Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Bosque del Apache, Marsh Habitats. 08-23-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. This week, I’m revisiting the Bosque del Apache in the quiet off-season before the bulk of the birds and the crowds of tourists and photographers arrive. I have the place pretty much to myself.

Here are some quieter moments in the Bosque del Apache, beginning with Hammer Hank, one of the resident Great Blue Herons with this prime location for skewering fish that make it into the irrigation channel. You’ve got to love these opportunistic fishers.

Great Blue Heron, on an irrigation channel Bosque del Apache
Great Blue Heron, “Hammer Hank”

The marshes are flooded awaiting the arrival of thousands of birds. If you get a chance to go there, you won’t be disappointed.

Bosque del Apache tumbleweed willows.
Tumbleweed and willows in the marsh.

The willows and grasses add a lot of privacy for the birds and wildlife.

Grasses along the marshes
Grasses along the marshes.

Little nooks and crannies provide hiding places and make for mysterious-looking portals to the underworld of the march banks.

Grass form
Portal in the grasses.

Tumbleweeds are the ubiquitous and unofficial plant of New Mexico and the Southwest. Locally, they are known as mesa street sweepers. I have seen them with numerous pieces of styrofoam, cups, and plastic grocery bags attached.


The marshes are often very calm, offering pristine reflections in the early morning light.

Marsh grasses BdA
Marsh reflections.

I titled this “Cornbird” although I suspect it is a Pine Siskin. I caught it on the hop from one corn row to the next.

Corn bird in the cornfileds
“Cornbird” in the cornfields.

Below is one of many sluice/headgates in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge that divert water from the Rio Grande to the marshes.

Sluice gate BdA
Sluice or headgate.

And for those who like color, there’s plenty of that too.

Dawn in the National Wildlife Refuge
Dawn in the National Wildlife Refuge.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s trip.

As always, thanks for looking, commenting, and all the wonderful compliments. G

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