Friday, December 30, 2011

December Trip West - Day 19 - Bosque Del Apache - Santa Fe

Today started out with a big blast and ended with a real dud.

It was back to Bosque Del Apache for the morning Snow Geese 'blast-off'.  Yesterday I barely got there on time today I was really early.  I wanted to get a broad view of the geese so had on my 24-105mm.  The geese were some distance from us and spread out quite a bit so I could get a wide view and still zoom in a little.

It is such a rush when they take flight.  The blast-off starts at one end with a loud racket and quickly spreads to the whole flock.  It's followed by this eerie silence.  I even thought about spending one more night just to see this again but there will be other opportunities in the future.

I decided to head over to the farm area to see if the Snow Geese had landed close to the road.  Upon arriving there was a nice flock not far from the road.  A few years back when I first came to Bosque there was a flock of geese right next to the road.  They would blast off over and over flying back to the same place.  This is something I didn't see 2 years ago but was hoping for it this year.  So I thought this group might provide that spectacle.  As I waited they kept flying away in small groups.  I'd seen this behavior before.  It meant no blast off.  But I did notice a number of large groups off in the distance blasting off over and over.  Hoping that they would eventually work their way over to us I went back to a spot closer to them.

I got my camera ready then had some cereal for breakfast waiting patiently.  While I was waiting the Sandhills were returning to the fields.  There were some good opportunities to shoot them flying overhead.  Eventually my patience wore out and I had to leave.  In the end it was a fun morning.

Last night I decided that I would mix things up a bit and head over to Santa Fe and check out some of the history there.  After a night or two there I'll drive the High Road to Taos and spend a night in Taos before heading home.  Well that's the plan but my plans have changes quickly so we'll see how this one plays out.

On the way to Santa Fe I decided to take in Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.  Last night I looked Tent Rocks up to get GPS coordinates so my Nav could get me there.  After passing thru Albuquerque I exited I-25 on to US 550.  After 20 miles NM4 headed to the right for the last 26 miles.  Once I reached my destination I knew something was wrong.  This wasn't where Tent Rocks were.  In fact there was a mountain between me and the monument.  It was 3pm and the sun sets a little after 5pm and I was determined to get there.

So after figuring out went wrong I backtracked the 50 miles to the interstate and headed north another 16 miles to the correct off ramp.  Ah. there's a sign pointing to Tent Rocks.  I followed NM22 for about 10 miles to a left turn toward Cochiti Pueblo.  I went thru the pueblo and drove about 5 miles to a remote village.  I knew this was not the way to the monument so I did a quick u-turn.  Well as it turned out there was a sign to the monument just after entering Cochiti Pueblo that I'd missed.  Finally I'd found it but when I drove up to the entrance it was closed.  I'd been thinking of heading over there in the morning since it is just 40 miles from the Motel 6.  What I wasn't expecting was the big 'NO DOGS' sign.  Sure enough no dogs are allowed in the monument.  Their site mentions some sort of human safety concern.  HMMM, that's weird.  Guess what I won't be doing tomorrow and no pictures, sorry.

San Ysidro Catholic Church

So it was off to Santa Fe and the Motel 6 and what a nice Motel 6 this is.  Tomorrow Thule and I will be walking the streets of old Santa Fe.


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