Friday, December 20, 2013

Snow Geese

Although the main attraction at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife refuge in southern New Mexico is the Sandhill Cranes, the predominant species are the snow geese.  This year, during our annual visit, the count was 40,000+ snow geese and 11,000 cranes.  

At dawn they blastoff, often to incredible sunrises while the cranes wait until the sun actually begins to shine before launching out to their feeding grounds

Sunrise over Bosque del Apache
The geese are quite skittish and seem to take off, circle and land many times in a day, creating incredible opportunities to watch their flight.

Late morning blastoff in one of the pools

Amazing to me is how they avoid crashing into one another as they effortlessly stream into the sky.

Often you see them circling around, ready to land yet taking off again on a moments notice.  This one minute video below will illustrate the incredible dance of these geese.

Occasionally you will see one, or two or three geese heading into land
Two geese ready circling to land

Equally amazing is they don't land on top of one another.  Below is one of the above geese landing amidst its brethren.  How do they do it?

Snow Goose Landing amidst is brethren
They do keep alert to their surroundings as you can see this goose below actually taking a long look at me who was only about 30 feet distant on my belly shooting this photo.

Snow Goose Sentinel

Occasionally one of the geese is not sufficiently alert and local predators score a nice fat lunch

Coyote having goose lunch
All in all it is quite a scene.  I could post many more photos of the geese, but I don't want to bore you.  You get the idea.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Where have we been?

Good question. Last we wrote we were at Bosque del Apache in New Mexico photographing the cranes and geese.

Not a lot of photos in this post. Look at my photo links on right side for a bunch.

We had planned to travel north to Santa Fe however, after looking at the weather and discovering that it was going to be temperatures down the teens at night with 20's in the daytime so...

We decided that's a little bit lower temperatures with which we are comfortable, hence we skedaddle back to Tucson area against a 30+ mile an hour wind. We settled into one of our favorite campgrounds, Gilbert Ray Campground in the Tucson Mountain Park On Westside if Tucson for a week.

We visited "Seven Cups of Tea" shop in Tucson to sip some delightful oriental teas.

Temps were colder than normal, bit we did managed to get in a couple bike rides at hikes which was really wonderful amongst the saguaro cactus.

We had been seeking a longer-term stay at a place that's not a big RV resort and our favorite campgrounds limit stays to no more than a week or two, so we looked around Tucson, and discovered a small quaint little mobile home park which took in rV's on temporary basis. We decided to stay there for a few days as a test so moved into the Fairview Manor mobile home park on the northern of outskirts of Tucson city limits.

Our thinking was that if we found it suitable, quiet, and not messy, we might consider coming back in late January to spend two months while Sraddha returns to Oregon for a visit. And the price was affordable.

We attended Sunday Service last weekend at Ananda Tucson and shared about Ananda Laurelwood.

While there we received rather shocking news that Sraddha's number one niece, Lissel, unexpectedly passed away up in Utah while recovering from surgery. She was only 34 yrs old. Wow!

So now, as I write this or rather dictate this via Siri, we find ourselves northbound on interstate 15 enroute tothe Salt Lake City area for her funeral. We will spend time with Sraddha's sister, her family; l nieces and nephews; great nieces and nephews. Just have a close family time together for a few days.

Needless to say we hadn't planned on going up into the snow country where the high temps are 28° and the lows are in the teens. We thought we had escaped that when we decided not to go to Santa Fe. We have gathered up all of our cold-weather clothes we could find. The key operative term mirror is "layers". heading northbound, wethink will be fine and are really enjoying the snow on the ground along with the dry freeway surface.

This wasn't quite how we planned our Christmas, however it will be a fun ride. Will post more as time permits.
Blessings from the Road

Location:I-15 N,Cedar City,United States

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Snow Geese

We are in New Mexico near Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge.

We are shooting almost non stop and haven't had time to process much but a couple pix on my flickr account. I will have plenty of photos to show you in future posts

Today we just witnessed an amazing phenomenon. We had stopped by one of the pools to photograph some ducks bad ended up witnessing for an hour the flock of 5,000 snow geese landing, taking off, circling. Unlike anything we have ever seen before. I took a lot of pix but also got this video footage on iPhone. It's about a minute long.

Hope you enjoy. I will also post on YouTube.

YouTube Video

- Blessings from the Road

Location:San Antonio Ditch,Socorro,United States