Keeping with the “Apache” theme, after the Apache Trail, I headed to New Mexico with the main purpose of visiting Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. This rather small preserve, located just a few miles off of I-25 (and not too far from where the atom bomb was originally tested back in the 1940s), is the winter home to an amazing variety of birds. It attracts birders and photographers from around the world, and rightly so. This place was spectacular!
Within minutes of arriving, I came upon a small pond that was jammed packed with snow geese. I’d never seen these birds before and spent the next hour just being amazed by them.
I then began making my way around a loop drive. As there was lots to see and photograph, but only a couple hours of prime afternoon light, I decided to forego the tripod and just shoot all pictures from the motorhome—thank goodness for my image-stabilized telephoto lens!
Even though Mallards are very common in Illinois, I never saw them in such amazing light before…New Mexico made them very special!
The real attraction here, though, are the Sandhill cranes. I was a bit late in the season here for them, but there were still many of them to be seen:
One afternoon was simply not enough time to enjoy the magic of this place! I will certainly plan to return for a longer stay next time!