Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography: Blog http://lbjphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) Sun, 18 Mar 2018 14:38:00 GMT Sun, 18 Mar 2018 14:38:00 GMT http://lbjphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u785566384-o873398718-50.jpg Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography: Blog http://lbjphotography.com/blog 120 80 Meow Wolf House of Eternal Return http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/meow-wolf-house-of-eternal-return Meow Wolf

Santa Fe, NM

March 11, 2018

A week ago today we spent an exhilarating morning at Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return.  We met Bonnie's college roommate the day prior, and spent an afternoon with her at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum.  Both museums represent creators who were "out of the box" for their time; both reinforced the notion that it is ok to be wild once in awhile and to follow your heart.  

When we arrived at opening at Meow Wolf there was a line; when we left, the line was twice as long.  Moral of the story:  if you plan to go, get there at opening.  

The best part of the weekend was spent being with Bonnie's former college roommate, Lynn.

LynnLynn Sychedelic ForestSychedelic Forest cavecave dinodino Tea PartyTea Party IMG_2412

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/meow-wolf-house-of-eternal-return Sun, 18 Mar 2018 14:38:28 GMT
Remembering ... http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/remembering Winter, 2018

The Holy Spirit of God rested upon our two months in Las Cruces.

Gift from the heartGift from the heart HikingArrowHikingArrow Desert_RootsDesert_Roots mountainsmountains shorts weathershorts weather Puzzling togetherPuzzling together Friends copyFriends copy gag giftsgag gifts SmorgasbordSmorgasbord WoodcarversWoodcarvers

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/remembering Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:28:17 GMT
Cowboy Days http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/cowboy-days file7file7 file (1)file (1) file2 (1)file2 (1) file4 (1)file4 (1) file5file5 file6file6

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info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/cowboy-days Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:18:26 GMT
Woodcarvers 2018 http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/woodcarvers-2018 AugustinaAugustina Berts cradle dollBerts cradle doll BobBob BonnieBonnie DavidDavid DoraDora Espey2Espey2 GabeGabe

IsraelIsrael Jim2Jim2 JoeJoe JohnnieJohnnie KiKi LouLou LupeLupe LureneLurene MannyManny MariaElenaMariaElena MaryMary MerleMerle MerlynMerlyn MikeMike RaulRaul RayRay RickRick RoxannaRoxanna Sandy3Sandy3


SueSue TeresaTeresa Wittara1Wittara1

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/woodcarvers-2018 Wed, 14 Mar 2018 01:40:04 GMT
Anthe http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/anthe Anthe

March, 2018

We met Anthe Ruth last year! At that time we saw her at Woodcarvers every session we attended. At the end of our stay she gave us oven towels she had made—the ones which hang from an oven or refrigerator handle. This year we discovered the wonderful relationship she has with her son.

Travel back in time 50 years. Macrame was the fad. Anthe and her son published a book of phenomenal macrame creations, each one he had designed and built. Traveling forward in time she and her son started a venture of photographing melting flowers after having been frozen in a pail of water. The photographs were sold in a Santa Fe shop. Today, her son is a doctor. Today, Anthe continues her art in the form of wood carving.

Anthe1Anthe1 MacrameMacrame Anthes ice flowersAnthes ice flowers


info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/anthe Wed, 14 Mar 2018 01:05:47 GMT
Thunder Eggs http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/thunder-eggs Thunder Eggs

March 1, 2018

From Bonnie:

It all started when David brought turquoise rocks into Woodcarvers and made them available to anyone present. Israel took a hammer to one big piece, and I became the recipient of a topper for my wizard walking stick. The problem was that the piece I took was too big to fit into the carved-out hole atop the stick. “Our grandson has a tumbler”, says I. Many warnings came after that statement--with a suggestion that I take the turquoise to the main senior center, the Munson Center, where it could be ground down by someone in the lapidary lab. That is where I met Jim.

“Oh no,” said Jim. “If you put this turquoise into a tumbler, it will be mud when you take it out. Thus began a lesson on rocks. He showed me a thunder egg. “A thunder egg?,” said I. “Yes,” replied Jim, “it got that name from the Native Americans. After a heavy thunderstorm and rain, the Native Americans would find these rocks in the desert, and believed that that gods had thrown them down from the sky.”

Enthralled by the story and his explanation of the rock's contents, I immediately thought of Jake and his rock collection. “Would you be willing to sell that rock to me so that that I can give it to our grandson?”, said I. He handed it to me and told me it was mine.

“We don't do money here,” said he. We trade. I owe him a wood carving next year.

Lapidary JimLapidary Jim

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/thunder-eggs Tue, 13 Mar 2018 03:20:23 GMT
A Living Museum http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/a-living-museum March 8, 2018

David's Living Museum

It's his home, but it is a museum. There is a story behind every treasure in David's house, and the story is as treasured as the piece he shows us. “The children came here—from the school—the bus brought them,” he told us. Why? His home is a living heritage which comes alive through his telling.

One story is as follows: David received a cold call from a Native American who discovered that David had accumulated over the years quite a collection of arrowheads from the desert; David accomplished this by looking for their sheen on the walls of arroyos after a wind storm. This Native American's objective was to obtain an arrowhead for a deceased loved one. Inside the coffin would be placed 2 jars—one for drink and one for meal as nourishment for the journey to the hereafter. The arrowhead would be placed in the folded hands of the deceased for use on the hunt along his journey.

As a result of the phone call, three Native American strangers knocked on David's door. As he welcomed them into his home, two of the men took interest in viewing the arrowheads right away, but one sat quietly not saying a word but visibly agitated. Time passed, and David kept glancing at the solemn, seated gentleman becoming increasingly aware of the discomfort he displayed. Finally, the man approached David with an inquiry about his house. He was particularly interested in a feeling he was experiencing from the back portion of it—an area unbeknownst to the visitor which can be considered David's display room. Giving the man permission to go into the back room, David waited with the others in the living room. After quite some time, the stranger emerged from the back room and approached David asking David permission to bless his house. Sure. The man moved from room to room bestowing a blessing upon each, and then ended by blessing David. David was honored.

Davids carvingsDavids carvings Davids WallsDavids Walls Davids nookDavids nook Davids HandworkDavids Handwork David_new babyDavid_new baby IMG_2255 David1 David2 David3 David4 IMG_2253

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/a-living-museum Fri, 09 Mar 2018 02:18:58 GMT
Roxanna http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/roxanna March 5, 2018


On Tuesday, March 6, Roxanna presents her 7 ft + rattlesnake carving to the local high school. Her offer to the school was, “In return for foraging the school grounds for wood, I'll do a carving and donate it to the school for its display case.” One piece was the perfect size to carve as a rattlesnake, the school's mascot.

Roxannas snake2Roxannas snake2 Roxannas snakeRoxannas snake RoxannaRoxanna

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/roxanna Mon, 05 Mar 2018 15:18:39 GMT
Border Patrol http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/border-patrol February 27, 2018

Border Patrol

“Illegals from Mexico” immediately comes to mind when the term “Border Patrol” is used, but every state in the union has a Border Patrol region which has agents working within it—a fact shocking to us. What is also striking is that per the Bracero Program initiated in 1942 and ending in the late '60's, the US warmly welcomed Mexicans into this country as laborers. This information and much more is housed in the Border Patrol Museum, a stop we made on a personalized tour by hiking buddies, Pat and Susan. They spent the day showing us the sights of El Paso and sharing first-hand stories told by their son who is a Border Patrol agent. At a look-out point at the southern tip of the Franklin Mountains, El Paso and adjacent Juarez, Mexico, span as far as the eye can see. However, what stands out on the near horizon of Juarez is a huge red, red, red “X” or “La Equis” sculpture designed by Sebastian. It is a symbol using two intersecting towers merging in an “X” shape to represent the merging of 2 cultures of Mexico: the indigenous Aztecs and the Spanish. After a full day of sight seeing, Lou and Susan agreed that the rellenos (stuffed Mexican peppers) were the best at the Sabertooth restaurant in El Paso. Bonnie and Pat stuck with milder fares. A fantastically informative day spent with friends!

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info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/border-patrol Sat, 03 Mar 2018 14:59:02 GMT
Border Wall http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/border-wall A Field Trip to the Wall

hosted by the Southwest Environmental Center

A 40-minute drive to the border wall between Mexico and the US on a windy, winter day initiated a feeling of desolation in about 20 of us huddled around Kevin Bixby, our leader, as we absorbed the magnitude of initiating the building of a border wall spanning the entire border. We witnessed both vehicle walls and mesh and bollard pedestrian walls. We learned of the hazards regarding migration amongst the myriads of animals which roam the desert landscape (including jaguars, deer, long-horned sheep to name only a few). New Mexicans are staunchly opposed to the wall for that reason and for the disregard of all of the protectionist legislations which are waived in order to build this wall; they are not opposed to ending illegal crossings but are in favor of a stronger Border Patrol presence and other methods of detecting illegals from entering. Presently, Congress has funding to build 20 miles of new wall—a site we visited where its construction is slated to begin March, 2018, but the present administration wants $25 billion to complete the wall along the entire border. If granted more funding, the first construction will be a 3-mile stretch which spans the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, a bird sanctuary. Pedestrian walls are now 18 ft tall, but the proposed new walls will be 30 ft high. “One injustice does not justify another”, Kevin Bixby said as he related how Washington is holding hostage the “dreamers” in return for a border wall.

border wallborder wall Bollard wallBollard wall Mesh Pedestrian Wall2Mesh Pedestrian Wall2 vehicle wallvehicle wall

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/border-wall Mon, 26 Feb 2018 20:29:47 GMT
Las Cruces Pastimes http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/las-cruces-pastimes February 22, 2018

Las Cruces New Mexico Pastimes

Cracking Nuts: Las Cruces is pecan country, and groves of pecan trees spread throughout the valleys. It's not unusual to see flooded groves during the growing season or to see smoke rise on the horizon from the fires burning off the trimmed branches and detritus during the off season. Hulling the nuts from the shells is no easy task regardless of whether or not they are commercially cracked at a local pecan factory or not.

Rolling on the River: When it rains, huge ponds form on the dry Rio Grande River, and the weekend warriors bring their trucks, jeeps, and SUV's for meet-ups. What do they do? They rev their motors and put the pedal to the metal to splash through those ponds just as kids ride their bikes full speed through rain puddles. Remember when? Imagine it in a jeep, and magnify the water puddle a thousand times!

New shelling pecansNew shelling pecans Hulling pecans

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info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/las-cruces-pastimes Sat, 24 Feb 2018 02:41:51 GMT
Ray ... http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/ray Art Comes Naturally--This Man is Amazingly Talented

February 16, 2018

Meet Ray. He has never had an art course in his life, but he can draw nearly anything—and the result looks real. Growing up in a neighborhood with problems, his mother disallowed her boys from “hanging out”. Rather she provided them with a workshop and the tools to make models. Today, Ray makes the most intricate dioramas, draws and paints the most realistic pictures, and can create or re-create anything shown to him. Check out Ray's WWII diorama: Link to Dioramas

DrawingsDrawings PaintingPainting rhinorhino scratch buildingscratch building

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info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/ray Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:51:07 GMT
Hueco Tanks http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/hueco-tanks Hueco (pronounced: Waco—long a) Tanks State Park,


February 8, 2018

Hueco means “hollow”, and this state park is filled with huecos which fill when it rains (tanks). This habitat is so unusual for the desert with the existence of live oaks, salamanders, and frogs (seasonal) in addition to cacti, mesquite, and amaranth, one of the most nutritious grains to be found in the world . It's no wonder that after 200 shovel digs, archeologists have found life 90 cm under the paths we walked to arrive at sites of pictographs and petroglyphs. Wondering what the difference was between a pictograph and petroglyph, we were told by Alex Mares, our ½ Navajo guide, that a pictograph is painted, but a petroglyph is carved. Looking at the walls of rock, our first thought was that graffiti was covering the ancient artwork, but we were informed that a date prior to 1906 (National Park System) and 1945 (Texas State Parks) is not considered graffiti because it is a part of history and may have been carved by Texas rangers, stage coach passengers, or Pony Express riders. At the beginning of our hike we were humbled when told we were entering sacred ground; prior to his introduction Alex had privately asked a blessing upon all of us (which he said every Navajo is expected to do prior to entering sacred ground). “What makes this sacred ground?” He responded with an analogy: a judge was asked, “How do you define pornography?”; answer: “I know it when I see it.”

huecoshuecos Hueco Tanks vegetationHueco Tanks vegetation _DSC1161_DSC1161 Pictographs & petroglyphsPictographs & petroglyphs masksmasks crash padscrash pads

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/hueco-tanks Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:28:56 GMT
Devil's Claw http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/devils-claw Devil's Claw

February 9, 2018

Wood Carvers

Wittara and Ki are huddled together working on some type of project. What's happening? Ki explains, “I'm showing Wittara how to make a dream catcher from a devil's claw. These devil's claw grow outside my backyard and are growing wild throughout the desert. They propagate not by the wind taking their seeds but by hoofed horses or cattle entangling a devil's claw on its hoof and carrying it distances before it drops away.”

Devil's ClawDevil's Claw

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info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/devils-claw Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:51:19 GMT
Water in the Desert http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/water-in-the-desert Water in the Desert

February 3, 2018

Leasburg State Park

The Native Americans knew! The settlers didn't. By subtle changes in the color of the landscape or plant growth, those eyes of the Native Americans could gauge how to travel through the desert without succumbing to thirst. It helps that the water table is high which answers the question, “Why is there water in the Rio Grande when it is dammed?” The river above the dam has NO water at all, but below the dam it does. Why is that? Explained to us by Alex Mares, ½ Navajo ranger guide, the water you see below the dam is not river water at all but ground water seeping through the mud.

Water in the desertWater in the desert

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/water-in-the-desert Mon, 12 Feb 2018 16:18:23 GMT
Flower Making ... http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/flower-making February 5, 2018

Flower Making

Hugs! Lou and I shared smiles and warm hugs with Ray and Esperanza. Sharing in the woodcarving experience with them last year, we finally met up with them a week into our stay in Las Cruces. This couple has more talent in their little fingers than Lou and I have in our entire bodies collectively.

Esperanza's latest venture is flower making, an art she learned from her cousin who took classes in Mexico. She offered to show how the procedure is followed, and after one morning of observation, the product was a stunning arrangement of colorful flowers which NEVER fade.

Welcome backWelcome back pasta fransesapasta fransesa Drying leaves and flowersDrying leaves and flowers ArrangementArrangement Completed ArrangementsCompleted Arrangements

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/flower-making Fri, 09 Feb 2018 22:11:08 GMT
Teresa http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/teresa February 7, 2018

Meet Teresa

Upon entering Woodcarvers early in our sojourn here in Las Cruces, we were awed by the detail Teresa put into the cross she carved. Each quadrant of the cross had a beautiful carving upon it. Because she was one of the last to leave today we were aware that David had left her a kachina. With David being so generous with his carvings, we asked if he had given it to her. The answer was that she commissioned him to carve the kachina. She said that this same kachina if sold in Santa Fe would have a price tag of $1,000 and in Albuquerque about $700. “With the detail you put into your cross, you could carve the same.” She humbly smiled. Earlier in the morning David informed us that he had started and finished the carving on Superbowl Sunday. Asking, “How did you do the feathers?” The answer: “popsicle sticks.”

TeresaTeresa Teresa's crossTeresa's cross Detail on crossDetail on cross David's kachinaDavid's kachina

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/teresa Fri, 09 Feb 2018 21:59:08 GMT
Kachinas http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/kachinas Kachinas

February 2, 2018

Lesson 201: Kachinas. The first person we meet when we walk into Woodcarvers is Jim. We smile appreciatively at his completed corn maiden kachina. “The face is wrong; I have to sand it down, and repaint it,” he tells us. “What do you mean when you say it is wrong?,” we query. It looked good to us. “She has a mouth, and kachinas need to have a mask,” he replies. This is what he is says as he shows us David's corn maiden kachina which does have a mask. It just so happens that Manny is working on a clothespin sun kachina. He made this kachina from a clothespin, beverage stirrer sticks, a couple wooden discs from Hobby Lobby, a piece of leather, and small dowels. Wonder—does his kachina have a mask? It looks like it has a mouth. “No, he tells us; that is not a mouth; it is a nose.”

Insert from Wikipedia:

Many Pueblo Indians, particularly the Hopi and Zuni, have ceremonies in which masked men, called kachinas, play an important role. Masked members of the tribe dress up as kachinas for religious ceremonies that take place many times throughout the year. These ceremonies are social occasions for the village, where friends and relatives are able to come from neighboring towns to see the "dance" and partake in the feasts that are always prepared. When a Hopi man places a mask upon his head and wears the appropriate costume and body paint, he believes that he has lost his personal identity and has received the spirit of the kachina he is supposed to represent. Besides the male kachinas are many female kachinas called kachin-manas, but women never take the part of male and female kachinas.

For more on the legend of the corn maiden kachina:



corn maiden kachinacorn maiden kachina sun kachinasun kachina

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/kachinas Mon, 05 Feb 2018 04:09:58 GMT
Blue Moon, Las Cruces, NM http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/blue-moon-las-cruces-nm January 31, 2018

Once in a Blue Moon”

Google saves the day again! “What IS a blue moon?” Ahhh, Google answers that it is a full moon twice in one month. Looking out our picture window a couple days ago we were awed by the sight of the first full moon rising over the Organ Mountains. Drat the luck; we weren't ready to catch that magical moment on film! However, with news of a blue moon occurring the next night, we were revved to wait for a moonrise over the Organ Mountains. With Lou's telephoto and Bonnie's split-toning, and most importantly, God's natural beauty as a subject, we have results.

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info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/blue-moon-las-cruces-nm Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:02:13 GMT
Woodcarvers & Woodburners http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/woodcarvers-woodburners Woodcarvers' Wednesday

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What a fascinating day it was today at Woodcarvers! First of all, David brought in a “talking stick” and explained that he carved and burned it for a school counselor—the talking stick is held by only one person, and that person is the only one allowed to speak in the room. When a student is given the talking stick, only that student speaks until he/she hands the stick to somebody else. Secondly, Bob brought us a completed metal hummingbird sculpture we requested he make for one of our hanging baskets at home. His home-made vice is another daily reminder to us of his creativity. It rivals any vice we have ever seen.

Lesson 101 (upon arrival a couple weeks ago): “For your wood burner, make a stand using plywood and nails,” instructs David and shows us his model of scrap plywood, nails protruding diagonally from the wood, holding an idle, harmless, hot burner. Lou made a similar stand last week with a few nails he found around the house. Today, David brought in a wood burner stand—“For you” he said, “I make these all the time for people.” I think we will trash the first one! Wouldn't you say?

Meet Ki. Her most recent walking stick has no carving at all but is all done with a wood burner. To achieve the shading, she uses an extremely tiny burner tip.

Talking StickTalking Stick HummingbirdsHummingbirds Bobs viceBobs vice burner standburner stand KiKi IMG_1961

info@lbjphoto.com (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) http://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/woodcarvers-woodburners Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:55:15 GMT