Nathan lays hands on the grandmother elephant at BLESELE outside Uttaradit. Thai elephant massage?
Chopping down and carrying banana trees back to the eight hungry elephants.
Riding back to the sanctuary on top of the homemade "shoebox truck" loaded with bananas trees.
Playing with Star, the rambunctious 10-month-old baby.
One of the hundreds of butterflies circling the flowers sets a while on my foot, dirty and scraped by vines.
One of the mahouts sits scrubs the elephants with a special root as they bathe in the pond.
Dreams With Butterflies rests in a bamboo hammock in the heat of the afternoon.
Anon and his family's elephant that was terribly burned in a forest fire some years back.
Katherine shows how to get on an elephant.
Our second day, we are invited to ride our elephantine friends.
Pang Lom, the sweet five-year-old, reaches inquisitively towards my camera.
Nathan astride Seedor Somai, and me on Pang Tom, sitting bareback on the neck at the base of the head
with our feet resting behind their ears. They turn away from gentle pressure. Unless there is something tasty.
Pi Sot looking magnificent and laughing in the field while the elephants feed.
Nong Wam, the mahout of Mee Boon Mee.
A touching moment of trunk fondling as these three stand together intimately.
This is the first time that Pang Noi has let another elephant close to her little baby, Star.
Pi Sot squats near Pang Noi and baby Star.
Nong Dor astride Mee Boon Mee or another female.
Drinking homemade and store-bought spirits with the mahouts after dinner.
I'm cuddling Toyota the cat on top of Naam the dog, while the rest of the pack convenes around N.