Monday, January 14, 2013

A Visit to the Bosque -- December 2012

  We spent our customary couple of days in and around the Bosque del Apache 27-29 December, to videotape the cranes and snow geese and eagles and hawks -- and the full moon.

   It's becoming second-nature: the day before Full Moon we spend the late afternoon and early evening in one or more of several good viewing spots, and if the clouds permit we shoot the moon as it first peers from behind the horizon.  On a good evening, the moon appears while the setting sun is still painting the pond and birds and foliage and hills that rich red color.   The next morning before dawn we're back, usually at the ponds just North of the loop and just west of the road.  The moon disappears behind the mountains before the sun rises, and before the cranes and snow geese show much energy, but then the fine, strong light of the rising sun bathes everything in sight.  When the sun is higher and the light less interesting(and the vast majority of the birds have gone off to forage in nearby fields for the day) we retreat to the coffee house on Manzanres Street in Socorro for avocado and green childe omelettes and good coffee, then nap or download photographs or wander out in one direction or another, only to be back in the Bosque by mid-afternoon.  The sun sets before the moon rises, but sometimes we hang around long enough to videotape moonrise anyway.  Then we go back up to Socorro to eat, process photographs, and sleep.  The second morning we're up even earlier, to pack all our stuff before heading down to visit with the birds; and the falling moon lingers above the mountains for photo-ops with the cranes, while the mountains turn red again with dawnlight.
   This time: a bunch of the birds were hanging out along the North Loop, so we wandered around up there somewhat more;  thick clouds turned the usually vibrant ponds and birds a dull, sad grey in late afternoon Thursday, then obscured the moonrise; extra cold temperatures (including a 10 degree reading they told us was the lowest in 2012) not only froze my fingers but froze much of the water in the ponds, appeared to make the birds shiver, and caused them to bed down further from shore, lest a coyote or bobcat venture across the ice in search of a midnight snack; stiff winds made the birds' feathers dance and caused interesting complications for birds trying to land for the night; and there were more eagles around.    Another difference: whether because of the holidays or the deep freeze, there were dramatically fewer photographers around.
   Again, since I shot mostly video and haven't yet figured out a way of adding decent quality video to this post, I can only offer stills, and didn't shoot many of them.  [Note: previous Bosque posts . . . ]

Cranes Crossing Full Moon


Truck - Shannon's Place

"Broken Dreams"

We saw more eagles than usual this time.  This fellow we saw the first evening -- and just before sunset the sun broke through below a sky full of grey clouds, lighting him nicely.

Ironically, he was being ignored by all the folks with the expensive long lenses a hundred yards north of here, where the cranes and snow geese were showing off.

The next morning the same snag was eagle-occupied.  You'd hardly know him from a pigeon in this shot, but I liked the composition.

In fact, as I was putting together this post I experimented a little with the image.

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