I had the pleasure of greeting the Year 2013 at Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico. The environment at Bosque and the surrounding landscape holds a special place in the heart. You simply must be at Bosque to fully understand the mystique of this land of enchantment. This was not my first opportunity to visit this unique Refuge, nor will it be my last.
The morning dawned especially cold. Arriving at the Refuge an hour before sunrise, myself and other hearty birding enthusiasts and photographers were greeted by the distant sounds of thousands of snow geese lifting-off from impoundments behind the Marsh Deck impoundment. As they rose up we eventually could see their silhouettes against the lightening eastern horizon as flew towards and landed in the shallow freshwater pond in front of us. The energy of the early morning geese lift-offs is exhilarating. Thousands of Snow Geese were now cackling, calling, bathing and preening in front of us. It was still 45 minutes before sunrise. I could only hope that geese would wait for more light so I could effectively capture the mass lift-off that we all came for this morning. Unfortunately, the rising clamor of the calling Geese reached a crescendo and suddenly they all exploded from the impoundment into the predawn sky as they flew to distant agricultural fields north of the Refuge. This early morning spectacle can only be fully appreciated in person when all your senses can experience this extraordinary event. What a great way to begin the New Year.
Bosque is a land of superlative moments in time!
A sunrise Snow Geese lift-off from an earlier visit.