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by photoman4343 on Fri Jun 25, 2021 9:44 am
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I am thinking of going to Bosque this winter, but with water shortages in New Mexico, I was wondering if the trip would yield results similar to past years. Right now the crane pools along the main highway are dry according to the Fish and Wildlife Refuge website. Does anybody know if they will be filled for this Fall and Winter? 

The Visitor Center is still closed too, but Bosque is open as far as I can tell. 

Any other thoughts nd information from others with ore knowledge about Bosque's conditions and plans for 2021-2022?
Joe Smith
 

by SantaFeJoe on Fri Jun 25, 2021 9:16 pm
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I don’t know what the future will be, but most everything was dry the last time I went down, which was the end of May. I’ve never seen it so dry. With summer irrigation of farm fields along the Rio Grande, there is little water left for the Bosque to fill the ponds. We also “owe” Texas a lot of water, so we have to let some flow right by. The Crane Ponds are normally dry in summer, as are the Flight Deck Pond and other areas normally wet in winter. I have been told by personnel that it is to kill off harmful stuff in the soil. The Boardwalk Pond is the only place where there was any significant amount of water. The Bosque is constantly in flux and dry and wet areas alternate all the time. Winter is usually great because the water is no longer used for irrigation and the ponds can be filled. I expect that to be true this winter like always. The visitor center has been open, but the entrance at the moment is only through the side of the building. If I hear anything, I will post it for you. Also of note, there were very few egrets of any variety. I usually go down at the end of May to photograph the roosting egrets at the Rookery. Now there is no water in that pond and most of the roost trees have collapsed. No egrets at all there. It looks pretty bleak at this time. Very few birds, other than quail, doves, mockingbirds and songbirds. Very little waterfowl because of the lack of water. They have chopped down so much of the vegetation that it doesn’t even look like the same place. I can’t imagine where the songbirds nest now.
Here’s some info on the water situation from a while back:

https://www.fws.gov/nwrs/threecolumn.aspx?id=6442466393

And the following tells what is open. Note that the visitor center is listed as closed, but the nature store is open.

https://www.fws.gov/nwrs/threecolumn.aspx?id=2147604359


Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by scorless on Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:28 am
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As bleak as the water situation is in New Mexico, photographically, I had one of the best seasons last year that I have ever had in the 25 years I have been going down. I usually make about 8 trips down during the winter months. I found the conditions and environment to be totally different then past years but the photography is still wonderful down there. Last year we did not have the ponds on highway 1 but that forced the cranes to the flight deck area and on some mornings and evenings the birds were really close.

There were not many opportunities during the day because so few fields were planted. If you were there early in the season the birds were still pretty close to the roads but late in the season they were really far away during the day. This is the way it has been for several years now. 

If I were you I would plan to come early in the season. I would try to be open to new possibilities. I would probable not expect the crane pools to have any water in them. By all means do not write off BDA, like I said the images I got last year are some of my very best and have all ready sold quite well. 
Sandy Corless
 

by photoman4343 on Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:14 pm
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Sandy and Joe, thanks for the information. I believe I will try and get to Bosque this season.
Joe Smith
 

by scorless on Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:29 am
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Just approach Bosque del Apache as a totally new experience and be open to the new possibilities. You should have a lot of fun.
Sandy Corless
 

by SantaFeJoe on Thu Jul 01, 2021 11:47 pm
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You can always call the refuge at (575)835-1828 for more info. Nearly all the Bosque refuge managers I have ever met are very accommodating in giving info on the conditions and plans for the refuge. Some are more friendly to photographers than others, but I’ve only met one refuge manager at Bosque, in over thirty years, that was not photographer friendly.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by calvin1calvin on Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:58 pm
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I am planning a trip to Bosque in mid-November, which is a lot earlier than normal for me, in hopes of getting some birds but also some wildlife and maybe the tail end of the fall foliage on the way from Albuquerque to Socorro and at the Bosque.  My second reason for going  is that I want to do some star trails at the Very Large Array but my understanding is that it is closed to the public until further notice due to Covid.  I know the area around Bosque and Socorro is has dark skies.  Can any one recommend a play to photograph star trails and a full moon, Nov 19th, after the sun goes down?  Thanks
 

by SantaFeJoe on Wed Aug 18, 2021 5:15 pm
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Anywhere in the area is better than most areas near cities. There are few city lights to clutter the view (reflect off) of the clear skies near the Bosque. Here is a link to some of the other areas in the state that are good. Salinas is one of the closest and the Cosmic Campground is probably next closest, but you probably don’t need to go that far.

https://www.newmexico.org/darkskies/

Also, Google “New Mexico Dark Sky Trails”.

On the Bosque del Apache, there is a place called “Point of Lands Overlook”. It may be a good option, but I don’t remember if it is closed off at night. It is south of the main entrance into the refuge on Hwy 1. You can call the refuge at (505)835-1828 for more info.

Jor

Joe
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by calvin1calvin on Wed Aug 18, 2021 9:05 pm
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Thanks for the information.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:17 pm
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If central NM is anything like central AZ in the last month (the weather moves from AZ to NM) then anything that's been dry for the last year and a half is probably now flooded...
 

by SantaFeJoe on Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:31 pm
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The southern part of the state has had a lot of moisture, but most of the state is still under heavy drought conditions. It's really bad. Any rain that falls is quickly absorbed or else it just runs off.

https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?NM

Joe
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by E.J. Peiker on Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:33 pm
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SantaFeJoe wrote:
The southern part of the state has had a lot of moisture, but most of the state is still under heavy drought conditions. It's really bad. Any rain that falls is quickly absorbed or else it just runs off.

https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?NM

Joe


Makes sense, you don't get nearly as much monsoonal flow as we do.  Pretty much everything in the southern half of the state here is full and that makes it unusually humid too.
 

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