Bosque del Apache NWR, Nov. 17-18, 2014


Sandhill crane flies towards the setting sun, as it returns from feeding to roost for the night in the large pond

Sandhill crane flies towards the setting sun, as it returns from feeding to roost for the night in the large pond

The Bosque del Apache NWR never disappoints. I’ve been visiting the Bosque since the 1970s, and, if anything, it gets better all the time. Kathy and I decided to get in a visit while we had the time. We arrived on Monday afternoon, took a look at the exhibits at the Visitor Center and then noticed a flock of White-winged doves in the trees right outside.

White-winged dove

White-winged dove

Then, we spent a few minutes with the Light geese that were present in considerable numbers in the large pond, just past the entrance booth. A variety of ducks were mixed in with the geese.

"Light geese" is a new term for me. It includes two closely-related white geese - Snow geese and Ross's geese, which are hard to distinguish one from the other

“Light geese” is a new term for me. It includes two closely-related white geese – Snow geese and Ross’s geese, which are hard to distinguish one from the other

Light geese

Light geese

Light geese in the large pond

Light geese in the large pond

Light geese and a pair of female Buffleheads

Light geese and a pair of female Buffleheads

Afterwards, we drove around the south loop, where we saw a few cranes, two roadrunners, a pheasant, a deer and other waterfowl. Then we continued on to the north loop

Deer and cranes

Deer and crane

Deer and cranes

Deer and cranes

Sandhill crane

Sandhill crane

Lava outcrops across the Rio Grande. These are located in one of the Wilderness Areas of the refuge. One can petroglyphs on the rock faces.

Lava outcrops across the Rio Grande. These are located in one of the Wilderness Areas of the refuge. One can find petroglyphs on the rock faces.

Canada geese, mallards, pintails and a widgeon

Canada geese, mallards, pintails and a widgeon

The so-called Low Water Conveyance Channel carries the Rio Grande's little remaining water to Elephant Butte reservoir, instead of leaving it in the river's natural channel

The so-called Low Water Conveyance Channel carries the Rio Grande’s little remaining water to Elephant Butte reservoir, instead of leaving it in the river’s natural channel

Light geese are in the sky at all times during the day

Light geese are in the sky at all times during the day

The large pond

The large pond, on the north loop

Flock of sandhill cranes feeding on corn or grain grown in the refuge

Flock of sandhill cranes feeding on grain grown in the refuge, on the north loop

Crane

Crane

Crane pair

Crane pair returning to the large pond

Crane pair

Crane pair coming in for a landing

We arrived at the large pond and Flight Deck to visit with the ducks and await the evening return flights of the Sandhill cranes.

The large pond

The large pond

The large pond

The large pond

Grazing in the alfalfa (?)

Grazing in the alfalfa (?)

Grazing in the alfalfa (?)

Grazing in the alfalfa

CranesFoursomeNov172014_3608

The large pond

Northern shoveler

Northern shoveler

Northern shoveler female

Northern shoveler female

Pintail

Pintail

Pintails

Pintails

Flights of cranes began to show up as the sky began to turn pink.

Cranes arrive at sunset

Cranes arrive at sunset

Cranes arrive at sunset

Cranes arrive at sunset

Cranes arrive at sunset

Cranes arrive at sunset

Light goose at sunset

Light goose at sunset

When the show was over, we headed to Truth or Consequences, 50 miles to the south. Why didn’t we return to Socorro, which is a lot closer? It’s because  “T or C”, which was originally called Hot Springs, NM, has plenty of same. There are various accommodations there that provide their own springs for bathing, along with pools open to the public. We had reserved a room at the Riverbend Hot Springs, which gave us plenty of bathing time that evening and the next morning.

Three pools that graduate from 108 to 107 to 106 degrees

Three pools that graduate from 108 to 107 to 106 degrees (amongst others)

The hot spring outflow drops into the Rio Grande

The hot spring outflow drops into the Rio Grande

Under a deck built out over the river, the local gang of carp warm themselves in the hot spring outflow

Under a deck built out over the river, the local carp warm themselves in the hot spring outflow

After a nice soak the following morning , we returned to the refuge, before continuing north to home, on the Rio Grande near Taos, NM.

Crane flock in the same field as the day before. Did they leave for the water the evening before, or just stay put?

Crane flock in the same field as the day before. Did they leave for the water the evening before, or just stay put?

In the alfalfa

In the alfalfa

Squabbling cranes

Squabbling cranes

Cranes and geese

Cranes and geese

 

Deer and cranes in the alfalfa

Deer and cranes in the alfalfa

Lots of Light geese in the big pond

Lots of Light geese in the large pond

 

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
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