Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Take it on the Road part II

Bosque del Apache is Spanish for "woods of the Apache," and comes from the Spanish who saw Apaches regularly camped in the riverside forests. Now, the name has come to mean one of the most spectacular National Wildlife Refuges in North America. Tens of thousands of birds: sandhill cranes, Arctic geese, and many kinds of ducks, fly here in the fall and stay through the winter. At dawn and dusk there is a mass exodus of geese and cranes coming and going from their roosting in the marshes.

The area is divided into a figure eight driving loop. One half of the loop is woodsy and I've never seen any cranes around. This trip was no exception. In fact, except for different kinds of ducks and some beautiful scenery it was downright boring. I imagine my SIL and MIL were wondering why they even came.

Notice the branches along the banks (to stop erosion?) There were some really pretty views of the Chupadera Mountains.
I was able to practice my zooming skills on the distant ducks and geese.

The red plants are Salt Cedar, an invasive species, but aren't they pretty? There wasn't much wildlife activity unless you really looked. At one of the viewing decks, we happened to talk with some people of a car we had passed along the road. They had been pulled off along one of the side roads looking at something. It turns out, they were looking at a pair of bobcats in the distance. She showed me some excellent photos as proof. Too bad we missed it.

We were hoping to miss these guys, however.
Across the lake, the trees held a national treasure. On the very left is an adult Bald Eagle and there are two young eagles near him. If you look closely, you can see at least three or four other young eagles in the tree on the right. Notice the geese and cranes in front. We'd finally found the waterfowl we were looking for.
Here's a closer view of the Eagles.

Although the numbers of cranes and geese were down this year from other years, I think I managed to get some lucky shots.

Raptor looking at me!

Here's my SIL and a stranger looking at the birds in the distance.
Dance of the Sandhill Cranes
Solo flight

Here's Sally.

Take it on the Road - song: Always Crashing in the Same Car, artist: David Bowie, album: Low


achieve1dream said...

Great pictures! I love seeing Bald Eagles.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Great pictures. The last time we were there several years ago we only saw two Bald Eagles.

One of my favorite places.


Shirley said...

Well that was worth the drive! You got some nice photos, especially the sunset one- second to last.

The Wades said...

Seriously gorgeous pictures. You make me want to go there.