Bosque del Apache IV


Returning once again to the Bosque del Apache in cold January, I wait for first light as it gradually warms the soft wetlands and rouses thousands of migrating fowl. Tens of thousands of snow geese and thousands of Sandhill Cranes raise an amazing raucous as they begin lifting off the water to spread out amongst the adjoining fields of grain. Though the snow geese are quicker to gain flight, the Sandhills with their six-foot wing spans are truly majestic as they slowly rise in powerful flight.

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 to protect the last remaining 17 living Sandhill Cranes. By creating a wetlands area off a turn of the Rio Grande seventy-five years ago, Bosque del Apache has served as the major high desert refuge for the Sandhills, various strains of geese, and countless ducks migrating south in fall and returning in early spring.

Against the Chupadera Mountains to the west, the contrast of the wetlands’ water and foliage illuminated by early light makes for a photographer’s dream.

Cottonwood<br>Bosque del Apache IV - 2013 Winter Orange<br>Bosque del Apache IV - 2013 Ravens and Sandhills<br>Bosque del Apache IV - 2013 Wetland Early Light<br>Bosque del Apache IV - 2013 Sandhills Rising<br>Bosque del Apache IV - 2013 Wetland Ice<br>Bosque del Apache IV - 2013