I try to do at least 3 photography trips a year. Between getting permissions from the wife, the job and the cashflow, 3 trips is all I can do in one calendar year, but also 3 are enough to satisfy my minimum requirements of adventure in my everyday corporate life. So when an opening presented it self for november 2012, I had to figure out where was the best spot to travel taking in consideration distance, budget and of course, dates available.
I asked around, I googled options, I researched everywhere and all quests ended up almost unanimously in one destination. It just so happens that november is not the best month to go photographing birds in North America, unless you are visiting Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. So when I saw that a full moon was also on the menu, the decisions was made pretty quickly
Bosque del Apache is about 1hr south of Albuquerque and only 8 miles aways from Socorro, NM. So after flying SDQ-MIA-DFW-ABQ I was eager to get to the refuge the next morning. I had invited my mother, a true adventurer and the culprit of my own insatiable desire to explore, to come along. My mother is not a photographer, but she is an avid observer of nature in all its forms. We woke up at 4am and by 4:45am we were already in front of 5K+ Sandhill Cranes in the pools just outside the refuge main entrance.
There is not much one can say about Bosque further than what photographs can, but let me just say that this is Disneyland for wildlife photographers. Just try to imagine over 50K snow geese, 10K sandhill cranes and several other species of birds and mammals. Just try to imagine photographing the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets mixed with blast-offs of thousands and thousands of geese. Just try to imagine getting there everyday at 5am and leaving at 7pm for 6 days straight, always with a big smile on your face.
Before arriving I feared that all photos taken at Bosque by the hundreds if not thousands of professional photographers that show up every migration season, looked exactly the same. But actually, this is quite impossible. I was there with probably 50 other photographers and I am pretty happy with my photos, and after looking around in the web, I think they are pretty genuine.
There is something quite strange about Bosque del Apache. For photographers and I think is that feeling that something is too good to be true… and actually it is. The fact that a place full of opportunities to make great memorable shots exist, is just outstanding. Is like going to graduate school and working at your dream job all at the same time.
I took 14K shots in 5 full days and I can’t wait to go back and try different things. This is a place I want to repeat and someday take my kids, hopefully each one of them will be holding a camera as well.
To see more photos of my Adventures in New Mexico just click here.