Bosque del Apache – 4

Driving around the refuge before dawn was like saying good-bye to old friends. The now familiar peaks on the horizon were painted with light by the sun rising on the final day of our adventure. As if to give us a special send-off, wisps of clouds appeared and accentuated the impossible array of pinks, purples, blues, oranges and reds of a cold mountain morning.

We skipped the scheduled snow goose extravaganza and decided on a leisurely drive around the refuge for a few last minute impressions. Animals, birds, scenery. Was it all a dream?


Within the dream, I imagined:



Bosque Del Apache

Bosque Del Apache

Bosque Del Apache

Bosque Del Apache


A doe. A deer. A female deer. (In this case, a Mule Deer, Odocoileus hemionus.)

Bosque Del Apache


Snow Geese. Whether as a blizzard in the sky or lined up like some avian army in a corn field, they were magnificent to behold.

Bosque Del Apache

Bosque Del Apache


Small creatures, such as the Song Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco, filled in the details of this vast mural created by nature.

Bosque Del Apache

Bosque Del Apache


Occasional surprises (coyote encounters, skunk escapades, weasel pop-ups, javelina stampedes) kept us alert, entertained and content. (The javelina, or Collared Peccary – Pecari tajacu – resembles domestic and feral pigs but is a distant biological cousin.)

Bosque Del Apache

Bosque Del Apache


Unique desert plants (such as the century plant – Agave americana – below) and never-before-seen-by-me birds (like this dapper Gambel’s Quail) really provided a satisfying “sauce” atop our New Mexican feast for the senses.

Bosque Del Apache

Bosque Del Apache


We departed the “Woods of the Apache” National Wildlife Refuge with mixed feelings. Regret for not experiencing even more (which led to guilt because we had seen so much); joy at having shared an unforgettable experience with someone we love; anticipation of reuniting with someone we love.

Bosque Del Apache


Our mixed feelings evolved into grumbling stomachs. We had skipped breakfast. Early afternoon: “Welcome To Texas”! The friendly sign meant one thing, El Paso and Texas barbeque! We made it safely back to Houston a little after 2:00 a.m. and my brown-eyed beauty looked better than ever! Gosh I missed Her!!

Thanks for putting up with the blogging equivalent of that crazy relative who makes you sit through those long vacation slide shows! You are now free to move about the room.

Oh, and if you should ever find yourself within a few thousand miles of New Mexico, remember the Bosque del Apache – and GO!


We hope you find your natural place and come back for a visit!

Categories: Birds, Photography, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Bosque del Apache – 4

  1. I’m so late catching up with you, but I’m SO glad I finally got here. We spent a week in Bosque del Apache when we were full-time RVers and it was one of the highlights of our travels and definitely a highlight for birding!! (That time we were there in the Fall, so we saw the migration). .. we went back through there a couple more times too, but not at the perfect season. (But there’s no bad time.)….. Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures and the wonderful memories. I will have to go back to my own blog to see how long ago it was when we were there — too long, I know that for sure.

    • Isn’t it a special place?!! We were wondering how it might be at other seasons. You answered that for us. As we suspected: “..there’s no bad time.”
      Thank you for catching up with us, Sallie!

  2. That javelina has a look and name of something that might hurt if some unsuspecting birder were to try and talk to it? Well, what did I expect in North America and more usually in Florida.

    There was a note of regret in your leaving Bosque Del Apache and it does look the sort of wide open spaces I would appreciate.Talking of which, Friday 2am we take off for our annual trip to the Med and the warmth and sunshine of which you are familiar.

    Take care my friend as I try to emulate your permanent suntan.

    • The javelina is a lot like me. Not great to look at, docile in nature but will defend family to the death!
      It was a wonderful experience to enjoy nature in those wide open spaces. My son and I are already planning to return.

      Enjoy your time in the clear blue sunny skies of the Med!

  3. Beautiful shots! It’s on my list. Love those feral pig looking animals. They make our little pigs at Circle B look cute.

  4. What a wonderful treat this last post on Bosque del Apache has been, Wally. You start with breathtaking landscapes, followed by some super wildlife (and another of those unbelievable massed Snow Geese images!), plus another spectacular landscape, and then those fabulous Gambel’s Quail. Thank you for a perfect end to my day.

    Best wishes to you and Gini – – – Richard

    • You are very welcome, Richard. Our time there passed all too quickly. My son already has plans to rent a huge camper and take the whole family next year.

      Gini and I hope you and Lindsay will have an outstanding week!

  5. It looks absolutely blissful. Precious memories to hug to yourself.
    Thank you so much for taking us along.

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