Monday, January 5, 2009

Bosque del Apache - part 2

Bosque del Apache has to be one of the most easily accessible refuges around. They provide at least 2 auto tour loops and many walking trails. The auto trails provide the ability for one to carry more equipment for photos and for viewing. I'm a lazy sort and don't like carrying too much equipment around with me. But while driving around the loops I had the opportunity to put my spotting scope up on a car window mount. I used it mostly to see the sandhill cranes farther out in the field.

But my favorite activity is to walk the various trails. The ones I walk are very easy. They are all level, and some even have "boardwalks" provided so one can cross over some of the irrigation canals, etc. One of those trails provided not only natural beauty, but also a few of God's creatures. Below is a western grebe floating around the pond all by himself. I guess he wanted some solitude. Don't we all want that now and then?
A little farther down the trail my husband pointed out a few turtles. They blended in with the environment so well that I did not see them at first. I thought these turtles must be out sunning themselves in the beautiful sunny fall New Mexican day. Anybody know what species these turtles are? You can click on any image to enlarge it. The reflection in each of these photos looks like we could reverse them, don't they?

Also, the plant life in these ponds are typical with their grasses and such. This particular bunch of grass was submerged, whereas most of the grasses were above the water level. Anyway, I thought it was pretty and I wanted to not only remember this form of beauty, but also wanted to share it with my blogging friends.
Now these next two photos of these white birds had me confused. First of all, I thought they were egrets, but I knew they were not snowy or great egrets. And the only other egret I could think of was cattle egret, but I did not remember they would be found surrounded by water. I always thought cattle egrets would be found out in the fields, much farther from a water source this large. And I've never seen cattle egrets at Bosque del Apache before, much less anywhere else. Yes, these are lifers for me. The last photo I'm posting here is to show that white blob to the right of the other two cattle egrets is another cattle egret taking flight. It's obvious that I did not have my camera set to a faster speed to get the bird better focused. But then, mother nature does not wait for us to get our cameras ready for great shots.

16 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I love the Western Grebe picture.It is stunning with the reflection and all.
Blessings,Ruth

Wren said...

I agree, that's a great grebe. Looks like you had a wonderful, birdy visit.

Mary C said...

Ruth and Wren - thank you! I can't believe I still have more photos to post from my Bosque trip. I guess you can say that I definitely had a "wonderful, birdy visit." ;o)

Leedra said...

Love all the reflections, but especially like the turtles.

Vickie said...

I am delighted to find your posts on Bosque. I have been thinking about creating a post on my visit there several years ago. It was such a wonderful place to visit with so much to offer. I was stunned that the sandhill cranes would allow you to get so close!

Mel said...

¡Hola Mary!

I love the turtle's shots!!
What a nice place to walk or drive around...

Enjoy your time with nature, thanks for sharing it with us :)

adampaul said...

Congrats on your cattle egrets! They're just different enough from our two common egrets to be noticeable. I saw one at the Palo Alto Baylands a couple years ago - nice birds!

Linda in Erie said...

Congrats on the egret. Your photos are amazing with such beautiful reflections. It must have been a very still day. The grebe photo is my favorite.

Mary C said...

Hi Leedra - thank you.

Hi Vickie - I'm always interested in other bloggers' posts on this great refuge. You're right that it has so much to offer, and I just wish more people would seriously consider visiting it. I look forward to your posts. And BTW, I used a 300mm lens to get those photos.

Hi Mel. I hope someday you'll get a chance to visit the Bosque del Apache.

Adam - thanks. I wouldn't mind seeing cattle egrets again. I've heard they've been seen at the Baylands. I'll have to keep that in mind for the next time I visit there.

Hi Linda. Yes, it was an exceptional day for taking photos. And the funny thing is that the following day was quite windy. That just goes to show that we have to take advantage of when mother nature is kind and gentle. ;o)

Ruth said...

A beautiful photo of the Grebe for sure. I also like the one with the grasses. A lovely walk indeed.

Mary C said...

Thanks, Ruth.

jan m said...

When we visited Louisiana shortly before Katrina hit, we were driving down a country road, and spotted several cattle egrets hanging out with the cattle. It was quite amusing to see.

Shellmo said...

It looks so picturesque from your photos and such a lovely place to walk. The egrets seemed to know the best scenic spots to pose for you!

Mary C said...

Hi, Jan. That's where I would expect cattle egrets - out with the cattle. LOL Who would believe you'd see these birds hanging around a riparian area?

Hi Shelley. Thanks. I'm glad the weather was cooperative, too. ;o)

Kathiesbirds said...

Good for you getting those cattle egrets. I have seen them near the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and in Florida.

Mary C said...

Thanks, Kathie! Did you see any when you visited Bosque del Apache?

 

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