BOSQUE DEL APACHE NWR is considered to be one of the most spectacular refuges in North America. It is over 57,000 acres and straddles the Rio Grande Valley in Socorro County, New Mexico. Elevation ranges from 4500 – 6100 feet. I hope to come back here some day in the near future during the migration season of the thousands of birds that arrive here to make it their winter home. Through my interest in photography, I have seen 100’s of magnificent photographs take of the snow geese and the sandhill cranes during the winter months. This amazing national refuge manages the food, water and shelter for the wildlife. The local farmers plant alfalfa and corn, they harvest the alfalfa and leave the corn for the wildlife. The refuge staff grows corn, winter wheat, clover and native plants for the wildlife.
Although it was off season for most of the birds, we still saw many different wildlife over the three days we visited. The visitor center is located just as you enter the refuge and provides a great deal of information about the area and different species. The plus side of being here at this time, there were no crowds and we were able to get an RV space without any problem. We stayed at BOSQUE BIRDWATCHERS RV PARK. It’s the only one situated close to the refuge. I would imagine during the busy time you would be more than lucky to grab a spot here unless you have reserved months in advance. That’s hard for us to do. We generally don’t know that far in advance where we might want to be.
No real spectacular photographs were made by me or my camera during this trip but I did get to see the area and what challenges I might have if I returned with the masses of Birds and Photographers one day.
In addition to the Wildlife Refuge we visited the tiny town of San Antonio, New Mexico. There is only one blinking light in the whole town but I must say there are two great restaurants here you should check out. The first being THE OWL BAR & CAFE. It is on the corner of state highway 1 and 380 . (at the blinking light) Go in and order the Green Chili CheeseBurger. Don’t dress up, this is a VERY casual but friendly place. We sat at the bar with a few locals and had a great lunch. Be sure to read all the clippings and check out the photographs around the place. You are likely to see the owner there. Her name is Rowena. Her grandfather bought this bar and cafe in 1945 from his friend Gus Hilton. Father of Conrad Hilton (as in Hotels) who was born here in San Antonio in 1887. This place has some history and charm. It was also listed in New Mexico Magazine as one of the 7 best “local flavor” spots in the state.
And if you have an extra day to spend, then go to Manny’s Buckhorn Tavern and try their burger and see which you like best.
Off to Alamogordo, New Mexico tomorrow.