My webpage (inc. awards, upcoming events, etc.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Road Trip, Day 4 (Pt. 2); Bosque del Apache NWR

Quite a few miles past the Valley of Fires lava field (seen in my last post,) we arrived at a birder's paradise and major migration site; Bosque del Apache NWR. Encompassing nearly 60,000 acres along the Rio Grande, the name means "woods of the Apache."

From the Friends of the Bosque website; (In 2008, the refuge)...installed solar powered water heaters in 2 of its residences and at the Volunteer Lounge. In addition, a 6 kilowatt solar system was installed at the Fire Shop and a 12 kilowatt system on the Farm Shop building. The Refuge hopes that with the new solar system in place it will not only save tax payer money in the long run, but further the Refuge's commitment for promoting a "greener" approach to management of its facilities and create a healthier environment for us all.

In 2008, a 10-15 million-year-old oreodont fossil was discovered here. Read more about it.

An American coot (a Winter visitor to Louisiana,) and my first sighting of a Northern shoveler. His mate wasn't far away.

Cactus flowers.

A pair of blue-winged teals (another Winter visitor to Louisiana,) and a cliff swallow.

Female house finch (thanks to Larry for the ID!)

A bull snake, probably about 4' long. His eyes were pretty milky, so he may have been preparing to shed his skin. Bull snakes are among the largest in the U.S., often growing more than 8' in length. I couldn't resist, and pet along the length of this one's tail before he slithered off into the underbrush. "Daily Nature Photo" on The Nature Conservancy's website, Jun. 30, 2011.

My first sighting of a white-winged dove.

These cacti looked like they were being robbed.

My first sighting of a Wilson's warbler. I didn't see the bee in that shot until I downloaded it on returning home.

More from Bosque del Apache NWR in my next post.

16 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Love the cacti with their hands up. :)

Angie said...

These cacti looked like they were being robbed.

ROFL! They totally do! :D

Angie

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles and Angie; Yeah, they were funny!

eileeninmd said...

Cute shots of the cactus. Love the shot of the Wilsons Warbler, it is a pretty bird. Wonderful shots from the wildlife refuge.

troutbirder said...

This is a refuge I've got to visit soon.....

Lana Gramlich said...

eileeninmd; Thanks. :) Getting the warbler was tough--he barely stopped flitting about!

troutbirder; You definitely should, but try to make it during migration (particularly Autumn, I hear, but I imagine it's probably pretty busy then, too.)

*Honest Abe said...

I like this post and the beautiful photos you put online. Nice. Like the idea of going green too.

Heather Landry said...

I think the cactus flowers are beautiful. The photo of the cacti with their hands up made me smile! There you go with the snakes again and now you're petting them? You are brave woman! Yikes.

Lana Gramlich said...

Abe; Thanks. Yeah, I was glad to hear about the site's green efforts, as well!

Heather Landry; We were lucky that the desert was in bloom while we were there--I was amazed by the beauty and wide variety of flowers! As for the snake, I was on the non-toothy end & he was more afraid than I was, for sure. I don't mind snakes (although I know not to pet a cottonmouth. *L*)

mick said...

Great photos and it sounds like a fascinating place to visit.

gwendolen said...

LOL at the cacti. The refuge looks like an interesting place to visit. Lots to see.

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

You're braver than I, petting an 8' snake!

Travis Cody said...

My mom would love this place. I'll have to tell her about it.

Lana Gramlich said...

mick; Thanks. :)

gwendolen; Thank you--yes, it's a wonderful place!

Nancy; *LOL* They grow to 8', but this one was only about 4'.

Travis C.; Yes, you should! It's really cool. :)

Larry said...

Great shots Lana! Congrats on the lifers too ;-) I think your mystery bird is a female House Finch. The Red-winged Blackbird has a pointed beak and no tail notch.

Lana Gramlich said...

Thanks, Larry!

Related Posts with Thumbnails