Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography: Blog https://lbjphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography [email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) Sun, 16 Apr 2023 23:07:00 GMT Sun, 16 Apr 2023 23:07:00 GMT https://lbjphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u785566384-o873398718-50.jpg Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography: Blog https://lbjphotography.com/blog 120 80 Springtime in Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2023/4/springtime-in-las-cruces-nm Las Cruces Spring Highlights

  • A visit from Bernie & Cindy

    • White Sands sledding

    • Slot Canyon hike with a visit to Hatch, the Chili Capital of the World

    • Hiking in the Desert Peaks Organ Mountains National Monument

    • A visit to Woodcarvers on David's birthdy

  • An overnight trip to Silver City with hiking buddies

    • Petroglyphs on the Dragonfly Trail

    • The Million Bones' hike at Bear Mountain Lodge

  • Pictures of Jeremy, Erika, and Jake's trip to Costa Rica

  • “The Five Shades!” Moniker for the five guys who hiked a total of 6 miles going over Baylor Canyon Pass of the Organ Mountains. Champagne victory toast at the top packed in by Tom to celebrate at the crest of the pass.

  • Amazing acrobots at the Market

  • The desert in bloom

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2023/4/springtime-in-las-cruces-nm Sun, 16 Apr 2023 23:06:44 GMT
Winter Activities in Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2023/4/winter-activities-in-las-cruces-nm Winter, 2023—Las Cruces, NM

Opportunities abound! Hikes, holiday celebrations, local attractions:

  • Cleve Hattersley, author of Life is a Butt Dial and Wednesday night manager of The Downtown Blues Coffee Shop provides an open mic to wannabe musicians, poetry readers, etc.--a throwback to the '70's

  • The Billy the Kid Festival featured a concert (performed by one of our neighbors and his band). Dan Crow (our neighbor) wrote the songs about Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and pioneer women. Festival included an original play written by an MNSU professor reenacting BtK's trial with the audience delivering the verdict—two different endings dependent on audience vote. We found him 'not guilty'.

  • Guatemalan and Chiapas weavers selling their wares monthly at their “store” inside a church hall

  • Las Cruces Chalk Walk artists

  • Historic Mesquite District murals painted on sides of buildings by Lorenzo, Bonnie's tai chi instructor

  • Kathy Morrow's relocation of her rock art—just the beginnings!

  • Docent-led hikes —Filmore Canyon, Prehistoric Trackways, Pena Blanca, Solidad Canyon

  • Talented painter, Carol, hiking buddy

  • Creative store owner bringing his screen printing machine outdoors during the Saturday Market—the market attracts 100's of shoppers every week. Five blocks of the downtown streets are closed off every Saturday for market goers.

  • A tour of NMSU's Archives—4 floors of political, historical, special collections, photos, and records—even letters

  • St. Patrick's Day—Hiking Buddies!

  • A first in all the winters in Las Cruces—the sighting of a Western Diamondback rattlesnake​

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2023/4/winter-activities-in-las-cruces-nm Fri, 07 Apr 2023 00:12:26 GMT
Valentine's Day in Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2023/2/valentines-day-in-las-cruces-nm You Light Up My Life”

Valentine's Day, 2023

Hiking Buddies' couples converged on Ron & Carol's home with gifts of culinary delight prepared by the men of our group for their women! Festivities began with each guest of honor (the ladies) being presented with a menu for the evening in addition to a flute of champagne! An indescribably memorable evening of fellowship!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2023/2/valentines-day-in-las-cruces-nm Thu, 16 Feb 2023 17:01:43 GMT
We're Back! https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2023/1/were-back January 1-8, 2023

A better start to 2023—it could not be!

*Celebrating bubblies with our neighbors on New Year's Eve

*Receiving a package in the mail containing a puzzle with a sibling challenge to be the first to put the puzzle together—the puzzle being the famous 2008 reunion picture of 10 siblings with t-shirts saying, “Mummy likes me best!”

*A breathtaking mountain sunrise from our front door in the morning

*First hike of the season with our hiking buddies

*Celebrating 80 years young with Fred (and our hiking buddies)

*Receiving frankincense (just before Epiphany) from our world traveler hiking buddy, Carla

*Volunteering at Camp Hope for Wittara—making lunches for the homeless (demand has doubled with the immigrant influx)

*Spending a Saturday morning at the Market—doing people watching

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2023/1/were-back Sun, 08 Jan 2023 18:01:46 GMT
Woodcarving Gang 2022 https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/4/woodcarving-gang-2022 February-103February-103 February-104February-104 Woodcarvers-101Woodcarvers-101 Woodcarvers-102Woodcarvers-102 Woodcarvers-103Woodcarvers-103 Woodcarvers-104Woodcarvers-104 Woodcarvers-105Woodcarvers-105 Woodcarvers-107Woodcarvers-107 Woodcarvers-108Woodcarvers-108 Woodcarvers-110Woodcarvers-110 Woodcarvers-111Woodcarvers-111 Woodcarvers-113Woodcarvers-113 Woodcarvers-114Woodcarvers-114 Woodcarvers-115Woodcarvers-115 Woodcarvers-116Woodcarvers-116 Woodcarvers-117Woodcarvers-117 Woodcarvers-118Woodcarvers-118

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/4/woodcarving-gang-2022 Mon, 25 Apr 2022 20:03:55 GMT
Janelle Sibling Reunion https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/4/janelle-sibling-reunion Janelle Sibling Reunion

Week of March 28, 2022

Arriving on Tuesday at Lou's brother's home, Jean and Cindy greeted us warmly even after our flight had been delayed by three hours; unfortunately, we missed a gathering at sister, Louise's, new condo. 

The following day, Wednesday, was a day of “new residence” hopping--viewing Lou's sisters' new homes in Venice. The day ended with a beautiful dinner coordinated by Jean and Cindy on the wharf overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway. Unfortunately, one of the master planners, Jean's wife, Cindy, felt unwell and stayed home. Upon our return to the “Janelle Manor”,we found out that Cindy had taken herself to the clinic and tested positive for COVID. Jean texted all invited guests (as the reunion was to be at their place) to alert them of the situation. With all activities moved to the lanai, nobody declined the chance to gather. A grand time was had by all—with the exception of Jean's Cindy who helped  direct the reception from her quarantined room. 


The following day Jean tested positive for COVID. That was Friday, and everyone in residence took a test with negative results. Our flight back to El Paso that same day was a nightmare, missing our connecting flight and having to spend an overnight in Denver with 2 separate connecting flights the following day. Upon our return to Las Cruces Bonnie tested positive to COVID and was quarantined with mild flu symptoms for two days. Thankfully, Lou tested negative.

As the video below suggests, the five sisters--still in Venice--partied on after the reunion with a “sistah” gathering and a traditional canasta game.

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"Sistahs"Can't beat a good game of Canasta.

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/4/janelle-sibling-reunion Mon, 11 Apr 2022 21:38:15 GMT
Family Visit https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/4/family-visit A Jeremy, Erika, Jake Visit (March 21-28)

Many activities planned---but Jake came down with a fever the first full day of vacation, and he wasn't recovered until the very last day. He spent most of the week in bed. However, activities were planned for every day—minus Jake—boo hoo!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/4/family-visit Sat, 09 Apr 2022 13:22:58 GMT
March in Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/4/march-in-las-cruces-nm March in Las Cruces

March, 2022

**The christening of a new camper—originally planned to be at a campground, it became a Champagne christened event in Frank's back yard. We were invited to the christening and toast with Frank & his daugher, Lynda. Marvelous afternoon!

***A movie night where all invitees were to bring a list of their favorite 3 movies + a chick flick—boos, hisses, and hurrahs were welcomed

***A body builder's request for a silhouette so that his daughter could have it put onto a t-shirt which would be worn during competition at Muscle Beach in CA 

***Drone photo shoot of Kathy Morrow's rock art

***Gerry the Giraffe carving completed after 4 months

***Movies of unique attractions taken at the market

****Andele's Dog House---A Mexican restaurant catering to patrons with dogs. Biscuit, Esperana & Ray's beloved pet, was honored in a memoriam and posted as the restaurant's Dog of the Week on FB. 

***Happy St. Patrick's Day

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/4/march-in-las-cruces-nm Thu, 07 Apr 2022 23:23:09 GMT
February in Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/2/february-in-las-cruces-nm February-105February-105 February-106February-106 February-107February-107 February-102February-102 February-104February-104 February-103February-103 February-108February-108 February-110February-110 February-109February-109

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/2/february-in-las-cruces-nm Fri, 25 Feb 2022 21:19:26 GMT
Las Cruces Quirks https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/1/las-cruces-quirks Only in Cruces?

January, 2022

Beginning our 7th year in Las Cruces, we still find little things which amaze us—like a sign forbidding swimming in a dry Rio Grande riverbed--or a souped-up Wonder Woman car parked on a side street as we walk to the Saturday Market. 

It was surprising to discover that woodcarver, Johnnie, draws freehand most of the images on his walking sticks —only to find that he sells his hand-drawn and painted Christmas cards very unassumingly from the trunk of his car. “Did you study art in school?,” says I? A vigorous shake of the head and “I just picked it up,” he replies.

The Market never ceases to be of interest. A booth housing “The Society for Creative Anacronism” featured costumed members describing themselves as 'out of sync' with today's modern goings-on. Every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm at the Field House of NMSU a few will meet for dueling matches (weather permitting). In addition to seeing that 'anacronism', a Saturday morning event for one family (of about 6 guys—all brothers, sons, fathers) was to walk their souped-up remote controlled cars down the Market streets en masse. Instead of a dog on leash (like many), they were “tooling” along the avenue with their remote cars on an electronic leash performing stunts.

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IMG_1258

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/1/las-cruces-quirks Mon, 24 Jan 2022 15:48:13 GMT
On the Road Again https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/1/on-the-road-again On the Road Again

January 1-2, 2022

We made two stops this trip to Las Cruces. 

  1. Especially for our photography friends: Although we enjoyed being a kid again and riding the train through the Indiana Museum in Indianapolis, a very small exhibit of only 20 photographic images created wonder for us. An annual world-wide competition sponsored by Nikon features the winners of photography through the microscope. Some of It's A Small World winners:

    16th place winner = nylon stocking

12th place = human hair

2nd place = embryonic development of a clownfish

1st place = dorsal view of bones and scales (blue) and lymphatic vessels (orange) of a juvenile clownfish

  1. Crystal Bridges, Bentonville, AK

    We little expected to be awed by the projected expansion of the aesthetically beautiful architecture of Crystal Bridges, a museum funded by the widow of Sam Walton (of Walmart fame). The plan is to enlarge its present structure by 65%. In the video the left three buildings are now in existence. We were delighted to find a new attraction: the Bachman-Wilson House constructed in the 1950's by Frank Lloyd Wright—meticulously deconstructed and rebuilt on the grounds. 


Road-106Road-106 Road-105Road-105 Road-104Road-104 Road-103Road-103 Road-102Road-102 Road-101Road-101 Road-201Road-201 IMG_1212_Live IMG_1228

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2022/1/on-the-road-again Thu, 06 Jan 2022 13:00:18 GMT
New England Summer 2021 https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/8/new-england-summer-2021 New England Trip

August 1-7, 2021


*After driving all day we were thankful to arrive safely in Nashua with a swimming pool as a welcome respite for the boys: Jake and friend, Grayson.

*Monday morning brought us to Louise's—visiting Dennis' grave and helping her undo her beds for transport to FL.

*Monday afternoon Marie hosted an outdoor reunion of sisters/spouse (Lou's), nieces, and niece's boys. Frisbee and exploration of Greeley Park for the boys!

*Tuesday--off to Moody Beach, ME where Ben greeted us at Wheels 'n Waves Surf Shop on his 'one wheel'.

*Tuesday afternoon—surfing lesson with Mike. Reunion with David.

*Wednesday—miniature golf and more surfing. Reunion with Jimmy; dinner with Mike, Ben & his girls; go carts with Mike

*Thursday—rainy day, shopping at Kittery Trading Post, veg day/swimming pool

*Friday—Breakfast Lou's siblings; homeward bound

*Saturday—Stop at Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum; safely home

IMG_0924 IMG_0933 NE-101NE-101 NE-102NE-102 NE-105NE-105 NE-107NE-107 NE-106NE-106 NE-104NE-104 NE-108NE-108 NE-109NE-109 NE-201NE-201

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/8/new-england-summer-2021 Wed, 11 Aug 2021 01:33:01 GMT
New Mexico's Ocean ... https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/5/new-mexicos-ocean The Sea in New Mexico???

May, 2021


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.”

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/5/new-mexicos-ocean Fri, 07 May 2021 02:11:18 GMT
Hiking Mania https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/4/hiking-mania 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.

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Petroglyphs of Rincon—Group hike thanks to Carla and Tom who led us to these petroglyphs in the middle of nowhere, NM. 

  4. 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.

Cloudcroft-102-3Cloudcroft-102-3 Cloudcroft-101-2Cloudcroft-101-2 Rincon-105Rincon-105 Rincon-101Rincon-101 Rincon-102Rincon-102 Rincon-107Rincon-107 Rincon-106Rincon-106 Rincon-103Rincon-103 Rincon-104Rincon-104 CityRocks-103CityRocks-103 CityRocks-101CityRocks-101 CityRocks-104CityRocks-104 CityRocks-105CityRocks-105 CityRocks-108CityRocks-108 CityRocks-107CityRocks-107


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/4/hiking-mania Sun, 25 Apr 2021 13:26:44 GMT
Desert Rock Art https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/4/desert-rock-art 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


IMG_0668IMG_0668 IMG_0658 IMG_0666 IMG_0667

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/4/desert-rock-art Sun, 11 Apr 2021 00:41:25 GMT
Settling In https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/4/settling-in 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.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2021/4/settling-in Thu, 08 Apr 2021 22:55:24 GMT
Land of Enchantment https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/3/land-of-enchantment March, 2020

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!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/3/land-of-enchantment Wed, 18 Mar 2020 22:09:19 GMT
Hiking Mania https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/2/hiking-mania Hiking Mania

February 15-22

2 weekends in a row—three big hikes! At a glance one would scan the Chihuahuan Desert and say,
“Ain't nothin' out there!” Oh, but there is SO much out there.

Hike #1, 2/15/20, Prehistoric Trackways National Monument—a second visit for us to this site within three years, and it is still just as fascinating to see history at our feet. The tracks of sea creatures identified by Colin Dunn, archaeologist, were readily visible as we walked the path within the monument. Unbeknownst to us all, there was the added entertainment of a parading off-road rally with souped-up 4-wheel drive vehicles rolling along our path; they maneuvered the path with their highly visible (and needed) shock absorbers. As bystanders we marveled their rides as similar to being inside a cement mixer or a carnival ride.

Hike #2, 2/16/20, Slot Canyon, Robledo Mts—a hike done once and never to be repeated with boulders to traverse 3 ft. high! To get to the hike, the Rio Grande River had to be traversed. Plastic bags over shoes didn't cut it. Thank goodness for extra footwear and strong arms to aid in some of the ascents. A challenge by all means!

Hike #3, 2/22/20, Lucero Wash Petroglyphs—Victory! Over the past 2+ years Lou has adopted the moniker of “Moses” because on at least ½ dozen occasions he has led varied subsets of our hiking buddies into the desert in search of the elusive Radium Springs petroglyphs—undiscovered by us until 2/22/20. Hooray to the dedicated!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/2/hiking-mania Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:33:47 GMT
Three Rivers Petroglyph Site https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/2/three-rivers-petroglyph-site February 1, 2020

Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

Third time is the charm, and yesterday's third consecutive weekend hike with our hiking buddies was “icing on the cake”. When Fred sent a photo he had snapped of Lou at work with the remark “Can't wait to see your photos”, it was obvious that more than our usual 4-5 photos had to be posted.

What a blessing our hiking buddies are! Somebody pops up with an idea for a weekend hike, sends a global text, and all of a sudden a bunch of us are exploring a new trail with many wishing to conquer the heights of the knolls, mesas, and outcroppings of rock formations. Of course, as a culmination, there is always the question, as Tom so aptly states, “I'm starved; where are we going to eat?”

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/2/three-rivers-petroglyph-site Mon, 03 Feb 2020 04:33:04 GMT
Pena Blanca https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/pena-blanca January 19, 2020

Pena Blanca—our first hiking buddies' outing!

No pictures? Well, none of our own. Neither Lou nor I brought phones or cameras to record, but between all our hiking buddies, we have accumulated an anthology of the hike. At the tip of the Organ Mountains, this little gem—Pena Blanca—is tucked away in the middle of nowhere (like many hidden gems).

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/pena-blanca Thu, 23 Jan 2020 15:03:16 GMT
Stop #6 VLA at Magdalena, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-6-vla-at-magdalena-nm January 6, 2020

VLA---Magdalena, NM

Off the radar until our very last overnight stay in a motel in Socorro, we glimpsed an attraction that made us stand up and take notice. About an hour out of our way to the west was the installation of a radio telescope array of 27 dish antennas in an interconnected Y-shape which sends signals back to Earth from deep space. The information is gathered and then sent to the Etscorn Observatory on the campus of NM Tech in Socorro for interpretation by astronomers from around the world. What we know about new galaxies, black holes, and other mysteries of deep space have been gleaned through a handful of installations of this type throughout the US. The VLA (Very Large Array) is in the middle of the desert far away from civilization in a bowl surrounded by a mountain range. It is an ideal location because it is dry (moisture can negatively affect the reception); there are no competing human electronic waves to interfere with reception; and the mountain “bowl” cuts off ambient distracting waves allowing the dishes to zero in on deep-space radio waves.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-6-vla-at-magdalena-nm Thu, 09 Jan 2020 02:38:33 GMT
Stop #5 Bosque del Apache, Socorro, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-5-bosque-del-apache-socorro-nm January 5, 2020

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Millions of birds! Migration from the Northern Canadian Rockies has been taking place since October. We saw thousands of snow geese and Sandhill cranes congregated on fields and lakes, feeding by day in the fields and protected from predators while they slept on the water at night.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-5-bosque-del-apache-socorro-nm Wed, 08 Jan 2020 03:20:13 GMT
Stop #4 Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-4-cadillac-ranch-amarillo-tx Cadillac-101Cadillac-101 Cadillac-102Cadillac-102 Cadillac-103Cadillac-103 Cadillac-104Cadillac-104 Cadillac-105Cadillac-105

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-4-cadillac-ranch-amarillo-tx Mon, 06 Jan 2020 16:22:10 GMT
Stop #3 Oklahoma City, OK Cowboy Museum https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-3-oklahoma-city-ok-cowboy-museum Cowboy-101Cowboy-101 Cowboy-201Cowboy-201 Cowboy-202Cowboy-202 Cowboy-203Cowboy-203

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-3-oklahoma-city-ok-cowboy-museum Mon, 06 Jan 2020 16:19:26 GMT
Stop #2 Springfield, MO Aquarium https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-2-springfield-mo-aquarium WOW-101WOW-101 WOW-102WOW-102


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-2-springfield-mo-aquarium Mon, 06 Jan 2020 16:17:46 GMT
Stop #1 -- Bardstown, KY https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-1----bardstown-ky January 2, 2020 Bardstown, KY (revisited)

“Angels' share”, “slurry”, “pigmash”, “rickhouse”! Were we entering a foreign land with a foreign language? Yep, it seemed so! It is bourbon country, and when our guide described the world's largest “steeel”, it took a minute or two before it sunk in that he was describing a still. Barton's 1792 Distillery—the name's history would fill this page, but somewhere along the way, the “1792” was tagged on to it because it was in that year that Kentucky became a state!

From the land of bourbon we traveled to the land of solitude, the Abbey of Gethsemani—serenity plus. One Day, a film in the Visitor Center depicting a day in the life of a Trappist monk, evoked the comment, “They sure do pray a lot” from Lou. Richly active from 3:00 am to evening, the monks' products line the shelves of the gift shop. We left the Abbey with their homemade fruitcake and homemade bourbon pecan fudge.

Throwing hot rolls across the room by a server to hungry guests whose hands are raised waiting for the catch; sashaying servers with soup pots of fried okra, or fried potatoes, or macaroni and tomatoes......etc. These are the additional complements to the hearty menu items served at Lambert's in Sikeston, Mo. Bonnie ordered a light item, a chef salad! Ha! She took home enough for 2 more meals.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2020/1/stop-1----bardstown-ky Fri, 03 Jan 2020 02:42:05 GMT
Last Stop: Laramie, WY https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/last-stop-laramie-wy Wyoming Territorial Prison Historical Site

July 24, 2019

The last 30 years of the 19th century in Wyoming were lawless years. Butch Cassidy, oldest of 13 children and raised in a loving Mormon family, was taught to use a gun by a neighbor for whom he worked. Cowhand work was plentiful at that time on the range until one frigid winter killed off a good percentage of each rancher's herds. Cowhands were jobless and began rustling the large conglomerates which had swooped down to confiscate bankrupt small-time ranchers and force sales of their properties. Butch Cassidy was one of the rustlers, and he was imprisoned for that crime for nearly two years in the Wyoming Territorial Prison. After his release he became a Robin Hood of sorts—robbing from the banks and big bosses but leaving the little guy alone. He organized the Wild Bunch, a group of outlaws he selected to run the Outlaw Trail with him, a trail that reached from Montana south through Wyoming and Utah. Butch Cassidy was never caught for his many crimes of bank robbing and raids on large ranches. He escaped to live in South America until his death.

The prison was always in need of food stuffs, supplies and cash. Therefore, its inmates worked from morning til supper on various endeavors to bring in currency. The most successful industry was broom making.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/last-stop-laramie-wy Sun, 28 Jul 2019 13:42:04 GMT
Grand Teton National Park, WY https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/grand-teton-national-park-wy Grand Teton National Park

July 23, 2019

Passing through the Tetons!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/grand-teton-national-park-wy Sun, 28 Jul 2019 03:06:47 GMT
Yellowstone National Park, WY https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/yellowstone-national-park-wy Yellowstone National Park

July 21-23

Rustic! That's the way to describe the Old Faithful Inn With violin or piano performers playing on the 2nd floor inside veranda every evening, tunes wafted throughout the three-story log behemoth built at the birth of the 20th century. The rooms are dormitory style with bathroom/shower facilities at the end of the hall. Jake would have none of it, but Bonnie reminisced the days of college antics when the floor plan was the same, and an unsuspecting shower goer would have a bucket of cold water dumped onto her from the stall next door. Rising early morning and perching on the outside veranda to view Old Faithful erupting faithfully every 90 minutes was a treat that will be long remembered.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/yellowstone-national-park-wy Fri, 26 Jul 2019 11:50:30 GMT
Cody, WY https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/cody-wy Cody Nite Rodeo

July 20, 2019

Every summer evening in Cody, WY a rodeo attracts hundreds of people. It was refreshing to have the announcer start the evening with a prayer followed by a patriotic poem, and lastly by singing the Star Spangled Banner. The rodeo was surely a family event with a hilarious clown and announcer interacting all evening; midway through the evening all the children were called down to the rodeo ring to attempt to pull the flag from two calves let loose once all children were assembled on the field.


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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/cody-wy Fri, 26 Jul 2019 11:40:52 GMT
Devil's Tower, WY https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/devils-tower-wy Spearfish Canyon & Devil's Tower

July 19, 2019

After leaving Keystone (Road Scholar) we made our way northwest toward Devil's Tower, WY. Stopping along Spearfish Canyon's deep-walled trail access, we hiked its pristine mountain stream spotting trout at every turn. There were two very different falls to view—Roughneck and Spearfish. A short drive west from Spearfish brought us to Devil's Tower. Our original intent was to hike around its perimeter, but we were thoroughly entertained by Jake's dogged determination to climb as high on the boulder field as the park allowed.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/devils-tower-wy Fri, 26 Jul 2019 11:32:54 GMT
Road Scholar Day 4 https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/road-scholar-day-4 Road Scholar Mt. Rushmore Program

July 18, 2019/Day 4

Mammoth Hot Springs & Evans Plunge

  • Active archeological dig at Mammoth Hot Springs—ancient deep watering hole beckoned mammoths (Columbian & Wooly), but they lost their balance, slipped in, then were trapped and drowned due to steep sides. All bones are real, not fabricated, and in the place of their discovery. Tour was followed by a junior paleo excavation.

  • Evan's Plunge—enjoyed an indoor/outdoor waterpark supplied by underground hot (really just warm) underground springs.

  • Farewell Banquet—the girls in the Road Scholar program decided they wanted a group photo with Jake.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/road-scholar-day-4 Wed, 24 Jul 2019 03:05:55 GMT
Road Scholar Day 3 https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/road-scholar-day-3 Road Scholar Mt. Rushmore Program

July 17, 2019/Day 3

Badlands & Robert Yellowhawk


*Exploring the Badlands

*Wall Drug—offering free water and 5-cent coffee in the 1930's rocketed this mega-store to a modern

tourist haven. Free bumper stickers help, too!

*Journey Museum, Rapid City—our group was divided into two entities and had to imagine we were packing our conestoga wagon with necessities for the trip out West and survival after we arrived.

*An evening with Robert Yellowhawk—stories, songs, and dance—can you believe that it took him and his wife a year to make his dance outfit? Needing to be a registered member of a Native American Tribe (his is Dakota Sioux) he could apply to the government for an eagle. After a 5- year wait it was shipped to him frozen.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/road-scholar-day-3 Wed, 24 Jul 2019 02:48:23 GMT
Road Scholar Day 2 https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/road-scholar-day-2 Road Scholar Mt. Rushmore Program

July 16, 2019/Day 2

Mt. Rushmore/Crazy Horse

*Viewing Mt. Rushmore

*Alpine Slide

*Viewing Crazy Horse

*Enjoying the evening sky outside our resort

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/road-scholar-day-2 Sun, 21 Jul 2019 14:03:19 GMT
Road Scholar Day 1 https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/road-scholar-day-1 Road Scholar Mt. Rushmore Program

July 15, 2019/Day 1

Exploring Custer State Park--Iron Mountain Road

*Climbing the rocks to get good views of Mt. Rushmore

*Stopping at the Peter Norbeck Outdoor Educational Center in Custer State Park to learn how the Lakota/Dakota peoples used buffalo parts for their everyday existence

*Buffalo, prairie dog, and wild burro sightings

*Horseback Riding

*Exercise on “scaling” (drawing to scale) Mt. Rushmore

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/road-scholar-day-1 Sun, 21 Jul 2019 00:24:45 GMT
Needles Highway, Custer State Park, SD https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/needles-highway-custer-state-park-sd Needles-108Needles-108 Needles-501Needles-501 Needles-101Needles-101 Needles-107Needles-107 Needles-102Needles-102

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/needles-highway-custer-state-park-sd Sat, 20 Jul 2019 12:54:03 GMT
Black Hills Country, South Dakota https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/black-hills-country-south-dakota Sturgis, Deadwood, Lead


Passing through Sturgis we had to take a photograph or two! Banners lined the main street greeting bikers in preparation for Bike Week in August.


The atmosphere is of late 1800's Wild West, but two Starbucks Coffee stores within a few blocks belie the thirst for tourist dollars. Taking Boothill Tours we were treated to the lore of the town which began in a gulch and sprung to boast a population of 12,000 almost overnight. Of course, brought to legend by the dime novels--so popular at that time--Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane were rocketed to stardom. Contrary to rumor that Jane was his lover, Wild Bill was dedicated to his wife. Never wearing a holster, he held his guns butt first in a sash around his waist. His first tombstone was pilfered; his second made of wood has pieces/parts pilfered; his present one of bronze is encased within a fence.


Lead (pronounced "leed") is the home to the Homestake Mine which made George Hearst (William Randolph Hearst's father/Patty Hearst's grandfather) filthy rich. The mine, which closed in 2002, is now the home of the Sanford Lab, a renowned research center. Today, the town of Lead prides itself on its history and its research. Jake panned for gold prior to our extremely interesting tour of the Black Hills Mining Museum.

What was your favorite part of the day, Jake?

Gold panning”

What was your favorite part of the day, Lou?

Gold panning”

What was your favorite part of the day, Bonnie?

Gold panning”

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/black-hills-country-south-dakota Sun, 14 Jul 2019 14:25:15 GMT
Reptile Gardens https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/reptile-gardens Reptile Gardens

Rapid City, SD

July 12, 2019


Jake's favorite: The Skydome's hundreds of snake lairs—we did that circuit TWICE —his favorite was the venomous green mamba: Green Mamba Snake


Lou's favorite: The flower gardens which reminded him of Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC.


Bonnie's favorite: The alligator show.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/reptile-gardens Sat, 13 Jul 2019 14:10:10 GMT
Badlands and Prairie Dogs https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/badlands-and-prairie-dogs Badlands National Park

Route 240 near Rapid City, SD

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/badlands-and-prairie-dogs Sat, 13 Jul 2019 02:57:45 GMT
Pipestone, Corn Palace, and Indian Lore https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/pipestone-corn-palace-and-indian-lore Westward Sites in Pictures Along I-90

July 9-10

Pipestone National Monument

This area is a sacred site to the Dakota and Lakota Peoples. The pipestone quarried here was used by ancestors to make pipes used in ceremonies offering prayers up through the smoke. Native families today join in quarrying the elusive catlinite pipestone which is buried under layers and layers of quartzite. Per the ranger, Lou's Boy Scout ceremonial pipestone may not be catlinite but a different type of pipestone quarried in Ohio.

Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village

This is an active archeological site. Students spend their summers meticulously seeking secrets of the past.

Corn Palace

Simply an amazing endeavor!

Roadside Rest—Gift to Dakotas

The inscription on this huge statue is entitled  “Dignity—of Land and Water” and overlooks the Missouri River.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/pipestone-corn-palace-and-indian-lore Fri, 12 Jul 2019 14:56:25 GMT
Wisconsin Dells https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/wisconsin-dells Wisconsin Dells, WI

July 7-8, 2019

Wow! Wisconsin's summer playground is here in Wisconsin Dells. A combination of the glitz of Niagara Falls' main street and Myrtle Beach's sprawling resorts, every type of entertainment is available in this summertime mecca. We may have experienced 1/1,000th of the offerings.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/wisconsin-dells Wed, 10 Jul 2019 12:03:21 GMT
Studebaker Museum https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/studebaker-museum July 6, 2019

Studebaker National Museum

South Bend, Indiana

What a boon the Studebaker brothers contributed to the growth of South Bend, Indiana! Starting out as blacksmiths; evolving into carriage makers; and then finally becoming car manufacturers—the company exuded high quality conveyances throughout its 1852-1966 reign. Renowned for its quality Presidential carriages, many presidents in the mid 1800's used Studebaker carriages (including President Lincoln) for transport from one location to another. In the Muppet Movie it was a Studebaker whose trunk was altered creating a hidden steering column so that it looked like the Muppets were driving instead of a human. What a quality museum! What a proud history!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/7/studebaker-museum Sun, 07 Jul 2019 00:10:25 GMT
Las Cruces, NM Woodcarvers https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/las-cruces-nm-woodcarvers Woodcarvers2019-215Woodcarvers2019-215 Woodcarvers2019-101Woodcarvers2019-101 Woodcarvers2019-102Woodcarvers2019-102 Woodcarvers2019-103Woodcarvers2019-103 Woodcarvers2019-104Woodcarvers2019-104 Woodcarvers2019-105Woodcarvers2019-105 Woodcarvers2019-106Woodcarvers2019-106 Woodcarvers2019-107Woodcarvers2019-107 Woodcarvers2019-108Woodcarvers2019-108 Woodcarvers2019-109Woodcarvers2019-109 Woodcarvers2019-110Woodcarvers2019-110 Woodcarvers2019-111Woodcarvers2019-111 Woodcarvers2019-112Woodcarvers2019-112 Woodcarvers2019-113Woodcarvers2019-113 Woodcarvers2019-114Woodcarvers2019-114 Woodcarvers2019-115Woodcarvers2019-115 Woodcarvers2019-116Woodcarvers2019-116 Woodcarvers2019-117Woodcarvers2019-117 Woodcarvers2019-201Woodcarvers2019-201 Woodcarvers2019-202Woodcarvers2019-202 Woodcarvers2019-203Woodcarvers2019-203 Woodcarvers2019-204Woodcarvers2019-204 Woodcarvers2019-205Woodcarvers2019-205 Woodcarvers2019-206Woodcarvers2019-206 Woodcarvers2019-207Woodcarvers2019-207 Woodcarvers2019-208Woodcarvers2019-208 Woodcarvers2019-209Woodcarvers2019-209 Woodcarvers2019-210Woodcarvers2019-210 Woodcarvers2019-211Woodcarvers2019-211 Woodcarvers2019-212Woodcarvers2019-212 Woodcarvers2019-213Woodcarvers2019-213 Woodcarvers2019-214Woodcarvers2019-214

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/las-cruces-nm-woodcarvers Mon, 29 Apr 2019 16:54:57 GMT
Ryan & Kari Kerver https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/ryan-kari-kerver Family Wedding

Green Bay, WS

April 12-13, 2019

On with the show! “Theater” was the theme of this wedding with the bride and groom being married on stage in a movie theater repleate with popcorn, drinks, and candy laid out in the lobby for guests to grab as they entered and to munch during the “I do's”.

The rehearsal dinner became a birthday party for the newlywed's 1-year-old son. So unique.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/ryan-kari-kerver Fri, 26 Apr 2019 22:51:07 GMT
Hiking Home https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/hiking-home Hiking Home

Week of April 7, 2019

Lou loves to hike! So......at Bosque del Apache we hiked; at Garden of the Gods we hiked; at Taos Pueblo we walked!

Near Albuquerque at Bosque del Apache we expected to see wetlands—Rio Grande wetlands—and we did—but not right away. The Canyon Trail hike at Bosque was much like all our desert hikes with one exception—mining bees. Because it was a hot day, Bonnie asked Lou to stand in the shade of the cliff so she could get a picture of all the holes in its wallface. Close enough to blow into a hole, Lou darted away after swatting at an insect and hearing Bonnie read the guide stating that the holes were the homes of myriads of bees. Hmmmm! The highlight of our hike was the rising in elevation until we reached its summit and saw the vista—the entire preserve laid in front of us as far as the eye could see. Eye candy!

Taos Pueblo—so unique! It is a community of registered Native Americans electing to live the way their ancestors did 400 years ago—that is to say without running water or electricity (their water source is a mountain stream which runs through the middle of the pueblo). They also make their own adobe bricks which includes constantly repairing their homes; they bake in hornos; and they live a hunter/gatherer lifestyle. About 150 members live in the pueblo and about 30 children call Taos Pueblo their home. The pueblo school goes up to 6th grade. Other Native Americans living in the surrounding area around the pueblo are not considered pueblo residents because they have modern conveniences. The pueblo is an elective community with its members choosing to live with their ancestoral customs, governing hierarchy, and religious rites.

Garden of the Gods—Colorado Springs, CO—red rocks of sandstone and white rocks of limestone lie side by side—mountain climbers challenge the rock faces—crazy rock formations are at every turn. How did the Garden of the Gods get its name? Two early explorers who first laid their eyes on the site made comments: 1). “I think a beer garden should be set up here.” 2.) “This place is fit for the gods.” Hence the name Garden of the Gods stuck!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/hiking-home Tue, 23 Apr 2019 15:34:13 GMT
Ed ... Las Cruces Woodcarver https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/ed-las-cruces-woodcarver Ed

April 5, 2019

By the time we left Las Cruces three different woodcarvers including Lou eagerly wondered, “Will Ed be in attendance today?,” but en route home we were shocked and saddened to discover that his kind instruction would never be an element of our Wednesday/Friday gatherings again.


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/ed-las-cruces-woodcarver Fri, 12 Apr 2019 11:58:16 GMT
Leaving Las Cruces https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/leaving-las-cruces LEAVING LAS CRUCES

April 7, 2019

Until next year... We will miss you!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/4/leaving-las-cruces Mon, 08 Apr 2019 02:43:55 GMT
Mistletoe and Tumbleweed https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/mistletoe-and-tumbleweed Mistletoe and Tumbleweed

March 23, 2019

“I wonder what the green clumps of foliage are on the trees”, Lou asked as we walked along the dry Rio Grande River in early January. We got the answer to that question three months later on a ranger-led hike of Camp Robledo. On that hike we discovered that Camp Robledo is not and never was a camp at all. Rather, it is an ecological plot of land restored to the natural state it was in during a period of time when the Camino Real was the only pathway into the wilds—when Onate brought wagonloads full of Spanish settlers from Mexico into a new territory. Standing there looking over the endless prairie grass and native plants of the time, we thought......”Hmmm, this is what they saw for miles and miles as they traveled.....we could do that!” Realistically, could we? “No, not really”!

What Lou, Pat, Susan, and Bonnie learned from Alex Mares, our ranger, on the 4-hour hike:

      1. Camp Robledo is the only ecological site in the Southwest which is in its native state and looks like it did when the settlers were driving through,

      2. Salt cedar trees, decorative shrubs imported from overseas, have wreaked havoc to the natural habitat salinating the ground and choking out natural undergrowth,

      3. The control of the Rio Grande has been a death knell to the many native poplar trees which relied on the flooding to restore nutrition,

      4. Tumbleweed was imported from Russia as type of winter wheat to hold the soil along the Rio Grande from erosion; it multiplied and multiplied.

      5. The clumps of green, of which Lou wondered, are a parasitic growth which will only grow on weak trees, and this parasite, the mistletoe, sucks the life out these trees. Mistletoe growing on a tree is a sign that it is dying.

So, you wouldn't think that mistletoe, a winter icon, and tumbleweed, a desert icon, would be together in New Mexico---but they are living side by side.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/mistletoe-and-tumbleweed Sat, 30 Mar 2019 17:45:07 GMT
Spud Pickers https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/spud-pickers SPUD PICKERS

March 26, 2019

“You're in the Army now!” Not really, but we felt like it. Susan gave us the moniker of “Three Potato Heads” as we walked toward our vehicles after a morning of bagging potatoes—hundreds of potatoes—thousands of potatoes. This month it was potatoes; last month it was zucchini, and in January it was kiwi. It's always a mystery as to what is going to be delivered by the semi tractor trailer, which deposits food in bulk from a food bank monthly at the Eastside Senior Center for distribution to the needy.

With 5 senior citizen centers in Las Cruces and each one hosting one such food give-away a month, that's a lot of food! 10-15 regular volunteers show up to organize, distribute, or “walk” a cart with each person eligible. For the past three months Betsy, Susan, and Bonnie have spent a morning a month distributing food—or should we say “bagging groceries”, or walking carts, or handing out delicious fresh foods.

How do we feel afterward? As delicious as the food we distribute!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/spud-pickers Wed, 27 Mar 2019 19:11:06 GMT
Blooming Desert https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/blooming-desert March 21, 2019

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE ... not with the Sound of Music, but with the view of poppies. Millions of them are in bloom and line the desert lands near the Organ Mountains along Baylor Canyon Road.

Plus, he didn't realize the reels were turning and recording when he tried his daring stone stepping to the waterfall on our hike at Fillmore Canyon!


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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/blooming-desert Thu, 21 Mar 2019 17:31:06 GMT
Zuhl Museum, New Mexico State University https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/zuhl-museum-new-mexico-state-university Largest and Finest Collection of Petrified Wood in the World”

Tiffany Santos

Zuhl Museum

March 13, 2019

We have been wintering in Las Cruces for four years now and had never visited this place until now.


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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/zuhl-museum-new-mexico-state-university Sat, 16 Mar 2019 16:00:19 GMT
Adobe Deli https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/adobe-deli ADOBE DELI

March 10, 2019

In the middle of No-wheres-ville, NM in the middle of the desert on a seemingly deserted road stands the Adobe Deli—with a full parking lot, by the way. A mini “House on the Rock” (https://www.thehouseontherock.com/exhibits/)with a menu suitable to “The Unique”, this place is another stand-out for local color. Movie stars the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Johnny Depp during movie shoots have spent an evening shooting the breeze with locals while sitting on a battered leather couch in a room chock full of antiques from floor to ceiling. Its evolution from a school to a post office to its current Adobe Deli is thanks to a Norwegian entrepreneur who saw a vision of what it could be.


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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/3/adobe-deli Mon, 11 Mar 2019 22:49:46 GMT
Local Color -- Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/2/local-color----las-cruces-nm New Mexico Local Color (aka Slot, Hatch, Mano)

Weekend of February 24, 2019

Saturday, 2/24: “I would like to take my D3s camera with my wide-angle lens back to Slot Canyon,” said Lou, and away we went on another road trip toward the town of Hatch. You would think that we had a pretty good idea of navigating the trail, but as we age, both our senses of direction are beginning to diminish.. How we ended up back in Slot Canyon going down (which was much more challenging than going up) is anyone's guess, but we managed to find our way back to the truck.

Our next stop was a return to Hatch, NM, Chile Capital of the World. Supposedly the best chile peppers in the world are grown around this area. On this trip Sparky's, a notorious restaurant for the best chile cheeseburger, was open. This restaurant has a reputation. It has accumulated many discarded statues from defunct establishments with the statues mounted atop its roof and abreast the sidewalk across the street. A walk along the sidewalks of Hatch feature a plethora of small shops displaying ristras of chile peppers and Mexican knickknacks.

Sunday, 2/25: So, after an earlier off-hand conversation about arrowheads with Tom, one of our hiking buddies who is an avid collector and sells memorabilia at card shows in CA and Vegas, we found ourselves visiting David, a long-time resident of Las Cruces who has a number of found arrowhead collections. Needless to say, after the visit we all loaded into the SUV and tooled over to the west mesa sand dunes outside Las Cruces looking for arrowheads. Spending about 2 hours and having gathered pocketfuls of anticipated rock treasures, we presented them to David. He let us know, ”They are just rocks”. However, the one treasure which was truly a treasure was found by Tom, our collector. He found an ancient mano but only half of it. If you look at the link below and pinpoint the round mano, it is exactly what Tom found cut in half--a wonderful afternoon in the desert.


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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/2/local-color----las-cruces-nm Mon, 25 Feb 2019 21:34:36 GMT
Slot Canyon https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/2/slot-canyon SLOT CANYON

First hike of the season with our hiking buddies

February 18, 2018

Hmmm. The cars are parked by the road; people are walking on the trail, but the gate is locked with barbed wire fencing running along either side. To be baptized onto the Slot Canyon Trail, those embarking must climb the gate. All eight of us 65+ year-olds scampered over the gate without hazard. Unlike most desert hikes, this one was truly unique. Instead of normal desert landscape we encountered the cool walls of a deep canyon. Easily with a backpack you rubbed its sides. Once through the canyon, our men bushwhacked us through the desert scrub to our vehicles. First hike—a huge success!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/2/slot-canyon Tue, 19 Feb 2019 21:06:10 GMT
Wood Carving Update https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/2/wood-carving-update Mid February, 2019


Our Wednesday and Friday mornings at wood carving got a slow start mainly because many mornings were spent socializing and catching up on a year's worth of news with our carving friends. Lou is working on his “little men”. He brought three cut-outs with him, the first of which is as cute as can be, but he is not happy with the arms/hands. His second one has arms which he feels are more realistic, but he accidentally cut off the little guy's nose (oh well, what little guy doesn't get a broken nose sometime throughout his life?). Bonnie took quite some time drawing her symbols and carving out different shadow areas, but now that wood burning has begun, every spare moment is spent perfecting the art on her pedestal kachina. Next comes adding color!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/2/wood-carving-update Sun, 17 Feb 2019 23:09:07 GMT
New Mexico Rock Art https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/new-mexico-rock-art January 26, 2019

It's Not Santa Fe, But.........


Click on the above link, and you will see the works of an artist in residence living in Las Cruces down the street from the home of our “hiking buddies”, Pat and Susan. This delightful couple took us for a walk last night along the levee across from their home. Kathy Morrow, who is the owner of the link above, showers the edges of that levee path with scene after scene of her rock art....created and maintained as she walks her dog daily. What a hidden gem! Unlike the works of art she has for sale on her website, this rock art is artistic talent freely given to the walkers who frequent the path! Do you see a wolf, a bear on a feather, a butterfly, and an owl face?

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/new-mexico-rock-art Sat, 26 Jan 2019 19:54:55 GMT
Mesalands Dinosaur Museum, Tucumcari, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/mesalands-dinosaur-museum-tucumcari-nm  


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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/mesalands-dinosaur-museum-tucumcari-nm Thu, 10 Jan 2019 03:15:45 GMT
The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/the-national-cowboy-and-western-heritage-museum January 4, 2019

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Oklahoma City, OK

We got lost in here! Literally. How do we find the exit? Each gallery led to another and another and another! To describe the plethora of memorabilia from the REAL West to the fantasized (of the movies) West would be a weak attempt. For example, there was an entire gallery of barbed wire types. Think of this gallery as a huge kitchen with vertical thin cupboards. Pull out the hand pull, and you are looking at one of 1,300 different types of barbed wire. Talk about detail! Within the museum was a fabricated town from the frontier days. How could we not take a picture of the photo studio?

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/the-national-cowboy-and-western-heritage-museum Mon, 07 Jan 2019 03:54:51 GMT
The City Museum of St. Louis, MO https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/the-city-museum-of-st-louis-mo January 3, 2019

The City Museum of St. Louis

What gives the impression that this is going to be an unique experience? Could it be that the bannisters of the staircase are made of painted auto shock absorbers? This museum is one of found objects. Buildings long gone and torn down but their artistic architecture are saved on its walls. Walls made of bottles, printers' die cuts, mirrors, muffin tins, warming dishes, and old photographic slides. By the way the entire museum is a child's playground including the roof. Unique!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/the-city-museum-of-st-louis-mo Sat, 05 Jan 2019 14:16:25 GMT
Ark Encounter https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/ark-encounter January 2, 201

The Ark Encounter

Williamstown, KY

Massive, impressive, probing, mission driven—that's the Ark. The displays are a wonder in themselves, and they are numerous. To think that the myriad lines of cages holding life-size extinct species are all made from styrofoam gives the mind pause especially viewing the final product with fur, hair, whiskers, eyes. Much to see and much to process!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2019/1/ark-encounter Fri, 04 Jan 2019 14:13:30 GMT
Calgary Stampede https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/7/calgary-stampede The Calgary Stampede

“The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”

July 11-12

Attendance at the Calgary Stampede for Summer 2018 = 1.27 million over a 10-day period! Yes, it is the biggest rodeo in the world. 17,000 people pack the grandstand daily for each afternoon rodeo show and another 17,000 for the evening chuck wagon races followed by the grandstand show and fireworks. Not only do the grounds house the grandstand, but a midway with rides and concessions which rival the Ohio State Fair lure old and young alike. Pavilions house dog and horse shows; musical entertainment abounds; and the Indian Village which has been an integral part of the Stampede since its inception in 1912 is vibrant with demonstrations and performances. The Young Canadians, a group of youths ranging in age from 11-18, are featured performers of synchronized routines throughout the grandstand show. The Calgary Grandstand Show is full of glitz and talent, and it rivals many Vegas shows we have seen on the Strip. Cowboy boots and hats abound at this venue!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/7/calgary-stampede Thu, 19 Jul 2018 17:35:28 GMT
Exploring Banff National Park https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/7/exploring-banff-national-park Banff National Park

July 7-9

Millions of conifers, powder blue streams, and emerald green lakes fill Banff National Park. Through the knowledge of Hugh Southee, one of our guides, we discovered that the different water colors are from the tiny granules of quartzite silt, and that water color—whether powder blue or emerald green—was determined by the swiftness of water movement. The slower the movement--> more green the water; the faster the movelemt--> the more powder blue. We also learned that the beauty of these mountains comes from their origins as sedimentary rocks turned metamorphic.

From glaciers, visible along road travel, to thundering canyons to emerald-green lakes to majestic mountains to lady slippers and orchids, the scenery was eye candy.

Can you believe that the park has overhead bridges for the animals to cross the road? Do the Canadians think of everything? In order to keep the animals from getting hit, fences line the the highway, and the bridges are a means for animals to cross from one side of the highway to the other.

At Lake Louise a young, third generation traveler (mother/daughter/granddaughter) within our group brought out her ukulele and played a melody echoing her voice through the beauty of the scene before us.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/7/exploring-banff-national-park Wed, 18 Jul 2018 21:54:51 GMT
Canada's 1st National Park https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/7/canadas-1st-national-park Saturday, July 7-8, 2018


It all started with a hole in the ground. Three prospectors in the 1800's worried if they should attempt to explore that dark, smelly hole. What a boon they found! Hot water! Enter the railroad which saw $$$ if it chose this place as stop-over for the newly planned Canadian transcontinental railroad where it would place a hotel and offer hot springs' baths to its travelers. Endangered snails found only in Banff find their homes in these sulfuric hot springs, but tropical fish (mollies) deposited here by a gentleman who tired of his aquarium thrive throughout the frigid winters and can be seen in the flats.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/7/canadas-1st-national-park Fri, 13 Jul 2018 07:28:33 GMT
Off to Canada! https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/7/off-to-canada Calgary mapCalgary map

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/7/off-to-canada Wed, 04 Jul 2018 18:43:20 GMT
Meow Wolf House of Eternal Return https://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.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/meow-wolf-house-of-eternal-return Sun, 18 Mar 2018 14:38:28 GMT
Remembering ... https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/remembering Winter, 2018

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

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/remembering Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:28:17 GMT
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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/cowboy-days Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:18:26 GMT
Woodcarvers 2018 https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/woodcarvers-2018 Wed, 14 Mar 2018 01:40:04 GMT
Anthe https://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.

MacrameMacrame Anthes ice flowersAnthes ice flowers


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/anthe Wed, 14 Mar 2018 01:05:47 GMT
Thunder Eggs https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/thunder-eggs Tue, 13 Mar 2018 03:20:23 GMT
A Living Museum https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/a-living-museum Fri, 09 Mar 2018 02:18:58 GMT
Roxanna https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/roxanna Mon, 05 Mar 2018 15:18:39 GMT
Border Patrol https://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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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/3/border-patrol Sat, 03 Mar 2018 14:59:02 GMT
Border Wall https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/border-wall Mon, 26 Feb 2018 20:29:47 GMT
Las Cruces Pastimes https://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

New rolling on the riverNew rolling on the river


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/las-cruces-pastimes Sat, 24 Feb 2018 02:41:51 GMT
Ray ... https://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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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/ray Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:51:07 GMT
Hueco Tanks https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/hueco-tanks Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:28:56 GMT
Devil's Claw https://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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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/devils-claw Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:51:19 GMT
Water in the Desert https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/water-in-the-desert Mon, 12 Feb 2018 16:18:23 GMT
Flower Making ... https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/flower-making Fri, 09 Feb 2018 22:11:08 GMT
Teresa https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/teresa Fri, 09 Feb 2018 21:59:08 GMT
Kachinas https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/kachinas Mon, 05 Feb 2018 04:09:58 GMT
Blue Moon, Las Cruces, NM https://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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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/blue-moon-las-cruces-nm Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:02:13 GMT
Woodcarvers & Woodburners https://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

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/2/woodcarvers-woodburners Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:55:15 GMT
Fishing on the Rio Grande River https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/fishing-on-the-rio-grande-river Hiking—or Fishing—on the Rio Grande Which is it?

January 28, 2018—Mesilla, NM

Imagine this! We are on a Sunday afternoon walk along a trail hugging the Rio Grande River hiking a gentle path from Mesilla to Las Cruces. It's sunny; the temps are about 65 degrees—nothing special—just an afternoon hike! The Rio Grande is nearly dry this time of year, but it has pockets of thigh-high water. We come upon a thicket of reeds and mesquites where a young couple is beating bushes and their surrounding waters with sticks. Here the water is deep but not above their waders. We have NO idea what is going on. We walk on. Upon our return after about 20 minutes we notice that the man is walking in the middle of the water with a compound bow, and the woman is recording the event. This snapshot in time is worth a stop! We wait patiently but eagerly to see whether there will be action. I'm ready to pull out the camera, but both of us won't let our eyes stray; we have them glued on the man wading slowly—oh, so slowly—through the water with his bow at his side and arrow arranged loosely in it niche. Suddenly, he zips around, pulls the bow taught, and shoots into the water behind him. The arrow speeds into the Rio Grande waters with a neon green strap following in its wake. It's a hit. The man reels in the green strap like a fishing pole reel, and a huge carp at arrow's end splashes out of the water squirming to release itself from the the arrow's barbs. The man holds up a 5-lb. carp, and we cheer. “We have caught four more,” says he, as he and his mate hold up 5 huge fish to pose for a Kodak moment. “What will you do with them?,” yell we! “We take them to the state park next to us, and they are fed to the animals.” An unusual hiking story, wouldn't you say? Or, should we call this post a “fish” story?

Fishing_1Fishing_1 fishing_2fishing_2 LBJ_Rio GrandeLBJ_Rio Grande

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/fishing-on-the-rio-grande-river Mon, 29 Jan 2018 02:25:49 GMT
Gnomes and Nuts https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/gnomes-and-nuts Gnomes and Nuts

After nearly two weeks in Las Cruces we finally feel “settled in”. The first two weeks' meetings with the Dona Ana Woodcarvers was more social than productive, but we must adhere to the important things first, right? It is simply amazing to see the artistic ability of these amazing individuals who attend simply for the love of the morning whittling/carving exercise (their works to be posted on a later blog). However, we have begun our journey down the lane of would-be wood carving: our focus has been on  gnomes and Santas.

Dona Ana County, of which Las Cruces is a part, is a big pecan-producing region. We were fortunate enough to acquire a shopping bag full of pecans. Now, while watching the PBS Newshour in the evening, we will probably be shelling pecans instead of finding puzzle pieces (the only time we do puzzles is in Las Cruces).

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/gnomes-and-nuts Sat, 27 Jan 2018 19:22:47 GMT
Soledad Canyon -- Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/soledad-canyon----las-cruces-nm Monday, January 15, 2018

Las Cruces, New Mexico

The Soledad Canyon Gang

“My meditation today was 'Relax, I am in control'”, Susan told us as we six paused along the trail to Soledad Canyon. After witnessing what just happened, that phrase must become our daily mantra, and here is the story of why that is so.

After settling into our Hess Terrace rental, our first order of business was to get on the hiking trails after unpacking, shopping, and, of course, taking care of the birds. As we exited the truck to begin our first hike of the season, who should pull into the lot almost next to us but our hiking buddies from last year! This was NOT a planned rendezvous, and what makes it more extraordinary is that the exact same thing happened in 2017 at Dripping Springs. An unplanned rendezvous with these four on our first hike of the season—two years in a row? This was NO accident. Yes, the daily mantra must be: Relax; He is in control.

Soledad Canyon GangSoledad Canyon Gang 1045 Hess Terrace1045 Hess Terrace

Watering the birdsBird sanctuary in the back yard.

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/soledad-canyon----las-cruces-nm Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:56:44 GMT
Santa Fe, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/santa-fe-nm Saturday, January 13, 2018

Santa Fe, NM

Amarillo and a 7-hour drive to Las Cruces. Where should we stop? We remembered the story from friends of the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe and decided to make it our destination. The legend is just as interesting as the staircase:


Santa Fe did not disappoint. The unique shops are exquisite, and Bonnie, who is not a buyer, did buy.

Chapel OutsideChapel Outside Loretto ChapelLoretto Chapel StaircaseStaircase Santa Fe SquareSanta Fe Square

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/santa-fe-nm Sun, 14 Jan 2018 15:00:37 GMT
Palo Duro Canyon -- Amarillo, TX https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/palo-duro-canyon----amarillo-tx January 12, 2018

Sunshine, Red Rocks, and Hiking

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Panhandle of Texas

Dubbed the second largest canyon in North America, the majesty of the Grand Canyon falls a little short here at Palo Duro, but it's hard to believe that such a small fork of the Red River could cut a swathe 277 miles, 18 miles wide, and 6,000 ft. deep over the millennia. Most importantly, we enjoyed the hike, the sun, the 50-degree weather as we hiked its floor. Home for the winter in the sun until March.

Palo Duro Canyon FloorPalo Duro Canyon Floor cowboy dugoutcowboy dugout cccccc

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/palo-duro-canyon----amarillo-tx Sat, 13 Jan 2018 13:35:16 GMT
Skulls Unlimited -- Oklahoma City https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/skulls-unlimited----oklahoma-city Thursday, January 11, 2018

Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, OK

Skulls Unlimited

What? A privately-owned industry which culls the skin, muscle, tendons, and brains from bones of the tiniest to the largest of animals and then re-assembles the skeletons. All skeletons are legally acquired.

Who? Jay Villenmarette started the evolution of Skulls Inc when at the age of 7 in 1972 he found a dog skull. Fascinated by it, he was encouraged by his father to collect skulls. Today, he and his family of six along with a handful of knowledgable employees clean and re-string bones into skeletons (about 20,000/yr) for museums, schools, and private collectors who want them as trophies. A myriad of skeletons are on display next door at his privately-owned Museum of Osteology.

Where? The factory is in Oklahoma City, but there are two of his unique museums—Orlando and Oklahoma City. No factory tours allowed though—the blood, guts, and smells would turn anyone's stomach!

How? The cleaning begins with cutting and sometimes boiling detritus from the bones, but the stars of the show are the millions of free laborers: carrion beetles whose job it is to finish the cleaning of the bones. Scores of terrariums house these busy workers which remove every bit of anything NOT bone. Lastly, the bones are bathed in a hydrogen peroxide bath.


skullsskulls Siamese calfSiamese calf


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/skulls-unlimited----oklahoma-city Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:51:26 GMT
Clinton Presidential Library https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/clinton-presidential-library Wednesday, January 10, 2017

A Sideways Glance at the William J Clinton Presidential Library and Museum

Sometimes known as Billy Blythe, Bill Clinton never laid eyes on his biological father who died before Clinton's birth. Our 42nd president formally adopted the surname, Clinton, last name of the only father he ever knew.

The library itself is filled with all types of President Clinton's memorabilia and also promotes the work of the Clinton Foundation. A modern cantilevered structure symbolizing a bridge to the 21st century overlooks the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock and mimics the form of a bridge to ?????

We were awed by the Mandela exhibit, took note of the sacredness of the Anne Frank Garden, took whimsical license in the two White House replica rooms, and noted that both Bill and Hillary experienced similar childhoods to many of us who grew up in the '40's and '50's.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/clinton-presidential-library Thu, 11 Jan 2018 13:43:08 GMT
Begin 2018 NM Trip -- Louisville https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/begin-2018-nm-trip----louisville January 9, 2018

“Bats in the Belfry”

Here we are in Louisville, KY at the Louisville Sluggers Factory. Because the factory floor is a union shop photos were not allowed during the actual production of the bats which we saw. However, with CNC automation, specialty bats can be produced to perfection as ordered by pro and minor league players. Production of a bat takes 30 seconds. Upon our exit there were walls of template-burned-in signatures which had graced personal bats of notable major league players from past years. How did the factory get its name? In 1887 a baseball player by the name of Pete Browning and known as the “Louisville Slugger” broke his bat, and upon doing so, went to the Hillerich family shop. The proprietor accommodated Pete by hand crafting a new bat. Because of the quality of Browning's bat, subsequent players ordered “Louisville Slugger's” bats—thence the name, Louisville Slugger.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2018/1/begin-2018-nm-trip----louisville Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:25:06 GMT
Leaving Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/3/leaving-las-cruces-nm February 28, 2017

Leaving Las Cruces

“Boo hoo!” Good bye to the beautiful Organ Mountains, the constant sun, the desert hikes, but more importantly to the “warmth” emanating from the people we have met here. The twice-weekly meetings of the Dona Ana Wood Carvers became an integral part of our month in Las Cruces. We looked forward to our Wednesday and Friday mornings like a kid anticipating Christmas morning. Until we meet again next year, Las Cruces, we have “warm fuzzies” in the pit of our stomaches. We will miss you!

TeacherTeacher DavidDavid BillyBilly BobBob EsperanzaEsperanza JoeJoe JohnnyJohnny MannyManny Maria_ElenaMaria_Elena RaulRaul RayRay RickRick RoxannaRoxanna RuthRuth SandraSandra

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/3/leaving-las-cruces-nm Sat, 04 Mar 2017 13:23:38 GMT
Take a hike ... https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/2/take-a-hike February 15-22, 2017

Week 3 Las Cruces, NM


Our goal this week was to conquer the “A” Mountain—named such because of a big white-washed “A” at the top. It is also referred to as the Tortugas Mountain because in Spanish the word means “turtle”, and from the air, the form of the mountain looks like a turtle. By conquering the mountain we mean finding the “right” trail among the myriad branch trails to circumnavigate the mountain! From our earliest attempts when the altitude caused us to be winded within 15 minutes to our latter attempts when the trail took us into the desert, we finally made it around the 4-mile trail on our 4th attempt. What a victory! https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/1185553/a-mountain-tortuga-trail

However, our most interesting hike was a paleontologist-led hike into the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument. This is a hidden gem, and quite frankly it is pretty inaccessible. Viewing the fossil tracks from 280 million years ago was pretty phenomenal. Thanks to Pat and Susan who suggested this hike and to their friends, Fred and Betsy—all of whom have become our hiking buddies—we learned a lot from Colin Dunn, one of the few paleontologists assigned to this region. The discovery site doesn't have fossil bones but only contains rocks with fossil tracks. It just so happened there is an entire story about the man who discovered this out-of-the-way site. As a matter of fact, these hills were being mined prior to their protection as a national monument, and its thanks for saving of the discovery site is credited to an avid rock hound, Jerry MacDonald, who had been seeking fossils for 15 years prior to his find in the mid 1980's. At that time he brought Trackways' rocks to a local museum which denied their authenticity, but he was persistent and pursued authentication with the Smithsonian which verified those Trackways fossils as “the real deal”. The site was protected as a national monument in 2009. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Trackways_National_Monument

Was it by chance that Jerry MacDonald's son, Noah, visiting from out of state was on this hike? Wow!

Our hike to Dripping Springs just outside Las Cruces always fascinates. It is the site and has ruins of an old resort/hotel which flourished in the 1890's and early 1900's and then became a tuberculosis sanitarium a couple decades later. Ruins of those two buildings exist but are in disrepair and look like a ghost town.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/2/take-a-hike Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:25:59 GMT
Las Cruces Week 2 https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/2/las-cruces-week-2 February 8-15, 2017

Week 2 Las Cruces, NM


Extreme Fetishes


LOU: People-watching at the market is one of Lou's favorites. He tries to capture on film the unique!


LOU & BONNIE: Puzzle week! We now know what addiction feels like. Bringing a puzzle from home, we thought it would fill empty moments. However, we found ourselves gravitating toward the puzzle every time we walked in the door looking for “the piece”.


BONNIE: Although our generation has calmed a great deal, emotions ran high for us young baby boomers: a constant threat of nuclear war when we were children; race riots when we were in our teens; Vietnam demonstrations and flag burnings in our 20's. (Have things really changed that much?) Enter: Neil Diamond, a lyricist who captured our hearts and put into words an era. Attending a Neil Diamond Tribute band concert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP1mN7N8KXg this week showed a very different audience from the audience down Memory Lane. The youngest people at the concert were the ones on stage—by a long shot! Heart strings were plucked though; rewind from today back 38 years. Jeremy, aged 4, asks, “Mom, can I pick your flowers?” Bonnie knows where this is going! “Yes!” Jeremy disappears. Proudly, he returns holding out a handful of favorite flowers for acceptance. In the background is playing one of many of Bonnie's Neil Diamond albums:

And baby, I remember
All the things you taught me
I learned how to laugh
And I learned how to cry
Well I learned how to love
Even learned how to lie
You'd think I could learn
How to tell you goodbye
'Cause you don't bring me flowers anymore”

Neil Diamond

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/2/las-cruces-week-2 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:42:23 GMT
Las Cruces / Week One https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/2/las-cruces-/-week-one February 1-7, 2017

Week 1 Las Cruces, NM

We love this sunshine. Days begin on the cold side with temperatures falling into the 30's or 40's at night, but most afternoon temperatures rise to the mid-to-high 60's or even higher. Being at 4,000 ft. above sea level, the Chihuahuan Desert is a mecca for hiking. We would have to hike daily (which we try to do) this month to cover all the trails nearby.  Fortunate enough to meet a couple who introduced us to hiking the Chihuahuan Nature Center at the foot of the Dona Ana Mountains, we were exposed to a whole new set of trails as yet unexplored by us.  This mountain range is a sister range to Las Cruces' crowned jewels, the Organ Mountains.

A reunion for Bonnie and an introduction of Lou to David, our woodcarving guru, proved a fascinating experience. He was working on a cradle doll to hang on the wall of a baby's room when we saw him last Wednesday.  At the wood carvers' next meeting David brought us each a yucca stick so that we could begin. Every Wednesday and Friday morning this month we will be carving, wood burning, and painting. At the end of our first session David surprised Lou by GIVING him a walking stick he had recently made. What a tremendously thoughtful man David is!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/2/las-cruces-/-week-one Wed, 08 Feb 2017 04:03:10 GMT
Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/2/johnson-space-center-houston-texas January 28, 2017

Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas

“Houston, we have a problem” = message the crew of Apollo 13 relayed to Houston Control when it malfunctioned. “Houston, we have a problem” was the message to AAA when our battery went dead in Lafayette, LA. Apollo 13 and Lou and Bonnie were rescued from disaster. We did make it to the Johnson Space Center. Once inside its gates, we were amazed that the place looked like a college campus—deserted on a Sunday—but still it had squat buildings where you knew brains were working hard within—but maybe not on a Sunday. Saturn V rockets—17 of them (and maybe more) took off during our lifetime with human payload aboard. Other than Neil Armstrong walking on the moon during Apollo 11, those take-offs became everyday occurrences in our lives. Little did we novices know how amazing was the technology—we took them for granted. Every one of them was valuable, as is the international space station, because experiments there and here were and are preparing for the 6-month eventual, manned trip to Mars; its mission is called Orion. That WILL be as amazing as landing on the moon.


Saturn V rocket stage 1 (out of 3) thrusters. Houston-111Houston-111

Saturn V rocket ... 342 feet long.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/2/johnson-space-center-houston-texas Thu, 02 Feb 2017 16:48:07 GMT
Day 4 Road Scholar Group https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/day-4-road-scholar-group January 27, 2017

Road Scholar Cajun Experience in Music, Food, Dance Day 4, Lafayette, LA

We all became honorary Cajuns with certificates to prove it! The one requirement to achieve this honorarium was to try boudin. Not only did Patti, our leader/teacher/coordinator, plan this special treat, but she also bought us a king cake for dessert one night, toted Satsuma mandarin oranges from her tree at home to share with us, supplied us with scarves/gloves for our boat trip, and provided chocolates on our numerous field trips. Being Cajun by birth, she was knowledgable; she thought ahead; and she could even dance the two-step.

Image-1.j1Image-1.j1Thank you Dennis for identifying everyone!

Thank you Dennis for identifying everyone!


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/day-4-road-scholar-group Sun, 29 Jan 2017 02:18:24 GMT
Cajun Country https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/cajun-country January 26, 2017

Road Scholar Cajun Experience in Music, Food, Dance Day 3, Lafayette, LA

Food! Food has been a key part of each day during our adventure—not just any food, but Cajun food! Crawfish, ettoufee, jambalaya, dirty rice—these are all terms we knew. File, roux, the trinity, corn macque choux, and boudin were all revelations to us.

Music! What a special beat Cajun music has! From enjoying a story-telling fiddler to listening to accordion virtuosos to learning the Cajun Waltz and the two-step, music was a big part of this program. We had the opportunity to try our newly-learned steps to the lively beat of a Cajun band, and it was a hoot to watch the REAL pros—the natives—get up and show us how it was really done. Of course, we had two left feet but toward the end we were finally feeling the beat—yes, feeling the beat but not always stepping to it.

Field Trips! How invigorating it was to see the wildlife on Lake Martin! Although this may have been a favorite, we also took other field trips to absorb the culture of Cajun Country—Shadows on the Teche mansion, McIlhenny Company (Avery Island—tabasco factory), and the folk life village. We were immersed in the culture of the region.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/cajun-country Sat, 28 Jan 2017 14:50:55 GMT
Accordions and Live Oaks https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/accordions-and-live-oaks January 25, 2017

Road Scholar Cajun Experience in Music, Food, Dance Day 2, Lafayette, LA

Live oaks—abundant especially on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette—have a society of their own. The oldest member of the Live Oak Society is the president, and the only human privy to the organization is its honorary chairman charged with record keeping. The dues per year are 25 acorns. We stopped to view the second vice president of the Society—the St. John Cathedral Live Oak. It was majestic!

Later in the day we took a field trip to Martin Accordion, a family-owned accordion factory and repair shop, and there we were entertained by three generations of Martin musicians who played lively (very lively) Cajun music.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/accordions-and-live-oaks Fri, 27 Jan 2017 12:44:17 GMT
Vermillionville https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/vermillionville January 24, 2017

Road Scholar Cajun Experience in Music, Food, Dance Day 1, Lafayette, LA

Multiple choice question: Choose the best answer for the term:

Make groceries

a. Cook a meal

b. Throw up

c. Grocery shop

There were 10 of these Cajun terms, and we had to guess their meanings. It's obvious from OUR answers we don't know Cajun! It's just like the Cajun words to the accordion player's tune in the video below. Believe me, if you can't understand them, it's not the speaker on your computer/phone. We couldn't understand them either. I think he was speaking English with a Cajun accent, but we are not really sure.

A delightfully sunny day was spent at the Jean LaFitte Cultural Center and the Folk Life Village in Vermillionville. The Village was a living history of what life was like for the Cajuns and other immigrants landing in Louisiana in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/vermillionville Wed, 25 Jan 2017 14:40:05 GMT
Florida Visit https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/florida-visit January 23, 2017

Silver & Gold Revisited

On our Florida trip in 2012 our blog entry was,

Running through the tapestry of our entire trip, we have weaved memories which can hardly be duplicated. The greatest highlights have been sharing experiences with our family and friends. They are truly the silver and gold which make our tapestry shimmer with life.”

This trip has been no different; it surely is the relationships, the stories, and the love that bind the tapestry together which has covered our entire essence with warmth. Friends and family---they are the best!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2017/1/florida-visit Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:26:35 GMT
Lake Lucero, White Sands Ntl Monument, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/3/lake-lucero-white-sands-ntl-monument-nm February 28, 2016

Lake Lucero

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.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/3/lake-lucero-white-sands-ntl-monument-nm Wed, 02 Mar 2016 01:47:19 GMT
Gila Cliff Dwellings https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/gila-cliff-dwellings February 25, 2016

Gila Cliff Dwellings

Gila National Forest

It's a forty-four mile drive from Silver City to Gila Cliff Dwellings, but it took 1 ¾ hour with hair-pin turns throughout the Gila National Forest. Didn't we do this three weeks ago in a snowstorm driving to Silver City? YES! At least today it was sunny and warm.

Archeologists can only guess about the 40-60 ancient peoples who inhabited these six caves; they only spent about one generation in these dwellings from approximately 1280-1300 AD. Adolph Bandelier, an early archeologist, reported in 1884 that the caves had already been looted and vandalized leaving little evidence of how the people lived and how the dwelling rooms were used. It is believed that due to a drought around 1280. the ancient Mogollon (mo-go-y'on) people migrated from the north to this fertile valley where three forks of the Gila River converge, and thus water was plentiful. Can you imagine raising a toddler at these heights? No wonder they moved on after only one generation.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/gila-cliff-dwellings Sun, 28 Feb 2016 03:35:16 GMT
Silver City, New Mexico https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/silver-city-new-mexico February 24, 2016

Silver City, New Mexico

What's the buzz about Silver City? It started out like any other boom town in New Mexico in the late 1800's. The town grew up overnight as soon as silver was discovered in the vast mineral-rich Gila Forest region of New Mexico. Why did Silver City thrive and the other towns die? The town fathers planned Main Street in an arroyo making it a target for spring and summer floods ultimately wiping away the entire commerce district of the community. That couldn't be the reason. Could it be that early town fathers made the town safe from the Apaches? Well, the founder of Silver City was killed at the age of 24 by Apaches in 1883, and the judge and his wife were massacred by a band of Geronimo's Apaches, their 6-year old son being kidnapped and taken to Mexico. So, no, it was a not a safe place.

The speculation is that the establishment of Western New Mexico State University is the reason this settlement survived, and all the others became ghost towns. That's a huge factor because the economy here is based on the premise that this is a mecca for western culture. Yet other university towns across the US are also cultural icons.

Why is Silver City such a draw? It's probably because Silver City has marketed itself as being a tourist destination. It is a hub of the history of this area, but more than that! The city publishes a booklet of driving tours each one having significance from the historic '49'ers gold rush days, Gila's cliff dwellings, and forts to recreational birding, scenery, and biking to economic mining. All of the driving tours are mapped out and have descriptors of minute details giving the viewer a snapshot of the historic moment in time. However, tourism and culture are not the only reasons Silver City is still a “boom town”! Jobs are plentiful here because on the outskirts of town is an active copper mining site. Yes, the Santa Rita Mine is one of the largest open-pit copper mining sites in the US.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/silver-city-new-mexico Sat, 27 Feb 2016 16:05:46 GMT
A Weekend in Las Cruces ... https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/a-weekend-in-las-cruces February 19-21

Las Cruces Weekend

“Everything happens on the weekends,” said one of the women at Silver Sneakers, and this weekend was jam packed. Friday evening was a cabaret show by Gone Girls featuring songs from the 40's-60's especially the Andrews Sisters, and the theme was valentines https://www.facebook.com/gonegirlsnm/.

Saturday was a regional rocket competition in Alamogordo—memories from when Lou and Jeremy built rockets and shot them off in the field behind our place in Wooster. Saturday afternoon was the Gem & Mineral Show at the Ranch and Farm Museum.

Sunday afternoon was Spanish Market featuring lectures, demonstrations, vendors, and entertainment.

Of course, every Saturday is The Market, a weekly draw for us!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/a-weekend-in-las-cruces Tue, 23 Feb 2016 22:20:27 GMT
Camp Hope https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/camp-hope February 19, 2016

Las Cruces, NM

Camp Hope

A visit to Camp Hope is an eye-opener! This is an extremely well-organized homeless tent city on government land surrounded by social services buildings such as a soup kitchen, health clinic, food bank, jobs' office, laundry and shower facilities, and daycare for dependents of the homeless. Camp Hope receives no governmental assistance—only run by private donations—and is purely transitional for those awaiting funding for housing or job placement.

Meet Debbie! Manning the “sign-in” table, she is sitting with a four-pronged cane at her side; her ample bulk is overlooked by her welcoming smile and the pink, knitted Tami atop her fair head. When she takes off her sunglasses, her face belies white raccoon rings which daily sun exposure creates. Her clothes look neatly pressed. She is a resident of this tent city, and a talker she is! Here is the gist of her story:

I've been here 7 months, and this place has saved me. At 59 I can't believe this has happened to me. None of my friends know I am here (except my very best friend). My boys in CA won't take me in. I led a charmed life growing up with all the privileges of a suburban CA lifestyles. I have a college education; my IQ is 155; and my career seemed secure. When I graduated from college I went into the newspaper business working everyday, saving, and enjoying an affluent middle-class lifestyle. I married a managing newspaper editor, and back in the '70's (the hey-day of newspapers), he made $25/hour. When I recently fell and broke my ribs, the newspaper let me go. I used up all my savings, lost my house, and I had nothing to my name. I was referred here. Although I have a pension, I'm not able to receive it until I'm 65. The social services office here helped me apply for SSI, but it has taken 7 months to go through; so, staying in a tent here was my only option for housing until funding was approved. As a part of my “rent”, I must look for a job. It is so hard at my age; nobody wants to hire me especially when I give the address of residence as Camp Hope.”  

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/camp-hope Sun, 21 Feb 2016 19:15:08 GMT
Woodcarvers https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/woodcarvers February 19, 2016

Las Cruces, NM

This is the second day that I, Bonnie, have gone to witness the woodcarvers, a group of seniors who meet every Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 am till Noon. The description says "Free; join anytime"....and people do! It's a loose group of carvers, but there is always a teacher or veteran woodcarver there to get people started or answer questions.

My first experience was meeting David. With little introduction he gave me a walking stick and explained all the symbols which he had carved into it. When I offered to pay him, he refused saying, "If you offer me money, I will take it back; this is a gift. I love to carve, and I love to share."

My second experience was meeting with many carvers but especially spending time with Evelyn and Raul. Evelyn is the veteran; Raul the beginner. Their life stories are very different, but they meet here for their love of carving. Evelyn not only carves, but at home she has other artistic endeavors one of which is writing a biography entitled, Will He Make It To First Base? When I told her that I felt I had discovered a hidden treasure in this room, she said, “escondo”! The word, she explained, means “hidden”, and she goes by the moniker, Evelyn's Escando Art.

The Woodcarvers=a true hidden gem!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/woodcarvers Sun, 21 Feb 2016 19:10:48 GMT
Lincoln County War, New Mexico https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/lincoln-county-war-new-mexico February 15, 2016

Ruidoso, NM

Billy the Kid Trail

Road trip today through Lincoln County, NM—scene of the Lincoln County Wars and the Billy the Kid Trail. Yes, the county was named after Abraham Lincoln and encompasses a large area running through the Lincoln National Forest. One word to describe this county is diverse.

After leaving the high desert, we began climbing and drove through the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Feeling the independence of a very proud nation, we viewed small modest homes with one or two horses pastured on adjacent plots. Just imagine the Apache coming home, saddling his mount, and galloping along these mountain trails and passes. These Native Americans have not lost their land and their allegiance to it. However, as a reminder of their entry into modern society, we also saw casinos on the edges of their reservation.

The Hondo Valley, within the triangular 65 miles of the Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway, is rich farmland due to its proximity to mountain water run-off—a perfect place for livestock and farming. This abundance of resources drew settlers who staked claim to the Indian lands causing heated conflicts between the Indians and settlers.

At the same time that settlers were establishing claims surrounding Apache lands, a monopoly (Murphy & Dolan) of entrepreneurs was established in Lincoln County having a tremendous amount of power and influencing the law, politics, and economics of the county. Enter a foreigner who wanted a piece of the pie (Dunstall)! He opened his own store and partnered with a lawyer (Sweeney); the store gave unwanted competition to the establishment. Where the gun was the law of the land, animosity led to skirmishes between the rivals, and then murders and more murders; ultimately a war between the two factions caused bloodshed right and left. Murphy & Dolan's Sheriff Brady hired thugs who ruled with a heavy hand. On the side of the Dunstall were a group of loyal supporters called the Regulators of which Billy the Kid was one. Early victims of the war were Sheriff Brady on one side and Dunstall on the other; scores more followed. To end the conflict Colonel Dudley, who supported Murphy/Dolan, led his troops from Fort Stanton to Lincoln. Troops did end the war, but Billy with a few other Regulators escaped the carnage. However, Pat Garrett, who was appointed sheriff in the aftermath, vowed to apprehend Billy along with the other renegade Regulators. He did so, and Billy was sent to Santa Fe for trial. Convicted for the murder of Sheriff Brady, Billy was transported back to Lincoln County by Pat Garrett to be hanged there. He escaped from the second floor jail in the Murphy Store and overpowered guards, killing them, and escaping. Pat Garrett hunted him down and shot him according to official records. Many movies have been created depicting the Lincoln County Wars. The most recent was Young Guns; another was Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. How appropriate was it that Bonnie found a rocking horse at an antique store in Lincoln that nearly replicated her own childhood rocker bringing back memories of riding Black Beauty dressed in her cowgirl outfit, hat, boots, and six guns while watching the Lone Ranger on TV.

Driving from Fort Stanton to Ruidoso and dining at an Irish Pub, we couldn't help but wonder at the diversity here—for a few moments we felt like we were driving through New England with its pines, valleys, hills, and quaint little town storefronts sporting ski supplies, but when we saw the cowboy hats, boots, and life-sized stuffed bears, we knew we were not in New England anymore. Notwithstanding, the Apache Ski Resort in the Lincoln National Forest is a popular destination for vacationers from around the state and outside it, too—adding to the diversity of the county.     

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/lincoln-county-war-new-mexico Fri, 19 Feb 2016 00:58:42 GMT
A Tale of Two Forts https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/a-tale-of-two-forts February 14-15, 2016

A Tale of Two Forts

Fort Selden, Radium Springs—17 miles NW of Las Cruces

Fort Stanton, Lincoln County—136 miles NE of Las Cruces

Two forts! Both were built to protect settlers from Indians and outlaws during the second half of the 19th century. One is in ruins, and the other has buildings. It's ironic that the one in ruins is the original footprint of Fort Selden; the one with buildings has only the foundations of the original Fort Stanton. Every building seen at Fort Stanton has been built on the foundation (and only the foundation) of its original buildings. The exception is the stables; today those look as they did then because they were made using stone instead of adobe.



[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/a-tale-of-two-forts Wed, 17 Feb 2016 02:59:11 GMT
Star Trails https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/star-trails February 13, 2016

Organ Mountains

Leaving at dusk, we traveled to our destination---a deserted canyon road toward the Organ Mountains. Below is Lou's first attempt of star trails over the Organs.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/star-trails Tue, 16 Feb 2016 17:50:02 GMT
Billy the Kid https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/billy-the-kid  

Lest I forget the details of Billy the Kid's break-in at San Elizario, here within, is as I recall it according to Manuel, the city sheriff (a fellow who is hired to man the San Elizario Jail Museum and who participates in re-enactments)

Back in the early days when Billy roamed this area (late 1870s), the law would hang a man for murder, stealing a horse, or stealing cattle. The courthouse, a room within the jail house in San Elizario, was convenient; the outlaw could be tried one hour and be hung the same day that the trial took place. If a cattle rustler was caught on the open range, the rancher could take justice into his own hands and string up the offender. However, if that rustler was wanted by the sheriff, there would be no reward for the renegade hangman.

Billy the Kid had a girlfriend in Mesilla near Las Cruces. The girlfriend's father was quite influential in the area, and it was a member of this father's household who had been arrested and was being held in the San Elizario Jail. Billy's girlfriend implored him to save the man in jail. Billy and another friend traveled from Mesilla the 73 miles to arrive in San Elizario tired and hungry. They were fed and rested in a nearby farmhouse. About 3:00 am they began their break-in! How were they going to break INTO a jail? Billy hatched a plan that worked. He banged on the jail door and yelled, “I am a Texas Ranger and have a wanted man to put in your jail.” The Spanish guard opened the peep hole, but it was too dark to see much of anything other than the star Billy had in his possession. When the Spanish guard opened the door after repeated bangings by Billy, the guard was welcomed by a .44. The guard was locked in the cell after Billy's friend was released from it.

Here is where there are conflicting outcomes. According to one legend, Billy escaped to New Mexico with his friends. Because that influential father was so grateful to Billy for saving his family member, he gave Billy money and told him to disappear--which many think Billy did--never to appear again in the public eye. However, on the flip side, here is the other legendary outcome. Prior to this jail break Billy was a wanted man for his role in the Lincoln County Wars, him being one of the Regulators. Upon Billy's escape from pursuit with other Regulators, Pat Garrett vowed to hunt Billy down and kill him which according to record he did, and Billy is buried at Fort Sumner, NM. However, was that Billy? Recently a man living in the East claimed to be a relative of Billy the Kid and wanted an exhumation of bones to get a DNA sample. Upon exhumation there were no bones. ?????     


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/billy-the-kid Sat, 13 Feb 2016 04:19:05 GMT
El Paso, TX Mission Trail https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/el-paso-tx-mission-trail February 10, 2016

Mission Trail

El Paso, Texas

Road trip today! Three towns with their respective churches along the Mission Trail—San Elizario, Socorro, and Ysleta—had rich stories of the genuine West! Our favorite stop was San Elizario. Recently, this town has made every effort to portray itself “as the West really was”. First of all, the preferred language here IS Spanish. We witnessed it in the Spanish-speaking, singing priest who spoke just as much with his hands as his mouth during today's Ash Wednesday mass. We tasted it when we ate genuine Mexican fare at Sophia's while drinking horchata (rice milk) and eating machaca (shredded beef & scrambled eggs). We saw it when Sheriff Manny swaggered down the pueblo garrison boardwalk (actually art shops) with a sheriff's badge pinned to his shirt, his cowboy hat resting squarely on his head, his cowboy boots clacking along the boardwalk, and his 6-shooter on his hip. He proceeded to take us to the authentic cell and sheriff's office where Billy the Kid broke into jail.  That story, abbreviated in the above link, came to life with Manny's detailed descriptions of the interrelationships involved in Billy's life. Manny's drawl, accent, and his slow Texan manner took about a half hour to tell. San Elizario was the highlight of our day!  

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/el-paso-tx-mission-trail Thu, 11 Feb 2016 03:58:22 GMT
White Sands Missile Range https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/white-sands-missile-range February 8, 2016

White Sands Missile Range Museum

Security is high!

Talk about adventure. Today was an adventure in and of itself just getting into the White Sands Missile Range Museum. Needed for entry were picture ID's, vehicle registration, and proof of vehicle insurance. We knew that! What we didn't know is that signs were nearly non-existent once we entered the missile range—therefore, we were unsure if we were traveling in a prohibited area or if we were on the right road. The registration center was somewhat hidden by tree growth. Luckily, we hobbled into the correct parking lot. What met us upon opening the doors made us smile. Remember that this is a military base! A man wearing a t-shirt and ball cap sporting Christian slogans with a gold cross around his neck welcomed us as he put down the Bible he was reading. It was a breath of fresh air to hear him talk freely and leisurely about his faith. Then, it was down to business! Registration! The second thing we didn't know is that a background check on both of us had to be run. Just like a visit to the BMV, our pictures were taken and appeared on a one-day pass print-out for us to sign. Lastly, what we didn't know is that once we got our visitor pass print-out, we had to stop at the gate, present the guard with all of the above documentation, pop the hood of truck, open the tailgate, open the glove compartment, and get out of the truck while the guard did a vehicle inspection. We passed the test and gained entry but were told only to take pictures of the missile park so that our images faced the Organ Mts. and not the missile range itself and also not to take pictures of the entry/exit booth. We never saw anything like that egress with its zig-zag barriers around which we had to maneuver to exit. Talk about local color! By the way, the museum and missile field were very, very interesting. However, what we will remember most is our very courteous but militarized entry and exit to a museum!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/white-sands-missile-range Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:56:55 GMT
White Sands National Monument, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/white-sands-national-monument-nm February 7, 2016

White Sands National Monument (Revisited)

Last year we were delighted to feel like Lawrence of Arabia walking the Alkali Flats Trail in White Sands National Monument. Today, we repeated our trek. However, on our way to the trail we noticed a sign along the 16-mile loop park road which read, “Removal of sand prohibited”. Now, we never purposefully removed sand from the park, but whoever visits can't help but do so—it's done by the sand sticking in clumps (almost like mud) onto their vehicles and by the grains of sand oozing into their shoes.

This sand is no common ordinary sand; it is pure gypsum. Its origin has such a unique history that the saying “all the planets had to be aligned perfectly for it to happen!” applies here. Amazing! Here is the story: http://www.rozylowicz.com/retirement/whitesands/whitesands.html#form Those selenite crystals, part of the sand evolution process, can be viewed once a month on a ranger-led tour; otherwise Lake Lucero—site of the selenite crystals—is closed to the public.


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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/white-sands-national-monument-nm Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:50:23 GMT
Rock Hound State Park, Deming, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/rock-hound-state-park-deming-nm Rockhound-101Rockhound-101

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/rock-hound-state-park-deming-nm Sat, 06 Feb 2016 22:16:18 GMT
City of Rocks https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/city-of-rocks February 2, 2016

City of Rocks State Park

Between Silver City & Deming, NM


Only slightly over an hour's drive from Las Cruces is City of Rocks State Park. It was formed millions of years ago as volcanic eruptions cracked and fissured after a long cooling period. For more: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/cityofrocksstatepark.htm

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/city-of-rocks Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:42:41 GMT
Elephant Butte https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/elephant-butte February 2, 2016

Elephant Butte Lake State Park

Truth or Consequences, NM

“What's the difference between a butte, mesa, and plateau?”, was the topic of our conversation on the way to Truth or Consequences. By the way, yes, the city was renamed in the '50's after the popular television show of the same name. Here is what we discovered about buttes, mesas, and plateaus thanks to our handy dandy phone! http://seethesouthwest.com/903/the-difference-between-a-butte-mesa-and-plateau/

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/elephant-butte Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:34:06 GMT
Snow and Ice on NM Route 152 https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/snow-and-ice-on-nm-route-152 February 2, 2016

The Continental Divide

Gila National Forest

Altitude: 8,828 ft. above sea level, Emory Pass

We knew it was going to be a scenic highway through Gila National Forest based on the map markings, but we had no idea that there would be icy, snowy, hairpin turns on our way to Silver City. Rt. 152 started out innocuous enough as an unique two-lane state road sporting travel through a genuine ghost town and dotted with small horse, mule, alpaca, and cow farms along the way. One of our photography friends could have spent an entire week along Rt. 152; he loves to photograph dilapidated—creative but dilapidated—properties. As we climbed into more desolate areas we encountered animals: a bull in the middle of the road claiming it as his own; a small group of darling deer along the side of the road—wary but not too timid; however, the highlight of our wildlife encounters was the rafter of about 40 wild turkeys we saw take flight off the road flying up the 50-foot cliff top to safety. Drat that our cameras were in our bags! Neither of us in our average of 70 years on this planet had ever seen turkeys fly as these guys did; they were the size of and flew as vultures—spreading their wings wide and flying effortlessly en-masse up the cliff wall. Speaking of guys there were only about two turkeys with the red caruncles and wattle—presumably the males! Therefore, should the terminology be that we saw “harems” of turkeys instead of a “rafter” of turkeys?

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/2/snow-and-ice-on-nm-route-152 Thu, 04 Feb 2016 03:59:58 GMT
Rio Grande River, Mesilla Valley Bosque SP https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/rio-grande-river-mesilla-valley-bosque-sp January 31, 2016

Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park

Mesilla, NM

Although it will fill in April when the ice melts in the mountains, the Rio Grande River was bone dry today.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/rio-grande-river-mesilla-valley-bosque-sp Mon, 01 Feb 2016 03:46:15 GMT
The Market at Downtown Mall, Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/the-market-at-downtown-mall-las-cruces-nm January 30, 2016

Las Cruces Saturday Market

The Market in Las Cruces is the West Side Market of Cleveland all over again minus a majority of fresh food and plus New Mexican artisans' creations; the mood entails all the eccentricities which accompany an artistic colony. Unlike a flea market every booth must present articles for sale which are made by that artist. Our morning at the market was filled with entertainment, colors, sounds, and marvelous creations of Southwest art.   

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/the-market-at-downtown-mall-las-cruces-nm Sun, 31 Jan 2016 03:17:01 GMT
Filmore Trail at Dripping Springs, Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/filmore-trail-at-dripping-springs-las-cruces-nm January 29, 2016

Dripping Spring, Las Cruces, NM

Filmore Trail

Today we hike on the dry side of the Organ Mountains, the view we see from our rental. Two main attractions around our loop trail are the ruins of the Modoc Mine and La Cueva (the cave). No snow today!

Modern lore tells of the Hermit of La Cueva:


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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/filmore-trail-at-dripping-springs-las-cruces-nm Sun, 31 Jan 2016 01:17:26 GMT
Aguirre Campground, Las Cruces, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/aguirre-campground-las-cruces-nm January 28, 2016

Aguirre Springs, Las Cruces

“Getting fit after a long trip of 'sit'” is our mantra right now! We have spent the last three days doing short hikes around Las Cruces. Today we decided to take our cameras and visit Aguirre Spring, a section of National Park on the opposite side of the Organ Mountains—this side gets the rain (or snow); the other side doesn't. We knew that this would be an adventure when: 1) we saw the adjacent rancher on his calico horse checking his fence line sporting a rifle across his saddle horn; 2) the sign at the trailhead of Pine Tree Trail read, “This is cougar country”; 3) the park host ended her description of the park with the comment, “I don't want to scare you, but you may come across rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the rocks.” The only wildlife we saw by the end of our 2-hour hike—2.42 miles—were birds. We walked about 1 mile per hour—straight up and straight down. Lou remarked, “I would not recommend this for anyone awaiting knee replacement surgery.” So glad we had our hiking poles.  

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/aguirre-campground-las-cruces-nm Fri, 29 Jan 2016 15:06:48 GMT
Midland, Texas https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/midland-texas January 24, 2106

Midland, Texas

Alleluia, we are in shirtsleeves with beautiful sunshine!

Our afternoon was a delight! We visited the Petroleum Museum which has ½ of its premises under construction promising interactive displays and wonderful activities for kids. When completed in May after 2 ½ years from its inception, it probably will be a destination point when visiting the city. Because of that fact, the museum had free admission. Just seeing half of it was an education in and of itself.

Within the petroleum museum's walls were the following displays: a gallery of approximately 50 paintings by the same artist depicting the history and life of the early oil rig workers, the Jim Hall Chaparral race cars www.chaparralcars.com , and a mineral gallery depicting 500-million years of geologic history. Outdoors, a myriad of old oil rigs and pumpers depicted the history of the oil industry.

But, of course, we had to start our Sunday right with a visit to St. Francis of Assisi where mass was celebrated in Glen Rose. Today, we arrive in Las Cruces. There may be few posts while we get settled and into some type of routine.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/midland-texas Mon, 25 Jan 2016 13:45:40 GMT
Glen Rose, Texas -- Fossil Rim Wildlife Center https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/glen-rose-texas----fossil-rim-wildlife-center January 23, 2016

Glen Rose, TX

It was a delightful start to our day visiting Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Located on 1,700 acres, the center supports more than 1,100 animals most of which are cloven hoofed, but there were also rhinos, cheetahs, wild turkeys, and giraffes along the 9+ miles of dirt roads which we drove. Very tame, the animals come begging right up to the car window! How fun!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/glen-rose-texas----fossil-rim-wildlife-center Sun, 24 Jan 2016 03:12:32 GMT
Bardstown Distilleries https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/bardstown-distilleries January 20, 2016

Bardstown, KY to Memphis, TN

This is a traveling day, and we woke up to about 3 inches of snow this morning. To our surprise Bardstown does not plow! Along the Interstate the roads seemed clear, but we continued to see the remnants of over-turned tractor trailers throughout the day and were delayed two hours due to an accident. It was a long traveling day, but we had pleasant memories of bourbon samplings from the prior day. In and around Bardstown Makers Mark and Barton Distilleries had delightful informative tours----and samples (of course).  

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/bardstown-distilleries Thu, 21 Jan 2016 14:27:45 GMT
Abbey Gethsemani, Trappist, KY https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/abbey-gethsemani-trappist-ky January 19, 2016

Bardstown, Kentucky

What a gem of a town this is! This must be a beehive of activity in the summer—caving, zip lining, historical theatrical productions, distilleries, and Trappist monks! We visited the Abbey of Gethsamani in Trappist, KY where Trappist monks meet 7 times daily to chant and pray in chapel! This is a place for contemplation and personal soul searching.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2016/1/abbey-gethsemani-trappist-ky Wed, 20 Jan 2016 13:31:31 GMT
Home at Last https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/3/home-at-last Friday, March 6, 2015 Home

Destination: Reconnaissance

We have been home for a week now. Our flight landed in Cleveland on Thursday night, February 26; DJ picked us up at the airport; this was followed by quality dinner time at Chilis with him (there is nothing like family). The following day we had to “hit the ground running” with “in your face” commitments and misbehaving computers.

As promised, here is the saga of the “birds” (of paradise). You might recall that upon our departure from San Marcos on Saturday, February 21st Richard cut two stalks of beautiful birds of paradise. He told us that they were like “weeds” and that they would last. “Just put them in your suitcase for your flight,” he said. Unlike Richard who has taken the birds to New England in his suitcase and has given them to Marie and Louise (Lou's other sisters), our flight wasn't to leave for another six days. That meant mothering the birds in our motel rooms until our flight on Thursday. The birds sure are hardy; they made it through the hot days of the Arizona sun. Each night their tough stems were cut with Lou's knife so that the blooms would receive their life-giving water. Each morning the ends of their stems were wrapped with water-laden paper towels and foil to preserve their moisture. Much to be chagrined the morning of our flight, the stalks of the birds had to be cut way back to fit into the suitcase, but the good news is that Richard was right. The birds came through the airport no worse for the wear.

Because Bonnie was charged with coordination of a dedication reception at church two days after our arrival home, she wondered if the birds would be any shape to use as a prop. Yes, they were, and they were the center focus of the food table. That is the saga of the birds!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/3/home-at-last Sat, 07 Mar 2015 00:19:22 GMT
Desert Botanical Garden -- Phoenix, AZ https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/desert-botanical-garden----phoenix-az Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Phoenix

Destination: Desert Botanical Gardens

Same old, same old! Could we learn anything more about the desert than was housed at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson? Well, yes! This outdoor museum was so different. The emphasis here was on survival in the desert.......How would we know:

….... that a creosote bush could live for 11,700 years

….... that each yucca has its own moth; if you transplant a yucca from one part of the desert, you better take its moth with you to germinate it

….... that the taproot of a mesquite tree can reach 200 ft. underground

….... that the wood from an ironwood tree burns so hot that it will melt the grate on your barbecue

….... that the Sonoran Desert has five distinct regions ranging from low desert to high chaparral and spanning from 10-25” of rainfall per year respectivelyl.

At the edge of the patio tucked away next to a short wall we met our first roadrunner which is the state bird of New Mexico. It and many little squawking quail were begging for bits of our apples.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/desert-botanical-garden----phoenix-az Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:51:34 GMT
Sabino Canyon, Tucson, AZ https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/sabino-canyon-tucson-az February 24, 2015 Tucson

Destination: Sabino Canyon

“Did you see the Saguaro in bloom?”, she said, “They usually don't bloom until April.” The question was directed to us at 3:00 in the afternoon as we reached the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center. We had been walking down the canyon since 11:30 that morning. “It's only about a 1/8 mile back up the trail.” For the past two days we had been hearing rumors and been looking for blooms at the tops of the gentle giants. I guess we missed our chance to see the one Saguaro in early bloom; both of us were dead tired, and Lou was just recovering from a bacterial infection--thank God for modern-day medicine.

On the plus side our walk down the canyon was delightful. The asphalt path ran adjacent to a gently-running stream fed by snow melt from nearby Mt. Lemmon. During the entire hike both sides of the canyon walls were lined with Saguaro reaching to the sky. We would stop occasionally on the gneiss slabs at stream's edge or along an intimate sandy beach to snack on an orange or nuts. Although rain was predicted, the day was picture perfect for hiking with sun and a gentle breeze blowing through the canyon.

Sabino Canyon is a little bit of heaven!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/sabino-canyon-tucson-az Tue, 24 Feb 2015 16:37:08 GMT
Casa Grande Ruins, Arilzona https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/casa-grande-ruins-arilzona February 22, 2015

Destination: Midway between Tucson and Phoenix

We left Yuma and found that the desert is turning green. On February 1st all the trees and bushes were brown. Now wildflowers line the road especially in the foothills. We looked for blossoms on the tops of the Saguaros, but we only saw fuzzy white.

Casa Grande seems to be a midpoint equidistant from Phoenix to Tucson, and we arrived in the city early afternoon. Because Casa Grande Ruins National Park is close by, we decided on an afternoon visit to the park. It was amazing to see a sizable structure nearly 700 years old being very well protected from the elements by the park service.

It is believed that the Ancestral People of the Sonoran Desert lived in permanent settlements as early as 300 CE. The landscape is projected to have been totally different at that time. The Ancestral People were able fish and collect shellfish from the nearby Gila River. They were also able to dig irrigation ditches diverting water from the river to their settlement but only with sticks to use as hand tools. What a monumental task! Today, the Gila River is a dry ditch due to the diversion of water for farm irrigation.  

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/casa-grande-ruins-arilzona Mon, 23 Feb 2015 06:19:45 GMT
San Diego, CA https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/san-diego-ca Thursday, February 19, 2015 San Diego

Destination: San Marcos, CA; Visit Pat & Richard

Visiting Lou's two sisters was our goal when including Las Vegas and San Diego into our itinerary. There is nothing like family, and Lou's family is one of the best. (Of course, Bonnie's is one of the best too.) “Catching up” on family has been a highlight of our trip. At both sisters homes it was like being at a “home away from home”--such warm atmospheres. If Seattle hadn't been so far away, we would have loved to visit Alice/Travis/family (Lou's other sister) and seen little Ella Love for the first time.

When we arrived in San Marcos, we were suddenly immersed in green—birds of paradise grew in the yards as did many other exotic plants. We were treated to an afternoon boat ride on Lake San Marcos and a Friday afternoon gathering of neighbors who meet regularly for appetizers (and other liquid refreshment). Leaving San Marcos, Richard cut two birds of paradise, and said, “Just put them in your suitcase; they are a weed not delicate; they should last a couple weeks.” So, they will adorn our motel room every evening until we leave on a jet plane on Thursday, February 26. We will see if they make it all the way home. The story of the birds of paradise is “to be continued”.



[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/san-diego-ca Sun, 22 Feb 2015 15:53:11 GMT
Las Vegas, NV https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/las-vegas-nv Sunday, February 15 Las Vegas

Destination: Downtown Las Vegas; Henderson, NV to visit Fran & Ernie

Reservations tonight are at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. We arrived in Vegas shortly after noon and spent more time at the Mob Museum (also in downtown Vegas) than any museum we have visited thus far on this trip. What a fascinating place! Walking down Fremont Street in the late afternoon was an experience in people watching whether it was watching performers, vendors, artisans, or just vacationers. The Fremont Experience, the overhead digital canopy spanning all of Fremont Street, delighted us, as usual. In addition to the evening performance we were surprised to find zip-lining under the canopy as a new feature for entertainment.

Driving to Fran and Ernie's home in Henderson, NV, we hardly recognized the Strip. One new casino crowded another. Very few of the old standbys were still on the Strip. Our visit to Fran & Ernie's was wonderful—delicious food, plenty of time to catch-up on family, and a walk throughout their allotment with a very “classy” rec center were all treats. Time flew!


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/las-vegas-nv Sat, 21 Feb 2015 04:59:44 GMT
Lake Havasu, CA https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/lake-havasu-ca Saturday, February 14, 2015---Happy Valentine's Day in Lake Havasu City

Destination: The London Bridge, Lake Havasu City

“Try to stop at Lake Havasu! It's beautiful!,” Sandy said when we told her about our Southwest trip. As a history note, Lake Havasu was formed by damming the Colorado River (Parker Dam); consequently Lake Havasu City grew up overnight. So, here we are in the middle of a sprawling desert town which looks like so many other “sprawling” desert towns through which we have driven. Our goal was to see the London Bridge, a transplant from London, England to Lake Havasu City:


After driving over London Bridge we parked our car in hopes of getting a better view, and, of course, to walk over the London Bridge. What a transformation! It was like walking from the desert into an oasis, and everyone was at the “watering hole”. It happened to be a long holiday weekend, and it was Valentine's Day. Miami Vice (as Lou calls them-- “drug running”) style, high-speed, sleek, racing boats lined the Bridgewater Channel to Lake Havasu. Dune buggies had their own parking area at the channel, and along with motorcycles and sports cars they zipped around the city streets. Young families were playing in the water alongside their mega-bucks boats, or young men were cruising the channel in them looking for pick-ups. “Where do all these boats come from?” , we wondered in awe. A couple on a park bench answered, “Movie stars and executives come here from CA; it's a short jaunt, and CA doesn't have many inland lakes.”

After walking the channel we spent the afternoon at a cafe chatting, watching the parade, and enjoying a gorgeous Valentine's Day afternoon. Now we understand why that same man on the park bench made the remark, “Some people want to go to heaven after they die; I want to go to Havasu.”

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/lake-havasu-ca Thu, 19 Feb 2015 02:53:21 GMT
Sedona, AZ https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/sedona-az February 13, 2015

Destination: Sedona, Arizona

Driving along Rt. 40 through the desert we passed the sign for Winslow, Arizona which prompted us to listen to the Eagles song, “Take It Easy”. “What's famous about Winslow, AZ?,” Lou asked. We found out that Meteor Crater was a nearby starred attraction and decided to take a detour to it. We sure learned a lot about meteors and the frequent occurrence of their earthly visitations. Originally thought to be a volcanic crater, Daniel Barringer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Barringer_(geologist) proved the crater's origin to be from impact not from a volcano. This led to present-day modern discoveries on the nature of meteors and asteroids; specifically, it led to research on how to deflect large space objects from impacting earth's populated areas. This meteor site has been used as a testing ground for space travel. One scene from the movie, Starman, was shot here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starman_(film) Scientists project that the iron/nickel meteor was 150 feet across when it reached its impact site; it was traveling the speed of going from New York to California in 5 minutes, and it produced the force of 1,000 times the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. At least half of the meteor vaporized upon its impact 50,000 years ago leaving a crater that would hold 20 football fields.

On the road from Flagstaff to Sedona our goal was Oak Creek Canyon. We found a delightful state park along the way. Because it was the start of the holiday weekend, many families were enjoying the allure of the narrow river running through Slide Rock State Park. We were thankful to find a short hiking trail above the cliffs which overlooked the river; the scene included views of the many, many families below enjoying the water, sun and beautiful scenery.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/sedona-az Wed, 18 Feb 2015 06:18:25 GMT
Painted Desert https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/painted-desert February 12, 2015

Destination: Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park

We are driving west to the Petrified Forest in Arizona, but our last stop before leaving New Mexico is the city of Gallup. The city is known as the “the Indian capital of the world”, and it is located in the middle of the Navajo reservation with both Hopi and Zuni tribes' presence. There are hundreds of shops (trading posts) selling Indian crafts throughout the city. Richardson's is the oldest and sells the most authentic Native American goods. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4-aVRLeIVA Not to be missed is a little museum on the second floor in the Gallup Cultural Center. If you want to talk Native Americans displaying their culture, this free museum is “the real deal”.

We didn't realize that the Petrified Forest runs through the Painted Desert, and that desert is a showcase of color: hues of reds, pinks, browns, purples, tans, and even whites greet the eye in every direction. One sight is more beautiful than the one before it. A photograph could never capture the 360-degree beauty and depth of the Painted Desert. Then, right around the corner are the marvels of petrified wood and logs. Some are huge, and others are small chunks, but they are strewn all over the desert floor for miles. Thank goodness for the foresight of preservationists; otherwise, these specimens would be in the hands of privateers, and our children would not have the benefit of visiting a whole forest of these stones. Although wood turned to rocks is explained by science, it's still a miracle! How is petrified wood formed? The best explanation is: http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/petrified-forest-national-park-ga2.htm

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/painted-desert Mon, 16 Feb 2015 17:23:23 GMT
Albuquerque, New Mexico https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/albuquerque-new-mexico February 11, 2015 Albuquerque

Destination: Old Town, Sandia Valley

This was the first cloudy, cold, windy day we have had on this trip. After a short walk around the plaza of Old Town, we were convinced that both Albuquerque and Santa Fe plazas were similar in style. The cold, dank weather kept street merchants and performers at bay. We took the opportunity to investigate further the Pueblo culture by visiting the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. It was fascinating to watch an Acoma Native American make arrowheads. The first words from the mouths of these Native Americans were to identify which clan they belonged within the Acoma Pueblo; this identity must have been very important to them.

By the afternoon the winds had settled down, and we discovered that the Sandia Valley Aerial Tramway was running. At its entrance a big sign greeted us saying, “Visibility at top: zero”. However, we decided that the 15 minute ride up 4,000 ft. was worth it. When we arrived at the summit of 10,378 ft., the scene was what Boston might look like this winter. The winds and blowing snow iced the trees making the summit look like Santa's North Pole. Let's give a bit of history here. During the construction of the tramway in the mid sixties at a cost of $2 million, Bell Engineering of Lucerne, Switzerland was posed with many challenges; just stringing the cables for the gondolas took 5 months, and the over-all construction spanned 24 months. Today, though, skiers and sight-seers enjoy year-round recreation and entertainment.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/albuquerque-new-mexico Sun, 15 Feb 2015 03:45:15 GMT
Santa Fe, NM -- Madrid, Tent Rocks, History Museum https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/santa-fe-nm----madrid-tent-rocks-history-museum February 10, 2015 Santa Fe

Destination: Madrid, NM; Tent Rocks National Monument; Santa Fe History Museum

Today is a day trip to the south of Santa Fe. In Madrid, counter-cultural “characters”, aged biker-dudes and other throw-backs from the '60's, walk the main street of this whistle-stop town and gather on the porch for coffee and gossip. I swear we saw the stereotype of “Wyatt Earp” walking down the street dressed in black with his steam-punk duster coat, black hat, and cane rounding out the look—only thing missing were his six guns. Every shop is packed with artisan's crafts, and the exteriors are painted a brightly-hued color—every psychedelic color under the sun to catch your eye.

Driving on a dirt road from Madrid to Tent Rocks National Monument we happened upon an active Native American pueblo. The reason I call it “active” is because the main road to the Cochiti Pueblo led to the top of a knoll and dead-ended at a huge modern round kiva. On a large placard in bold letters a sign read, “Absolutely no photos, videos, or cell phone pictures; By order of the Governor” So, we took no pictures—only memories—of a unique blending of a historic, simple lifestyle injected into modern-day living. For more information: http://www.pueblodecochiti.org

Hiking in Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument was another opportunity to witness the beauty God created—eye candy. For more information: http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/rio_puerco/kasha_katuwe_tent_rocks.html 

Our day ended by visiting the New Mexico History Museum which gave us an idea of the complicated development of the state of New Mexico—the difficult blending of diverse cultures and the modern-day respect and pride for that diversity.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/santa-fe-nm----madrid-tent-rocks-history-museum Fri, 13 Feb 2015 14:48:40 GMT
Los Alamos https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/los-alamos February 9, 2015 Santa Fe

Afternoon Destination: Los Alamos, NM

Driving from Bandelier National Park we entered into Los Alamos from a secondary back road. Believe it or not, there was a checkpoint there! Our car was stopped, and Lou had to provide his driver's license; we were questioned as to our destination. When inside the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, we inquired if there were checkpoints at all entrances to the city, and the answer was “no”. It just so happened that we entered adjacent to sensitive research areas.

What type of research areas were these? The Brandbury Science Museum answered that question. Not only is the museum one which displays the history of nuclear development (specifically the top-secret Manhattan Project from the early 1940's--where the US gathered all top scientific minds in one location—Los Alamos—to develop the atomic bomb ending WWII against the Japanese), but the museum is also one describing innovation and research.

Nuclear regulation is the key responsibility of those working at Los Alamos. Nuclear power plants, weapons, and other devices must be inspected and monitored as they age; international watchdogging via heat-detecting instruments which show nuclear activity world wide have been developed at Los Alamos. Then, there is the problem of nuclear power plants which produce 90% of America's radioactive waste. Where does it go? Nobody wants it, and it is toxic. Researchers at Los Alamos are experimenting with algae which reproduce quicker than any other life form and leave an oily residue as a result which can be converted to usable energy—alternative energy!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/los-alamos Wed, 11 Feb 2015 13:44:29 GMT
Bandelier National Park https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/bandelier-national-park February 9, 2015 Santa Fe

Morning Destination: Bandelier National Park

Pueblos! The Taos Pueblo is famous for its shunning of modern conveniences and living conditions; rather they live as their ancestors did reminding us of the Amish. Fortunately, the pueblo is open to the public so that non-natives can view a totally different lifestyle. Unfortunately, during the month of February the Taos Puebo is closed to the public due to private ceremonies and rituals taking place. Bandelier National Park is our choice to see the ruins of ancient pueblos!

What a treasure Bandelier is! The park is nestled in Frijoles (free-HOH-lace) Canyon, a wonderfully ideal place for the Ancestral Pueblo people to settle. Descendants of these ancients, circa 10,000 years ago, live today in Cochiti Pueblo just south of Bandelier.

In Bandelier there are two specific living quarters of these ancient peoples shown: 1.) pueblos on the canyon floor and 2.) cave dwellings.

Visitors to Bandelier can view on the canyon floor the amazing labyrinth of stone foundation remnants of the Tyuonyi (QU-weh-nee) pueblo. These remnants display the supporting walls which would have been smooth-plastered with mud. Ends of logs jutting from the plaster would reveal the supporting beams between first and second floors. Ladders would lean against the sides of the pueblo providing access to roof-top doorways. Shockingly these small rooms are only about 4x8 ft., but it is assumed that they were probably used as first-floor storage of food stuffs and to house turkeys (mostly for their feathers).

The cave dwellers of Bandelier had the advantage of a south-facing sun to warm their homes during the winter. A cave kiva (cavate) was a social, ritual gathering place. There was no “separation of church and state”. Petroglyphs adorn the face of the cliff, but you must look hard; they are not obvious!

What a gorgeous park!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/bandelier-national-park Wed, 11 Feb 2015 13:37:01 GMT
Roswell, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/roswell-nm February 8, 2015 Roswell, NM

Destination: International UFO Museum, Roswell, NM

Lou, an avid fan of the old sci-fi shows: “Star Trek”, “Battlestar Gallactica”, “The Invaders”, and “The X-Files”, always wished that if extra-terrestrials landed on this planet, he would be invited on their spaceship. Although that thought is far from his mind presently, we both thought it would be fun to explore the site of the 1947 “Roswell Incident”. As it turns out, we were amazed to find how many eye-witness accounts seem to confirm that the Air Force was oddly too secretive and elusive about what really happened during that time frame. It's spooky to view the video now shown on youtube taken from a BBC documentary interviewing those ordinary eye-witnesses.


Is it all just nothing?....Probably!....Is it what gets the imagination going? Absolutely!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/roswell-nm Tue, 10 Feb 2015 03:27:44 GMT
Carlsbad Caverns https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/carlsbad-caverns February 7, 2015 Carlsbad Caverns

Destination: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Just too beautiful for words!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/carlsbad-caverns Mon, 09 Feb 2015 03:57:34 GMT
Return to Las Cruces https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/return-to-las-cruces February 6, 2015 Return to Las Cruces

Destination: New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum

The glorified westerns we watched in the '50's – '60's must have had roots in real-life hardships and adventures of the New Mexican farmers and ranchers! Sheepherding, mostly by Mexicans; Indian attacks by Comanches and Apaches; droughts; Texas Fever, a malady carried by ticks, all inhibited the growth of cattle ranching in New Mexico. However, due to demand, the open range invited ranchers to try their hands at it. This is where we introduce the round-up and the need for cowboys! On the flip side only the biggest ranchers survived the above-mentioned challenges. It's hard to believe that these big-ranch, real-life New Mexican cowboys thrived until after WWII. It's easy to see why westerns dominated the TV and movie theaters during our childhood—the last American frontier.

At the blacksmith's shop we met interesting people: a woman who worked for Stephen King remarked that he might write gruesome, scary stories, but he is “like a teddy bear” and is so kind that he would give you the shirt off his back; another young Las Cruces mother directed us to Dripping Springs National Monument, a back-country hiking trail at the base of the Organ Mountains. Our afternoon drive to El Paso was waylaid by the thought of exploring this park. The park was accessible by dirt road only, but the 1½ mile hike was a walk into yesteryear. The ruins of a hotel/resort and tuberculosis sanitarium in such a remote location told a story of rugged entrepreneurship.  

Watering placeWatering place The blacksmithThe blacksmith Indian homeIndian home Old Resort_Dripping SpringsOld Resort_Dripping Springs BarbedWire-1925BarbedWire-1925

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/return-to-las-cruces Sun, 08 Feb 2015 13:41:43 GMT
Alamogordo, NM https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/alamogordo-nm Thursday, February 5 Alamogordo, NM

Destination: New Mexico Museum of Space History, White Sands National Monument

It was amazing to see what an important role Holloman Air Force Base has had and is still playing in our modern world of conveniences and safety mechanisms. All the relics from its experimentation throughout the years have ended up at the Museum of Space History in Alamogordo—from the charred remnants of the destructive V-2 rocket to the wind tunnel and Daisy Track dating back to the first experiments with g-force on a human beings in the '50's. Airbags, GPS systems, and the myriad of products we now use as a result of space exploration were first developed at the base.

Our afternoon was spent discovering the beauty of the gypsum sand dunes at White Sands National Monument! Finding out that sledding was available at the dunes was too much of a temptation for Bonnie. A ranger-led sunset stroll rounded out our evening at White Sands.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/alamogordo-nm Sat, 07 Feb 2015 13:15:44 GMT
Las Cruces https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/las-cruces  February 4, 2015 Las Cruces

Destination: Artsy

This day was a casual one. Hearing so much from Karen Callahan about the market and the quaint little shops in Mesilla, Las Cruces had to be a stop along the way to White Sands.

The roadrunner statue overlooking the city nestled beneath the Organ Mountains was welcoming, and the market certainly was unique. Who would buy rocks? A whole table was set with slabs of them. On Wednesday and Saturday the market runs all morning until 1:00 pm. We were there on Wednesday with about 1/10th of the tables set than on Saturday. Vendors and people swarm the city on that day.

This time was also marked by chance acquaintances, but were they really by chance?

  1. “Jason, did you see the Register?” Jason, the bartender, brought out the Sandusky Register with an article honoring two long-time employees (80 years total together) of Tofts—a favorite ice cream haunt from our Sandusky years. The speaker was Eugene and his wife, Babbs, were 3rd generation owners—working now on training the 5th generation! Small world.

  2. At breakfast: “My mother saved my baby's life by giving her CPR two days ago”, the young first-time mother of natural childbirth experience gone wrong declared. What a miracle enfolded upon that story told! There certainly are angels in this world!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/las-cruces Fri, 06 Feb 2015 15:14:12 GMT
Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/desert-museum-tucson-az February 3, 2015 The Desert Environment

Destination: The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ


Smells, sights, sounds, and movement in the Sonora Desert are so easy to overlook. Smell: Creosote (commonly and improperly called chaparral) bushes which grow rampantly throughout the desert release a delightful fragrance after rain that is sweeter than the aroma after Ohio rains. Sights: Those persnickety saguaro cacti only grow where their shallow roots can intertwine themselves amongst the rocks giving themselves enough of a base to hold their 8 ton weight (post drinking themselves silly after a rain). Their presence abruptly ends in the valley where the soil is muddy and the temps cool. Sounds: The cactus wren, Arizona's state bird, makes its presence known by squawking especially when you get near. These birds make their nests in the nooks of the prickly cacti, and they make MANY nests—their real ones and decoys. Movement: Much of the movement is unseen because it is underground, or it is done by shy creatures who hide very well. Would you think of seahorses, sand eels, crustaceans, and shellfish in the desert? Maybe...sort of.....they are found in the Sea of Cortez where the Sonora Desert meets the ocean.


How the plants and animals of the desert protect themselves from the intense heat of summer and the predators who seek them could fill libraries! Life is a fascinating and wondrous creation!

Sonora DesertSonora Desert Plants of the DesertPlants of the Desert Animals of the desertAnimals of the desert Products of the desertProducts of the desert


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/desert-museum-tucson-az Wed, 04 Feb 2015 16:20:00 GMT
02/02/2015 Tucson https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/02/02/2015-tucson February 2, 2015 Tucson, Arizona

Destination: Mission San Xavier del Bac, Saguaro National Park, Lunch with the Kreyche's

Mission San Xavier (pronounced—Guavier)--2nd oldest functioning mission in the USA

Candles, candles and more candles! When we arrived near sunrise we met a distinctive Native American from the Tohono O'odham tribe distinguishable by his large white cowboy hat. Most of the mission employees are Native American because the mission is on the San Xavier Indian Reservation. There is a mission school adjacent to the church—all Native American children; only Native Americans can be married or have funerals in the church. More info on the Tohono O'odham's: http://www.sanxaviermission.org/Tohono.html At the time we met our “cowboy” he was stocking candles—the only candles which can be used because of the need for beeswax burning. Manufactured by Root candles, http://www.rootcandles.com we thought it unique that the town adjacent to Akron would be sending their Root Candles all the way to Tucson.

After standing vacant for about 75 years the San Xavier mission and grounds were in total disrepair—graffiti/grit/mud. After San Xavier was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1963, the Patronato San Xavier, a non-profit, was formed which brought in millions for restoration. Experts from Europe, the Guggenheim, and other museums.were hired to begin restoration. How this project has brought life to the area—not only employment in the service areas but also apprentice art restorers chosen from the tribe. The work continues! It has been on-going since the early 1990's.

Lunch with the Kreyche's

Even after they moved from Ohio, Jean and Mike are still involved with the immigrant population by volunteering during their Tucson winters for Tucson Samaritans. http://www.tucsonsamaritans.org What a delightful Greek lunch with two super people!

Saguaro (soo war o) National Park:

In the middle of the Sonoran Desert we experienced lovely, lovely sun. We are feeling blessed as sun-starved northern Ohioans! The Sonoran Desert: inviting---inhibiting!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2015/2/02/02/2015-tucson Tue, 03 Feb 2015 15:23:46 GMT
Kentucky Horse Park https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/kentucky-horse-park March 27, 2014

Lexington, KY

Kentucky Horse Park

Site of the Rolex horse competition which tops the Triple Crown in horse racing circles, the Kentucky Horse Park is the ultimate destination for horse enthusiasts. Everything you want to know about horses is on tap here. Enjoying their international museum and two of their outdoor shows, the “Hall of Champions” and “Horses of the World”, we felt the bite of the north wind as we sat outdoors on bleachers; spring has not yet arrived here in northern Kentucky. Our one-on-one with the harrier was fascinating, and it was fun to watch Lou meet Lou, the Clydesdale, being harnessed for his afternoon trolley pull.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/kentucky-horse-park Fri, 28 Mar 2014 11:31:50 GMT
Mammoth Cave, KY https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/mammoth-cave-ky March 26, 2014

Mammoth Cave National Park, KY

“Think of a bowl of spaghetti with each piece being a tube you walk through.” That's how our ranger guide described the many levels of caves each one deeper than the first. We traveled down to one level above the River Styx, an underground river which empties into the above-ground Green River. Mammoth Cave is the largest cave in the world with 365 miles of excavated paths and a projected 600+ miles still unexplored; the cave is limestone with a sandstone canopy, and is classified into three categories of development: living (still forming), dormant, and dying (ones having stalactites and stalagmites). We walked through all three in one excursion. The collapse of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY twenty five miles away is an example of a living cave at work. Part of that museum fell into the sinkhole, a portion of the labyrinth of caves in this area. Mammoth Cave is not the prettiest cave we have visited; the limestone is quite commonly gray until you get to the stalagmites and stalactites.

The cave was excavated in prehistory for its gypsum about 5,000 years ago and in the 1800's for its nitrates (used in saltpeter for gunpowder). Historic and majestic Mammoth Cave is another natural wonder.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/mammoth-cave-ky Thu, 27 Mar 2014 11:48:36 GMT
Hot Springs, Arkansas https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/hot-springs-arkansas March 24, 2014

Hot Springs, Arkansas

To our surprise the Hot Springs National Park Visitor Center is the old Fordyce Bathhouse which is preserved as a museum for visitors to jettison themselves back 100 years. This national park is in the middle of the city and features a row of eloquent turn-of-the century (20th century) bathhouses amid 47 capped natural hot springs which were popular for their restorative health powers. People flocked to Hot Springs in the early 1900's with every imaginable ailment hoping for “the cure”. These springs are all natural and were formed by rainwater trickling through fissures and then traveling into the earth to about a mile's depth at a rate of a foot a year. When the water resurfaces in the springs, it is pure and at a temperature of 143 degrees F.

A handful of bathouses still provide services, and we decided to experience a bath in the thermal mineral water taken from the capped spring at Buckstaff Bathouse, the oldest working bathhouse on Bathhouse Row. Although the pictures you see below of the bath are in the museum (Fodyce Bathouse), our baths used similar, albeit a wee bit updated, equipment. From a whirlpool bath for 20 minutes to hot spring water compresses laid upon you as you rested on a table for about 10 minutes to a steam bath and sitz bath  for 3-4 minutes to a needle shower, the experience was one which can't be repeated in any spa at home! How fun it was drink iced spring water while we bathed in cooled spring water!  

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/hot-springs-arkansas Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:34:50 GMT
Cajun Country https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/cajun-country March 22, 2014

Cajun Country


St. Martinville, New Iberia, and the Bayou Teche called us back to Cajun Country this year. The atmosphere here is laid back and friendly. With over a million Cajuns in southern Louisiana, the culture is one which we, as Americans, can treasure and enjoy. A stop here meant walking along the Teche and attending afternoon mass at St. Martin de Tours, the mother church of the Acadian people in the mid 1700's. The perfect ending of our day was having seafood gumbo and a shrimp salad at Landry's in New Iberia with a four-piece band playing Cajun music (zydeco) all the while.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/cajun-country Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:30:18 GMT
Roatan, Honduras https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/roatan-honduras March 18, 2014

Roatan, Honduras

Roatan was simply a delightful day of local color. Entering into a semi-sub, we were treated to underwater sights as we motored along a coral-reef ledge viewing tropical fish, a myriad of coral types, and scuba divers. Off we went to view native dancers who pulled Bonnie from the audience to dance with them. Our last stop was at a cameo factory. A simply marvelous Caribbean experience!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/roatan-honduras Mon, 24 Mar 2014 02:38:22 GMT
Caribbean Cruise https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/caribbean-cruise March 15-22, 2014


We were treated like a prince and princess on the Caribbean Princess which cruised the Western Caribbean from its port in Houston. Aboard ship our favorite activity was the live show each evening and the wonderful musical talents in the lounges. A close second was the afternoon tea each day. What a treat to meet travelers with such marvelous stories of their lives and to wear summer clothes at our stops in Cozumel, Roatan, and Belize! Snokeling along the reefs was our new adventure—quite an adventure at that!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/caribbean-cruise Mon, 24 Mar 2014 02:28:36 GMT
Rio Grande Valley https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/rio-grande-valley March 13, 2014—Pi Day (as Lou, the mathematican, pointed out—3.14)

The Rio Grande Valley

Visits in the Valley

  1. McAllen

    We visited Bonnie's parents' modest Texan retirement residence. The duplex cut the street in half with one resident entering on N. 38 ½ Street, and the other resident entering around the block on S. 38 ½ Street. Weird!

  2. Progreso, Mexico

    This small town is the only safe Mexican town for tourists to visit. A myriad of pharmacies, dentists, beauticians, and crafters are lined along the street. Walking over the bridge to the States a gentleman took a huge sombrero from his bag and said I must have it on my head for the picture. :) Nice folk here!

  3. Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

    Although this is coined to be the best bird sanctuary in the States, the only birds we saw were the red-winged blackbirds feeding on suet cakes by the Visitor Center. The dried-up marsh areas were blamed as the reason. However, the tram-guided ride was informative and well worth the visit. Along one of the trails we met a Judi & Jeff Horchler. Jeff had a camera with a huge lens, and of course, Lou had to start a conversation. Comes to find out, Judi taught with Lou at St. Mary's Central Catholic HS with Lou back in the early '80's. Small world. 

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/rio-grande-valley Sat, 15 Mar 2014 15:42:01 GMT
Kingsville, Texas https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/kingsville-texas March 12

King Ranch, Kingsville, Tx

The King Ranch is a no tourist attraction; it is real working ranch with access only via guided mini-van. In the early 1830's Richard King built this empire after becoming rich with profits derived from his cattle drives. Subsequently he bought up and owned much of southern Texas. At one time having more than a million acres throughout the world (Africa, South America, Asia), it was said that the sun never set on the King ranch. Presently, the ranch is the size of Rhode Island.

A Hybrid of long-horn and short-horn cattle was bred on this ranch to create a prized new breed, the Santa Gertudis—a breed that thrives in the hot, arid South. Also, triple crown winner, Assault, was bred on the King Ranch. Assault's story of survival is a legend in and of itself.

King's story and the story of his heirs are fascinating ones.



[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/kingsville-texas Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:13:28 GMT
San Antonio, Texas https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/san-antonio-texas March 11, 2014

San Antonio, Texas


  1. Spirit:

    The American spirit rests within the brave, determined men who died here at the Alamo in 1836. A moment of silence to honor and to wonder if the southwestern states would have geographically looked like they do today if ranking officer, William Travis, had surrendered and not taken a stand for the liberty of Texas. Doubtful!

  2. Downtown Destination:

    The River Walk in the heart of downtown San Antonio gives the feeling of being in the Garden of Eden (if there weren't so many people). It is definitely a destination site for beauty, but its original intent was to relieve flooding of the San Antonio River after a disastrous flood in 1921. It has become so much more.

  3. Maze:

    Being the seventh largest city in the United States, San Antonio was wicked driving for us. With all the highways intersecting even our GPS was confused. Never again!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/san-antonio-texas Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:02:44 GMT
Lyndon Baines Johnson https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/lyndon-baines-johnson March 10, 2014

Johnson City and the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

Three generations of Johnsons (LBJ, his father, and his grandfather) were risk takers. With riches to rags stories, we were told that when these men risked and won, they won “big”, but when they lost, they lost huge! The Johnson family settled in this hill country along the Pedernales River in the 19th century thus giving Johnson City its name. LBJ grew up in a household where education and politics were valued. His mother had a college education, and when the five children were growing up, she would have them act out plays or give debates after dinner. The other four children were obedient, but LBJ was ornery always wandering off and giving his mother fits of worry. He would crawl under their home's crawl space and listen to the “politicin'” debates on the front porch learning all about swearing, debating, and convincing. LBJ went on many “politicin'” trips with his father who ran for numerous offices. He learned a lot along these paths and said those trips were the best part of his childhood.

As president with a black mark against his record for the Vietnam War, he actually did many good things. He was an “in your face” politician and didn't mind compromising to get what he wanted. There were more laws passed under his presidency than any presidents since. He not only improved VA benefits, initiated Head Start, and the mandatory use of seats belts, but he is renowned for his stand on Civil Rights and the creation of Medicare and Medicaid.

LBJ was president during a very controversial time in our history. Bonnie's father being extremely conservative had no respect for his initiatives; Lou's father being a staunch Democrat met LBJ and was appointed US Attorney for the state of New Hampshire by him. As you can see, we are married into two polar opposite views! LOL

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/lyndon-baines-johnson Wed, 12 Mar 2014 02:14:55 GMT
Fort Worth, Texas https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/fort-worth-texas March 8, 2014

Fort Worth, Texas

A tourist destination in Fort Worth is the Stockyards at the corner of Main and E. Exchange. The walking tour coordinated through the Visitor Center is well worth the nominal fee. A twice-daily cattle drive down the middle of Exchange is followed by the thespian group, Legends, re-enacting a shoot-out; in addition, a train's locomotive using a turntable to switch direction is another free event, all of which draw families from far and wide for a festive day.

Where did those long-horn cattle originate? Can you believe Africa? The Spaniards imported them, and they were brought to America on Christopher Columbus' second voyage to the New World. Without predators and neglect from man until after the Civil War, the cattle were ignored and increased in quantity; the dire straits of Southerns after the war forced entrepreneurs to cook up the concept of rounding up these free-range cattle in Texas where they could be bought for as little as $4/head; by hiring cowboys to drive the cattle to Abilene, KS along the Chisholm Trail the employers could receive 10 times the investment in each animal. Although the actual cattle drives only lasted about 20 years, the stockyards were a transportation depot for 180,000,000 cattle, sheep, pigs collectively over the 100 years of the Stockyards' activity.

Activities abound at the Stockyards from Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show to a weekend rodeos, to Billy Bob's (the world's largest honky tonk) to quaint shops and eateries. The Stockyards was a delightful stop into a glorified edition of the Wild West!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/fort-worth-texas Mon, 10 Mar 2014 15:24:56 GMT
The Lone Star State https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/the-lone-star-state March 7, 2014

Crossing into Texas—The Lone Star State

Six Flags is more than an amusement park, but that's how many of us equate the term, 'Six Flags'. It stands for the six flags which flew over the state of Texas (chronologically): Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas (after winning its independence from Mexico), U.S., and the Confederacy—then back to the U.S. The lone star prominently displayed on the Republic of Texas flag gives birth to the slogan “Lone Star” state! History lesson is over!


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/the-lone-star-state Sun, 09 Mar 2014 14:53:52 GMT
Bentonville, Arkansas https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/bentonville-arkansas March 6, 2014

Bentonville, AR

“What's in Bentonville?”, was the question! Friends and neighbors who know Arkansas said this is a 'must see' in northwest Arkansas, and they are right!

Why Bentonville? Although the first Walton's (Walmart) 5 & 10 store was established in Bentonville, the real reason to stop here is because of heiress Alice Walton's brainchild, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Opened in November, 2011 the museum was designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie and is a work of art in and of itself. http://www.arkansas.com/attractions/detail.aspx?id=93507 http://crystalbridges.org/about/architecture/

Walk into this first-class totally free (subsidized by Walmart) museum and experience America in the many facets of its “coming of age”. Artwork, seminars, tours—a full calendar! This museum has it all; yet it is nestled in the woods, not in a big city!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/bentonville-arkansas Sun, 09 Mar 2014 14:45:44 GMT
Branson, Missouri https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/branson-missouri March 5, 2014

Branson, MO – Show Time

Branson = shows! That was always what Branson conjured up in our minds, but Branson is so much more. Between zip-lining, Ripley's, African Jungle Safari, waterparks, mini golf, (….the list goes on and on), but especially Silver Dollar City (a huge amusement park), your family could spend an entire week if not a month in the city and still not see it all! The “Titanic” attraction rivaled the extremely well-done traveling “Titanic” exhibit in Cleveland, OH while the two shows we saw were exhilarating! One of the shows, the Baldknobbers (family run) has been doing variety acts in Branson for three generations and began its performances in the 1950's where the Branson dancing fountain now stands beside Lake Taneycomo. The show, “Six” was rumored to be one of the best one's showing, and it was amazing!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/branson-missouri Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:18:13 GMT
"Jeff City", MO https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/-jeff-city-mo March 4, 2014

Jefferson City, Mo

The Missouri Capitol building in Jefferson City reminded us of the West Virginia Capitol building in Charleston. Both are modeled after the nation's capitol in Washington, DC. While the exterior of Charleston's induces awe with its gold dome, the interior of the Missouri State Capitol awes one with its murals and stained glass. A special tax levy approved by Missourians in 1911 for construction of the existing Capitol building (the previous two Capitols having burnt down) had $1,000,000 remaining unspent after the exterior's completion; the monies were applied to interior decorating. Impressive!

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/-jeff-city-mo Wed, 05 Mar 2014 23:37:59 GMT
Hannibal, MO https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/hannibal-mo Hannibal, MO

March 3, 2014

The difference between the 'right' word and the 'almost right' word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” Mark Twain

Hannibal, MO was probably a sleepy town along the Mississippi a hundred fifty years ago; today it is a tourist destination. The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum which is Hannibal's claim to fame (at least during the winter months because all the other attractions are closed), consists of a series of houses from Samuel Clemens' boyhood. Arriving before it opened we hiked up the 244 steps to the commemorative Mark Twain lighthouse overlooking the levee of the mighty Mississippi River. What an adventure that was! It was especially heartening to see these letters sprawled across the snow written by a previous traveler: “John 3:16”.

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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/hannibal-mo Tue, 04 Mar 2014 02:49:11 GMT
Chicago Impressions https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/chicago-impressions March 2, 2014

Chicago Impressions

Agenda today: Mass in the morning and walking tour of Wright homes in the afternoon.

First Impression: “Windy”

We awoke to a temperature of 4 degrees and 3-5 inches of fresh snow in the wake of Winter Storm Titan to top off piles of snow already existing. Stepping out the door we found the moniker, “Windy City” to take on new meaning when the temperature is hovering around zero. Neither of us had a desire to take an outdoor walking tour! Move on!

Second Impression: “Big”

Only on Sunday morning was there no traffic. Chicago must rival LA. We thought that if we arrived on Saturday we would avoid rush hour—not so! It took us an hour to reach our motel. One horror story told on the elevator—“2 ½ hour commute to work one way every day”. A great argument for mass transit!

Third Impression: “Ethnic”

The large modern Catholic church we attended was packed! This particular mass was supposed to be in English, but we were greeted in Polish. The first reading, gospel reading, homily, and part of the blessing were in English; the rest was in Polish. Lou took out his hearing aids and laid them in his hand for a moment. I looked at him quizzically, and he said, “I'm switching them to Polish”. Upon our exit from St. Albert the Great Catholic Church everyone was speaking and greeting in Polish!

(One more pic:  furniture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright)





[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/chicago-impressions Mon, 03 Mar 2014 14:37:31 GMT
Chicago -- Frank Lloyd Wright https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/chicago----frank-lloyd-wright March 1, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright was more than an architect; he was an artist.” Lou Janelle

In 1909 using $5,000 borrowed monies, Frank Lloyd Wright built this home for himself, his wife, and his six children. I wouldn't mind taking up residence here! Its prairie style, which reflects Wright's early years growing up in Wisconsin, seems to never go out of style. It has a light airy feeling with leaded and stained glass both in windows and ceiling lighting. With some interior walls being only ¾ high, the gorgeous ceilings are not cut. There are no doors for privacy. Rather, heavy drapes on sturdy rods are pulled together for privacy. A Frank Lloyd Wright home in this neighborhood. of which there are many, recently sold for 1.3 million.


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[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/3/chicago----frank-lloyd-wright Sun, 02 Mar 2014 15:45:13 GMT
Counting Down ... https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/2/counting-down Our Texas journey begins in ten days.  Stay tuned.


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2014/2/counting-down Wed, 19 Feb 2014 00:44:02 GMT
Asheville, NC https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/asheville-nc March 13-14


Destination: Asheville, NC


Our next stop is home, but our three nights in Asheville did not disappoint. The food rivals the best we have tasted anywhere; of course, Biltmore, the reason for our visit, can only be described as magnificent. We didn't take our cameras that day because no photos were allowed in the house. Between a tour of the house, a hike to Trout Lake, and the wine tasting at Antler Hill Village, all of which are on the estate, we spent the entire day at Biltmore, home of George, Edith, and their daughter, Cornelia Vanderbilt whose lives were vibrantly affluent around the 1900's. Today, March 14, we toured Asheville itself. If one word should be used to describe the city, it would also be vibrant: the myriad of delightful shops one after another in the downtown; the plethora of artists actively working in the River Arts District, the contributions to the city by great men such as Vanderbilt, Grove, and Wolfe; and the wonderfully diverse restaurants. A wonderful memory!


A house made of stones, and look at those mammoth windowsills.  Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC


Asheville Art Museum facade.  A sculpture created by Mel Chin with message being America's gods are sports and drink (wine)!


Vance Monument obelisk reflection, Pack Square, Asheville, NC


A working soda fountain from the '50's at F W Woolworth Place housing a set of craft boutiques,  downtown Asheville, NC


Reflection in storefront glass of Flat Iron Building, downtown Asheville, NC


Reflection in storefront glass:  street musicians--downtown Asheville, NC


Artist's work station--River Arts District.  Asheville, NC

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/asheville-nc Sat, 16 Mar 2013 01:10:24 GMT
Mobile / Birmingham, Alabama https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/mobile-/-birmingham-alabam March 12, 2013


Destination: Birmingham, AL


“Sweet Home, Alabama!” That's the slogan on Alabama's license plates. We are on our way to our own sweet home traveling through Alabama. We spent the night in Mobile and subsequently took a self-guided walking tour the next morning viewing the historical architecture on Dauphin Street.  Empty storefronts still plague these southern states, but Mobile is making an effort to transform itself. The city anticipates a contract for construction of a new factory plant to build the Airbus, French rival to Boeing. We glimpsed the poor crippled Carnival cruise ship which had lately been in the news having been towed to this Mobile port for restoration. Traffic jams! They ruin the best laid plans. We have experienced them twice on this trip, and each has delayed us about two hours. So it happened not only going through Baton Rouge but also on our way to Birmingham. This forced us to change our plans from visiting the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham to visiting Vulcan Park, a tribute to the city's birth and rise into the steel industry at the turn of the 20th century.


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mobile, AL--our 3rd basilica visit

Yes, they all had the pope's umbrellas on proud display.


Yes, those are beads hanging on the trees.  Mobile was the site of the first Mardi Gras


Sampling of Dauphin Street architecture, Mobile, AL


Vulcan Park, Birmingham, AL

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Downtown Birmingham, AL from atop Vulcan Observation Deck

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/mobile-/-birmingham-alabam Thu, 14 Mar 2013 13:52:25 GMT
Bellingrath -- Alabama https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/bellingrath----alabama March 11, 2013

Destination: Bellingrath Gardens, Theodore, AL

Alabama is the Azalea State, and no better place than Bellingrath Gardens to see hundreds and hundreds of them in bloom. This place rivals Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC in terms of magnitude of delightfully colorful grounds. Pink everywhere on the grounds in March!


Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi, MS


Azaleas everywhere!



Serenity now!



[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/bellingrath----alabama Tue, 12 Mar 2013 04:14:27 GMT
Bay St Louis / Gulfport https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/bay-st-louis-/-gulfport March 9-10


Destination: Bay St. Louis, MS


Eureka moments! That's what happened in Bay St. Louis, MS at the church where Lou was baptized 69 years ago. Asking God to be at our side with every word we mutter, every thought we have, and every person we meet, there are still times when He taps us on the shoulder and whispers in our ears, “This is not coincidence; this is intent!” So it happened at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church. We witnessed true Southern spirit and hospitality when we met Roger and Liz there and spent 1½ hours with them. To add quality to the two days we spent here, the church and community are in an idyllic location overlooking the Gulf of Mexico with white sands which stretch for miles along the Mississippi coast. With its beauty we also witnessed its vulnerability seeing entire housing developments raised on stilts to lessen the effects of ferocious hurricanes. This time of the year the towns in Louisiana and Mississippi are celebrating with festivals. You would be hard pressed NOT to find a billing for an upcoming event. So it was that Bay St. Louis was having their Mud Festival Soup Supper on Saturday. Buy an unique bowl from the hundreds made at a local pottery shop, and then meander through the soup stations set in about 25 shops. Your soup bowl was your ticket to free wine and soup—all kinds of soups (common ones like tomato basil and unusual ones like artichoke oyster, lentil goat, African peanut). What would be a festival without street bands? How fun was that evening!


Brothers of the Sacred Heart located next door to the church!


There weren't many bowls left by the time we arrived at Second Saturday's Mud Festival Soup Celebration


Lou's baptismal font 69 years later.


Street musicians

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One of the many soup stations

[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/bay-st-louis-/-gulfport Mon, 11 Mar 2013 13:22:47 GMT
Atchafalaya https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/atchafalaya March 8, 2013


Destination: The Atchafalaya, Henderson, LA


Cypress trees, alligators, flotteurs, a maze of endless fresh-water channels, swamp island homes, nutria rats and a mecca for wildlife is the Atchafalaya. We were on the water for 4 hours, and our guide, Kim, operating the family-owned Atchafalaya Swamp Experience Tours, took us in a small metal-hulled swamp boat with four other tourists into the bayou. Amazingly adept and knowledgeable about the eco-system, he found the beautiful spots to photograph; found the spot where a nest of baby alligators sunned themselves; and pointed out nutria rats, something like muskrats whose origin is South America, as they ran across the flotteur. Having been on the Atchafalaya for years, he was acutely aware of the environmental impact modern society has had on the bayou. He tried to pick up the flotteur, which was a mesh of Oriental water hyacinth interspersed with local swamp plants, but the invasive plant had grown so thick that it was like wire mesh heavy enough to hold alligators sunning themselves. The odd site of a shack standing in the middle of the swamp and the somewhat familiar conjured-up sight of hack-off cypress trees in the bayou added to a delightful boat ride on a bright sunny 70-degree day! Bad for photos but good for sight-seeing.


Atchafalaya Swamp Experience tour boat


Cyprus trees growing in the bayou


Huts like this one dot the watery landscape


Kim's duck blind made from a 22' boat


He won't let go! Five-month old alligator born in September


Osprey sitting her eggs


[email protected] (Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) Photography) https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/atchafalaya Sun, 10 Mar 2013 15:42:07 GMT
Tabasco Country https://lbjphotography.com/blog/2013/3/tobasco-country March 7, 2013