05 March 2019

Bosque del Apache

I hadn't been home in 13 years. That was way too long. I need to make an effort to go back to the town where I grew up more often. In the meantime, I'll share some favorite photos from an area not far from Alamogordo and where I spent many a day back in the day.

I didn't have to pay in the late 70s, the 80s and early 90s to get into Bosque del Apache, a wildlife refuge nestled against the Rio Grande in just about the center of New Mexico. I don't think the refuge was as large in landscape back then as it is now, as well. Back then, I could drive one loop that took perhaps half an hour. I often would make five or six loops in one day.

Now, in 2019, there are a variety of loops, as well as methods of transportation. There are walking segments, which I really love, and a bike path! Yes, there are guided tours, too. But who needs those?!?

Of course, such wonderful improvements demand a price tag. I'm okay with that; it keeps out the riffraff (in my interpretation, people who don't appreciate or respect wildlife and think nothing of discarding trash wherever they happen to be), and it allows for TLC by refuge staff.

However, I didn't know about the entrance fee, even though we did visit this particular locale a few years ago en route to a wedding. What can I say? I'm addicted to wildlife, plus, Bosque probably is my most favorite place in all of New Mexico.

The entrance fee, a whopping five dollars, isn't much to fork out at all. But all we had was a couple of twenties. We didn't even have enough quarters, which we save for car washes, parking, and laundry during road trips. The entrance station was not open, and it would have been a good 20-mile drive or so to Socorro to break a twenty.

So I filled out the form, which had different fees for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, and next to the space where I wrote what I was paying (the $5 fee), I wrote, "plus $15 because I love this place and I don't have exact change." I hope that counts as a contribution toward the upkeep and preservation of one of my most beloved New Mexico pastimes.

I didn't give a second thought to paying four times the fee. Three hours later, as we left the refuge, we marveled at how magnificently we got our money's worth!

One of my bucket list goals this trip was to see and shoot a roadrunner. I'd had one in my front yard back in about 1983, when I lived in Alamogordo, but the only film I had at the time was black and white. I wanted color.

We started out the first half hour in Bosque with a few critters we easily see all the time at home in Colorado: raptors, mule deer, meadowlarks, towhees (although I'm still aching to snap an awesome photo of a towhee) and a patient great blue heron. (Perhaps he is related to the one I call my friend on the bike path?)

Some of my Bosque photos this trip didn't turn out because the only cameras we took were the little point-and-shoots and our phones. We would be staying in six different places in seven days and driving lots of miles. I didn't want anything to happen to my good cameras while I was toting them back and forth every single time I got in or out of the car in questionable weather. (Yes, we got snow in New Mexico!) We also were trying to travel light due to health issues I've previously mentioned here on my blog.

Because of the awesome wildlife we saw for the next three hours of our self-guided refuge tour, I promised myself I'd take at least one of the good cameras next time I go to New Mexico because I don't ever again want to miss out on such wonderful stalking opportunities!!!

1 comment :

  1. Sure got lots of different wildlife there indeed. Gotta watch those turkeys, they can be pecker heads. The last sure can ruffle a feather.


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