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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    653

    Default Where Am I -- Volume II

    There's only one thing I like better than a beautiful landscape (in all its various forms and permutations), and that's a landscape with critters in it. This picture, for example, is nice enough:



    But when you toss in a few ducks, it's even nicer!



    Since a few ducks made my picture nicer, how about adding a few hundred geese?



    Careful, don't get too close, you might scare....



    Yikes! Look what you've done! Now they've called in the air patrol!





    Oh, geez, it looks like they're landing! We'd better get our stories straight. Think fast, and tell me...

    Where am I?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,103

    Default

    I don't know where you are, but I hope the geese didn't drop their bombs on you!

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I don't know where you are, but I hope the geese didn't drop their bombs on you!
    I'm going to stick my neck out here and say I think the last two pictures are some kind of crane because of the long neck and legs. I also have no idea where you're at either.

    Utahtea

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    653

    Default Big Birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Utahtea View Post
    I'm going to stick my neck out here and say I think the last two pictures are some kind of crane because of the long neck and legs. I also have no idea where you're at either.

    Utahtea
    Yes, those big birds are cranes. Sandhill Cranes, to be precise, and the white birds in the third picture are Snow Geese. I wonder if Google can tell you where's the best place to see Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese? That might be a pretty good clue for an enterprising digital sleuth...

    Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,573

    Default "...you will hear a rustling and then wave after wave of cranes..."

    Hint:
    If you ever have the opportunity -- you have got to go back to ____________ in February. Stay over-night in San Antonio, (NM) so you can arrive in the preserve just before dawn. As the sky begins to light, you will hear a rustling and then wave after wave of cranes, snow geese and duck take wing. It is still one of the most amazing days I have ever experienced. We intended to take photos -- but the sheer magnitude of the bird flight is so overwhelming --- you just have to stand there and marvel. Sunset is pretty special too.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    653

    Default Why wait until February?

    Here's one of my favorite quotes from Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips:

    "In winter, from mid-November through the end of February, the premier attraction is the daily “fly-out,” an astonishing event involving thousands upon thousands of ducks and geese that spend winter nights on these ponds. A half hour or so before sunrise, those flocks awaken, and they all start honking and quacking. First a few, and then the rest—a cacophony of birdcalls louder than anything you’ve ever heard—and then, as if on a prearranged signal, every one of those thousands of ducks and geese takes off out of the water in a whirring and flapping explosion of wings and feathers so powerful that it will squeeze the air from your lungs. Flock upon flock, from pond after pond, pass overhead in waves that blanket the sky, honking like mad as they all fly off to feeding grounds along the river, where they’ll spend most of the day foraging. It’s over in a matter of seconds, literally, but the experience will leave you buzzing for hours."

    Not much of a clue, but it's a nice passage!

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Hint:
    If you ever have the opportunity -- you have got to go back to ____________ in February. Stay over-night in San Antonio, (NM) so you can arrive in the preserve just before dawn. As the sky begins to light, you will hear a rustling and then wave after wave of cranes, snow geese and duck take wing. It is still one of the most amazing days I have ever experienced. We intended to take photos -- but the sheer magnitude of the bird flight is so overwhelming --- you just have to stand there and marvel. Sunset is pretty special too.

    Mark
    You pretty much gave it to us! Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. We haven't spent that much time between Las Cruces, NM and Albuquerque, but it's on my radar!

    Thanks for making this Volume II

    Utahtea

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    653

    Default Another Bingo for the Bosque!

    Mark, as I recall, it was you who suggested that I include the Bosque del Apache in the book. I had never heard of the place before I went there, and it proved to be one of my favorites. I had a ball taking pictures of those wonderful birds, and I had almost as much fun writing about them afterwards.

    For anyone who hasn't seen the book, each chapter includes at least one "sidebar," a boxed segment where I'd get to pick a topic to highlight in greater depth. In Scenic Side Trip #19, my sidebar focused on Sandhill Cranes:

    Cranes are big birds with long legs, long necks, and a wingspan that’s the avian equivalent of a Boeing 747. Of the 15 species of cranes in the world, only two are found in North America: the whooping crane, famous for being rare and endangered, and the sandhill crane, the stars of the show at Bosque del Apache. You can’t miss ’em: gray plumage, white feathers on the head and neck, and a characteristic red spot on the forehead and around the eyes. Birds in this Rocky Mountain population of Greater Sandhill Cranes stand 4 feet tall and have a wingspan of more than 6 feet. They nest in the vicinity of Yellowstone National Park, and every fall, 30,000 of them fly 1,000 miles south to spend the winter here in central New Mexico along the Rio Grande, arriving around mid-November and flying home again by March. When migrating, they can soar 500 miles in a 12-hour day, flying in a V formation at an altitude of 12,000 feet.



    When you observe these birds at Bosque, you’ll see the whole wild range of crane behavior, including their courtship displays, when they dance to attract a mate: bobbing and bowing, spreading their wings, squawking, and flipping things into the air. Sometimes that mood is so infectious you’ll see a whole big group of cranes doing the do-si-do to a fiddler that only they can hear. Serious birders from all over the world come to this place. It’s a grand and wonderful spectacle.


    Rick

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    653

    Default Watch the Birdie, Take 2

    Since we're on the subject of birds, here's another favorite location of mine, and guessing this one will be a serious challenge.

    The big clue (pun intended) is this mountain:



    Wait--that was a little dark, so here's another view:



    Why is that even a clue? I'll stick my neck out here, and wager that at least a few of you have seen that mountain before, if only from a distance. Now, as promised, here come the birds:











    This is also a pretty great spot for sunsets:





    So, fellow Road Trippers! Where am I?

    Rick

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Quinn View Post
    Since we're on the subject of birds, here's another favorite location of mine, and guessing this one will be a serious challenge.

    The big clue (pun intended) is this mountain:



    Wait--that was a little dark, so here's another view:



    Why is that even a clue? I'll stick my neck out here, and wager that at least a few of you have seen that mountain before, if only from a distance. Now, as promised, here come the birds:











    This is also a pretty great spot for sunsets:





    So, fellow Road Trippers! Where am I?

    Rick
    I believe you are somewhere in the desert maybe Arizona or California because of the palm trees. I've identified a white goose, egret and brown crested duck...but I have no idea where you're at...even with the pun clue.

    Utahtea

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