February 28, 2016
White Sands National Monument
It happens once a month and only once a month. Traveling through the restricted grounds of the White Sands Missile Range, a ranger leads a caravan of cars to Lake Lucero and hikes them ¾ mile into the site of a dry lakebed. During the rainy season in July and August, this Lake Lucero fills, but in February it is a dry gypsum bed. Selenite crystals spike up as shards in and along the lakebed. Selenite is a transparent mineral which looks like mica and which chips easily away from the larger crystal into clear gypsum sheets. Those transparent sheets then deteriorate into the gypsum sand we know as White Sands National Monument.
Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively.