LBJ Photography Blog
This blog features travel notes and photographs.
The Sea in New Mexico???
Excerpts from the chapter entitled, “Mother of Seas”, book: No High Adobe by Dorothy L Pillsbury, published by The Lightning Tree.
“'You, Senora, must miss that ocean very much in this high dry country.'” Mrs. Apodaca remarks.
The author replies that she doesn't miss the sea:
“The Reason is that I still have a sea.......”
“......Cloud ships ply that overhead sea. Their white sails fill with all the winds as they skim on airy voyages.....At sunset, their mastheads shake out pennants and signal flags, whose code meanings I can only guess......”
“.......Against the soft gauze of northern mountains, a rainbow bridge is constructed in the purple mesa...”
“......Sometimes, at dawn and sunset, dream cities rear their battlements on sky islands. For the overhead sea has no shore line. That is its greatest charm. In spite of its immensity, it has moments when it sags close to earth as if it had a secret it wanted to whisper.......”
“The New Mexican sky is like no other.......It is alive, ever moving, given to dramatic violence and gentle whimsy......”
“......Companionship with the sea overhead grows richer with the years.”
Hiking Mania—April 13-21
Four big hikes in one week; most were group hikes taken with our hiking buddies. Soon our snowbird hiking companions will be dispersing until next year--> with anticipation of new discoveries in 2022.
LBJ hike to Cloudcroft—8,000 ft+ elevation; the Osha Trail had lots of rocks, but it was a beautiful day—one highlight was the train trestle bridge, but it was a photo op only—hikers were forbidden on the trestle. History: Because of the altitude and abundance of trees making logging so prevalent around the the turn of the 20th century, a railroad ran from Cloudcroft to Alamogordo. If the loaded train went too fast down the hill, it risked jumping the track; if too slow, the load would slide off. Engineers had to get it right!
Sierra Vista Trail—a trail which runs 13 miles from Las Cruces toward El Paso—we did a hike of +/- two miles—group hike thanks to Betsy.
Petroglyphs of Rincon—Group hike thanks to Carla and Tom who led us to these petroglyphs in the middle of nowhere, NM.
City of Rocks State Park—Group hike to a park which features “geologic formations made up of large, sculptured rock columns, or pinnacles, rising as high as 40 feet and separated by paths or lanes resembling city streets” (per website). Of course, we had to end up at the Adobe Deli, a restaurant only to be found in the likes of NM.
A Walk on the Dam near the Farm and Ranch Museum
Self-appointed docent of the dam's rock art, Susan takes every opportunity to point out the animals—large and small--created by Kathy Morrow, an artist in her own right. Each morning Kathy Morrow walks to the dam just after sunrise to work on images made from rocks, bottles, broken glass, and tiles. Her collection has taken years to create, and it is constantly in need of “sprucing up” due to vandals or wear and tear.
Below are a few videos taken on the dam walk with Susan, but the Kathy Morrow Studio's website is a much better representation of her extensive work.
Photo: Susan at the base of the lizard—the claws are wine bottles (to give perspective)
Video 1: the head of a bear, head of a ram, a heart
Video 2: a hummingbird, a zia symbol, a hawk
Video 3: a cougar, a lizard
Settling into our “adobe museum” as Fred (one of our hiking buddies) calls it. Loving desert hikes, lazy days, and sharing fellowship with beautiful people!
Notice below Lou's capture of sky and clouds here in NM with a new b/w process he tried from an Akron Camera Club presentation by Cole Thompson—stunning sky was the result.
The Land of Enchantment
In the midst of Coronavirus, New Mexico is still the Land of Enchantment. Diversity is still key to its charm and attraction: Shoshone homage to the land before a hike; homemade Thai egg and spring rolls; Western ballads; tile painting; millions of poppies. Such a plethora of awe!
Kayla's Shoshone homage: Before a hike to Soledad Canyon, Kayla, who is ½ Shoshone, explained that any Shoshone woman going out would wear a skirt—she wore one over her tights. A Shoshone woman would also wear moccasins—she wore hiking boots. After taking out a pouch of tobacco from her backpack she asked each of us to take a pinch of it. Then, she pulled a conch shell out from which she had whittled a hole. As we turned in each of the four compass direction points, she blew the conch. A moment of silent mediation was then offered up by each of us privately, and the tobacco brought down and placed onto the earth.
Wittara's homemade Thai egg and spring rolls: A bundle of energy is Wittara. If not serving at the local soup kitchen or learning painting/woodcarving/knitting, she is cooking. Luckily for us, we are the recipients of her generosity. The egg rolls—all ingredients freshly chopped—were the best we have tasted. The spring rolls were a dish never to be seen in any Thai restaurants we frequented. Served cold each one is mixture of greens, mushrooms, carrots, cooked chopped Thai rice noodles, and meat wrapped in an edible gelatinous, clear covering similar to the texture of saran wrap.
Dan, a neighbor on our street, travels a circuit throughout the USA entertaining 3-4 year-olds with his songs. His band, featured in the day-long Pat Garrett Festival, performed his original ballads and was a huge hit.
Esperanza's tile painting: Common ordinary white ceramic tiles are transformed into ones with amazing designs by layering different-colored mixtures of acrylics, glycerin, and floetrol.
Baylor Canyon--eye candy right now with millions of tiny poppies decorating the mountainsides. A hike there is indescribably delicious!
Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively.