This week, I go alone! I just left Monticello behind me and Radar and I are visiting the refuge solo today!
SNOW GEESE!As I pulled into the parking lot of the park office and gift shop to buy a ticket to tour the refuge, a loud screaming, squawking and unbelievable noise reached my ears from the other side of the road! The air erupted with Snow Geese! I quickly went in, got my ticket and entered the refuge and headed over to where the geese were going crazy!
Geese were everywhere! Gazillions of them! Loud, screaming, screeching, squawking geese! You can't even imagine the sound! Amazing!
Finally the sheer numbers started dwindling, the geese started settling down and quiet once again! They were so many Snow Geese I could not have even imagined there would be this many! I have heard that because of the drought out here in the west, that many more birds are here this year than in previous years.
Bosque del Apache manages over 1,900 acres of wet lands, bringing in water from the nearby Rio Grande river. The water is channeled into canals that travel all through the refuge.
In the 1940's, mountain lions, coyotes and prairie dogs were considered "nuisance animals", today. coyotes have the run of the refuge, mountain lions are being studied and prairie dogs have been re-introduced and today there exists a population of nearly 100 elk.
An explosion of ducks!
Close to 18,000 cranes winter at Bosque del Apache every winter! Thw skies, the water, the fields are full of beautiful cranes! Each year the refuge has "Festival of the Cranes". A week long celebration of the beautiful bird, complete with classes, art shows, craft fairs and guided tours happens mid-November.
Cranes were everywhere you looked! In the air,
they are just such majestic birds.... so full of grace...
Whether coming in for a landing...
or on the ground, the tall bird always seems to look intelligent, graceful, beautiful and photogenic !!