I’ve been wandering

I had planned another road trip this spring, to the Missouri Ozarks. But then my car up and died—it had over 180,000 miles on it, and the problem was actually fixable but not worth the money it would cost—so I had to go into money-saving mode. I don’t want car payments taking a huge bite out of my paycheck for the next several years, so I want to pay for half of a new car in cash and get a loan from my bank for the rest. Well, “new” in the sense that it’s new to me; the plan is to get a Toyota or similar with about 30,000 miles on it from Enterprise.

So I’ve been scratching my photography itch by going out on day trips any Saturday that isn’t a semi-tropical monsoon. The Ozarks will be just as beautiful—more so, even—in autumn.

These are just cell phone shots, I have film out for development.

Leeville Cemetery

A cemetery in Leeville so close to the water (that’s a shrimp boat in the background) that it had to be cemented over to keep the graves from washing away in a storm surge.

Holy Mary Shrine

A roadside shrine in Golden Meadow that I photographed for my Saints of Louisiana project (which I am starting to fear will never be completed).

Adam's Fruit Stand

Adam’s Fruit Stand in Matthews.

Cemetery in Cade, LA

A cemetery in Cade that I stumbled across while driving from New Iberia to Lafayette.


Sailboats on Lake Pontchartrain sailing past the New Canal Lighthouse, the last functioning lighthouse in Louisiana.

Maison de Reprise

The “Maison de Reprise” of Laura Plantation in Vacherie. I just photographed it from the parking lot, but I’m having the next meetup there.

Tomb of Valcour Aime

Upside-down torch detail on the original tomb of Valcour Aime (his remains have since been moved to New Orleans) in St. James. Aime was a sugar planter who was so rich he is sometimes called “The Louis XIV of Louisiana”. Google him, he was a fascinating man.

Sugarcane field

Sugarcane field in Vacherie.

Saint Amico Chapel

The Saint Amico Chapel in Donaldsonville.


And the latest edition to my collection, purchased last weekend at the semi-annual sale at the Old Schoolhouse Antiques mall in Washington. I have a soft spot for Brownies.

Lomographers of Acadiana: Donaldsonville, Louisiana

This is going to be the last outdoor meetup for a while, although I might go a few places by myself outdoors for a while yet. When it’s just me, it’s easier to take a/c breaks, or just decide “eff this, it’s too hot, I’m going home”. I got some mild heatstroke: a splitting headache and nausea–I had a cup of turtle soup with lunch that was very good, but it started repeating on me in the form of burps, and that wasn’t so good. About 40 oz. of ice cold Diet Coke (sweet nectar of the gods) and some prescription-strength Aleve fixed me up; plus some rain clouds started rolling in and it cooled just enough, but even in the car I couldn’t stop sweating until I got home and took a cool shower. I didn’t grow up here and I doubt I’ll ever acclimate to the summer weather (which generally starts in May). Still, March and April and even the beginning of May were unusually cool, so I’m not complaining.

I think I’m going to have the next meetup at the WWII museum in NOLA, which I’ve never been to.

Anyway, Donaldsonville is the seat of Ascension Parish and almost exactly midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. My GPS took me there via I-10 (which is how I drive to Baton Rouge) and home via LA-90 (which is how I get to NOLA), and both routes took just over 2 hours. It’s a small (about 7,500) town but a historic one. It was the state capital for a single year, 1831-1832. Apparently the politicians thought they’d get more work done without the cultural and social distractions of NOLA (Baton Rouge didn’t become the capital until 1849), but they must have gotten too bored, because they moved back after a single session!

Bikur Sholim Cemetery

There’s a 19th century Jewish cemetery in the town, Jews from all over south Louisiana requested to be buried there. There used to be a synagogue, but it disbanded in the 1940s (the building is now an Ace Hardware) due to there not being enough members. I guess religion wasn’t as important to the younger generation as fitting in, and they all eventually converted. There are still some Jewish names in the town, but none of them practice anymore.

Church of Ascension

The original Church of Ascension dates to 1772, although the present building was constructed about 100 years later. The stained glass is beautiful, but they keep plexiglass over the outside, which kind of dims it. But I guess you can’t pound boards into 150-year-old brick when there’s a hurricane coming (and some of the windows are really high up).

Bank of Ascension building

There are some cool old buildings downtown, but a lot of them are closed and starting to fall apart. This is the old Bank of Ascension building. It’s for sale!

Elk's Lodge

This was the local Elk’s Lodge. Of course, I couldn’t resist a giant stag head that seemed to be floating in space; I got a pretty good Silver Shade instant, too. The Masonic Lodge was directly across the street, do you think they rumble with each other?

Nathaniel Sanchez

This guy was a trip, he saw Hope and I gawking at all the stuff in his yard and was like “Hey, take my picture!”. Then I printed out a copy for him from the Zink printer and you should have seen the amazement on his face. He kept trying to give me money for it, I was dude no, it only costs me like 50 cents.

first Mormon church in Louisiana

They had this old building in their backyard, his wife says it was originally the first Mormon church in Louisiana. It used to be right on the river, but when they built the levee it was moved and became part of the property.

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