Monday, January 30, 2012

A Visitor

One recent dawn found us in the Bosque del Apache, shooting video and stills like crazy.

I've no time right now to create a post that does that place justice.  Late Wednesday afternoon we strolled down to the far end of a pond for a closer look at a Bald Eagle perched in a snag, looking down contemptuously at a few waterfowl, and suddenly glimpsed a coyote pacing the far shore in hopes one of the waterfowl might be his supper.  At sunset we were watching hundreds or thousands of sand-hill cranes fly in and land on another pond, keeping up a steady cacophany the whole time, then stroll into the middle of the pond, as far as they could from shore, for night safety from the coyotes.

Before dawn we returned.  The numerous cranes were far outnumbered by snow geese.  While most of the cranes still had their heads tucked in for a few more minutes' sleep, the snow geese made such a racket we wondered how the hell the cranes could sleep at all.   We watched and photographed them as they all prepared to leave then, in a huge swarm, took off to forage in fields all day.  Sight and sound were both pretty special.  Here's a bit of video that may provide some sense of the scene, although I still haven't ascertained how to post video to this blog with higher quality:

We spent the rest of the morning wandering around watching the cranes and geese and deer and eagles luxuriate in the Bosque.   Then a variety of other events kept Dael and me from arriving home until just about sunset Thursday.

From the truck we watched the bright red sun peek out from the narrow window between clouds and horizon, but were too tired and lazy to stop and shoot a picture.  As we stopped in front of the house, brilliant red clouds had appeared behind it, in the West.  We walked around back and discovered a creature had taken up residence on an electricity box on the western wall of the house and was surprisingly undisturbed by our presence.

Somehow I doubt he has an electrician's license

He didn't move, and hardly blinked
His position looked pretty uncomfortable, but I understood the roadrunner's placement of much of himself against the wall, which retains a good deal of heat from the afternoon sun.  I've touched that wall in mid-summer, and found it almost scalding.  It must be pleasant at dusk on a cold winter day.

Before realizing he was there, I actually backed up to lean against the wall while shooting pictures -- with my shoulder an inch or two from the roadrunner -- and didn't notice him until Dael glanced at me and cried out, startled.

Later I took him out a hotdog (soy rather than meat-based, because we don't eat meat) and left it on a small rock beneath him.  In the morning it was gone, as was he.

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