter is a good boy during the long sit.

Martin is holding his sit while his handler walks around the ring.

How can you resist Roxz's little face?

Fiona poses while in her long sit.

Okay, Pebbles ... you can lick your nose, but you can't move!

Our dogs always have fun at obedience class ... and so do we!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Butterflies and Hummingbirds!

I just can't resist photographing butterflies!  They are such incredible creatures - and so beautiful.  I feel the need to document that beauty because their lives are so short - only about two weeks. That meant another trip to Butterfly Wonderland.  

Don't you just love the iridescent blue?

Another beauty!

This guy surrounded himself with a natural pastel background.

I thought this charmer would get lost in the colorful background ... black and white seems to fit a lot better. ☺

This is NOT a butterfly.  It's an Atlas Moth and it is HUGE!!! The wing span is at least 6-7 inches.  But look quick ... these guys only live three days!

I've also been trying to capture photos of some hummingbirds that come to my feeder in the backyard.  I haven't yet mastered the technique, but at least I'm starting to get photos that look like birds!  LOL!

Here is Frisky (a male) heading toward the feeder.

Almost there!

Ah ... Frisky made it!

One of my photography goals is to improve my skills taking photos of the smaller creatures we live with on this Earth.  And I'm enjoying every minute of it. ☺

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Japanese Friendship Garden - Part I

My first visit to the Japanese Friendship Garden!  Once inside the garden, it's hard to believe that you're actually in the midst of the concrete, glass, and steel of downtown Phoenix!  This is a traditional Japanese strolling garden filled with luscious plants and trees, flowers, koi ponds, ducks and Japanese tradition.  Take a stroll with me!

I found the trees particularly fascinating, including the exposed trunks and limbs that take various shapes.

The flowers are exquisite!

Wander through the garden surrounding a pond ... and on the banks are Japanese sculptures and powerful rocks.

In the pond ... several varieties of koi (ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp)!  Beautiful colors!

Visitors can buy koi food and when the fish see you coming,  they line up near the bridge.  Throw some food in ... and the feeding frenzy begins!

The garden is manicured to perfection. It's such a lovely - and serene - setting.

Waterfalls are featured throughout the garden.

A time for reflection ...

More photos from the Japanese Friendship Garden coming up!