Monday, January 18, 2010
Thus far this winter, the snow has been a disappointment. This has limited my snowboarding activities. In lieu of snowboarding, this weekend I went down to Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge south of Socorro, NM (the NM fish and wildlife service also has a web page for this area, but the previous link has more information). Technically this is not in my backyard of course, but it is at most a 3 hr drive from my house. Close enough for the mountain west anyway.
So don't ask me why it took me so long to go down there. However, it will be a regular place for me to visit now. It was great. Quite an unexpected oasis in the desert. Somewhat jarring, really -- despite having been born in this state and living here for most of my life.
The main attraction for most people to this refuge are the Sandhill Cranes, shown in the opening picture above which I took Saturday morning. Additional images of cranes below. At the end of this post, a link is provided to a full gallery of my images from this trip.
There is much more to the Bosque than cranes. In addition to Snow Geese, Canadian Geese, there are also Blue Herons. See below. I've never seen one of these in NM before.
There are also birds of prey such as hawks, harriers, golden eagles, and bald eagles. I saw all of these there as well.
There was also interesting coyote activity, with one carrying off a snow goose in the early morning light.
For more, high resolution, images from the Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge, see my SmugMug Gallery.. Unfortunately, SmugMug does not seem to support nested galleries, and there are a few New Mexico images in there unrelated to the Bosque. It is pretty obvious, though. I will put the same images up on pbase, but they may not appear at this link until tomorrow sometime. A smaller subset of these images are also available on my Facebook fan page.