Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bosque del Apache

You know sometimes you just can't get a thought out of your head?

Recently I have been thinking of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in southern Socorro County, New Mexico and the fabulous photographic opportunities that await. So here is my post about the place.

In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt founded our first wildlife refuge, Pelican Island, a three acre mangrove habitat, to protect egrets and other bird populations from extinction over plume hunting.

Now our Refuge System envelops over 150 million acres across the United States and territories. Its purpose is to maintain the biological integrity, diversity and environmental health of these natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.


Today more than 560 national wildlife refuges attract approximately 46.5 million visitors each year offering activities such as wildlife-watching, hunting, fishing, photography, hiking, canoeing, kayaking and environmental education.

Bosque del Apache was established in 1939 providing a critical stopover for migrating waterfowl and is known for the thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese who visit the refuge annually.


The 57,331-acre refuge is situated between the Chupadera Mountains to the west and the San Pascual Mountains to the east and harbors a wild stretch of the Rio Grande, a ribbon of cottonwood and willow trees critical for the existence of native wildlife.

My first trip to Bosque was in 2012. I could only squeeze in a week that December and the first couple days brought a spectacular storm through New Mexico making for dramatic skies and lots of great imagery. A definite plus for any nature photographer!


The image above, from my 2012 visit, was one of three which took the 2014 Grand Prize in New Mexico Magazine's photo competition. Click here to open a link for the article about my experience and for other images which took prizes in the contest.

This year I am planning my third trip to the refuge. Thinking about attending the Festival of the Cranes, an annual event which brings like minded nature lovers together under the crowded skies of a crane or geese lift-off!


WARNING, this video is noisy!

video

The video is just a sampling of what you will see in the sky as migrants make their way south. And, if that's not enough, below are a few of the other critters who make the refuge their home!





Thanks for looking! Please share if you like. I think it's time to get busy making 2014 plans! Hope to see you there.

Sincerely, Sandy :)

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